Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Whole Foods Coupon

Page 24 of the Ann Arbor Observer has a coupon for a free $10 gift card when you purchase a $50 gift card. This is almost 17% off. Combined with sales and coupons, including the $5/$25s that crop up every once in awhile, this could mean big savings for your Whole Foods trips. Coupon is valid at both Ann Arbor locations and is good until December 31.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Earth's Best Wipes

On Friday at Toys R Us from 5am-1pm get a free pack of Earth's Best chlorine-free wipes (a 3.49 value) when you buy 2 packs of Earth's Best chlorine-free diapers. Doing a quick online search it appears that a 38-count pack of size 3s runs about $11.

No animals were harmed in the making of this Thanksgiving dinner.

Did anyone miss me? Anyone? *Cricket, cricket*...

After a much-needed break from incessant deal-blogging I'm finally back. I'm trying to get things ready for Thanksgiving this week. Not only am I trying to put together my menu, I'm also trying to put together my CVS plan(s) for Black Friday... which, if I understand correctly, actually begins on Thursday.

First thing's first. Our meatless Thanksgiving dinner. Upon finding out that we don't eat meat, the third question people ask (following "How do you get your protein?" and "But.... WHY?") is always, "Don't you MISS meat?" The only time in my vegetarian life that I have missed eating meat has been during pregnancy. And I didn't even want real meat, I wanted McDonalds. So no, I don't miss meat. And even on Thanksgiving, when a turkey is usually the centerpiece of the feast, we choose to pardon ol' Tom and still have a very full and delicious spread which I would like to share with you just in case you may be inspired to try adding a new dish or two to your holiday tradition.

Cream of Pumpkin Soup

Cashew Roast

Roasted Sweet Potatoes (Peel 'em, chop 'em. Toss with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Spread in single layer on lightly oiled baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes at 450, then flip them and roast for another 5 minutes.)

Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Pear Walnut Salad

Cinnamon Apple Raisin Bread

Store-bought Pumpkin Pie. Because I don't bake desserts. They always come out questionable at best and disgusting at worst.

And this year we're also having a Quorn Roast. If you haven't tried Quorn products, they are amazing. My friend Alysa schooled me on them a few years ago and my family loves them. Usually we're not big into meat replacement products, but Quorn products don't contain soy and they all taste delicious. So last month I sent them an email, telling them how great they are and asking for coupons. Last week they sent me three 1.00/1 coupons AND a free item coupon! So I used that to get our Thanksgiving roast for free.

I may not miss meat, but old traditions die hard. Plus, you know, faux turkey is so in vogue.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Any interest in getting together?

For any of you in/around the Ann Arbor area, would you be interested in getting together for a coupon class/ CVS intro/ coupon trade? I know there are a lot of people just getting started and others who are seasoned veterans but I figured I'd throw it out there and see what the interest level is. I'm also going to email some folks who I know are wanting to get started with the couponing thing but aren't sure where to start. I thought if we had enough people we could make an evening of it.

Leave me a comment or email me if you'd be up for it!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Meijer this week

I'm completely off my game this week. I'm tired and distracted and not so into the deals. But I managed to pull off an okay trip today. No photos; just the highlights:

Free Green Giant Steamers with 1.00/1 coupon from Sunday's paper.

Select Mueller's pastas are .67.

Danactive drinkable yogurt is 2.00 for a 4-pack. Use 1.00/1 or .50/1 from recent papers to get them for 1.00.

5-lb bags of apples (Jonathan, Ida Red or Jonagold) are 2.97. Be on the lookout in the wine section for coupons for 1.00 off any produce item.

Wishbone salad dressings are 3/$4. Use 1.25/2 coupon to get them for .71 each.

Hefty trash bags are 20% off. Use 1.00/1 to get a good deal on these. (I paid 3.79 for a 37 pack.)

Pillsbury sweet rolls, crescent rolls and break-n-bake cookies are on sale. Use coupons for stock-up-worthy deals on all of these. Just make sure to buy reduced-fat varieties to eliminate trans-fat.

Kraft shredded cheese is 2.33, including their hormone-free variety. And Meijer brick cheese is 2.00

Simply Asia products are on sale; use .50/1 coupon to get most of these for under a dollar. If you don't mind a little MSG that is.

Total spent: 57.58
Total saved: 60.38

I also got a catalina for 1.00 off my next order. I have no idea what triggered it. I also got a coupon for $5 off of a $50 Meijer gift card. You'd better believe I'm going to buy one next week and use it for my groceries. That's an instant 10% off! According to the Meijer forum on Hot Coupon World these have been printing out for people based on what they are spending, so it's worth making a trip to Meijer for your groceries this week.

Monday, November 17, 2008

CVS yesterday

My day was nutso from start to finish yesterday and I somehow even forgot to buy newspapers until 6pm! Yikes! SO I don't have photos of my goodies from CVS but here's the scoop.

I woke up with a sore throat and decided to sleep a little bit instead of going straight to CVS (you know it's bad when I put off CVS). By the time my Cold MD started to kick in it was 2pm, it was crowded in there and I decided to just do the first two transactions in my plan and save the third for later in the week.

Everything went well with the first transaction. Then for the second, I had to buy an $8 Vickery and Clarke item since there were no $5 items. I went to pay with the 15 ECB from the battery deal and the 5 ECB from the Glade deal, figuring I'd make it up with more toothpaste moneymakers, but the 15 ECBs kept beeping and the system wouldn't accept it. In the mean time, the line was growing behind me and the people behind me were flirting with my baby and kept asking me questions about her, so somehow while I was distracted the manager had me pay $19.XX out of pocket, and then refunded it to me in cash afterwards. Huh?

Either way, it all worked out and I just have to make another trip later in the week to finish the Vickery and Clarke deal. Once I try the stuff I'll be sure to tell you all about it, my green goddesses.

PS: My cold never materialized and I'm operating at 98% today (it was a late night). Cold MD is the bomb.

Friday, November 14, 2008

My crazy plan. A triple-transaction at CVS.

I have never, never done a triple transaction at CVS. I did a double once and got all confused and just about left crying. But next week there are multiple deals that I want to take advantage of so I spent about a half hour this evening planning it all out. It requires 3 separate transactions but I'm feeling confident to quite confident and I really think I can pull it off. I should mention that I try to stick to a weekly $5 out-of-pocket limit at CVS. However, I'm usually well under that so I can afford to go over every once in awhile and this plan will get me in at just over 5 smackaroos. I'll get to that plan momentarily; but first, here are the freebies next week (Thanks to I Heart CVS for the preview):

Zantrex-3, 2 pack @ 4.99, earns 4.99 ECBs (I have no idea what this is, you guys.)
Loreal Age Perfect Pro Calcium @ 15.99, earns 15.99 ECBs (I don't know what this is either. I think it's a moisturizer?)

There's also an awesome deal on batteries, and if this is your first week trying your hand at CVS this would be a good, easy way to begin. Everyone needs batteries, right?
Buy $20 worth of Duracell batteries, get 15 ECBs. Prices are 5.99 or 9.99 (so get 2 @ 5.99 and 1 @ 9.99 and you should be good to go.) There are 1.00/1 coupons in circulation and this Sunday there will be .75/1 coupons in the paper to make this an even better deal.

There's a Glade deal as well. Buy $10 in Glade and get 5 ECBs. There were oodles of Glade coupons in a recent paper. That's right, I said oodles.

And the savings on healthy/green products:
Kashi GoLean bars and Clif bars are $1 each. There are coupons for these in the Whole Deal flyer.
Vickery and Clarke- Buy $15 worth, get 5 ECB. I've been itching to try this line; it's exclusive to CVS and is paraben-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free.

And finally, here is my plan. Plans. Whatever.

Transaction #1-
(2) Duracell @ 5.99 each
(1) Duracell @ 9.99
-use (2) 1.00/1, (1) .75/1
(4) Glade candles @ 2.50 each
-use (2) 1.50/2
Total: 31.97 + tax
Use $5/$30 (emailed to me this week)
20 ECBs
Pay 1.22 oop, earn 20 ECBs

Transaction #2-
That unknown Loreal thing @ 15.99
-use 1.00/1 Loreal Moisturizer from a few weeks ago
$5 in Vickery & Clarke
Total: 20.99 + tax
Use $3/$15
16 ECBs
Pay .99, earn 15.99 ECBs

Transaction #3-
$10 in Vickery & Clarke
Total- 10.00 + tax
Use $2/$10 CVS brand product (CVS coupon)
5 ECBs
Pay 3.00, earn 5 ECBs

So I'll be paying under $6 out of pocket for a zillion batteries, 4 candles, a weird moisturizer and some long-awaited Vickery and Clarke goodies. The biggest bummer is that I'll have to pay for my papers this week but it's a small price to pay for an almost-endless supply of almost-free batteries.

My Friday pick-me-up

I had $6 in catalinas from the Jello deal that were expiring so I had to make an impromptu run to Meijer today. I also had that 2.00/3 Meijer Organics cat that I planned to use on some broth and ketchup. Well, they were out of broth (grrr) so I had to improvise. Here's what I ended up with for less than $3 out of pocket:

Enfamil formula (used 5.00 formula check)- 1.09
Canned tomatoes- clearanced to .78
Organic ketchup
Cornbread mix
2 organic yogurt
2 Green Giant frozen spinach (on sale for $1; used .50/2 to get each for .50)
Package of 2 ready-to-bake cinnamon raisin bread- clearanced to 2.15

After coupons and catalinas I spent about 2.50. Savings was about $13.

(PS: I just realized the cornbread mix is called Miracle Maize. Let's just hope our Maize and Blue can pull out a miracle tomorrow. Sheesh.)

Then I hit up CVS to make some money for the Black Friday deals.

(2) Crest ProHealth Whitening toothpaste @ 3.49 each
-used (2) 1.00/1 coupons
(1) Always Infinity @ 4.99
-used 2.00/1 mfr. coupon and 2.00/1 CVS coupon from card-scanner-machine-thing
(1) Dermarest Eczema cream, 2 oz. @ 3.75
-used 1.00/1 peelie on package
(1) Hershey bar (not pictured because I ate it.)

Here's where I got brave. The Dermarest is a monthly ECB deal. Buy one, get 2 ECBs. I noticed that the 2 oz. package wasn't pictured in the November ECB booklet but since it was on clearance for 3.75 and had a 1.00 coupon on the product I figured I'd risk it since I needed a filler to get me to $15. Used a $3/$15, all my coupons and paid with 6 ECBs and some change. I got back 9.98 in ECBs... so the 2 oz. Dermarest is in fact giving ECBs! Woo hoo! Almost a $4 profit overall.

Tonight I did a post-bedtime Target run and found the perfect deal since we were running very low on coffee. Target has a special on Dunkin' Donuts coffee. Buy 3 bags @ 5.99 each and get back a $5 Target gift card. You can also use (3) 1.00/1 coupons from the paper (was it last week?) to basically pay 3.33 a bag when you figure in the gift card. I know it's not exactly gourmet but my only requirement for coffee these days is that it has caffeine, and lots of it.

After loading up with coffee I found a soccer ball on clearance for $6, had my awesome cashier do two transactions and used my gift card to buy my little guy a super-sweet soccer ball for Christmas for a dollar out of pocket.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Philanthro-Free Wednesday

Kroger is the same as last week.

Chapstick- .80
Crest- .97 after 1.00/1 coupon from 11/2
Oral B toothbrush- .97 after 1.00/1 coupon from 11/2
Softsoap hand soap- .99
Meijer Jello/Pudding- .50
Warm Delights- .33 (use .50/1 from 10/5)
Freshlike canned veggies- .60
Meijer canned beans- .50


The awesome Bren at G-Ville Deals tagged me. I'm supposed to share 7 things about myself... here goes.

1. I could live on spaghetti and apple juice.

2. All you have to do to get me to go from zero to psycho is not use your turn signal. Seriously infuriates me.

3. About my memory... I can remember songs after hearing them two or three times. I can recall every line from the entire Friends series, any Mitch Hedberg stand-up act and the Sarah Palin Rap. I know exactly where every coupon is located in my binder. But I can never remember where the crap I put my keys.

4. I'm the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great granddaughter of Thomas Jefferson.

5. I'm a sucker for a good documentary.

6. People used to say I looked like Britney Spears. Before the breast implants and all the crazy.

7. I used to want a dozen kids. Then I had one and I thought maybe I only want half a dozen. Then I had two. Now all I want is 8 hours of sleep and a flat stomach.

I'm supposed to tag some more peeps. Here's the list of regulars who I know will do it:




I would have tagged Becky also but Bren got to her first.

You gals get busy making your lists. =)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I've been holding out.

My hype-man is here to get you amped for what I'm about to tell you. On my super-successful CVS run this week I stumbled across pure gold, my friends. A tearpad with the coveted $3/$15 coupons. I was not greedy so as not to upset the deal gods, but I did grab enough to get me through the month, and also enough to give away a couple of them to my reader-friends.

Leave me a comment and tell me one change you've made in your daily life or routine to be more green. I'll choose a random number by 8pm EST on Friday and the winner will receive a $3/$15 as well as some awesome coupons for natural products.

Ready, Set.... GO.

Meijer this week

Meijer has won my heart. Here's why.

First of all, they have car shopping carts that your kids can ride in and watch cartoons. I didn't hear a peep the entire time we shopped. Best dollar I've ever spent.

Second, check the wine section for coupons on produce, cheese, meat and seafood. I've been hearing about these magical coupons for a few months but never had any luck... until this week.

Third, and most importantly, Meijer now has plastic bag recycling receptacles in the entry way. So when you forget to bring your reusable bags and have to take the plastic, you can now return them from whence they came and feel oh-so-good about doing your part to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in the landfills.

Today's trip:

(7) Meijer beans- .50 each
(2) Beech Nut toddler puffs- clearanced to 1.00
(1) organic vegetable broth
(2) Chex Mix- FREE with .50/1 coupon from 11/9
(1) ricotta cheese
(1) EB cage-free eggs
(1) Simply Orange and pineapple juice- 1.50 (used the 1.50/1 coupon I got last week)
(2) Simply Asia noodle bowls- clearanced to 1.34, used .50/1 coupons to get them for .34 each
(2) Jello chocolate pudding- used 1.50/1 Meijer Mealbox coupon before it expired.
(1) Green Giant frozen veggies for one- 1.50 after .50/1 coupon from 11/2
(2) Green Giant stir-fry meal starters- 1.50 each after .50/1 from 10/5
(3) Rice Chex (it's gluten-free!)- buy 3, get $3 off instantly at checkout. Used 1.00/2 from 11/9 to get each for 1.33
(2) Kashi cereal bars- 2.00 each after 1.00/1 coupons (on the Kashi display at Kroger last week)
(1) Jiffy corn bread mix
(2) Miracle Whip (not pictured)- donate. (Buy 2, use 2.00/2 from Meijer Mealbox, pay 3.00 total and get a free Grey Poupon mustard.)
(1) Grey Poupon- FREE with promo
(1) Vitamin Shampoo- contains no sulfates or parabens. Will be FREE after 6.99 mail-in rebate (rebate form is on the bottle)
1.5 lbs. grapes @ .88/lb- used 1.00/1 produce hang tag coupon from a bottle of Dancing Bull wine
(3) sweet potatoes
blueberries- 1.00 after 1.00/1 produce coupon from Redwood Creek wine bottle
(1) zucchini

Total spent: 41.86
Total saved: 51.41

Total to Donate: 3.00

Other deals of note in the earth-friendly sect...

EverEarth wooden toys are 30% off. You can read a little about them and see the selection here. The prices at Meijer are considerably less expensive than on this site... as an example, the sale price on the stacking train was just under $9.

My store still has some Traditional Medicinals and Numi teas on clearance. There are coupons for both of these in the Whole Deal flyer at Whole Foods. I even saw a Mother's Milk nursing tea on the shelf today for 2.00! I reluctantly passed it up... my weaning could mean a big time score in the mommy-milk department for you.

Also, Kraft is running a promo right now. If you buy 3 Kraft salad dressings you will get a coupon for $2 off your next order. Kraft dressing is currently $2 each. There are coupons on the Kraft dressing display for 1.00 off of produce when you buy 2 Kraft dressings. So basically you can get 3 dressings and a dollar's worth of produce for $4 after coupons.

And just to review the Vitamin shampoo/conditioner deal, there is a full rebate on the purchase price (up to 6.99). Buy the shampoo or conditioner, send in your receipt and the rebate form which is on the bottle and they will send you a check for 6.99. Vitamin products are sulfate-free and paraben-free and smell nice 'n fruity.

A ton of coupons printed out from the catalina machine at checkout. The most interesting was 2.00 off any 3 Meijer Organics. I'm so excited to finally get this coupon... it's only been a legend until now. I thought for sure I was going to have to do a secret handshake with a hobbit to get one of these, but my broth must have triggered it today. Victory is mine.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Whole Foods Coupon

There is a Whole Foods $5/$25 coupon on the front of the Ann Arbor News today, good for the Cranbrook location only. Expires 11/26.


I know, I know... it's Sunday morning and I should be with the fam. Or at church. But in my defense the baby is sleeping, the boys went for a walk and we're going to second service this morning. So I wanted to post this now so I'd be free to enjoy the rest of my day.

The baby and I did our Sunday morning CVS ritual and here's what we got:

1st transaction:
(1) Jumbo pack Huggies @ 9.50
(2) Newspapers (one not pictured) @ 1.75 each
(4) Palmolive dish soap @ 1.49 each
(1) Loreal Revitalift @ 11.99
(1) SmartWater @ 1.59

$4/$20 from home mailer
(1) Huggies 1.50/1 from home mailer
(2) 1.00/2 Palmolive- I ordered some of these last week; our region only got .25/1 which wouldn't have made them free after ECBs.
(1) 1.00/1 Loreal
24 ECBs

Paid .04 out of pocket, got back 17.58 ECBs.

2nd transaction (I needed the coupon from the paper I had just bought):
(1) Garnier Fructis @ 2.99
(1) 1.00/1 Garnier
1.59 ECBs
Paid .48 out of pocket, got back 2.00 in ECBs.

I burned a few ECBs on this one but it was worth it for free diapers, newspapers and donation items.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

I was just thumbing through my first free issue of Kiwi magazine from that now-expired Annie's deal and I came across some cool offers on some pretty nifty stuff that may make for some super-duper environmentally friendly gifts in your household this holiday season.

ZoLi Inc. has PBA-free/phthalate-free baby products. 10% off with coupon code KIWI08.

That Baby DVD and That Baby CD feature kid-friendly cover songs by artists such as Joni Mitchell, Fleetwood Mac, Paul Simon and Natalie Merchant. 20% off with coupon code KIWI.

Organic Kidz makes stainless steel baby bottles. I seriously don't know why I never thought of this... it's pure genius (hmmmm... that's probably why I never thought of it). They also have sippy cups. Coupon code KIWIMAG will give you 10% off.

Figtoys has some of the most darling fair trade, hand-crafted rubberwood toys I've ever seen. You can get 5% off orders under $100 or 10% off orders over $100 with coupon code KIWI.

You can find organic clothes, bedding and toys at Wild Dill. Get 15% off with code KIWI.

Natural and organic skin care products, free of synthetics, petroleum products, parabens and other nasties are available at Sweet Pea Products. Use code KIWI for 20% off.

Palumba natural toys, crafts, music and art will give you a free gift with purchase. Just enter code KIWI at checkout. (They are also offering $5 flat shipping until Thanksgiving.)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Cloth Diaper Bonanza

I learned of this deal at Baby Cheapskate. Crystal at Fancy Pantz is offering 20% off of everything on her website. Pedipeds, diapers and slings. Oh my! Flat $5 shipping.

Whole Foods this week

I bought milk today and, even though I have no more money to spend this week, decided to take one for the green team and do some homework for y'all while I was there. Here are some interesting deals:

Blue Diamond Almond Milk is on sale for 1.35. This is 50% off the regular price there.

Immaculate Baking Company break and bake cookies are 2.99 each. Use 1.00/2 coupon in Whole Deal flyer to get these for 2.50.

Muir Glen diced tomatoes are 3/$5. There are .75/1 coupons out there, or go here to sign up and print a 1.00/1. Also remember that Muir Glen tomato sauce is only .99 every day at WF, so free with a 1.00/1 coupon.

Back To Nature stuff is on all sorts of sale. Mac and cheese is still 1.25 a box, crackers are 2.00 and cookies are 2.50. Use the .70/1 in the Whole Deal flyer to get great deals on all of these.

Organic Valley brick cheese is on sale for 3.50. Go here to print a 1.00/1 to make it 2.50.

Seventh Generation laundry detergent is marked down from $14 to $9. Go here to sign up and print a 1.00/1 to get it for 8 bucks. There are also 1.00/1 hang tags on select bottles of SG laundry detergent, good for any SG product.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Coupon Preview 11/9

Taylortown has next week's coupons up.

CVS preview

I Heart CVS has the ad scan up for next week. Here's a little preview of the free deals starting Sunday, 11/9:

Glaceau Smart Water (1L)- 1.59, earns 1.59 ECB
Garnier Fructis Shampoo- 2.99, earns 2 ECB (use 1.00/1 coupon from 10/5, or in this coming week's paper to get this free)
Listerine Agent Cool Blue Mouthwash- 3.99, earns 3 ECB (use this coupon to get it free)
Colgate Total- 2.29, BOGO free (use 2- .75/1 coupons from 10/26 to get them both free. Yes, you can use 2 coupons on a BOGO deal.)
Nova max blood glucose monitor- 9.99, earns 9.99 ECB
Sunday and Monday only: L'oreal Advanced Revitalift Anti-Wrinkle Serum- 11.99, earns 11.99 ECB (use 1.00/1 coupon from 10/19 to make a buck)

And here are the eco-friendly deals:

Green and Black organic chocolate bars- 2/$5
Jergen's Naturals- 6.99 (1.00/1 coupon in recent paper)
Cold-Eez lozenges- 5.29 ( 1.00 coupon here)
Emergen-C- 7.99 (1.00/1 coupons on boxes of Barbara's Bakery cereal at Whole Foods)
CVS Earth Essentials recycled paper towel single roll - B2G1 free (scan your card at the coupon machine; I get paper towel Qs occasionally)

As always, if you happen to be one of the lucky ones with a $/$$ coupon and need help with a scenario, leave me a comment and I'll help you work the earth-friendly stuff into your transaction.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


We had our weekly organic produce delivered yesterday. This week we got:

(3) sweet potatoes
(3) avocados
(4) bananas
(1) head of red leaf lettuce
(1) onion
(1) pint of cherry tomatoes
3/4 lb. grapes

Total cost: 23.00

So this week I spent a total of 92.07. However, 11.42 of that is for my 33 donation items, so I'm at 80.65 for the week. And I still need to buy milk so I'll be at 88.63 by the time it's all said and done.

Kroger this week

Once again, I have highlighted the good deals that have not been previously mentioned.

(1) Luvs mega
(1) Horizon organic butter- 2.59 after 1.00/1 printable
(1) pear
(4) condensed milk- free after promo & coupons (donate)
(2) Cottonelle- free after coupons
(6) Quaker rice cakes- .50 each after sale
(2) Garden of Eatin tortilla chips- BOGO free, 1.90 each
(2) Stayfree pads- 1.00 each after coupon & promo (donate)
(4) Colgate toothbrushes (donate)
(4) Oral-B toothbrushes- .50 each after BOGO coupon (donate)
(3) Quaker Oatmeal- free after coupon & promo (donate one)
(3) Betty Crocker boxed potatoes- .30 each after promo and .35/1 coupon (donate)
(1) Hamburger Helper- free (there was a coupon on the BC potatoes for a free HH when you buy 3 BC potatoes)- donate
(2) Swiss Miss hot chocolate- .25 each after coupon and promo
(4) Scotch-Brite sponges- free (donate)
(2) Colgate toothpaste- .25 each after coupons and promo (donate)
(5) Celestial Seasonings Tea- free (I used my 1.00/1 coupon and rain check from when they ran out of green tea two weeks ago)

Total spent: 29.33
Total saved: 103.04

Total of donation: 7.92

Meijer this week

I'm over budget this week. I've been mulling it over and I've come up with 2 excuses, er, conclusions.

1. I've been buying a lot of stuff to donate so I think I need to reel myself in a little bit. But it is nice to bring a bag full of food and one full of toiletries to church every week to give to our Food Gatherers food drive and Single Moms ministry, especially when I'm filling an entire paper grocery bag for around ten dollars.

2. My littlest is almost completely weaned, which means I'm buying tons of gold-plated, diamond-encrusted, $4-per-half-gallon milk now. Boo. I hope I won't have to increase our budget based solely on the cost of milk, so I'm going to keep an eye on it for the next couple of weeks and see if I can pare things down in other areas in order to absorb the cost a little more. Switching milk is simply not an option for me.

So for the next two weeks, I will probably be spending closer to $100 a week, but I'll make sure to clarify how much of that is being donated, and I'll use money from our "gifts" budget to cover the cost of donated items. Fair enough?

Now onto the good stuff. Everything was on sale but the best deals are highlighted.

(1) Frozen broccoli
(1) EB cage free eggs
3/4 lb. red grapes
(4) Chi-chi's salsa
(1) Aunt Millie's whole grain bread- .99
(4) boxes of Keebler crackers- under 1.20 each after sale & 1.00/2 coupon
(4) Sargento shredded cheese- 1.67 each after .75/2 peelies
(1) Sargento deli-sliced cheese- 2.45 with .55/1 peelie
(2) Philadelphia cream cheese- .98 each with .55/2 coupon
(4) Campbell's mushroom gravy (donate)
(1) bag frozen tilapia fillets
(1) Soleil razor- 1.99 with 3.00/1 coupon
(1) Soleil refill 4-count- 1.99 with 3.00/1 coupon
(1) Silk soy milk
(1) Dole orange juice- 2.50 (And upon checking out it triggered a 1.50/1 coupon for Simply Orange which I'll save until it goes on sale.)
(2) Healthy Choice vegetable soup- .55 each with .45/2 blinkie from Kroger last month (donate)
(2) Chef Boyardee Forkable pasta (donate)
(1) Veggie Crisps- 2.00 after 1.00/1 coupon
(1) California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizza for one- 1.25 with 1.00/1 coupon
(2) Pepperidge Farms garlic toast- 1.10 each with .45/1 peelie (These boxes also had coupons on them for .50/1 Prego pasta sauce. Those will double to a dollar... I'm holding onto them and waiting until Prego goes on sale.)
(1) Dole caesar salad kit- clearanced to 1.79

Total spent: 39.74
Total Saved: 77.09

Total donated item cost: 3.50

Philanthro-Free Wednesday

Here are the under-a-dollar donate-able items this week.


Gatorade- 1.00
Pennsylvania Dutch canned mushrooms- .60
Del Monte green beans- .75
Jello Gelatin or pudding- 1.00 (use 1.50/4 MM coupon to get 4 for .75 each)
Campbell's gravy- .60 (use .50/4 to get 4 for .35 each)
Healthy Choice soup- 1.00 (use .75/3 from 10/26 to get them for .75 each)
Campbell's Reduced Fat cream soups- 1.00 (use .25/4 from 10/12 to get them for .88 each)
Betty Crocker boxed potatoes- 1.00 (use .35/1 from 10/5 to make it .30)
Chef Boyardee Forkable pasta- 1.00 (use .50/2 to get it for .50)
Hamburger Helper- 1.00 (use .75/3 to get each for .75)
Chi-Chi's salsa- .99
Gillette shaving gel- 2.00 (use 1.00/1 from this week's paper to get it for a dollar)


Kroger canned veggies- .50
Also see this list

What's For Dinner?

I have two very young, high-energy toddlers on very opposite nap schedules and I can't spend more than 15 minutes preparing dinner, but I also won't sacrifice nutrition for ease of preparation. I'm going to try and post our meal plan each week in order to pass along some good, easy recipes that I've stumbled across and also to show that it is possible to work a healthy diet full of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and good fats into your budget and lifestyle. I try to use fresh, organic fruits and veggies whenever possible, but will supplement with frozen vegetables when it's more convenient. We eat cage-free eggs only, we drink organic milk that is vat-pasteurized and non-homogenized which preserves more of the nutrition (this is my budget-buster, but it's worth it for us personally), and I try to purchase organic cheese whenever I can. I also only buy whole grain bread that's free of HFCS, and we avoid trans-fats and artificial sweeteners like the plague. So, without further ado, here is this week's tried-and-true meal plan.

Wednesday- Homemade pizza (pre-made crust from Whole Foods, organic tomato sauce and shredded cheese, topped with onions, spinach and broccoli), salad

Thursday- Mostaccioli Alfredo, steamed broccoli

Friday- Black Bean Soup, gourmet grilled cheese

Saturday- Spaghetti w/ marinara, mixed veggies, salad

Sunday- Crock pot vegetarian chili w. sour cream and cheese (dump canned tomatoes, beans, spinach, chili seasoning, onion & green pepper- both sauteed until translucent- into your crock pot. Cook for 3-4 hours on a low setting.), corn bread

Monday- Jimmy John's takeout (mommy needs a night off!)

Tuesday- Spinach burritos, roasted sweet potatoes

For breakfast we usually eat various combinations of eggs, toast, cereal, bagels, and/or fruit.

Lunch options typically consist of dinner leftovers, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, noodles, organic mac and cheese with tomatoes or mixed veggies, vegetables (raw or steamed), fruit and/or cheese.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Roll Call

I'm trying to get a sense of who follows this blog. I know for sure there are about a dozen of you but it would help me to streamline the content if I have a better sense of who the readers are.

Do me a favor... leave me a quick comment on this post to let me know you're reading, how often you come to this site and if there's any other content you'd like to see (recipes, natural living tips, green product reviews, etc).


Freebies at Kroger

I know I don't usually list the freebies until Wednesday, but this week there are several freebies at Kroger so I wanted to give you all a heads-up so you can get your coupons together and start planning. The catch is that you have to buy 10 qualifying items to get the price listed. You can mix and match items, but you'll want to get ten, twenty or thirty items included in the promo to maximize your savings. If you want to do any more than thirty you have to do a separate transaction. Here are the freebies:

3M lint rollers (use 1.00/1 coupon here or from recent paper)
Ice Mountain Water 3L bottle (use .50/1 from 8/24 paper)
Nestle Carnation Evaporated Milk (use .50/2 from this week's paper)
Quaker Oats canister (use .50/1 from 9/7)
Scotch-brite scrubber sponges (use 1.00/2 from 9/21)

Also part of the Buy 10 Items promo:

Colgate toothpaste- .25 after .75/1
Colgate toothbrushes- .63 after .75/2
Betty Crocker specialty boxed potatoes (print coupon from my link to the left)- .20 after .40/1 coupon doubles)
Coast soap- .50
Dial soap- .40 after .60/1
Quaker Rice Cakes- .50
Swiss Miss hot chocolate- .50 (or go here to load a coupon onto your Kroger card making them .25 each)

Other good deals with coupons (not part of promo):
Campbell's Soup- .73 each after .80/3
Hershey's Bliss Chocolate- .75 each after 2.50/2
Bic razors- .50 after 2.00/1

This would be a good time to order coupons from a clipping service.

A great week for donations!