Sunday, August 31, 2008

Costco & Target

Wow, 2 posts in one day! I guess this is what happens when you actually have energy! Actually, the boyfriend and I had been planning to go to both Costco and Target for some time now. Cosco to get him on the membership plan now that we live at the same address and Target for another rack for the kitchen (we have a serious lack of closet/cabinet space in the apartment).

At Costco we gassed up his truck for $3.45 a gallon, and also bought a lb jar of sliced dried garlic (we love garlic and I use a lot of it in my cooking). The jar cost $6.15, but I had a giftcard with a low balance on it, so it cost us $4.98 Oop.

Then we stopped at Target for a rack for the kitchen. It's a "chrome" 4-tierd wired one that should be good for some pots and pans. It was $29.99. We also scoured the clearance racks and found some Puffs 4-box tissues on sale for $2.50 which I had a $1 off coupon for, and I found a Venus Embrace razor pack on clearance for $6 which I had a $2 coupon for. For the 3 items, we wound up spending $39, but since I have a $100 giftcard from capital one we spent nothing Oop.

Running tally for this week: $24.27/$59.22

Labor Day Sales - CVS, Rite Aid, Safeway & Giant

I'll probably have to do another shopping trip this week, but I wanted to snatch up the deals at the drugstore and get something to cook for dinner, the boyfriend commented that pork would be nice - and it was on sale for $2.99/lb for a tenderloin.

First was Rite Aid, where I purchased:

$1.99 1 box of Rice Krispies with Strawberries
$14.99 L'Oreal Advanced Wrinkle ... something (full amount back in rebates)

- $1/1 Rice Krispies
- $3/1 L'Oreal

= $13.88, but used giftcard so $0.00 Oop and I'll be receiving $14.99 back

Next was CVS, where I purchased:

$8.99 Claritin D-24 hr
$2.99 Colgate Advanced Whitening
$5.99 Neutrogena Healthy Volume mascara
$5.99 Covergirl Wetslicks

- $1/1 Neutrogena
- $1/1 Colgate
- $2/1 Claritin
- $2/$10 CVS
- $3 Extrabucks
- $2 Extrabucks
- $2 Extrabucks
- $1.49 Extrabucks

= $9.74 Oop
Received $3 (Neutrogena), $5.99 (Covergirl), $2 (Colgate), $1 (Claritin) Extrabucks back = 11.99 in Extrabucks!

Next was Giant where I picked up the pork tenderloin. I paid $5.41, but put it on one of the newly acquired giftcards, so $0.00 Oop.

Last was Safeway, I purchased:

$3.99 Planters cashews
$2.50 Planters peanuts
$1.50 6 packs of Kool Aid Lemonade
$4.00 2 bags of Bursts White Cheddar
$2.48 Skim Milk
$.89 wheat bread
$.82 1 green pepper
$1.37 1.38 lb of bartlett pears

- $3 (buy 3 Kraft, get $3 off Planters deal - expired today)
- $3 (")
- $1/1 Bursts
- $1/1 Bursts

Total= $9.55 Oop

Running tally for this week: $19.29/$59.22
Last week's total was $40.78, I was $9.22 under budget, which I will roll to this week.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Free $ At Giant!

Getting a daily paper, we usually wind up with at least doubles of some of the circulars. This week, we had doubles of the Giant one, including doubles of the transfer Rx, get a $20 gift card coupons. My boyfriend had already redeemed one of them yesterday but had another Rx to fill (the poor thing has a pretty nasty sinus infection!) so he asked me whether or not I thought they would accept it again today. I said it didn't hurt to try. Turns out, they didn't even raise an eyebrow and now we have $40 in gift cards to Giant (that is at least a week's worth of groceries for us!).

Tonight's dinner was a leftover hamburger crumbled and some fresh and frozen vegetables in quick scrambled eggs, and I'm making this recipe again from over at Money Saving Mom for dessert. If you remember from last time, I changed the recipe around a bit. This time, I did some alterations again.

I used:

4 eggs
6 cups of oats
3/4 c sugar
1 c applesauce
1 c low-sugar peach mango juice
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 c. canola oil

We'll see how it turns out. This time I'm planning on freezing half of it for snacks since last time we lost half of it due to mold. Boo! Hopefully individually wrapped frozen portions will keep it from going bad this time.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Quick Stop

I was meeting some coworkers for dinner today but had some time to spare beforehand so I stopped at Rite Aid to pick up some Pert Plus for the boyfriend and I wanted a quick snack because our plans to eat dinner weren't till after 7pm.

I purchased:

$.88 1 rice krispy treat
$1.50 1 EZ Roll tape
$2.99 Pert Plus

- $2/1 Pert Plus

= $3.64 Oop, but I used a gift card, so it was technically $0.00 Oop, and I'll be getting $2 back for the Pert Plus and $1.50 back for the tape through Rite Aid's rebate program, so the items would "cost" me $.14 even if I hadn't used a giftcard !

Still running weekly tally: $40.78

Credit Cards

I know most budgeting and finance blogs will tell you that credit cards are evil and they are just a mechanism for debt. Most blogs recommend getting rid of credit cards and using cash to pay for most purchases.

I disagree.

In April 2007 I did not have a good credit score. It frustrated me because not only did I want to buy a house in the next few years, but it was a hassle to open up any new accounts. Getting a cell phone plan in my own name without a deposit was completely out of the question and that made me feel depressed about the future. So I applied for a secured Visa through Bank of America to help build my credit.

In the 8 months I had the card, I paid it faithfully on time and actually had automatic payments sent to it every week from my checking account. I never carried a balance and generally never had more than $100 charged to the card on any given day.

By December of 2007, Bank of America upgraded me to a regular credit card and doubled my balance. Through those 8 months of paying the card faithfully, I was able to raise my credit score from 649 to over 700 simply by paying on time.

In December of 2007 I also applied for a Capital One credit card. I have a similar set up with this card. I automatically transfer $100 to the card every week from my checking account. The only difference with this card is it is one of their rewards cards. So I receive 5 points per $1 on everything bought at grocery, gas and drugstores (and 1 points per $1 on everything else). Because the rewards are higher for some things and not for others, I only use the card for grocery gas and drugstores. I have a budget set up already for grocery and drugstore purchases, so it is not often that after my $100 weekly allowance, I have more than $100 sitting leftover in the account.

I do pay an annual fee. It is $29. The reason I did this is because if I were to not pay an annual fee, I would only get 2 points per $1 on the purchases I get 5 points per $1 on now.

In the last 6 months, I have been able to redeem $150 worth of gift certificates from Capital One. I always pay on time and never carry a balance so I do not pay any interest.

In the next 2 weeks, I will have enough money for another $50 giftcard, making my net gain $171 even including the annual fee.

Those $150 have helped buy furniture for the new apartment and even our wireless router. I only cash in when I have enough for the biggest "deal" with the points. You can cash in 750 points for a $5 giftcard, 1500 points for a $10, 2500 points for a $20 giftcard, etc. However, if you redeem at 5000 points, you receive a $50 giftcard, 10,000 points a $100 gift card... so it's only worthwhile for me to redeem at 5000 points and above.

I'll say that winding up with $171 just from using this card is a frugal skill, if you are careful with them, credit cards can be useful tools.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Did I mention how much I love CVS? If not, I'll mention it again. I love CVS.

We needed milk again so I was off to CVS. I also wanted to take advantage of the Pepsi/Sobe deal and also pick up some Gatorade (the boyfriend loves the lemon lime flavor) to complete the deal. Additionally, since I had 2-$1 off coupons for it and it was Buy 1 Get 1 Free, it was a prime time to restock on the Frosted Mini Wheats. I wound up being at a negative amount by the end of it all, hence the 2 candy bars - one of which I snacked on on the way home (those Take 5s are yummy!).

I purchased:
$.50 1 Hershey Take 5 candy bar
$.59 1 dark chocolate peanut M&Ms
$3.00 Diet Pepsi 12pack
$6.00 2 Diet Mountain Dew 12packs
$3.00 Sierra Mist 12pack
$2.00 2 Sobe drinks
$3.00 3 Gatorade drinks
$4.29 2 Kelloggs Frosted Mini Wheats
$4.09 1 gallon skim milk
$1.99 2 bags of Gold Emblem candy

- $1/2 CVS Gold Emblem print out coupon
- $2/$10 CVS coupon
- $1/1 Kelloggs Frosted Mini Wheats
- $1/1 Kelloggs Frosted Mini Wheats
- $1.49 free Sobe w/purchase of Pepsi 12pack (they used the full $1.49 even though it was on sale for $1!)
- $1.49 free Sobe
- $2.00 Extrabucks
- $3.00 Extrabucks
- $5.00 Extrabucks
- $11.98 Extrabucks

= .49 Oop
Received $5 in Extrabucks back from the Sobe Gatorade/Pepsi deals!

Running weekly tally: $40.78

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hooray for cheap groceries! I made 2 stops today, CVS and Shoppers even though I was feeling a bit under the weather. I really had to force myself to get out of the house but we needed a couple of things at both places and I wanted to take advantage of the $10/$50 coupon I had for Shoppers with the triple $.50s and double $1.00s coupon promotion.

First stop was CVS:

$4.50 Stayfree Ultra pads with wings (32 ct)
$4.50 Stayfree Ultra pads with wings (32 ct)
$6.49 Viva 8-pack paper towels
$6.49 Viva 8-pack paper towels
$1.39 Kotex lightdays 16ct
$4.99 Platex Sport tampons 16ct
$5.99 Zipfizz pink lemonade
$5.99 Zipfizz pink lemonade

- $2/$10 CVS coupon
- $1/1 Viva
- $1/1 Viva
- $4.50 Buy 1 Get 1 Free Stayfree coupon
- $1/1 Playtex Sport
- $3 Extrabucks
- $5 Extrabucks
- $5 Extrabucks
- $10 Extrabucks

= $7.84 OOP

Received the following in Extrabucks:
$2 for the Viva
$5 for the Stayfree
$3 for the Playtex
$11.98 for the ZipFizz
$1.49 for the Kotex
= 23.47 back in Extrabucks!

The boyfriend will only use Viva paper towels so now we are set for quite some time!

I was pretty pleased with myself after CVS and just as pleased at Shoppers. I'm not going to list all the coupons I used, but I bought a good deal of stuff, 33 items in total, including meat and vegetables, and spent $32.45 (thanks to the $10/50 coupon from Post Points and all the multipliers - the sliced turkey turned out to be a mere $1.79 per package - usually $3.79 - with the doubled $1 coupons!).

pack of mushrooms
1 red pepper
1 bag baby carrots
1.58 lb of bananas
2.21 lb of fuji apples
2 packs of Luigis Italian Ice
frozen spinach
frozen organic corn
2 packs of hormel natural turkey breast
2 snack packs of musselmans applesauce
2 packs betty crocker delights microwave cakes
3 bottles of V8 Fusion light
4 packs of Hunts pudding cups
1 chex chocolate mix
1 cherrios snack mix
2 bottles of seltzer water
1 jar of french deli mustard
1 jar of french yellow mustard
2 bottles of kens salad dressing
1 pack of hamburger buns
1 box of Mueller macaroni
1 bottle of sobe water ($1.00 and was really thirsty at this point)

Running weekly tally: $40.29 I'm sure we'll be well under budget this week, yay!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sales This Week

Shopper's Food Warehouse

Obviously, last week's triple $.50 coupon promotion didn't work, because till Sunday, they are doing both $.50 triples, and the good news, up to $1.00 doubles (including, $1!) for coupons.

from ad:
Limit 4 coupons for identical items to ensure sufficient supply of products for all our customers. If the value of the triple or double coupon exceeds the retail price of the items, you will receive the item free. Coupons stating "not subject to doubling" or "do not double" will not be eligible for tripling or doubling.


Giants in the DC Metro area are getting a face lift. They have a new circular out with a transfer Rx here, get a $20 gift card! Sales aren't great this week, but I'll certainly go over there before the 20th of September to redeem my free gift card.


.99/lb Safeway split chicken breasts
.79/lb yellow peaches
$2 each (when you buy 5) select Kelloggs, General Mills and Post cereals (corn flakes, rice krispies, grape nuts, honey bunches of oats with strawberries, cheerios)

My plan is to hit Safeway for the chicken breasts/peaches and do the remainder of my shopping at Shopper's tomorrow (I also have the $10/$50 from Post Points), stopping at Giant at some point to redeem the coupon.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Amazon Grocery

Amazon's Grocery section is currently having a deal in which you can take an additional 40% their clearance grocery items here with the code AUGMKDWN. I was hoping to make an order that had some of the things we buy often: Kelloggs frosted mini wheats, minced garlic and fruit rolls up, although I was kind of curious if it was worth it (sometimes more doesn't mean less money).

Unfortunately, the only item that was eligible (or worthwhile) for the deal was the fruit rolls ups, but it turned out to be a great deal (especially since I received free shipping).

I purchased:
14 boxes of 10-count fruit roll ups

The original "clearance" price for these is $35.44/14, or $2.53 a box. That's not a good enough deal, since you can buy them at Target for $1.99 and other places for $2.00 depending.

However, when you add the 40% off, it comes to $21.26/14 or $1.52 a box. A much better deal.

Worth it to me so I don't have to look every week where they are on sale - usually more than $1.52 anyway even with the coupons (which are usually $.80 off 2, or less).

This is apparently over September 12th so if there is something there that you generally buy, it might be a good deal.

Running weekly tally: $48.11
Even with this big purchase, I think we'll be under budget this week!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

After work today, I had to pick up some of the essentials that we were running out of: bread, milk and sweetener (for me), so of course I go to CVS. I have Extrabucks to use up and that will make my usual household items such as this free if not close to free.

My purchase:

$8.99 Revlon Lash Fantasy Blackest Black
$2.50 2 Essence of Beauty Lemon Hand Soaps (on clearance)
$1.49 Diet Mt Dew (I was thirsty!)
$8.99 Revlon mineral trio eyeshadow in Jade
$4.19 gallon of skim milk
$3.49 1 loaf of whole wheat bread
$2.34 100ct sweet n low

- $8.99 Revlon is BOGOF

- $2/$10 CVS coupon
- $2/1 Revlon mineral eyeshadow
- $1/1 Revlon makeup
- $10 Extrabucks
- $5 Extrabucks

= $3.05 OOP (made $5 Extrabucks for buying the Revlon mascara)

Even though the Revlon was buy 1 get 1 free, I was still able to use 2 coupons, making the deal worthwhile to me (I try to limit my cosmetic purchases unless they are a good deal because I have quite the stockpile!).

Running weekly tally: $26.85

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"Post Points"

This entry is for those in the Washington Post delivery area.

Although my boyfriend would tell you otherwise, I do get the daily paper and not just for the coupons, though they are a nice perk. However, what I didn't know was that The Washington Post would send me something about their Post Points program. As a daily paper subscriber, I am eligible for "Platinum" membership (Sunday only subscribers get "Gold" and any old Joe that likes the Post can sign up for the Silver membership.

If you buy the Sunday paper at the store every week, I would recommend subscribing. Not only do they currently have a promotion giving you all the daily papers free with any Sunday-only subscription, you are eligible for higher levels of this program.

Basically, they automatically start you off with 1500 points, you can earn points buying items at participating stores, reading the paper online or taking little quizzes. Then you can redeem these points for items in their store (gift certificates, items, etc). The 1500 they give to start will get you a $5 gift certificate for free just for being a Post subscriber.

Additionally, with my membership card, they threw in 2 coupons, 1) Buy 1 Papa Johns pizza, get one free (savings if I recall correctly up to $15 or so) and 2) Take $10 off a purchase of $50 or more at Shoppers Food Warehouse. I'll probably use both and I would be safe to say that most families would too.

So, if you normally buy the paper anyway, this could save you $30 just by signing up. Sounds good to me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Because I had to get my car inspected (long story) and drop it off at the shop, the Safeway stop I made had to be light enough that I wouldn't kill my back walking home. I did pick up additional fixings for the dinner I'll be making (recipe below, though I can't take credit for it, if you believe it, my 21 year old brother's invention) and some more Frosted Mini Wheats (surprise! surprise!). Also, I bought some expensive chocolate on clearance (70 cents a piece).

At my Safeway, there was a huge rack full of this chocolate near the dairy cases. As you can see, from one of the companies' websites, these bars usually go for $6 a piece! I might go back to stock up for gifts.

So, without further adieu the shopping receipt totals and recipe:

$.70 Chuao Chocolatier Spicy Maya
$.70 Chuao Chocolatier Chinita Nibs
$.70 Chuao Chocolatier Earl Grey
$.70 New Tree "Renew" Blackcurrant
$.69 can of corn
$.84 can of black beans
$1.39 enchilada sauce
$2.99 package of mexican cheese
$1.89 flour tortillas
$1.19 frozen spinach
$1.99 Kelloggs clearance brown sugar frosted mini wheats (we'll see if he likes these)
$2.50 Kelloggs frosted mini wheats

- $1/2 Kelloggs frosted mini wheats

= $15.28

Running weekly tally: $23.80

And now the recipe. I've never made it before, but my brother (when he's not at college) makes it every couple of weeks and it's delicious!

Its best to think of it as a lasagna.

1 package of flour tortillas
1 can enchilada sauce
1/2 small can green chiles*
1 can corn (with some of the liquid saved)
1 small onion
1 bag of spinach
1 can refried beans or pureed black beans
(added: ground beef)
1 bag of shredded mexican cheese

depending on your casserole dish you'll need either a half or a whole package of 12 inch tortillas cut in half.

1. Quickly brown the onion and garlic in a pan, add the corn, green chiles and half a can of the beans. Heat on medium stirring. Add the spinach and the corn liquid, stirring until the spinach wilts a little. Add cumin, salt, and pepper and taste. Take of the heat and set this aside

2. Normally I heat the remaining bean puree to make it easier to spread.

3. Pour a little of the enchilada sauce into a bowl. Coat the tortilla halves in sauce. Spray the casserole dish with some nonstick and then pour a very thin layer of sauce in the bottom. Lay down the tortilla halves so that they form a little lip at the bottom of the pan.

4. Spread a little bit of the bean mixture, followed by the spinach stuff, then cheese then a little more of the sauce. Keep on repeating this pattern (tortilla, bean, spinach, cheese, sauce)

5. Make sure the top tortilla are well coated in the enchilada sauce and top it with the remaining cheese and optionally jalapeno slices.

6. Bake at 375 for 15-25 min until the thing is piping hot. Let sit and cut and enjoy.

* I'm not using the chiles because my boyfriend and I both have sensitive stomachs, and I'm adding some of the ground beef from a previous grocery trip.

Edit 6:45pm
The boyfriend really liked the casserole, even though he was dubious after I mentioned it had both spinach and corn in it. He even asked for a second helping! This recipe makes a lot of food, especially if you use a large shallow baking dish. I went through the full 2-3 pounds of beef, most of the spinach mixture, all of the sauce and all of the tortillas. We ate about 1/5 of it. I did alter the recipe slightly - I used whole black beans and mashed them with a potato masher with the spinach, corn and onions (healthier than refried beans).

All in all a success.

Picky Eaters

One of the main things I struggle with in regards to the budget and grocery shopping is that my boyfriend is a pretty picky eater. Strangely enough, he has absolutely no pickiness when it comes to dinner food, which is great because it gives me the option to experiment. However, there are some things that he doesn't seem to budge on (though I've been working on it, believe me). He's a bit of a kid at heart (let's ignore that he's a 28 intellectual with 2 Master's degrees).

Here are the foods that he just won't give up:

Betty Crocker fruit roll ups
Kelloggs Frosted Mini Wheats - for some reason these are almost never on sale (even with other Kelloggs on sale). He also will not try the other flavors that have had rebates along with them. Very frustrating!
Kelloggs Frosted Brown Sugar Pop Tarts - He will not eat generic or any of the other flavors, or unfrosted! Very picky. Thankfully, we are well stocked, at least for awhile - as I previously mentioned, he goes through about 3-4 12-pack boxes a month!.

So, although I don't think anyone actually reads this thing, where have you all gotten the best deal on the above items?

I actually was perusing the food section in Target yesterday, and they stock the fruit roll ups for $1.99 a box, far below the grocery stores, that usually advertise specials of $2.00 or $2.50 a box! Guess where I'll be getting my fruit roll ups in the future, Target of all places!

Monday, August 18, 2008

The good thing about stocking up is that the length and items in any other grocery runs are quite minimal (and of course, the dollars are too).

Friday evening, I actually had my boyfriend go to the store to pick up some hot dog buns ($3.19) and sauerkraut ($1.19) for our dinner.

Then today I decided to make something special and really not worry about budgeting so much. I went to Shoppers Food Warehouse after work and picked up:

1 bag frozen mixed vegetables $1.00
about 12 large shrimp $7.52
= $8.52

I'm going to start keeping a running tally at the bottom of each entry exactly how much we spend in a given week and how above and below budget we are.

Week August 10th-16th:
10th CVS $7.41
10th Safeway $52.72
13th CVS $0.00
13th Giant $47.73
14th Superfresh $6.00
15th Safeway 4.38
= $118.24 -$68.24

Woah. My only defense is that a lot of my purchases involved stockpiling cheap food for future weeks, which so far is reflected in the mere $8.52 I've spent on groceries this week. Tomorrow, I should have a similarly small bill grabbing some ingredient for the Mexican casserole I plan to make.

We'll see how I do in future weeks!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Since I was unable to get the $1.49/12 poptarts at the Superfresh near the apartment, I went to one closer to work. Well, it was much nicer looking and was bigger - plus they had every pop tart ever made, including the frosted brown sugar ones. So, I was able to redeem my rain check before it expired in a week or so.


4 12-pack pop tarts $6
= total $6 =)

Then I went to Walmart, since we needed more Canola oil, some Swiffer products and I needed hangers.

I bought 30 plastic hangers and 12 skirt hangers
1 Swiffer wet
1 Swiffer dry
Canola Oil

I spent $27, but I used a gift card, so technically it was $0.00 out of pocket.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I have to say that I am really proud of myself because during a trip to CVS today, I paid $0.00 out of pocket! And then I made $8 in Extra Bucks! I was so proud of myself that when I came home, I exclaimed my excitement to my boyfriend and although he isn't really into this sort of thing, he was even impressed.

Here's what my transaction looked like:

2 bags Dove chocolate $6/2
5 boxes of theater candy $5/5*
1 12-count 12hr Alavert D

-$2/$10 CVS coupon
-$2 off Alavert CVS coupon
-$3 off Alavert manuf. coupon
-$9.95 Extrabucks

And I got $8 in Extrabucks back ($3 for the Alavert/$5 for the candy)

* I first ran into some problems, because even though the theater candy was advertised as a dollar each, they range up as $.99 cents each, which put me 4 cents under the $10s required for the candy deal. Thankfully I caught it before I walked out of the store, or else I would have been very annoyed.

I did have a bit of an upset this shopping trip, as I was tired from work and really wanted to get it over as quickly as possible, though I was looking forward to it this morning. My plan was to stop at Superfresh to do the Kelloggs deal and also redeem my Rain Check (I had gotten one a few weeks ago for 12-pack pop tarts for $1.49 which is a great price - and my boyfriend goes through a box of the frosted brown sugar ones a week) so I was going to stock up with the $1/2 Kelloggs coupons. However, when I got to Superfresh, they had no brown sugar pop tarts in a 12-pack, so I had to go to another grocery store.

I finally got to Giant (only 5 or so miles away, but this is the DC Metro area we are talking about!). Anyway, I finally got there and stocked up on quite a bit of good stuff. Although, I'll have to go back to return a can of soup that was marked down but didn't ring correctly.

My purchases include:

18 cups of Yoplait yogurt $10/20
6 packages of low-fat turkey breast lunchmeat $3/2
4 boxes of Kelloggs 12-pack pop tarts $5/2
2 boxes of Kelloggs Nutrigrain bars $6/2
2 boxes of Kelloggs rice kripy treats $5/2
2 enormous boxes of Kelloggs (apple jacks and frosted flakes) reduced to $1.80 each (!)
2 Vidalia onions $1.30
3 lb bag of white potatoes $2.99
1.5 lbs peaches $2
1 gallon skim milk $3.99
1 can of Healthy Choice chicken soup (clearance 50% off) $1.25

then my coupons
-$1.20/18 Yoplait
-$1/2 poptarts
-$1/2 poptarts
-$1/2 cereal
-$1/2 Nutrigrain
-$1/2 Rice Krispies

=$50.23 (although I'll be returning a $2.50 item rung up incorrectly so that will really be $47.73)

After I redeem the rebate it will come down to $37.73 - not bad for 40 items!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

After noticing the ads for both Safeway and CVS, I knew I had to hit the $1.99 93% ground beef and buy 1 get 1 free 18 count large eggs at Safeway. I've been doing at least 2 meals a week with eggs and had just recently made This recipe over at Money Saving Mom (even though I'm not a mom yet, we could all manage to save money!). I did alter the recipe a bit. I used 4 cups of oatmeal instead of 8, 2 eggs instead of 4, and a cup of applesauce and a 1/4 cup of oil instead of a full cup of oil, and 1.5 cups skim milk (recipe called for 2). My boyfriend was happy, so that's all that matters.

First I stopped at CVS because there are some great Extra Bucks deals going on this week.

I bought:

1 box of caramel popcorn
1 box of toffee popcorn
(both on sale for $1 - they are a weakness of mine!)
2 Arizona Diet Green teas $.99 (on sale buy 1 get 1 free)
1 CVS Ibuprofen 24 ct (free w/ coupon below!)
1 Skin Effects Cleanser $6.99
1 24/7 Daily Scrub $15.99

-$2.00 any Skin Effects
-$2.00 any 24/7
-$3.19 free CVS Ibuprofen
-$2/10 CVS coupon
-$1.50 Extra Bucks
-$2.00 Extra Bucks
-$10 Extra Bucks

Spent $7.41
Received $15 in Extra Bucks back ($10 for the 24.7/$5 for the Skin Effects)

Then Safeway:

1 4-pack Tava $3
2 100-packs goldfish and cookies $5
2 boxes Fruit Roll Ups $5
2 boxes Post Honey Bunches of Oats with Chocolate $3.98
2 boxes of Cascade 60 tab action $19.98
2 18-egg boxes of large lucerne eggs $4.99 (buy 1 get 1 free)
11 lbs of 93% beef $21.39

-$6 "Saving Made Simple" on buying 2 Cascade
-$1.50/2 Cascade
-$1.00/2 Fruit Roll Ups
-$1.00/2 Post cereal
-$.75/1 100-pack
-$.75/1 100-pack
-$1.50/1 Tava

$52.72 - We'll probably go a little over budget this week since I still haven't bought fresh fruit or vegetables due to the Cascade, but we won't have to buy dishwashing detergent for at least 4 months so to me it was worth it.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Today after work, I had to pick up some loose ends. The only thing we needed after my grocery shopping on Monday ($43) was milk, bread and pretzels.

My first stop was CVS, where I purchased:

1 crest toothpaste $2.49
1 colgate toothpaste $2.99
2 loaves of bread $6.99

- $1 off Crest coupon
- $1 off Colgate coupon
- $2/$10 CVS coupon
- $5 Extrabucks
paid = $3.46 out of pocket
received $3.50 in extra bucks

Then I stopped over at Shopper's Food Warehouse where I purchased:

2 lb bags of Utz Pretels $4.50
1 gallon of skim milk $3.99
= $8.49

See, I could have gotten the bread at Shoppers for $3 or less if I had picked a different brand or type, but it was better to get at CVS with Extrabucks (and I still have $20 odd Extra Bucks stored away).

On my receipt I got a couple coupons besides the Extrabucks, including a transfer Rx to CVS, get a $25 gift card which I'll be using in the next few weeks. Plus, we got a mailer with another 2 of them for moving, so in the next month or so, my bf and I will make $75 off of CVS. Excellent.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I use several other journaling websites, but I've started this blog after reading some of the money-saving blogging sites.

I have always been a fan of saving money and enjoy getting a good deal and while I know my bank account is growing (I've been saving quite a bit of my take home pay since I started working full-time 2 years ago), I want to make sure I really stay ontop of myself.

I just recently moved in with my boyfriend of a year and I'm trying to figure the best way of budgeting (especially for food) for us. I am the cook in the relationship and the kitchen is more of less my domain (if I weren't around, he would sustain himself on pop tarts, pretzals and fruit roll ups!) and I also do the food shopping. I'm a huge coupon/sales shopper - him, not so much. When we were talking finances, he wanted to know how much he should pitch in for groceries, and I estimated $25 a week from him, which surprised him. So I want to see just how much we are spending on groceries once we get settled (the first week, I bought quite a bit to stock our pantry and freezer).

I do most of my other shopping (household items, beauty, bath, paper products) at places like CVS and Rite Aid and usually spend little money - yes I do the game and sometimes wind up making money too!

My plans for our grocery budget include breakfast, lunch (we bring to work) and dinner. After this week, I am hoping to spend at most $50 a week on food items (the first two weeks in the apartment I spent close to $250 but then again, I was moving in with a bachelor who kept his cupboards near bare).

Oh, and in case you were wondering Stubber is a combination of our two last names.