Saturday, July 30, 2011

More Puttin' Up

Did 10 more pints of tomatoes, and 10 quarts and a pint of cucumber-pickles.

Sorry for the non-posting, I haven't been feeling well, dealing with some depression issues, which I usually only have to deal with in the winter, but apparently I'm experiencing some hormonal things related to *The Change*. Everything except the hot flashes, which I was looking forward to.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Roses Project

If my Roses Project works out, I will have four new Heirloom Rose Bushes without having spent a cent.

My Aunt gave me these cuttings from the bush growing in her yard, that was originally a cutting my Grandmother propagated from the bush growing in my husband's Grandmother's yard.

I save most glass bottles and jars because they are so re-usable, and the Starbucks drinks bottles are excellent bud/cuttings vases.

I started with 25 cuttings, but only 4 survived (which is actually a good number for me - better than my last attempt).

Using Compost soil we made ourselves (ok, credit to the worms and nature), I transplanted them into plastic pots my husband saved after doing a landscape project for someone awhile back.
(Lacking pots, cutting the bottom out of a 2-ltr soda bottle and poking some holes in it also makes a good, cheap flower container.)

Speaking of Compost...remember my Aloe plant?
It had babies!  Three so far, with a little baby fourth one just peeping up.
I need to do some research on what to do to get them their own homes, because I know so little about Aloe plants.

Moral of the story is, you don't have to pay to buy plants and flowers from Walmart or Home Depot.
Ask people you know - or even people you don't know - for cuttings of plants and flowers from their yards.
If you see a plant/flower you like out in public, like along a nature trail or in a park, you can carefully nip off a bit for yourself without damaging the plant.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Puttin' Up

Got the first of the tomaters canned today; 11 pints, for some delishous chili and veggie soup this Fall and Winter!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Missy, Missy, quite contrary - how does your garden grow? (FTR, this is actually my hubby's baby. He does the plowing and planting and staking and tying and most of the watering and gathering. I make suggestions and weed a little bit...a very little bit, lol.)
With lots and lots of tomaters!
Within the next day or two, I'll be canning these babies.
Cherry tomaters for Salad and snacking.
Our cucumber crop did really well this year, since we moved them to the North end of the garden. I was planning to can up some pickles out of them but J keeps giving them away.  Not like I need pickles anyway, with all the free ones I get from coupon-shopping, but I just enjoy the fact that I *can* homemake pickles.
We didn't plant alot of corn, maybe 12 to 20 stalks. The ears have been coming ripe like 3 or 4 at a time. We pick them fresh off the stalk and grill or microwave them in the shuck. Yum!
LOL, Red-haired corn. 
Here's the start of a little gourd J is growing to make a birdhouse out of. He is a birdhouse nut. He's built several out of scrap wood and stuff. I'm like, Dude, you see all these trees in the yard? Birdhouses!  My theory is that it's like with the people in Africa (or our own inner cities, for that matter). Birds need to learn to build their own houses.
I had 5 out of 6 of my cabbage plants survive. Which was a great accomplishment for me! And, apparently, for whatever bug or animal ate them all to pieces. 
Some of our garden bounty. The Sweet Banana peppers did good, too, we've gotten alot of peppers. J takes those to work to eat and/or give away.
This is the other corner of the back yard, opposite the garden. I heart my backyard :-)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Melissa Loves Coupons

There is a Blog I follow that I really like, but for some reason have neglected to add a link to my blog list. I reckon, since I follow and see the posts in my Dashboard, I just didn't think about it not being on the front page.

The blog is called Melissa Loves Coupons/$aving A Dime A Day. (It's not me!)
 She posts some good deals and ideas, freebies and samples, and just all kinds of neat and interesting stuff.

Her latest article was about saving your change.
I can absolutely attest to this.

I am not a good saver :-( 
But years and years ago I got into the habit of saving my change. (And my husband's change, and anyone else's change I could find/get my hands on, lol)

I have a glass Cranapple bottle (yeah, it's been *that* long) that I used a screwdriver and hammer to cut a slot into the lid to make a homemade bank.
I clean out my change purse, all but a couple of quarters for emergency from my car's ashtray, got my husband trained to empty his change into the bottle, and pick up almost any change I see laying on the ground (except face-down pennies).
I don't spend change, either. Cashier asks, "You got .12 cents?", I say, "Nope, take it out of this dollar." Because if I gave her .12 cents, then I'd still spend the dollar, so I'd be out $1.12, instead of having .88 cents to put in my bank.

Up until just recently, when my bottle got full, instead of rolling the change I'd sort it out by value into those reproduction antique decorative tins I've got junking up the place around here. It was my funny-to-me little secret; everyone else just thought they were dust collectors, lol.

Because I'm a terrible saver otherwise, there have been a couple of instances over the past several years when I've had to roll change to pay bills or an unexpected expense.I can only recall four times I had to dip into my change-savings, and can't recall the first three amounts, but I know the last time I did, a couple of years ago, I deposited $900.00 into our checking account.
Wow, that's nearly a thousand dollars! in change! 

I like the idea of saving change for a reason, other than saving it for emergency like I do.
Melissa at Melissa Loves Coupons posted that she saves for school supplies.
My cousin told us she had bought a bedroom suite for her guestroom with change she'd saved. *Much* better than charging it and having to pay interest.
We remember Grannie telling us how she put a down payment on the first house they ever owned with "Franklin dimes" (as opposed to the winged Liberty dimes she was used to).

Anyway, check out Melissa's blog if you want to.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Food Lion

This weeks' Meat deal:
I got just over 6lbs of ground beef:
$5.61 *mark down* $11.23
$5.83 *mark down* $8.31
Beef Country Ribs: $4.61 *mark down* $6.59
Chicken Breast Tenderloins:
$2.73 *on sale 1.99lb* $5.88
$2.39 *on sale 1.99lb* $5.15
Total Cost: $21.17
Reg. Price $37.16
Savings $15.99

$3.99 BOGO Tostitos
*No q, but this is the best price I've seen. They were 2/$6 at Publix, $2.75 at Kroger, and $3.00 at Target

2/$6.00 Tostitos Dip
-1.00 tearpad q
= $2.00
*Impulse buy! The coupon for $1.00 Dip wyb (1) Tostitos was hanging there, and the dip was on sale - nevermind I didn't even need any dip or salsa - it sucked me in! Thank goodness I didn't buy two!

$0.99 Lettuce
*No q, but this is the cheapest price of the stores in my area.

$0.51 Bananas (.54lb)
*No q

4/$5.00 ($1.25) Marcal Toilet Paper 4-roll (on sale thru 9/13)
-1.00 6/19 RP
= .25 each
*Forgot to check, but heard paper towels are 5/$5, or $1.00 each, so those would be free. I have plenty of PTs, I need TP.

The Big Blue Machine gave me several coupons, but in particular, one for .50 off Sun Drop and one for $1.50 off Vlasic Pickles.
The cheapest Vlasic was $1.59 for Sweet Relish, so .09 after coupon.
The Sun Drop is on sale for $1.00, so it was .50 after coupon; hard to turn down .50 2ltr.

*I got a couple more catalina coupons from Kroger: .50/2 Sun Drop 2ltr. and .60/1 Sun Drop 2ltr. The .50/2 will double at my Food Lion to 1.00, making (2) more .50 each.  The .60 will also double, but maybe only to $1.00 making it free; not sure if I'd get the .20 overage.

$28.35 + 1.09 tax = $27.26 cost


$3.49 BOGO ($1.75) Carolina Pride Smoked Sausage
-1.00 (.50 doubled) 6/19 SS
= .75

$2.99 BOGO (1.50) Cool Juice carton (found in produce section w/ OJ)
-1.00 IPq
= .50 each

$2.29 BOGO (1.15) YoPlait YoPlus 4pk Yogurt
-1.00 (.50 doubled) 6/19 SS
=  .15 each

$3.69 BOGO (1.85) Luigi's Italian Ice
-1.00 6.26 RP
= .85 each

$3.59 BOGO (1.80) Emerald Peanuts
-1.00 6/19 RP
= .80 each

$1.23 BOGO (.62) Barilla Piccolini Pasta
-  .55 6/26 SS
= .07 each

$1.00 Newman's Own Cat Food
-1.00 (.50 doubled) IPq
= Free
(*This is a .pdf file, but the site says Limit 2 prints per household *snort*. Anyway, it prints with the new numbercode, no bar code like we're used to seeing, and the fine print says to do not double, so I wanted to see if the new code actually prevented stores from doubling. I don't think it did, but now I don't know for sure because I was thinking my first coupon scanned, but then the other two at the second store didn't scan, then I couldn't remember if the first one really did.)

$5.00/2 ($2.50) Ziplock bags
-1.25/2 5/15 SS
-1.00/2 Target Q
= 1.38 each

$0.79 Bandaids
-1.00 (.50 doubled) 6/12 RP
- .75 Publix Green Flyer q
= +.96 overage each x 6 (my last 6 coupons, wahhhhhh)

$4.69 + 1.21 tax = $5.90 cost


$1.00 Minute Maid frozen lemonades
- 1.00 (.50 doubled) 6/26 RP
= Free

$0.88 King Size Twizzlers
-  .88 (.50 doubled up to cost of item) 6/26 SS
= Free
(There is a sale on 11 to 16oz bags of Twizzlers 3/$5, or $1.66 each, so if you wanted a larger bag you could get it for .66 after coupon)

$1.00 Margaret Holmes canned veggies
-  .70 (.35 doubled) 5/08 SS
= .30 each

$1.34 Sundrop
-1.34 Catalina coupon for free 2ltr. Sundrop (got a few weeks/months ago)
= Free

$0.33 Jiffy pie crust clearance x 6

$0.25 drinking glasses clearance x 4

$5.68 + .28 tax = $5.96 cost

Thrift Store Shopping

During my travels today, I stopped into a couple of Thrift stores looking for a white dress shirt for my son (you would think a plain white dress shirt would be easy to find, but it's not!).

Anyway I saw where a Discount (Salvage) Grocery store had opened in the same shopping center, so went in to check it out.  Before I discovered couponing (the right way), I used to shop alot at salvage/discount grocery stores. Dented cans bother me not.
The only reason I stopped was because, using overage and profit, I can actually get most of my food for even less than at these salvage stores.

First thing when I walk in the door, the lady at the register hollers "Free yogurt today! Take a whole case!"

Well, I didn't feel right taking free yogurt and not buying anything, so I looked around and found some things that I don't usually get using coupons, and were a good price: the refried beans and sliced pears were .50, the cherry pie filling was .39, the chick-n-dumplin were .99, the Beenie-weenies .35, and the Shortbread pie shells .49 each. 

My total cost was $5.25.
I lost my receipt, so don't know how much of that was tax. (I guess I could add it up if I was really worried about it.)

When I put my things on the counter and went for the yogurt, she said "Get all you want!" so since there was cherry and blueberry, I got one of each.
I told her I would have gotten two more, but didn't want to seem greedy. She said "Get 'em!" So I got two more cases, one of each kind.
Apparently the big deal is that some of them expired yesterday, and some today. No big deal to me, I know things don't *magically* go bad on The Expiration Date, but are still good for awhile longer. Between us, my Mom, my son's gf, J's cousins and his partner at work, these will be scarfed down pretty fast.

They are called something like Fage Unbelievably Thick Yogurt, or something like that. I thought I heard people say Fage was good yogurt.

On down the road I passed a sign that read "The Attic Everything is Free". I'm not sure what kind of store it was, but who cares, everything was free! Why didn't I turn around and go back?! What kind of deal shopper just passes right on by a sign that says everything is free, I ask ya?!


This is why I had stopped bothering to go into Target; everything is always out of stock for me. I was really surprised they even had these pens in stock.

$1.02 Papermate Eagle 10 ct. pens
-1.00 Target IP
= .02 (no tax)

Final Cost $0.04


LOL, I just had to.

Any of you that's been following me for awhile might know this isn't needed for my hubby, but he can use it for some gags around the fire station.

(While I'm looking back at that old post, I'm guessing Brandy used up all her Trojans over the past year. (Or less, she's due in a couple months.) Dang. I have plenty left. I need to get busy. Ha!)

$4.99 cost, get $4.99 RR ($5.00)
$4.99 + .30 tax = $5.29 oop
= $0.29 cost after RR

Rite Aid

Rite Aid also had a JF deal this week, Buy-One-Get-One-50% off, and get $5.00 +UP reward wyb (2).
I got:
$9.99 Sheer Mist
$4.99 Deep Infusion
$9.99 Deep Infusion
$3.49 Shampoo
$6.99 Conditioner
$3.49 Root Foam
= $38.94
- $30.00 ($5.00 SS 6/05 x 6)
= $8.94 cost
Rec'd $15.00 +UPs
= $6.06 profit

$3.19 Mitchum (20% disc. Reg $3.99)
-2.00 RA IP
- .75 SS 6/26 or 6/12
= .44
Rec. $1.00 SCR
 = $0.56 profit

The garden tools were on sale 50% off, so I got the little shovel and cultivator for .49 each, and the Culti-hoe for $2.24.

$10.48 +UP spent
$0.69 + 3.19 tax = $3.88 cash spent
Rec'd $15.00 +UP
Rec. $2.00 SCR
Final Value $2.64 profit

*I see now I overpaid .80 cents on one of of the Mitchum and a couple cents on the Cow Tail because it didn't take my 20% disc. when she scanned my card last, after ringing everything up.  I also didn't get my +UPs and they had to do a return-re-ring to get those, but they did ring up BOG50% after the card was scanned, so I didn't see that the 20% didn't also come off.


CVS has a deal this week if you buy $20 worth of JF Full Repair, you get a $10 ECB.
If you need a deal idea, one shopper posted that she bought (2) shampoo/conditioner at $7.99, and (1) travel size at $1.49 just to see if it would count for the deal (it didn't). But they were able to use (3) $5.00 mq's and paid about $2.50 oop.  Then they went back and bought another $7.99 shampoo, used a $5.00 mq, and paid about $3.00 oop. Then got the $10 ECB, making it a $4.50 profit.
I guess you could buy all three shampoo/conditioners and a travel size one to be able to use the 4th mq in one order.

Anyway, I had rainchecks from when the JF was on sale for $5.00 and get $3.00 ECB wyb 2 a few weeks ago, so I bought (2) at one store: $5.00 RC - $5.00 mq = Free; get $3.00 ECB; then did the same deal at another store, and also got the $10 ECB.
Free shampoo and $16.00 profit, Yay!
(Sorry, free Styler stuff)

The Pepto is on sale $4.99, get $2.00 ECB. There's a - I think the amount it - .50 mq in the 7/03 PG, which I didn't get. But I thought $2.99 was a pretty good price to pay for it, and I had ECBs to spend.

I also bought the Hershey's syrup and milk (not on sale) and Coke, on sale for .69, to spend ECBs.

All (4) of my family's cards scanned at the Red Machine today gave Free Hershey's Air Whipped Candy Bar and $2.00 off Skittles, Starburst or Lifesavers coupons (CRTs).
The stores were out of the Air whipped, but the other Hershey bars worked without beeping.  (The first guy told me to subsitute; I just took it upon myself to do it at the other stores and they either didn't notice or care.)
Skittles and Starburst are on sale 2/$5.00, or $2.50 each, so cost .50 after CRT.

$14.18 ECBs spent
$0.87 + 2.12 tax = $2.99 cash oop
$18.00 ECBs earned
Final Total $0.83 profit

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


I'm not sure what made me take a look at the Publix ad this (past) week; I hadn't really planned to, since I had so much other stuff going on, but I'm glad I did. 

I had been waiting on a good - or even halfway decent - A-1 sale again.  It was one of those special times when the stars aligned right and there was a Target Q to go along with the MQ (that actually expired on 7/03 that I didn't notice, but they took them anyway).

$4.14 BOGO ($2.07 each)
-1.00 MQ 6/05 SS x 2
-1.00 TQ x 2
= .14/2

I had also been waiting on the Curly's BBQ to go on BOGO again. I used to be able to get it BOGO and use a coupon, but hadn't seen any coupons in quite a little while, so I was to the point I was willing to just buy it at BOGO price.  Lucky for me, some nice person posted a link to a $1.00 mq at the Curly's site in the comments of Southern Savers. (Some of those ppl seriously get on my nerves, but sometimes it's still worth taking the time to read the comments.)
PS, reading hours worth of comments taught me more about coupon shopping than most of Coupon 101's.
The IPq is expiring 7/20, so I went ahead and stocked up alot more than I usually would have while I could get them at $1.85/1.84 each.

$5.69 BOGO ($2.85/$2.84 each)
-1.00 IP q x 2
= $3.69/2, or $1.85/1.84 each

I pretty much paid for the BBQ with the Band-aids.
$0.79 Travel size Band-aids
-   .75 Publix Green Flyer q
-1.00 (.50 doubled) 6/12 RP
= .96 overage each

The vitamins gave me a little overage; they probably weren't worth it after tax, I'd usually only get these if I was trying to reach a certain dollar amount for whatever reason, but mostly I got them today to just have more items/coupons in my buggy/stack. (I wanted to have more items so all the bandaids didn't look so conspicuous.)
$3.59 B6 50mg x 2
-6.00/2 Publix Green Flyer q
-1.00 MQ 6/12 RP x 2
= .82 overage/2

The Oscar Meyer Cracker Combos were on sale 10/$10, or $1.00 each, so Free after $1.00 mq 5/15 SS.

Then, sometimes, just for the heck of it, If I have the q's, I'll do some *Dollar-or-Less* shopping.

2/$3.00 (1.50 each) Autry House Chicken Breader
-1.00 (.50 doubled) 5/01 SS
= .50 each

$1.19 Kikkoman Soy Sauce bottle
$  .75 Publix half-dozen eggs
-  .55 Kikkoman Bottle (they had some Kikkoman dry-mix envelopes for cheaper, but my q's specifically said "bottle")
-  .55 off Eggs wyb Kikkoman product (this q beeped because both are coded for Kikkoman. One cashier said I had to get 2 bottles to be able to use both q's, but her CS person said I didn't, the other q was for eggs. YMMV)
 = .84 for small bottles of Kikkoman and 6 eggs

Some Rubbermaid items were 50% off; the Quart Beverage container was the cheapest at $1.59, but we (my son was shopping with me) decided we'd get more use out of the Chug bottle, which was only .30 more.
$3.79 reg price
-1.90 50% sale
-1.00 MQ 6/26 RP
= .89

Publix 2ltr. soda was on sale for .50 each.
I hardly ever luck up on Coke or Pepsi hangtags or q's, so this is about as good a deal as I'll ever get, and I was down to one can of Coke at home, so I stocked up a bit.

The Fritos were on sale 2/$4.00, or $2.00 each, which is a pretty decent sale on those. I have been able to get them for $1.88 on sale at Rite Aid, but that was in the good 'ol days of RA shopping, which I haven't had in awhile.

Grand total (2 stores/shops combined):
$14.54 + 4.00 tax = $18.54 cost
Spent $5.08 from $50 Mastercard gift card from Hotel deal
Spent $8.31 from Publix gift card from previus deals
Spent $4.43 cash
$176.70 saved

*Checking back over my receipts, I see the Autry House Chicken Breader rang up $2.39 instead of $1.50; IDK if I got the wrong item, or it rang up wrong. Probably wrong item, IIRC the first box of breader I found was on the wrong place on the shelf.
I also see the cashier at the 2nd store missed one of my $1.00 Sundown MQs during the whole need-an-override thing.
So I overpaid a total of $2.78 than intended.