Monday, January 20, 2014


 All the way there I talked myself in and out - and in - to going in the Goodwill, "Just to look around."

 I checked out the half-price color of the day - just to know - but didn't even get a buggy, because I wasn't there to buy anything.

Then I walked past a rack of a lot of tan cargo shorts. Enough of them to catch my attention. My boys wear these particular shorts so I stopped to check them out. Found 1 pair in their size, and low and behold, they were marked the half-price color of the day tag. Only $2.47. Woot!

Then I remembered my hubby was wanting some dark colored t-shirts to wear under his ambulance uniform. I found the navy Nike Dri-fit shirt, not half-off, but still was only $2.92, which I thought it was worth.

Found the Cobb Co Fire and Emergency t-shirt for half off, $1.46.
The new-with-tags Merona women's shirt in my size was hanging there in the men's section, and also marked half off, $1.46.

And then I was back in the toys/household/plastic/glass and all the other junk part and found the 2 boxes of large, clear glass ball ornaments for 99¢ each. I didn't want them, then I did, then I didn't. Had they been a cent more I think I could have talked myself out of them.

And then I came around the corner and sitting on the top of the end cap was the red FIRE bucket. $6.96.
I almost paid $10.00 for the bucket alone at an antique store back in the Summer. Thinking it was antique. Because I'd never seen one before, and, it was in an antique store.

Turns out it was a Hot Chocolate set. In addition to the bucket - which I love all by itself even without all the other things - there were 2 mugs, a magnet, some crackers and a bottle of Firehouse Ground Cocoa.

Total spent $17.25 + 1.04 tax = $18.29

Food Lion & Publix

I had a $10.00 OYNO coupon from when I shopped the Brand Sale week before last that was expiring and I needed to spend.
Iceberg lettuce 99¢
3lb Gala Apples $2.99
Bananas 57¢ lb.
Muffin Mix on sale 69¢ each
Yellow Rice 69¢ each
Pizza Crust Mix 99¢ each (ow! Kilt me to pay that, when Walmart has it for 52¢)
= $10.19, paid 19¢ cash

Publix didn't have much to interest me this week, but a coupon for $1.00 off the Hawaiin Punch bottles popped up last week, and they're on sale this month for $1.99, so only 99¢ each after coupon.

The Gorton's Fish planks, portions, patties, sticks are BOGO $6.49, with a 50¢ off coupon in the 1/05 SS. My Publix doubles, so it made these $2.25/$2.24 each.

I was thinking it was going to be the regular size boxes, which was an okay, but not that great of a deal. I generally pay $2.99 a box at Aldi, so this was some less, but not a lot less.
Until I saw it was actually the big size bags of fish, so that made the deal a whole lot better. I might go back and stock up on a few more if I get out again this week.

My final total including tax was $6.66.
I was afraid I wasn't going to make it home!  I really wanted to buy something else and change the total, but the cashier was too busy trying to help someone else to pay any more attention to me. So well.

I did make it home ok, though.

CVS 1/20

Well, it didn't take me as long as I thought it would to fall off the shopping wagon. Or climb on the wagon. Whichever....I never did make it to CVS or Walgreens sales last week (1/12 - 1/18).

Each year at this time (Superbowl) CVS/Coke has a good Coke sale. It's different prices each week, it's been 3/$10, 6/$20, and this week 4/$10...then next week Pepsi is 3/$11.

The deal was Spend $30, get $10 ECB.
I bought (12) 12-packs of assorted Coke, Fanta, and Barq's Root Beer. Paid with $30.00 ECB, and got $10.00 ECB back, making the final cost of each 12-pack $1.67.

Here's a hint, and I need to see if I can remember for next year, too.
Enter Coke Rewards codes over the year and save them until around Christmastime, when you can redeem them for Free 12-packs of Coke Coupons for cheaper points than the usual price.
Use those coupons when this sale comes along to either make them a lot cheaper, or possibly even a money-maker, if you can get enough to make them all free, and get the ECB back.

I found the Goody's Headache Shot for 99¢ and used $1.00 off from 1/05 SS, making them all Free.

The Red CVS Coupon Machine is printing a $5/$15 Cosmetics purchase this week.
I got (3) Maybelline Great Lash Mascaras at $5.99 each
Used (3) $2.00 Any Maybelline Mascara from the 1/05 RP
and the $5/$15
Paid $6.97 (used ECBs)
Got $5 ECB for spending $15 Any Maybelline Eye
= $1.97, or 65¢ each

Monday, January 13, 2014

Walgreens - Last Week

I did not do well at Walgreens last week. Holy mackeral, you would have thought I was a complete Wags newby.

First off, I've never shopped with the Balance Rewards points before. Wasn't interested, didn't want anything to do with trying to manage those on top of everything else. Wags was hard enough to shop as it was.

But I've been doing okay with the Sears/Kmart Shop Your Way Rewards points, so I told myself I was being a wuss not tackling the Wags point system.

I was doing some last minute CVS shops Saturday, and figured I throw a Walgreens shop in there just for the challenge of it. 

I had printed off a list of several scenarios from Wild For Wags to help me out.
Of course a lot of the things I was looking for was out of stock, being the last day of the sale, and also I had the Windex and Gevalia coffee, and possibly the Slim-Fast bars that weren't part of the original lists.
So I tried to improvise.
Except, I didn't know that if you use points on items that earn points, you don't get the points for those items.

I had worked out my scenarios and didn't want to try to go back and do it all over again, so I said, to heck with it, ring it up together and I'll figure out a better way to spend my RR's and Balance Rewards next week.

I only did (2) Windex in the first deal, in case I didn't get back both the RR and Catalina some of the others were getting (plus you can't get two of the same RRs in a deal, so I knew that).
I did get them, so I went back and did a 2nd transaction of Windex and Slim-Fast bars. (The Slim-Fast didn't give RR's or Rewards, I forget why I was buying them separately.)

The Windex was 2/$6 - $1/2 IP coupon, and I got back $1.50 RR and $1.50 Catalina coupon, and 1,000 Balance Rewards, making the final cost 50¢ each.

Slim-Fast bars were on sale for $2.99 - $5/2 IP coupon = 49¢ each

AZO Urinary stuff $6.00, get $6.00 RR = Free

Carmex 4/$4 - (2) $1/2 RP 1/05, get 1,000 Balance Rewards = 25¢ each

Gevalia 12 ct. K-cups $5.99 - $1.50 IP, get 1,000 Balance Rewards = $3.49, or 29¢ a cup

The Icicles were clearanced for 24¢, I needed a filler item.

Speaking of clearanced....

I almost never do this, and I almost didn't this time...I had those larger size glass ball ornaments in the buggy, but then put them back, and the Hallmark Santa Toy Town in my hand, but I managed to resist.

Until I found the Turquoise Tinsel Tree, and it was only $1.99, and that was all she wrote.

I love, love, love, love tinsel trees.
I have about a 6-inch and about a 12-inch silver tinsel tree (wish I had the 5 or 6 foot my Aunt used to have back in the 70's). And, pretty recently, I love (the color) turquoise.

To top it off, back in the Summer we were yard-sale-shopping and one place had some Vintage Christmas items that I loved and wanted, but talked myself out of. 
I still regret that a lot.

So when I saw this turquoise tinsel tree - for $1.99 - there was no way in hell I was passing it up to regret for the rest of my life (or for as long as I remembered about it).
Then I saw there was another turquoise tinsel tree, and two is even better than one. Then I saw the silver one and I had to have it to go with my silver tinsel tree collection.
There was also a green tinsel tree but I didn't really like it.

After that I said, to heck with it, I'm getting the ball ornaments ($1.49). I have like maybe one or two glass ball ornaments that have the glittery writing on them. Then I decided to get a box of the small glass ball ornaments ($1.49) to decorate the silver tinsel tree.

While I was on a roll I looked at the Hallmark things again. I'm not sure what they're called, but they join together, light up, play music, and the characters dance. They were originally $16.95, and I thought they were marked down to $4.99, but turned out I was looking at the wrong price tag.
These were actually $4.23,so I said, to heck with it, I'm getting them.

All together these things cost me $21.64, down from their original price of $86.80, so I'm calling that a darn good deal.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


I spent all day out yesterday running the roads, doing last minute shopping deals. I was so tired when I got home I didn't post about my deals, and those sales are over anyway, so moving along...

 Today I spent running the roads and doing Publix shops.
 On weeks when I have a large shopping list, I make a circuitous route and hit 4 to 5 stores. Doing so, I don't clear the shelves at any one store (and I can use more Target coupons).

$1.99 Lady Mitchum deodorant
- 2.00 SS 1/12
= Free +1¢ each

$1.69 Glad Wrap
- 1.00 IP (Make a pledge)
- .75 PQ Health & Beauty flyer
= Free + 6¢ each

$1.57 BOGO Mueller's pot Sized Pasta (.78/.79 each)
- .75 from Blinkie machine hanging right there
= 3.5¢ each

$2.19 BOGO Ragu (1.09/1.10 each)
- .75/2 RP 1/05
= $1.44, or 72¢ each

$2.15 BOGO Chunky Soup
- 1.00/4 SS 1/05
= 83¢ each

$3.25 BOGO Valley Fresh Chicken (Bigger cans, 10oz)
- 1.00/2 SS 1/05
= $1.12 each (I usually pay $1.00 for the 5oz cans)

$1.25 Knorr Bullion Cubes
- .50 (Doubled) RP 1/05
= 25¢ each

50% off NY Brand Breadstick Products
$1.39 Garlic Knots
$1.39 Breadsticks
$1.82 Dip'n'Sticks
- .50/1 (Doubled) SS 1/12 or IP
- .40/1 (Doubled) SS 1/12
 = 39¢, 59¢ or 82¢

$3.99 Kraft Singles 24ct 16oz
- 2.00 Publix Digital mq
- 2.00 PQ Game Day Savings booklet
= $1.99 each

$3.49 BOGO State Fair Corndogs
No Coupon, but we buy these pretty often and the price is cheaper than Walmarts.

$3.49 BOGO Mrs. Butterworth's Syrup
- 1.00/1 IP, no longer available
= 75¢ each

2/$5.00 Coffee Mate Flavored (excluding Original)
- BOGO Facebook IP
- 1.00/2 PQ Delicious Inspirations booklet
= 75¢ each

$1.25 Powerade (4/$5 sale)
- .50 (Doubled) IP (no longer available)
= 25¢ each

$3.99 BOGO Kellogg's Krave (and a couple of others)
- .50 (Doubled) IP (zip 03103)
= 99¢ each

$1.50 Mariani Premium Dried Fruit Pineapple
- .50 (Doubled) SS 11/24
= 50¢

99¢ McCormick Chili Spice
- 1.00 (Unknown insert mq, expired today)
= Free + 1¢

$1.79 or $1.99 Red Cross products
- $2/2 IP
- .75/1 PQ Health & Beauty flyer
= 4¢ or 24¢
(There is a $3/3 mq in the SS 1/05 but says you have to buy 2 different brands)

$3.99 Emergen-C
- $5/2 PQ Pharmacy pamphlet
- 1.50 RP 12/08 or 1/12

$5.35 Nature Made Vitamelts
- 2.00 SS 1/05
- 3.00 Target IP
= 35¢ each

$2.67 Nature Made D..something or other
- 2.00 Nature Made Vitamins Target IP (no longer available)
- 1.00 SS 1/05
= Free + 33¢

$3.59 Sundown B6
- $5/2 PQ Health & Beauty flyer
- $1.00 RP 1/05
= 9¢ each

Final Total 
Spent $60.29 + 7.47 tax = $67.74
Saved $304.78

I wish I could be impressed by the numbers, but it seems to me like this stuff shouldn't cost more than $70 even without sale prices or coupons. Nearly $400.00?? That's crazy!

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Kroger is another store I really don't care too much for. They were always difficult to shop at, stupid coupon rules, always acted like you were trying to take something from them.
Then they stopped doubling coupons here in the Southeast region and that was pretty much all they wrote for me.

They had some fantastic Mega deal sales I couldn't pass up no matter how I was treated, but now that they don't double anymore, the great deals are too few for me to bother most of the time.

This week, however, the Stars aligned in some strange way that allowed to me get all this for $1.99 including tax.

The Jeno's Pizza was last Friday's "Free Friday Download", and the Greek Yogurt was this week's.
Every Friday Kroger offers a free item coupon to add to your Kroger card.

There was a $4.50/2 Scope mouthwash digital coupon, which made these Free at the Mega Sale price of $1.99 each.

The Gillette twin pack shave gel was Mega Sale price $1.99 and there was a $2.00 off Kroger digital coupon, making it free also.

The Pepsi products were Mega sale priced at $1.99. There is a $2/2 Pepsi Multi-pack Plastic bottles in the 1/05 SS, making these 99¢ each.

The total would have been $1.98 + Tax, but the digital coupon actually gave overage on the mouthwash and shave gel!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Sears/Kmart & Walmart

I had some Shop Your Way Rewards points expiring this week, $5.00 worth, and then Kmart emailed me that I had another 3,000 Surprise Points, which gave me a total of $8.00 to spend this week.
I remembered I needed new drip pans for the stove. I bought this set for $19.96 and only paid $11.xx after rewards.
Saved almost 50%.

I ran of printer ink so had to run to Walmart for some. While I was there I used some coupons I had.

I had an extra Tena $5.00 coupon from the 1/05 SS, which made this $4.97 bag free.

There is or was a printable coupon for $3.00 off Kaytee brand bird or small animal food. The bird seed treats were $2.46, giving me 54¢ overage on each coupon.

The 1/05 SS has a $1.00 off Bic Stationery items, making 97¢ Wite-out free.

I don't too much like shopping at Walmart, unless it's a really, really, really attractive deal, but if I'm going anyway I figure I might as well get free stuff.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

DIY Closet, When You Don't Have A Closet

My husband is a Firefighter, and also works for a local ambulance service, and as a result, has a lot of uniform clothing and accessories. T-shirts, short-and-long-sleeve collared shirts, pants, job shirts, jackets, coats, belts, boots, caps, gloves, toboggans...and whatever else I'm forgetting at the moment.

There's no room for his uniform things in our small bedroom closet, so this stuff ends up all over the house - hanging in the laundryroom, on the back of the bathroom door, in our bedroom doorway, on our bedroom closet door.

About a week or so ago, I had washed some of his uniforms and hung them from our bedroom door trim and, I don't have any idea what made me think of it at that moment, but I thought, I need one of those TV armoire cabinets, with the doors at the top, and a couple of drawers below. Instead of a tv, I could put a closet rod in it and be hang all his stuff together and close it off. In the drawer I could put his t-shirts, belts, socks, boggans, etc.

That very same night, someone posted on Freecycle they were giving away a tv cabinet, with doors up top and drawers underneath. I emailed them quickly, but I never heard back so I guess someone else was quicker than me. :(

I checked Craigslist for any freebies, and there were a couple, although not exactly what I was looking for - they had cabinet/shelf space at the bottom instead of drawers - and were a pretty good drive away from here. I wouldn't've minded the extra drive for a free cabinet if it had been what I'd wanted, but I just wasn't sure I wanted to spend all that gas on something I didn't really want.

There were some for sale, of course, and I almost decided to just buy one, but talked myself out of it.
Wanting something NOW, I think, has been a lot of my problem.
I decided to wait, post a request to Freecycle in hopes someone else thinking about getting rid of their tv cabinet would give it to me.

I gave it a few days, but no one responded to my request, and at some point it occurred to me that we had this large cabinet out on our carport that J's cousin had given him a few months ago.

It doesn't have doors, but I figured I could hang a curtain across the front. Even if not, despite how it looks, it's just so nice to be able to have a place to be able to put all his things so they aren't hanging all over the house.

That top shelf looks very tilted, but it's flat.
It came with three shelves, but no bracket clips, so we had to buy a pack of those, they were $2.98 + tax for a pack of 12.

I had planned to get J to make a closet rod hanging bracket thing out of scrap wood, with a "U" shape on one side and a "O" shape on the other. He happened to have a set of closet rod brackets in his shop that he'd gotten from doing a basement clean-out job a couple years ago.

I thought I had a closet rod or dowel around here, but couldn't find it, but I found a homemade hiking stick upstairs that worked.

So altogether, the closet cost a little over $3.00.

It's ginormous in my livingroom and not the best looking, but it's cheap and serves my purpose, so I'm not complaining. Eventually we'll get our upstairs room(s) done with added closet space and can get rid of or do something else with this cabinet.

If you need (or even want) something, try to find it for free first. Ask friends and family, join Freecycle and any local Freebies Facebook groups, check Craigslist. Have patience. Think outside the box. Maybe you already have, or can obtain something that you can use the way you need/want.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Food Lion

Well, I thought I'd be snow or iced in today, or at least frozen to the point of not being able to move. Nah. It was a balmy 25* when I got up this morning, and no ice or snow.

It was snow flurrying pretty good when we left, but there was nothing on the radar as far as moisture so I figured it wouldn't amount to anything.

I'm glad it was a much nicer day than expected, because I had pretty much forgotten all about the Food Lion Brand Sale I'd wanted to hit up.
The Brand Sale deal goes on for another week, through the 14th, but I don't know if the sale prices will continue into next week, and I really wanted to stock up on Canned Beans and Veggies for 25¢ a can.

I forget what reminded me about the sale, but once I was reminded I went and checked the message boards to see what kind of deals others were getting, to get some ideas.
I learned there was a $2 off a $5 Frozen Food purchase Food Lion coupon this week, which made the frozen burritos 5¢ each.

If I go back tomorrow (it's supposed to be a lot colder tomorrow so I'll decide if I make it tomorrow, tomorrow, when I feel the reality of 5*) they have their small frozen pizzas for 88¢, so the coupon makes them 30¢ after the deal.

Today I purchased:
44 Mixed Vegetables
34 Pinto Beans
22 Creamed Corn
10 Chili Beans
10 French Style Green Beans
40 Frozen Burritos

Total cost: $32.00 (net cost of 20¢ per item) + tax $1.00

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Walgreens 1/05

Wags has eggs on sale for 99¢ this week. That's about the cheapest I even find them so I buy up a few.
Not as many as I would like to, because I understand they go bad after so long.
          I read where you can break eggs open into an ice tray and freeze them individually for longer term storage, which might be an idea I'll try in the future, since we go through a lot of scrambled and beaten eggs around here.

Otherwise, I was looking for deals on freezer bags.

I can't totally remember if Dollar Tree has Hefty bags or not.
Otherwise, I saw (on a shopper site) that Walmart has 15 ct. boxes for $1.96.
Which breaks down to just over 13¢ a bag.

Walgreens has Hefty bags on sale B1G1 Free this week, but no price was listed.
At the Wags I went in to, they were $3.29, for 13 ct. boxes.
Which breaks down to just over 12¢ a bag.

Used $1/2 from 11/10 RP, but there are new ones in the 1/05 RP, or printable at

Total $5.26 + .32 tax = $5.58 oop

CVS 1/05

 CVS has some nice deals going on this week, some really nice money makers with the Tena and Bayer Meter.

Pedia Care $5.99, limit 1
- 2.00 IP  (May not still be available?)
Pay $3.99, get $5.00 ECB
= +1.01 profit

$10.00 Bayer Contour Meter, limit 1
- 10.00 IP (or here, page 4)
Pay $0.00, get $10.00 ECB
= $10.00 profit

$6.99 Tena Pads x 5
$3.49 Tena Pads B1G150% sale price x 5
- 5.00 MQ 1/05 SS x 10
Pay $2.40, get $20 ECB*, limit 1
= $17.60 profit

(*I did 6 in one transaction and 4 in another to get (2) $10 ECBs, rather than a $20 ECB.)

I found some more of the Allegra on clearance, these were down to 75% off, so $2.87 a box for 12 tabs.

I needed to spend a little more to get my total up to my ECB amount so as not to waste it. I still had my $1.00 off the Xtra deterg from last week so I grabbed it, totally not paying attention that the price had gone back up to $2.99, from $2.49 last week. So I paid 50¢ more than planned. Oh well. That happens.

$7.00 Sundown Gummies, limit 1
- 2.00 MQ 1/05 RP
Pay $5.00, get $4.00 ECB
= $1.00

(Not sure why I bought these, I don't usually eat Vitamins. It was that "great deal" thing suckered me in again. If everyone says it's a "great deal", then But things you don't need or use aren't great deals unless they are money makers, or free (even free costs me tax).)

$6.99 Bic razor, limit 1
- 2.00 Bic Soleil Shave & Trim IP
( or 2.00 Bic Flex 4 or Soleil Bella IP)
 (Pay $4.99, get $2.00 ECB = $2.99)

Edge, Schick, or Skintimate Shave Gel, limit 1
Regular prices start at $2.99
(No coupons. There is a $1/2 in an insert but I didn't want to buy 2)
(Pay $2.99, get $2.00 ECB = .99)

Not a bad deal for $3.98 for razors and shave gel, but I also had a CVS coupon from the Red price check machine for $4.00 off $10.00 Razors, Blades, Shave Cream/Gels (Yes, it worked fine with no beeps at $9.98), so these were Free +2¢ for me today.

Not pictured:
Single size pack of Peanut Butter M&M's and a can of Grapeade Arizona Tea.

The Red coupon machine is printing 75¢ off a Single size Mars candy this week, which happen to be on sale for 75¢ this week, so you can get a free candy.

The tall cans of Arizona Tea are on sale for 66¢ - not as good as when Walgreens has it 2/$1 but I needed to spend 56¢ and that was close enough.

Final Total $26.02 profit
(or, since I used one of my $5.00 e-gift cards that I got from Swagbucks for free, my profit might be $31.00, if I don't count that as an expense.)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

End of Week Summary 1/04

J earned a $50.00 Christmas bonus at work...which they taxed, so it ended up being $46.17. Oh well, it's like a free tank of gas!
Or, almost. He filled up for $46.84 on Thursday.

He also spent $5.34 eating out once while at work,
and $17.16 at the grocery store this morning.

All those are household expenses, and I probably won't be keeping up with the details of that here in the future.

Dave Ramsey's Baby Step #1, having $1,000 in Emergency Fund, complete.
Hope to be able to work on #2 next week when J gets paid.

As far as my own expense report, as posted earlier in the week, I earned $25.00 cash/Paypal, (2) $5 CVS e-gift cards, and $5 Amazon e-gift card from cashing in my Swagbucks.

If I remember rightly, I was left with 31 or 39 Swagbucks left in my account on Wednesday.
Since I figured out about loading the Swagbucks TV app on my phone and my Kindle and running it during the day or while I'm sleeping, I've been able to meet my Daily Goals everyday by answering a couple surveys, playing some games, watching some more videos, signing up for free somethings, and searching.
Not all of that all the time, I usually only have to do a couple or a few of the things to reach my goal.
It's a lot easier than I thought it was going to be.

Today I am already at 453 bucks and could get another $5 Amazon e-gift card.

I was at $17.74 at Inbox Dollars on Wednesday, now at $19.75.
However, that was going back and clicking a lot of emails at about 2¢ each that I had ignored previously. I didn't do any surveys, play games, or other offers. Had other stuff to do.

$1.00 in my 2014 Money Challenge.

Spent $15.00 buying (10) newspapers for the coupon inserts this week.
It's a good coupon week, with (5) inserts. I plan to get my money's worth back out of them.

Spent...well, $5.00 on a DIY project. It was actually $2.98 + tax, but I gave J $5.00 and the remainder went into our change jar.

I also earned 28¢ eBay bucks, but I don't think I'd find anything for 28¢, and I'm not looking for anything at the moment that I'd be buying anyway, so I'll probably let them keep it, as opposed to spending on something just for the sake of being able to use it.

Other than that, I had set myself several goals around the house this week. I didn't get them all done, but I did some things that weren't on my (mental) to-do list, so I'm calling it a success.
Especially considering how cold it is/has been lately. Usually if I'm cold I wrap up in my heated throw and read books all day and worry about house work come Spring.
After these next couple of days, it may come to that anyway.
Coldest temps since 1986, they're saying. Single digit temps, negative Wind Chill, possible snow.
Being a deep Southerner, I get cold at 50*, and 40* is like Ice Age to me.

Friday, January 3, 2014


"Freezing" about sums up the day. It is, literally, freezing outside, and I'm working on freezing potatoes today.

A couple weeks ago, back during the "Baking Season" Aldi's had 10-pound bags of white potatoes on sale for $1.79. Not $1.79 a pound, but $1.79 total. No way I could pass that kind of price up and not stock upon some taters. I bought 5 bags, or 50lbs.

Since I don't have a root cellar and I haven't really gotten into trying burying potatoes in a dirt pile or any other way to keep them fresh for months and months, I have to be able to preserve them.

My Mom has a friend that cans them, and I plan to try that sometime - because canned jars of food can be stored on shelves so I don't have to worry about it if the electric goes out or my freezer breaks down - but for now I'm just sticking with my tried and true method of flash freezing.

Also, with freezing I can just take out as much as I want and leave the rest for later. With canned stuff, once you open the can you have to use the contents.

The majority of things I cook use cubed potatoes - tater salad, mashed potatoes, vegetable soup and J makes home fries, so cubed potatoes it is.
Sometimes I also make french fries, and you can also bake/grate potatoes for hashbrowns, but I haven't tried those yet.

So I peel, cube, and partially boil the potatoes. Then I drain them, spread them on a pan, and put them in the freezer uncovered for a couple of hours.

After flash freezing, put the potatoes in a freezer baggie and into the freezer.

I usually bang the pan on the counter to loosen the potatoes from the pan, and use a spatula to pry the rest off.

Last year I had gotten a great price on some potatoes that turned out to be ginormous sized potatoes. Like, as long as my size 6.5 (US) foot and some even longer than that.
We liked baked potatoes sometimes, too, and I was lamenting having to cut all the perfect baked-potato sized potatoes into fries and cubes. So I went online to see if I could freeze baked potatoes.

I found recipes for Twice Baked or Loaded potatoes that you can freeze.

I made them, flash froze them, and tossed them into a freezer bag. Because they are frozen solid, the mushy stuff isn't messed up by them all being tossed in together.

I can cook one or two for lunch, or four or five for all us for supper.

Cupcakes are another thing you can flash freeze and toss into a freezer bag for later.

Sadly, I don't have a lot of knowledge (or common sense) when it comes to kitchen stuff/cooking. Unless I'm told certain things, I don't have a clue. Freezing is one of those things.

I used to want a bite of cake every so often, but I'd hate making cakes or cupcakes because we never would eat it all before they went bad and I'd end up having to throw a good bit of it out.

I eventually learned you could freeze cake layers (and other breads), so I'd make a one-layer cake and freeze the other.
It was later on, when I first learned about flash freezing that I learned you could actually frost your cupcake, flash freeze them, and toss them into a freezer baggie all willy-nilly and keep them frozen.
When you want one, or four, for a snack or after-dinner dessert, just sit it out to thaw to room temperature for awhile.

I put a couple of cupcakes into a rubbermaid container and send to work with J or Ryan, and they are thawed and just like fresh by the time they're ready to eat them.

One time instead of making the usual one-layer cake, to be funny I decided to make a half of a cake. And it was funny. Hilarious that I was actually asked, "How did you do that?"

Another thing I learned you could flash freeze is biscuits (sorry, no photos).
J had come home from work, and someone had brought a bag of the frozen biscuits you can buy at the grocery store, and he wanted to get some because making them was too much trouble. The bag of frozen biscuits were awfully expensive, and I thought, "I think I can make those myself".  So I mixed up a batch of Grannie's biscuits and instead of baking them, put the pan in the freezer. Couple hours later, frozen biscuits, ready to pop into the oven.

The moral of this post is, you can use your freezer to save you money by stocking up on items when you find them cheap, or DIY'ing your own convenience foods.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New or Busy CVS and Walgreens Shoppers

Check out these awesome sites I came across:  CVS Scenarios and Walgreens Scenarios.

The sites like Southern Savers, Hip2Save, I heart CVS, Wild For Wags and so on are great for listing out all the deals with coupon matchups, and even including some scenarios for the week, but a lot of people - at least everyone I know - is too busy to try to figure out deals from week to week, being able to use last week's ECBs or RRs.

The CVS Scenarios and Walgreens Scenarios just tell you exactly what to buy.
Perfect for new shoppers to the "Drug Store Game" or those too busy to figure it out on their own.

The main site, Thrifty Texas Penny, also has the coupon matchup lists and lots of other money saving and frugal ideas and info.

Thrifty Texas Penny

(This isn't an advertising post, I'm not earning anything from any of the listed sites. I just thought the weekly Scenarios were great and would be really helpful to a lot of people.)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy 2014

It's another New Year, and another chance for new beginnings.

Although, every day is another chance for new beginnings. You don't have to wait until a New Year, or a new Season, or even a Monday. If you have something you need to do or a change you need to make, start today. Every little bit helps.

For instance, I start a financial plan at the New Year and stick to it, oh, maybe two months before I lose interest. I could consider that a failure for the rest of the year, or I could see it as two months I watched the money and spending as opposed to no months.

Even if I don't stick with it, it's good practice for the rest of the year as I'm always looking for ways to save, cut spending, re-use, make-do, and so on.

I am happy to report that we're starting this year off with Dave Ramsey's Baby Step #1 - Having a $1000 Emergency Fund banked. (Although I'm afraid we're going to need it as soon as tax time. Ugh.)

Also, I'm challenging myself to doing a 52 Week Money Challenge to save more this year:

I have $1.00 saved! Yay!

I like to start out a New Year challenging myself to my version of "zero spending", where I earn what I spend on my deal or thrift shopping, or crafty or organization type projects. (Gas and regular groceries remain a household expense.)

So far I've earned $40.00 from cashing in Swagbucks I'd been accumulating over the past several months.
I got a $25.00 cash deposit in my Paypal account,
(2) $5.00 CVS e-gift cards, and
(1) $5.00 Amazon e-gift card.

That was me hardly even trying to get points. I had tried earlier in the year and got tired of trying to do surveys and watching videos.
At that time I didn't know all about turning SBTV on my phone and letting it go all day earning bucks. I actually did that last night while I slept, and woke up to about 40 more SBs than I'd gone to sleep with.
I think I could have gotten up to 50 bucks, but I didn't plug my phone in and it died.

Anyway, I watched some other videos on the Swagbucks page and did some searching, and reached my daily goal of 80 bucks in about 2 hours. I got bonus bucks for that, and will get more bonus bucks if I meet the daily goal every day.

I also have $17.74 earnings at Inbox Dollars...again, without hardly even trying. I click on emails and do a survey every so often.
I plan to devote a little more time to it and see if I can do better. If I spent half the time working on this as I do on Facebook, I could probably earn a good bit.

Need to check my affiliate accounts and update links I've let expire and so on.

There's a million ways to earn money on the internet. Some people can even make a living at it. I'm more small taters. If I could just cover my little expenditures and adventures I'd be happy. (For now.)