Friday, June 10, 2011

CT Bloggers lose BIG.

This blog post explains it way better than I can. LOL

Any Blogger in CT right now as of this morning, has lost all thier affiliate contracts.  That means any monies they WERE making from affilates is no longer. Just like that.  Thank our Governor! I got my letter as of this morning, my Amazon Assocaites contract has been terminated thanks to this 'new' Ct state law. 

Its frustrating, infuriating, and disgusting.  Some CT bloggers used thier affilate contrats as a way to keep thier blogs self sustating and now they have nothing.  You should be outraged. I know I am.

Shoprite Deals 6/12-6/18

If you don't get the flyer in the mail, you will want to pick up the Sunday Paper this week to make sure you get the Shoprite flyer.  There are 2 Super Coupons that you will only get at home, they will not be there if you pick the flyer up instore.

The first Supercoupon is  Friendly's Ice Cream for .99.  Must spend $15  and Limit one. Since this is a store coupon, you can stack it with another coupon and possibly get your ice cream FREE. 

The other coupon is the Sweet Cantaloupe for .49! Limit one, and must spend $15 also.

There is a 3rd coupon that might work with a deal, but I think you can stack coupons with this one too.  Charmin Big Rolls 24pk OR Bounty 15pk for 8.99.  Limit one offer, and must spend $15.

With these couopns, after you spend $15, you can use all 3, you don't have to spend $15 for each one.    Still working on finding more deals, they are in there but I gotta find them. 

Bounty Paper towels: $5 Fan Fridays

Join Bounty's facebook page and every Friday  in June, they will release a $5 coupon  good on any Bounty purchase.  Hurry though, they only go to the first 5000 people and you don't know WHEN they will release the coupon.  It is not a printable, so you can't use it today, sorry.

Good Luck!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

90% savings!!! What????

Wow I have NEVER had a trip this good EVER!  I think this is my best one!!

I spent $23.91, but SAVED $98.21! Incredible!!   I'm still in shock, shaking my head. LOL!  I impressed myself!  So here is my shopping list and what I bought:

4 boxes Ronzoni Quick Cook Pasta .77 each
7 trays Wiskas cat food  .67 each OR 7/ $4
6 bottles of Ken's salad dressing .99 each
4 cans Starkist Tuna .77 each
2 pks Dole Fruit Crips (1apple, 1 peach) 1.88 each
1 Jar Vlassic Zesty Bread and butter pickles 2.00
2pks Solo Bowls 2.28 each
2pks Solo plates 2.28 each
1 bottle All Liquid Detergent (32 washes) 2.49
Boneless Chix Breast 1.99lb 5.31
Chicken Drumsticks .99lb 3.61
5lb bag potatoes 2.49
Mac Apples 2.37
Bananas.49 lb .97
12 La Yogurts .33 each
2Heleva Good Cheese Colby Jack 1.99 each
1 dozen store brand eggs .99 each
1 gallon milk 3.69
3 boxes Luigies Italian Ice .99 each
1pk Crab Classic Imitation Crab meat 1.74

I had 2 store coupons that brought the chix breast down to .99lb,  and the bag of potatoes down to .99 for the bag.

Then the rest of my coupons:
1 Free Milk (from the buy 3 cereal promo on my last order)
1 BOGO Whiska's coupons so I saved .67 there
3 $1/2 Ken's Dressing
3 .50 off 1 Luigis Italian Ice doubled (final cost was FREE)
1 $1/2 Fruit Crisp
1 .55/1 Vlassic pickles, doubled to 1.10, final cost .90
2 $1 off Heleva Good Cheese
2 $1/2 Ronzoni  Pasta
1 $1/1 All Detergent
4 .75/1 Solo cups, plates, or bowls doubled to 1.50 each
1 $1/1 Classic Crab
2 $5 off final total Catalina coupons
Bottle returns: 3.40
9 bags at .05 each .45

AND I earned another $4 off my next order from buying the solo deal, and another $1 off my next order with the whiskas.  Thats another $5 off my next trip!!

With store sales, my savings club card, and my coupons, I saved $98.21!  UNREAL.  My ytd savings as of today is $1650.39 Woohoo!!

Keep in mind this trip I bought no juice, fresh veggies, or cereal, so I probably will be going out again at some point.

But this was awesome, what a rush!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Product Review: Crayola Color Coolerz

I found these at Walmart, and decided to try them out.

They cost 1.50 for a pack of 8  at Walmart.   Of course the kids were excited to see them, something different, something fun.  I sent them in lunch boxes, and to sports with them.  They are the perfect amount, not to much, not too little. 

They are essentially flavored waters, with colors added.  They come in 4 colors, Blue, Green, Red, and Purple.  (They have corresponding flavors of course)   I liked them.  I liked that they are sweetened with sucrolose instead of sugar,  there are no calories, AND, they are vitamin enhanced.

This is a nice, fun and frugal alternative to plain water!

Thursday, May 12, 2011


I just (DUH!) caught on to this one!! LOL

In the May 1 inserts, there was a Pepsi insert, that has a Propel Coupon.   Save $1 when you buy either 1Propel, OR Propel Zero 6pk.

Propel singles are .50 at Walmart.  According to Walmart's NEW  coupon policy, they now  pay overages.   So here is your deal:

2 single bottles of Propel at .50 each = $1.00

Use your $1 off any propel coupon and pay nothing. Final cost, FREE! I have 3 coupons, thats 6 FREE bottles!! WOOHOO!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Good Morning and Happy Mother's day!

Hoping all my favorite mommies are having a fantastic morning!!   Hope you are all getting breakfast in bed and lots of beautiful handmade cards.  Because YOU deserve it!!    Being a mom is hard business,  coming from a mom who's 11 year old has started puberty and I've been considering moving out to avoid her. LMAO!!!

SO far I got coffee made for me, a dozen donuts,  a chocolate bar, and a bag full of stuff my 9 year old made me in school.  She gave me a tea bag in a paper teacup, a card, and a potpourri  jar. And 3 coupons, I love coupns! LOL  I'll be getting a free bathroom cleaning, laundry folding, and HER room cleaned. ;) Love my girly!

  (I havn;t gotten anything else yet, but Bud Bud is still sleeping and moody 11 year old raided my donuts. LOL)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter

I hope everyone had a fantastic Easter!  We had a really lovely day.  I had to work, but the sun finally came out and it was a beautiful day! 

NOW, be sure to check out those AFTER EASTER CLEARANCE DEALS!!!!  All the stores are having deals right now, to clear out thier easter stock.  Go and get your stuff for next year at 50% off.  You can get an egg dying kit,  toys or treats for next years baskets (don't get chocolate that will melt, or anything that will get stale)  toys, and decor at half off!!!   

Hurry! don't wait too long because alot of it will disappear.  They will  cut the discount to 75% and 90%, but by then, there may not be much left. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Another Swagbucks update...

I can't stop raving about swagbucks!!  Sorry! LOL    But once I tell you this, you'll know why!

What is swagbucks??  click the label on the side that says Swagbucks, or click my swidget to find out more.   Basically, I get  paid to search the web,  play games, and use my coupons.   Is that all bad?? HECK NO.  I get paid in Swagbucks, that I turn into Amazon Gift Cards, and buy FREE groceries,  Christmas gifts, Birthday gifts and more.

So check this out,   some  recent pictures of items I've been credited for:

On their site, under Earn, there a link for coupons.  This link takes you to, and you can print any coupon you want.  Once your print and redeem that coupon, you get credit with swagbucks.  We all know I use alot of coupons, I earned 130 sb in one trip!    This could NOT be easier.  See how many swagbucks I have on my Swidget?  I only need 450 to get a Amazon Gift Card.  It does not take long to earn at all, as long as you are printing coupons, searching, and getting referrals.   Last year I shopped for free on Amazon for my kids Christmas presents.  Please check it out!!  Click  HERE to join,  or click the swidget.  Its not hard at all, if I can do this, then you can to.  If it wasn't legit, I wouldn't promote at all, I don't do anything that is going to waste my time.

Don't wait!  Do it now!

Do you Groupon?

Does anyone who reads here, do Groupon??

If you don't know what it is, Let me tell you.  Its a site where you can buy packages to local business for half price.  For instance, today's Groupon in my area is  $5 for a $12 worth of donuts from the Donut Factory.

I'm not anywhere close to the Donut Factory, so I probably won't take advantage of this one.   However, I've seen some other really great deals here, for instance a family membership to the Pequot Indian Museum for $30!  And then there are the national groupons  that let you buy a $50 GC to GAP for $25.

This is a referral program, so for each member that purchases thier first groupon after I have referred them,  I get $10 to be used on thier site toward groupons.   If you think you are interested, please use THIS link to sign up so I get the credit.  

If you don't like what you see for your city, check cities in other areas close to you.  I like to check Providence, since we are only 40 minutes from there.  Sometimes there are some good deals that I can get for area restaurants  and its well worth it.  Or if you are going on a vacation, see if there are groupons for the cities that you are visiting to help cut costs.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Friday, April 15, 2011

$10 off at Kohl's

Are  you on Kohl's email list??? If you aren't please sign up!! I just got a $10 off coupon sent to my inbox.  If you get thier emails check and see if you got one too!!    There was a pair of earrings I saw there a while ago, I'm going to go back and see if they still have them, so I can get them FREE.   I love FREE!! LOL

Tips for the Aspiring Extreme Couponer

Instant Bargains: 600+ Ways to Shrink Your Grocery Bills and Eat Well for Less

I've been getting alot of questions from readers and friends about extreme couponing, especially since the show has begun airing in a regular time slot.   I get asked, 'Is that how you do it?', 'What are your favorite sites?' and 'Teach me to coupon please!'  Lets start at the beginning.....

Couponers first commandment, "Thou shall not pay retail"   Remember that!

Also remember, its not about what you get for free, or the dollar amount that you spend at the store, its about how much you can SAVED off the bill.   I don't ever get out of the store for free, ever, even with coupons.  I always have to buy produce and meat, and there are no coupons for that.  The store I shop at doesn't do overages,  so  I can't apply any extra savings toward items that don't have coupons.   However, I routinely save around 70% off my bill every week.  And there are weeks I don't even have to shop because I have enough on hand to last me for a few weeks, or until the next sale.  

 One thing to keep in mind is that if you want to become an extreme couponer, you'll have to do a little bit of work.  Its not going to just start out that you'll just clip some coupons, get a bunch of stuff for free and be done with it.  Lets remember the old saying, "you have to spend money to make money", that's true here too. The first time you'll spend money is to buy the paper.  Its suggested that you buy a paper for every member in your family, that's up to you. I don't do that.  Also, the coupons are free in the Sunday paper, however every good couponer knows that you never take the inserts out of unpaid for papers, that's stealing.  Don't do it.  How would you like to be the next couponer to come and buy a paper and the coupons are missing?

One thing any good couponer knows is to always have a good stockpile.  This helps with spending less at the grocery store, because if you already have a good supply of an item, there is no need to buy more, esp if its full price and you have no coupon for it.  Shop in cycles, shop according to the sales.  Shop to replenish your stockpile, NOT for stuff you need.  You will see the savings in your stockpile, not what you spend at the store.  If  the store is selling cereal for 1.99, and you have the .75 coupon that doubles, you pay .49 for a box of cereal.  If you have 6 coupons, use all 6.  Put the cereal in your stockpile, so you aren't rushing out to buy cereal every week.

Toothpaste is an item that is always pennies or free.   When the Colgate coupons come out, I save them until  the store runs their sale where the Colgate is less than $1 and  I buy as many as I can for free.

Other items that I routinely get for pennies or cheap and stock up on are Bread, ketchup, mustard, relish,  salad dressing, bbq sauces, coffee creamers,  Peanut butter and Jelly,  and tuna.    I keep a large freezer in my basement and in it I have chicken I buy when its less than 1.99 lb,  pork that I buy for less than 1.79lb, and ground turkey that I was able to get at .99lb.   (Among other things! LOL  I have a healthy supply of ice creams too that I was able to grab at .99 each! Plus my bread and rolls I always buy off the reduced bakery rack and freeze till I need it).  I've even hit some great sales on coffee and I'm able to get my favorite brands, Maxwell House or Folgers for around $1 for the 1lb can.

Here is another question I get alot:  Where to all those people on TV get all their coupons???  Answer:  They buy them.  A hidden cost that is not told to you. And lets be clear, buying coupons is NOT legal.  Coupons have no monetary value.  So what they ARE doing is paying for the time spent clipping, the supplies and postage.   Add that cost into the final grocery bill  and its not  $10, its $310.    Its still a savings compared to the retail value of all the product, which is generally way more than that.  Have I ever bought coupons?? Once, I bought some from ebay.  I did a random envie and was pretty disappointed.  SO I've never done it again.  But, honestly, I'm not that type of couponer.  I enjoy the savings, I get what I can get, I stockpile,  and that's about it.

So that brings up the next question:  I always seem to have a bunch of coupons, where do I get them all??  I have good friends and family that actually save them for me.  If they are just going to throw them out anyway, they give them to me.   I'm on 2 coupon trains through mommysavers and have gotten a few that way too.  And finally, I have 2 computers in the house I can print off of.  When I've printed my limit off one computer, I move to the other one and print off that one.   I can usually get 4 coupons, as opposed to 2.

I know this seems like alot of information, so here is my top tip.... Just take it slow.  You can't just clip 100 coupons and go to the store and think you'll walk out for free.  You are just gonna stress yourself out.   So what I like to tell people is, don't overwhelm yourself.  Just start out slow, clip a few coupons for items you know you will use, and try to match them up to a sale.  Once you get the hang of it, you can start to clip more and save more.   

In another post, I'll discuss doubling and coupon rules,  but I think I've covered what I can for now.    Please comment and let me know this was helpful, or you need more info!! I'll  do the best I can at answering any questions you might have!  Couponing is not hard once you get the hang of it.

I need more followers!

Good Morning and Happy Friday! 

Have you shared my blog with your friends??  I intend on doing some more over here. Eventually, I'll be working on some coupon match ups for ya, and try to link deals.

But I need to know that you all want to see this!  Right now I pretty much do this blog for myself,  just a bit of my ramblings on occassion.   However, being the resident 'coupon queen', I've been getting alot of questions on couponing and getting stuff free or cheap.  I hope to share more of that with you.

When I reach 25 followers, I'll have a giveaway.   When I reach 50 followers, I'll have another giveaway. But I can't tell you until I reach 25 followers, so if you want to know what it is, you have to follow!  And get your friends to follow!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tips for the online shopper

Today I'm letting my friend Michele take the reins. She does a great job at shopping online so I asked her to go ahead and put something together for a guest blog post. Please comment and let her know you liked it. Enjoy!!!

Hello. Let me introduce myself. My name is Michele and I've been friends with Melissa ever since our sons were 3 years old. During that time I've been incredibly inspired by Melissa to learn about couponing in order to save on my once ridiculous grocery bill. Up until January of this year I was easily spending over $220 a week for a family of four. This seemed absurdly high and after talking to Melissa and reading her blog I realized how I could save money. (Couponing, doubling coupons, shopping the sales etc). I have saved approximately $380.00 a month since then by using Melissa's methods. This is significant!

In talking to Melissa almost daily I told her that she may be the queen of coupons but I have a serious knack for shopping online and finding online promotions, free shipping, stacking coupons and other wonderful things. She suggested I be her guest blogger so I could share how to find great bargains online and never pay full price.

The first thing I would suggest to you is to set up a 'spam' email account. This is an account where you can register for coupons, newsletters, and emails and not have to worry about if other spam comes your way. It's sort of your junk email account but you can still manage it. I use Yahoo and I'm able to filter out a lot of the other junk that ends up in there.

The main thing I buy online these days are children's clothes. I get emails from Carters, Osh Kosh, Gymboree and Lands End among others. These inform me of upcoming sales and Carters and Osh Kosh typically email me 20% coupons several times a year. Once I have these coupons is when I'll start surfing their websites for the sales. I just got a Lands End Bomber Coat from $65 for $19. I also got another jacket from $45 to $12. By shopping the sales and clearance with coupons just like Melissa does with grocery shopping, you can save a mint.

But what happens if you don't have an online coupon or promotion code? Simply surf the net for one. (Note of caution - be careful what sites you click on. Yahoo's browser tells me what sites are safe before I click on the link.) The following sites are legit and are where I find the majority of my promotional coupons: (Just featured in a Consumer Reports type magazine as a great web site for coupon codes)

You can also search for things like "Kohls Coupon" and see what comes up. My rule of thumb would be, if you don't find what you are looking for on the first page of your web search, it doesn't exist at this time. The further you go into your search pages, the more junk sites you'll find.

The best way to get an online deal is to meet their free shipping requirement. Amazon, I'd have to say, is the best for this. I do about 85% of my Christmas shopping through Amazon. When you surf Amazon for let's say "Blue sandals size 9" make sure you check off the "Free Super Savings Shipping" option on the middle left of the page in your search options. This will bring up all the items that will ship for free if you reach $25.00. By combining items you'll save tremendously.

I was in Target the other day with a book in my hand, it said "buy 2, get 1 free". I almost did it. Instead I came home and found the same book for $6.00 that Target had for $14.00. My son wants this Thomas the Train DVD for Easter. I found that too for about $3.00 less than Walmart and ordered that. Plus you don't pay state sales tax which between the Free Super Shipping Savings, their low prices and no tax makes Amazon the place to beat. You will be hard pressed to find prices lower than Amazon on pretty much anything from toys, shoes, books to household goods. Books are cheaper here than Waldenbooks, Borders and Barnes and Noble - up to about $3.00 at least. I use Amazon as a price comparison constantly when shopping online, also. If I can get it cheaper than Amazon, it's a GREAT deal.

Now a word on why Kohl's is not the big deal maker they promote themselves to be. Yes, I shop Kohls, yes I have a credit card and yes I love their 30% off coupon. However, they are famous for having ALL their stock ALWAYS 50% off, 65% off, buy one get one half price. Their shirts are listed for $44. But lo and behold how lucky are you because the day you happen to be in the store that shirt is now only $20 (normally priced!). Don't get sucked into Kohl's marketing ploy. Shop wisely and pay off your card quickly as their interest rates are crazy - even if you do have great credit. Also, watch out for their big "All toys 50% off" sales.

At Christmas I was happy to see this and got online to see what I could find. I found the Batman Imaginext toy on sale from $79 to $39.50 Wow.. that's a great price! Right? WRONG. I got that same item, regularly priced, at Toys R Us 6 months previously for somewhere around $35-$39. When I went to Amazon I saw that that toy was NEVER listed for $78 anywhere. Toys R Us same thing - they had it for the REAL price which was $39. Kohls jacked up the price of their toys and then told you there was 50% off to get you in there but the price of the toys was then regularly priced after that. Truthfully I think they should be reported to the CT Attorney General for this kind of practice - but that's another story! Again - ALWAYS do your homework on the item first to determine if it really is a great deal. Kohl's is sneaky so pay attention. Plus - remember anything over $25 ships free from if it's cheaper there - go for it!

The second worse place to shop online is Sears. They just revamped their website and when you search for items you come up with 1,595 of them. Whoa! Sears has that many washing machines? Answer is no they don't. They are featuring products FROM OTHER WEB SITES on their main search. Be very careful about this. If you are expecting a great warranty from Sears you want to do a store pick up, or want to use their credit cards, you have to make sure you actually BOUGHT it from Sears. You can select at the top to "Search Sears only" but I still find the site cumbersome, the deals aren't great and it's my least favorite place to even look for deals.

Back to a couple of fun sites: and Slick Deals users post where to find some of the day's best deals. That's how I found out about Lands Ends clearance sale and the code to take an additional 20% off. Some of the deals are 'lightening deals' and you'll see a little flame next to it. This means hop on it fast because it won't last. I check this site several times a day. You never know what will turn up.

Woot is a web site that posts one daily deal at a reduced price. You do have to sign up to be a member in order to purchase anything. I got a handheld steam cleaner machine for half off what it was in Target. Deals ship for a flat rate of $5. They also have 'sister sites' of Wine Woot and Kids Woot. However, the BIG however, is always double check prices against Amazon, Best Buy etc on anything electronic. Sometimes you can get a new item, not refurbished for only a few bucks more with a better warranty. Not all the 'deals' on Woot are fantastic deals. Several times a month they have a "Woot Off" where they sell a bunch of items, one at a time, until they sell out. That's always fun to see what they are offering next. Don't be hasty on Woot though, compare notes, read reviews and make sure you are getting what you think and it's the latest and greatest model, has company warranties, etc.

Famous Footwear is another great place for great online shoe bargains, as is DSW. I was able to stack several coupons at DSW, plus my rewards points, plus free shipping code and I got two pairs of shoes that would have cost me $229 for $45 shipped. Shoes I wouldn't have bought otherwise because they were ridiculously expensive. At Famous Footwear I got the buy one get one 1/2 off and was able to stack a 20% coupon I found online and $5 off. THESE are the types of deals that you can only do online because you wouldn't have the printed coupons at hand. Sign up for DSW Rewards online and you'll be notified of sales and start earning points towards credit off. Same as Famous Footwear.

Not every place will let you stack the coupons. Sometimes you have to opt for free shipping vs. 20% off. Just do the math and figure out what coupon gets you the best deal. Always aim to reach the free shipping limit when possible. Land's End was just offering free shipping, no minimum. That's awesome! If you use a 20% coupon there on clearance, you made out!

A note on shipping charges. No one wants to pay shipping charges. It seems like a frivolous waste of my money to do so. BUT, with the gas prices being the way they are, with the big mall being 35 minutes from me, Carters is 50 minutes away, with my truck getting 16mpg, sometimes it DOES make sense to ship your item and you DO save money. What I save on time and gas and aggravation to drag my 3 yr old to every store is worth it for a $6 shipping fee. It would cost me more in gas to get there at almost $4 a gallon. Weigh it out and you may find that some of the shipping fees are quite worth it! Some sites will also do a free ship to store option for you. That is definitely worth it if you find great online promotional codes that you wouldn't have been able to use in store.

Which brings me in summary to: When you order online always double check the return policy. Some places will offer free return shipping. Some places will allow you to return items to the store like Gymboree and JC Penney. Also know, just FYI, that Gymboree, Osh Kosh, Old Navy and Carter's clothes tend to run big for kids sized 4 and up. I've had to return a few things here and there and exchange for the size smaller even though their measuring chart read correctly.

I hope these ideas help you to shop online and find bargains. I can honestly say I never pay full price when I shop online and always find a promotional code to reduce my purchase! Good luck!

Thanks Michele!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My opinion of Extreme Couponing

Since Extreme Couponing has aired and now become a regular series, I have alot of folks asking me many questions about the show.  The reactions have been mixed, some good, some.... not so good.   As always, this show portrays people to be crazy, hoarders with a shopping addiction, and in the case of MOST coupon users, this could not be farther from the truth.

I am the first to admit that some of these people are NUTS.  The very first person profiled was just crazy.  She bought somewhere around 200 candy bars because they were free after coupon.  To me, that was pointless, ridiculous.  Even if she planned to donate them, where on earth did she plan to donate them too? Unless she was putting them away for Halloween, which is fine, but of course the show isn't going to tell you that.    The other part that bothered me about her was the fact that she took out insurance on her stockpile, so the money that she was saving by shopping coupons and sales, was being spent on insurance.  Sorry, ridiculous.

The next person I'd like to address is 'Mr. Coupon', as he is affectionately know as on his website,   While his stash was very cool, it was not realistic.  What store is going to let you take 1100 boxes of cereal out the door??   Another question is, what store actually HAS 1100 boxes for you to take out the door??   So while his trip was awesome, it was not for the average person who walked into a Kroger today to accomplish.    And while we are on the subject of Mr. Coupon, the show also did not tell you that the majority of his haul was donated to charity.  If you read that site and his postings about his appearance on the show, he explains how much he donated and to whom.   The other person I know featured on that show, The Krazy Coupon Lady, also donated much of her haul to charity as well.  She posted the video on youtube, click HERE to view it.

Lets move on to last weeks episode. There were 2 ladies that were profiled.  Again, I feel this was an unrealistic presentation of the average 'extreme' couponer.  Lets start with Tiffany, the second woman profiled.  Again, this is not realistic.  She has 7 kids so yes she has to be on her game, but as a mom, I just don't have the time and space to do what she does.  She had stuff stockpiled in her kids closets, under their beds,  and where ever else she could find room.  I'm all for a good deal, but I just don't want a stockpile taking over my house.    Again, I think she donated quite a bit of what she purchased, but of course the show will not tell you that.  Its not 'sensational' enough.  As we all know, TLC goes for the shock value in their programming.

Which brings me to my final person to discuss.   This goes under the category of 'do not try this at home kids!'.   J'aime Kirlew made her way onto the show, as the 'Diva of coupons' with her own website and facebook page.  She got ridiculous with the stuff she was buying, most notably, purchasing a large quantity of mustard, (63 to be exact), while her husband stood on the side of her and said "I don't even LIKE mustard...."  She defiantly struck a nerve with people, as she cleared the shelves of everything she wanted, and stuff she didn't. When she was cashing out, the register locked up because the transaction was so high, so the manager came and did manual overrides on each coupon to get the bill lower so the transaction could continue.    Later on down the line, it was revealed that she may have used fraud to purchase items for the show during her trip that day.   She used coupons the wrong way, buying items that the coupons were not intended for,  and buying the wrong item size than indicated on the coupon.   The coupons that were overridden by the manger, were all beeping, and not allowed through, thus the override.  (Could it be because they were fraudulent?)     Blogger Jill Cataldo broke the story last week, and blogged about her findings on her site. 

Was coupon fraud shown on TLC's Extreme Couponing? 

So lets get real.  Lets break this down for  'real' people.  Most of us do not need to go in a store and purchase 63 bottles of mustard, and most of us do not have the space to stock toilet paper under our kids beds.  Did you also notice that most of the stuff they showed was nothing 'good'??  A common misconception about coupons, is that  you can never get anything good or healthy for you, its all junk.  This show just showed the stereotype plain and simple. 


Stocking up for several months is smart, stocking up in case the bomb falls and you'll never see another sheet of toilet paper is dumb.      Whats my opinion of this show?  I think is inspiring, but I also think its sensational.  Lets face it, the couponing I do would never get me on that show.  One day I'll take pictures of my stockpile  and you'll see I stock up for the next few months, maybe 6 weeks out ahead, not 6 years.  I'd like to see this show redone, with out all the sensationalism, and the shock and awe of it.  I'd like to see a regular person go into a store with $25, and a book full of coupons, then  shop for 2 weeks with only that.  Can it be done????   It probably could!    Now based on this show, and what 'real' people do, would you call yourself an Extreme Couponer??   I do impress the people in line behind me, and the cashier when I cash out and that's enough shock and awe for me.  I guess I am an 'Extreme Couponer'. 



Monday, April 4, 2011

Stacking coupons at Target

This is a tutorial post as I've had a few folks tell me lately they didn't know you could do this.  Yes, you can use 2 coupons for the same item at Target!

In fact, you can do this at pretty much any store, as long as 1 of the coupons is a Store coupon, and the other is a Manufacturer coupon.  A store coupon will say across the top 'Target Store Coupon', or whichever store.  A Manufacturer coupon will clearly say, usually across the top, 'Manufacturer coupon' next to the expiration date.  As long as you are shopping in that specific store, you can use  both coupons on 1 item.   'Stacking' coupons like this is extra savings, especially for a store that does not double coupons.   When I shop at Target, I try to stack as many coupons as possible.

Case in point, quite often Target issues thier own coupons in your sunday inserts.  I've gotten Charmin, Bounty, and Tide.  I took these coupons down to Target, combined them with my MC, and saved upwards of $2-3 per item, as opposed to just a simple $1 savings.

For the current list of printable coupons at, click HERE.   

Try it out for yourself and tell me how you do!

New coupons!

April is here and your favorite coupons have reset!  Make sure you print what you want but remember you will probably have a print limit of 2 or 3, rarely do they let your print unlimited. 

Here are some good ones to check out for this month!

On, there is a $1 off 1 Toaster Strudels!   Major score, way better than .50 off 2.

On, there is a BoGo (Buy one get one) Poweraide.  This week Poweraides are  sale at Shoprite this week for .88, a Bogo makes them .44 each!!  I was able to print 2,  Gonna see if I can get 2 more off our other computer.

There is also a .75 off 1 Kraft Singles, if your store doubles, that's 1.50 off 1!!  HUGE.  Pair it with a good deal and save BIG.

You will also want to print the .35 off 1 goldfish,  the .30 off 1 French's mustard,  (only .99 right now at Shoprite, doubled your final cost is .39) , and the $1 off of Ritz munchables.

At, check zip code 80033 for a $1 off Any Blue Bunny Quart Ice cream.  The last time my store had these for 1.99, I was able to get them for .99!   We bought 6 of them. LOL!

And finally, if you have a kitty, there is a BoGo on Friskies cans!  My kitties loves me forever when I buy them canned food.  My husband calls them drugs for kitties. LOL   They go nuts as soon as they hear the top pop off!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Dressing up your frugal meals

Whats the most frugal meal you serve??   Do you ever think its a bit boring and perhaps there are other ways to serve it a bit more dressed up? 

One of the most frugal meals I serve, is my version of American Chop suey, which is basically pasta with meat sauce.   I remember my mom making this a kid, and it was always my favorite.  To this day, its my 'go to' meal, its cheap, its easy, and everyone likes it.   So basically, I cook off a box of pasta and drain, (any kind), brown up some gound meat (ground beef, or turkey), drain it,  and add a jar of sauce to it.   Then I just serve the meat sauce over the pasta, viola!  A meal thats filling and cheap.  Add a side of veggies to stretch it out, and make it more filling, and healthy. 

Lately, I've been watching the sales at Shoprite on thier frozen Raviolis.  With coupons I can get them really cheap, or even free. 2 small bags  is plenty for my family.What a nice change from plain old pasta    I've also been watching the deals at Walmart, on thier reduced bakery rack.   I found an already made loaf of garlic bread for around a dollar, that I tossed in my freezer to use when I need to.   

SO My dressed up 'go to' meal for my family tonight was:
Mama Rosie's cheese raviolis (total cost $1 for 2 bags after coupons)
Meat sauce (3/4 browned ground turkey around $2, and a jar of sauce was .99)
Green Giant Frozen Broccoli (I got for FREE today after coupons)
1/4 of the Garlic Bread loaf, (about .30)
Total cost of my Italian dinner: about $4.30. 

So switch it up once and a while!  Dress up a meal when you can.  Just changing out ravioli for the plain pasta was a huge difference and still cost about the same as a box of pasta.  

I guess common sense and humility has left the building.

Wow, what a interesting day.   I can't believe a few of the things I witnessed  today, it really makes me cringe about the way people act in public.

I'll start at the beginning.  I started the day out good, I was able to score tickets  to see a certain Disney star that my girls will just die when they actually find out about it.  I'm really excited to tell them, trying to think of a great way to tell them so they will be surprised, maybe wave my 'Wizard wand' and make them just appear? LOL

After that, I went and picked up my friend for our weekly grocery shopping trip, we always go to Shoprite  together, find the deals, share our coupons, and have a good time.   The first thing that happens is when we get out of our vehicle, there is a woman leaving the store, and it appeared she was yelling across the parking lot.  She's screaming, "I'm so F-ing Mad!........ At my mom!!!...... Cuz she's a B***H!....... I don't know... It's just Fed up!...."  Then I realize she has a blue tooth and she's actually on her phone, shouting for all of Eastern Connecticut to hear.  I yelled loudly, "UH REALLY?"  Thank Goodness it was a school day and there weren't any impressionable ears around to  hear this garbage.  

I had a great shopping trip, aside from all the rude people up and down the isles.  There was actually one lady that knocked a few things off the shelf and instead of reaching down to pick them up, she just kicked them  away from her.   Wow.  I was standing right there, if she needed help bending down I would have helped her.  Instead, I just went behind her and picked up the items and put them on a shelf.   She had a FULL cart of stuff, and said to her companion "Do you want a bag of chips or something for yourself?" He in turn announced loudly, "NO!  I don't want anything, I want to leave!"   Wowwwwww.

So then I cashed out.  I actually made out really well.  I had $9 in dollar days certificates, plus a $2 cat to use on my final order, that was a total of $11 off my final order.  I also had a BOGO on Pretzel Crisps,  and get a free hummus with  the purchase of 2, so for 2.49 I got 2 bags of pretzel crisps and a hummus.   I got a free cereal container with the purchase of 3 cereals, AND a free gallon of milk.  Cereals were marked down to 1.99 and of course I had coupons for all of them, that was a great deal.   I got 4 cans of Starkist tuna, and only paid for 2 of them after coupons.   Green Giant box veggies were marked down to .99, I got 2 of them free after coupons and I paid .66 each for the following 6 after coupons.  Dove Ice cream bars were .99 each after coupons.  I had some other misc coupons, for a great trip.  I only spent $57 after saving over $97 or so.  I watched my bill go down from $117 to $57 after store sales and coupons.   One of my best trips.  

As I'm leaving, I decided to use my free milk cat, and decided all the other lines were long, so I went to the self checkout, and of course, my coupon got stuck. Ugh.  As the kid is helping me getting it straight, and we wait for the manager. I hear someone yelling  across the store, it was a teenage girl yelling at her mother.  I can't even remember exactly what she was yelling, but yes, of course, there were obscenities  included in her rant.  MY GOD.  The kid working looks at me and says, 'Wow, what a mouth on that one!'.  He must see it all working there. Especially on the first of the month, when all the folks who get their checks go shopping.   That makes 2 people with no  courtesy for anyone around them.

On the way home we decided to stop at Panera, as I was really having a craving for their clam chowder, its a cold rainy day and that is like a comfort food to me.  I'm remember that I went in last week on Thursday to get it, and they told me they only have it on Fridays. Well today is Friday!  Imagine my dismay when I walk in and don't see it on the menu!!!  I told the girl, "I was dying for a cup of clam chowder, but I don't see it!!!" She said she was sorry, someone dropped the wrong soup today and so they had to have that one instead.  I said to her "I'm not happy!" (I was joking with her).  I ended up with French onion.  Not what I wanted, but it was still good.  And add to that their Panera rewards thing isn't working today, so I couldn't claim my free whatever it was today either.  I think it was an espresso or something.  Could have used that. LOL  

As I'm walking out of Panera, my phone rings and its my husband, telling me there was a phone call on the answering machine from the middle school principal, he had my daughter in his office.  Something about a cell phone in school??  UH, she doesn't HAVE a cell phone!  So I called him back and he told me she got caught in the bathroom with a bunch of other girls, watching videos on her camera phone, and phones were against school policy.  I assured him it was NOT a cell phone, she doesn't have one, it was simply a digi cam that had a video option on it.   He said he would send it home with her, and I promised him she wouldn't bring it to school again, blah blah blah.   (I didn't know cameras weren't allowed in school?? Phones I get, but a camera?)  She had to sit in his office, get a lecture, and another one when she got home.  I was thoroughly mortified, as this is my 'good' child. I would have never ever expected a phone call home about her.  Sam sure, Cameron, yes that's a given. But not Meghan.  She's such a goody goody! LOL  A play by the rules kind of girl, she'd never be the one to warrant a phone call home. 

One the way home, we stopped at the gas station that was giving away free coffee today, so  we stopped for it.  That made my day so much better, and was certainly a high light.  And my friend doesn't drink coffee, so she gave me hers.   I have great friends.

So there ya have it, Great, weird, bad, and free all rolled into 1 day!  What a strange day! LOL

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Shoprite, my store of stores....

I don't keep my grocery savings a secret, I  love to share it around and let everyone know where to get the good deals.  And one of my favorite places to shop is SHOPRITE!!    There aren't very many here in CT, and we are lucky enough to have one right in Norwich.  Its mostly a New Jersey based store, so their facebook page pretty much only focuses on those stores. However, there are some blogs that are mostly based on Shoprite shopping, and to those blog owners, I say THANK YOU and Hurray!!  One of my favorite blogs to follow is called Living Rich With Coupons.  

Its owned by Cindy, who is also based in NJ, but does ALOT of work helping to keep all of our grocery bills down, by telling us the best coupons to use and which deals to take advantage of.  I really enjoy her posts, and her followers are great too, picking up on the deals she missed.   I've never gotten so many free things before, or been able to take advantage of catalinas, working them to my best advantage.  Thank you Cindy!

Be sure to check out LRWC, and let me know what you think!!

Living Rich With Coupons

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Make sure you LIKE Folgers on Facebook

An update to yesterday's post about Folgers sending me a $2 off coupon to my email, (that I was able to print twice, woohoo!) :

Make sure you LIKE thier page on Facebook. They are promising to give away coupons on there starting next week.  They are in a limited amount so hurry and get in there!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Are you a member of the Folger's Wake Up club??

You should be!!!! Especially if you are a coffee drinker like I am.  I got a nice surprise in my email this am when I got a coupon for $2 off anything 3ozs or more!    This coupon can ONLY be accessed through thier email newsletter so if you sign up, you may find other surprises in your email in-box!! Make sure you click HERE and get signed up!!

Quick and Easy Dinner recipes

I just found this new blog today when I was doing a search for some easy dinner recipes.  Baseball season is starting up this week, and with Girls Scouts, Cub Scouts,  and everything else my kids have going on, dinner has be ready before I even have a chance to think about it! LOL 

Check out this site and tell me what you think! I've already found several recipes I want to try! 

Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes Blog

Another blog I like when it comes to having to come up with something  quick, easy and CHEAP, is $5dollardinners. Each recipe is counted out for you so that you only spend under $5 for each one.  Try it out and tell me what you think of this one too!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Fun with Texts

Saturday night I was work.  Working a long day can get boring, but I like my job so its not a big deal.   All of a sudden, my phone starts ringing that I have a new text message.  It read: Hey Vinny!  Its Meg.  I got a new phone and this is my new number.  Call me!"

Now, any other person would have just texted her back, "sorry, wrong number", but I work with KIDS, teenagers who saw this as a potential for great fun for the evening. LOL  They insisted I text her back and pretend I was 'Vinny'.   Now what would Vinny say back to her?   The best I came up with was "Thanks Hunny".  Now, don't you think that would raise some flags with  Meg that her 'Vinny' answered her with such a girly way?? LOL  Unless Vinny goes  that way, who knows?? I don't even know him. LOL

She texts back, really just creating more fodder for my coworkers who are now hysterical that this is going down.  Her next text says "YW!  How r u?" To which I answer "GREAT!  Kids are great too!"  "Hahahaha what kids?"  UH DUH MEG.  At this point I'm thinking, time to give it up,  I'm not gonna do this, come on Meg, you  must have figured this out by now. Kids, really??? LOL!  But at my coworkers urgings, I text back "Oh I'm just kidding. Haha.  What are you doing?"  Now keep in mind, I'm using proper grammar, full spellings of works, the works.  Nothing! She is pretty dense.  I'd have red flags going up everywhere! LOL Conversation continues: she's relaxing, had to be to work for 6 this morning.  What am I doing?  I answer "Working".  then "Went to the casino last night"  "Drank all night.  Got sick. Won $100. Going back tonight"  LMAO!!

The conversation keeps going, she tells me how awesome it is that I went out last night,  and it got to the point where I pretty much convinced her to meet me at Margaritaville.  By now, my coworkers are practically on the floor, rolling around with tears in their eyes, they are laughing so hard.  But my conscience finally got the better of me and after about 12 texts back and forth I decided it was time to give it up.  So I texted her back "I gotta tell ya.  I have NO idea who you are.  I am not Vinny. I have been messing with you this whole time. You sound cute though, meet me anyway". LOL  She says "Your not Vinny, who are you?"  "Lets just say my name isn't Vinny, and I'm not a guy.  My coworkers and I just had a blast with this, thank you!!"  

Now I'm just feeling guilty. Well kinda.  I still can't believe she never figured it out.  To my 'thank you', she says "Wow, I'm glad I could do that for you...."   I said "I thought you would have figured this out long before now! You just kept going.  But it made for a good laugh.  Anyway, don't know Vinny, you have a wrong number, and have a good night"

I thought for sure I would get a text blasting me, telling me what a horrible person I was, how could I impersonate someone I don't even know, blah blah blah, but to my surprise, she said back to me "
U to hun, it was funny"

It was as good for her as it was for us.  

Monday, March 7, 2011

How Frugal are you?

Are you as frugal as ME?? LOL  I find myself to be pretty frugal and I think I do somethings that others might find silly or a waste of time.  Tell me what you think??

*When I wash my dishes, I always microwave the sponge when I'm done.  It helps kills the germs, pluse keeps the odors away, thus making my sponges last longer.

*I save my plastic bags that holds the cereal.  There is always a good use for them somewhere.  Most of the time I use them to make my own 'shake and bake' type meals,  saves my Ziplocks.

*When I buy chicken, I ALWAYS cut them thin before I portion and freeze them.  A full portion of meat is only about 3 to 4 oz,  a full breast is usually about 6 to 7 oz.  SO I cut them and make my 5 breasts into 10,  then portion and freeze them.

* I save coffee.  When its leftover in the pot and I'm not going to drink it, I put it in a pitcher in the fridge  and either use it to water my plants or drink it for ice coffee. LOL (another tip, pour some in a ice cube tray and make coffee ice cubes  for your ice coffee! This way it doesn't get watered down)

*After supper, I take the leftover veggies, no matter how little is left, and put them in little containers then freeze them.  Once I have enough, I'll defrost them and serve a 'mixed' vegetable for supper.

*When I do my laundry, I only use 1 ounce of detergent.  You really don't need much more than this,  it still gets my clothes clean, and it still gets sudsy.  Then I toss my clothes in the dryer and only use half the dryer sheet.  A box of 40 dryer sheets is now 80.  And to be honest, you don't even NEED the dryer sheets, but I prefer them to keep the static off my clothes.  

*Everyone who knows me know I'm a coupon clipper!  But I don't buy the paper, I  get my coupons from family and friends who save thier inserts.  They are just gonna throw them out anyway, so I'll take them!  

*On the rare occassions I take my kids out for fast food like McDonald's, I don't let them get happy meals anymore.  For the most part they are okay with it, they don't even ask anymore.   We will usually order 1 Value meal, and share the drink and fries.  Then they get what they want, usually a doubler cheeseburger.  And here is another tip: Did you know that the 6pk nuggets are 2.63, BUT the 4pk is only $1?? If you order 2 4pks, its only $2 and you are still getting 2 extra nuggets!   

*I don't buy cleaning products.  I clean my house with bleach, vinegar, and Dawn dishsoap.  I will 'splurge' on Magic erasers, and Scrubbin' bubbles.  I've found  those are the BEST products for cleaning my tub and keeping it white.  And I don't buy the name brand erasers, Target and Walmart's brands work just as great and half the price.   I use them all over,  those are truly magic! LOL  Otherwise,  I use vinegar on pretty much anything to clean it,  bleach to disinfect what needs to be, and Dawn is a great grease cutter, stain remover.   Thats all you need! 

*When I pack my kids lunches, I try to use reusable stuff as much as possible.  I don't buy prepackaged or portion control items, its cheaper to buy the box of crackers or cans of fruit and portion them out myself.    I put thier sandwiches in reusable sandwich box, not a ziplock bag.  I do purchase plastic utentsils, but I wash them everyday and put them back in until they break or get lost.  I do buy juice boxes, for some reason my kids just won't drink out of those little plastic containers with the straw. And I have trouble keeping them clean and deodorized so to me its actually worth it.   My oldest prefers a 'hot' lunch to a sandwich, so if there is pasta or mac and cheese leftover from a previous nights meal, I'll heat it up and put it in a insulated container for her.

*SO how frugal are you??  Do you use some of my ideas or have any of your own you want to share with me??

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Wal*mart's NEW Coupon policy

Did you know that Walmart actually has a written coupon policy?   Click HERE to see it.

Its a good idea to print it out and take it with you when you shop at Walmart.  This way when the cashier starts in with you and says "Uh we don't accept printed coupons!"  you whip it out and show her the part where it says:

Walmart accepts the following types of coupons (see guidelines below):
  • Print-at-home internet coupons
    • Must be legible, have "Manufacturer Coupon" printed on them, have a valid remit address for the manufacturer, valid expiration date, and have a scannable bar code.

     There are some new things to be aware of now with the NEW coupon policy.  They updated and clarified.    They will now accept Catalinas from other stores, that means those awesome coupons I get from Shoprite or Target printed out at thier registers will now be useful at Walmart!  They are now allowing overages,   AND they do take SOME competitor coupons.  The rule is though, it must be for a specific amount and and specific item.     That leaves out alot of other coupons, but it's still a great change.

    Get familiar and print this out, stick it in your coupon binder and  Happy Couponing!

Why I've been so MIA around here....

I'm not abandoning my blog, I've just been SOOO busy I havn't had time to keep up!

First my  laptop had to go in for some repairs, the fan died on it and the screws started coming out of the hinge connecting the screen to the  keyboard.   I brought it to the Geek Squad who basically told me he had NO idea what to do, and he could send it out.  I asked him if it would be covered under manufacturers warranty, he still had no idea.  Told me probably not.  I asked him if they replaced the fan, about how much would that cost me?  He had no idea, but offered to send it out for me and none of it would probably be covered under warranty.  Say What???   I had a friend with me who asked if they could fix a loose key on her keyboard instore and he said NO, they would have to send it out.  We looked at each other and basically asked, 'UH, what exactly does the 'Geek Squad' do here????  You can't fix anything, you can't tell me anything, you basically know NOTHING.  Why do you work here?' 

It was at that point that I made a decision to get a desktop computer for the kids.  First, it would be a good idea to have any extra computer in the house, since my laptop is basically the only one.  The kids use it nonstop and thats probably how the hinge broke on it in the first place.  And my sympathetic husband says "Oh well!  Thats your problem!   You let them use your computer! Blah blah blah...."  My second issue was at the moment my computer had to go out for repairs,  Samantha had a project due she needed to do some research for and print out pictures (and printing at the library costs MONEY people! plus they only print in black and white there) .  I thought we at least should have something available for the kids to do thier school work on, and not rely on MY laptop all the time. Finally, Meghan will be starting 6th grade in the fall.  As far as I've been told, a great portion of her homework will be computer work.  So doesn't it make sense to have a second computer available for the kids for when they 'need' it?  My husband didn't agree and told me NO.  I did it anyway, anyone who knows me knows a simple 'NO' won't stop me when I want something. HA. LOL  Uh yeah, he almost filed for divorce he was pretty upset with me.   Oh well, thats another story for another day.

As my story continues.... I went to do laundry on Sunday night, getting ready for another busy week.  I got through 2 loads, and was getting ready to start the 3rd when my dryer just died.  I told my husband, 'please go look at it, I'm gonna have a meltdown, you know I am!' LOL  He went to look at it, told me its not worth fixing again.  We  already fixed it 3 times,  we could smell something burning on it.  He told me to just go buy a new one.  Oh Yippee, not what I wanted to hear, but whatever. There are 5 people living in this house, I NEED a working washer and dryer.   SO I went to Home Depot and found a nice PAIR, (even though there is nothing wrong with my washer, it was still a good price so I figured why not) .  The problem is that because the set was on clearance,  they didn't do delievery or haul away.  If I wanted the clearance price I would have had to pay the delievery fee or get pick up myself.  I figured we could figure it out and I purchased the pair.  Again, I screwed up, my husband was upset with me because how are we going to pick up? We don't have a truck.  And how is he going to get it down in the basement?? Both pieces?? And then what is he going to do with them???   Oh for crying out loud!!!  You can't find someone with a truck who can help you??  He said "You can't just ASSUME that someone with a truck will have the time to help us IF they wanted to!" SO he went down to home depot and canceled my order. Grrrrrrr! 

The next day, we went looking and we finally found a dryer we liked at Keith's Appliances out in Norwich.   Good price, its a GE, its nothing real fancy, but hey; I'm not taking them out to show them off, they are gonna be in my basement. I just need to dry my clothes!   LOL  But, once again, there is no free delivery, we would have to pay a $59 fee to have it delivered.  What do my husband say?? "OH NO problem!  I'll just take the seats out of my van and come down and pick it up myself."   What???????  But when I wanted the SET from Home Depot, that was a problem????  Oh. Em. Gee.   He's all mine folks!!!    Keep your paws to yourself ladies.

Finally got my laptop back from  the 'Geek Squad'.  They ended up not charging me a thing.  The guy working there was like, 'Really?'  Same guy that checked me in and had no clue.  He just kept saying 'I can't believe they did it all for free.....'   BUDDY, you have NO clue, you need to GET a clue.  As I told you when I brought my laptop to your 'Geek Squad' (which apparently is a bunch of geeks that have NO clue!)   it should all be covered under manufacturer  warranty as it wasn't a year since I bought it yet.  HELLO??? Can you hear me now??? Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth??   **Shaking head**

I've been busy this week, that was pretty much it in a nutshell.  Don't be jealous of my glamorous life.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Meatless Monday: Baked Pasta

This can be made WITH OR WITHOUT meat, generally chicken.   We have had it both ways, delish either way!

1 1/2 cups multigrain Penne Pasta (I just use regular pasta, anykind!)
1 pkg Fresh Spinach leaves (I use frozen, just make sure its defrosted first)
1tsp dried basil leaves
1 jar (14 1/2oz) of Spaghetti or pasta sauce (any kind)
1can diced tomatoes
2 oz (1/4 of a 8oz brick) cream cheese
1 cup shredded Mozzerella cheese
2 tbsp Grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 375.

Cook pasta, adding spinache to the boiling water for the last minute. ** In another pan, add sauce, basil,  and tomatoes, bring to a boil. simmer 3 minutes.  Stir in cream cheese.

Drain pasta, return to pan.  Add sauce mixture and 1/2 of shredded mozzerella.  Spoon into a 2qu baking dish. Bake 20 minutes.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake another 3 minutes.

**TO ADD THE CHICKEN:  take 1 lb of chicken, (about 3 or 4 breasts) cube them, and brown them in a separate pan while the pasta is cooking.  Add the basil, THEN the sauce and continue according to the directions.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Creating a weekly menu with Themes

Okay here is what I came up with,  and I'd love suggestions here!   For Tackle it Tuesday (yes I know its Wednesday!) , the idea was to create a menu for one week. I'd like to create a rotating schedule so we don't have the same thing all the time, but so that I'm not constantly trying to be creative.  (That gets old to me LOL)

SO I came up with idea, to do a theme each day.  I also thought it would be a good way to get the kids involved, Meghan was helping me come up with ideas for this.  Here is what we came up with so far, now we just need recipes and meals to go with our themes.  That's the next step.

Meatless Monday: All meals will be created without MEAT.  SO vegetable lasagna,    bean burritos, breakfast meals, quiche.

Taco Tuesday:  I don't know why I came up with this, probably because Taco and Tuesday both begin with a T. LOL   Not sure how this one will work out,  but Mexican themed meals, like Taco, Taco bake,  burritos, fajitas, or whatever.  this one may change, if you can help me think of another 'T' word! LOL

White Meat Wednesday: I think this one is self explanatory.  All meals will contain some sort of white meat, chicken, pork, or fish.

Three Course Meal Thursday.  I think the kids will like this one the best, there will be 3 courses to this meal.  A salad, main entree, and a dessert.   We never do desserts, and I always serve a salad WITH a meal. LOL  Not before!  Haha!

Free Friday:  This will be pretty much whatever, pizza, Chinese takeout, or whatever we want.

Daddy's Saturdays:  I'm leaving it up to Daddy.  Since I work on Saturdays, I don't care what he does! LOL

Special Sunday:  Sunday is usually our 'family' day, I get out of work at 2, so it can be a roast type big meal.  Though Daddy likes to have Steak and Salad on Sunday.

Any other suggestions???  I need to make a plan  for when I go grocery shopping this week.

Southwest White Chicken Chili

Saw this in All You Magazine, its a Campbell's ad. 

Prep time 10 mins. Cook 20mins. Makes 6 Servings

  • 1tbsp. Vegetable oil
  • 4boneless skinless chix breasts, cut into cubes
  • 4 tsps chili powder (I'm only gonna use 2 because my kids will probably complain about the spiciness)
  • 2 tsps ground cumin (Again, cutting it to 1)
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1medium green pepper chopped
  • 1can (10/3/4 oz) condensed cream of Chicken soup
  • 3/4cup of water
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen whole kernel Corn
  • 2 cans (15oz each) of white kidney beans (cannelloni) rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbsp. shredded cheddar cheese 
1. Heat oil in 4qt sauce pan over medium heat. Add chicken, chili powder, cumin, onion, and pepper and cook until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender, stirring often.

2. Stir soup, water, corn and beans in saucepan and heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 5 mins, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with cheese.

I will also serve with is cornbread.   Enjoy!

Wild Wednesday!

OH yes, its a real Wild Wednesday!  LOL    Here is my to do list for today:

  • Finish laundry

  • Finish organizing coupons
  • clean bathroom
  • run to walmart to get ingredients for tonight's supper(White Chicken Chili, new recipe I'm anxious to try!)
  • make up a menu for the next 2 weeks
  • put laundry away
  • vacuum
  • wash dishes
  • mop kitchen floor/vacuum living room
  • feed children supper
  • help with homework
  • Samantha's 4th grade winter concert (FINALLY!)
  • And get my grocery list and coupons together for a big shop this week.
Don't be jealous of my glamorous life! LOL! Its WILD I'm telling ya! LOL

I'm hoping if I write it down, I can  motivate myself to get moving.  What organizing techniques do you use to get yourself motivated?? 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Free CoffeeMate today only

Woohoo!  I love my coffee and its even better with a little bit of liquid heaven! LOL   I'll never use milk and sugar again.  And to be honest, there are usually so many deals on coffee creamer, that I will always have it on hand.  Its not as expensive as what people might think it is, quite often I get it for free with coupons  and pay nothing.  And I'm not a snob, I will get whatever I can with coupons, doesn't matter on the brand for me.  Coffeemate, International Delights, and Bailey's are the top ones you can get free or very very cheap after coupons.  Every week, one of them are on sale at Shoprite!  You can store this, even though it says on the bottle, Do not freeze, you can freeze it.  SO If its on sale and I have the coupons, I'll buy ahead and freeze them.

There are many more uses for coffee creamer other than just flavoring your coffee, you can use it in your baking too.  Where it says to add milk, add some french Vanilla cream for a different flavor.   And some people use it in their regular cooking, use it instead of milk in your mashed potatoes.

SO check in today and get your FREE Coffeemate at 12pm EST, 9am PST, and get one of 100K coupons for a FREE bottle of Coffeemate creamer! 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Looking for a swagcode??

On the side of my page, there is a Swidget.  Click on SC for Swag Codes, and there might be one there for you.....

Monday, January 31, 2011

Christy's home made Laundry Soap

Have you ever made your own laundry soap?  My friend Christy does.  And she posted all about it HERE

I think I may give this a try!  Its ultra frugal, and I love frugal! LOL

Enjoy! Have a great day!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Swidget

Has anyone noticed my Swidget on the side of the page?? It my Swagbucks Widget!

What do I do with you say?  Well, this is my major tool to keep up on the Swagbucks Swagcodes.  See where it says 'SC'?  Click it, and it will tell you where to look for the next code worth any amount of Swagbucks.    You don't do  Swagbucks??  Thats okay, just click the little  square where it says 'sign up'.  When you do that, you automatically get 30 Swagbucks to get you started.  What do you do with Swagbucks?? You redeem them for real cash and prizes, I'm not kidding.  This is legit, it works!   I started in May of last year and I earned almost $200 in cold hard cash AND Amazon Gift Cards  that I was able to use for my Christmas shopping.  It was a huge help.

Wanna see what else you can earn?  Click where it says "Prizes" and see!

So really, what are you waiting for??? Why havn't you signed up yet??  the sooner you sign up, the sooner you'll start earning!  Stop wasting time and start earning! 


Another Snow day!

Okay this is nuts!  I've had it, I'm done, packing my bags and moving someplace warm.  Warm? Oh yeah there is no place in the US warm to move to! LOL  Crazy weather!

I'll have some pictures to post later,  but this is the 4th snow day in 2 weeks.  Last week the kids were in school for 2 full days, and this week isn't looking good either.   The weathermen are reporting that this is the 'snowiest January on record', then corrected themselves to say, 'this is the snowiest MONTH on record'.  Oh joy, aren't we just the luckiest??

I am going out of my mind here, I need a new mind set.  The kids came home from school early yesterday, due to a 'sudden storm' the weathermen knew about but didn't think we were gonna get.  And even that it would probably only drop a dusting, and it dropped about 5 inches, just crazy!  It was really coming down there for a while! 

Of course the kids are thrilled, but at this point, we will probably be in school until July.  Its just not pretty anymore, its a nuisance. When the state is pretty much shut down and you can't go anywhere, the snow just not fun anymore. There is only so much indoor activity you can entertain your kids with before it gets to the point where you are just going stir crazy!!

I need some sun! I need sunny beaches, a drink with an umbrella,  sunglasses, a bathing suit, a beach chair, and my kids digging in the sand instead of helping me shovel out the driveway.

Off I go to help hubby shovel the driveway as he tells me what I'm currently doing is NOT priority, and not important, so I suppose I need to go start shoveling.  This is the year we invest in a snow blower, REALLY.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The wieght loss continues!!

Current weight loss of as of today, 18lbs!!

I started my job, I'm a chef at an assisted living facility.  I only work Saturdays and Sundays, but I am on my feet all day long. LOL  And the kitchen I work in is on the main floor, our stock room and walk ins are on the bottom floor.  SO at the beginning of the day, I make a list, and take a cart down the elevator to the stockroom and get everything I need for the day.  Of course I always forget SOMETHING.  SO I am up and down those stairs at least 4 or 5 times a day.  And sometimes I think I forget stuff on purpose just so I can get my stair workout. LOL!  Looks like its working!


Honey Nut Cheerios deal on Amazon, still active!

I don't know how much longer this will last, but hurry to get your 3 boxes of Honey Nut cheerios  for $5.30 shipped!!

  Cheerios Honey Nut Cereal, 12.25-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 3)

Select subscribe and Save, then  upon check out use the code BIGGNYNY to get another 15% off for a total of $5.30 shipped. 

Don't miss out!!  And if you do Swagbucks, don't forget you can use your Amazon GCs and this purchase is FREE, you pay nothing out of pocket!   What are you waiting for???

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sugar free, Fat free, and Flavor Free

The last time I went shopping, I  decided to buy ice cream, its basically the only treat my husband asks for.  He doesn't like the kinds I like, (chocolate, fudgie, nuts,  lots of stuff to chew on LOL) SO I  picked up a kind I thought he'd like, Cherry Vanilla with chocolate ribbons.  Turns out I didn't read the box well, its was sugar free, and fat free as well.  I was hoping he wouldn't notice, and he hasn't said anything to me, but the thing is almost empty.  I decided to finish it off and its awful!   Apparently sugar free, fat free also means flavor free! LOL

So have you bought anything that is sugar free, fat free, but still holds its flavor???  I'm trying really hard to cut back and I am losing weight, but  I have a hard time with 'diet' stuff.  What things do you like?

Monday, January 24, 2011

I spent .92 at the Grocery store.

I went to Shoprite on Saturday and I only spent .92, YES, only .92!!!!!  And I bought 5 items.

I bought 2 bottles of International Delights coffee creamer. (I can NOT pass up a deal on coffee cream, I'll never use milk and sugar again LOL)   They were on sale this week for .99, and I had two .55 coupons that doubled to  make them FREE.  Shoprite doesn't do overages, so I only got .44 on the double, but I'll take it!

I got 2 boxes of Tornados.  I had  two .75 off coupons that also doubled to 1.50.  The Tornados were 1.99 each, so after coupon I paid .49 each for them.

Then I got a can of Maxwell House coffee.  We needed coffee, and 1.99 is a great price.  I didn't have any coupons for that, however, I had a $2 OYNO from a previous deal, so I decided to use that on my coffee.

Then I got .05 for bringing my own bag.  I handed the cashier $1 and got .08 change. 

Beat that Extreme Couponers!  LOL

Nature Valley Bars at Amazon, 72 bars for only 9.96 Shipped!

Good Deal!  Check this one out.  You can get 72 bars at Amazon, for only 9.96 shipped. Here is how this deal works:

Click this link to the page with the Granola bars on it:

then select the subscribe and save option to save another 15% off.  You can cancel this at any time, you can just take the deal for now and cancel before the next shipment.

On the checkout page, enter the code NATVALLEY to save another 15% on top of that for a grand total of 9.96.  Groceries always ship for free so that is a shipped price!  Hurry before Amazon changes its prices!

ETA: While we are here, I'll tell you about another deal I found, you can get 3 boxes of Honey Nut cheerios for only 5.40 SHIPPED!!!

Now remember you can cancel the Subscribe and save anytime you want, you don't have to take the next shipment.  On the checkout page, use the code BIGGNYNY to get an additional 15% off the already low price and get 3 boxes SHIPPED for $5.40!!

Its a good day to be shopping on Amazon.  Have a great day! 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Coupon overload!

So as the resident coupon queen here in town, everyone knows to come to me for coupon advice. LOL

One of the questions I'm asked most often is, "Where do you get all those coupons?"  I'm gonna break it down for ya!

Of course the easiest place to get coupons is your Sunday paper.   There are several different scenarios to getting those.  Firstly, if you would rather not pay for a paper, you can just get the Sunday edition. And if you don't want to do that, sometimes you can  get the paper on Monday at a discount, if the store happens to have some leftover. If you would rather not do that, you can just ask people to save theirs  for you if they don't use them. 

You can also 'like' some facebook pages for your favorite product.  Alot of times coupons are released on their pages and you can print them right from there.  This is a good way to get coupons for items you don't ordinarily see elsewhere, such as coffeemate.

If you want to print coupons, these are my favorite sites to check.

The thing about is, you can print Target store coupons, but they also have Manufacturer coupons on there too.  And at Target, you can stack a Store coupon with a Manufacturer coupon  for maximum savings.

If you are signed up for Swagbucks, you can also print via through Swagbucks, and you get 1 swagbuck for each coupon you print and redeem.  Win/Win. LOL

And because I'm frugal,  LOL  I only print my coupons in black ink.  I save my color ink since its more expensive, and  its gets wasted more often with coupon printing.  And save a tree!  Print your coupons on the blank backsides of papers you don't need!  The stores don't care, as long as it has a bar code and scans, you are good to go.

After you spend all that time clipping and printing your coupons, you will want to organize them.   Read this post here about some organization methods and the best way to maximize your coupon savings.

My advice, start out small.  Coupon clipping can get overwhelming  if you are new at it.  The next time you shop, pick out a few items that you know you will buy and make sure you have a coupon for it.   Once you get into this more and more, you'll see your grocery bill go down and that will be more incentive to keep it up as often as you can.    Coupon clipping becomes a lifestyle, not a habit.

ETA:  As pointed out to me by one of my friends, I forgot one of the best coupon sites, the ones you don't have to clip.  Simple; all you do is put in your store card number, and the coupons load right onto your card.  They come off after you buy the item and scan your store card.  What could be easier???

Monday, January 3, 2011

Broccoli Bacon Quiche

As promised, here is a recipe for the Quiche I made on Christmas Morning.  It was delicious!   And  I did get compliments from my guests.   You CAN make this up ahead  as I did, and then reheat it, it came out fine.

  • 4 Slices of bacon 

  • 4 Eggs

  • 1 Cup half & half

  • 1 cup grated Swiss cheese (I used cheddar instead)

  • 2 Cups broccoli (frozen is fine!) 

  • 1/3 tsp. salt

  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder (I grated up some fresh) 

  • 1/8 tsp. lemon pepper (I used plain black pepper) 

  • 1 9inch premade pie shell

    1 Cook off the bacon, then crumble them in a chopper. 
    2 Beat eggs with the half and half cream and the Swiss cheese in a medium bowl. Stir in broccoli, salt, garlic powder, and lemon pepper.

    3. Add about half the crumbled bacon  into the mixture. Pour into a pie shell.  Top with remaining bacon and a bit more cheese.

    4 Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until done.



    Happy New Year!

    Hope everyone had a great New Year's eve and Day.   I have lots of hopes for this new year,  and my biggest resolution is to get out of debt!  Pay off as much as we can and live more comfortably this year.   My second of course, is to lose another 10-20 lbs.  We'll see!

    Every year we say we are gonna  do some work on our house, we never get to it.  Well, this year I'm going to do it! LOL   We have some bedroom  furniture down in our basement I bought on Craig's List last summer  that we never did anything with.   First we need to paint our bedroom before we can bring it up.  Here is the dilemma, what color should we paint it???  The furniture is dark, like a cherry wood, so we need a light color on the walls.  Not pink or white.  The walls are currently light blue.  My husband wants yellow, ick!   I like yellow, but not for this room. 

    What ideas do you have for me??