Monday, November 30, 2009

Meal Plan Monday....November 30th Edition....Clearing out the Freezer

Last Week's Menu Postmortem...

We ate alot more leftovers last week than planned....which is a GOOD THING in this house!lol
The Chili didn't get made until Sunday and we moved Date Night from then to Monday(tonight).  Both kids were out on Sunday with friends so they will have the Chili tonight as they didn't have it last night.
Everything else was cooked/eaten as planned.  I cooked a smallish turkey for Thanksgiving Day so we are not overrun with turkey this week.  Maybe enough for 1 night's meal since we sent leftovers home with the guests on thursday.
I want to mention that this year my stuffing was totally homemade...meaning, all the bread products IN the stuffing I had made from scratch!  No buying those doughy, "all air & no nutrition" loaves of white bread to make stuffing with this year for me.  I used cubed up french bread from my Baking Day that was leftover and I made a double batch of cornbread from scratch and used those two to make the stuffing.  Everyone raved over it.  I KNOW it was good because most years I have to feed some of it to the dogs to get rid of it all but it is already almost GONE and no dogs have been fed any!lolol

I am on a mission this month to clear out the freezer.  It is so full and it needs a good defrosting so we need to eat down some of the things in there.

Here's what I will be serving our family of 4 this Week.....

MONDAY--homemade Chili(stockpile/freezer), biscuits(fridge)
TUESDAY--Kielbasa on rolls(freezer), Potato Salad(root cellar), Corn(freezer)
WEDNESDAY--Leftovers from Thanksgiving meal
THURSDAY--Soup(stockpile), Sandwiches(fridge)
FRIDAY--Fried Catfish(freezer), Rice(stockpile), Broccoli(freezer)
SATURDAY--homemade Pizza(stockpile)
SUNDAY--something Mexican(burritos in freezer or tacos from stockpile/freezer)with the leftover Chili too
SNACKS/DESSERTS--Bread Outlet purchases(donuts/danish/pie), apples, grapes

Last week I spent $65 exactly at the grocery store and bakery outlet.  $11.97 of that $65 was on toiletries.  As I have done the Bread/Bakery Outlet purchase for the next 2 weeks already & I have most of what I need for the week's menu, I'm going to try to not do any stocking up this week so I'm putting myself on a $10 food budget for the week.

Food Waste Report....some of my "ugly" apples went bad/soft, as I didn't get to use all of them in time. These were put out for the wildlife so won't go to waste.

Check out ORGANIZING JUNKIE to see what other Home Cooks are serving this week.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wisdom & Laughter from George

In celebration of the Anti-Consumerists' BUY NOTHING DAY(aka Black Friday in the 'Consuming World'), I was watching this clip earlier from one of George Carlin's HBO Comedy Specials entitled, "Life is Worth Losing".    This clip holds most of the segment I thought was a relevant message to impart this weekend.

A word of warning if you don't know George....he loved him some profanity! If bad words offend you, please don't click on the clip.
You have been warned!!

And here is another relevant clip for the shopping season.....

Just something to ponder as you go out and begin your Holiday spending.
Be prudent.
Be precise with your gifting.
Don't spend money you don't have.
Make George & me proud.  ;-)


Friday, November 27, 2009

Rite-Aid while the Turkey was Cooking

I had concocted a scenario to use my Fall GIFT OF SAVINGS Certificate utilizing some of the 3 Day Thanksgiving Sale Items, so after I got the Turkey in the Oven Thursday morning, I hiked the 1.5 miles up to Rite-Aid to execute my plan.

1 x Scope Outlast Mouthwash=$3.99
1 x Oral-B ToothBrush=$2.99
1 x Herbal Essence Shampoo=$2.99
1 x Schick Titanium Razor=$1.99
1 x Schick Intuition Razor=$1.99
1 x Phillips Earphones=$4.99
1 x Ivory Soap Pack=$1.99
1 x Duracell 25 Pack Batteries=$11.99
1 x Duracell 4 Pack Batteries=$5.49
2 x Nature's Bounty Vitamins=$19.98

Coupons Used
1 x $5 off $25 Rite-Aid Purchase IPQ=$5.00
1 x $1/1 Scope Outlast Mouthwash ManuQ=$1.00
1 x $1/1 Oral-B ToothBrush ManuQ=$1.00
1 x FREE ITEM Home mailerQ Herbal Essence Shampoo=$2.99
1 x $2/1 Schick Titanium Razor ManuQ=$2.00
1 x $2/1 Schick Intuition Razor ManuQ=$2.00
2 x $1/1 Duracell Batteries 4 pack or larger ManuQ=$2.00
1 x $3/1 Duracell Batteries in-Ad Q=$3.00
2 x $1/1 Nature's Bounty Vitamins Peelie Q on bottles=$2.00
2 x $1/1 Nature's Bounty AdPerk Qs=$2.00
2 x $2/1 Rite-Aid Wellness Card any Vitamin over $2 IPQ=$4.00
1 x FREE Nature's Bounty Rite-Aid BOGO SALE=$9.99
Coupons Total=$36.98


I used my $20 Fall GOS Certificate...
$21.41-$20=$1.41+.15¢tax=$1.56 OOP

I qualified for SCRs....
$3.00 Scope
$2.00 Toothbrush
$2.00 Herbal Essence
$4.99 Headphones
$1.00 Ivory Soap
$5.00 Duracell(WYB$15)
So  $17.99 more in SCRebates for $1.56 OOP.
$16.43 more in Overage for the month.

And I'll add in that I've already hit the $100 mark on the Holiday GOS Program and will be getting another $20 Gift Certificate to use in January.

I was surprised the cashier(who was also the manager on duty)let me use both the Wellness NB Q and the AdPerk NB Qs.  The last store I tried to use them both at wouldn't take them both along with the Manu/PeelieQ.  So I showed them all to her and asked her if they would take all 3 on 1 product and she said aok.  I guess this is a YMMV situation... 8-))


A Weis Quickie....

Ok, I lied....I went shopping on Black Friday!
I went to the...... 

Grocery Store!lol
A quickie at WEIS today....

5 x Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix Pouches on sale $1=$5.00
2 x Bisquick on sale $1.50=$3.00
4 x Mentos Gum on sale $1=$4.00

Coupons Used
1 x $1 off your order instantly WYB 2 Bisquick=$1.00
1 x $1/2 Bisquick Peelie from one of the boxes=$1.00
4 x $.55/1 Mentos ManuQ doubled up to $1=$4.00
Coupon Total=$6.00

$12-$6=$6.00 OOP

EXCEPT....there is a deal on Tropicana/Quaker Brands-Buy 5 & Get $3 off your Order.  This is suppose to come off the transaction at the end(for the Pancake Mixes I bought), but it didn't.  So I paid and no Catalina either(though the wording in the ad didn't say it was a Catalina Deal).  So I haul over to CS and they know already as someone this morning didn't get their $3 off either.  So they are giving out $3 Catalina Rainchecks....weird, but it's good for 30 days so I can hold onto it a bit longer if I have to, to roll it into a new Catalina Deal.

So this transaction should have been $3 OOP after that $3 off.
Has anyone else out there tried this $3 off deal and had it work properly?
Please let me know, as I want to know if it is suppose to come off the transaction when you buy the items or if a Catalina is generated by the purchase.
Just a heads up if you plan on buying anything in this Cat Deal.

I hadn't planned on buying the Bisquick but there was a $1 Off WYB2 Deal, it was on sale for $1.50 also AND there were $1/2 Peelies on the boxes, making them $.50 a box! ($3-$2=$1 for 2)
I know I don't NEED this Bisquick after getting all that FREE FLOUR AT ACME but these will be good for tucking into Breakfast Gift Baskets for Christmas.

And if you do the math, buying the 2 boxes of 20 oz. Bisquicks are a better deal, at $1.00 for 2 than the 5 pouches of 6 oz. Aunt Jemima Mix, at $2.00 after the Instant Discounts.  40 oz. @$1 vs. 30 oz. @ $2.
Stick to the Bisquick for frugalities sake. ;-)


Don't Miss This Deal....HURRY, Today ONLY!!!

Ok everyone.....get your hiney over to ING DIRECT TODAY!

This is my kind of Black Friday shopping!  ING has some one day only deals to enhance how much you save.

I have my eye on opening a Checking Account and getting a $121 bonus!
Eazy Peazy $$$

Get paid to shop today!lolol


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Avery/Office Depot Giveaway on Frugal & Fabulous

Lindsay at FRUGAL & FABULOUS is giving away an Office Depot/Avery Prize Pack on her blog.
Go enter HERE.
Hurry, the giveaway ends tonight!


No Black Friday Here!

Ok....I am going to shock a bunch of you readers today.
Especially if you have read my shopping exploits all these past months.

I do NOT go shopping on Black Friday!

There I said it and I was not struck down by lightning.

Ok, so why does a Shopping Maven like myself NOT imbibe in this Buying Holiday Ritual? 
No, I am not Scrooge or the Grinch or Anti-Christmas/Hanukkah in any way, shape or form.

My reasons....
I do not enjoy crowds of surly people.
I do not enjoy standing in long lines, especially if it involves doing so in cold weather.
I do not enjoy being led by retailers like sheeple on the pretense of getting a "deal" that probably isn't.
And mostly....
I do not enjoy the mindlessly consuming of STUFF!

 Add in that I don't enjoy DEBT....because that is what happens when you mindlessly comsume and spend all your money, or worse, spend money you Do NOT have.....can you say Credit Cards?...hello??

But if Black Friday is a day you enjoy the commraderie and excitement of going shopping, the best of luck to you in your pursuit.

Please keep in mind these points before you go....

1. Stay Safe!
Every year we hear reports of people being injured or even killed on Black Friday(remember that poor Security Guard at WalMart who was trampled to death?).  In your haste to get a deal, don't put yourself in a situation where you could be trampled in a rush to get into a store or to a limited quantity item.  Also don't get into a tug-of-war with other shoppers over a product.  Some folks, as my momma would have said, "are not raised right", and would just as soon hit you as smile at you if you try to take the last $2 toaster from the bin that they had their hands on when you went to grab it too.

2. Don't Stand in Lines for Hours.
Getting some valuable, highly sought after item for a really low price is exciting, I'll grant you that.  But think about what you are willing to do to get it for cheap.  How valuable is your time?  How much of that time are you willing to trade for a inexpensive electronic or 'hot' toy?  Is saving $50 on it's price worth spending 3 hours of your time waiting in dark frigid weather for a store to open?  Especially when that same electronic/toy will probably be on sale for a lot less next month or so, for what they are charging for it today?

If those lines entail waiting outside for a store to open it's doors, please be aware of what is going on around you.  If the store is in a questionably safe part of town and it's still dark outside please be vigilant and safety-minded.(This also would fall under #1 above.)  Many is the time someone has been attacked while waiting outside in the wee hours of the morning.  Also be aware that many people have been assaulted or robbed upon leaving a store if they were successful in obtaining some very limited item.  The frenzy retailers whip people up into selling these highly-limited-special-price-items makes some folks so crazy if they don't get the goods, that they'll commit a crime to get the item from you!  Don't be a victim of this.

3. Do some research and a reality check before you go.
Don't get blinded by consuming lust in regard to the Deals available on Black Friday.  Those glossy ads for that Plasma TV or whatever are created to suck you into spending money, true.  But make sure what they are advertising and what you are buying is truly a Good Deal.  Many times the 'incredibly low priced item' on Black Friday is a Non-Standard model or what they call a 'derivative' in the business.  It will not be the same as the standard model that sells for regular price.  There will be less features or other differences(made of cheaper materials, less or no warranty, etc.) in Black Friday's model.  That is why they can offer it so cheap.  That $2 toaster is probably only worth $2 and it might be just something else to dispose of in 6 months.  Retailers don't give you a great deal out of the goodness of their hearts.  They are in business for one make money.  To think anything else is naive on your part.
I'd recommend for starters that anyone who is 'chasing the deals' on Black Friday read THIS ARTICLE before shopping this year.  I think in regards to the 'deals' on Black Friday you need to keep the old adage, "You get what you pay for" in mind.

4. Remember what makes sense for your Budget and don't stray from that!  
It's so easy, given the mass hysteria atmosphere in the stores on Black Friday, to spend too much money.  Buying something just because it is a STEAL is very common.  There is a physiologically proven "rush" to your system (via endorphins)when you get a bargain.  But raise your hand if you have succumb to buying a bargain just for the sake of it being a bargain, and when you got something home had no clue WHY you bought it and wish you had your hard-earned dollars back.  Before you hand over your money at the register, ask yourself, "do I REALLY NEED THIS ITEM?".  If the thrill of the moment has you in it's grips, try walking around the store with the item in your cart for awhile until you can think with a clear head.  You might find you end up telling yourself you can pass this bargain up and go on to the next deal.
If you are going shopping, take CASH ONLY and leave your credit cards at home.  Or if you plan on spending a lot of money and taking cash would be foolhardy(see #1 above), take a Debit Card that will deduct the money spent from your bank account directly.
And stick to a budgeted amount to spend.  Make this Holiday Season the first one where you have everything paid for BEFORE the HOLIDAY!  It makes for a much more enjoyable Holiday if you don't live with that thought in the back of your mind that you'll be paying it all off for months to come.

So why, you may ask, doesn't Sluggy feel the need to have to chase all those potential bargains on Black Friday?  I'll tell you.
Besides not enjoying crowds, cold, lines & too-much stuff, I don't have to endure those things to save a few dollars during the Holidays.

Because dear readers, if you look to the right along the side of my blog you'll see the evidence in my SAVINGS TOTALS for the YEAR, that I've spent wisely, using sales and coupons all year long.  Having managed my money throughout the year means I don't have to be a crazy person(my apologies to any crazy people out there) when it comes to saving on Holiday spending.  I don't go hog wild consuming at the Holidays like many in our culture.  Between living a frugal life during the rest of the year and spending moderately during the Holidays I have a paid off house, no credit card debt, no car payment, and I can put money away for emergencies, my kid's college and retirement.

So ask yourself what would you rather have?
Piles and piles of Stuff and no money to show for all your hard work?
Or no debt, high savings, a little bit of stuff and the freedom to live your life without owing anyone anything?
I know what I'd pick.....and have! ;-)

Happy Shopping and Stay Sensible.  I'll think of you while I'm toasty and warm in bed until Noon on Friday.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Meal Plan Monday....November 23rd Editon It's all about the Bird!

I am late again with the menu this week but at least it's still

Last Week's Menu Postmortem...

No Chicken Parm(moves to this week)and no Apple Pie.  Just been appled out lately and didn't even want to look at them, much less cook  Hubby did another bang up job with cooking dinner on was salmon, buttercup squash and rice by the way.

Here's what I will be serving our family of 4 this Week, with company on Thursday....

MONDAY--Ham Slices(freezer), Mac & Cheese(stockpile),
TUESDAY--Chicken Parmesan(freezer), Salad(fridge), Spaghetti(stockpile)
WEDNESDAY--homemade Chili(stockpile/freezer), Cornbread(stockpile)

THURSDAY--Thanksgiving-turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing, cranberry, mixed vegetables, gravy, rolls(all from fridge/freezer/stockpile except for 2 items)
FRIDAY--Grilled Pastrami Panini(fridge), Soup(stockpile)
SUNDAY--Date Night w/Hubby, teens will fend for themselves
SNACKS/DESSERTS--Pumpkin Pie,various sweets in the freezer from Baking Day

Last week I spent $62.44 on food and toiletries(Not couting my Rite-Aid spending as I will have overage there after the rebates come in).  I wasn't successful in staying out of the grocery store last week, as there was a Catalina Deal at 2 different stores.
These are my
Most of my spending was on the Cat Deals(except for $4 for a turkey for this week) and not on items I needed for my specific meal plan last week.  I have very few items to pick up this week(celery, whipped cream and weekly milk purchases) and am allotting $10 for these.  I do have $15 in Cats to spend by Wednesday at Acme so if they have decent prices on those items I'll actually spend less than $10. Besides the Acme trip, I refuse to set foot in a grocery store this week.  And since it's Black Friday week I probably won't set foot in ANY store for the rest of the week!lol

Food Waste Report....the only spoiled food was 3 slices of bread that went moldy. All vegetable waste composted along with that bread.

Check out ORGANIZING JUNKIE to see what other Home Cooks are serving this week.

And here's hoping everyone has family and/or friends to keep close and celebrate their blessings with this Thanksgiving Holiday!


Sunday's Rite-Aid Quest....It's All About Digestive Tracts this Week

I was up and out of the house bright & early.....well, early for me! on Sunday morning.
I had things to get at Rite-Aid that I knew I'd have to work to find them.  You see, there are two nice FAR(=FREE AFTER REBATE)items this week at Rite-Aid, neither of which are plentiful on the shelves when they aren't on special, so I suspected that there wouldn't be much if any extra inventory at the stores for this sale.

The two FAR items are a 4 pack of Benevia Drinks for $7.99 and a Colon Cleanse for $17.99. There are $2 ManuQ from last month or a $5 IPQ if you signed up for the Benevia newsletter on their website.
No Qs for the Cleanse but if you buy both together, you can use one of the various $ off Rite-Aid IPQs for a nice little Moneymaker after rebates.

Plus Sunday was the first day of the Holiday Gift of Savings Program at Rite-Aid.  From now until Dec. 24th, anything you buy(except for a few exceptions like rxs, tobacco products and lottery tickets, etc.)counts toward your total spending for the period.  Spend enough and you get a Gift Certificate good off merchandise at Rite-Aid the beginning of next year.  Your spending is tallied BEFORE any coupons you might use to bring your OOP down, so you get to the goal quicker.

There is also a FREEBIE or 1 Cent MONEYMAKER in the store besides the SCRebate items.
There is a $4 off in-ad Q for Ducolax Balance in the weekly sales flyer.  Pair that with either the available $3 Ducolax IPQ OR the $3 winetag/hangtag Q found on some bottles of the product to get this item for no Out of Pocket Cash!  Even if you don't use this product, you can buy it to get your transaction total up so you can use a $OFF Rite-Aid Q OR add to your Holiday Gift of Savings spending to get a bigger Gift Certificate by Dec. 24th.  Now if you buy it just for those purposes, remember to give the product away or donate it to someone who can use it.  ;-)

Anyway, I ended up doing 4 transactions at 3 different stores.  Remember, I submit for 2 sets of rebates, one for me and one for my BIL and I can use the Wellness Program/Qs.  So here is what I bought....

Transaction #1/Store #1

1 x Colon Cleanse on sale $17.99
1 x Ducolax Balance on sale $6.99
1 x Wonderful Pistachios on sale $2.50

Coupons Used
1 x $5 off $25 Rite-Aid IPQ=$5.00
1 x $3/1 Ducolax IPQ=$3.00
1 x $4/1 Ducolax FlyerQ=$4.00
1 x $1/1 Wonderful Pistachis ManuQ=$1.00
Coupon Total....$13.00

$27.48-$13.00-$14.48 OOP

This is my Teeny Tiny Town store.  I was in late Saturday night and checked that they had these 2 items in stock.  Tons of Cleanse and 2, count 'em 2, Benevia.  The lack of Benevia is why I had to get there early.  I rolled into the store at 8:30am. No Benevia and 1 Colon Cleanse left on the shelves.  I chatted with the cashier while checking out and she let me know that someone had showed up when they opened and bought SEVEN COLON CLEANSES!LOLOL  Like someone said on a blog I frequent when I mentioned this, I would have liked to have seen the look on the cashier's face when they put 7 of those puppies on the counter to ring up.hehehe
Now, either this person who bought 7 Colon Cleanses has 6 other people they are submitting SCRebates for or they are going to be sorely disappointed when they don't get 6 of those 7 Cleanse kits reimbursed for by Rite-Aid.  Either way, I am just glad I don't share a bathroom with them.
I'm just sayin'......
The cashier also clued me in that the lack of Benevia on the shelf was due to the person who orders from the warehouse at that store didn't even KNOW they carried the Benevia product, thus did not order any.  I knew that there would be no use checking this store later in the week after the truck came so we were off in search of Benevia x 2.......

Transaction #2/Store #2

1 x Benevia Drinks on sale $7.99=$7.99
1 x Colon Cleanse on sale $17.99=$17.99

Coupons Used
1 x $5/$25 Rite-Aid IPQ=$5.00
1 x $5/1 Benevia IPQ=$5.00
Coupon Total....$10.00

$25.98-$10=$15.98 OOP

**Now if I had a BRAIN in my head and actually thought to USE IT, I should have used my Fall Gift of Savings Gift Certificates, which I purposely SAVED to use during the new Holiday Gift of Savings period, to pay for this order or the first one above to bring my OOP down to zero or close to it.
And Ugh again.

Two Cleanses down, One more Benevia to go.

Transaction #3/Store #3
No Benevia so I did this instead....

1 x Ducolax Balance on sale $6.99=$6.99
2 x Nature's Bounty Vitamin C on sale BOGO($6.99)=$6.99
1 x Wonderful Pistachios on sale $2.50=$2.50
2 x Act II Popcorn on sale BOGO($.89)=$.89(filler I had to buy so I didn't go negative)

Coupons Used
1 x $3/$15 RA IPQ=$3.00
1 x $3/1 Ducolax IPQ=$3.00
1 x $4/1 Ducolax Store FlyerQ=$4.00
2 x $1/1 RA AdPerk IPQ=$2.00
2 x $2/1 RA Wellness IPQ=$4.00
1 x $1/1 Wonderful Pistachios ManuQ=$1.00
Coupon Total...$17.00

$17.37-$17=$.37 OOP

I messed up here.  I forgot to bring my Nature's Bounty $1/1 ManuQ from last sunday's inserts.  If I had used those also, I would have had $8 worth of QS for the $6.99 Nature's Bounty purchase, so an overage of $2.52 in Qs over my total(before popcorn filler)of $16.48.  I would have just had to buy another $2 worth of items to not have the store owe me $ for buying their
Keep in mind that I can use the Wellness card/coupons that aren't available everywhere yet so that took $4 additional off my total AND the cashier let me use 2 of those Wellness Qs and 2 of the same AdPerk Nature's Bounty Qs in the order.  Having this happen is a YMMV situation as some only will take 1 AdPerk Q per qualifying item.
So even though this transaction was a hot mess, the products in it were almost free, so it's all good.

So we ventured back to Store #2 as they had plenty of the Benevia and I still needed 1 package of it for my SCR submission.

Transaction #4/Store #2

1 x Benevia on sale $7.99=$7.99
1 x Ducolax Balance on sale $6.99=$6.99
1 x Sunday Paper=$1.75(filler to get to $15, but a good filler)

Coupons Used
1 x $3/$15 Rite Aid IPQ=$3.00
1 x $5/1 Benevia IPQ=$5.00
1 x $3/1 Ducolax WinetagQ from last bottle I bought=$3.00
1 x $4/1 Ducolax Store FlyerQ=$4.00
Coupon Total....$15.00

$16.73-$15=$1.73 OOP

Now not only did I qualify for $51.96 in rebates today for BIL and myself(2 Benevia/2 Colon Cleanse), but the Ducolax Balance has a rebate offer from the manufacturer for $5.00.  Two Ducolax rebates is another $10.00 back in my pocket.

Grand Total for the day OOP...$32.56
Single Check Rebates qualified for...$51.96
Ducolax Manufacturer's Rebates qualified for...$10.00

$61.96 in Rebates-$32.56 OOP=$29.40 in Overage!

Add today's amounts and my November Monthly totals are....
OOP Rite-Aid spending=$98.39
Rebates due....$126.42
Rite-Aid is paying me $28.03 to buy everything I have purchases this month in their stores.

Not only that but I have $25.98 toward a Holiday GOS Gift Certificate for BIL and $61.58 toward a Holiday GOS Gift Certificate for myself.
Plus I still have $40 in Fall GOS Certificates to use to get my totals over $100 and get the $20 Certificate for this program.

Now if you don't have another person to submit SCRs for & just do one per item and you don't have a Wellness card this week can still be a MM for you.
I'd suggest you purchase....
#1 The Colon Cleanse and 3 x Pistachios(total $25.48), using the coupons($5/$25+3x$1=$8)pay $17.48OOP(or add a few more dollars and use your $20 Fall GOS Certificate).
#2 The Benevia and Ducolax Balance and a cheap under $1 filler(total $14.98+filler price), using the coupons($3/$15+$4+$3+$5=$15)pay less than $1 OOP.
You'll be OOP up to $18.48 and qualify for $25.98 in SCRs, making this a Moneymaker of up to $7.50 for you.
This is the easy way to do the rebates this week with minimal thought or work.  Of course, that's if you can find these items on the shelves.

I am loving me some Rite-Aid today. ;-))


I Couln't Resist the Unilever Deal at Price Chopper Last Week...Saved 77+%

Yes, I admit it....
Even though the Unilever Promotional Deal at Price Chopper "Spend $30/Get $10 OYNO Cat" wasn't all that great I still couldn't stay away!  Since I didn't get a chance to do the Weis Unilever Deal but twice, I felt compelled to try the PC one.  After all....what else was I going to do with all those Unilever Qs?lol
I learned on the AFullCup PC forum board that there were also 2 double dips within this Unilever Deal.  Buying 2 I Can't Believe It's Not Butter triggered a $2 OYNO Cat and buying a pint of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream & a Bertolli frozen meal for 2 Bag also triggered a $3 OYNO Cat.

Let me just say that before I bought anything, I asked the CS Desk Manager what products were valid for the Catalina Offer....the ones only listed in the sale flyer or what?  He said it was ALL Unilever products.  Some how I doubted that but I now had his word on it IF anything went wrong.

3 x Lipton Gallons of Tea on sale $2.49=$7.47/Reg. Shelf $2.99=$8.97
4 x I Can't Believe It's Not Butter on sale $1.50(2 stick packs/2 tubs)=$6.00/Reg. Shelf $2.39=$9.56
1 x Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream on sale $2.50/Reg. Shelf=$4.19
1 x Bertolli Frozen Meal on sale $5.99/Reg. Shelf=$7.99
SubTotal=$21.96/Reg. Shelf=$30.71 **Should qualify for the $10 Catalina Deal**

Also bought...
2 x PC Butter on sale $1.49=$2.98
2 x PC Cream Cheese on sale $1.00=$2.00
2 x Tropicana OJ $2.99=$5.98

SubTotal ALL...$32.92

Coupons Used
2 x ICBINButter $1/1 Stick Packs=$2.00
1 x ICBINButter $1/2 Tubs=$1.00
1 x PC IPQ $1/2 PC Cream Cheese=$1.00
2 x PC Store $1/1 MarkDown Q on OJ=$2.00
Coupons Total...$6.00


I should have received $15 in OYNO Cats for this purchase but only the $2 ICBINButter one and the $3 Ben&Jerry's/Bertolli Frozen Meal Cats printed.
So it was back to my CS Desk Manager with receipt in hand.  I told him per our conversation, my $10 Cat did NOT print.  I then really confused him and showed him that a $3 Cat HAD printed(it was also from Unilever so he thought it printed INSTEAD of the $10 Unilever Cat).  As he had no clue that there WAS a $3 B&J/Bertolli/Unilever Cat Promo, this really stumped him!lol  So he tried reringing the order(by just using the Lipton Gallon Teas over & over until it showed I had bought over $30 worth)and still nothing printed.  That is why I now know it was the Lipton Gallon Teas that screwed it up as they obviously weren't part of the qualifying products for the Unilever Cat Deal.
So he just gave me $10 cash.....well no, actually he handed me $12 in cash!  I said it was too much and he just said keep it.
Ok....I can live with that!lol
So I spent $26.92 and got back $17 in a combination of Catalina Qs & cash in lieu of Cats.

I went back to Price Chopper on Saturday evening to roll the Cats/cash in the Unilever Deal and busted the heck out of my Food Budget for the week! ugh

I was super organized though, with all my scenarios written down and all my Qs ready to go.  I did 5 transactions in 1 hour...and that was counting all the lines I had to wait in as I didn't go super late to avoid the hoards of shoppers.

Just to refresh, the deal is Buy $30 in Unilever Products, Receive a $10 OYNO Catalina Q.  The $30 mark is based on the Regular Shelf Price of the Items, Not the Sale Prices you pay.
Saturday's Loot....

Transaction #1
8 x Dove Soap 2 packs on sale BOGO($3.19)=$12.76
3 x Knorr Sides on sale $1=$3
Subtotal=$15.76 (reg. shelf price $30.59)

Coupons Used
1 x $1/3 Knorr's=$1.00
1 x $3 OYNO Cat from Thursday=$3.00
1 x $2 OYNO Cat from Thursday=$2.00
Coupon Total=$6.00

$15.76-$6=$9.76+$.77tax=$10.53 OOP
I used part of the $12 Cash in lieu of Cats that didn't print from Thursday to pay, so $0 OOP really.
And I received a $10 OYNO Cat.

Transaction #2
6 x Dove Soap 2 packs on sale BOGO($3.19)=$9.57
2 x Skippy PButter on sale $2=$4.00
2 x Q-Tips on sale $2=$4.00
1 x Dial Hand Soap on sale=$2.00
Subtotal=$19.57/$17.57 for the Cat Deal(reg. shelf price for Cat Deal Items $30.30)

Coupons Used
1 x $1/2 Skippy ManuQ=$1.00
1 x$.55/1 Dial IPQ doubled to $1=$1.00
$10 OYNO Cat=$10.00
Coupon Total=$12.00

$19.57-$12=$7.57=$.69tax=$8.26 OOP/$6.57 for Cat Items
And I received a $10 OYNO Cat.

Transaction #3
6 x Dove Soap 2 packs on sale BOGO($3.19)=$9.57
2 x Hellman's Mayo on sale $2.99=$5.98
2 x Lipton Soup Mix on sale $1.59=$3.18
1 x Knorr Sides on sale $1=$1.00
3 x Progresso Soups on sale $1.25=$3.75
2 x Dole Pineapple on sale $1=$2.00
Subtotal=$25.48/$21.73 for the Cat Deal(reg. shelf price for Cat Deal Items $31.39)

Coupons Used
$10 OYNO Catalina=$10.00
1 x $1/2 Hellman's Mayo ManuQ=$1.00 1 x $1/2 Lipton Soup Mix ManuQ=$1.00
1 x $1.10/3 Progresso Soups IPQ=$1.10
2 x $.50/1 Dole Pineapple IPQ doubled to $1ea. =$2.00
Coupon Total=$15.10

$25.48-$15.10=$10.38=$.57tax=$10.95 OOP/$9.73 for Cat Items.
And I received a $10 OYNO Cat.

Transaction #4
4 x Dove Soap 2 packs on sale BOGO($3.19)=$6.38
4 x Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream on sale $2.50=$10.00 *NOT PICTURED*
1 x Knorr Sides on sale $1=$1.00
Subtotal=$17.38(reg. shelf price for Cat Deal Items $31.21)

Coupons Used
$10 OYNO Catalina=$10.00
Coupon Total=$10.00

$17.38-$10.00=$7.38+$.38tax=$7.76 OOP

And I received a $10 OYNO Cat.

Transaction #5
6 x Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream on sale $2.50=$15.00 *Only 1 Pictured-the rest buried in the freezer*
1 x Bertolli Frozen meal on sale $5.99
4 x Kashi Go Lean Cereal on sale $3.00=$12.00
2 x Nabisco Crackers on sale $1.99=$3.98
1 x Dial Hand Soap on sale $2.00
1 x Turkey=$14.20 *NOT PICTURED*
Subtotal=$53.17/$20.99 for the Cat Deal(reg. shelf price for Cat Deal Items $33.13)

Coupons Used
$10 OYNO Catalina=$10.00
1 x $1/1 Bertolli Frozen meal ManuQ=$1.00
1 x PCQ $4 off WYB 4 Kashi Cereal=$4.00
3 x $1.50/1 Kashi Go Lean Cereal Home Mailer=$4.50
2 x $1/1 Nabisco Crackers ManuQ=$2.00
1 x $.55/1 Dial Hand Soap IPQ doubled to $1=$1.00
1 x Turkey Spend $25/Get Turkey for $.29lb=$10.04
Coupon Total=$32.54

$53.17-$32.54=$20.63+$.12tax=$20.75 OOP/$9.99 for Cat Items.

And I received a $10 OYNO Cat & a $3 OYNO Cat(Bertolli/Ben&Jerry)=$13 Cats.

Grand Total....
OOP $58.25 but $46.25 OOP after applying the $12 in Cash(from Thursday's transaction).
OOP for Cat Deals only was $35.78.
Have $13 in Cats to roll in the coming weeks(if PC has any Cat Deals), otherwise will spend it on fresh produce/dairy/meat.
Value of Products $208.29
Savings of 77.80%


Some Thoughts on Thanksgiving & Cooking

This is where I ramble on about Thanksgiving and Cooking....

After having hosted and cooked as many Thanksgiving dinners as I have(yes, I am older than dirt!), there isn't much novelty or thrill left in the task for me.  It's just become another big chore in the big list of chores I need to complete each year.
What I wouldn't give to be a kid again and have an older, more experienced cook in the family handling the Big Holiday Cookfest instead of me.

It use to be sort of fun years ago, planning and cooking for Thanksgiving, back when we were first setting up our household and traditions and when the children were younger.

As my enthusiasm waned a few years back, Hubby talked me into having the Holiday meal at a restaurant.  As I use to be a professional waitress at one time in my life, I really hated the thought of eating out on Thanksgiving.  I know that most of those servers would much rather be home with their families than working in the insanely stressful environment that Thanksgiving Day dining is for them.  Not only that but the amount a restaurant charges for a "special holiday meal" is alot more than you pay for a meal during a non-holiday day.  They use the holiday to pick your pocket a little more.  Plus the food is generally not up to par as their usual dining fare, the ambience of the place is sub par as well, and the owners try to cram more diners into the space and are anxious to get you out as soon as possible so they don't lose a single customer. This also holds true for the other big special eating-out holdiays like Easter, Mother's Day and Christmas(if the place is open for that one).  Holiday meals are the cash cow of restaurant owners.  But I digress.....

The Thanksgiving out was a nice change for 1 year(not having to cook or deal with leftovers) but not something I want to do again.

When #2 son was a bit younger, he had a burning passion for cooking and wanted to be a chef.  Those couple of years that flame burned, I had a ready helpmate in the kitchen for the Thanksgiving meal prep.  A little cooking, a little instruction(not much though, after all, this was crunch time!) and a little bonding.
Ok...a little stressing out too and raised voices when things didn't go
What did #2 son take away from those holidays in the kitchen?
He can cook enough to feed himself if he ever has to, unlike #1 son, who at 18 yr. of age, STILL needs refresher instruction to make a grilled cheese sandwich.
And #2 son can whip up some awesome real mashed potatoes!

Last year at Thanksgiving, I truly hit the cooking wall.  I don't even recall what I served and I am sure it was thrown on the table without a thought on my part.
The guests shoveled the food in without a word.
Two of my teens(or preteens)ate small portions and quickly left the table to retire into their bedrooms again.
#1 son was in training for wrestling season so I don't even think he ate a full plate.  In years past, #1 son would have been mistaken for a professional Competitive Eater in training at the Thanksgiving table.  I was left with tons of leftover food to deal with in a house full of people who don't necessarily like leftovers.  Even sending the guests home with full plates of leftovers didn't make much room in my fridge.

So this year I am trying to make peace with the Holiday and my approach to it by making some changes to our celebration of the day.
We still will NOT be going out for dinner.  I won't do that.
We are having guests again, like every year, but daughter will be working at her restaurant job and won't be eating with us.  #1 son isn't coming home for the holiday either, so it will just be 5 of us including the company.  I refuse to make a ton of food this year!  The 3 dogs are sad to hear this....

I have been waffling about even making Turkey this year.  I am NOT a big fan and it's hard to do the turkey thing and not have leftovers, even if you do just a breast.  I had bought a small boneless leg of lamb last month and was going to make that instead of poultry.
But I got a great deal on turkey at Price Chopper on Saturday, so it's a fowl meal again this year.  Albeit, a small turkey at barely 14 lbs.  I purposely chose the smallest one they had.

I considered cooking the bird ahead and just reheating/serving it already cut up.  This would take some of the pressure off of Thanksgiving morning but I really don't care for the smell of reheated turkey.  Maybe it's me but turkey has this odor that I can hardly bare.  As it ages, it smells gamier to me.
So freshly cooked bird thursday morning it will be.

While Thanksgiving is all about tradition and traditional foods, I've decided that you don't have to make ALL of them.  Growing up, Turkey day always included my Aunt Ollie's homemade Potato Rolls, Rutabagas(Turnips to you Northerners), Sweet Potato Casserole, Pumpkin and Pecan Pies. The rolls were a 2 day production alone and were started the day before when the pies & stuffing were made. 
I will be paring down the amount of food I cook this year so the rolls will have to wait until Christmas(IF I do them then), the Rutabaga will not be happening(hubby is the only one who eats this & you can't make just a little rutabaga) & 1 kind of pie has to go....the pumpkin wins, hands down.
I have store bought rolls is someone feels they really need them.

Wednesday will be stuffing and pumpkin pie making day.  We are divided in this family on the proper way to prepare Sweet Potatoes.
Growing up it was the nauseatingly sweet Casserole with the marshmallows(more calories than the pie!). I started making a more grown-up version of the casserole when we started our own family traditions.  It involves sliced sweet potatoes(not mashed), butter, brown sugar & maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and chopped pecans.  Not a marshmallow in sight!lol  It's still sweet but not requiring an insulin shot to eat it. 
My yankee hubby grew up eating sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving prepares as you would a baked potato....just roasted in the oven, served with salt, pepper and butter.  The kids have taken to eating them this way but without the salt and pepper and the addition of a touch of brown sugar and cinnamon.
So I've had to fix 2 versions of sweet potato every Thanksgiving dinner.

Our usual Thanskgiving meal use to include....
Stuffing with sausage(sometimes with nuts)
Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes-2 verions
Potato Rolls
Green Beans
Cranberry Sauce
Beets(in the last few years)
Pumpkin Pie
Pecan Pie
Apple Pie(sometimes)

This Year's Menu....
Sweet Potato 2 Versions
Vegetable Melange(Carrots/Broccoli/Cauliflower)
Cranberry Sauce
Gravy-might do an Au Jus instead to lighten it up on the calories
Pumpkin Pie
Store bought Rolls if needed

I'll put more of an effort into the Table Setting instead of into churning out too much food.

And hopefully, I'll keep more of my sanity this year....

So what are your traditions at Thanksgiving?
Do you have any Must Have Dishes?



Finishing up Last Week's Deals at Rite-Aid

I decided to not let the 4 jars of BOGO Planters I bought on the wrong receipt to submit for the Keep the Jingle in your Holidays Nabisco/Kraft Rebate go to waste toward a SCR and get 4 more jars while they were still on BOGO Sale so I can send for the $5 SCR Planters Deal(#80- Buy $15 Value/Get $5)under BIL's account.
**Can you guess that all my friend/family will be receiving Planters in their Holiday baskets this year?** ;-)

So here is what I bought on Saturday...

2 x Welch's Grape Juice on sale $3=$6.00
4 x Planters Nuts on sale BOGO($4.49)=$8.98
4 x Tic Tac Chill Gum on sale $1.00=$4.00
1 x Robitussin To Go Syrup on sale $6.99

Coupons Used
1 x $5 off $25 purchase Rite-Aid Q=$5.00
2 x $1/1 Welch's IPQ=$2.00
2 x $1/2 Planter's Nuts Booklet from grocery storeQ=$2.00
4 x $1/1 Tic Tac Chill Gum ManuQ sunday inserts=$4.00
1 x $2/1 Robitussin IPQ=$2.00
1 x $2/1 off any OTC Cold & Cough Product Rite-Aid Wellness IPQ=$2.00
Coupon Total=$17.00

$25.97-$17.00=$8.97 OOP

Qualify for SCRebates $5(#80) and $4(#8 Robitussin)=$9.00

Moneymaker of $.03!lol

So my total Rite-Aid OOP spending for November to this point is...$65.83. 
And my Single Check Rebates for November amount to $64.36.
This makes my OOP $1.47 for the month.


Friday, November 20, 2009

More Weekly Shopping at Weis

Ok, Here is another transaction from Weis this week.  This one includes the Betty Crocker $2 Discount Deal and a Unilever Catalina Deal.

1 x BC Cake Mix on sale $1=$1.00
4 x BC Frosting  on sale $1.50=$6.00
4 x Carnation Evap. Milk  on sale $1=$4.00
2 x Skippy Peanut Butter  on sale $1.67=$3.34
2 x Hellmann's Mayo  on sale $3.00=$6.00
2 x Lipton Tea Bags  on sale $2.50=$5.00
4 x Diamond Walnuts 1lb.  on sale $3.99=$15.96
2 x Hall's Refresh Drops  on sale $1.50=$3.00
1 x Reynolds Recycled Foil  on sale $2=$2.00
1 x Daisy Sour Cream  on sale $1.67=$1.67
2 x Pork Roast $5.98 & $5.32=$11.30 **Not pictured**
1 x Ground Beef=6.65 **Not pictured**

Coupons Used

4 x BC Frosting $.50/1 ManuQ doubled=$4.00

2 x Carnation Evap. Milk .50/2 ManuQ doubled=$2.00

1 x Skippy Peanut Butter $1/2 ManuQ=$1.00

1 x Hellmann's Mayo $1/2 ManuQ=$1.00

1 x Lipton Tea Bags $1/2 ManuQ=$1.00

2 x Diamond Walnuts $3/2 ManuQ=$6.00

1 x Hall's Refresh Drops BOGO TearpadQ=$1.50
1 x Hall's Refresh Drops $.50/1 ManuQ doubled=$1.00

1 x Reynolds Recycled Foil $.75/1 ManuQ doubled to $1=$1.00

1 x Daisy Sour Cream $.50/1 ManuQ doubled=$1.00

2 x Pork Roast $3.00 Off Meat storeQ=$6.00

1 x Ground Beef $3.00 Off Meat storeQ=$3.00
1 x $7 OYNO Catalina Q from last week's Cat Deals=$7.00
1 x P&G/Weis $10 Check from Go Green Rebate in July=$10.00
Coupon Total

$65.92-$45.50=$20.42+$.11tax=$20.53 OOP

That is what the total was suppose to be.
The total I paid from my receipt was actually $13.19.
After studying my receipt a couple of days later I have figured out that the cashier didn't charge me for the Ground Beef, but still took off the $3 Discount Store Q from the
Then she took off the full price on the Hall's($2.19)instead of taking off the sale price of $1.50 on the BOGO package.

So $13.19 OOP and  I received a $7 OYNO Catalina Q hopefully to roll into another Cat Deal before it expires. ;-)
Product value of $93.74 & a savings of just under 86%.


Grocery Shopping This Week

Here's a transaction I did at Weis this week over and over again.

Weis had Carnation Evaporated Milk on sale for $1 a can.  I had a stack of $.50/2 ManuQs, which my store doubled to $1/2(only 4 of the same coupon in a single transaction are doubled).  Not only is Evaporated Milk necessary for making pumpkin or sweet potato pie, but it's a great shelf-stable milk product for cooking, baking and cream soup making so a good thing in a stockpile.

Weis also had a 'deal' where if you bought 5 Betty Crocker products you received an automatic $2 off your transaction.  I had BC Frosting Manu Qs for .50/1 that doubled(up to 4 in a single transaction), so I did this transaction(either alone or with other items) 4 times over the course of the week....

4 x Carnation Evap. Milk on sale $1=$4.00
4 x BC Frosting on sale $1.50=$6.00
1 x BC Cake Mix on sale $1.00=$1.00

Coupons Used
2 x Carnation $.50/2 doubled=$2.00
4 x BC Frosting .50/1 doubled=$4.00
Automatic $2.00 off for purchasing 5 BC items=$2.00
$2.50 OYNO Catalina Q(from buying BC Fruit Snacks 2 weeks ago)=$2.50
Coupon Total=$10.50

$11.00-$10.50=$.50 OOP for each of 4 transactions=$2.00 OOP for....
4 Cake Mix
16 Evaporated Milk
16 Frosting

And just what does a person do with 16 tubs of Frosting??

Why, make CAKEBALLS of course!


Samples are Bad for the Environment

Ok, I confess....I love to send away for samples of products.  And companies love to offer samples of their products to consumers.  Most Couponers send away and receive a myriad of product samples every day.  I know it makes me smile when there is a little goody waiting in my mailbox for me at the end of a long day.
Giving out samples is a surefire way for a company to get consumers to actually go out and BUY the product after they have tried it and see how awesome that product is firsthand.  It's great for their bottom line so you know companies are not about to stop offering FREEBIES.

Since couponers and frugal folks love samples I am not going to garner any love from them when I say that samples are bad for our world and we shouldn't send for them.

All products for sale in our world need some sort of packaging to convey that product to the buyer.  Packaging is a necessary evil. But samples by their definition are usually teeny tiny amounts of a product.  And that small amount of product needs packaging...almost as much if not the same amount of packaging as a regular size of the product.  Add up all that packaging for every sample and you have a mountain of wrappers & containers that need to be THROWN AWAY after the sample gets to it's destination and is used up.

All this extra TRASH that is generated for a company to get their product out into the consumers hands is not helping our environment.  In fact, depending on what the company is using in it's packaging and the amount, it is harming our natural world.   And it's not at all healthy for our planet to make MORE GARBAGE than is necessary.

Companies aren't able to NOT generate packaging and thus, trash at this point.
But there are ways that companies can be a tad more ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE when conceiving and producing Product Samples and it's Packaging.

Develop RECYCLABLE PACKAGING for Samples. 
I've been receiving samples of various Kashi brand items this year.  Every single sample that has arrived, I have been able to compost the packaging.  It's all cardboard or other paper product, no plastic!  Some family member will enjoy the yummy sample and then the box gets torn up and put into the compost bin.
There have been lots of other brands of samples that were NOT so environmentally friendly(aka EF) this year.
The Purex 3-in-1 Sheets came in a paperboard container but the actual product was not EF.  The 'cloth' that the detergent/softener product was inpregnated in, that was leftover after the product was used up.  This 'cloth' was just another piece of plastic TRASH that needed to be disposed of.  It couldn't be recycled or composted.   If Purex could come up with a way to NOT generate trash with this 3-in-1 Sheet Product I would feel a whole lot better about using it in the future.

The other Point I want to mention is the AMOUNT OF PACKAGING a company uses when it sends out samples of products.  Don't overdo what needs to be thrown out when designing the packaging for a product.
Here's a perfect example of a very Environmentally Unfriendly package that I received a couple of months ago....

I loved receiving this Proctor & Gamble product sample.  #1 son uses this hair product on ocassion so it's something we can use and will.
The packaging was some sort of foil that I might actually be able to recycle once I use the product.  Not sure as I haven't checked that yet but there is hope.

The problem was what else they included in this package....

The accompanying fold-out full color non-soy ink printed pamphlet was over 3 feet long.
Not much in the way of actual information about the product, just some very nice photographs.
BTW-not even a coupon in all that.

This sample also included this....

Another full color non-soy ink printed smaller pamphlet for a Tide product(at least with a coupon!lol).

Now don't you think they could have reduced the amount of paper used in this sample packaging and put both products info/advertising blurbs on 1 two-fold product on each side of it?

When I think of all the unnecessary trees that were wasted to produce all this unnecessary advertising I get sad.   And it makes me not want to buy these products anymore.

I hope P&G sees this post.  Better yet, I am going to go send them a snail mail on how I feel about their wasteful packaging practices. 


Crayola Giveaway on Bargain Fun's Blog

BARGAIN FUN is holding a CRAYOLA Product Giveaway HERE.
Go check it out and you might win a great toy for that special child in your life this Holiday Season!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Weis Sales Ad for 11/19-11/26

Here are some highlights from the new Weekly Sales ad for Weis/Mr. Z's Markets with my personal comments.  My advise is worth what you paid for it...FREE. lol

And no, there are NO CATALINA DEALS this week....if you don't count the Buy Gift Cards and Get a OYNO Cat Deal.  I sure wish they'd include the Weis Gift Cards in that deal!  Then it would be worth doing. ;-)

If you feel I have missed a deal worth mentioning, please leave a comment and let us all know!

I am off shortly to get the stitches in my gum removed.  After the swelling went down, the stitches got loose and I've had this string flopping around in my mouth that has been driving me nuts the past 2 days! lol


What's on sale at WEIS/Mr.Z's this week that 'might' be worth buying....


Yams $.79 lb.  Probably the best price we are going to see for Sweet Potatoes now.

Collards or Kale  $.69 lb.  A good price for these fresh greens.  *Note-some stores really saturate these with water to keep them looking hydrated and fresh, but all that excess water makes your produce weigh more at the register.  Make sure you give your greens a really good shake or two in the aisle before you bag it to get the water off.  It's not only going to make your produce weigh less(cost you less at the scale)but all that extra moisture when trapped in a plastic bag in your fridge is going to turn it to slime faster if you don't use the greens right away.  Better yet, rewrap your greens in a kitchen towel before you put it in the fridge.  A towel will help keep them fresh until use and let them breath so they don't liquify.

Ocean Spray Fresh Cranberries $2 a 12 oz. bag
Now is the time to stock up on cranberries for your cooking for the months to come.  Fresh OS cranberries are only available for a short time.  I'd suggest getting some extra and putting them in the freezer to use in your baking/cooking later.  Not a wonderfully low price but probably the best you'll see at Weis unless they have tons leftover and put them on clearance but that would be a YMMV situation in your individual store.


Weis Turkey still on sale for .49¢ lb.
If you don't have a store giving free turkeys with a minimum purchase or a Walmart with .40 lb. turkeys, this is probably your best price for a bird this week.

Jimmy Dean Rolled Sausage BOGO ($3.99)
Sausage goes on sale around thanksgiving(some people put it in their stuffing so that's probably why).  Jimmy Dean is the primo stuff and hardly goes on sale.  If you regularly spend retail on this sausage, now is the time to stock up the freezer.  While there are a slew of JD Qs floating around the Coupon Universe, there are none for the reg. rolled sausage. 8-(
The pre-cooked JD sausage is also on sale BOGO($3.99) and there IS a $1/1 Q available for the sunday inserts.  If your store let's you use 2 Qs on a BOGO deal, you can get this for $1.00 a box!  Precooked is not much good for stuffing but it's mighty tasty for breakfast.

Weis Skinny Chicken BOGO ($3.49lb.)
Personally, I don't pay over $1.99lb for boneless chicken and I think anybody who is too lazy to buy a piece of chicken with skin on it and remove that skin shouldn't even eat  It's NOT a difficult job to remove a piece of chicken skin and it's not time consuming so don't tell me you don't have time to do it.
$3.49 or more is way too much to pay per lb. for chicken breast.  I think even on sale half price like it is this week for $1.75 lb. is a bit much.
However, if you like this stuff, this price is better than retail.  That's all I'm going to say. ;-)

Catfish Fillets are an ok deal at $4.99 lb.

LIVE LOBSTERS $6.99 lb.-2 days only!(11/20-11/21)
Ok people, this is NOT something Weis carries on a regular basis.  And though this isn't the BEST price for Lobster, it IS the best deal arond here in landlocked PA at the moment.  I'm saying that on condition that this IS North American/Maine Lobster-which I can't tell from the ad if it is, or it's those nasty South American Lobsters which aren't quite the same, but ARE lobsters.  If you are loving yo'self some Lobster, make sure you get to Weis/Mr. Z's on Fri. or Sat. and get you some a' this!  Lobster is a budget buster but what a way to rip up your budget!lol
Personally, No. American Lobsters that are harvested in the cold weather months taste better than what most people get on vacation in the hot weather months.  The cold weather lobster has a harder shell and is more difficult to crack into but it's worth it, as the meat is tastier.  That's IMHO here. 8-)

A quick note on Meat---I found marked down Smithfield brand Pork Roasts last night.  These Pork Roasts are labeled as Slow Cooker Pork Pot Roast!lolol  I just had to laugh about calling pork, pot roast.  They are sized to fit into a crockpot.  Your Weis probably carries these and they don't seem to be a fast moving item, hence the mark down to get rid of them.  Might be worth  looking for them, to watch for a clearance.  I got a $5.32 one (not quite 2lbs. so it's about $2.69lb reg. price).  With the $3 off Meat sticker it was $2.32 or about $1.20lb.


Weis Brand Butter 1lb. $1.67
Except for 1 store locally that has butter for $1.49, this price seems to be as low as you are going to find this fall.

Kraft Cheese(shreds or blocks) $2.00 each.  There is a $1/2 Q from the sunday inserts out there for this, making it $1.50 a piece.  You can do better at Target this week with their sale price of $1.67 and the Q making it $1.17 when you buy 2.....that is, if your Target isn't sold out already like mine always is.

Philly Cream Cheese 4 for $5.00($1.25 ea.)  Buy 3, use the $1/3 Q from the sunday inserts and you pay $2.75 for 3 boxes, less than $1.00 per box.  You can probably do as well with a store brand cream cheese on sale w/out Q somewhere else this week but it's an ok deal if you have to have Philly.


Carnation Evaporated Milk $1 each  This is still on sale, and use the $1/2 Q from the sunday inserts 2 weeks back to pay .50¢ a can WYB2.  A must have for pumpkin pie making and a good emergency shelf-stable milk &/or good for creamed soups/gravies.

Fleischmann's Yeast $1.50 a strip
Pair with the $.40/1 Q from sunday inserts to pay $1.10 or $.70 if your Weis store doubles Qs up to $1.  If you bake and you like Fleischmann's and your Weis doubles Qs it's time to stock up.  Remember though, Weis only doubles up to 4 of the same Q in an order, so if you want to buy more than 4, buy it in lots of 4, it in separate trips to the store.
Personally, I think buying the bigger Jar of Yeast is more cost effective but these strip packages are good to have on hand for holiday baking.

Ore-Ida Steam and Mash Potatoes $3.00
Ok, if you like these Lazy People's Potatoes and you have the $1/1 Q from the Parade Magazine in Sunday's paper, you can get this for $2.00.  Personally, I wouldn't buy this stuff but if you want it/need it, buy it now with the Q.

Birds Eye SteamFresh Meals $5.99
IF you have the BOGO Birds Eye SteamFresh Meal Q from the sunday inserts in October, you can get 2 bags of this for $5.99($3 a bag).  I have a IPQ for $1.50/1 off this also which would make these $2.25 a bag.  Not sure where I got it from but go google it and you might find a source for an IP Q as well.

Coke 3 for $4 2 liter bottles($1.34 ea.)
Some areas received a $1/5 Coke 2 liters Q in the sunday inserts. Using that Q would make the Coke bottles $1.14 each.  I don't buy 2 liter bottles of Coke so I have no idea how good a deal this is.  You tell me!lol

Pompeian Olive Oil $6.99
There's a $1/1 sunday inserts Q from August so this would be $5.99 for 32. oz. bottle.  Pretty decent for Olive Oil.

Dole Fruit $1 a can.  There's a $.35/1 pineapple from the sunday inserts a couple of weeks ago.  If your Weis doubles, get a can for .30¢.  There is a .50/1 IP Q available Here.

St. Ives Body Wash BOGO
Not sure on the reg. price here but there is a Q from last sunday inserts for $1/1.  Use 2 Qs and you might have a deal here on 2!

Marcal Small Steps Napkins $2 each
If your region didn't get the FREE napkins Q and got the $1/1 instead, this week is the time to use it and get a package of these for $1.  Not free-and you KNOW I am pissed off about NOT getting that free napkin Q-but a buck is ok.

Marcal Small Steps TP 12 roll or 8 roll Paper Towels $4.99
If you have the $2/1 Small Steps TP Q from the October sunday inserts, a package would be $2.99.  Not bad for 12 rolls.

Scotties Facial Tissues/Small Steps Facial Tissue/Renuzit Air Fresheners  $1 each
All these have Qs available from the sunday inserts so you can get them even cheaper.  Small Steps might be free depending on your Q, the Renuzit has a B2G1Free so after Q it's 3 for $2.00, and the Scotties Q is $1/5 so not such a great deal at $4/5.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Who Wants FREE Cookies?? Go Enter This Cookie Giveaway!

My Cyber-Friend McVal over at SEW NOT MY DAY is holding a homemade Spumoni Cookie Giveaway HERE!  Get your butt on over there like, NOW!, and enter to win a package of this Yumminess!
This contest ends Thursday morning at 9am(not sure which time zone however) so do it soon.

It's food and it's got chocolate in know you want it!!!


A New Blogging Issue for Me

 First off, let me say that I never started this blog with the intention of having it be a moneymaking  proposition.  And if you've been hanging around and reading me for awhile, you know that I'm not review/giveaway/promotion central.  And you can guess that even though I've put some google ads on the blog, I am NOT seeing any income from this blog.

But the day has finally come.
The day that I was contacted out-of-the-blue by a company to promote their business on my blog.
Ok, I am a member of BlogSpark, and they sent me soup to try and review once....and nifty bowls for my trouble to keep and cherish forever. lol
But this blog isn't a revenue generator.

But now I've been emailed by a business's "social media representative" to talk up a certain business's new, I'll use the word "gimmick" for lack of a better term at the moment.
Basically, they want me to do their advertising for them to my readers.

Oh, and they didn't offer me anything in exchange for my "services" if I do, nor did they offer me anything to offer to my readers(free product or a giveaway prize) to get ya'll excited to listen to the shpeel.

Publicizing or advertising or writing a review for a company or a product is work, it's not fun.  And if you have ever written reviews or promotion shpeel, you know that already.
So unless I am getting something(either free swag, cash, coupons, etc.)I really don't feel inclined to do someone else's work for them.  Do these advertising reps do their job for free?  I think not....

OTOH, if I have a personal experience with a product or business and feel compelled to write an unsolicited review or opinion just because I want to without any expectation of compensation, I will...and I have.

So what would you do? 
Or if you have a blog and review/promote stuff, what do you do?
Do you insist on compensation for promoting a business when a company contacts you in hopes that you will promote them? 
Or do you promote products/businesses out of the goodness of your heart....or in hopes that one day their media consultants see you mention them favorably in your blog and send you a 'thank you' for giving them such good publicity?

I don't want my blog to become a giveaway central or a strictly "here's the deal or the hot coupon".
There are tons of blogs out there that do that already.
My blog is more personal experiences and thoughts with the deals, hot coupons & giveaways thrown in.  It's just a part of what I do and who I am.  I don't want to lose the humaness of it all here.

I just don't know what direction I should go in from this point forward.
Any feedback or ideas would be appreciated.


Weis Unilever Catalina Deal Scenarios to Use UPDATE

IF YOU CAN FIND THE ORGANIC RAGU PASTA SAUCE Jars at your store use them in your Scenarios. 
Because the Reg. Shelf price is not $1.89 like the regular Ragu jars, it's $3.55!
You will need less product to get to the reg. shelf $20 minimum threshold to trip the Catalina Q.

Try this scenario...
3 x Ragu Sauce  Shelf $3.55=$10.65/Sale $2.00=$6.00
2 x Lipton Tea  Shelf $3.39=$6.78/Sale $2.50=$5.00
1 x Vaseline Lotion  Shelf $3.69/Sale $2.99
   Total Shelf=$21.12/Sale=$13.99

Use Coupons
1 x $1.25/3 Ragu=$1.25
1 x $1/2  Lipton=$1.00
1 x $1/1  Vaseline=$1.00
Coupons Total=$3.25

Use the $7 OYNO Catalina you got from the last deal and your total becomes $3.74 OOP.
And you get another $7 Cat to roll this deal again.


Weis Unilever Catalina Deal Scenarios to Use

As promised, here are some Weis Unilever Catalina Deal Scenarios using the manu. coupons that were in Sunday's inserts.  I didn't figure in any products that there aren't coupons the Slimfast.  Since it's Weis, it's not an amazingly low OOP in the end, but it's pretty good.

But hurry, this sale ends tonight!

To do all 4 Deals, you will need these Coupons...
7 Skippy Qs
2 Lipton Qs
3 Ragu Qs
2 Hellmann's Qs
1 Vaseline Qs

#1-LOWEST INITIAL OOP(do this Scenario 1st if you won't have a $7 Catalina Q to start with)
6 x Skippy PB  Shelf $2.49=$14.94/Sale $1.67=$10.00
2 x Lipton Tea  Shelf  $3.39=$6.78/Sale  $2.50=$5.00
                 Total  Shelf  $21.72/Sale   $15.00
Use 3 x Skippy $1/2 Q=$3.00
Use 1 x Lipton $1/2 Q=$1.00
Coupon Total=$4.00

$15.00-$4.00=$11.00 OOP & get a $7 OYNO Catalina Q.
**If you have a $7 OYNO Catalina Q from rolling this deal this week or from a deal from last week that you can pay with, your total becomes $4.00 OOP instead.

6 x Ragu Sauce Shelf $1.89=$11.34/Sale $1.50=$9.00
4 x Skippy PB  Shelf  $2.49=$9.96/Sale  $1.67=$6.68
               Total Shelf  $21.30/Sale  $15.68
Use 2 x Ragu $1.25/3 Q=$2.50
Use 2 x Skippy $1/2 Q=$2.00
Coupon Total=$4.50

$15.68-$4.50=$11.18 & use the $7 OYNO Cat from the previous deal above and your total becomes $4.18 OOP.
And you get another $7 OYNO Catalina Q.

4 x Skippy PB  Shelf $2.49=$9.96/Sale $1.67=$6.68
2 x Mayo Shelf $3.69 or $4.25=$7.38or$8.50/Sale $3.00=$6.00
1 x Vaseline Lotion  Shelf $3.69/Sale $2.99
       Total  Shelf=$21.03 or $22.15/Sale=$15.67
Use 2 x $1/2 Skippy Q=$2.00
Use 1 x $1/2 Mayo Q=$1.00
Use 1 x $1/1 Vaseline Q=$1.00
Coupon Total=$4.00

$15.67-$4.00Qs=$11.67 & use the $7 OYNO Catalina Q you got from the purchase before and your total becomes $4.67 OOP.
And you get another $7 OYNO Catalina Q.

2 x Mayo  Shelf $4.25=$8.50MUST BUY THE $4.25Mayo/Sale $3.00=$6.00
2 x Lipton Tea  Shelf $3.39=$6.78/Sale $2.50=$5.00
3 x Ragu  Shelf $1.89=$5.67/Sale $1.50=$4.50
     Total Shelf=$20.95/Sale=$15.50
Use 1 x $1/2 Mayo Q=$1.00
Use 1 x $1/2 Tea Q=$1.00
Use 1 x $1.25/3 Ragu Q=$1.25
Coupon Total=$3.25

$15.50=$3.25Qs=$12.25 & use the $7 OYNO Catalina Q you got from the purchase before and your total becomes $5.25 OOP.
And you get another $7 OYNO Catalina Q.

After making these 4 purchases you will have....

14 jars of Skippy Peanut Butter
4 boxes of Lipton Tea Bags
9 jars of Ragu Sauce
4 jars of Mayonnaise
1 bottle of Vaseline Lotion
Products with a regular retail value of $85.00.

It will have cost you $25.10 Out of Pocket or $18.10 Out of Pocket if you used a $7 OYNO Catalina on the first deal.
And you will have a $7 OYNO Coupon to get $7 of free food next shopping trip or use to roll into another Catalina producing Deal in the next week or so before it expires.


Meal Plan Monday...November 15th Edition...Quick and Easy Week

I am late again with the menu this week....sigh.  Oral surgery & painkillers will do that to a person.

Last Week's Menu Postmortem...

Everything but the Shrimp Alfredo and Hot Dogs were served.  Not in the mood for that shrimp dish this week, so I'll go with a different seafood meal this week and I'll move the hot dog meal to this week(we had it last night actually).  I also didn't make the apple pie as we had so many other dessert type foods already.  I'll make that pie later this week with some of the tons of apples I still have here.
Hubby made steak, scalloped potatoes and butternut squash on Sunday.  I appreciated the day off from cooking and he did a great job!  He has offered to make dinner again this Sunday.  Now, how could I refuse an offer like that?  ;-)

Here's what I will be serving our family of 4 this Week....

MONDAY--Hot Dogs(freezer), Beans(stockpile), Carrots(root cellar)
TUESDAY--Chicken Parmesan(freezer), Salad(fridge), Spaghetti(stockpile)
WEDNESDAY--Beef Pie(freezer/stockpile)
THURSDAY--Lasagna(stockpile/freezer), Swiss Chard(end of garden!)
FRIDAY--Grilled Pastrami Panini(fridge), Soup(stockpile)
SUNDAY--Hubby Surprise...I get the day off, hubby is cooking!

SNACKS/DESSERTS--Apple Pie, lots of stuff in the stockpile

This week is chock full of easy meals since next week will be the major league cooking marathon for Thanksgiving.  I'm giving myself a rest this week.

Last week I spent $84.49 on food and toiletries.  $16.57 of that was on Part 2 of the massive haul from Acme, talked about Here and the rest was stocking up on other Catalina Promos.  It would have been much less OOP on groceries last week except for the Acme Catalina Deals and both my local independent grocer and the regional chain grocery store here had Catalina Deals going.  I can't resist a Cat Deal it seems.  Now that I've gotten my Rite-Aid shopping done for the week I am trying very hard to stay out of the stores this week.  Except for weekly milk purchases, we require NO additional food purchases.  I don't have any RRs to roll at Wags and I have to check if my ECBs are expiring this week or next so I might be able to stay out of CVS too. I'm hoping this week turns out to be a Low Spend Week and I'm going to try for a No Spend Week next week. 

Food Waste Report....nothing wasted again this week.  All vegetable matter composted.

Check out ORGANIZING JUNKIE to see what other Home Cooks are serving this week!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

November Charity Challenge Courtesy of Acme

So I finally got all the Acme Booty gone through and rebagged up a load for the Food Bank in Teeny Tiny Town.  This friday is the weekly distribution and the last one before Thanksgiving so I am glad I got this up there when I did.  The shelves at the FB weren't bare but man, was there ALOT of empty space and boxes in the store room.
Here's what my donation looked like strewn across the minivan....

Pretty full, right?
But here is how small it all looked once it was unloaded onto a table.... IS a big 8 foot long table and the shot is from a distance but still....
It didn't seem to make a dent in the need.

Here's the list of what's there....
27 boxes of Cereal
5 jars of Peanut Butter
1 jar of Jelly
14 packages of Pasta/Rice
2 containers of Bread Crumbs
4 sacks of Flour
4 boxes of Fruit Snacks
2 boxes of Cake Mix
2 jars or Frosting
1 box of Instant Potatoes
16 cans of Vegetables
3 boxes of Crackers
4 bags of Pasta
5 boxes of Pop-Tarts
3 jars of Spaghetti Sauce
8 cans of Soup
6 boxes of Mac & Cheese
1 box of Tea Bags

I also hauled up some medical stuff that can be used at the Free Medical Clinic there as well.  I didn't get a shot of the Glucose Meters and the bag of OTC medicines but those were included in this drop off of goodies.
The value of the food part of it was $361.71.

Because of a bit of work and time on my part and ALOT of Coupons and a really nice Sale at Acme last week, there are going to be a few people who otherwise don't qualify for any government programs getting a bit more to eat later this week.
And that can only be labeled a good thing.

In this Month when many are Counting Their Blessings, do you have an opportunity to show your thankfulness by sharing your Harvest with others?

Even if your food budget doesn't stretch enough to be giving what food stuff you purchase away, there are other ways to help the hungry that are painless.

Did you qualify for a FREE TURKEY or MORE than One Turkey at the grocery store this month?
Instead of jamming yet another turkey into your freezer, how about sharing one of those Turkeys with a needy neighbor who doesn't have one, either directly giving it to them or through donating it at your local Food Bank/Pantry or Soup Kitchen.

What about those 20 cans of whatever that were an amazing deal but your family won't eat that is languishing in your stockpile?  I bet your local food drive could put them into the hands of people who would really enjoy them!

How about inviting someone who has no family to gather with next week to your family Thanksgiving meal.  Surely, one more mouth to feed won't be much of an imposition or strain on your budget? And it could very well mean the world to someone who feels left out and islolated in this time of community and family.

Take a minute to make a tangible difference in someone's life this week.  Buy some food or write a check to your local program that feeds the needy.

If you can't swing a monetary donation to some good cause, give your time.
Better yet, do Both!

Check out the CVS SAVER to see what others are doing this month to make a difference in their small part of the world!

And leave a comment here to share what you are doing for others this holiday season.