Monday, June 30, 2008


I'm always thankful that I have such great friends (and family) but this week I appreciate them more than ever. As I've been blogging, they are moving about 3 hours away and I will miss them immensensly. This weekend they left us with a parting gift that just blew me away.

We (and by we I really mean S) have been planning on re-doing our upstairs bathroom floor for about a year now. We purchased the flooring last summer, but S was not too excited about messing with the toilet so it's just been collecting dust in our storage room ever since. This weekend my friend Mr. D installed the new looks better than I could have ever imagined! S worked this weekend so it was a real surprise for him when he got home on Sunday to see that it was taken care of and he now doesn't have to hear me nagging him has a beautiful new floor without ever having to touch the toilet.

Old floor ~about 32 years old~

New Floor!

I have the best friends and I love my new floor! Do you love it as much as me?

I'm A Weiner...

errrr, I mean winner!!! Times two! Last week I entered a contest to win Hanes for Kids $25 gift certificates from Money Saving Mom and I won!!! She really is saving me money! LOL!

Then I entered at Eat Your Veggies! to win 2 Pop'rs of my choice. I just got an email from her saying that I won...I'm going to try the Cinnamon and Buffalo Pop'rs. Apparently this is going to be a weekly giveaway at her site so "pop" on over, say hi and enter to win!

Weekend Wrap Up

Wow, we had a busy weekend! I planned on posting about my Saturday CVS trip and the ham casserole I made last week but it just didn't happen.

We shopped all day I know the meaning of shop til you drop! But I got some awesome deals! It all started at IHOP (I used a BOGOF coupon to pay for me & my friends daughter), then we went to Starbucks, Verizon Wireless, Sears (2 pairs of shoes for $15, 75% off a full size quilt comforter set & king size blanket), Bath & Body Works (75% off lotion and wallflowers + 2 free lip glosses w/ purchase), JC Penney (fixed my watch band for FREE), Victoria's Secret (75% off eyeshadow) and we went to Old Navy to take advantage of the $1 flip flops but they only had black and brown by the time we got there. On the way out of the mall I used my free pretzel coupons and picked up one for me and one for my friend. Then we went to Toys R Us to use the free Thomas the Train coupon but they had a sign on the door that said it was invalid. Disappointed, we still looked around but didn't find any great bargains. Last we went to Sam's and then to Shoe Carnival. There I got a pair of Reeboks for only $18 that fit S perfectly and I got THE cutest pair of Mudd mules and a pair of red mary janes for 50% off.

I will have to do a post soon about my obsession love of shoes.

After unloading our haul we grilled steaks, potatoes and corn for dinner. It was they used the leftovers to make steak and eggs for breakfast on Sunday because they love me. (Okay, they were really hungry and tired of waiting on me to do it, but they do really love me too.)

I'm really going to miss my friends being there. It is hetic sometimes having a bunch of people in the house but it's also nice to have them around. SS always has someone to hang out with and so do I. Plus I almost feel like we are having some quality time together before they move because I know with both of us being involved with Marching Bands it will be hard to get together once school starts. ~sigh~

Menu Plan 6/30-7/6

Last week's menu changed quite a bit, especially since there were several "TBD" days. Monday was the only day we followed the menu; Tuesday I made Linguine with Chicken Thighs (although I used angel hair pasta), Wednesday was pizza and swimming, Thursday was Ham Casserole, my friend made Spaghetti bake on Friday and we grilled out Saturday. Yesterday our friends took us to Outback as a thank you for staying. It wasn't necessary but it was REEEEAAAALLLLLYYY good and super sweet of them to do.

This is what we have for this week so far:

Monday: BBQ chicken, broccoli & cheese, pasta salad

Tuesday: Pork Ribs, sides TBD

Wednesday: TBD ~Stevie may be working out of town and if so the girls are eating out~

Thursday: Smothered pork chops, mashed potatoes

Friday: Hamburgers & Hot dogs, potato salad, baked beans ~typical 4th of July~

Saturday: TBD - It's our friends 40th birthday so he will get to choose

Sunday: Possibly friends are leaving :<

For other menu plans visitHeavenly Homemakers. She is filling in for Organizing Junkie this week.

CSV Deals - June 29-July 5

I spent a lot of time deciding on transactions for this week. I wrote my list, got all my coupons together and went to the only CVS in my town. (There are many in the surrounding areas with the closest one being a little over 10 miles away.) Needless to say I wasn't very pleased when I left. I realize that the $4 off $20 coupon says one per customer but the same manager let me use it twice the day before and only when I have a cart full of stuff (4 transactions) does he say no. And when I asked why he left me do it the day before...he said that he didn't want to make a scene. (But I guess today was okay?!?!)

And then after that I didn't even get my ECB's for the swiffer deal...and I was in line for more than 30 minutes. It was closing time so the manager said sorry, call the 800 #. Which I did and they are supposed to have them added to my card by the end of the week.

+ 2 cases of water (not shown)

Transaction #1

1 Gold Emblem Water - $2.99 (Sunday & Monday only)
1 Huggies Wash - $3.49
1 Bic Soleil razor - $6.99
1 Bic Soleil refill - $6.99
1 Clean & Clear lotion - $6.49

I used these coupons:

1- $4/$20 (clerk put it in before mgr came to the register)
1- $2 off Clean & Clear
1- $4 off Bic
1- $2 off Bic

Total after coupons: $2.09 & $16 EBC's OOP

ECB's Earned = $6.00

Transaction #2

1 Kashi bars - $2.50
1 Swiffer wet - $5.99
1 Crest - $1.99
1 CVS Cotton swabs - $3.19
1 Physicians Formula Mascara - $7.99

I used these coupons:

1- $4/$20 (I had a CRT that I used when they refused the printed one)
1- .75 off Crest
1- $2 off CVS Beauty product
1- $2 off Kashi product

Total after coupons: $2.08 & $15 EBC's OOP

ECB's Earned = $10.99

Transaction #3

1 Kashi bars - $2.50
1 Swiffer dry - $5.99
1 OB tampon - $4.49
1 Renuzit - .77
2 Huggies wash - $3.49/each

I used these coupons:

2 - $1 off Huggies
1- $1.50 off OB tampons
1- $2 off Kashi product

Total after coupons: $4.66 & $10.99 EBC's OOP

ECB's Earned = $5.50 I should have received an extra $5 for the swiffer, but it didn't print.

Transaction #4

1 Clairol haircolor - 5.99
1 Renuzit - .77
1 Right Guard Professional - 6.99
2 Softsoap body wash - BOGOF @ 3.99
2 Lifesavers - BOGOF @ 2.19

I used these coupons:

1- $4 off Clairol
1- $1 off Softsoap
1- $1 off Right Guard
1- BOGOF for Lifesavers - $2.19
1- $2 off Kashi product

Total after coupons: $6.90 & $5.50 EBC's OOP

ECB's Earned = $6.00

Then realizing that I didn't get the swiffer EBC's, the clerk tried to refund one and ring the other to get them to print. It didn't work but since he refunded $6.29 and when he rung it up again I paid with ECB's so when it was all said and done I spent all my ECB's; I had started with $16 ECB's and I should have gotten $5 back so I'll count it as $11 ECB's and $9.44 on my debit card. At first, I was mad about that but then I thought about it...look at what I got for about $20. That is a lot of stuff!! And I couldn't have gotten half of that with $20 anywhere else.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

CVS Deals June 23-28 ~Part Two~

I couldn't help myself from making a second trip to CVS for the weekly deals last week.

Transaction #1

1 Bounty Papertowel - $5.49
2 Colgate Toothpastes - $2.99/each
3 CVS cotton swabs - $3.19/each

I used these coupons:

1- $4/$20
3- 2.00 off CVS Beauty
2- 1.50 off Colgate

Total after coupons: 1.26 & $6.98 EBC's OOP

ECB's Earned = $10.00

Transaction #2

2 Bounty Papertowels - $5.49/each
2 All - $6.49/BOGOF
2 Maxwell House Coffee - $4.99/BOGOF

I used these coupons:

1- $4/$20
1- .75 off Maxwell House
1- 1.00 off All

Total after coupons: $16.83 EBC's OOP

ECB's Earned = $10

I used up some of my EBC's but at the end of the day I still had $16 and I only spent $1.26 on my debit card so I was pleased. I wasn't as excited as before because I had a really hard time getting my ECB's to go through for some reason and it wasn't because the purchase was too small. The manager eventually had to void everything and start from scratch. It was a pain to stand there so long, but I wasn't upset. (Now Sunday's trip was a whole different issue...more on that later.)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Eat Your Veggies Contest

Pop on over to Eat Your Veggies for a chance to win Pop'rs. Pop'rs are seasonings that come in 8 jazzy flavors to spice up your food. Pun totally inteaded. And you could win two flavors of your choice by entering before Sunday June 29th.

As their site says...Yes, your kids will really eat broccoli!!


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

~13 Kitchen Gadgets I Yearn For~

See more at Thursday Thirteen

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I never really say anything on here, just post my bargains and recipes...but that's not why I wanted to blog. I love reading blogs. It's looking into to someone else's life with permission. You know that saying, "if I could be a fly on the wall"? Well, I'm THAT fly people.

There are a few blogs that I read religiously everyday like Money Saving Mom, Freebies 4 Mom, A Year of Crockpotting...all for very obvious reasons, but the ones I really love are just people sharing their life. And I think of things to blog about everyday but my life rears it's ugly little head and then there is always something else that needs to be done.

Take this week for example. We have houseguests...3-5 depending on who's there at what time of the day. Our friends are moving to another state (about 3 hours away) and they have sold their house here but do not close on the new one until July 3rd so we offered them a place to stay during the transition. Normally, it's just the 3 of us so it has taken a little getting used to having double the people in the house. But these are our closest friends and we wouldn't have it any other way. Now my fridge, freezer and cupboards feel a bit differently since they are taking a real beating at this moment...combining two households worth of food is not an easy task.

Neither is cooking for 7 (...8 or 9) when you aren't used to it, but I love to cook and I'm pretty darn good at it...or so they tell me in between bites. I strayed a bit from the menu plan and made Chicken Thighs with Angel Hair last night. It took a bit more prep than I'm used to for a weeknight but it was worth every minute. Unfortunately I did not take any pictures since we were all starving and anticipating my Strawberry Pretzel Surprise for dessert.

Tonight I planned on making a Ham and Potato cassarole but I think since it's their last official day of ownership, we might order pizza and go swimming at their soon-to-be-sold house one last time.

Wordless Wednesday-Ride to Work

Click HERE for more Wordless Wednesday from 5 Minutes for Mom.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New to Me Recipes - Honey Cookies

Okay, everyone stop what you are doing and make these cookies RIGHT NOW! They are soooo good and soooo easy I almost can't believe it. This recipe is moving to numbero uno in rotation...they will be my contribution to bake sales for years to come.

Honey Cookies courtesy of Happy To Be @ Home

Makes about 36 cookies


1/2 cup softened butter or margarine
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 egg
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Beat together until smooth: margarine, sugar, honey, and egg. Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Drop spoonfuls of the batter onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake in an oven preheated to 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes.

As noted in the original recipe I sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on the cookies immediately after removing them from the oven. (But I should have mixed the two and then sprinkled for a cleaner look.) The cookies really did stay soft, even the next night they were still nice and chewy!

CVS Deals June 23-29

I owe so much to so many for bringing CVS to my life! Mainly I need to thank Money Saving Mom and The "Cent"sible Sawyer for showing me the light. Now onto my latest deal:

Here's what I got:

2 Listerine Smart Rinse - $3.49/each
2 Colgate Toothpaste - $2.49/each**
1 8 pk Bounty Paper Towels - $5.49

I used these coupons:

1- .25 off Bounty (from insert)
2- 1.00 off Listerine (PRINTABLE)
2- 1.50 off Colgate (from All You)

Total after coupons: .47 & $12 EBC's OOP

ECB's Earned = $10.98

**They rang for $2.99 BUT the sign said $2.49 so the manager did a price adjustment. This is not the first time that something has rang sure to look!

If I would have given it a bit more thought then I could have added a filler and used a $4/20 coupon, but S was waiting on me and I was in a bit of a rush and I was really focusing on rolling my $10 ECB (which I did) so I was thinking after coupon price instead of total. It seems I'm always thinking of different scenarios once I leave...

Want to see more CVS savings? Visit the "Cents"ible Sawyer's CVS Superstars! or Money Saving Mom


I'm not a morning person. Never have been, never will be. A few months ago I used to actually dread getting up for work and not just for that reason. I worked for a local business that provides phone service for the east coast and while I was glad to have a job that provided for me and my family, it wasn't a pleasant environment. We had absurd rules that was my job to enforce, even if I didn't agree.

After 5 years, I was offered a position at another company. Since March I've been a much more relaxed person and I actually enjoy coming to work. Not only is the work less stressful, but I'm making the same salary as before with many more perks.

Plus I love the drive to work. Instead of traveling by interstate, I use the Blue Ridge parkway and the scenery is breathtaking some mornings. I never grow tired of seeing bunnies, deer, turtles, turkeys, baby ducks on the way to work.

This Gratituesday, I'm grateful not only to be employed but to work somewhere with integrity. I'm grateful that it provides for my family and makes me happy.

Join HeavenlyHomemakers each Tuesday...for Gratituesday!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Menu Plan 6/23-6/6/29

Last week we ended up ordering pizza for Tuesday night's dinner because we still had a ton of packing to do for our trip. And we came back early so Saturday we went to friends for dinner, but then last night I made Kraft's Foil Pack Taco Chicken and Skillet Corn.

It's going to be a strange week for us; we will have houseguests for the next 2 weeks so double the mouths to feed. We are going to sit down together Wednesday or Thursday to make a plan and go grocery shopping together but here's what I have so far:

Monday: Meatloaf (from freezer), Mashed Potatoes, Macaroni & Cheese, Peas(?) and Garlic Bread

Tuesday: Chicken breasts (frozen & marinated in jerk marinade), brown rice and green beans

Wednesday: Ham & Cheese Casserole (not sure if I'll use potatoes or pasta), Salad

Thursday - Sunday: TBD

For other menu plans visit I’m an Organizing Junkie!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Explanation Thursday...

The picture in yesterday's post is of my Granny. She was more like my Mother to me than a Grandmother and we had a special bond like no other. She passed away in January of this year...on my Dad's birthday and while I was on a cruise.

She had been in and out of the hospital for over a month and the doctors had diagnosed her with congestive heart failure right before we left on our cruise. When we docked on Monday morning, I had a message from Bratty Nephew #1 that she had died. It was the single most difficult moment in my life and the drive home was very hard. Thankfully, she had made talked with my Dad and Aunt about her funeral and the arrangements were done by the time I got home.

I miss her.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

$5 CVS Challenge - June 15-21

Last night I sat down with my ads, coupons and blog list so that I could make my shopping list for CVS. I went at lunch today and ended up having to make a few adjustments because they were sold out of the Smart Rinse Listerine (I'm loving this stuff...must get some more before the ECB's end) and Oral B toothbrushes. I thought they were sold out of the CVS bandages too, but they had a huge container full in front of the register. Make sure you look really well for the products you want or even ask a clerk.

Here's what I got:

2 CVS Bandaids - 1.99/each
1 Brut Deodorant - 3.39
1 Adidias Deodorant - 4.99
1 500ct Q-tips (w/ free travel size attached!) - 3.19
1 Greeting card for my sis - 1.99
1 Tylenol 24 ct Rapid Release - 4.49

I used these coupons:

$4/$20 from email for signing up for email alerts
$2.00 off CVS beauty product - found HERE (print at 50%)
$1.50 off any pain reliever - Store coupon that printed last week
$2.00 off any Tylenol product - found HERE
Free Adidias deodorant coupon - $4.99 value (expired 6/15/08 but I they took it anyway)
$1.00 off any Brut product - from All You

Total after coupons: $7.05 OOP

ECB's Earned = $10.98 = $3.93 PROFIT

I only had a $10 ECB certificate so I paid with my debit card, but I was still playing it out in my mind after leaving and if I would have grabbed two more band aids then it would have only cost me $1-2 OOP b/c I could have used my ECB's and I would have received $3.98 more in ECB's...oh well, there is always next time.

Now I have $20.98 in ECB's to spend!! And lots of goodies to boot! I ♥ CVS!

Visit The New Frugal Mom for more $5 Challengers. Want to see more CVS savings? Visit the "Cents"ible Sawyer's CVS Superstars!

New to Me Recipes - Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos & Skillet Corn

On Sunday we all got together at my Dad's to celebrate Fathers Day. My SM (stepmother) decided to go Mexican with this holiday so I made bacon wrapped jalapenos and skillet corn to bring. Both turned out fantastic and were very easy to prepare and transport.

First the jalapenos.
I used 15 jalapenos, one package of cream cheese and 1 pound of bacon. (I had a few pieces of bacon left over that I popped in the microwave and ate while making the skillet corn. It was my reward!)

This recipe comes from Pioneer Woman and couldn't be an a nutshell you take jalapenos, slice them lengthwise, clean out the membrane and seeds (or leave some for the hotheads like I did..."It's not that hot."=famous last words) and then fill with softened cream cheese. Just plain ole' cream cheese...although I used the lower fat variety, Neufchatel. Then you take a package of bacon and slice the whole thing in thirds. Wrap a third of a slice around each stuffed jalapeno and then use a toothpick to hold them together. Because I'm special I used red toothpicks to identify the "hotter" ones and then yellow and green for the "mild" ones.

The original recipe says to bake @ 375 for 25 minutes. I left mine in for 35 minutes and they probably could have used a few more minutes so it just depends on your oven's settings. I have to be honest...I don't like jalapenos so I didn't try them but I made 30 and there weren't any left!

Next up, Skillet Corn.
I grabbed this recipe from Kate at Happy to Be @ Home. Again, really easy directions but it made a very flavorful side dish. I chopped a 1/2 cup of red pepper and a 1/2 cup of onion and cooked them in some butter until the onions were cooked. Then I added a bag of frozen corn, cumin, chili powder, salt & pepper. The original recipe calls for cayenne pepper, but I didn't have any so I left it out. Just heat through or until the corn starts to brown a little.

See all those yummy spices!

This dish would probably freeze really well, but since there wasn't much left I didn't bother trying it. When I make it for home, I will use the same portions and just freeze half of it for a future dinner.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Food Lion - 90% Savings

While I was running errands for work today, I decided to drop by Food Lion to see if they carried Cascadian Farms since I have several coupons that I would like to use and my local Krogers and Walmart does not have this brand. I didn't have any luck finding Cascadian Farms, but I did find some other GREAT bargains! I got $29.47 of groceries for only $3.57.

Here's how:

4 boxes of Honey Bunches of Oats (On sale for $2.50, minus $2.00 coupon = .50 each)
1 box of Curves Cereal (On sale for .99, minus $1.10 coupon = .11 overage)
2 packages of lunch meat (On sale for $2.50, minus $2.99 coupon = .49 overage each)
2 bottles of Sweet Baby Ray BBQ sauce (BOGOF for $2.18, minus $1.00 coupon = .59 each)
1 bottle of FL brand steak sauce (On sale for $1.00 or 10/$10)

Total after MVP but before coupons =$19.65
After coupons = $3.57!!

Here's two of the coupons I used:

Land O'Frost - enter this sweeps and you can print a coupon for FREE Taste Escapes lunchmeat (no coupon limit!)

Honey Bunches of Oats Look for link in the bottom right corner.

And remember to click on my sidebar widget for even more coupon savings! You can find other great deals at Money Saving Mom and Freebies 4 Mom...

Menu Plan 6/16-6/22

We are headed to Buffalo on Wednesday so I only have two days to worry with this week:

Monday: Breakfast for dinner - Eggs, Bacon, Homefries & Toast

Tuesday: Chicken breasts (frozen & marinated in italian dressing), brown rice and green beans

Wednesday-Sunday: Vacation!

SS and I are going to see Wicked on Broadway and S is going to the horse races with our hosts.

I did really well with last week's menu! The only day that changed was Saturday; our friends were nice enough to invite us over for dinner (lots of leftovers from the graduation party!) so I took Beefy and Bratty Nephew #3 to visit and swim. I made the Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos and Skillet Corn for Father's Day and they both turned out awesome! I will post a couple of pictures later with my run down on the whole thing.

For other menu plans visit I’m an Organizing Junkie!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Explanation Thursday...

Since yesterday was Wordless Wednesday, I figured that I would explain the picture I chose to post. It was really appropriate to post since yesterday was the last day of school in my district and it appears bratty newphew #3 is trying to escape from the bus.

Actually, he was just trying to get my attention during a field trip. All the little kiddies from his Head Start class rode the bus to a creamery & dairy farm. The picture was AFTER he sampled a bunch of milk (white, chocolate, strawberry & dreamsicle) AND all the kids had ice cream, so now you understand. ~Side note - this is a local place and all their products are made right there so they are to die for and as a chaparone I too got free milk and ice cream. Nifty huh?!~

Here's a few more pictures from our adventure:

The kids watching as she makes ice cream.

"No, I don't want to take anymore pictures."

Petting the baby cow...awww.

I had to wear a paper cap too...woowee.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wordless Wednesday-This says it all!

Click HERE for more Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

$5 CVS challenge - 6/8-6/14

I'm not sure that I won this challenge but I still got a helluva deal. I've been reading other's blogs for about two weeks and more or less "studying" their techniques. When I saw the deal on cereal this week, I knew it was my turn. Upon accepting The New Frugal Mom's challenge I gathered my coupons and wrote a list of my potential transactions. Earlier today I signed up for the CVS email list so they sent me a $4 off $20 email that I was able to use twice even though it says one per customer. The shift manager had to ring up the first one and even apologized for the trouble. [-:

Transaction #1

3 Dove Deodorants - $2.50 each ($3 ECB)
1 Dove Body Wash - $3.99
1 Brut Deodorant - $3.19 ($3 ECB)
2 Listerine SmartRinse - $3.49 each ($6.98 ECB)

Subtotal = $21.66

Coupons -
$4 off $20
1-$1.00 off Brut
1-.75 off 1 Dove deodorant
1-$1.00 off 2 Dove deodorants
2-$1.00 off Listerine HERE
1-$1.00 off Dove body wash

Subtotal = $12.79

ECB Earned = $12.98

Total = .19 PROFIT

Transaction #2

2 boxes Cheerios - $6.67
2 box Cinnamon Toast Crunch - $6.66
1 box Lucky Charms - $3.33
1 box Total - $3.34
1 box Nature Valley Oat Bars - $3.34

Subtotal = $23.34 (I bought an extra box because some of the tags said 3/$9 & I didn't want to be short at the register...looks like the tag was incorrect)

Coupons -
$4 off $20
1-.55 off Cinnamon Toast Crunch -HERE or click on sidebar widget for coupons
1-.65 off Nature Valley
1-.75 off Total
2-$1.00 off 2 General Mills Cereal

Used ECBs earned in the previous transaction

Subtotal = $2.53

ECB Earned = $10.00

Total = $7.47 PROFIT

Technically I spent $15.32 but still have $10 in ECBs so it was only $5.32 OOP. Either way I really needed deodorant, body wash and mouthwash...and we eat a lot of cereal around here so it was an ideal way to earn ECBs for me.

Visit The New Frugal Mom for more challenge information or to see other money making transactions.