Sunday, November 30, 2008

November Freebies

Here is what I got completely FREE during the month of November. Click here to read a previous post explaining each category.

Publix Mystery Coupon Items:
Special K cereal
hot dogs
Campbell's Select Harvest soup

CVS Extracare Bucks With Sales and Coupons:
3 bottles Palmolive dish liquid
St Ives body wash
5 Soft n' Dry deodorant
2 Sure deodorant
2 pkg Stayfree
2 9-volt batteries

Great Sale Prices Combined with Coupons:

2 bags Green Giant Steamers veggies
12 cans Carnation evaporated milk
12 bottles Deer Park bottled water, 3L
3 Pillsbury cake mixes (4 cents ea)
pie pumpkin
Sara Lee hot dog buns
4 cans Hunt's tomato sauce (10 cents ea)
2 cans Muir Glen tomato paste (9 cents ea)
Green Giant frozen boxed broccoli
10 boxes Royal gelatin
10 boxes Martha White corn muffin mix
Powerade sports drink
2 10-packs Bic razors

Spent Free Gift Cards (from transferring rx):
20 lb turkey
10 lb russet potatoes
10 lb ground chuck
3 pkg hot dog buns
4 8-oz bags shredded cheese
2 half gallons Mayfield milk
2 Sure deodorant
2 rolls packing tape
wet wipes

Full Rebates:
St. Ives Elements Olive Cleanser

Free Deals:
Dole salad (won it)
Redenbacher's single-serve micro popcorn
Redenbacher's 100 calorie popcorn cakes sample
Cascade rinse aid
French's worcestershire sauce

Given to Me:
more hot peppers (our neighbor promises this really is the end now)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gearing Up for Thanksgiving at Publix

It took nearly forever to get my grocery shopping done this afternoon. But, I'm happy to say, I found some really great deals.The freebies are:
bottle of bleach (mystery coupon item)
Worcestershire sauce
10 boxes corn muffin mix (most likely for donation)

The items on sale combined with coupons are:
8 boxes B. Crocker potatoes, 9 cents ea
10 boxes Domino sugar, 19 cents ea
8 cans diced tomatoes, 75 cents ea
4 cans corn, 40 cents ea
2 boxes wild rice, 62 cents ea
2 boxes crackers, $1.40 ea
2 cans Reddi Wip, $1 ea
2 Hellman's mayo, $1.90 ea
2 jars pickles, 39 cents ea
3 bottles Crisco oil, $1.55 ea
2 bottles Glass Plus, 25 cents ea
Lysol bowl cleaner, $1.25 (I have more coupons but I'm waiting for a better sale)

The items on sale but no coupons:
15 lb turkey, $10
fresh cranberries, $1.50
2 cans cranberry sauce, 73 cents ea
bag of oranges, $1.50
bag of apples, $3
bag of grapes, $3
celery, 89 cents

Total: $47

You may wonder how I had 8 or 10 coupons for some of these items. I must say, this week was unusual for me. Every Thursday we get a "throw-away" paper tossed on our driveway. It has the coupon inserts as well as grocery ads for the week. This last Thursday, as I looked through the paper, I happened to see a photo of our daughter at homecoming. I wanted more copies of her, so I asked around the neighbors. One neighbor decided to help me out and ask even more neighbors. Some gave me their entire paper, and some gave me just the section I was looking for. I guess eight or so of the neighbors gave me the entire paper, so I clipped all their coupons as well as my own. Also, I buy a double-bundled Sunday paper every week, for double the coupons. It costs me 50 cents extra.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My First Blog Award

Thank you, JadeMerie, for my very first-ever blog award! She gave me the "Marie Antoinette, Real Person Award".

Now I'm supposed to pass this award on to seven other bloggers, but I'm not sure how to do that since I'm quite computer-challenged. I'm truly amazed that I've gotten even this far with posting the award. I'll have to go into conference with The Professor and David to see if we can figure out what's next.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

One More Project Completed

I finished laying the flooring in our attic! This is a project that has been sitting on my "To Do" list for three and a half years, since the spring of 2005, when we laid the floor in the other half of the attic. Last week I suddenly decided to get it done. Even though I had a cold, I went to six different Home Depots to find the flooring I wanted: 3/4" tongue and groove plywood in 2'x4' sheets. When I couldn't find it anywhere, I bought (4) 4'x8' sheets and had them cut it up for me. After loading it in my car by myself, I carted it all home and pieced them back together on the garage floor, so the cuts would match up.

One by one I carried them up the ladder, wiggled them into place, and hammered in a bunch of nails. I sure bent a lot of the nails; so many, in fact, that I had to go buy more. While I was at it I bought a fifth sheet of plywood and had it cut. Finally I had enough flooring to completely cover every bit possible. I did it all myself except at the very end when The Professor trimmed the tongue off the last few sheets to make them fit. He also hammered in the last 4 or 6 nails for me because my arms were so tired.

Just think of all the stuff that can be stored in our attic now!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Free Samples

I love getting free samples in the mail. After I sign up for a sample, I usually forget about it, so when it arrives, it's like Christmas! A treat and a surprise! Today I got a box with a single serve Redenbacher microwave popcorn packet and a single serve 100 calorie popcorn cakes. I'm not wild about Orville Redenbacher popcorn, but it's free, so I'm not complaining. And, from the manufacturer's view, the whole point is to get us, the consumer, interested in it so that we'd go buy it.

I've decided I won't be buying the 100 calorie popcorn cakes. They taste like cheesypowder-dusted styrofoam. I might as well sprinkle some orange cheese powder over packing pellets and chow down.

Economical Soup for Lunch

I made Broccoli-Cheese soup for my lunch today. After I ate it, I thought about telling about it here, but by then it was too late to take a picture of it.

I LOVE this soup! it's very easy to make and very economical too, because I use leftover broccoli. We had broccoli for dinner last night, and there was about a serving left. To make the soup, I dump the cooked broccoli in the blender, then I add one cup of water, one tablespoon of flour, one teaspoon of chicken bouillon (I buy the loose stuff in a jar; not the hard cubes), one tablespoon of powdered milk (not really necessary), and a few pinches of herbs. Today I used pepper and oregano. Sometimes I squirt a little mustard in too. I suppose you could use milk instead of water, but I never have.

I whirl it until it's smooth, then I pour it into a 2-cup glass measuring cup, or anything microwave-safe. I toss in a tablespoon of margarine and a handful of grated cheese, whatever we have. I nuke it for a minute, stir, and nuke another minute. There! Hot, yummy broccoli-cheese soup! Perfect for a fall day when an icy wind is blowing.

If I have more leftover broccoli, then I increase the other ingredients to make more soup.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Kroger and Publix Today

I did well at both Publix and Kroger today. Here is a picture of my trip to Kroger:I spent $13.51 total at Kroger. I used 11 coupons, plus a coupon that I had loaded onto my Kroger card, but forgot about. That coupon made one box of Green Giant frozen veggies a money-maker! (Kroger paid me to take it home.) Here's my shopping list:
Birds Eye frozen veggies: 30 cents ea after sale and doubled coupons
Green Giant frozen veggies: 30 cents ea after sale and doubled coupons
Kroger frozen veggies: $1
1 lb boxes Domino sugar: 29 cents ea after sale and doubled coupons
McCormick pepper grinders: 50 cents ea after sale and doubled coupons
Kroger cheese: $1.67 each
bread: marked down to 79 cents and $1.79

I also transferred a prescription from another pharmacy and redeemed a competitor's coupon for a $30 gift card. Kroger loads gift cards onto your Kroger card, so that gave me $30 free. I chose not to spend it today, but to save it for our Thanksgiving turkey.

I didn't get a picture of my Publix purchases because I put them away before I thought to take one. This trip set me back $33:
3 5-lb bags Domino sugar: $1.29 ea after sale and doubled coupons
4 bottles Crisco olive oil: $2.50 ea after sale and coupons
3 cartons sour cream: 60 cents ea after BOGO sale
2 Muir Glen tomato paste: 9 cents ea after coupon
2 McCormick grinders: 50 cents ea after BOGO sale and doubled coupons
2 Carnation evap milk: 50 cents ea after sale and doubled coupon
Celestial Seasonings tea: $1.20 after BOGO sale and coupon
Lenders bagels: 96 cents after BOGO sale
fresh bananas, grapefruit, apples, and pears, most on sale: $11.86
Campbells Selects clam chowder: 1 cent after Mystery Coupon

Later in the week I hit Walgreen's twice:
10 boxes Royal gelatin, free after store coupons and mfr coupons
4 pkg shredded cheese, $1.50 ea

To get the Royal gelatin, which I donated to the food bank, I used Walgreen's in-ad coupon for 5 boxes/$1. I also found coupons in a blinkie at Publix for $1 off 5 boxes. Walgreen's allows the two coupons to be combined, making the gelatin FREE! I went to two stores and did this transaction twice.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Every home has them. You know, those little odd spots, or problem areas, or design features that don't quite work. Would you like to see mine? Of course you would!The living room is the dining room...

...and the dining room is the living room. The furniture just fit better that way. So we have a chandelier in the living room. Oh well. No one hits their head on it because we have the coffee table directly under it.

My studio has no heat or a/c. It shouldn't be a problem because the room is so small, and it has a wide opening into the family room. But, it does get very warm in there in the summer, and too cool in the winter. I'm sure it's a simple fix but The Professor isn't exactly handy with fix-it projects.

Yep. A long rip. In the very center of the arm of the family room sofa. That's foam poking out. There's another nice long rip in the seat. Lovely, isn't it? I dream of someday replacing this sofa.

The recess on the back porch collects all the neighbors' leaves. And I, in turn, keep busy sweeping.
The stairs to nowhere. This was a miscalculation on the part of the wall installation company. They thought they would reach the crest of the hill, but the stairs just went deeper and deeper into the hill. So we now have our "high place", as The Professor calls it.

The broom closet has no floor. Where the wood floor ends, the bare concrete slab begins. Another "someday" project.

What is it with teens? They can't manage to keep their junk stuff treasures put away. Notice, as I did a moment ago, that the bedroom floor is being used as a storage spot for one of my forks! Tines up! Perhaps this is a new security measure!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Family Blog

For my real-life friends who don't read our family blog, you might want to go check it out today. (Click on the underlined words.)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Operation Christmas Child

Our family has enjoyed putting together Christmas boxes for Operation Christmas Child for many years. Some of us have even had the privilege of working at one of the processing centers for three or four years past. One year we caught on to the idea of using plastic shoe boxes for packing because plastic is longer lasting and it makes another "gift" for the child.

Two years ago at the processing center, we saw that someone had come up with a great idea for wrapping. Before filling the shoebox, they lined the bottom and sides with a bandanna scarf. We decided to copy that idea. Then I came up with a variation on that as I was cleaning out my huge fabric stash a few weeks ago, and I found an assortment of small Christmas print remnants. I cut the fabrics into large squares, hemmed the edges with my serger, and there I had Christmas-themed "wrappings" for the shoe boxes!You could do this too, even if you don't have a serger. To finish the cut edges, you could do a narrow hem, or you could even use pinking shears to trim the edges. Either method would keep the edges from fraying, and then the child has one more gift to use, instead of wrapping paper to throw away.

I cut my fabrics into squares, about 18" up to 22", depending on how large my remnants were. I ended up with nine squares, enough for three years of shoe boxes.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Another Project Completed

I had been planning to get all my scrapbooking paper scraps trimmed down into cards and tags for a long time. Yesterday I worked on it for hours, and this morning I finally finished it up. The squares and rectangles I trimmed down with my paper cutter. The tags are punched out using my Sizzix machine.

So, you ask, what are they for? Well, being the frugal person I am, I can't just throw out my paper scraps; I have to Do Something with them. I decided that, trimmed into pretty, uniform shapes, I would be more likely to add them to projects. I have in mind gift tags, bookmarks to tuck into the books I sell online, and color added to journal entries. Do you have any other ideas?

Now that I'm no longer homeschooling, I'm slowly finding time for little projects like these. It feels so satisfying to accomplish goals!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Project Completed

While cleaning out my fabric stash last week I came across a couple of long-forgotten and half made Christmas stockings. I finished them up last night; I think I'll add them to my garage sale accumulation

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Kroger for $6.44

Kroger is running their "Buy 10, Get $5" deal again this week. On Tuesday I did two deals, buying 20 items from the list. I had coupons for all these items; most of the coupons were for $1 off, or doubled to $1 off. Some of them were for $1 off 2 items. Here is what I bought, with final prices after sale, coupons, and the 50 cents off each item.
Day 1
12 cans Carnation milk, free
2 Betty Crocker potatoes, 20 cents ea
3 4-pk DanActive yogurt, 50 cents ea
2 4-pk Activia yogurt, 50 cents ea
1 Land O' Lakes butter, $1.50
I also bought 2 bakery items on clearance

My total including tax for everything pictured: $6.44.

Day 2
On Wednesday I went back and did two more deals at a different Kroger. I bought:
6 Deer Park water 3L, free
1 Betty Crocker potatoes, 65 cents
3 Nestle chocolate chips, $1 ea
3 Activia yogurt, 50 cents ea
3 DanActive yogurt, 50 cents ea
2 10-pk razors, free
2 Colgate toothpaste, 25 cents ea
I also bought 2 feta cheese on clearance

On this shopping trip I spent $10.19