Tuesday, March 31, 2009


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


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.


$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.


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.


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")

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...

$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)

$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