Monday, January 21, 2013

Whatcha Eatin'? Monday, January 21st

The weekend has come and gone...always seems like time just keeps slipping away.  We did get a chance to get outside on Saturday and enjoy the spring-like weather, and now today it's a high of 13? Gotta love living in Illinois.  Look forward though to a day inside organizing and cleaning the basement toy room while my kiddos play with their cousins who are coming over for a play date while their mommy enjoys some fun time for her birthday.  Hopefully, I'll be able to convince the boys that they can get rid of a few toys.

Well, I have dinner figured out this week!  I've been struggling with meal planning the last couple of weeks because I feel like I make the same thing over and over. So, I posted my frustration on Facebook and got lots of great suggestions. I am excited to try out the Chow Mein Casserole and Taco Soup this week.   

Here is this week's menu:

Sunday:  Broccoli Cheese Soup, BLT's
Monday:  Salisbury Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Corn, Dinner Rolls
Tuesday:  Taco Soup
Wednesday: Chicken Tortellini Alfredo, Garlic Bread
Thursday:  Chow Mein Casserole, Dinner Salad
Friday:  Fast Food or Frozen Pizza!
Saturday:  Cheeseburgers, French Fries, Baked Beans, Cottage Cheese

Join me and link up at Organizing Junkie's Blog...

Saturday, January 19, 2013

My Weekly CVS Shopping Trip

I am sure that saving more money is a big priority for many of you in 2013.  It is absolutely crazy how much our grocery budget has increased over the past couple of years due to my family expanding and the cost of food going up.  I know that many of you are like me and are exploring in the couponing world.  Truthfully, I wish that someone would have taught me about coupons YEARS ago.  It would have saved me from a lot of stress!

As a busy mother of three, I simply don't have the time, nor the energy to be a crazy coupon lady.  However, I have found that I can get the best bang for my buck at Kroger where they DOUBLE coupons up to a $1.00 versus Walmart.  Also, CVS pharmacy is an incredible place to find great deals on diapers, toiletries, and sometimes even groceries!  I am going to try and share with you my weekly shopping trips to CVS, so you can see how their system works and see if it would be a good fit for you.  My goal next week will be to do this earlier in the week, so have a little more time to take advantage of their sales.  CVS sales run from Sunday to Saturday.

This week they had a great promotion on a HUGE number of items...For every $30 you spent on those particular items, you would receive a $10 CVS cash card, which is basically a gift card.  This was such a good deal because there was a limit of 5, instead of the usual 1 per household.  Let me tell you...I got some great deals!

First of all, let me share with you the deal that I got LAST WEEK that gave me a $10 gift card to spend this week.  THIS IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE!

Last week, they also had the spend $30 and get a $10 cash card, and this is what I bought:
  • 7 All Detergents @ $4.00 each, $28 total used 3 - $2 off of 2 All detergent coupons and 1 -$1 off of 1 All detergent (all these coupons came from the PJ Star in the last couple of weeks)
  • 1 Pack of Finish Tabs @ $4.00
My total was $27 and I got a $10 cash card to use on this weeks deals. 

So this week I started with the $10 cash card.  I went to CVS late around 9:00 at night, WITHOUT children, so I could concentrate and get what I needed. I did end up doing three different transactions, but I wouldn't recommend doing that unless you are the only one in the store like I was.  Plus, since I am a regular, the CVS ladies are pretty nice to me.  :-)  Here are my deals:

  • 1 Tide @ $5.94, used $1.50 off coupon from the P&G January Insert (found in newspaper)
  • 2 Scott Bath Tissue @ $7.49 each, $14.98 total, used $1 off of 2 from this week's newspaper insert
  • 1 Scott Mega Paper Towels  @ $9.99, used $1 off coupon from this week's newspaper insert
  • 1 Venus & Olay Razor (LOVE this Razor, but forgot to include in picture)  @ 10.99, used $3 off coupon from the Parade insert in the newspaper from several weeks ago
My total with tax was $38.75, but I used the $10 card from last week which brought it down to $28.75.  BUT, I got back another $10 cash card and $5 in Extra Care Bucks for the razor. Now, if you know the prices of these items at Walmart, then you know that I got a heck of a deal!  Its incredible how much paper towels and toilet paper cost these days! 

So with my $10 cash card and $5 ECB, I bought these:

  • 1 pack of Huggies Little Movers Diapers @ $9.49, used $2 off coupon from this week's newspaper insert
  • 2 packs of Pull-ups @ $9.49 each, $18.98 total, used 1 $2 off coupon from this week's newspaper insert and 1 $2 off coupon from (still available)
  • 2 Dawn Dish Soap @ $0.99 each, $1.98 total, used 1 $0.25 off coupon and 1 $0.50 off coupon both from the P&G insert found in the newspaper at the beginning of January 
  • I also used the $5 ECB. 
My total was $21.14, but I had the $10 cash card from the last transaction, so it ended up $11.14 out of pocket AND I earned another $10 cash card!  

So I turned around and bought this...

  • 3 Pantene Mousse and 1 Conditioner  @ $3.50 each, Total $14.00, used a $1 off 1 coupon from a P&G coupon booklet that I received in the mail,  a $3 off 2 coupon from the P&G insert in the newspaper at the beginning of January, and a $2.50 off of $12 of hair products from the big red coupon machine at CVS.
  • 1 Huggies Wipes @$5.99, used $0.50 off 1 coupon from this week's newspaper insert.
  • 2 Kit Kat Bags @ $2.50 each, $5.00 total
  • 1 8 Pack of Powerade @ $3.99
Now, some of you may not think these items are not necessary, but the Powerade fits perfectly in my hubby's lunchbox, Kit Kats are his favorite candy bars, Huggies wipes are by far the best and Pantene is my favorite kind of mousse. If you know me at all, then you know how much mousse I must go through to keep my natural curly hair under control. I was thrilled to find all of these on sale and included in the Spend $30, get $10 promotion.  My total after coupons plus tax was $23.95, but I had the $10 cash card to use which took it down to $13.95, plus I earned another $10 cash card!

These items are still on sale today! They base the $30 on the item's price before you use any coupons, but it must reach $30, can't be $29.99 to get the $10 card.  GOOD LUCK!  Feel free to ask ANY questions!  

Thursday, January 17, 2013

My Blogging Silence

I've been a bit quiet over here.  I believe it's called motherhood, and for some reason it's overwhelming me.  I had a little rough end of the year and start of 2013, but now ready to start focusing and making some things happen this year.  Instead of making resolutions that don't last, I am planning on doing more short-term weekly goals.  Overall, though, I plan to get healthy, happier, and live life more simply.  Here's to a new year and a new start!  Please stick around...I plan to blog a bit more regularly.  Until then, I will leave you with a little humor...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Get Fit in 2013 and Look Good Doing it!

There's not doubt about it...I am OUT OF SHAPE!  One of my main goals this year is to lose some weight.  I am a bridesmaid in one of my best friend's wedding in May and I will be wearing a short strapless dress.  Yes...that's right.  I am thinking that I will look awesome in it...when I lose about 50 lbs!  I have made the commitment to start working out and my hubby is even going to purchase either a gym membership or an Elliptical machine for my birthday coming up in a few weeks.  So since, I will be sweating it out...I will be needing some workout clothes.

OLD NAVY to the rescue!  As a member of the CrowdTap community, I was one of the lucky participants to sample the new ActiveWear from Old Navy.  Not only was I able to try on and KEEP an outfit from Old Navy, but I was able to bring a friend along!

When my friend Kim and I arrived at the store, we were a little overwhelmed with the amount of customers in the store.  It was a couple days after Christmas, so we thought that the crowds would have been gone by then, but we were wrong.  Surprisingly, the store was not a complete disaster. In fact it was rather easy to find what we were looking for.  We browsed the ActiveWear section for a while and grabbed several tops and bottoms to try on.  This particular top really caught my eye...

I love the color, but just my luck, they did not have my size.  However, I found several other fun, springy colors to try on. 

In addition to the great colors, Old Navy had several different styles to choose from.  There were pull-overs, full zips, half zips, camis, sports bars, and hoodies.  We tried on the following tops in several colors: 

In addition to the great variety of tops, were were also able to try on several different styles of pants.  I was drawn immediately to the black pants.  Slimming, right?  However, I don't think the tight fitting leggings are my style...maybe if I was a runner?

Ultimately, I ended up choosing the Women's Active Compression Jacket in Carbon and the Bootcut Yoga Pants.  Kim picked the same pants and top, but in the Retro Violet.  We both love the slim fit of the top.  In fact, Kim convinced me to go a size down so when I lose a little weight it will still be fitting and slimming.  The larger top was a bit baggy.  The top also has thumb holes, which I thought gave it a little unique flair.  The yoga pants are SOOO comfy.  I would wear them every day if I could!!!  What do you think? 

Right now Old Navy is having a sale check it out and see if you can score some deals!  Thank you so much to Crowdtap and Old Navy for this awesome opportunity!  Love my ActiveWear!

Note:  Although, I was given these items for free, I was not paid to write this blog post.  All opinions are truly my own.   

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Gear up for the Super Bowl with Private Selection

The holidays are over, but the entertaining doesn't have to stop because the Super Bowl is just around the corner!  This holiday season I had the opportunity to try out some great artisan-inspired snacks from Private Selection.  As a Bzz Agent, I received an awesome bzz kit filled with great items and coupons from Private Selection.  This included a box of Water Crackers, and a bag of Costa Rican Tarrazu Coffee and three coupons for the following items:  Private Selection Gourmet Cheese, Private Selection Pasta Sauce, and Private Selection Olives. In addition, there were several coupons to share with others for 20% off.    We were pretty excited to try out the Private Selection snacks.  We immediately used our free coupons to purchase the Garlic & Herb Gourmet Cheese and the Marinara Pasta Sauce.    

We had two opportunities to try out the Marinara sauce.  One night we enjoyed it as a dipping sauce crescent pizza roll ups.  

It was delicious.  We enjoyed the thickness of this sauce rather than a thin, runny sauce.  It seemed to have the perfect blend of herbs and spices. 

 A couple nights later we mixed it with a pound of ground beef to make a yummy sauce for tortellini.  My children loved it!  We did not have any leftovers.  I only wish they had a couple other options for Private Selection pasta sauce at my Kroger. There were only three flavors to choose from. 

A couple of weeks later we were able to bring the gourmet cheese and crackers to our family Christmas Eve along with the bag of coffee for our hostess.  We chose the Garlic & Herb cheese to eat with the water crackers.  First of, the water crackers were a hit.  The were light and crisp and easy to eat a lot of.  Many people started taking them to dip into other cheese spreads that were brought to the celebration.  Quite a few people tried out the cheese, and it was either they loved it or hated it.  I think it was a flavor that they had to get used to.  I personally liked the cheese.  It was definitely different than my all time favorite and traditional co-jack cheese.  It's not a cheese that I would purchase frequently, but it would be a great addition to a cheese platter for a Superbowl party! Also, it had a great resealable bag so the cheese will stay fresh longer.  

If you get a chance to check out the Private Selection line at Kroger, I highly recommend it!  

Note:  I was able to try these items for free as a Bzz Agent.  My opinion is truly my own and I was not paid to write this post.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Whatcha Eatin'? Tuesday, January 1, 2013...Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  It's hard to believe that it is already 2013.  I have a feeling this year is going to be a great one!  Thought it would be great to start of my new year with a little menu planning especially since one of my main resolutions is to get more organized.  Hoping to keep up with menu planning and to post weekly.  Here is what we are enjoying for the rest of this week...

Tuesday:  Southwest Roll-Ups, Mexican Rice (I made these a couple of weeks ago and doubled the batch and put half in the freezer. So nice to be able to pull something out of the freezer and be ready for dinner. I am going to try and do a lot more freezer cooking this year.)

Wednesday:  BBQ Chicken, Cheesy Potatoes, Peas, Rolls

Thursday: Pot Roast, Dinner Rolls

Friday: Fast Food or Frozen Pizza

Saturday: Cheeseburgers, French Fries, Baked Beans

Sunday:  Steak Stirfry, Rice, Dinner Rolls, Applesauce 

Join me and link up at Organizing Junkie's Blog and get inspired by others!