Sunday, November 29

Cyber Monday


It looks like Cyber Monday is kicking off a day early for many online retailers this year.  I received many emails this morning from different stores such as Meijer, Amazon and Walmart, for example stating that they will be starting their Cyber Monday deals today.  If you're ready to get a head start or want a preview for tomorrow, take a look below to see when and where to start:
  • Amazon - all day today and tomorrow. There will be plenty of deals here.
  • Kohls - Officially starts tomorrow at 12:00am.  Take an additional 15% your order using code CYBER15 or spend $75 and receive 15% your order & free shipping using code CYBER15 or spend $100 and receive 20% your order & free shipping using code CYBER20.
  • Meijer - all day today and tomorrow.  Go here to take a peak!  Make sure to use code FREEX3 for (1) free standard shipping or (1) free shipping + $25 gift card when you spend $150 on two or more items or (3) free standard shipping + $50 gift card when you spend $250 on two or more items.
  • Sears - Sales begin tonight at 7pm and goes through Monday.  Take a look here.
  • Target - starts tomorrow.  There is free shipping on many select items when you spend $50. Go to target.com to see.
  • Walmart - Cyber week will be going on all week from Nov. 30 - Dec. 4.  Take a look here.
I also found a great article on the US News website called Where to Find the Best Cyber Monday Deals.  This is the first year I plan on shopping on Cyber Monday, so I am anxious to see how good the deals are.  Hope everyone finds some great deals!

Wednesday, November 25

Black Friday Shopping Online


I'm sure you have heard of some of the great deals you can get online this week and next Monday (also known as Cyber Monday).  I personally have never really bougt much online for Christmas, but this year I have already bought a few items that are comparable (in my opinion) to Black Friday prices.  I just wanted to share a few of my deals:
  • 100 free photocards w/envelopes (can't beat free!) from See Here (hurry you can still order until November 30th, but you'll have to pay for shipping, see details here)
  • Sports Crocs Sandals for kids for $8.49 each from Crocs.  It was their Deal of the Week last week.  These retail at $29.99 each (I have paid this in the past).  I also got free shipping on this deal!  I actually bought 8 pairs for my kids and each of their cousins.
  • Slumdog Millionaire DVD for $7.99 from Amazon (It was one of their Black Friday Week Deals).  I joined Amazon Prime for a free one-month trial that I already canceled which includes free shipping on any order (no minimum purchase).  This deal is still going on.
  • Star Wars Jedi Math Leapster Game for $4.99 (shipping was free again) from eBay Daily Deal.  This deal is still going on too.
  • ESPN Magazine 1-year subscription (which includes online access to ESPN insider) for $5.00 from Amazon.
  • Photo Desk Calendar for $6.35 (I only paid for shipping).  I received an email last week regarding this from Snapfish.
  • I also bought several photo gifts from SeeHere with their 50% off all gifts with free shipping promotion Sunday & Monday.  My order totalled $26.47 for a large wall calendar, a golf towel and a Christmas ornament.  All these items had photos of my kids on them for their grandparents.
I am pretty excited about all the deals I've been finding online and plan to buy much more this way too.  This way I don't have to fight the crowds or drag my kids into stores.  I am still not sure if I will brave the crowds on Black Friday, but I am positive I will be at my computer for Cyber Monday!

Tuesday, November 24

My 100 Free Seehere.com Cards Arrived!

I just received my 100 free photocards from SeeHere.  I paid nothing for all 100 cards, plus shipping was free too!  I decided to order 50 thank-you cards and 50 Christmas cards (see photo below), but I have heard you can choose any combination you would like (i.e. 30 birth announcements + 20 thank-you cards and 30 Christmas cards + 20 birthday invitations, etc.).


If you are interested, the deal is still going on through November 30, but the free shipping is not being offered anymore (I think they had a higher response that they were expecting).  The shipping is around $3.19 for 50 cards, which is still pretty cheap for 50 photo cards with envelopes!

Here's how to do it:
  1. Go to SeeHere and sign-up or login, if you are already a member.
  2. Choose "photocard" tab and click on the 4x8 photocards.
  3. Choose your design, upload picture(s) and add wording.
  4. Type in "50" for quantity at the bottom and add to cart.
  5. When you check-out, use promo code newbaby and you'll only have to pay $3.19 for shipping.
If you want 50 more cards (for an additional $3.19 shipping only), you can login again and repeat above steps, this time using code Freebies4Mom, instead. You can go over to MoneySavingMom  for more details (thanks so much for this deal)!

Monday, November 23

My Meijer Purchases


I finally bought my turkey tonight and made a few other purchases at Meijer, but had a pretty terrible coupon night (seeing that I hardly had any).  We are hosting Thanksgiving dinner this week and there were many things needed that I simply didn't have coupons for.  Oh well!  Here is what I bought:

 
Item
 Price
Qty
Coupons
Total
Birds Eye Steamfresh Veg. 10-12 oz
 $  0.98
5
 $      2.20
 $    2.70
California Seedless Navel Oranges
 $  2.00
1
 $          -  
 $    2.00
Bananas
 $  0.39
2.5
 $          -  
 $    0.98
Pascal Celery
 $  0.87
1
 $          -  
 $    0.87
Smithfield Premium Sliced Bacon, 16 oz
 $  2.29
1
 $      0.55
 $    1.74
Pepp. Farm Stuffing
 $  2.50
2
 $      1.00
 $    4.00
Miller Lite 20pk Bottle
 $12.49
1
 $          -  
 $  12.49
Deposit
 $  0.10
20
 $          -  
 $    2.00
Meijer Flourecent Lt Bulb 2pk
 $  5.98
1
 $          -  
 $    5.98
Meijer Dinner Napkins
 $  1.69
1
 $          -  
 $    1.69
Chicken Breasts - Deli Meat
 $  2.87
1
 $          -  
 $    2.87
Hen Turkey (~13.5lb) $8off
 $  7.64
1
 $          -  
 $    7.64
Sweet Potato
 $  0.39
3.1
 $          -  
 $    1.21
Meijer Chunk Cheese (8oz)
 $  1.29
2
 $          -  
 $    2.58
Garden Fresh Hummus
 $  2.50
1
 $          -  
 $    2.50
Whole Wheat Pita
 $  1.79
1
 $          -  
 $    1.79



Subtotal
 $  53.04



Tax
 $    1.21



Total
 $  54.25

I saved a mere 36% ($19.08 in sales and $11.75 in coupons, $8 of which is the turkey discount).  I did notice a $5 rebate on the beer that I will be submitting too.  On the bright side, it seems like $54.25 for a Thanksgiving dinner for 12 people isn't too bad!

Today's Walgreens Shopping Trip

I just got back from my Walgreen's shopping trip and wanted to show you the deals I snagged:



I purchased the following:
(1) box Kleenex (110ct)
Price: $1.39/ea
Used: (1) $0.89 in AD coupon and (1) $0.75/1 MFC
Total: $0.14

(2) Coffee Mate Creamers - 16oz
Price:  $2.49 (B1G1)
Used: (1) $1.50/2 MFC
Paid: $0.99 for 2 ($0.50/ea)

(6) Plastic Cups
Price: $0.25/ea
Used: (1) $0.125/ea (or 8/$1) in AD coupon
Paid:  $0.75 for 6

(4) Gift Sacks
Price: $0.25/ea
Used:  (1) $0.10/ea (or 10/$1) in AD coupon
Paid: $0.40 for 4 ($0.10/ea)

(2) 12-packs Dr. Pepper
Price: $2.50 on sale
Paid: $7.40 for 2 (including bottle deposit)

(4) cans Campbell's Tomato Soup
Price: $1.34/ea
Used: (1) $0.59/ea in AD coupon & (2) $50/2 MFC
Paid: $1.36 for 4 ($0.34/ea)

(1) White Tissue Paper - 20ct
Price: $0.99/ea
Used: (1) 3/$1 in AD coupon
Paid: $0.34

TOTAL Paid
   $11.38
+ $0.14 tax
- $3.00 Register Reward from last week
---------
$8.52 and saved $19.99 (70% savings)


You can find all these deals and much more at Coupon Crazy Chrys (Thanks, Chrys!).

Friday, November 20

Sharpen Your Scissors Giveaway!



The Sharpen Your Scissors blog now has over 300 followers and is celebrating with yet another giveaway!  Five randomly selected winners will receive $5 Meijer gift cards.  Each $5 winner will then submit a recipe for a meal that includes chicken and will be elgible to win a $25 Meijer gift card for the best recipe (voted by SYS readers).  There are several ways to enter the contest, so please head on over HERE and enter to win!  You must enter by Monday, November 23 at 9pm.  Good Luck!

Frugal Friday Report


On Friday of each week, I plan to summarize a list of my weekly spending, savings and % savings. Hopefully this will show how much my spending decreases due to my new thrifty shopping techniques. ;)

This week's spending is an improvement from last week (phew!) and more in line with my decreased spending trend.  It was making out to be a terrific week, then I made a last minute trip to Meijer to get my ingredients for my Freezer Friends chili.  I had to buy lots of canned goods (beans, tomatoes, etc) with hardly any coupons.  My lack of planning cost me!

Here is my report:


Week #
Start
End
Spending
Savings
Savings %
1
10/8
10/14
 $  144.98
 $ 137.47
49%
2
10/15
10/21
 $  116.66
 $ 106.76
48%
3
10/22
10/28
 $    90.61
 $ 125.57
58%
4
10/29
11/4
 $    90.45
 $ 155.69
63%
5
11/5
11/11
 $  138.65
 $ 155.51
53%
6
11/12
11/18
 $    93.82
 $ 107.28
53%


Here is a graph too (yes, I'm a graphing freak!):




My saving percentage stayed the same as last week at 53%, but at least I spent less than last week!  I am overall just a little concerned with my monthly grocery spending being over $400, but I still hope to see it drop lower and lower each week.  As I looked over previous month's grocery spending (before I started clipping coupons), it was averaging around $500, so $400 is definitely an improvement!

Meijer Super Saturday Sale


Meijer has a few good deals going on for their Super Saturday Sale.  I am planning on getting the following:

Meijer Microwave Popcorn, 3 ct
price: $0.94/ea

Bob Evans Fresh Pork Roll Sausage, 16 oz all varieties  (to use in my Thanksgiving stuffing)
price: $1.79/ea
Use $0.35/1 coupon
Total $1.09/ea

Fritos or Cheetos
price: $1.50/ea

You can check out all the deals here (thanks Macomb Money Savers).

Thursday, November 19

Yummy Chili!

I made a freezer-friendly recipe lastnight that I wanted to share with you from the Freezer Friendz website.  It was super-easy to make and was really good!  I have NEVER made a chili that I like, but this one was great and my whole family gobbled it up.  I actually made a quadruple batch because I am in a Freezer Friends group myself (we each make multiples of one meal and then trade them once a month, so I get four different meals).  I just used the cheap ground beef (3-pound bag for $1.59/lb at Meijer) and then rinsed it in HOT water after draining the grease to get rid of most of the excess fat.  This is a great cheap recipe that I will be adding to my monthly rotation!

Debbie's Chili

Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef
1 30 ounce can of kidney beans
1 30 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
1 small onion, chopped
2 Tblsp chili powder
1 Tblsp sugar
2 Bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste


Ingredients I added:
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
* I also replaced some kidney beans with Great Northern beans to add some different color/taste

Assembly:
Brown the ground beef and onion until meat is cooked. Drain off the fat. Add the kidney beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and spices. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about an hour.

To Freeze:
Let cool and then put in freezer bags. Store flat in freezer. To reheat, thaw completely and reheat on the stove.

Wednesday, November 18

Tuesday, November 17

Del Monte Canned Vegetables $0.20/each at Target


Target just released some new coupons (click here to see them all), one of which is for $1/6 cans of Del Monte canned vegetables.  These are also on sale this week for $0.45/each (selected varieties), plus there is a $1/8 manufacturer coupon from 11/15 RP.  With both coupons and the sale you could get 8 cans for $1.60 ($0.20/each)!  What a deal!

Toys-R-Us 25% Coupon - Today Only!

This Deal has Expired
Toys-R-Us just posted the following message on my Facebook page:

Toys"R"Us In-Store Deal of the Day! Extra 25% Off All Outdoor Playhouses, Bouncers, Gym Sets & Climbers on 11/17
Print the coupon below to save an extra 25% off already reduced prices on outdoor playhouses, bouncers, gym sets, and climbers in Toys"R"Us stores on Tuesday, 11/17.  Please note that this coupon is only valid in Toys"R"Us stores (not applicable to online purchases) and expires end-of-day on Tuesday, 11/17.


Most of the playhouses, bouncers, etc. are already reduced, so this coupon could help you score some great deals!  Just click on the link above to print out the coupon!

This Week's Shopping at Meijer



I just finished my Meijer shopping for the week (hopefully).  I am pretty pleased with my purchases.  The actual shopping trip was a little rocky, to say the least.  I tried to use the U-Scan Register and when I was ALMOST finished it locked up and they sent me to a lane with a cashier.  I had to pack up all my groceries back into my cart and reclaim all my coupons (not fun).  It was a little embarrassing when the U-Scan cashier told me (more like she announced) that the computer locked had up because I used too many coupons ( I think she was serious).  Anyway, I think I will avoid the U-Scan from now on.  I was so flustered when I got to the cashier line that I combined everything into one transcation and didn't get to double a few coupons (because Meijer only doubles the first two identical coupons).

Enough rambling!!  Here's what I got:


Item
 Price
Qty
Cpns
Total
Tony's Crispy Crust Pizza
 $  0.99
2
 $     1.98
 $         -  
Wishbone Dressing, 16 oz bottle
 $  1.39
2
 $     2.50
 $    0.28
Lipton Cup-a-Soup, 1.7-4.9 oz
 $  0.99
2
 $     1.60
 $    0.38
Lipton Recipe Secrets, 1.7-4.9 oz
 $  0.99
2
 $     1.60
 $    0.38
Ragu Pasta Sauce, 16-26.3 oz jar
 $  1.29
2
 $     1.60
 $    0.98
Ragu Pasta Sauce, 16-26.3 oz jar
 $  1.29
2
 $     1.60
 $    0.98
Ragu Pasta Sauce, 16-26.3 oz jar
 $  1.29
2
 $     1.60
 $    0.98
Lipton Tea, 100ct
 $  2.19
2
 $     3.00
 $    1.38
Spray 'n Wash Max PreTreat
 $  2.29
1
 $     1.00
 $    1.29
ICBINB Tub
 $  1.29
2
 $     2.50
 $    0.08
Nestle Toll House Cookie Dough
 $  2.00
2
 $     3.00
 $    1.00
Nestle Toll House Cookie Dough
 $  2.00
2
 $     3.00
 $    1.00
1/2 Gallon Meijer OJ
 $  1.99
1
 $     1.99
 $         -  
Eggs
 $  0.88
3
 $     3.88
 $   (1.24)
Coffee Mate Creamer
 $  2.49
1
 $     1.00
 $    1.49
Lipton Cup-a-Soup, 1.7-4.9 oz
 $  0.99
1
 $     0.40
 $    0.59
Lipton Recipe Secrets, 1.7-4.9 oz
 $  0.99
4
 $     2.20
 $    1.76
Uncle Ben's Rice
 $  2.29
2
 $     1.50
 $    3.08
Aunt Millies Bread
 $  2.50
1
 $     0.55
 $    1.95
Jennie-O Turkey Brst Tenders
 $  5.24
1
 $          -  
 $    5.24
Pioneer Country Gravy Mix
 $  1.00
1
 $          -  
 $    1.00
Tomato Sauce (8oz)
 $  0.25
2
 $          -  
 $    0.50
Foil Pan (4pk)
 $  2.99
1
 $          -  
 $    2.99
Meijer Frozen Vegetables
 $  1.00
1
 $          -  
 $    1.00
Meijer Canned Tomatoes -15oz
 $  1.19
2
 $          -  
 $    2.38
Potatoes -15lb bag
 $  2.88
1
 $          -  
 $    2.88
Green Pepper (3)
 $  2.95
1
 $          -  
 $    2.95
Broccoli
 $  1.50
1
 $          -  
 $    1.50
Milk
 $  1.75
2
 $          -  
 $    3.50
California Seedless Oranges, 4lb
 $  2.00
1
 $          -  
 $    2.00
Doritos, 11.5-14.5 oz
 $  2.00
1
 $          -  
 $    2.00



Subtotal
 $  44.30



Tax
 $    0.29



Total Paid
 $  44.59 

I saved $27.44 in Meijer sales and an additional $36.50 in coupons coming out to 59% savings.  For some reason the coupons for the free eggs (from last week) were valued at more than the price of the eggs, so I actually received overage.  I also received a $1 Catalina (from the Spray 'n Wash) to use next time!

Monday, November 16

Walgreens Shopping Trip

I wanted to share the great deals I got at Walgreens today:

Transaction #1

(2) Detroit Free Press Papers - $3.00
(1) Gillette Shaving Gel - $1.99
(1) Bic Soleil Razor - $5.99
Tax:  $0.48

Subtotal:  $11.46

I used:
$1/1 for Gillette Shaving Gel
$2/1 for Bic Soleil Razor
$5 RR (from last week's Bayer Glucose Monitor deal)

Total was $3.46 and I got one (1) free Gillette Shaving Gel coupon and $3 RR for the razor!

Transaction #2

(3) Puffs Tissues (104ct) - $4.47
(3) 3M Tape - $3.87
(1) Gillette Shaving Gel - $1.99
Tax: $0.35

Subtotal:  $10.68


I used:
$0.89/ea Puffs (Walgreens coupon)
$1/3 for Puffs Tissues (Mfg coupon)
$0.39/ea Tape (Walgreens coupon)
*Free* Gillette Shaving Gel

Total for Transaction #2 was $3.19.  For both transactions, I spent $6.65 and I still have the $3RR for next week's trip!

Friday, November 13

Meal Planning



I realize that a large reason that my monthly grocery spending (including restaurants) has been so high, is the simple fact that I just don't plan ahead.  I usually pick a few meals that I will make that week and the remaining days we go out to eat or scramble to make something at the last minute.  I decided that I would make a monthly (or 4-week) list of meals that we like (and a few new ones to try) so that I know ahead of time what we will be having each and every day of the month.  I figure we won't get too tired of anything if we only eat it once a month.  I added one leftover or pizza day each week (because I just CAN'T cook everyday) and also one freezer meal day (I recently joined a freezer friendz group with 5 other women. We "trade" meals once a month.)  It was pretty easy to come up with about 20 meals.  Here's what I came up with:


Day
Dinner
1
Spaghetti & Meatballs
2
Chicken, Rice & Broccoli
3
Freezer Meal
4
Corn & Potato Chowder
5
Eat out/ Pizza
6
Maple Glazed Turkey
7
Tacos


8
Lasagna
9
Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff
10
Freezer Meal
11
Bean & Cheese Quesadillas
12
Leftovers
13
Easy Chicken Chili  (thanks, Sharp Scissors Lady!)

14
Pot Roast, Carrots, Potatoes


15
Goulash
16
Chicken Divan
17
Freezer Meal
18
Lentils & Rice
19
French Dip Sandwiches
20
Hamburgers/Hot Dogs
21
Eat out/ Pizza


22
Cranberry Pork Roast
23
BBQ Chicken
24
Freezer Meal
25
Quiche
26
Leftovers
27
Mini Meatloaves
28
Chicken Fajitas

I just started sticking to this list over the past week and have already noticed how much less time I spend in the kitchen.  We had Chicken fajitas yesterday, but since I had already marinated the meat from the night before it was super easy just to throw it on the grill just minutes before it was time to eat.  I also now know which grocery items to work on obtaining each week with this list.  I can also work on stockpiling ingredients for these recipes, so I don't have to pay full-price anymore.

As you notice, many of these recipes are from my favorite recipe site:  www.allrecipes.com.  I love this site because people review the recipes and tell any changes they made to the recipe to make it better.  If you haven't been there, you should give it a try!

Frugal Friday Report


On Friday of each week, I plan to summarize a list of my weekly spending, savings and % savings. Hopefully this will show how much my spending decreases due to my thrifty shopping. :)

Unfortunately, this past week, my spending increased from the previous weeks. There were many high-ticket items that I needed such as meat, pop (I guess we didn't NEED this one), diapers, etc. that I purchased. Please keep in mind that I am new to this and am learning along the way.

Week #
Start
End
Spending
Savings
Savings %
1
10/8
10/14
$ 144.98
$ 137.47
49%
2
10/15
10/21
$ 116.66
$ 106.76
48%
3
10/22
10/28
$ 90.61
$ 125.57
58%
4
10/29
11/4
$ 90.45
$ 155.69
63%
5
11/5
11/11
$ 132.63
$ 151.66
53%

Here's a graph too:


At least my savings % stayed above 50%! I am expecting next week to be an improvement since I shouldn't have too much to buy... As soon as I can, I will send some pictures of my stockpile to show how much I have already have accumulated from the past month and a half.

Wednesday, November 11

$50 Giveaway at Sharpen Your Scissors!


The Sharp Scissors Lady will be giving away $50 in Target Gift Cards. Leave her a comment on her blog to enter to win: The Sharp Scissors Lady. Her drawing will be announced at 7PM Saturday 11/14 - Good luck!

Glade Candle Deal at Target

I finally made it to Target today to try out the Glade Candle deal posted on many coupon blog sites and it worked.

Here's what I did:

  • Bought (2) Glade Tins and (3) Refills
  • Used (2) Buy one Tin, Get one Refill Free coupons and (1) Save $1/1 Refill
  • Payed $6.50 and received a $5 Target Gift card
So my total after the gift card was $1.50 for (5) candle products (or $0.30 each)! I thought these would be great in gift baskets for my daughter's teachers...

Tuesday, November 10

This Weeks Shopping at Meijer

Here is a list of everything I bought this week at Meijer. It seems high, but I added a ton of food to my stockpile, plus bought a lot of high-priced items (like meat, diapers, pop, etc.). I spent a total of $61.04 for everything below, plus I received four catalinas (3 free eggs & 1 free 1/2 gallon OJ). I saved $31.37 for in-store savings and $43.00 with my coupons. Without the sales and coupons, I would've spent $135.41. I saved 55%!

Item Qty Total
Chex Mix 2 $ 0.38
Maruchan Noodles 2 $ 0.10
BC Boxed Potatoes 2 $ 0.80
GG Steamer Veggies 2 $ 0.58
BC Frosting 4 $ 1.96
Meijer Sugar - 5lb 1 $ 2.29
Meijer Brown Sugar - 4lb 1 $ 2.29
Yoplait Yogurt 6 $ 1.40
Fiber One Bars 1 $ 0.89
Pepsi - 24pk 1 $ 5.50
Deposit 24 $ 2.40
Yoplait Yoplus Yogurt (4pk) 3 $ 2.97
Campbells Cream of Chick (RF) 8 $ 5.92
Green Works Detergent 1 $ 3.99
rebate (from above item) 1 $ (3.00)
Pompien Red Wine Vinegar 1 $ 1.09
Pillsbury Toaster Strudels 1 $ 0.99
Coffee Mate Creamer 1 $ 0.76
Frozen Spinach 1 $ 0.89
Pears 2.29 $ 2.27
broccoli 1 $ 1.50
flour tortillas (1o)
1 $ 1.09
Tyson frozen chicken brst 2.5lb 1 $ 4.69
Bottle Deposit 1 $ (6.40)
Green Works Detergent 1 $ 3.99
rebate (from above item) 1 $ (3.00)
Northern Beans 3 $ 1.77
BC Cookies 2 $ 0.98
BC Cookies 2 $ 0.98
BC Frosting 1 $ 0.49
Ziploc Freezer Bags 2 $ 2.75
Ziploc Freezer Bags 1 $ 1.57
Diapers 1 $ 15.99
rebate (from last week) 1 $ (2.00)

Subtotal $ 58.87

Tax $ 2.17

Total $ 61.04