Saturday, January 31, 2009

Teddy Bear Cake! Cake Roundup!


Cake Roundup!

One more cake to show! Thanks to Life as Mom:
Birthday Cake Roundup blog page!! Go see the fabulous cakes that everyone submitted to this roundup, they are pretty amazing cakes! And such great ideas too!

This cake was for my daughter's Build a Bear party. I wanted something personal for each kid. So I decided to tackle the wedding cake type tier, served on individual plates, etc. THIS WAS VERY TIME CONSUMING. But if I had to do it over again, I would!! I would just choose a different method. I used pound cake and cut out the shapes by hand (used a plate template I think). Anyway, next time, I would try a sheet cake, and I would cut out my circles/layers, then cut that in TWO lengthwise. It would take several cakes, depending on your method, but so worth it! I made chocolate-rasp frosting that was thin so I could POUR it over the cakes... and added a chocolate molded teddy bear (used candy melts). I made some HOT PINK frosting and piped it all around. I stacked the cakes on tiny CAKE rounds and served them like that. They looked SO CUTE!!! The kids liked them and so did I! One of my favorite Birthday cakes so far. You can see my Shark Attack cake and Mine and my Daughters PICNIC cake for sweet Dad! Fun fun fun! Which of the three I posted is YOUR favorite? Leave a comment and tell me please, I'm curious to know!

Warmly,
Tracey C.

The Picnic : Another Cake Roundup Cake





This beauty was decorated by myself and my then 8 year old daughter for my DH, her Dear Ole Dad (She is a 9 now, thank you very much!). She LOVED LOVED LOVED the idea of fondant when she saw it in cake book. So we used fondant to make a cake she entered into a Fall festival contest that year. It was a brave first attempt! I don't have a picture (it must be somewhere) or I'd show you! She made a tree trunk with a rabbit on top of it and leaves... it was cute, but a definite beginning for my budding cake artist. This picnic in the park cake was one of many ideas we came up with when browsing the Wilton cake books at Michaels. They had some similar version, of a table, with cloth and food and ants... adorable! We DID not buy the book, because I'm too FRUGAL (read: cheap). So we tried to remember it and we thought a blankie on the ground would be just as good.

I made the center tiny chocolate cake out of two stacked and frosted oreos. I frosted them just like a double layer cake and used a baggie with edge snipped off (very very tiny snip) to "decorate" it. The candles are the tops of those wavy skinny candles that you've probably seen, I just cut off the tops to use as tiny candles, and inserted into circles of white frosting and further down into the cookie's frosting. This Oreo cake would be so cute on its/ their own decorated in a million ways (or let the party goers do it) for a mini party or doll party or tween party...endless ideas. You can use cake, but the cookie is SO EASY and becomes quite soft after a few hours, so it CUTS like cake almost! And so fun to decorate! Any girl group would love to decorate a bunch of these pre-base frosted, I think. We saw cakes like this in the American Girl book called TINY TREATS. Or make a picnic!
My girl worked on this ALL day long! She painted the blankie for me. I rolled fondant out, cut out a big "blanket" square and then scored it with a dull knife. She made the plates, food on the plates, pitcher of lemonade (hard to see in photo and glasses too, watermelon, burgers, fruit. They can all be 'attached' to the blankie with a drop or two of frosting to hold. Some score and wet the fondant a bit, but that can get messy when you are new at it!

Adorable! Didn't she do a great job? We took it with us to church on a Wednesday and handed out slices (confetti flavor, the best). It was a hit and nobody could believe she made all those little food stuffs. She basked in the praise and her Dad's adoration! :) What do you think? Cute and so many ways to do this one too! Add some pound cake to make a "real" picnic table, lots of food things to try (like fried chicken). ANTS! The original picnic we saw had little black ants (made of fondant I think, but anything could work) in a line going up /onto the blanket and circle back off on their way home with crumbs. It was so cute like that! We ran out of decorating time though.
Thanks so much for looking! And don't forget, we got this Cake Roundup at Life as Mom blog, HERE
I may have another cake to add to the list, I need to see if I can find it. (FOUND IT! HERE is my Bear Tier Cake) One of my favorites! Warmly,
Tracey C.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Birthday Cake Roundup!



How FUN! Life as Mom is having a Birthday Cake Roundup... featuring lots of cake ideas and photos! I wanted to join in the fun to show off a cake or two I have made for my kids.. because I love doing it! Want to join Life as Mom and see the cakes? Go HERE ! And thanks to her for this fun roundup!

I might show two cakes, but for now, I'm just showing my daughter's from last August. She had a surprise pool party and I found this neat idea at Family Fun in their cake section. I just turned the boy that was featured in THEIR cake, into a girl with braids in MY cake! I know, it looks a little freaky, but isn't it fun?

Wanna know my BEST secret? I orderd the big ole sheet cake from SAMS club with aqua blue frosting and that's it! I told them NO decorations! This made for a nice canvas for my "art" and a lot less cooking worry when I was trying to surprise the girl! The shark fins made the night before are just sugar cookies thickly formed and baked with a popsicle stick inserted. I then used a royal icing on the fin. When ready to decorate, just insert the popsicle stick into the cake and PRESS! I had also previously added some white frosting where I wanted the fin to go, to look like wave "foam."

The snorkel stick is a big pretzel stick covered in pre-made fondant from Michaels. I bought a box of the pre-made fondant and used gel food coloring to color it all. I used frosting for the face (white, from a can, colored to look fleshy..start small with the color until you get it just right, it was kind of hard to do for me), and it sort of melted, but looked appropriately scary! I mean, come on! A SHARK is coming! LOL, isn't it fun!??

You can see our PicNic cake HERE, it was LOTS of fun!

Well? What do you think? :)

Warmth,
Tracey C.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Walgreens 4 bread & FREE Colgate!


So everyone is talking about the Colgate Total at Walgreens that is in the blue wrap, (see pic above, you can click on pic to enlarge for detail) and how it is on sale (though NOT advertised) for $2.19. Well, with the register reward as advertised in their ad this week, you get back $2 Catalina coupon. So if you have a coupon, you get it for FREE! Of course, I DID. I had several $1.50/1 that I printed a few weeks back and I also have several $.75/1 coupons from the sunday inserts.
Only one Catalina $2 coupon will print PER transaction, so you can't buy 3 and get 3 of the $2 coupons. So I brought 2 up to the register and just had the girl ring one of them seperately. You can't pay for the next one with your $2 Cat either or another new one won't print!

I really needed bread, but had a $10 cat from the pepsi (I have 2) and a $5 cat as well. I also saw some Citrucel Chews on clearance and there is still a register reward of $5 if you buy 2 participating products. I wasn't sure if this was one since it isn't an advertised ad deal anymore, so I tried it out. The Chews (see pic) on sale for $5.59 and there is a coupon in the Wags ES rebate book for $3/1.. so $2.59 each box. NO CATALINA printed!! Boo Hoo! I MIGHT return these. Here's what I got:

  • 2 AVENT bottles for a baby shower gift for this weekend (she doesn't read this!), not out of my budget since it's a gift. On clearance for $2 each!
  • 9 hershey Reeses Whipps candy bars. I am sure I bought 8, so they overcharged me by .80 for one I didn't get and didn't use coupon for (sigh). On sale with in ad coupon 2/.89 and I had $1/2 coupons so FREE (except that ONE!)
  • 2 citrucel chews @ $5.59 ea and minus $3 ea = $5.18 total but no register reward like I hoped
  • colgate total $2.19 had $1.50/1 (and got $2 RR back)
  • Cat toy clearance .50 for our new (but temporary) cat.... cat nip, WHAT was I thinking?
  • 1 loaf Sara Lee wheat bread $2
  • 1/2 gallon of milk for $2.49 and got $1 off for buying the Sara Lee bread..
  • RENU travel pack on clearance for only $.87!! might go get more if hubby likes this kind
Subtotal is $4.74 after coupons and $10 catalina $5.53 with TAX OOP Return: candy bar overcharged for (didn't get it, but I'll take one back to reduce hassle) = $.80
Return: $5.18 for 2 citrucel that didn't print reward...plus candy = $5.98
total OOP = ZERO
(also got back $2 cat)

Second Transaction: 1 colgate total $2.19, used one $1.50/1 coupon. OOP $.84 (got back $2 Cat also)

I also got a tub of cool whip (store brand) at Winn Dixie for $1 when picking up cat litter. TOTAL OOP today was $1.84.

Warmly,
Tracey C.
$919.40 - $1.84 = $917.56 left in budget

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Publix Toms & Toms & Eggs


Publix, great deals ended tonight (I think they were weekly deals!) on Ro-tel & Egg Beaters.. Spent $8.23 minus Pet food items of $1.30 (.50 + .50 + tax, great deal though!) = $6.93 OOP. Got:
  • Pam Organic Spray $2.99 on sale, used Publix flyer $1/1, used manufacturer coupon for $1/1 (can use both) = $.99
  • Dole apple chunks fruit cups B1G1F at $2.45, used 2 blinkie coupons for $.55/1 for $1.35 for 2 or approx $.17 each cup. Great for school lunches.
  • Egg Beaters on sale 2/$4, had $1/2 P.Flyer coupon and $1/1 and $1/1 printed Q's = .50 ea
  • Not in budget, but Good Life cat food on sale $3.49, used $3/1 coupons, got 2 bags
  • coffee mate creamer $2 and used printable $1.50/1 coupon from Coffee-mate website
  • Lysol Refill Cleaner bottles on sale b1g1f $3.19 and had two $1/1 coupons from Sun Paper = 2 bottles for .60 ea.
  • Muir Glen organic tomato sauce small can $.85 and used printable $1/1 coupon (adjusted down, no overage) got two of these = FREE
  • Rotel diced tomatoes B1G1F for $1.29 = $.65 a can Used $1/2 Publix Flyer coupon = $.29 for two, .15c a can, got 4 cans. Also had ONE man. Q for .30/1 that used in conjunction with store coupon.
  • I package w/w pitas for $1.29
Again, total OOP for budget (minus cat food/tax) was $6.93! $926.33 - $6.93 = $919.40. Great deals! I need to figure out a way to add milk to my Ragu and Rotel and make a good tomato soup! Can I do that? :) Tomatoes and sauce and pasta sauce are all so versatile, that if you can get a really, really, good deal, stock up as much as you can. I can use these for so many different meals and snacks and soups..it is worth it.

Enjoy! Warmly,
Tracey C.
$919.40 left in budget

Target Kashi, Ocean Spray & Cereal


Headed to Target to get my Kashi soft baked bars for $.75. Cost is $2.75 and coupon is good for $2/1 and I printed it twice from Money Saving Mom's Post HERE, thanks to her! I also got Ocean Spray light juice for $3.19 (how'd that happen?) and $1.99 used Target printable $1/1 coup. & Ocean Spray coup. from 1/11 Red Plum. Also used my FREE Iams Premium protection Cat food coupon (home mailer) for 2.5lb bag of cat food. It was $7.49 and I got $7.00 off. Also found a double pack of Malt O Meal shredded wheat cereal for $4.24 minus peelie .50 coupon on boxes. Total was $7.48 minus $3.71 on Gift Card and OOP of $3.77 - $.49 for cat food (not in budget). OOP $3.28

$929.61 in budget minus $3.28= $926.33 left in budget

Dinner less than $1!!

Ok, that Ragu sure does make dinner cheap, doesn't it? Ok Ok, you got me! I didn't bake bread, or use garlic Texas toast, or any bread at all for that matter! I didn't have a side of veggies, we just had bowls of pasta. And know what? It was GOOD. I just used the rest (about a 1/3- 1/2) of a box of pinwheel pasta $.30, the other half of my Ragu jar (these jars avg around .34 each with the Walgreens $10 Catalina reward, sale of $1.99 each and coupons) $.17 and Kool Aid for $.15 plus some sugar, around $.20 maybe. We just had bowls of piping hot pasta tossed in Ragu! Filling and yummy. Total cost? Approx. $.82. Cool.

Disclaimer: the prices you see in this blog not typical and do not represent the avg. savings of the average consumer. You may not achieve results similar to those detailed in this story unless you are also a coupon hound. You may do better. We can not be held responsible for your grocery bill and your ability to eat cheaply or just plain cheap. Please, try this at home!

Shopping in a CRUNCH

Planning is everything! Hubby was taking over the girls for me this morning, and in my joy of knowing this last night, I didn't PLAN their lunches for him. Because we are out of bread, this is a real stumper for him. So at the last minute, there was nothing to do but decide to bring their lunches to them later.
We had assembly this a.m. for the younger girls and they both were recognized for character awards! Isn't that sweet? I'll put some cute pics up later.. after assembly we had coffee and bagels together in a little date (our eating out is a seperate, but new budget for us) at the bagel cafe. Sigh, it was so nice!
Anyway, the girls' school is just too far from home to run back and then back again..so we decided to go to Publix.... This can easily get expensive, but I'm on a mission right? We check the lunchables because I thought I saw them on sale and they were.. only $1.25 (4/$5) each! Not bad at $3.75 without a drink for 3 of them. But...hmmm... We check out the fruit cups, b1g1f and 2.59 for ea. 4 pack.. means fruit for about $.32 ea. We could add a smuckers uncrustable, but that would be quite a bit more than the lunchables. So I check the yogurts and there are several on sale.. We setteled on the Dannon which were on sale .40 each, got 3. We went to produce and got 3 small bananas at .69lb. We didnt get drinks because CVS was next door and I have a gift card. We got spoons from the deli as well as a couple of napkins and asked at checkout for small brown paper sacks, they gave us 3 gladly. We walked over to CVS and they had the SOBE Life Water on sale for $1.25 and I had .50/1 coupons in my purse! Perfect! We bought 2 (one for older one for twins to share) and spent $1.67 on a gift card (no oop) and $2.85 at Publix for the yogurt and bananas. We then decorated the bags in the car with the girls' markers and had fun being artists for a few minutes. Then we sacked it all up and delivered the goods! They were fun and a big hit! Total OOP $2.85. Faces glowing at fun artwork and love messages? Priceless! ;)


Warmly,
Tracey C.
$929.61 left in budget

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Stir Fry Dinner



My Cutie Pie about to dig in!


Dinner tonight was some tyson frozen chicken breast tenders from our big Ole freezer. I was reading a neat recipe about coating the chicken in mustard, then coating in bread crumbs before baking to make it moist....and I guess that idea stuck in my noggin. I just used some brownish mustard, some of my Hickory Farms CRANBERRY mustard (mmm) and some honey. I stirred it all up together and coated my tenders in it. I then cooked them in a bit of olive oil until almost done then I added a couple of splashes of Kinkomans Teriyaki sauce. I then set the tenders aside and in the same pan, with the sauce/drippings still in the pan, threw in a 1/2 bag of frozen pepper stir fry mix from my freezer. Meanwhile, I cooked 2 cups of Publix brand brown rice from my pantry (almost out!). Meanwhile I cut up my tenders in bite size pieces, then tossed them into the pan with the peppers for a final heating/coating of sauce. I served piping hot over the brown rice with milk as our drink. Yummy!! The chicken was very tasty! Here are some highly professional photos of the experience for your highly refined viewing pleasure!

Enjoy!
Tracey C.

Tallies (Im a spendaholic this month)

Boring money update, more for me than bloggers, sorry, but it must be done! :)

Publix 1/24 posted pics earlier (carrots, stew veg, almond milk, rotel, fantastik, halls, kraft crackers, - $8.74

Publix Misc 1/23-(several shops to get the free crackers and almost free cat food), more kraft crackers, turk bacon, coffee mate, ground coffee clearance, glade, popcorn, rotel, oatmeal - $3.16, -$.34 (rotel), -$2.13 (melitta ground) , -$2.00 oatmeal = $16.37 OOP - $948.83 = $932.46 Left in budget.
CVS 1/26- 5 Gillette shampoo $4.99 ea. get back $2.99 used $2 Q on each , 2 Gillettes fusions, wrong ones for ECB (didnt realize they were out 1/30), one is going back. Also used B1Razor g1shampoo free. Got ECB for all 5 shampoos ($15). Milk and writing pads for daughters. Used a $10/$50, so have to EXCHANGE the wrong fusion for the right one..so $9.99 for $7.99 ($2 back) and then $4 back ECB. Spent $27.12 on gift card ($15 back so $12.12, will get back $2 exchange and $4 ECB...so $21 back of $27.12. Good deal for hubby. No OOP. $932.46 Left in Budget.

Warmly,
Tracey C.
$932.46 Left in Budget

Wags, Publix, CVS budget update

Okay, I need to adjust my budget for some shopping I have done. This is wordy, so you may want to skip, but I need a record of what went down! :) I would have done it sooner, but I was slacking. ALSO, my transactions were SERIOUSLY messed up. One had to be completely redone as the cashier was blaming my use of coupons as the reason my $10 Pepsi/Frito-Lay coupon did not print out. Another overcharged me, yet another didn't even print out! WRONG! Anyway Here is how it works out: Wags #1: bought 2 Skippy for $1.99 (used .60/1 Q's), 6 Ragu @ $1.99 ea. used 2 1.00/3 Q's) got 3 fructis shampoo (had 3 $1 Q's and 3 $2 Easy Saver Q's), 2 4pk of tp for .59 ea., 1 Baster for $1 (needed one of these, but not out of food budget), Also got some paper for girls and some books for b1g1f) My total minus the books/paper/other was about $8.41 (this includes tax for the other items, but that's fine). Used a $5 CAT and $3 CAT from previous deals and GOT a $10 CAT. OOP was $8.41 HOWEVER, I find on my receipt that the girl trying to ring up my manufacturer coupons for the Fructis, plus the wags coupons totally messed it up! She got frustrated and then said she figured it out, but what she DID was charge me $1.99 per shampoo, so even with my Q's, I paid .99 ea. NO NO NO!! That means she didn't even take off the full Wags coupon value! I am going to just return these shampoo! Even with the coupons taken off my receipt total, I am still ahead on that one by $2.97. so OOP is $5.44 & I still had the $10 CAT to roll into the Pepsi deal. Wags #2: bought 3 chips $2.50, 1 cheese dip $2.50, 1 gatorade $1, 4 sierra mist 8packs $2.25 ea. AND one Revlon blush Matte for the Free after Rebate in Wags EasySaver (had $2/1 coupon, so profit on this). Total fiasco here. The CAT didn't print, so the guy had no idea what to do. I took to beauty counter, manager came up, said it was my coupons, I say no, he said his machine wasn't working. So we re-ring, she does a BUNCH of weird stuff, including not using my revlon coupon but instead refunding me for it after we finished (so it wouldnt mess things up, ARGH!) I don't even know what happened, but for my next transaction, I didn't get to use my new catalina, so it ended up more out of pocket. I haven't had good luck with these Wags deals for sure! Sigh. Used my previous $10 Catalina for THIS deal. My total OOP was $19.34. got back $10 CAT & will get back $9.99 rebate plus 10% on gift card of .99 =$10.98 on GC. Wags #3: bought 6 Ragu/$1.99 each (used 2 $1/3 coupons), 2 Skippy $1.99 (used 2 $.60/1 coupons), 3 Hair elastic holders w/6 elastics inside for each of my girls 3 @ $.10 each (clearance), 2 Boxes of granola bars Choc chip on clearance for .50 ea. Total was $14.15 OOP & got back $10 CAT so $4.15 for all that! :) GRAND TOTAL OOP? $38.93!! Sigh. I DO have $20 in CATS and a $10.98 rebate. Will also mail for the Pepsi Coupon Rebate, but that isn't cash! So in THEORY I have $30.98 back, so all my things cost me $8.93!!

That is awesome!! In theory! Now I have to be a wise steward of my CATS and my rebates. I'm not counting my ECB's and Catalinas or Gift Cards in my total budget, but I do use them after all, but they are limited. Right now I have over $25 in CATS from deals and Rebates coming in from Wags and over $20 in ECB's from CVS. Mostly I like to try to reuse these for new deals. But as you can see from above, sometimes that doesn't work out. I think in those cases you have to decide to just cancel the transaction or go ahead and be ok with the results. I did NOT want to spend $39 out of pocket! That Kills my budget! BUT, I was there, I WILL use the catalina coupon, the Ragu and skippy (and pepsi deals) were outrageously cheap for us and I went ahead. Some might think it wasn't worth it. Remember though, we don't get double coupons here, so I'll take under .50 pasta sauce when I can get it! :)
More updates coming, though less wordy! Warmth,
Tracey C.
$992.84-38.93= $953.91 Left in budget

Monday, January 26, 2009

Fasto Easy Dinner Tonight


I did a FASTO dinner tonight. That is where you pick whatever is in the freezer that you can make the FASTEST! That happened to be the rest of the HUGE bag of Tyson honey bbq wings that we bought at Sams Club a few months back. My daughters (who are UNbelievably CUTE! Hi girls!) love love love these things! Did I mention that they inhale these? Just nuke those little things for 4-6 minutes and presto chango! FAST-O Dinner!

I added some instant red chunky potatoes, which are truly instant...and surprisingly delicious! I bought them on sale at some point and just never made them because, well, they never seemed appetizing enough. SHEESH! So I dragged them out, boiled some water, added butter and then dumped in the spuds and stirred. No kidding, potatoes were DONE. We added some butter, chives, parmesan and S & Pepper. Delish! A little Koolaid that we had in the cabinet and dinner was done.
Not the most nutritional, but nutrition does NOT matter with a Presto FASTO dinner night! So there! OH! I want to thank my friend Kim for giving us some FREE home grown grapefruit (gross, these are for my hubby) and a sweet orange. The girls had a couple of sections each for dessert! What a great way to stay on budget, free fruit!

Wow! Thanks Kim!

Warmly,
Tracey C.

Another Lemonade Award!! Thanks!


Wow! I feel super special! Justine, over at Justine's Grocery Brags gave me the Lemonade Award!! I just received this from 2 other GREAT blogger friends so I am going to forgo doing another 10 bloggers for the award, mainlly because I JUST did it, and also because it took me several DAYS to come up with my 10 grateful bloggers! I just wanted to give a shout out to Justine and big sloppy Thank You to her for choosing me!! I feel all lemony inside! :) Take a peek at her BLOG!

Warmth,

Tracey C.
$992.84 left in budget

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Get the GoodLife 4 Cheap! Cat food that is!


Publix + Sale on GoodLife Cat food for $3.49 + Lots of $3/1 GoodLife Coupons (thank you, thank you, thank you coupon trading friends!) + 2 hungry cats (plus stray boy cat) = CHEAP cat food + Happy Cats! I have picked up 3-6 bags per trip and have made 3 trips in the past two days. I get a few bags at a time and can mix this with my other cheapie deals!
  • I also had several coupons for KRAFT mac n' cheese CRACKERS B1G1F & Publix has them B1G1F, so several free boxes!
  • Fantastic cleaners B1G1F, had 2 $1/1 coupons = $.99 for two bottles!
  • Jolly Time Popcorn is $1 a box, printed ONE $1/1 = FREE! I could have printed one more, but my printer freaked out!
  • I also have been using the $1/2 Publix coupons in their store FLYER (not the weeky ad) to get the B1G1F Rotel Diced/spiced tomatoes for only $.29 for TWO cans! You can get mild, jalapeno, w/cilantro, with green chilies...these tomatoes are awesome to just pop open and use as SALSA! Or they make great chili! Also perfect tossed into your scrambled eggs or wrapped with eggs and sausage (try chorizo) in a spicy breakfast borrito! The possibilities are endless, the price is RIGHT!
  • I got a few glade warmers w/nightlight. On clearance for 2/$2.49. I had $2/1 IP coupons and got them FREE!!
  • Coffee Mate was $1.50, used $.50/1 Internet Printed Q for a total of $1 for yummy creamer (Im WEAK!)
  • The Turkey bacon was on sale and I found blinkie $.75/1 coupons RIGHT THERE!, so my bacon ended up being cheap, but I can't remember..I'll update when I get my receipt!! Sorry!
  • Also, needed some cough drops for the gals and got HALLS B1G1F on sale at Publix and used my two $.50/1 coupons, making them $.69 for two bags!
  • I also got 2lbs of carrots for .79,
  • 2 half gallon cartons of ALMOND MILK (vanilla) Yum Yum! 2/$5 on sale and 2 $1/1 coupons = 1 gallon for $3!! We LOVE LOVE LOVE this yummy treat! In cereal, oatmeal or just with dinner. Even great in smoothies! We love it! Coupons in a recent insert, you should try a carton, its smoooooth! (and also comes in chocolate!)
  • and a bag of frozen stew veggies for $1.50. I really wanted to just get the potatoes and the carrots and onions (I'm out, have some frozen diced, but wanted bigger chunks for stew) and celery, but the potatoes were $4.99 a bag and I would have ended up spending over $8 for the veggies alone for stew. So I just grabbed the frozen mix and will add some extra carrots into the stew tomorrow.
I will do my receipt tallies tomorrow, left the coupon envie in the car, but total was around $10 with pet food and $8 without for one trip, $1.02 for 2nd trip. Other trip...not sure, was mostly cat food and I need to check it! Sorry don't have my numbers with me! I'll update later though!

Tonight, we were GOOD little savers and we all had leftovers, the pork tenderloin/rice, cabbage/sausage soup and almond milk.


Question
: Did you all like my freebie posts or should I stay away from those? I was surprised that after posting a couple of them, nobody had any comments on any of them (save for ONE!, so far!). So, it made me wonder if you all just want me to stick to saving info and deals??? I also have pics of my WAGS and CVS pepsi/frito deals, but again, I'll wait for my receipts to do a proper budget adjust! Got lots of goodies though for cheap!

HEY! If any of you got that CVS $10/$50 coupon, the $20 pepsi deal is the perfect time to try to use it! If you have a bunch of ECB to roll and are going to do the Gillette shampoo and razor next week and Revlon, you can add a few monthly freebies maybe and some milk and get that $10 off! I'll work out a scenario after I study the ad!

Nighty Noodle!

Warmly,

Tracey C.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Free Printable Budget (and others) Paper

Found this site www.printablepaper.net for printing papers (grid, handwriting, lists, budgets, etc.). All kinds! Oh, it's FREE!! I think there is a subscription for a fancier version, but FREE works for me every time! Great things for kids to be occupied. I often print papers out for them and they LOVE it! Things like decorated notepaper, music paper, dot paper, grid paper, etc. This link goes to the budgets..but browse around!!! ;)

Warmth and Lots of Freebies!
Tracey C.

Free Potty Training Kit from Pampers! Nice!


At http://www.pampers.com ; posted at dealigg.com (great site for freebies folks!!!)


  • FREE SHIPPING.

  • This helpful kit from Pampers Easy Ups Trainers includes:
    • A free sample of Easy Ups Trainers
    • High-value coupons
    • Fun stickers & coloring pages
    • Step-by-step potty training tips
    • Potty Progress Chart
    • Dora or Diego training trophy

    How cute is that? Got a toddler that needs some incentive..here you go! (Thank goodness mine are TRAINED!!!)

    Warmth,
    Tracey C.

    Free After Rebate Vent Fresh Elite Car Air Freshener BONUS!


    If you recently bought the Vent Fresh Elite Car Air Freshener for $4.99 at Walgreens to get the free after rebate deal from the monthly EasySaver catalog, be sure to check the package! In the back of mine, at the top, is a coupon good for a FREE Scented Oil Refill! It expires 12/31/09, but take advantage of it soon so you don't forget! If you want to give the Vent as a gift, good luck trying to pry that package open without completely cutting it to shreds! If you have tips for getting the coupon out without destroying the package, comment and let the rest of know! You can get worse than a paper cut with these things! YEOW! Forgive the horrid pics, but I wanted you to see the product and coupon and what to look for! Smiles!

    Warmly,

    Tracey C.

    $992.84 left in budget

    Free 3 Year Subscription to Today's Diet & Nutrition Mgazine


    WOW! I saw this posted on www.dealigg.com just tonight: Get a FREE 3 YEAR subscription to Today's Diet & Nutrition Magazine!!! Super! We can all use some good nutrition advice and recipes! Here's what to do:
    1. Go here: http://www.todaysdietandnutrition.com/subscribe.shtml
    2. Use Promotion Code INAUG09 [Exp. 01/24] ALL CAPS!
    3. FREE SHIPPING.
    4. Inauguration Special: Free 3 Year Subscription
    5. Valid US Addresses Only!
    YAY!!! Hurry though!
    Warmly,
    Tracey C.
    $992.84 left in budget

    Wednesday, January 21, 2009

    Dinner? Freezer!

    Wow! I found a tenderloin (lemon pepper!) in our HUGE freezer and thought, hey, I'll just pop this in the pressure cooker and have dinner in 30 minutes!

    Now, please know, I am new to pressure cookers, so I'm still learning!! But I know this, anything is done fast, is moist and infused with the flavors you add! It's awesome! I threw a can of chick broth in the cooker (not digital), added a big pile of frozen brocc, carrots & cauliflower (bought from Sams a couple months back). I then removed the the tenderloin from the fridge where it had been defrosting all day. It was still partially frozen, which was perfect. I cut the meat into "slices" about 1/2 - 1 inch thick. I added about 1- 1/2 cups of instant brown rice on top of the veggies, then the pork. I added some honey mixed with hot water, some lemon, some more pepper, a dash or so of ginger (powder) and threw on the lid.

    It was then I realized you are supposed to brown the meat! Ooops! See, new at this. You should do it in the pot you are cooking in, but it was full, so I quickly pulled out a fry pan, some olive oil and heated it up, fished the pieces out and quickly browned them. It was very quick, about 5 minutes. Back into the cooker. Sealed up, heated to high, then down to simmer for 9 minutes. I let it return to normal pressure on its own off the heat (about 8 minutes) then served. The rice and veggies were sort of soft, but the flavor was GREAT and the girls ate everything on their plates (miracle) and asked for seconds, then thirds!! Wow! Only Isabel declined, saying she was DONE. You can cook the meat and add quick cook items at the end, but I just wanted it all done at once and was willing to have softer veggies to do it! This time!

    I have a big floor freezer that is FULL of hidden treasures I bought on sale the last 6-9 months... and it keeps forever in a deep freeze like ours, so I am lucky. Going into the challenge, if I just utilize all my stockpiles and add things that make meals (like the cheese/sausages, the ham, the Ragu from Walgreens) when I can get them cheap-o, then I think we can go far.

    I have been buying alot lately, but the deals are remarkable and they may not be here next month! Plus, the deals come and go, so it is great to have things when the sales go dry. That is why a monthly amount would be harder for us, it doesn't have that wiggle room to stock up when deals are good. If your budget is $200 a month for food, and you find chicken on sale for .59lb and you LOVE chicken and cooking with it, you should get all you can safely freeze, store and use! If you don't have a stand alone freezer, I HIGHLY recommend one for people who shop like this. If you have the space and can find a good deal, you will be amazed at not only how much longer things last in a deep freeze than the regular freezer attached to your fridge, but also at how much you can save by stocking up on sale items because you have a place to store them. You can also save TIME! Less grocery trips (maybe!), you can cook several meals at once and FREEZE for later in the week, month or whatever. If you have freezer room to store these things, it is such a blessing!


    Stay warm!
    Warmly (of course),
    Tracey C.
    $992.84 left in budget

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009

    Whipp It at CVS!

    Whipps, Whipps and MORE Whipps! I purchased 30 Reeses Whipps at CVS tonight for the Hershey spend $15 get a $5 CVS gift card by mail. I spent $4.52 out of my budget buying 30 of the Reeses $1 off 2 Reeses Whipps coupons from The Coupon Clippers.

    You might wonder why I would WASTE $4.52 of my precious budget on Candy? Boy, you don't know me very well do you? LOL!

    Seriously, the Whipps are included in the $5 gift card deal I just mentioned above and they are on sale this week for 2/$1!! That means with coupons, they are FREE FREE FREE!! (plus tax, so mostly freeeee!) I spent $.68 on 20 of them at one CVS and half that in tax at the other CVS so $1.02 plus $4.52 = $5.54 I spent on 30 candy bars and I will get a $5 gift card. My husband may take his card and use the other 15 coupons to get 30 bars...but I think it is one deal per household (not sure, need to check ad but I think only 1), so if so, I will find one of my local coupon friends who wants to do the deal, split the costs and end up with a profit of around $2 or so and THIRTY YUMMY WHIPPS. I mean, 29. Tee Hee. I also spent $7.54 on my CVS gift card for the rest of my order. I got all the items listed in the pics in this post. I also got back a $3 ECB for buying 3 American Greetings cards (I got the .99c ones, so FREE cards!!) Thanks to Julie at Kingdom Klipper for

    ~CUTE! 99c AG cards FREE after ECB!~

    posting this deal or I would never have known about it! I haven't heard a thing! I believe you can do the deal 5 times (15 cards), but check your ads/stores! Also for that purchase, not pictured, I got another 6 pack of CVS flavored water and another $2 in ECB. Check out my clearance trouser socks and tights!! ONLY .67 for tights and $1.25 for 3pk trouser socks! Wow!
    Coupons used:
    2 of the .50/1 dawn (making them only 50c each they are B1G1F for 1.99)
    15 Reeses $1/2 coupons making them all free but for tax
    2 Exedrin coupons for $2/1 (free) and one for $1/1 combined with CVS $1/1 any Exedrin (free)

    1 $1/1 CVS 6pk water (NO PIC, still in car, sorry!) coupon (printed from scanner/pricing machine when I walked in)
    2 $2 ECB's
    $7.54 on one of my CVS gift cards and $.68cents other trasaction.

    So, instead of putting one jammed photo of a bunch of stuff. I wanted to show more pics so you could see the items and appreciate how far that $7.54 went (and I got back my ECB's plus $1 and will get $5 gift card, don't forget!)

    Another great bonus? A friend of mine gave me about 11-12 coupon inserts this Sunday. Some of the coupon inserts (as in the comics, store ads, coupons, etc.) were complete, some only had the Unilever. I was grateful for ALL of them!! Whoo Hoo! No money spent on these coupons this week and they are already saving me $$$!! Thanks dear friend!

    Enjoy!
    Warmly,
    Tracey C.
    $992.84 left in budget (last subtraction was for Whipps coupons).

    Sunday, January 18, 2009

    HotSacks Giveaway at Jane4Girls!!


    Looking for some really cool, re-usable grocery bags? Jane4Girls $800 Annual Budget blog is hosting a GIVEAWAY here of hotSACKS. HotSACKS were created for those of you who want to do your part for the environment, but don't want to be a walking billboard for your local grocery store. Good Luck!

    The Lemonade Award


    I was nominated for an award this week!!! More than once even! Wow! Thanks so much ladies! Erin from Jane4Girls $800 Annual Budget nominated me for the Lemonade Award then I was blessed again by Corrie at CentsableMomma. I was very excited and so surprised, and this is my first blog award ever!!! Now, this happened early in the week, but it took me awhile to gather my 10 people to pass it on to.. so excuse the wait and many, many thanks to Erin & Corrie for choosing me. ~Big Grin~

    If you are not familiar with what the Lemonade Award is, the Lemonade Award is given by a previous winner to 10 people who have shown a great attitude or gratitude this week. It’s a great way to show these people that you
    appreciate them.

    The following are my nominations for the Lemonade Award:



    These are all blogs that I read and enjoy! Many great women who share their lives, their gratefulness, their shopping, savings, families, stories, laughter and tears too! Thank you ladies for giving so much!! Please, if you haven't visited these blogs, take a peek at what you've been missing! Thanks so much!

    What to Do Now

    I want to say congratulations to all the winners. Please share this opportunity with your favorite bloggers by doing the following:

    1. Put the logo on your blog or post.

    2. Nominate at least 10 blogs, which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude! Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.

    3. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

    4. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

    Thanks again to Erin from Jane4Girls $800 Annual Budget and Corrie at CentsableMomma for nominating me!!!


    Warmly,

    Tracey C.

    $992.84 left in budget

    Friday, January 16, 2009

    Wags & CVS & Milk & Bread




    I think I should have stayed home, yep! I needed milk though and have a problem going to the store and ONLY getting one thing when there are sales and rebates and ECB's.. sigh. I also have decided not to use the $3/off any CVS coupon anymore since I have heard that CVS says it is not authorized, wasn't authorized to be on internet. I know there are many sides to this, and I have used the coupon, but I am just not going to any longer. Just my humble opinion. So.. Walgreens: $11.10 OOP! EEEK! However, I am mailing in for an orajel $8.49 and Windex $4.00 rebate = $12.49..so it will work out. I just hate that budget reducing! I also will get Walgreens Orajel rebate for $8.49 + 10% extra of $.84 so $9.24 on a Wags card. It was really a great deal for me, but that reduction in my budget just makes me "shudder ."So at Wags I got:
    • Milk $3.29
    • Sara Lee Bread (used $1/gallon milk w/Sara Lee purch coupon) $2 - $1 =$1
    • Dozen eggs $1.50
    • 4 oust B1G1F and used the 1/4 b1g1f coupons SS 1/4 = 4 for free
    • water bottle with 6 packets drink mix for .50 on clearance
    • mandarin oranges cans 2/$1 (school lunches here)
    • REAL SOFT wags brand? 4pk toilet paper was on sale for $.59!!! Normally $1 I think, it said until 1/17 if you think that is cheap tp..not sure if at all Wags though, so maybe call first.
    • 2 canisters of Windex wipes b1g1f $3.79 for 2 used .40/1 coupons for each and will mail in for $4 windex rebate in SS 1/11 (so was .40 coupon)
    Not bad! I needed bread, milk and eggs and used my $10 catalina also. CVS ?? I was just hoping for the soyjoy and maybe the throat pops which I have NOT been able to get. Instead, I was sucked in by the chocolate reindeer pops and bought a big ol handful... for my daughters you understand! I got a 6 pack of the flavored Gold Emblem water that is $3.97 and generating $2 ecb, also 2 boxes of crackers cheese for $1.99 each, each generating a $1 ecb and I had a $1/2 coupon. I also had a $1/2 gold emblem candy. I HAD to use it! I didn't want it to go to waist.... errr, waste! Sheesh. I also bought a few more of the candy canes filled with m & m generics. Great for cookies and brownies and only 9c. Also 4 cans of cranberry sauce 90% off at .17. My total at CVS was $3.67 and I used a GC, no OOP. I used a $6 ecb to pay and I got back $4 in ecb and a $10/$50 purchase to use later!

    Nighty Noodle!

    Warmly,
    Tracey C.

    $997.36 left in budget

    Thursday, January 15, 2009

    CVS Final Christmas Clearance (Olay & Vitamin Shampoo too!)



    From tuesday, again, late posting..I'll catch up! I had to hit CVS one more time with the 90% off Christmas stuff! Well, truth be told, I hit about 5 stores..or was it 4? I won't detail what I got..it's all fluff for next year and now I'm done. Paper, bags, bows, boxes... a crazy amount of stuff. I also added water, crackers and toilet paper with the $3 CVS coupon from I heart CVS. WOW! What a coupon! My TOTAL spent (on my CVS gift card) was $20.81. Nothing OOP. The cool news? I got some Olay Definity mousse cleansers on clearance for $5 ea and had a $3/1 and a $1/1 coupon.. so for less than $7 I qualify for the $15 gift card rebate. I just hope it isn't good only on Olay products! OY! I also got a bottle of the Vitamin shampoo for $6.99 with rebate tag around bottle neck. So, for my $20.81 on a GC I can also mail away for both rebates $15 + $6.99 = $21.99. More than I spent on my gift card! Fun! See my pics for detailed amazement. Yours of course.

    Warmly! Tracey C. $1200 budget $1008.46 left in budget

    The REST of my Hickory Farms!!


    Holy Smokes Batman! Sausage, Cheese, and those really fancy little strawberry candies that make me think of being 7 years old for some reason..fondly! :) Here's the rest of my Hickory Farms bounty.. sausage anyone? Sausage & Rice, Sausage & crackers (of course), Sausage sliced in cheese crisps (quesadillas), on top of pizza, chunked in soup, diced in eggs, ???? Ideas? Diced on baked potato maybe, but not a meal. I need casserole love here people! I got this tuesday but was too busy to post until now, though I tried!

    The red tins are FULL of shortbread type cookies (swirl, choc chip, choc, rasp center, etc.) and will last 4-ever! at least 2-3 days!! No, really! We eat slow around here. And, Uh, about those chocolate fudge bites thingies on top of the cookie tins? Pretend You DON'T see 'em, mmmmmm kay? Thank you so much.

    Tuesday, January 13, 2009

    Coupons $$$

    Forgot!! I bought 2 papers sunday for $1.50 each = $3 out of budget! Trying to get free ones..but so far????
    $1200 budget
    $1108.46 left in budget!

    MORE HICKORY is HERE!!!


    Yay!! Today arrived my 4 boxes of pears (12 in ea box). This was an unapproved by me substitute since I ordered the KING box (2 of them) I need to calculate to see if I got a good deal. I also got one of the gift sets. Lots of sausage & cheese! My daughters are showing it off. The pears are ridiculously juicy and my family thought they taste marvelous! I froze one ham from my hams I previously received. I have been cutting up the other into various slices/dices/pieces to use in recipes this month and next (and freeze).

    Tonight I used about 4 slices of ham(there are well over 30 in the ham) to make cabbage soup. I had 3/4 of a head of cabbage, sliced about 7 baby carrots into discs, threw into about 4 cups of water, added a can of chix broth, a sprinkle of frozen diced onions, a 1/2 cup of frozen corn, some pepper, a bay leaf and some lemon pepper (daughter requested) and a dash of salt. I cooked in my pressure cooker on high for 10 minutes and let it rest for 20. It was FABULOUS!!! Yummy and cheap! The girls loved it!

    Publix Run....


    Publix run while at CVS and while at post office mailing my four rebates..(can't wait!). I didn't NEED to go to Publix, but I wanted to take advantage of the produce coupon from Food Lion for $2/$5 produce since Publix takes competitor coupons! While there I see that Kelloggs is on sale B1G1F, I know I have a Strawberry Smart Start $2/1 so I think, yay! However, the Smart is not on sale, BUT there is a peelie coupon on the box for B1G1F on ANY! THEN I see that the ALL BRAN (Kelloggs) strawberry has a Peelie for $1 off ANY milk or yogurt when u buy the Bran. Ok, so I buy the Kelloggs Smart Start for $3.99, get $2/1 and then get b1g1f for the Bran. Because I buy the Bran, I get $1 off any milk, this works because each coupon is for a different product!! In the milk I find a silk soymilk PUMPKIN flavor quart for $1.35 and know my girls will like this treat! I got:
    • Kelloggs Smart Start/Bran for B1G1F & $2 off one = $1.99 for 2 boxes
    • 1 quart of Pumpkin flavored silk soymilk $1.35 minus $1 off any milk = .35
    • 2 JIFFY Pie Crust mixes on clearance for 2/$69 or .35 ea
    • 2 BIG Coffee Mate regular flavor creamers 2/$4 minus $1.25/2 coupon = 2/$2.75
    • 3lbs Bananas for $.69lb = $2.19
    • 1.55lb grapes for $1.99lb = $3.08 minus food lion $2/$5 produce coupon = $3.27 for my produce
    • Total OOP = $9.05 Total savings this trip = $10.24 (in coupons)
    • I saved more than I spent!!
    I want to point out that I am a regular shopper trying to cut our grocery bill way down! I don't get double coupons, so I try to take advantage of the b1g1f and coupons together as much as possible. Also, because my store takes competitor coupons, that can mean a good deal too! I don't HAVE to buy Coffee Mate, milk would end up cheaper..but I don't like milk in my coffee!! I did sacrifice by not getting the flavored coffee mate, which I usually buy, but costs more. Instead I can add flavors or use flavored coffee or just sugar and no flavor. Also, I could look up a crust recipe online or in my cookbook, but for only .35 I get a mix that makes TWO crusts with only water! This will be great for making quiche out of our Hickory Farms Hams or Pear Tarts with our Hickory Farms pears!

    My goal is to help other Moms/cooks/savers find ways to save money even if you cant get everything for free!! I know some don't have a Publix, or a CVS or whatever..so it isn't always possible to get great deals. My advice is to do your best! Shop the sales, plan your menu around the store sales...not BEFORE the store sales where you are forced to buy something full price. Also, don't be afraid to try new things! It can save you alot of money!

    Note: In the pic is my adorable daughter Elizabeth (who is 5) who asked to PLEASE be in the picture.. "Ill stand way over here Mommy so I'm not blocking the stuff you bought!" ADORABLE!!

    Warmly,
    Tracey C.
    $1200 Budget
    $1011.46 left in budget

    Bless CVS!

    I DO have fun at CVS! I ran in tonight to one close to my daughters' school because they were the only store that might still have some soyjoy left. They did not..bummer! However, they did have Christmas 90% off and up til now I hadn't gotten too much. The best part? I FOUND 2 CVS $25 gift cards in my lingerie drawer last night!! Whoo Hoo! Funny thing about these cards is, my hubby surprised me TWO YEARS ago with tax rebates..he had the option of buying gift cards for 20% off. He got me $200 worth of cards for $160 and he also got me some Starbucks (much smaller amount) and some Lowes for himself. Well, I remember being thrilled at the time and tearing about 4 of the cards or so off the paper and sticking them in my purse. Then we set them aside. Guess what? These cards became buried under mail and we forgot all about them until almost a year later when we were clearing out that old mail. What a pleasant surprise!! I stuck them in my undies drawer and pulled out one here, one there. For some reason, I had stuck the final two way at the bottom of the drawer and AGAIN forgotten ALLLL about them!! Whoo hoo! Found money! The additional bonus is that I got my CVS $50 gift card in the mail today from Mypoints.com and will use this for our milk for a couple of months! These cards will really help us stretch things and if the cards are available again this year, we are getting more because that is a good money saver. If you don't lose them....

    Anyhow, I got 3 boxes of 10 gift box packs for only .49 each! I got 3 wine size bags for .15 ea, 1 big 4 roll of wrap paper for .79, 4 GIANT bags for big presents for .25 ea, 3 bags for .19 ea, tiny 12 count metallic bows for .19 ea, 2 things of tissue paper for .19 ea, 2 gift card ornament holders (tins, great for putting cards in your purse according to a lady shopping, good idea!) .25 ea, 1 spy guy kids toy for only .99! One box of candy canes for .09. I also added a 4pack dbl roll CVS brand toilet paper for $3.29 and used a $3/any cvs item coupon. I also used a $2 EcB. Total cost for 24 items was $5.56 on my gift card! OOP= $0.00!!

    FUN FUN FUN, gotta use up those CVS $3 coupons before they expire. Need one? Print them here at: I heart CVS and a big shoutout to them!! Thanks!

    Saturday, January 10, 2009

    Walgreens Shop!!






    I got some GREAT deals at Walgreens tonight, but it DID affect my budget in the short term. That is ok, just a reminder to be careful when calculating Register Rewards, ECB's, Rebates and such. This money isn't back in the budget til you get it in your hot little wallet! I spent $39.66 OOP at Walgreens to make my budget at $1024.42 for the year. Sorry no pics tonight! It sounds like a lot doesn't it? Here's what I got:
    1. 2 bottles of THERFLU 2/$10 minus two $2/1 coupons = $6 OOP. I will mail in for rebate of $3.00 (only good on one). I ALSO got a $5 RR printed out at time of purchase. Once I get my rebate, this will be a money maker!
    2. 4 boxes of KELLOGGS cereal. 4/$10, got $3 RR and used 4 $1/1 coupons. $3 for 4 boxes!
    3. 3 Boxes of Quaker oatmeal, $1.99 on sale, had 3 $1/1 coupons.. paid .99 ea
    4. Electrasol on sale for $3.49- $2.50 coupon, will get back $1.50 Wags Rebate $.51 profit!
    5. 2 Ben & Jerrys 2/$6 had 2 $3 coupons FREE ICE CREAM!
    6. 4 bottles of Flintstones Vitamins $5 each X 4 = $20 got $10 back immediately in Registe Rewards (RR's) and used 4 $1/1 coupons. Final cost if you include my RR as money back was only $6 for 4 bottles of vitamins! PLUS I am mailing in for the rebate (good for up to $10, but minus coupons and maybe only good on one bottle, so maybe only $1.50 back, maybe $10 back! I'll let you know!! Price today $6.
    7. Car air freshener $4.99 will get back $4.99 Easy Saver Rebate so FREE
    8. 9 bottles of fructis shampoo/cond/styler used $2 Wags and $1 man coupon = ALL FREE!
    There you have it! Let's break it down: I spent $39.66 OOP. I got back $10, $3 & $5 in RR's. That takes my cost down to $21.66. I will get back $4.99 & $1.50 rebats wags $6.49 plus 10% more so .64 + $6.49 = $7.13 bringing total to $14.53. I will get back $3 for theraflu and $2-$10 for flintstones bringing my cost to $9.53 OR possibly $1.53!! GREAT DEAL either way!! I also Ran into CVS to buy milk. My $50 gift card from mypoints hasn't arrived, so I'm buying it OOP. I bought milk $3.39, 2 Colgate toothpastes for $5 and 1 4pk double roll CVS tp for $3.29. Used $2 ECB, 2 $1.50/1 colgate and $3 any cvs coupons. My total was $3.91 and I got back my $2 ECB. TOTAL OOP TODAY was $43.57!!! (see how that adds up quick! Also, if I do not judiciously use my register rewards and ECB, I will be wasting my budget! I need those RR's and ECB for milk, meds, toilet paper, health and beauty, etc. Don't forget to count to the costs! I can't wait until my rebates start coming in in March, that will be GOOD!! What do you think about my spending today??

    Warmly,
    Tracey C.
    $1200 Budget
    $1020.51 left in budget

    CVS & Tracey's DEAL SPOT!


    I needed to get to CVS to take advantage of the buy $20 worth of J&J and get $10 ECB. I use OB (sort of personal, but there you have it!) and they are NOT cheap, and never on sale. So, with coupons just out in the 1/4/09 RP inserts for $1 and the ECB deal, I was happy! I ended up going to 3 different CVS, they aren't that far apart, but they all were missing SOMETHING on my list and they can ruin your plans! I took a pic and broke down the 3 trips, but I ended up using my $6 ECB to start and ended up with $14 in ECB. I spent $15.42 OOP though. STILL, considering the OB's are usually $6.99-$7.99 a box, and I got 5 boxes PLUS alot of other things, I did GREAT! :) Here's the breakdown:

    TRIP ONE: $5.50 Out of Pocket
    • 3 boxes ob tampons ($4.50 & spend $20 get $10ecb) Had $1/1 coupons for each.
    • 3 Glade warmers and oil refills, these were apple cin scent on clearance for $.95 each. I was hoping they would generate the $2 ecb, but they did not!
    • CHECK MY PIC if you want to see what Glade is on clearance from Christmas! These were NOT marked on the shelf and were on a side endcap display!! Both Apple Cin & Vanilla were on clearance at 3 stores, just scan them to check!
    • 2 4pk CVS brand toilet paper ($2.49 & 50% off 2nd for $1.24) I used a $3 off any CVS item for these.
    • A Xmas Carol movie DVD on clearance for my girls $1.75 (should have left it!)
    • Used a $3 off any $15 purchase cvs coupon & used $6 in ecb

    TRIP TWO: $6.94 OOP
    • 2 boxes ob tampons ($4.50 each, had 1 $1/1 coupon left & earned my $10ecb)
    • 1 febreze apple cin candle on clearance $1.99 (had $2/1 coupon!)
    • 2 glade oil vanilla oil refill w/free warmer on clearance $.95 (had a b1g1f coupon)
    • 1 4pk cvs ultra t.p. for $3.29 (used $3 off any CVS brand)
    • Also used $3 off any $15 purchase
    • Received back $10 in ecb for tampons
    TRIP THREE: $2.98 OOP
    • 2 colgate total toothpastes (2/$5 buy 2 get $2 ECB, I also had 2 $1.50/1 coupons)Thanks to my friend Jamy for the heads up on her blog about the IP colgate coupon!
    • 2 boxes of soyjoy $6 each(finally a store that had them! worth $6 ecb each!)
    • 2 boxes CVS brand cheese crackers, b1g150% off (used $3 off $15 cvs coupon)
    • Used my $10 ecb from the ob deal
    • Received $2 ecb for colgate & $12 ecb for soyjoy
    Total out of pocket again was $15.42
    I still have $14 in ecb to spend.
    Check out my goodies! Good deal!! Great deal!

    Warmly, Tracey C.
    Budget $1200
    $1064.08 left in budget

    Got My HAMS from Hickory Farms!


    I didn't get all of my order, just my two hams! They arrived in styrofoam coolers and they were icy, but not totally frozen. Here is my oldest Ryan holding one of them. Isn't she cute? Still have lots more coming.

    Warmly,
    Tracey C.
    $1200 budget
    $1079.50 left

    Quick Winn Dixie add...

    Went by Winn Dixie on Thurs cuz I needed some fruit for girls lunches. Paid $1.71 OOP for some bananas and apples.

    Budget $1200
    Left in Budget $1079.50

    Thursday, January 8, 2009

    Tracey's Deal Spot!

    Ok, we all know and love Target's Dollar Spot right? Or we do at least know it! So today when snapping pics, I decided I needed a backdrop for my deals when I get them and came up with Tracey's Deal Spot. You can see my science project board in the background of my CVS haul photo. I think I need to cut it down a bit, but I just wanted to welcome you to Tracey's Deal Spot! LOL! Obviously homemade, but hey, I gotta shop not draw!

    Warmth,
    Tracey C.
    $1200 budget
    $1081.21 left in budget.

    CVS fun today!! More shopping!





    CVS was my target today! With the girls in school and myself feeling almost normal I did a couple of CVS runs. My first trip was pretty good, I had $8.99 in ECB to use and a bunch of deals rolling around in my head that I was trying to get straight. I'm still not 100% and my thinking is still a little foggy lol! So, first trip I bought a 6pk of SOY JOY (earn $6 ECB), 2 pantene on clearance $1.55, a teeny tiny tea set for .49, 2 4pk of CVS tissue (cheap stuff $2.49 & $1.49 b1g150%off), 2 boxes CVS cheese crackers $1.99 & .99 (same deal)), 1 fructis hair gel $2.99 (used $1/1 coup), and some clearance candy for $1.44. I used a $3 off any CVS item printed online and a $3 off any $15 purchase as well as my $8.99 ECB, a $3/2 Pantene coup & finally a $1/2 boxes cvs crackers printed when I walked in store. Total OOP was only $.74!!

    My 2nd run included more t.p, a conair brush set on clearance for $2.49, 1 Better Homes & Gardens cookie tin Christmas clearance that everyone was saying to look for (you get a refund or 12 month mag subscription with this one), 6pk soyjoys, 2 celestial seasons gingerbread boxes of herbal tea on clearance for $.87 and a bag of Hershey Kisses for $1.25 with a $1/1 coupon. I used another set of CVS coupons and My $6 soyjoy ECB & $2 fructis ECB. My OOP this time was $2.70. (I should get back $2.49 for the cookies set rebate, but I'll add that when/if it comes in the mail!)

    Total OOP for today? $3.44. I also still have $6 in ECB to use. I then went home to rest! Later, cute kids compelled me to use the CVS cheese crackers to make peanut butter cracker treats for my youngest girls for a snack. They loved them!

    Finally a little toilet paper for less $$!! (though, it's still killing me!)

    Later, I tried the Naan bread profiled on one of my blog searches, but now I can't find it to give credit to the poster! If you see this dear friend, please let me know it came from your blog and I'll point at you! Anyway, I've never even eaten it, but the reviews for it were crazy online and the ingredients simple so I made some. It got rave reviews! I'll post it as soon as I find it, really! It was almost as loved as hubbies stuffing and turkey sandwich I made for him yesterday. I highly recommend stuffing sandwiches for the man in YOUR life! Doesn't it look yummy?

    Hot Stuffing, Gravy and Turkey Sandwich...yummy!

    Warmly,
    Tracey C.
    $1200 Budget
    $1081.21 Left in Budget

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