Thursday, November 29, 2007

Browsing at the Thrift

I went in my favorite thrift store looking for tiny gold Christmas balls. I came out with an unusual handled basket ($1.98), a new roll of green granite-look wallpaper (.60), and a silicone muffin pan for Heather (.99).

I envision using the basket for picnics, perhaps to carry bottles. The roll of wallpaper won't end up on my walls even though I do have a green house. It might make nice shelf liners for my china cabinet, or backing for a shadow box, or a million other uses in crafting. One thing for sure ~ it will last a very long time.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Turkey Soup

Done! The worst part of Thanksgiving is finished: deboning the turkey carcass. I really don't like the tedium of that job, and I don't like the smell of the bones cooking. But I just now finished deboning and adding chopped veggies, barley, and rice to the broth, and it will simmer the rest of the day. Turkey soup for dinner tonight!

Now I will move on to thinking about decorating the house for Christmas. I believe I will start with Maryanne's idea for a branch tree.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Preps

We will be traveling for Thanksgiving tomorrow. After picking up family at the airport early in the morning, we head north 1 1/2 hours to daughter and son in law's. They are unable to travel right now because baby is expected to arrive at any moment. Perhaps we won't even make it through the turkey before we become grandparents!

Under the circumstances, I volunteered to prepare all the food and take it up. So we will travel with a raw turkey (in large cooler), potato casserole, sweet potatoes ready to become casseroled, assorted canned goods to be turned into various dishes, fresh cranberry relish, two pies, and low carb cheesecake. It was a busy day in my kitchen. Here is the final result:

In the middle of all the baking, I made ham 'n pineapple pizza for lunch. We decided we like it best with a thin crust.


I canned eight jars of Green Tomato Chutney yesterday. Chutney is really good as a garnish on chicken curry, and spread on ham sandwiches instead of mustard. Usually it is made with assorted dried fruits; I made this batch with all the green tomatoes left on our bushes after our first frost. I added raisins and chopped apples to it also. Sugar, onions, vinegar, and spices complete the recipe. I didn't have a recipe, so I googled for recipes, combined recipes, and finally adjusted by taste. I'm sure I'll never be able to duplicate it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving Week Bargains

3 dozen eggs, $1.00 dozen
2 bags m&m's, sale 2/$5, $1/2 store coup, $1/2 mfr coup, net $1.50 bag
small Hershey's candy bars, sale .25 each, BOGO mfr coup (boohoo I only had one coup)
Sunsilk shampoo and conditioner, sale $2.99, $2.00 mfr coup (had 2), net .99 each
Sunsilk cream conditioner, clearance $1.89, $2.00 mfr coup, net: Walgreens paid me .11!

I've never tried Sunsilk shampoo before, so I don't know if I will like it. Because of that, I don't mind not having more coupons.

I also wanted to get that Purell foam sanitizer that was a net cost of .49, but they were all out. I went to another Walgreens, they were out too, so they gave me a raincheck and told me to keep the store coup to get the price. So I will be able to combine it with my $1.50 mfr coup and earn $1.00.

Sunsweet dried apricots 6 oz, sale $1.99, $1.00 coup, net .99 (That coupon might be from my dumpster diving foray)
Tylenol vial, sale $2.49, xbucks $2.49, mfr coup $1.00, net earn $1.00 (yeah!)
Keri lotion $8.49, $4.00 xbucks, $1.00 mfr coup
Olay body wash $4.99 ea, $5.00 xbucks, $1.00 coup on each
Paid with a $2/$10 coup, a $3/$15 coup, and my previous $10 in xbucks, total oop $3.35
xbucks earned for next visit: $11.50

The annoying thing is Robitussin being recalled just when CVS is having a sale AND xbucks. I wanted to buy two bottles (plus coupons) to get me over the $30 point and then be able to use my $5/$30 coupon.

Found some great stuff here.
No Yolks noodles .99, had five .50 coups, all doubled, got five pkgs noodles FREE
Green Giant boxed froz vegs, sale $1.00, had several different coups which got me six boxes for .50 each
cake mixes .89, $1/2 coup, net .39 each
cans of pie cherries $1.50 each. I bought all five remaining cans.
tortillas sale $2.00, $1.00 coup
Sundown vitamins BOGO, combined with one $3.00 coup and three $2.00 coups, I paid .24 for one bottle of vitamin C, and .59 each for three bottles of echinacea.
Eagle Brand sw cond milk, sale $2.00, $1.00 coup
Pet evap milk, .89, .25 coup doubled, net .39
I bought a few other things such as meat and fruit, for a total oop of $29.40. My savings through coupons and sales was $49.54.

Monday, November 19, 2007

An Autumn Evening

Soft candlelight brightens a chilly room on a cool fall evening.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Good Bargain Week

Rite-Aid (Grand Opening this store only):
2 Colgate Max Fresh paste, BOGO, reg $2.99, .75 coup
Tylenol 24 ct, .99, $1.00 coup
Total OOP $2.22 plus tax

2 Fantastik sprays, $2.13, $1.00 coup on each (expiring today)
Oxy-clean spray, $2.77, .75 coup (expiring today)
Keebler graham crust, sale $1, .55 coup
Russell Stover sugar free candy, $1.50, BOGO coup (to freezer for xmas stocking)
Butterfinger Stix candy, clearance .25 (to freezer for xmas stocking)

I did the Tylenol xbucks offer, as well as the Advil xbucks offer. I used coupons on all the products and earned $10 in xbucks. I also got a $3 off $15 coupon for next week. I'm getting there!

Too many to list. Suffice to say that I purchased only one item at full price, a 2-lb bag of carrots. Everything else was on sale and couponed, or BOGO. Publix had a really wonderful selection of BOGO this week; usually their BOGO's revolve around prepared food or junk food. But not this week. This week's receipt is a keeper! I purchased 55 items, and spent $53.20 including tax. I redeemed 28 coupons; 22 were doubled. My total savings through sale prices and coupons was $63.45.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Homecoming Formal Dinner

It was homecoming this week for the one college student presently in our midst. Being a senator on Student Government, she was quite busy with activities all week. Tonight was the culmination with the formal Homecoming Dance. A double date with brother and friend, a dress, a hairdo, but no meal plans. Mom came through: our home dining room turned into a romantic little candlelit restaurant for four, a three-course meal prepared by chef Mom, and Dad as waiter/busboy. The finale was this five-tier chocolate mousse cake. With raspberry sauce.

Friday, November 9, 2007

This Week in Bargains

I didn't buy much here this week because I'm finding my grocery bargains elsewhere now.
Krusteaz muffin mix, BOGO $1.15, .55 off coupon, total .60
8 oz Athenos feta block $2
5-lb Domino sugar $1.99, manfr .55/2 coup, total $1.71 ea
4-pk white tuna BOGO, ea can .74
Pillsbury cake mixes BOGO, .80 ea
(Wouldn't you know, the day after this sale was over, our throw-away paper had a coupon insert with $1/2 Pillsbury cake mixes. Those cake mixes could have been .30 each!)

First trip to CVS:
I had a coupon for $2.50 off $10 in CVS brand products. I bought:
body wash on sale $2.99
Sudafed look-alike $3.49
Acetamin. $4.79
$11.98, minus $2.50, minus $6.58 xbucks, OOP $2.32

Secret deodorant 3/$5 store sale
travel size Aleve $1.02, .75 off coupon, OOP .27

Second trip to CVS:
I tell the whole story on a separate blog entry on Nov. 6, entitled "These Women and Their Coupons"

Crest toothpaste, $1 store coup, $1 off coupon, OOP .79
Kleenex 200 ct, $1 box, bought 6 boxes
candy bars 3/$1, used a BOGO coupon, OOP on 6: $1.35
Sunsweet apricots 6 oz, on sale $1.99, $1 off coupon, OOP .99
Nature Made vitamin C: BOGO store sale, used one $1 off coup, OOP each $1.99
Purell foam sanitizer, on sale $3.49, store coup $2.50, manfr coup $1, FREE!

travel size Old Spice body wash, .97, $1 off coupon, net gain .03

Dial liquid soap, store sale $1, .30 coupon doubled, OOP .40

And to CVS again:
Ester-C, BOGO store sale, used 2 $1 off coups, OOP each bottle $2.99
Dawn dish detergent, sale .98, .50 off coup, OOP .48

I guess I should confess that I went dumpster diving this week too. I didn't actually dive inside, but I reached in and pulled out what was within arm's length. And it wasn't a true dumpster, as in smelly and germy; it was a newspaper recycling dumpster at a nearby church. We recycle our newspapers there, and it occurred to me that, when those dumpsters are getting to the point of needing to be emptied, plenty of coupon inserts might be within reach. Well, it wasn't quite full enough yet, but someone had carefully stacked their papers right next to the dump hole, and I found lots of inserts. Some were so old that the coupons were expired, but I found plenty to keep me clipping. That's what sent me back to CVS so many times.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

"These Women and Their Coupons"

I could just hear it, but I didn't. I think they waited until I left the store. I was in CVS just now, wanting to use my $3 off $15 coupon. I also wanted to maximize xbucks credits, manfr coupons, and sale prices, as well as not go much over $15. I checked prices up and down many aisles, and checked both the weekly flier and the November xbucks flier. I finally chose:
  • Dawn dish detergent, sale .98 and .25 coupon
  • Cold Reduce, $9.99, $2 xbucks and $1 coupon
  • Sudafed, $5.49, $5 coupon
  • 4 bags candy corn, .09 each
All that came to $17.64. First I handed the young clerk my CVS $3 off coupon, then I gave him my manfr coupons, then my $1 xbuck. After he deducted the $3 coupon,the register wouldn't accept the manfr coupons or xbuck. The clerk then told me I'd have to pay the total, and then he would give me cash back for the coupons. It turns out he hit the wrong key (the total key?) before he realized I had the manfr coupons. Oh, and by the way, I would have to pay with credit or debit he tells me. I said no way, I only use cash. At that point he called the manager.
The manager emitted deep sighs and mumblings under his breath that didn't sound all that polite, all accompanied by head shaking. He was frustrated. He was annoyed. The register didn't cooperate. He tried and tried to get it to deduct. He even refunded some of the items, then charged them back again. Still it wasn't coupon happy. Finally he just opened the register and gave me cash. As he handed me $10.50, I timidly told him he had already deducted the $3 from my bill so he was giving me too much. He said, "I know. Take it. You had to wait a long time." I told him I didn't expect him to do that, but thanked him. So my total OOP cash for $17.64 in merchandise was $4.14.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Halloween Week Bargains

This was a good ad week, although it was frustrating dealing with their inaccurate registers.
Blue Diamond almonds BOGO, final cost $1.64 each can
Hershey's candy, final cost $1 per 10 oz bag. I bought Miniatures and York Peppermint Patties for Christmas stockings. They are hidden in the freezer now.
Pantyhose .69 each
large bubble mailing envelopes .33 each! I'm serious. The cashier said no one was buying them. I bought the limit at one store, then went to another store and bought the limit again.
Mandarin oranges .39 each. I bought the limit on these too, at both stores, so now I'm well supplied.

I went to a Super Target when I had to ferry a kid to a distant class. I used my second $5 off a $25 purchase coupon.
Frozen turkey .68 lb (It might not be the very best price we'll see this Thanksgiving, but it's a decent price and I thought I'd buy to pop in the freezer)
eggs .99 dozen (This is the best price I've seen in months. Even at Easter there were no sales on eggs in my area)
3 dz corn tortillas .74 on clearance
taco shells .84

I found a basket of bakery items marked manager's special
1 dz chocolate cake donuts .50
Angel food cake .75
6 hoagie rolls .75
6 ww bolillo rolls .79
Also, chicken leg quarters .49 lb

Taco Bell:
We got our free tacos after the stolen base in the World Series. I don't keep up with news like this on my own, but teen sons do! He took me through the drive-up window on our way to Kroger.

Mrs T's Pierogies 2/$4, plus $1/1 coup, one box $1. We have never had these, and we were very unimpressed. Glad we bought just one box.