Friday, November 6, 2009

Spending Free Money

A few months ago, I started using SwagBucks as my search engine. It rewards you randomly when you search with "Swag Bucks" which you can redeem for prizes. I've earned almost $40 in Amazon gift cards through this program, and today I bought my first items off Amazon with that moola.

I am most excited for my primary purchase, The Pioneer Woman Cookbook! I love Ree's website and recipes, which are laid out in easy to follow picture-accompanied steps, and am really looking forward to having her book in my kitchen.

I also got Family Feasts for $75 a week, which had really high recommendations saying the recipes were very original, so I figured I'd give that one a try too (esp since Ree's book doesn't cost enough to qualify for free shipping on its own).

Of course, having a positive balance (or credit) on my amazon account from the gift cards I earned, I didn't have to pay a penny out of pocket for either, which makes me awfully happy. Can't wait to get them in a week or so and start trying new things! Hopefully they'll both become staples in my kitchen.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bad Lean Cusines?

I always keep a few frozen meals in the freezer here at work, in case I forget to pack my lunch or we decide not to go out on a Friday. Last week though, our office lost power for 24-26 hours. Everything in the fridge was tossed out of course, but they've left the freezer goods up to our discretion. Also, I don't think the freezer was opened at all while the power was out.

So, do lean cusines and the like go bad that fast? Would you toss the suckers, or just nuke 'um a little longer?

Thanks!
Annathy

Monday, October 26, 2009

Great Finds at Kohl's

Personally, I find that Kohl's advertises that they have unbeatable prices every time they have a sale, but going this weekend I have to admit they're right about this one. With the economy as it is, I certainly can't predict if these will be the lowest these items go through the year, but I thought some deals were worth mentioning here. Also important to note, the Kohl's sale is only through tomorrow, 10/27.



  • Shoe sale- everything seems to be about 50% off, including these babies, which are my favorite work shoes ever. The pair I own now has been on my feet about 3 days a week for the past year, and while they currently need polishing, are still going strong. $22.99 is the best price I've seen on them, so I had to get them.

  • Houdini- 50% off; this is definately the best price I've seen on these. Normally they go on sale for about $25 but this week all the Houdini wine accessories are half price. If you have a vino enthusiast friend, these openers are a great gift, and the fancy (and awesome) corkscrew they have is $17 right now.

  • Kitchenaid Pink- While the kitchenaid pink line is on a pretty average sale (20-33% off), since it's the end of breast cancer awareness month, they've started to quietly clearance some of the items. Scan a few things- I found a nice parring knife for $7.50 down from $15.

  • Pantry items- I've wanted an olive oil bottle for awhile, but $8 sounded rediculous, and it never seemed to be on sale. This week all that stuff is 50% off. I also got a ceramic range spoon for $3, since sitting the stirrer on the top of the oven was driving me nutso.

  • Pillows- All on sale. Kohl's normal prices on these are pretty high, so you might be able to find better, but if you're looking for guest pillows that don't get used every night, the "big one" is only $3.99 and is comfy enough. I splurged on a double chambered down pillow for $27 myself (bedding is one thing I refuse to skimp on- after all, I spend almost a third of my life there!).



In additon to the deals you also get $10 Kohl's cash for every $50 you spend, which is basically a large RR good from 10/28 to 11/10. Between all this, it's one of the best Kohl's sales I've seen in awhile.


Happy Hounding!
Annathy

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rite Aid, I think I love you

If you haven't heard about the fantastic deals Rite Aid is running this week, it's time you did! They have the gift of savings program for fall (ending Saturday), a boatload of free after rebate products, and a P&G deal that combined with the Olay rebate out right now is just too good to pass up! (oh, and to give credit where it is due, I got these deals from Frugalsuz)

P&G Deal- spend $30 on qualifying products, get a $10 Rite Aid gift card, Olay rebate is buy the anti-aging eye roller and a Pantene shampoo or conditioner (12.6 oz or larger), get $20 back.
I bought (I'll try and post pics later):
$21.99 Anti-aging eye roller ($1 Q out there)
$3.50 Pantene shampoo, 12.6 oz
$2.50 Herbal essences shampoo
$2.50 Herbal essences styler (Buy 1 shampoo/cond. get free styler Q in P&G insert this week)
and use a $5/25 Rite Aid Q from their website
=30.49 subtotal
=21.99 after coupons, plus tax on the subtotal
You get back both a $10 GC and a $20 rebate, so that's $8.01 profit if you live in oregon. Down here in Cali it's more like $5... darn sales tax.

Now for the freebies! This week only...
Personally I skipped a few (the kids stuff, & the poligrip), but I may go back for those to hit the Gift of Savings max and just donate those products.
$2.29 Carmex Moisture Plus Lip Balm
$2.99 Sucrets
$3.99 Comtrex cold fighter
$7.99 Breathe again decongestant
$2.99 Bodi Heat wraps
$2.99 Children's throat coolers
$3.99 Coldwar cold fighter
$4.99 Simply Saline adult ($1 coupon 7/26 insert)
$3.99 Simply Saline children's ($1 coupon 7/26 insert)
$2.49 Bee M.D. cough drops
$9.99 Allergen Block gel ($3 coupon 5/3 insert)
$1.99 Carmex 3 pack (the original tubes)
$8.99 Allergy Buster or Sinus Buster
$1.99 Super Poligrip (freebie coupon 10/4 insert)

If you buy all these, it's $61.66 before coupons and tax, so that's what you will get back since all the items are FAR. Use the insert coupons and two $5/25 Rite Aid coupons (you'll probably need to break it up into two transactions), and you can get it all for $44.67 + taxes. That's already like $17 profit! (Okay, Okay, like 11 in Cali... but you get the idea)

Even better, everything you buy qualifies towards the gift of savings program which works like this: Buy $25 worth of stuff, get a $5 gift card, buy $50 worth of stuff, get a $10 gift card, buy $100 worth of stuff, get a $20 gift card. Just these items stack you up to $92.15, skipping a few I'm still over $80. That's a free $10 gift card, bringing your total profit to over $20, even after accounting for sales tax. If you're close to the $100 mark, it's worth it to buy a few items you'd pick up at the grocery store here instead and make it a $20 GC. Just sayin'.

For icing on the cake, all but one (the fancy lip balm) of the freebie items is a qualified flexible spending account item for you FSA and HSA kids. So you may even be able to pay with money from those accounts!

Have fun Hounding everyone!!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Things I've done recently to save $

Hey, I know it's been forever since I've posted, um, anything. But I'm alive, I've just been using the stockpile more than building it, particularly since my storage space has decreased (though I do have a very nice size closet/pantry dedicated entirely to hounding- it's just full!). I figured I'd go over some of the more day-to-day things I've been doing.

1) Transferred my prescription around. I've done this twice in the past 45 days, getting a $30 credit/gc at a grocery store each time. I like eating for free, don't you?

2) Coinstar'd my spare change into a CVS gift card- for free! Coinstar waives their fee if you get a gift card instead of cash (thier website lets you know which machines have which GC options).

3) Using Swagbucks as my search engine. So far, I've accumulated $30 in amazon gift cards (which are stackable) and deposited them in an amazon account. Just for doing searches and referring a few friends- I love that site.

4) Tracking my expenses. Just knowing that I have to write it down makes me think twice about something I want.

5) Submitted my FSA claims as they come up. I'm less likely to lose the reciepts this way, and I get my moola back faster.

I'm hoping to get some good hounding in this weekend at CVS, WAGS, and RA. We will see!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Target Trip

I'm going to start this post with the caveat that only the Razor deal and Tide deal is good now (slash elsewhere). My local Target just opened a grocery section last month and had sent out some promotional home mailers with Target Q's that are what made my trip such a good deal for me.

So, we'll start with the stuff that is still good.

Schick Razor $6.99, sale (normally $8.29 at my location)
-$4 MC from last week's paper
-$4 Target Q from this week's paper
=$1.01 overage!

Tide, 100 oz, $10.99
-$1 MC from this week's paper
-$1 Target Q (mine was from the mailer, but I believe there is another recent one out)
=$8.99
The smaller bottles are also on sale at CVS this week for a lower OOP, but I like to use the Total Care which are not included in the CVS sales (if your CVS even carries that kind) and per ounce it's a comparable deal.

Simply Lemonade, $2.04 with CRV
-$0.75 Target Q from my Mailer
=$1.29

2*Tostitos, sale $2.50 (plus free salsa when you buy 2)
-$1/2 Target Q from my Mailer
=$4 for both

Salsa, $0 (from above deal)

A&H Baking Soda (larger size, for my stinky sink!) $1.18

Subtotal: $26.10 before CRV and sales tax
-$5/25 Target Q from my Mailer
-all other Q's mentioned above
+ remaining sales tax
=$10.06 OOP!

I hope the Razor and/or Tide scenario helps. The Tostitos deal isn't bad either if you like their salsa. I'm not a fan personally, but I needed to get to $25 and I do like the scoop chips for guac.

Lata!
Annathy

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Saving and Traveling- Hotels!

So, we all have this dilemma. Hotels are expensive. Always. Like, several times more per night than my rent (even in the middle of nowhere, and I rent in the land of overpriced beachyness... or beachiness- I'm not sure of the correct grammer there). The good news is there are a few benefits to them.


1) You don't need your own shampoo. Unless you're really picky and/or allergic. I rarely use all the things they put in the room, but I find they generally replace them after day 1 because I put them in the shower (where I... use them!) instead of on the counter. So I like to take these and keep them as an emergency stash. They also work really well paired with guest towels to make your company feel plush (if you have a borderline rediculous stockpile of J&J buddies, I may have stolen and tweaked this tip from you). I also take them with me if I'm staying with friends or family (particularly the soap bars) for some occasion.

2) Rewards. Again it depends on the chain. Hilton does points + miles so you earn both, but the amount of points needed to redeem a free room can be about twice as many as their nemesis Marriott. (Disclaimer: I mostly stay at Hilton b/c my coworkers prefer it and we try to share rental cars, but I worked at a Marriott through college and I think the brands are pretty comparable). Smaller chains tend to offer less predictable rewards- for example Omni gave me a get your second weekend night free certificate awhile back when I checked in, but they don't have a specific point based program. Even online brokers are beginning to get into the deal (unlike airlines who mostly don't award miles through expedia/hotwire type purchases). However, they are usually specific to their purchase website, not the brand or all stays. I hear Radisson (part of Gold Points) has some of the best rewards, but unfortunately I really, really dislike their sleep-number beds.



Of course, there are also things to watch out for:

1) Parking. To me, this is the equivalent of a checked bag fee on airlines. Once you're there, you are stuck with it. So when you're looking around, check the prices. Especially if you are staying downtown or near a touristy area (sporting stadium, zoo, etc) where parking is premium.

2) Breakfast. This can be huge, depending on who you're traveling with. For families I think it is almost always better to stay somewhere with a free breakfast, but if that isn't possible look for rates that include it. Usually the price difference is about the amount of one adult breakfast, making your spouse and/or children nearly free. Also, even if breakfast is crazy expensive and you have no option 2.5 (see directly below), pastries from the local grocer are always cheaper than dining out.

2.5) Mini fridge or fridge. The mini is ALMOST as good as free breakfast. You can buy groceries for a fraction of what eating out costs. Mini fridges are getting relatively common at "family friendly" hotels, but always check. Full size fridges are even better, generally found in long term hotels (which do take short term reservations) which often times feature full kitchens. These hotels allow you the flexibility to make breakfast and dinner at your hotel and only eat lunch out during your daily activities, but can cost more depending on the area.

3) Internet. If you just need directions somewhere the desk staff should be able to take care of that, but if your teenagers are addicted to facebook (and the prospect of listening to them whine about it all week makes you queesy) or you need to check your work email to ensure the world didn't end (you might be an earthquake specialist in San Francisco... I don't know), this is a free bonus to look for.

4) Pools. If this is important to you, call ahead! You'll want to make sure they aren't painting the thing or doing work on it for the duration of your trip, and get an idea of the pool size, indoor or outdoor, and if there are other pools you can use (like if sister hotels are adjacent, they will usually let guests of either hotel use their pool- especially if one is indoor and the other outdoor).

5) Transportation. If you're flying in, see if the hotel offers a shuttle service that would keep you from needing a rental car or cab.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Saving and Traveling

These are two words that don't always go well together. After all, most of the things associated with traveling are pretty expensive- hotels, airfare, rental cars, eating out. But, there are ways to save yourself moola from these activities. Since I've been traveling a lot lately and it's reduced my other hounding, I'd like to share some of the ways I've found to do this. And today is... airlines!



Airfare- I like to check sidestep.com, and I hear airfarewatchdog is also an excellent site. But the bottom line is to look around. Even if you try to stick with the same airline, make sure they aren't way above market price for your flight. If you can, buy in advance. About 2 weeks before is a pretty good time, mostly you want to avoid the window within one week of travel. I've found that booking really far in advance is hit or miss because of the speculation of fuel costs in advance, but early is almost always cheaper if you are planning to go somewhere around a holiday.



Baggage- Check the policies before you book! You almost have to think of it as part of the price of the ticket. Some airlines let you check one free, but most charge $15 for your first bag and $25 for your second. So if you're going on a weekend thing and can handle carry-on, no biggie. But if you're checking a bag odds are you need to tack $30 onto your round-trip airfare when you're comparing.



Airline rewards- Always, always, always sign up! Even if you fly an airline only one time, you may earn enough "miles" or rewards to get something that helps you. For example, Northwest's program allows you to get newspaper subscriptions in a lot of cities. I can get the LA times for a whole year for 887 miles if I just want Sunday, or 1000 miles for weekend (Fri-Sun) service. Wa-la! Free coupons for a year from a single roundtrip flight! I get a fair amount of magazines this way too, I'm hoping "all you" will someday be an option on at least one airline.



If you do fly a lot, it's beneficial to stay with the same airline when you can since elite status usually garners you bonus miles to get free flights faster, some forgo the bag check fee for elite, and you are more likely to get upgraded. If you usually fly long flights it may benefit you to pick one which rewards based on mileage. I usually fly shorter flights, so I like Southwest which doesn't care how far the flight is. Also check what the fees are- many airlines now charge $50 to book your "free" flight. Keep in mind where they fly too. I fly Southwest a lot, but they'd be a bad airline to pick for rewards if my goal was to go to Hawaii considering they don't leave the continental US.



Credit Cards- Completely depends on the card and how much you use it. Make sure to check out all the benefits and costs. The ones with annual fees usually give you better rewards, but if you don't use it much it's not enough to defray the cost. Some like Continental also give you benefits like not paying to check your first bag when you have their card, I think Alaska gives you a free companion pass each year which acts as a buy one get one for $50 (booking fee). Only you know what works for you. I don't have any of these cards, but I'll admit I'm considering the Southwest one since I fly them a lot.

Next up will be hotels :-D

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fly-by

Wowsers! Time does fly, especially when I do! I went out of town for 4th of July, came back for a night before flying 1000 miles for work that week, was out in the field 70% of this past week, fly off tomorrow morning for work again, and then I'm staying at a friends close to the airport the night we come back so I don't have to drive home for the 11 hours between that flight and my one to Nashville this weekend (one of my good friends is getting married... yay!). These travel times seem to come in spurts, and this one has been crazier than usual.

I've not been couponing much these days, though I recently spent a boatload of rebate money right before the 4th at Costco (I have the Costco Amex and my rebate has to be redeemed there- it CAN be redeemed for cash though, so it's not like I was obligated to spend all this dough there), and I used a lot of Costco coupons and got tons of trashbags (I really like theirs), clorox wipes, air wick refills (I know I'm not supposed to pay for these, but my stores always seem OOS when they are free or a MM and with Q they were about $1 each), swiffer wipes, lysol bathroom cleaner, sunscreen (which I'll submit for FSA reimbursement since it is over spf 30), a PUR faucet mount, off-brand huggable hangers, some easy meal stuff like the spinach and cheese ravioli you just boil (which keeps me from getting take-out more often) and two shamefully large bottles of quality liquor.

Today I stopped by WAGS and picked up the Bic disposable razors. They have them on sale for $2.99 this week and there was a $2 coupon in today's paper. Even with SoCal taxes it came to $1.27 which I paid with my GC for a $0 OOP. Not free, but I'm OK with that price for 4 razors, especially since I didn't make it out to CVS for the free one last week.

Also I have basically finished organizing the new place and hopefully before the end of the month I will post pictures of my stockpile.

Search & Win

Monday, June 29, 2009

New (or Improved) Budget

I can hardly believe it has been all the way since June 4th that I last posted! Yikes!! Things have been so crazy with moving, though I'm almost settled now (almost being the key word) in the new place, and the old we just have the walk through tomorrow with our landlord. It's super clean but I doubt that will help them- they've only had one showing since they put the rent sign up 2 weeks ago.

I also took a look at my budget thinking that moving is a good time to do some rework on the darn thing. Most articles use budgets of percentages whereas I've just been trying to spend a set dollar amount or save a certain amount, and I'm hoping this new plan will keep me just a smidge closer to sane.

(Deep Breath)... Here goes...

24% Taxes/Unchangeable deductions (medical, dental, FSA- stuff I can only change once a year)
20% 401(k) Contribution
15% Rent (includes utilities)
10% Long Term Savings for a home, retirement, etc
5% Short Term Savings for 'sometimes' expenses like car insurance, vacations, weddings, etc
8% Roth IRA Contribution (which requires me rolling the thing over to a firm that doesn't stink)
18% Other spend including groceries, gas, and fun money

The hard parts are the Roth and the Long Term Savings. I've set up the 5% to come from my checking to my savings and I'll reroute when I need it to pay for these things, but the 10% I need to find something solid and looooow maintenance to put it in. I'm thinking index funds, but to go with ETFs or Mutuals? One that follows S&P or two to three to cover different spectrums? I've read up some, but it's so hard to pick what is best with the fees and everything. As for the Roth I just need to roll it over, the people it's with now don't have an office out here, and I don't like them anyways.
Not to mention sticking to the budget. That might not be a walk in the park, either.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Old Navy, Baby!

So I finally got to Old Navy to use the $50/$100 coupon I found during the oldnavyweekly.com reload Sunday night. Let's take a peek at my new clothes, shall we?
Disclaimer: I sound a little like an ON advertisement below, but it's been a loooong time since I've bought clothes for me that weren't specifically to improve my work wardrobe, and I'm a little excited.

We'll start with the dresses ($15 each sale price). They aren't fancy or anything, but perfect little sundresses. And in case you missed it a few posts back, I'm moving to the beach... I plan on wearing things with the word "sun" in them a lot. Sundress, sunglasses, sunscreen, sun... okay, that's all I got.

What is this? Color, in my wardrobe! Lions, and Tigers, and Bears, Oh My!

Of course, two dresses aren't enough, I can't wear them all the time... so we'll get some blue shorts and a bright green skirt, too! Skirt $15 on sale, shorts $19.50 regular price
Now, I suppose I should get some practical things for work... how about two tank tops to go under my liter dress shirts? $5 each, sale price. And I loved these shoes, $19.50 they're cute, feel comfy enough, and they are a small wedge, which I like- with the big ones I think "uh I'll just take a normal heel thanks".

As for the socks that snuck in, those are for this "GYM" thing I'm trying to go to right now. These were good thick socks, and I was just a little shy of $100, so I threw them in at $6.50 ($5 each if you buy 2+)

So my subtotal came to $100.50, which was just $50.50 after coupon! Plus tax. Stupid California. But I bought it in OC instead of LA county, so at least the tax wasn't as high as it could have been.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Strawberry Bruchetta

Geez, I hope I spelled that right.

So, with the impending move I've been doing less and less hounding lately. I have, however, recently uped my cooking game! In the past week I've made Strawberry Bruchetta, Creamed Spinach, and Chicken Scallopine, all with moderate to great success (yay!!!). Not to be outdone, DBF made me Bisquick pancakes this weekend... mmm. I found The Pioneer Woman's blog from my hound friend frugalsuz's links, and her cooking is fantastic, and she takes enough pictures to break it down into steps a newbie like me can manage.

As for the Strawberry appetizer, that one I stole from my roommate. And now I'm passing it onto you, because it is SUMMER, and sometimes you just need food that has fruit on top.

Ingredients: 1 loaf french bread or a baguette, extra virgin olive oil, goat cheese, strawberries.

Unfortunately I did not take any pictures, so regular instructions will have to do.

-Preheat your oven to 350 or 400, I don't think it really matters.
-Slice the bread into snackable sized thicknesses.
-Coat one side of each slice lightly (ish, you just don't want it soaked) with the EVOO.
-Spread some goat cheese onto the bread. You can spice it up or buy the pre-herbed cheese if your heart desires.
-Slice your strawberries and put a few slices on each bread slice.
-Bake 'um til the strawberries look dry on top. Since we're not in the broiler, it's very hard to overcook them, so these are very nice for when you'll be busy prepping something else, or just chatting up whomever is so lucky as to have you cooking for them.

Ta-Da! Summer appetizer. They're yummy- I promise!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bye Bye Long Hair, Hello Beach!

I'm moving to the beach! I have one month left in my current place, and then I'll move into my new abode by the sea. My new rent is quite comparable to what I pay now, though I'll miss this place some, and my current roomies (and their furbabies!) more.

In other exciting news, I cut my hair yesterday! Now, I haven't posted any pictures of myself here, but I assure you it was L. O. N. G. It now comes to just below my chin, having chopped off about a foot of it. Yes, a foot.



See? I donated it to Locks of Love at my local Great Clips. If you want to donate, most salons will take care of the shipping and paperwork, so the biggest thing to know is that hair has to be clean, 10" or longer, and not bleached (dyed darker or permed is OK).

Great Clips used to do free haircuts when you donate your hair to LOL across the board, but now it is a franchise by franchise choice, so be sure to call first and check! The first one I called did not, but one 5 miles away from it did, so all my haircut cost me was the tip (please do bring cash for that, as you are still using the stylist's time).

Oh yeah; and have a FANTASTIC, safe holiday weekend!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Burnin' my RR

So two weeks ago, I kayaked to WAGS. And it was awesome. From that little adventure I had a $2.50 Bayer RR that was expiring today, and since I can't let them expire, I bought a book. Nothing stuck out at me in the ad, and while I love the idea of using the library, I simply don't read books fast enough so unless I'm on a kick I just purchase the occasional paperback. Plus, it was $2.50 off. And no worries on CVS; my EB's don't expire til the 23rd.

As for my prior post, I'm leaning towards the beach. After all, I have the rest of my life to live in suburban looking neighborhoods. One more place to see tomorrow, and hopefully I'll be able to make a decision.

MOVING

Sorry I've been MIA for awhile. Between finding out we'd be moving, CVS not having EB deals in Cali this month, and traveling for work, I've just not had much time or desire to go hounding.

So, I'm moving. And since my roommates that are staying in the area got a pay raise when she switched jobs this month, they've decided to get their own place. They've been married three years, so I totally get that, and we're hoping to find places kind of nearby and still hang out, do dinner, etc.

Anyways, I'm now looking for new roommates. I've lived alone before, and I don't like it. I don't like cooking for one, I don't like not speaking to anyone from the minute I leave work til the next morning if I don't go anywhere, and I don't like the idea that if I don't come home no one will ever know it. Plus, why waste money on getting a one bedroom if it isn't important to me?

The question really is SPACE or BEACH. I'd rather have both, but homes close to the beach are old, and inherently small. I'm torn... and taking your opinions!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Kayaking to Walgreens

Yes, that is correct. No typos were involved in the making of this title; I LITERALLY kayaked to my WAGS. We went because 1) it is Ally's B-day weekend 2) it is MAY in SoCal, so dag-nab it the sun should have been out, and 3) turns out WAGS is in the "Starbucks/Jamba Juice" stop on the common Kayak route. Also, when I say "we" I really mean other people went to Starbucks while I went to WAGS, and we we met after. I mean, c'mon, I had higher priority things to do than wait on a light frappochino sugar something with whip cream.

My WAGS had BAYER $1 Q's out for the quick release crystals- so I used my $2 RR that expired today to buy 1 of those at $2.49 and one campbell's tomato soup at $0.59. After $2 RR and $1 Bayer MC, my total was a mere $0.31, most of which was tax. I paid with my GC, got my $2.50 RR for profit thanks to good 'ol bayer, and left a happy camper with dirt on my wet, wet, wet bum.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Challenge Update

Last we chatted, I had $3.65 left to last me until today. I went to my Uncle's wedding reception, which caused me to fill up my gas tank at a cost of $23.70 (worth it), and did the Command hook deal at CVS (this week the metal hooks are $2.50, there is an IP for $2.50, and you get $5 EB back when you spend $15 on them), which cost me $1.31 in tax. Again this was worth it since they made me $3.69 profit and are something I can use.

So all in all, I spent $121.36 this pay period. It wasn't my Challenge goal, but I'll take it! As for this week, I have a $2 RR I need to spend today or tomorrow, and I plan on doing the Coke deal at CVS on Sunday. I should be headed out on a business trip Monday morning, and I'm flying home next Friday for a wedding and Mother's day- so if my plans don't change I won't be doing any "real" grocery shopping until the 11th.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Busted!

Well, turns out I'm not going on my business trip. My company is proactively restricting travel to and from high density offices so that if any of us end up with Swine Flu, we don't spread it. Which on the negative side, means I'll bust my $100 Challenge before we get to May on Friday. On the positive side, I'll now be able to go to my uncle's wedding reception tomorrow... the reception is 2 hours away; gas $ is what will bust me, b/c I could live on stockpiled food this week. It'll be a long day, but I'm really glad I'll get to be there.

On the hounding side, I bought a bayer meter today at WAGS. There is a coupon for a free one back in the 3/22 paper, and you get a $5 RR when you buy it! It's a great deal if you have the Q's. However, tax- even in the low area here- was $1.31, so I definately won't be buying coupons offline; after all the costs (tax, Q, postage) I'd have to buy several more just to recoup that outlay, so I'll just leave the rest on the shelves for my fellow hounds.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Big Spendin'... but still in the game!

My mom was in town (she just went to bed actually, I'll see her in the morning before she leaves), and I was really glad to be able to spend some time with her this weekend. I spent a fair amount of $ on dining out with her and the like, but sometimes it's just nice to spoil yourself with someone you love- especially when that someone lives thousands of miles from you. I spoiled myself with $18.36 Saturday night, $28.50 today at brunch (my treat... after all, this woman birthed me!), and $18 on dinner tonight... which will be dinner tomorrow as well. We also did walking around activities that were free- went to Hollywood and just walked around the mall, Kodak Theatre, and Grauman's where the handprints are; then we drove a little further down and walked Rodeo Drive. Coach was the only store we even went into, and we didn't buy anything, but it was a lovely walk.
I also spent $2.63 picking up more on-sale squash, and $0 OOP but $7.63(ish) off my WAGS GC on a Nivea and 2 papers. I was going to get the contour meter but I didn't have those Q's on me... funny thing is getting home and looking, I'm pretty sure they're in my trunk.

So for My Challenge, I'm down to $3.85 OOP left. Good thing I'm going on a business trip Tuesday, isn't it? No grocery shopping this week!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hounding Pictures!

We'll start with the most exciting picture- my very first donation basket! There is a team at work doing the Revlon Walk/Run event which raises funds to fight breast cancer, and I'm donating a basket for them to raffle off. The retail value of it is ~$60, and I couldn't have done it without my hound friends, so THANK YOU!


Next we have the Dove skin Vitalizer, which upon finding at CVS I mentally jumped up and down- not only did I have a $3.75 IP, I had a $2.50 CRT. Since these were on sale for $4 (not too late to run out and get your raincheck ladies!) this week, that's a profit of $2.25! At this same CVS I finally found clearanced StayFree while I was looking for a filler to eat up the overage on the Vitalizer. I've been looking for these all month so I was happily shocked to find them.


Now, I bought 2 of the Stayfree (all they had, and I needed both to use my $2/2 MC), but there is only one here b/c as soon as I got home my roomie asked if she could buy a pack off me since she had just run out.
Transaction: $4 Vitalizer + $2.39 Stayfree + $2.39 Stayfree - $3.75 IP - $2.50 CRT - $2/2 MC + tax = $1.11 OOP, "sold" one pack stayfree to my roomie (she insisted on giving me $) for $2, for an IMP (in my pocket) of $0.89, and $4 EB profit from the Stayfree.


Speaking of CVS, their TP and paper towels were on sale this week. While I still have plenty of paper towels, we were actually starting to run quite low on TP, so I did this deal twice. It isn't free TP, but I like the stuff, and my stores only double one same-type Q per transaction, so it's harder for me to execute deals like Angel Soft. Plus, that Stayfree/Vitalizer profit has to go somewhere!


First time:
2*$5 12 double rolls TP
-$2/10 CVS brand
-$7.98 EB
= $0.02 OOP
Second time (different day, got another $2/10 from the scanner)
2*$5 12 double rolls TP
$2.89 Edge
-$2/10 CVS brand
-$2 EB, $3 EB, $4.99 EB (softsoap one, said $4.49 on it but scanned at $4.99)
=$0.98 OOP, $2.89 EB back


And finally, my earth day WAGS purchase. Sadly I didn't notice til it was too late I didn't get the 15% off, but this was still a good transaction because the foundations came with free mascaras at this location.

2*$7.19 Physicians Formula Organics foundation w/ spf and free mascara
2*$1.00 Walgreens medicine
$0.99 Walgreens bag
-$3 Physicians Formula Foundation or bronzer (peelie found at CVS awhile back)
-$1 Physicians Formula MC
-$0.99 Free Walgreens bag Q
-$2 RR, $2 RR
=$9.90 on GC, will get back $11 for Physicians Formula

Oh, and as far as my Challenge goes, I still have $71.34 to spend. It'll all come down to if me and my mom go to DisneyLand tomorrow. If we do, I'll bust (just admission is most of that), but if not I think I can manage pretty easy, especially now that my WAGS GC came.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day!

Today I did a few things to save me money AND help the planet.

#1: Carpooled! I do this as often as I can anyways since it helps the planet and puts $ in my pocket directly (gas $ and office incentive program) and indirectly (mileage on my car), but we made a special effort to make sure our schedules allowed us to carpool on Earth Day.

#2: Went to WAGS with my 15% off and free bag coupon. I didn't realize til it was too late I didn't get the 15% off- nothing beeped, and it seems a little odd- but it was still a good transaction. I did get my free bag though and, since good 'ol california is going to start mandating a charge on the use of non-reusable bags come July, this one will help save me cash in the future. Don't tell Mama Earth, but I may have to stockpile a few plastic bags before July for my bathroom sized trash cans. No OOP here- my WAGS gift card finally came!

#3: Went to CVS to look for the Dove Revitalizers. No luck, but it's a sale so you can get a raincheck, and my scanner gave me a $2.50 CRT for a Dove face product; hopefully yours will too! I also got a $2/$10 CVS brand CRT and the CVS TP is on sale for $5/12 double rolls, so I got 2 packs of those for $8 after CRT, and used my $7.98 EB from the Colgate sensitive toothpaste for an OOP of $0.02. No EBs back, but this is a good price on TP I like.

#4: Went to the Pavillions (Safeway) in the same parking lot, and walked over instead of reparking (again, I normally do this, but every bit helps right?). I bought zuccini, squash, a cucumber, salad, spinach, a steak, 2 store brand yogurts, and raspberries for $15.16 and used my $14 in CATS to get all the way down to $1.16 OOP. Sadly, the raspberries rang up as $4.99 instead of the $2.50 I thought they were on sale for (trixy strawberry signs! i really wanted raspberries, too), but customer service still gave me a cash refund for the berries. So I used up $10.17 in spending power, but somehow left the store with $3.83 more cash in my pocket.

#5: Got gas in route rather than stopping out of the way- I didn't need to fill up yet (but this is the cheapest station around) so this only cost me $12.25. I paid cash, which saved me a $0.45 debit card fee- the station doesn't take credit cards (which charge merchants boatloads of fees), which is why they're the cheapest.

#6: Downloaded and printed my FAR Reynold's Recycled Aluminum Foil form. This isn't available anymore, but hopefully lots of you got it too.

My Challenge: $71.43 left to spend

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Update on all things Anna

So #1 my name isn't really Anna: but it is reasonably close, and it is a nickname (along with "annathy") I've had for a very long time. Plus, it was reinforced by a good friend when Notting Hill came out as me and Ms. Julia Roberts (Anna, in that specific movie) share the same birthday.

#2 My challenge: I spent $3.65 yesterday on yogurtland where I purchased some frozen yogurt (and toppings I haven't been able to eat since my surgery... PARTY!!!) That takes me to $79.87 left for the month.

#3 The seasons here in SoCal are changing- like it was 98 on my way home yesterday. 98. In April. F'real. It's going to cool down though, so I'll hold off on chopping my hair off for now.

#4 On a happy note, I get to go back to my hometown Mother's Day weekend for DBF's friend's wedding- and Mother's Day. Fortunately I'm sure she hasn't found this website, so I'm in the clear on telling ya'll I'm putting some of the lyrics of Taylor Swift's "The Best Day" (all mom's should see/hear/read this song b/c it's awesome- and for you) on her card. I love Swift to begin with b/c the gal is all around talented, reasonably humble, writes her own stuff, plays the guitar, etc. And then there is this song to her mom, which I just love. Below are the lyrics I plan on quoting on the left side of my card (to be hounded shortly!) ... hopefully the annathy mama likes it!


Portions of "The Best Day":

I'm five years old-It's getting cold-I've got my big coat on
I hear your laugh-And look up smiling at you-I run and run

I don't know why all the trees change in the fall
I know you're not scared of anything at all
Don't know if Snow White's house is near or far away
But I know I had the best day- With you today

I'm thirteen now- And don't know how my friends- Could be so mean
I come home crying and you hold me tight and grab the keys
And we drive and drive- Until we've found a town- Far enough away
And we talk and window-shop- Until I've forgotten all their names
I don't know who I'm gonna talk to- Now at school
I know I'm laughing on the car ride home with you
Don't know how long it's gonna take to feel okay
But I know I had the best day- With you today

Now I know why all the trees change in the fall
I know you were on my side- Even when I was wrong
And I love you for giving me your eyes
Staying back and watching me shine

And I didn't know if you knew- So I'm taking this chance to say
That I had the best day
With you, today

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Weekend

is over... :-(

Which is sad, but the good news is that it was fun, my mouth hurts less now than it did Friday (yay progress!), and I'm doing pretty well with my Challenge. Saturday was my first spending- I picked up sugar snap peas, avocados, chicken broth, and wine for $13.42 at Trader Joe's without any Q's, and spent $0.86 at WAGS (I bought the FARR hairties and chapstick and used the $3.50 Colgate RR for most of the cost).

Now today I only spent $2.20 on bus fare to get down to the Long Beach Grand Prix- where parking was running $35 by my friend's condo (which views the course!). As a party guest I brought wine, but I didn't buy it today, so $0 OOP for that. The Prix was a blast- I've never been to a race before and it was really neat despite being incredibly loud. From my friend's balcony, we watched the professional Indy race where Ashley Judd's husband won, and the race after with the modified corvettes and porshes... if any of those drivers decide they don't want their cars anymore, I'd be more than happy to help them out with that!

My Challenge Money- $83.52 left to spend this month

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My Challenge

So loads of my hound friends are doing stockpile challenges right now- either using them to keep their OOP as low as humanly possible, or building them up with as low an OOP as possible. These sound like pretty long term goals to me, and I'm a little bit ADD, so I've decided to make myself a short term one.

It goes like this: don't spend more than $100 OOP for the rest of the month. Groceries, gas, splurges, etc. I'm not counting when I pay my rent and utilities, just stuff I can control from right now - 4/30.

Actually, I'm starting it yesterday since that was payday for me and that'll make the challenge one pay period (plus, I didn't spend anything yesterday). I'm also gonna give myself one major exception, which is plane tickets. Because DBF and I are a one hour flight apart, I buy those when I can get a good price on them and keep that part of my budget flexible.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Holy Bertolli!

Thanks to Dancinmama for this fantastic deal!



14*$2.00 Bertolli premium sauce pouch
1*$2.50 Bertolli sauce jar
-5*$1/1 Bertolli premium sauce pouch Q's
-5$$1.50/2 Bertolli any sauce Q's
=$18 OOP, got back $10 ONYO for spending $30 on "feeling great" products (look for the background on the price labels in stores for participating products) AND 7 $2 ONYO from Bertolli (this is $2 for buying 2... it may only be for the pouches, and it MAY only be through today, I don't have confirmation of that either way)- That's a $6 Profit!!! On food!


Then bought this stuff with the $10 Cat (hey, a gal can't live on pasta sauce alone... especially considering I can't eat it yet- the sauce has stuff in it that can get caught in my wisdom tooth sockets)



6*$0.70 Yoplait
$2.50 Safeway Ice cream
$2.50 Imitation crab legs
$0.79 Salt
2*$1.65 Healthy request tomato soup (I hate that these aren't on sale, but I need some tomato soup for lunches this week)
-$0.40/6 Yoplait Q, Doubled to $0.80
-$0.55 Imitation crab peelie, "Doubled" to $1
-$0.40/2 Healthy Request soup Q, Doubled to $0.80
-$10 Catalina from previous purchase
=$0.69 OOP


And before this stop I'd gone to WAGS for some free stuff
Trans 1:
$2.99 Skintimate
$2.00 Scunci Hairties, 18 pk
-$4 GC from yesterday
=$1.15 OOP, got $3 RR and $2 RR back
Trans 2:
$3.29 Toothbrush
$1.99 Chapstick
-$3 RR from Skintimate
-$2 RR from Scunci
=$0.77 OOP, got $3.50 RR and $2 RR back

Monday, April 13, 2009

Survived!

So, my mouth hurts. And these perscription painkillers are a little overrated... I don't really notice a difference when between them and two excedrin. But, I'm alive! I even managed to go to work today, though I wasn't particularly focused. Turns out operating on 8 hours of sleep is rough when your body is screaming for 14. On the way home I stopped at CVS and WAGS on the way home, and I was too dang tired to go lookin' for my colgate coupons, so I settled for free on those babies.

CVS:
2*$3.99 Colgate Sensitive (yay! my roomie has sensitive teeth, and the sensitive brands are hardly ever included in sales, so I'm excited to get these for her)
$4.99 Softsoap apricot scrub (you have to get the apricot or coconut, else no EBs)
-$1 Softsoap Q
-$10 EB from Covergirl
-$1 EB from Pantene
-$1.15 OOP, got back $7.98 EB for Colgate, $4.49 EB for Softsoap, and $0.50 cash from the manager since the ad says the softsoap EB should be $4.99.

WAGS:
$2.00 Scunci hair ties, 18 pk
$1.99 Chapstick
=$4.36 OOP (I burned all my RRs on the garnier last week)
NO RR's printed, so the manager here decided just to give me a gift card. I was exhausted and wished the RRs had just printed, but I didn't show it and now have better than RRs- after all, there's no expiration date on GCs. Hopefully my GC from last months ESR items will get here soon and I can stop spending cash here for a bit- walgreens says it's shipped!

Sorry for the lack of pic... did I mention I'm exhausted? Phew- cus it's bedtime!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Triple Threat!

WAGS, CVS, and RA all in one day... I think I may need some Jim, Jack, and Jose to follow that! I decided that I didn't want to risk my RRs expiring if I don't feel up to hounding next week, so I spent all of them today! Never fear though- I spent it on ESR items, so I'll get some of it back via my GC.

WAGS:
2*$10.00 Garnier lotions (I have sources that tell me it's good stuff, and spf 28 prolly isn't bad for me either)
5*$0.20 Royal Gelatin (filler/more food I can eat this weekend)
-2*$1 Garnier lotion Q's
-3*$2 Chapstick RR
-$3 Skintimate RR
-$3.50 Colgate RR
+$1.75 tax
=$8.25 OOP, and will get $11 back on my GC from the Garnier... I can't count this as profit since I spent $ to get the RRs, but converting them back to $ that doesn't expire is just as good in this case!





Psst... my stacking abilities have quite improved since I learned to post pictures. Just observin'.


Now off to CVS, where I'm sure I doddled for over an hour. But my store was OUT of skintimate, the bogo razors, pringles, and it seemed like everything else I wanted- so I had lots of reconfiguring to do.




$11, 3/11 Coca Cola
4*$3.99 Pantene natural shampoos and conditioners
2*$6.29 Pantene nourishing detangler spray
3*$0.99 Puffs
$13 Olay/Covergirl foundation
$7.99 Covergirl TrueBlend loose powder (you can get mascara here instead and hit the $20 mark even for the CG EB deal, but I'm stocked to the brim on those so I opted to pay the extra buck for this stuff)
$9.99 Physician's formula- has Try Me Free rebate. Keep an eye out for these for the WAGS sale coming up- I'd rather have done it there, but I needed a big filler.
$3.89 Kotex
-$15/$75 CRT
-$1.50 Kotex CRT
-$1.50 CVS CRT cashier put through (I didn't give this to her, I think it was her first attempt to type in the $15 CRT)
-2*$3 off Pantene Shampoo AND Conditioner (must buy both)
-2*$6.29 FREE Pantene Styler when you buy a shampoo and conditioner
-$0.25/3 Puffs Q
-$4 Olay/Covergirl Foundation Q
-$1 Any CG Q
-$15.54 EBs
+3.99 Tax
+1.80 CA can deposit
=$25.12 OOP, got back $15 EB and will submit for $9.99 TMF rebate





Rite Aid free Shampoo

My RA seemed to be out of the Blink stuff, so I just got 5 shampoos instead of 4... I can always use clean hair though!
5*$5.00 John Frieda Shampoos/Conditioners
-$5/25 RA Q
-5*$2/1 John Frieda Q
+$2.19 tax
=$12.19 OOP, will submit for $10 RA single check rebate (and request immediately in case they stop the program... this deal is kinda iffy b/c of that, but I'm feelin' risky so I bought it!)

Oh and for those of you with tons of that Hunt's sauce- 3 cans with 1 lb ground turkey and your own spices made for some pretty yummy pasta sauce in the annathy house this evening. I use italian seasoning, oregano, basil, and garlic.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

It's Tuesday?

Ah man, that means I need to get to Ralph's to get this week's sales!

(annathy scurries off)


Phew, got everything!



So I went to WAGS first (surprise, surprise), and picked up the FARR Colgate and ChapStick, which went down like this:
$3.49 Colgate
$1.99 ChapStick
-$3 RR from Skintimate
-$0.75 MC for Colgate
+.51 tax
=$2.24 OOP, $3.50 RR and $2 RR back, for a profit of $0.26- take that Cali sales tax!

Then off to Ralph's, where I bought all food items- so NO tax!


$2.79 Orowheat Bread (price good on double fiber only- but it is whole wheat)
$1.50 Barilla Whole Grain
$1.50 Barilla Piccolini- super CUTE!
$2.50 Barilla Sauce
4*$0.68 Avocado
2*$0.89 Store Brand Corn (these are to be my freeze packs for after I have my wisdom teeth surgery on Friday)
2*$4.99 Bertolli skillet meals (these are for DBF who will be taking care of me this weekend... good man, that one!)
6*$0.50 Yoplait yogurt cups (already in the fridge, and these are for ME to eat this weekend... breakfast next week too since I already had some at home)
-$1/1 Orowheat Q
-$0.50/1 Barilla whole grain Q, Doubled to $1
-$0.50/1 Barilla Piccolini Q, Doubled to $1
-$0.55/1 Barilla Sauce Q, "Doubled" to $1
-2*$1/1 Bertolli Q
-$0.40/6 Yoplait Q, Doubled to $0.80
=$18.97 Total, used remaining $2.82 of pharmacy $ and paid $16.15 OOP

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I hate tax hikes

Especially ones you don't get to vote on! I paid 9.25% at one of my WAGS today.
Even so, FARR is still like 90% off, so I picked up 3 more skintimates (that's 7 total now) and 2 chapsticks (6 total now):
I used the $2RRs on the skintimates, and the $3 on the chapsticks with a filler.
Speaking of fillers, one was the cutest card ever!
Store 1, Trans 1: Skintimate $2.99 - $2 RR = $1.25 OOP, $3 RR back
Store 1, Trans 2: Chapstick $1.99 + Card $2.99 - $3 RR = $2.42 OOP, $2 RR back
Store 1, Trans 3: Skintimate $2.99 - $2 RR = $1.25 OOP, $3 RR back
Store 2, Trans 1: Chapstick $1.99 + Trial size JJ baby powder $1.29 - $3 RR = $0.58 OOP, $2 rR back
Store 2, Trans 2: Skintimate $2.99 - $2 RR = $1.27 OOP, $3 RR back


Cutest card EVER!!! Giving it to my DBF for his birthday this weekend... the inside says "you're even cuter than last year". My flash is kinda bright in the pic, but it shows the sparkle too, so you get to see the rainbow effect!

Also, I ran to Ralph's and picked up 6 yoplaits for $0.50 each, and used a $.40 coupon (good through saturday) that doubled and a $0.60 shortcuts came off it too- so $1.60 for 6 yogurts- I'll take that anytime!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

FSA-ing

Hokay, so, talk about pushin' it! I still had FSA $ left a few hours ago, and my benefit year ends at midnight! I didn't have a ton or anything, but still... so I ran to WAGS and picked up some things to get reimbursed for. The only thing I'm not sure of it "counting" is the Airborne since it is technically a supplement, but I've been wanting to try it and the stuff was on sale, so I'll take my chances.






And we have...
2*$5.50 Airborne
$5.99 Wal-phed PE (BOGO, so that price is for both)
2*$10.99 Zicam (pricey, but the stuff works for me!)
$10.98/2 Thermacare (BOGO 50% off, and the neck ones are the best size/shape for menstral pain- they used to make ones for that but I haven't seen them on shelves in ages)
$6.99 Chloraseptic

Skintimate... Chapstick... how did YOU get in there?

There were peelies on the Thermacare, but WAGZombie wouldn't use the second one when it didn't scan, b/c his tired self thought the Q said "$1/2"... too bad when I got home and checked the second Q he'd left me for next time it said $1/1! Oh well.

I bought the airborne as an after-thought with the second Skintimate, and used my $2 RR from a chapstick on it, but since the vast majority of these will be reimbursed, I wasn't terribly worried about my (very, very high) OOP.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Shoppin'

I love Sunday. I can sleep in a little, get my paper, eat some breakfast, and then mosey off to some of my favorite places...

... First, the farmer's market


Oh yeah, 5 lbs tangerines, 3 pints strawberries, and a bag of sunflower sprouts. All for $12.

These, my friends, are sunflower sprouts. They have a kind of light nutty taste and are just crunchy enough- I love putting them into salads.



And now, WAGS! Today WAGS, you are a little bit awesome.


Trans 1:
$2.99 Skintimate
$3.99 Softsoap (I wasn't originally going to do this deal, but the apricot scrub changed my mind)
$1.99 Chapstick
10*$0.50 SoyJoy
-$1 Softsoap Q
-$3/10 SoyJoy Q
=10.47 OOP, got back a free softsoap Q, $3 RR, $2 RR


Trans 2:
$3.99 Softsoap
-1 Free Softsoap Q
= $0.33 OOP, gosh darn tax... which goes up on 4/1... argh! Got back another free softsoap Q!
This store tends to be a little strict on limits, so at this point I peaced out and headed next door to Ralph's. Hopefuly this Q will keep rolling and I'll get more (at least one more) this week with it.



Ralph's (aka Kroger)

4*$1.00 Quaker True Delights ($4/4 WYB 4, otherwise $2.50 each- this promo also includes the chewy bars, the cereal, and the oatmeal)
5*0.50 store brand yogurt
$3.99 store brand string cheese
$4.72 0.80 lbs turkey for sandwiches (if I can't find a good sale on prepacked deli meat, I like to get the real stuff... there's a certain freshness that I think prepacked can't quite match)
2*0.99 Starburst jelly beans- YUM!
$6.29 Sushi... breakfast had worn off and I was hungry!
$0.33 Cheese snack. What's that? You say you don't see it in the picture? Wierd... cuz there is no way I ate it pre picture... no way ;)
-4*$1/1 Quaker True Delights Q's (which made these FREE!!!)
-$1/2 Starburst Jelly beans Q (good on some other M&M brand stuff as well, but I like these)
=$19 something, deducted from my Prescription Transfer Moola, for $0 OOP

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Wicked Week

This was spring break for my alma mater, so I had two friends out for the week. It was nutso, I was up until the wee hours of the night- like 11 pm! and all in all having a good 'ol time showing my pals around. There was some good wine and local brewereis involved, all of which was yummy. Alas, I dropped the last one off at LAX this afternoon, and it's back to normal life for a bit.

You may also notice I now have a picture. It's a (very, very, very) expired sunsilk coupon, and I LOVE IT! The back of the coupon is basically advocating that you use it to save $ so you can spend that $ on something fun (they're choice is shoes, which is kind of up there on my list- after savings of course!), which is basically what I use couponing to do... it frees extra space in my budget for other stuff.

Despite having guests, I did manage to get to a few Walgreens to pick up the Hunt's sauce that you can profit from buying through this evening. I ended up buying too many cans because one cashier let me do 6 in one transaction and I didn't have the heart to make her do two (this made the before Q price 80 cents instead of 99), and another cashier's station wouldn't scan the Q so she did a price adjust instead which means I only get credit for $0.39 a can. And my last transaction I only needed one but got two... mostly so I could have 15 cans and make a nice even pyramid- just for YOU! (and maybe, just maybe, my touch of inner OCD) Plus, all in all after the rebate and 10% bonus for making it a GC, it still only cost me $0.35 for all 15 cans.


Thanks to frugalsuz for posting about the TUF bags- I never would have noticed them otherwise, and they helped me use up my RR from the reach deal last week (I don't like holding on to those for too long, lest they expire on me). They were 2/$7 and are a buy 2 get $3 rebate, which is $3.30 as a GC, which works out to $1.85 each.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Makin' moola fillin the 'scripts

A little over a month ago, I was hard on the lookout for coupons for new prescriptions that I could use on my no refills allowed oral surgery related scripts. A few weeks ago, Ralph's had one! So I picked up two, and today I finally used them! When I asked, the first girl told me I'd need to buy one today and the other tomorrow to use both Q's, but when I told the pharmacist that he decided it'd be easier to do two seperate transactions and just let me use both today! So, goes to show it's always worth asking!

Even better, the Ralph's Q's are the highest value of the pharmacy Q's I've seen, which made for $60 added to my Ralph's Rewards card. I used $16.18 of it on: Breyers ice cream, 3 lean cuisines, 2 powerades, 2 classico pasta sauces, 2 ocello spounges, 1 store brand yogurt, and 1 marked down bread loaf. The best part? I still have $43.82 left to spend there from this deal. YAY!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

WAGZillions!

Below, you see: 14 Dove beauty bars, 4 Dove Gofresh deodorants, 6 Dove regular deodorants, 3 Reach toothbrushes, 3 Reach flosses, 3 Listerines, 3 AcneFree face washes, 1/2 gal milk, 1 chapstick, 1 cadburry caramel egg, 2 marshmallow bags, and if you can see through those items, 1 lady speed stick deodorant.


Okay, I'm going to do my best to remember my transactions, as my receipts got tossed accidentally (dear roommates were trying to clean up). I know there were 6, at 3 stores, so we'll just do an overview.

Store 1: 3 Transactions, Two dove deals, 1 Reach deal, 1 AcneFree deal (most of my OOP was here, pretty sure I spent about $30 total for everything between the 3 stores)
I did Dove-Reach/AcneFree-Dove with a super cool cashier who didn't mind me doing multiple transactions and even held my bags behind the counter while I got my second batch of Dove items.
Dove: Buy 8, get $10 RR. There are $1.50/2 Q's from Sunday's paper for deodorant (I used all my $1.25/1 gofresh at CVS) and $1.50/2 Gofresh print from the catalina when you purchase any Dove Deo. Bodywash and other pricey stuff is included, but I stuck to Deo and soap.
AcneFree: Buy 3, get $8 RR. The facewash was marked down to $4.19 so with 3 $1/1 Q's it really only cost about $2 for all 3, and I've found their kits to be pretty effective, so hopefully this stuff is too.
Reach: My paper had no Reach Q's... thankfully all my WAGs keep stocked with their Diabetes Magazine, so my only limitation was my deals all had to include 1 listerine, 1 toothbrush, and 1 floss as that's what's specified by the Q in the magazine. I can totally deal with that (no pun intended).
As far as RR's, I know I started with a $6 RR from Sunday, and left with a $6 RR, an $8 RR, and a $10 RR

Store 2: 1 Reach deal
This store's dove soaps were $1.89 each regularly. Everywhere else has been $1.69, and I was a little irked by that so I just did the Reach deal. I added the Cinnamon toast crunch (sale 3/$7) and a Lady speed stick deodorant (which produces a $1 RR this week) as fillers so I could use the $10 RR from my last Dove to pay. OOP here was really low, just under $1 if I recall right.

Store 3: 1 Dove deal, 1 Reach deal
I did the Dove deal first, using my $1 RR, $8 RR and $6 RR to offset the OOP, but I got the pricier deodorants here... I want to say 4 gofresh deodorants with 4 soaps, 2 $1.50/2 gofresh Q's and the RR's came to $4.60. Then I used the $10 RR to get the Reach deal again (sadly I had to get the regular listerine flavor instead of vanilla mint), using the 1/2 gal milk, chapstick, and cadburry egg as fillers.

Oh, and the marshmallows came from Ralph's... I needed them to make rice krispie treats, and the Ralph's is right next door to my last WAGs (unless you bring a man... they tend to notice the best buy that is technically smashed between the two stores).

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Eulogy of the Olay Gift Cards

That's right. I used both of mine up today. They were very good to me, I must say, money well spent! $6.74 I spent at WAGS on the Reach deal, and the balance I turned into a $23.26 gift card to Vons, which I promptly used.

WAGS:

$3.00 Reach Toothbrush 2 pk
$3.00 Reach Floss
$3.00 Listerine Mouthwash
-$3/3 From Diabetes Magazine by the pharmacy
=$6.74 OOP, paid for by Olay gift cards. Got a $6 RR back.

CVS:

3*$3.50 Dove gofresh deodorant
$7.00 Dove exfoliating bar 6 pk (I recall from my precoupon days that I ADORE these)
$4.99 Irish Spring Body Wash
$2.99 Colgate Toothbrush
2*$1.50 Paper (I actually bought these first so I could get the Dove Q's out)
-$0.50 Irish spring MC
-3*$1.25 Dove gofresh deodorant MC
-$1.50 Dove 6pk bar MC
-$13.97 EBs from Act, L'oreal, Venus, and the Vitamin D (this last one is a monthly deal if you haven't gotten yours yet)
=$9.89 OOP, got back $12.98 EBs. I did the Dove deal here because I was not impressed with WAGS prices, even at 25% off. I may try the single bars though, having heard they'll still work for the deal.

Pavillions aka Safeway (sorry no pic on this one, I put stuff away without thinking):

Trans 1:
$3.00 Baked Lay's
$0.99 Quaker Granola Bars (with in ad coupon and $10 purchase)
$0.99 Peter Pan PB (with in ad coupon and $10 purchase)
$0.97 18-ct Eggs (with in ad coupon and $10 purchase)
$1.97 Tropicana OJ (with in ad coupon and $10 purchase)
$5.49 Liquid Plumber (which I will be submitting for their "guaranteed" refund since it didn't work either! The good news is my drain wasn't 100% clogged, but it is slooooooooow)
$2.79 Dishwashing wand... the old one broke :(
$0.93 Bananas ($0.67/lb)
$2.72 Salame Genoa from the deli (1/3 lb)
$4.00 Black Forest ham from the deli (1/2 lb)
-$1 Baked lays MC ($0.55 "doubled" to $1)
=$22.49 OOP, paid for with converted Olay gift cards.

As I was loading up my car my roommate called, and we're having a BBQ tonight. So I went back in for more chips. The meat is to go with the provolone Sargento from Ralph's yesterday... and it made for a tasty sandwich this afternoon!

Trans 2:
2*$3.00 Baked Lays
-$1 Baked lays MC ($0.55 "doubled" to $1)
-$0.55 baked lays MC (apparently we do not double more than 1 of the same Q. I looked at my Ralph's receipt from yesterday and the same happened with my Ocello and Scotch Guard Q's in that store. My OOP was correct, I'd just assumed they'd all doubled. Lesson learned.)
=$4.45 OOP, $0.77 from the converted Olay gift cards $3.68 cash.

Farmers Market:
I have to let you know, if you are offended by pictures of b-e-a-utiful strawberries and asparagus, STOP HERE. I went to get lettuce and asparagus, but the berries were absolutely everywhere and super fragrant- we are definately in the height of their season. Sadly, the one stand that sells sunflower sprouts was out of them... those things are scrumptious!
$6 3 pints strawberries
$5 3 bunches asparagus
$1 Romaine lettuce head
=$12 OOP

I try to rinse and prep my strawberries as soon as I get home so that they're just waiting for me to eat them the rest of the week. I sliced up one pint for putting in yogurt and ice cream and the other two I just cut the tops off 'um for snacking. There may have been more pre-pic too... I tend to eat a lot of them when I prep. But hey, a gal can't risk letting the really ripe ones go bad in the fridge!



Saturday, March 14, 2009

Fresh Air

I was trapped inside today until 4 p.m. without an oven, microwave, and the fridge unplugged (so I avoided opening it) for the electricians to fix our sink. Thankfully, most of it is done now, and we shouldn't get shocked by the water coming out of the faucet you see in the background of some of my other pictures! And since it's never a good idea to shop hungry, I let myself go to In-and-Out Burger before WAGS and Ralph's. Oh, the delicousness.

WAGs:



2*$2.99 Garnier (1 shampoo, 1 conditioner as those were the imposed limits of this store... whatev)
$0.99 Degree Ultra clear, marked down to $1.99, price adjusted to $0.99 since the machine wouldn't take my $1Q for ANY degree
$1.89 RightGard, marked down- the ad said these were printing $2 RR's so I was hoping for one, but to no avail- I needed a filler though, so I don't think I'm going to worry about returning it
- 2*$1 Garnier MC
- 2*$2 Garnier IVC
- $1 RR from Tide
= $2.59 OOP (my cashier said "good job")

Ralph's:
This was all one transaction, except that I had to go get my second $5 mega deal back since one of my items rang up as not being in the deal... so be forwarned the pink nailsaver sponges may not officially be "mega items" this week.

This picture is all"Mega Items".



4*$1.49 Ocello Spounges
3*$1.99 Scotch Guard NailSaver sponges
2*$2.49 Sargento Cheese
2*$2.49 Classico pasta sauce
2*$2.50 Purex detergent
2*$2.49 Ken's salad dressing
3*$2.49 Ken's salad dressing spray
$2.49 Rice Krispies
$0.99 Quaker snack things
-2*$0.75/2 Ocello MC ("doubled" to $1 ea)
-3*$0.50 Scotch Guard NailSaver MC (doubled to $1 ea)
-$0.75/2 Sargento Peelie ("doubled" to $1)
-2*$0.35 Purex MC (doubled to $0.70 ea)
-$1/2 Ken's Salad dressing Q
-3*$1 Ken's Salad dressing Spray Q
-$10 for buying 20 Mega Items



...and for the rest of my order




3*$0.99 Jennie O Lean Turkey, great markdown!
4*$0.50 store brand yogurt
$1.59 1/2 Gallon milk
$5.99 Drano foam (which didn't really work... ARG!)
$1.50 Cleaning gloves
= $38.99 OOP, and got a $0.65 Catalina for the Drano

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mouesday Dinner Lasagna!

We'll start with an annathy vocabulary lesson: Mouesday is a combination of Monday and Tuesday. Mouseday dinner occurs when you haven't made a particular meal before and get home to find you got WAY too much food to feed everyone just once. Oops.





In this photo, I'm boiling enough water to cook a whole pound box of lasagna noodles, because that mega skillet there has over 3 pounds of beef in it! And as it browns, chop up some onion and garlic and toss it in. I don't care for onions, but my roommate gave me a little trick- toss in a few tablespoons of brown sugar to nuetralize some of the acidic taste, and put them in right away with the meat to soften them up some before baking.




I forgot to take pictures while layering the lasagna, but basically it went like this: Noodles, ricotta cheese (easiest to spread on noodles directly), meat, swiss cheese, noodles, meat, spinach, mozzarella, and a few dollops of ricotta for good measure. Popped the baby in the oven for 30 minutes at 360 and here's Monday's:


Today's (seperate, and larger, pan) looked very similar. And we have leftovers from both pans for tomorrow... anyone down for dinner tomorrow?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dinner (delicious, if I do say so myself)

Last week when I made tacos, I hadn't figured out the whole new-camera-to-blogger bit yet. Fortunately, some of my technical issues have since been resolved, though I have no taco pictures. I could say something tragic had happened to the poor blokes, but really, I just didn't take them. Not so tonight! I borrowed a recipe from a women's health website I found to make spaghetti with turkey sauce (though I did make a few substitutions). So I failed to take a picture of the first step, which is cook the turkey! And drain the fat (though I skipped that, having hounded extra lean which yielded um, nothing, fat-wise, into the pan) too. I'm also going to assume that you, being intelligent enough to navigate this so-called internet, are capable of cooking pasta in accordance with the directions on the box.






So to make that beautiful sauce, once you have cooked turkey, pour in a large (28 oz) can of diced tomatoes, without draining. You can also use two smaller cans that add up to somewhere in that range (also, this seemed like a lot of turkey, and a lot of pasta, so I'll be doing more than 28 oz next time). Then dash in your favorite pasta spices, which had better include Italian seasoning and oregano. And garlic. The recipe called for onion and bell pepper as well, and assuming you don't have weird lingering texture issues with them from childhood, I hear they are quite excellent additions to many a meal. Anywho, get the sauce up to a boil for a minute and then simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes. Then simmer it without the lid for another 15.



That Dole salad I got yesterday, btw, is HUGE! You see it in my little "assemble your own salad" station and um, that salad spinner looked pretty much the exact same after dinner, only you didn't have to squish it to fit the lid anymore. Also, salad spinners are amazing. In case you were unaware.



And there you have a photo of what is now in my belly. Along with the wine that went on that coaster above the salad.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Costco is CRAZY

Seriously, they need an express lane. I refuse to go there on the weekends at all because you can barely navigate a cart around the store, and even on weekdays the checkout lines are all at least 3 deep, which is no small matter since most people have giant cartfuls of stuff. Me, I'm a simple gal, and I like to just pick up a few things- storing mad bulk stuff is not something I have room for. And since I pass a WAGS on the way home from Costco... well, you know...






Costco:
$5.19 Edamame (soybeans), 4 lb
$2.99 Dole ready-with-dressing-and-all-salad, 15.8 oz
$19.99 Speedo Swimsuit (impulse-ish, I've been needing one in the name of working out in the gym pool, which I absolutely refuse to do in a bikini)
Total: $29.32 OOP (I think, the pennies may be off since I left the receipt in the car)


WAGS:
$5.99 Tide 7 signs yada yada, 50 oz
3*$1.00 Barilla penne pasta- yum!
- $0.35 Tide MC
- $8 RR from Blink yesterday
= $1.13 OOP, got back $1 RR for Tide


By the way, one of the biggest reasons I keep my Costco membership is that Edamame (not the biggest, but it's up there). That stuff is psyco-awesome protein, low fat, and their version is defrost and eat which makes it easier than pie.


Some of the ladies on the Grocery Challenge thread on MSN were kind enough to let me know their rock bottom EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) prices, and I must confess, I did the math in Costco today, because they're very hit or miss on that kinda stuff. The big bottles ($19.99 for 2 one liter bottles) work out to 14.8 cents an ounce, which is right at the $2.50/17oz bottle mark. Not having tried the stuff, I can't speak to the quality, but I find most of their brands are pretty good. If you want the Tuscany imported stuff, that's like 4X more expensive, but to be fair I haven't really checked the fancy smanchy stuff anywhere else.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Around the town

My 5 mile sunday loop consists of all my favorite stores, except for Rite Aid and Target (those are on another loop that is lacking a WAGS). I feel like I got a lot of good deals, minus one misstep at safeway. I do have pictures now, feelin' pretty spiffy about them too.
Stop 1: CVS





$0.19 Necco valentine's candy
$7.99 Venus spa breeze razor
4*$5.00 L'oreal mascaras (two with a free bonus eyeliner... yeeesss!)
$6.00 Goody hairbrush (desperately needed, I've been bumming from one of my roommates since mine disappeared into an unknown abyss)
2*$0.99 Act total trial size
$2.99 CVS Vitamin D caplets
-$2 Venus Q
-4*$3 Any L'oreal makeup Q (back from 1/4)
-$11 EBs
=$16.32 OOP, got back 13.97 in EBs, for a true cost of $13.35




Stop 2: Pavillion's (a safeway store)


My favorite items here are the mini wheats, because they were totally free! A&W was as close as you can get to free in California- $0.10 deposit.
$0.00 A&W Rootbeer (with in ad coupon and $10 transaction purchase)
$0.10 Cali deposit
2*$1.00 Del Monte no salt added diced tomatoes
$0.99 Mini Wheats (with in ad coupon and $10 transaction purchase, Q below makes it free)
$2.00 Vodka pasta sauce, safeway brand
$2.12 Bernstein's Burgendy Garlic salad dressing
$4.19 Kraft greek EVOO based dressing (this was the slip- it was marked as being $2.99 which is a decent price here especially when you need to get to $10 for the free cereal and rootbeer, but the sucker rang up at $4.19 under the description "GD SSNS SLD DRSG", and I have no idea what that's suppossed to be, but I'm not driving back to the furthest spot on my loop for $1.20)
$0.97 Dozen eggs (already in the fridge come picture time)
$0.99 1 lb butter (with in ad coupon and $10 transaction purchase, also already in the fridge)
- $0.70 Any kellogg's cereal Q
- $0.30 Double Q on the kellogg's- I didn't know we doubled here... awesome!!!!
-$1.00/2 Del Monte no salt added tomatoes Q
=$11.37 OOP






Stop 3: WAGS, where I would have done the blink in transaction 1 if I'd realized it was a RR not a FAR... oops.
Trans 1:
$2.50 409
$2.50 Clorox Clean up
$3.29 Colgate Max Fresh
-$1 409 Q
-$0.75 Colgate Q
=$7.22 on GC, got back $3.50 RR for Colgate (should have been just $3.29... bonus!), $1 RR for Cleaning products


Trans 2:
3*$1.00 Barilla spaghetti
$4.99 Bertoulli EVOO
3*$0.99 Walgreens sandwich/storage bags
$7.99 Blink tears
$2.99 Walgreens headache relief
$3.99 Wal-zyr allergy medicine
$5.99 Axe Shampoo
-$2 Blink tears Q
-$3.50 RR from Trans 1
- $1 RR from Trans 1
= 10.33 on GC, $18.72 OOP, got $8 RR back for Blink tears, expecting $12.97 back in rebates, $14.25 with the bonus 10% for getting it as a WAGS GC.





Stop 4: Ralph's (a Kroger store)
Jennie O was BOGO, and I was going to get the regular lean stuff, but I didn't have any Q's and I found $1/1 peelie's on this extra lean stuff, which made it the same price- horray! FYI the extra lean stuff only has 7.5 grams of fat in the entire 20 oz package, which should make for a pretty healthy dinner tuesday.

$6.99 Extra lean Jennie O ground turkey
$0.00 Extra lean Jennie O ground turkey
-$1/1 peelie
-$1/1 peelie
=$4.99 OOP

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Snowboarding!


As promised, me, snowboarding! Since I'm not going fast enough here to cut snow, it kind of looks like I'm just standing there- but I swear to you I'm moving! I did cut snow in the top section of the mountain, but that was before we got the bright idea to take pictures (and also before I wiped out faceplant style).


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dear Cheese, my love

Dear Cheese, my love:
You keep moisture in my casseroles,
add zing to the tops of my salads,
and go great with all kinds of wine.
Don't let dull crackers pull you down,
and darling, stay delicious.

Ile De France shares my love of cheese, and makes it.
iledefrancecheese.com
They also have $1 printable coupons, which you should check out.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oy Vey, Oral Surgeons!

Update on the oral surgery- I switched my appointment from friday the 13th to good friday, since it turns out my insurance isn't as good as I thought it was. The "coverage" is good, but the plan max is on the measly side, and April starts a new benefit year so the wisdom teeth will have to be my only 2009 dental work, and still exceeds my benefits, so I'm looking at ~$750 out of pocket.
*********************************************

So after big spendin' sunday, I had big spendin' monday! Without stopping at CVS or any of my favorite places, too :(. $69 for the panoramic x-rays they needed at the oral surgeon's for my wisdom teeth, since you couldn't see the whole wisdom teeth from a standard x-ray set. Yuck. Plus another $50 to change my oil at goodyear- and that was with the "member discount" (though I'm not a member, sssh!)- but they did rotate my tires too. And I need not fret about making my FSA spending by the end of March when my health plan year ends- luckily, Friday the 13th was open next month (shocking, no?), so I'll have a ~$250 bill for having all my wisdom yanked out through my mouth which will definately put me over my top with the scripts for pain meds and antibiotics. AAAHHHH! So, I think with the exception of my snowboarding weekend (I just learned how last month, and am QUITE proficient in falling down) next month, it's time to have a month or two where I track every cent. Not that I think vacation $ doesn't hit my budget, but I save hard for it and refuse to fret over it (within reason) while I'm enjoying the time off. And I promise, as soon as I learn how to get pictures off my new camera and onto here, YOU will be privy to an annathy-while-snowboarding-photo my friend Amanda took!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Big Spendin' Sunday

Well, big spendin' for me. There were a few splurges (chips, Juno, wine...), but all in all not too shabby. And if you can't tell from the Ralph's trip, I'm making Tacos this Tuesday.

First, my only MM trip, at dear little Rite Aid:
10*$0.50 SoyJoy
$2.99 Garnier Wonder Waves Conditioner
- $3/10 SoyJoy Q
- $1 Garnier Q
OOP: $4.24, will get back $7.99 in SCRs for a profit of $3.75 (you'll see it as $4 in some blogs, but I take my pesky CA sales tax into account)

CVS:
$4.99 Nyquil Liquid, 6 oz
$4.99 Dayquil 12 ct
$2.50 Rubbermaid round takealongs
$2.50 Rubbermaid sandwich takealongs
$7.49 Viva 8 ct
$4.99 Huge (60 ct) hairties
- $1.50 Nyquil Q
- $1 Dayquil Q
- $1/2 Rubbermaid takealongs Q
- $0.50 Viva Q
- $10 EB from buying 2 nuetrogena last week
- $11.94 EBs from buying 4 colgate last week
= $1.95 OOP, $5 EB back for nyquil/dayquil, $2 EB back for Viva for a net cost of $16.89 (see? big spendin'!)

Target:
$10 Juno
$3 Baked Lay's
$1.57 Target brand napkins
=$15.52 OOP

Trader Joe's:
$2.29 Mini tomatoes
$2.49 Sugar Snap Peas
6*$1.99 Charles Shaw Wine (commonly known as two-buck-chuck... and one of annathy's naughty vices)
=$17.71 OOP

Ralph's:
$4.59 Mission Tortillas, 16 ct (wowsa these are pricey, and the other brands weren't any better!)
$1.99 Eggs, 1 dz
$1.25 Milk, 1/2 gal
$1.49 Peppridge Farm bread, clearanced for sell by date
2*$2 Gogurt
3*$0.60 Rachel's Yogurt (the cashier suggested I try the grapefruit flavor when they get it back in stock)
3*$0.68 Avocado
$1.96 Hot house tomatoes, 1.98 lb
$3.49 Ground Beef, 1 lb 80% lean
$3.99 Strawberries- BOGO, so I got 2 for that price
-$0.75/2 Gogurt Q ("doubled" to $1)
-$1/3 Rachel's Yogurt Q
=$24.60 OOP

That's a grand total of $64.02 OOP with a true cost of $70.97. That's a big spendin' Sunday, but I did get a fair amount of stuff this week for being without a triplin' shop rite or doublin' kmart.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Fun with Dentists!

I had to go to everyone's favorite place in the whole wide world today- the Dentist! All things considered, it wasn't a bad experience. I got a chipped tooth fixed and worn away enamel filled in, without a shot. The good news is apparently my dental insurance is good, and they're going to bill them first so we'll see how much I end up paying (I have a feeling it'll be a good amount yet since I haven't hit my deductible for the year yet on that, but at least that's an FSA expense).

After, I went to CVS:
2*$2.99 Colgate (limit reportedly 5, I've bought 4 and my receipt still says I can buy another)
2*$3.99 Stayfree
$0.49 Necco Valentine Hearts
- BOGO Stayfree Q
- $10 EBs
OOP was $0.79, and I got back $9.98 EBs for a true cost of $0.81

And then, to WAGS:
4* $1.50 Campbell's Select Harvest Clam Chowder Microwave Bowls
- 2*$0.50/2 Select Harvest Q's
Paid the $5 from my giftcard (love that thing)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

CVS with my favorite cashier

So, after the gym today (where I coughed up too much money for my next 5 personal training sessions... if only my silly health weren't important, but that's a story for another day) I stopped by CVS. It's definitely one of my favorite CVS's, and in part to my favorite cashier, who doesn't treat coupons like they're a hassle, and gives me compliments like "those coupons really work!" and points out for the sake of newbies everywhere that you earned EB's so keep this receipt and don't let them expire.


In the whole, my health is important notion, I'm starting on a multivitamin with an additional calcium supplement. This week's BOGO for a penny sale let me get both for $9.50, plus I had a $1/CVS vitamin CRT and a $2/10 CVS Brand purchase CRT (I got the pretzels as a filler to hit $10). So here's what I got:


$9.49 CVS Calcium + D Supplement, 144 ct
$0.01 CVS Multivitamin + Iron, 365 ct
$0.79 CVS pretzel sticks
$2.99 Neutrogena Soap (look in the facewash section with all the pricey Neutrogena stuff)
$2.99 Neutrogena Soap (yeah, on one of the lower shelves)
$5.99 Turning Leaf 2006 Reserve Cabernet (oooooh I love wine sales with hang tag Q's!)
- $2/10 CVS Brand Purchase
- $1/CVS Vitamins 60 ct or larger
- $2 Neutrogena Men's product
- $1 Turning Leaf Hangtag Q
- $7.99 EB from Earinse
- $3 EB from J&J monthly deal (see my very first post, it's a good filler for a $/$$)

OOP: 5.72, got back $10 EB for the Neutrogena. That's a net/true cost of 6.71, and yes, the OOP is high, but that's cuz you can't use EBs on wine. I could have tried to use more and hoped they "attached" to another item, but I'm a goody too shoes, especially with cashiers I like and see regularly.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New knowledge on the Eats

Pasta- yum! It was very tasty, and roommate approved! The next time I make it I'll use a second jar of sauce though, which will also allow a little more space for extra veggies- mushrooms perhaps?

Wraps- I must have gotten corn tortillas, which tasted really wierd and so I'm switching to bread for the remainder of the week. The fillers were still yummy though.


Also go get your free toothpaste at CVS! I love free stuff!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Eats this week

My night to cook dinner is tomorrow, so I'll let you guys in on a little secret: I'm going to be lazy. My plans for the meal include nothing more than penne pasta, vodka cream sauce (premade), chicken breast, and asparagus (arguably the best vegetable ever). Okay, okay, if I get off work on time I may pick up a baguette and make some garlic bread too. I'm going to chop up the asparagus and cooked chicken breast and heat those in a sauce pan with the cream sauce. Oh, and I'll cook the pasta too so the sauce has something to go over. It's easy, but hopefully it will look nice and taste nicer. If you want to make the garlic bread, you overachiever, just slice, coat on one side with a extra virgin olive oil/garlic powder mix, put a little extra garlic powder on top if your heart desires (mine always does), and broil on low on a foil lined tray for a minute. Maybe two, but best check to it after one.

Lunches for me right now are wraps. Though I learned tonight making them that I need either bigger wraps or to slice smaller portions of stuff. Just an FYI. I spread some cream cheese on the wrap, put lettuce on that, cucumbers and tomatoes on the lettuce, and add some turkey. If you have honey mustard sauce that's a good dipper for it- I'm out, so I was just a little liberal with the cream cheese instead.