Friday, February 29, 2008

My Best Deals This Week

I did buy a few other things, but here are my best deals for the week (after sales, coupons, extra care bucks, and rebate money):
2 one-lb rolls midget Longhorn Colby cheese, $2.49 ea
1 gallon milk, $3.48
hamburger buns, 35 cents
small tortillas, 45 cents
2 pkg angel hair coleslaw on clearance, $1 ea
2 Friendship sour cream, 79 cents ea
4 Planters low salt peanuts, 95 cents ea
tortilla chips, 1 cent (mystery coupon item)
24 oz bags froz vegetables, $2 ea
1 quart mayo, $1.50
2 boxes Swiss Miss, 20 cents ea
4 boxes Celestial Seasonings tea, $1 ea
2 dozen eggs, $1.50 ea
1 dozen Eggland's Best eggs, $1.79
10 lb potatoes, $2.48
8 5-lb bags all purpose flour, $1.59 ea

Fructis shampoo, free plus overage
90 ct pkg GUM flossers, 45 cents
3 Softsoap hand soap, 30 cents ea
3-bar pack Irish Spring soap, free
2 boxes Ziploc bags, $1.67 ea
4 boxes 60 watt bulbs, 69 cents ea
4 boxes 40 watt bulbs, 69 cents ea

Later, I went back to Walgreens and bought 8 more boxes of our favorite flavor of Celestial Seasonings tea at $1 each box. We are very well stocked on herb tea now, and The Professor is overjoyed.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Recycled Towels

Living in Europe several years back, we got hooked on using wash mitts instead of washcloths. I have had two mismatched hand towels rattling around in my linen closet. Combine the two facts, and it's an easy jump to decide to turn the unused towels into needed wash mitts.
I used one of our European wash mitts as a pattern. The larger towel, with yellow trim, was large enough to make three wash mitts. The smaller, all-white towel made two wash mitts.

I cut the yellow bottom binding off to reattach as bottom binding on three of the mitts.
My serger complained a bit, but made it through the seams. It makes a very nice finish for ravelly terry cloth.
Attaching the trimmed binding: I simply folded the trim in half and serged it, right sides together, to the raw edge of the mitt. The two all-white mitts use the already-bound edge from the towel.
Five new wash mitts, ready to use.

Monday, February 25, 2008

WIP Finished!

I finished hand-quilting daughter 1's quilt this weekend. I've been at it for, I think, 6 months. All the fabrics are scraps left over from clothes I made her as a child. The quilt is throw-sized, about 45"x64", with 4 1/2" squares.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Pinching Mr. Lincoln

Partly for my own records, partly for fun, I'm recording my penny-pinching ways of the week.


I had a $10 ecb expiring, but I didn't see much in the ad to earn ecb's. We are very well stocked with personal care items and paper goods, but we're needing replacement heads for our electric toothbrushes. By buying the CVS brand, as well as 2 boxes of the disposable mop pads on sale BOGO, I got my total over $20, and thus could use two $2.50/$10 coupons, and then my expiring $10 ecb. I also threw in one Colgate, used a $1 coupon and earned 2 ecb's, making the toothpaste free. My OOP was $4.28. Not great, but a pretty good way to get those $16 toothbrush replacement heads.

Rite Aid
I did well here; total $3.30 including tax:
Two Colgate, on sale 97 cents, $1 coupon on each, earned 3 cents on each.
Two Arrid XX deo, on sale 97 cents, 55 cent coupon on each, cost 42 cents each (for charity).
Electrasol dw detergent, on sale $2.50, 35 cent coupon and $1.50 rebate, cost 64 cents. (Just as I'm running out.)

Fun times at the register! Three employees worked on my order, very kindly, and they eventually got it worked out to be what it was supposed to be. My total was $5.67 including tax:
2 Lysol bowl cleaners after sale and coupons, 77 cents each
2 Ajax powder after sale, 40 cents each
Olives after sale, 99 cents
Jane mascara $1 and eyeliner 99 cents, after BOGO sale and coupon. This was the problem causer. The register wouldn't recognize the coupon after taking off the BOGO sale. It's a good thing I'm fully supplied on make up now; I hope I won't have to buy any more for about 10 years!
In the grocery stores, I didn't find quite the bargains that I found previous weeks, but I still did ok. Besides these items listed, I bought fresh produce, meat, pasta, margarine, and shortening.

Publixmystery coupon item: Publix 2-liter soda 1 cent
3 boxes Birds Eye frozen vegs, 44 cents each
4 bags Birds Eye frozen vegs, $1 each
McCormick pepper mill, 50 cents
Welchs grape juice, $1.50
Lysol tub/tile cleaner, rain check and coup, 84 cents

2 Electrasol dw detergent, $1.85 each
2 Sargento grated cheese, $1.19 each
Hormel pepperoni 8 oz, $1.19
sour cream, 67 cents
1 gal milk, $3.48
10 lb ground beef, $9.90
sandwich rolls on clearance, 35 cents

Monday, February 18, 2008

Signs of Spring!

Ahh, winter seems to be winding down now. We worked outside on Saturday and today, pruning, weeding and fertilizing. Once we finished pruning the crape myrtle, we cut the long, strappy branches into shorter lengths and tied them into manageable armloads. We filled up the back of our van and carted them off to the county vegetative waste dump. Next time, maybe we shouldn't wait three years to do the pruning. Our job would be much easier.

Our winter daphne is in bloom and scenting most of the patio.

Daffodils are popping up all over town; some have actually blossomed, but mine have not.

And our okame cherry is in full in pink blossoms.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day

In celebration of Valentine's Day, the Professor and I had a quiet, romantic dinner at home in the "servant's quarters". It's our tradition to have heart-shaped food, and this year I made little heart-shaped Swedish meatballs. They mostly lost their heartness in baking, but the Professor got the idea. We also enjoyed sweet corn (for his sweetness), sugar snap peas, sliced tomatoes, and red berries. After dinner we exchanged cards and candy, which I purchased after Christmas at clearance prices combined with coupons. I am very pleased with my frugality on that.

Meanwhile, our teens entertained their friends in the dining room with a fondue dinner, planned and prepared by the girls. Daughter 2 made everyone dress up in fancy clothes, much to the annoyance of her brother. But it did give him the opportunity to try out his new (to him) real sport coat. He was quite dashing.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Online Scrapbooking

My much, much, much, much older sister* and I are having a skrapbooking party by email. We both have several years' worth of photos to put in albums, and the pull of many other activities to keep us from working on the project. After claiming a spot in our respective houses, we are keeping each other motivated and focused by email. We give daily reports of our progress and suggest "refreshments" to nibble on. (Parties have to have refreshments.)

I began my project with 80 envelopes of photos to be scrapbooked, plus all the photos from daughter's wedding. My progress has been slowed by family celebrations, and, today, by running out of adhesive on page four. But I will not let these setbacks prevent me from accomplishing my mission. My sister, on the other hand, has already finished three albums!

Awaiting an adhesive refill, vacation 2005 is ready to glue.

*That's a longstanding family joke. She's only two years older than me.

Monday, February 11, 2008

CVS: Thumbs Down; Publix: Thumbs Up!

CVS didn't come through for me this week; I didn't find a single thing in the sale flier that I want to buy. But Publix came through! I was able to purchase everything below for $27.75, including tax. I shopped in three Publix stores to get this. (Monday is a busy kid-shuttling day, and I drove past three different Publix stores today while I shuttled. I didn't go out of my way at all.)To start, our Sunday paper had two mystery coupons, good on Sunday and Monday only. The mystery item was 5 lb of Publix sugar, a very useful item here, for one penny each. I had purchased an extra newspaper for daughter #1 at her request, for the coupons. She won't be able to use her two mystery coupons, since she won't pick up her paper until later in the week, so I used them for her. (Yes, I will give her the sugar.) That made four mystery coupons and four trips to the store in one day. So I divided up what I planned to buy into four units and shopped away.

Some of the pictured items were BOGO, combined with doubled coupons. Some were regular sales, combined with doubled coupons. Some were just very good coupons! I won't recount every item shown, but, for example, the 18 boxes of tissues came out to 31 cents each because of BOGO and doubled coupons. I had six coupons for that brand. The margarine was also BOGO, and combined with a doubled coupon, cost me only 10 cents. I had only one coupon there, so I didn't buy more. The three bags of Mahatma rice were free with the store paying me one penny on each. It was an unadvertised special, and only 10 cents off the regular price, but a 35 cent coupon doubled put it all in my hands for no cost. The only item I paid full price for was the bag of fresh carrots.

However, the photo is not the end of the story. It shows only three of my trips. I still had one mystery coupon to use, and I was running out of "deals". But I had another deal possibility brewing in my brain. I have a mail-in offer from General Mills and Publix: buy 15 of the products listed and get a $10 Publix gift card. By price-checking, matching coupons to sales, and calculator punching, I bought my 15 General Mills items and got my last bag of sugar with the fourth mystery coupon, all for $11.69. And I will get a $10 gift card (if everyone remembers to save their UPC's from their Yoplait yogurt!). That means a net of $1.69 for 12 yogurts, three half gallons of chocolate soy milk, and 5 lb of sugar.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Kroger Goodness

My total bill at Kroger came to $4.88 today, including tax. I went in to buy ice cream for a birthday dinner, and came out with:
2 bottles Tabasco sauce: free! Sale price $1.00; used a 50 cent coupon, doubled, on each
2 4-packs Yoplait drinkable yogurt: 15 cents each. Each marked down to 65 cents, used coupon for $1.00 off 2.
Fajita tortillas on sale $1.25
1 loaf whole wheat bread on clearance, 50 cents
1 loaf whole wheat bread on clearance, 35 cents
1/2 gallon Breyer's ice cream on sale $2.88
Used 55 cent coupon off entire order
Add in 15 cents tax, for a total of $4.88
I LOVE saving so much money on our food!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Refurbished Doll Wardrobe

Months ago I bought a wood doll wardrobe at an antique mall, from a dealer who was closing shop. It was made of that inexpensive type of wood that comes from overseas, perhaps from Indonesia. Though cute, I never liked it's brownness. So I set out to refurbish it. First I primed it, and primed it, and then primed it again. It turns out that the original finish turns bright pink and bleeds through primer.

Priming accomplished, I painted the entire piece white, then I decoupaged a spray of flowers on each door. After a few coats of urethane, I wallpapered the interior using a tiny bit of my thrifted roll of wallpaper. I had quite a challenge to fit it around the rod support, but I eventually wised up and measured and cut a template first.
When all was dry, I tried to reinstall the four tiny hinges on the doors. But I had stripped the screws when I removed them and I cannot get them back in. I have been to several hardware stores to buy new screws, but nobody has such tiny, and short, ones. So my next project is to visit every hardware store in the metro area until I find those screws!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Christmas Apron Refashion

I finally got to my sewing machine a few days ago. Since Christmas, I've been trying to make this apron. I was determined to get it finished before Christmas rolled around again; I thought maybe I should start early.I used some old Christmas curtains I had stored away. This project used only half of the fabric. The color doesn't show well in the photo; it is really a nice, rich forest green background.

The pattern is Simplicity 8720, a retro apron pattern from 2003. I like the pattern (sans ruffle), but I prefer the bib to be a bit wider to more thoroughly protect my clothes from food spatters. After all, that is the point of wearing an apron.