I have about $50.00 coming in rebates this month. I read about all of the deals in "Money Saving Mom"
Today, I went to Walgreen's and got a 22 ounce container of Olay Quench body lotion for $7.99 and an 8.4 0z bottle of Olay Quench lotion free, with the other purchase.
There is a rebate for the full price of the larger Olay lotion. I used two $1.00 off coupons for the lotions and will get $7.99 in the rebate. After tax and the cost of a stamp, I will make a dollar on the deal and the lotion is free. I also got two bottles of Renpure Organic shampoo. They are $6.99 and are buy one get one free. There is a hang tag on the shampoo for the full price to be rebated. Both end up free. It is amazing how much free stuff you can get if you check out the the aforementioned blog regularly.
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I have about $50.00 coming in rebates this month. I read about all of the deals in "Money Saving Mom"
My out of pocket costs, after a rebate and a register reward, at Walgreen's today was $2.04 plus tax. I saved $51.67 and many items that I will use, or use in the gift baskets I make for special occasions.
If you are not familiar with the "Money Saving Mom blog, check it out. They do all the work for you and tell you where to get the deals, link you up with printable coupons, and give you lots of scenarios to save the most, and get lots of "freebies".
It saves me a bundle. They update it daily, and always have weekly specials listed for many chain stores.
I am going to put together a "spa" gift basket with wonderful freebies, for my daughter's birthday, and purchase, hopefully on clearance, a terry cloth robe to add to it.
I have had a headache all day, and didn't feel like making dinner, but decided that making quiche was not too difficult. I browned some frozen hash browns, in a little olive oil, fried the four (thick sliced) pieces of bacon that I found in the fridge, grated some cheddar cheese, and added six eggs. The hash browns, pressed into a pie plate, lightly sprayed with Pam, form the crust. Then, you put about a cup of grated cheese on top of the potatoes. You sprinkle any kind of cooked meat on top of the cheese, and top it all off with the lightly beaten eggs. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. I have used sausage, diced ham, or
crumbled bacon for the meat in the quiche.
I made a loaf of banana bread yesterday, and we will have that with the quiche. A vegetable can be a side dish to balance the meal.
Albertson's has eggs for a dollar a dozen this week, and we buy our cheese, in bulk, at Sam's, so the meal is very inexpensive.
I found the recipe in an Amish cookbook, and it has been a "keeper".
We have a house rule about laundry. If you throw your dirty clothes down the laundry chute without checking the contents of the pockets, any money in them becomes the property of the laundress! That would be me! So, today, I am $39.00 richer! It goes to my stash, that goes to ING.
I've away from this site for a long time because the last year has been the worst.
Finances have taken a back seat due to life and it's unexpected, terrible happenings. I am trying to put the last year in perspective and move on and get on with day to day living.
Last year, my mom died unexpectedly. Three months later, my beautiful 3 1/2 year old grandson died in a tragic accident. Then, one of my closest friends died unexpectedly. These events kind of put things in perspective for me. Money is necessary, but it can't buy what is really important. Hug your kids, tell your family and friends you love them. You can't know what tomorrow will bring.
Moving on has been difficult, but I have a great family, good friends, and my faith to keeps me going.
I have depleted a lot of my savings in the last year, but I am now focusing on rebuilding, and want to have an emergency fund to cover at least six months of expenses within the next year.
The newspaper had a Walgreen's ad insert today. In it are two coupons. One is for 10 Wal-itin tablets, which is their generic "Claritin" non-drowsy 24 hour allergy medication. With the coupon you can get up to four packages (10 each) for 99 cents each. The regular price is $7.99 each. The other coupon is for the sixty count, Walgreen's softgel vitamin D capsules (1000 IU) for 99 cents each. Limit of three. The normal price is $5.99 each. So I got the maximum allowed, and spent $6.93 plus tax. I used my Walgreen's rebate card, with the 10 per cent bonus for getting the gift card. When I paid for the items, I got a $5.00 register rewards coupon for five dollars! So it was all free!
Gotta love Walgreen's.
Both of these items were on my list of things to purchase. I was out of vitamin D, which I take, and my allergies have been a problem this week due to the high winds we have been experiencing. I saved $48.00 with this deal.
Do you have any creative ideas for making nice, but economical gift baskets?
Any recipes for gifts in a jar?
Any unique packaging ideas?
I have been collecting great, inexpensive baskets from Goodwill, and have make gift baskets for several years, but am running out of ideas.
I have used "Family fun night" themes, using a board game, mugs, hot chocolate mix, and snacks.
I have done basket with bath themes.
I have done "movie night theme" using a gift card for a movie rental, or enclosing a family type DVD, hot chocolate, theater size boxes of candy, etc.
I have used gardening themes.
I need new ideas!
Everything I've read states that preparing a Thanksgiving meal will cost over forty dollars. Not true! Oh, it can cost that much, but you can do it for about $12.00 if you buy your ingredients at loss leader prices, and cook from "scratch".
I purchased a 16 pound "Honeysuckle White" turkey for $5.50 yesterday. Today, I made homemade stuffing mix (Tightwad Gazette recipe)from bread cubes I have been freezing for a couple of months. I make our bread (oatmeal bread) in our bread machine. If there are a couple pieces that are drying out, before being consumed, they are cut into cubes and frozen for stuffing, that I use for that purpose, and to crush and use as breading for oven fried chicken and pork chops.
Next comes potatoes. They are on sale for a dollar for five pounds. Two of the people on the guest list love mashed potatoes, so I make a lot! I use about four pounds, so that is 80 cents.
The gravy is free, because it is made from the turkey drippings and giblets.
Cranberries are on sale for $1.67 and we cook them with a little sugar, that was purchased in bulk, so it costs maybe 25 cents.
I make the rolls from scratch. Two dozen can be made for about 75 cents, including the butter.
Whole frozen green beans are on sale for 67 cents a bag.
Fruit salad is not necessary, but is wanted. It is made with generic fruit cocktail, canned pineapple chunks and mandarin oranges, and a package of pudding mix. It costs about $2.00 to make with generics, or loss leader prices.
Pumpkin pie is made from scratch. The cost of the crust is maybe 25 cents, and the filling was made from pumpkins we grew, but you can buy a can of pumpkin for a dollar.
There will be a lot of leftovers, so that $12.00 will cover several meals.
It is great being able to eat well, entertain, and stay within a manageable budget.
You don't have to go in the red to eat well, if you are willing to do a little work and plan ahead.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Yesterday, I went to Walgreen's and got the two items that are free after rebate. I used a $5.00 off $20.00 purchase coupon, and will get 10 per cent more for getting a Walgreen's gift card. Profit(not including tax) is $7.68.
Then I went to Goodwill's 50 per cent off sale, and got some great items for my Christmas gift baskets. I also get the baskets there. I got a large glass dome for a cake plate. I had purchased a beautiful cake plate there earlier. Total cost for both pieces-three dollars. I also found a beautiful Depression Glass, etched serving bowl, for $2.50 and a 1940's era pressed glass basket. Next, I found a new gift box of beautiful Christmas cards with an $11.99 price tag on the box. It was $1.50, and will go in a gift basket with the four new-looking Oneida Christmas luncheon/dessert plates. They were fifty cents each.
You can create wonderful gift baskets shopping this way, and spend very little.
The cake plate/cover will have a large red bow tied around the handle and I will place a pretty bundt cake inside for one gift.
You can come up with a theme, or just make it eclectic. The gift baskets are very well received, and enjoyed.
I purchase rolls of cellophane wrap to put around the gift baskets, and tie a pretty bow at the top.
You don't have to spend a lot on a great gift if you get creative.
Does anyone else have ideas for gift baskets?
Yesterday, I looked at the ad from
Rite Aid and got excited about all of the "free after rebate" items. I was all set to drive across town to purchase many of the items, until I gave some serious thought to whether we really needed those items. All are products that are for colds, flu, sort throats, etc. Yes, I would probably get the money back in the form of a rebate, but right now, I don' have a lot of extra money and it would mean a substantial outlay of money. I don't know that we would use the products this year, and don't really know if they do much good. When I have a cold coming on, I take some vitamin C and hope for the best.
I think I would probably be better off this month, purchasing loss leaders to stock my pantry. Still, all of those "free after rebate" offers are tempting.
I do get a few of Walgreen's "free" items, but only things we actually use on a regular basis. I request the gift cards, because they give you 10 per cent more. Then, I try to stay withing that month's gift card amount, so I'm not spending any more cash.
Do you find these offers consistently worth your time and effort?
This summer, I've lost focus, and have not been very frugal. I also took on a lot of debt that isn't mine. Long story. So, it is back to making bread, planning meals around loss leaders, etc. I want to pay off the debt as soon as possible.
Today, I got three boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios, and a gallon of milk for $4.50, using coupons, on loss-leaders. Then when I paid, there was a coupon for a free loaf of French bread if I did a short survey. Not bad for four-fifty!
Albertson's has some great loss leaders this week!
They have numerous products that cost 50 cents if you purchase ten from that group.
I purchased 20 items from the group, so the total was only $10.00, and the items were staples (like Kraft bar-b-q sauce, French's spicy mustard, etc.) I saved $35.63, and I didn't use any coupons. Gotta love savings like that. I didn't think you could find anything to purchase, in the food category, for 50 cents any more.
Life has been crazy this last week! My mom was hospitalized, in critical condition, for five days, my husband had eye surgery, and life in general has been stressful. I was running to the hospital three times a day, or spending up to ten hours there, so I got take out, and pizza, that I normally wouldn't have spent money on. I think (knock on wood!) that things are back to normal, and normal is good!
Walgreen's has Proctor and Gambol products on sale this week, and if you purchase nine select products, you will get $20.00 in register rewards coupons, toward your next purchase.
I wanted Crest Pro-Health toothpaste, on sale 2/$5.00, but they were sold out. I read on another blog that 45 oz Cascade dishwasher detergent is included, but it was not advertised. So, I purchased nine at 2/$5.00, totaling $22.50. I had two 25 cents off coupons, so the total, after the register rewards coupons is actually $2.00. Walgreen's has a Buy one Get One Free sale on Nature Made Vitamins/Herbal Supplements, and I take Ginko Biloba, so I got four (200 capsule) containers. The normal price of one is $10.99. I had two $1.00 off coupons, and with the BO/GO special, I got all four with the $20.00 register rewards! The regular price of the herbal supplements alone would have been $43.96, and I have enough Cascade to last a couple of years stored in the basement!
The cashier loved it, and laughed as she bagged everything.
March 15th,the very first day of my vacation, I ended a very nice day, at the Stock Show in Houston, TX., by walking back to the hotel, in the dark, and "discovered" that the parking lot had an unexpected dip!
I wasn't paying attention, and fell on my right knee. It is fractured, and is a pain in more ways than one! Extra expense, co-pays, and not being able to do everything I want to do, is the worst of it.
On the savings, front, I added $272.79 cents to my ING account. Most of that was money budgeted for the vacation and not spent.
It is really difficult to stay motivated to save when savings interest rates keep going down, my IRA has taken a severe beating since October, and prices of food, gas, utilities, etc. are going up.
ING rates dropped to 3.10 per cent and the old savings account is not making a lot of progress now.
How do you keep your focus when it all seems to be going downhill?
I don't think I will ever purchase a book at full retail price again.
My town has a new very large, very nice Goodwill store, with a large, well organized book section. They even have free coffee and cookies, and tables in the book area, to sit and browse.
Yesterday, I got four paperbacks, all current and best sellers. The retail price on the books was over $62.00 but my cost was under $3.00 for all four books!
Reading is entertainment for me, and I either pass the books on to friends and family, or take them to a used book store for credit toward more books. It is a win-win situation.
I used to think buying books at Sam's was frugal. Not any more!
When I got dressed, this morning, I chose some clothes from my closet and had to smile, because I tallied the cost, and considered what I was wearing.
I chose a like-new pair of J Crew jeans, a Ralph Lauren t-shirt, and an Eddie Bauer cotton cardigan. Total cost $3.88, plus tax! All came from Goodwill. All were purchased at a GW sale. All look new.
I was there yesterday, and a woman and her mom were looking for clothing for a little girl. They had loads of Gymboree, Osh Kosh, Gap, etc. and all were between .99 and $1.99 each. They were beautiful articles of clothing. They were well dressed, and looked upper-middle class. Smart shoppers.
Not a no-spend day, but I had a lot of fun for not a lot of money. I bought five books,(the kind of paperback that cost about $12.00 each, and will give more, in credit at the used book store, than I spent), a vintage Pyrex refrigerator dish, with lid,(that matches two others I had) a Pyrex baking dish, 12 new cloth napkins (for a gift), and a Ralph Lauren tee shirt for under $15.00 at Goodwill. It was my splurge for the week.
I have the weekly menu planned, and have all of the food in the freezer, so will have to purchase milk, only. I make our bread.
So, this will be a "low-spend" week.
So, I kind of blew it today, purchasing Valentines, candy and putting a little cash in each card. With five kids, and eight grandkids, any holiday gets expensive. Now, I need to remember to budget for Easter!
I dislike platitudes, and I'm not a "Pollyanna" by any stretch of the imagination, so this entry is just to remind myself that I have a lot to be grateful for.
I wrote an earlier entry, complaining about my high property tax bill, very high utility bill, etc. and mysteriously, half of it disappeared when I hit "save and publish".
I think that was good, because complaining doesn't change a thing. I chose to delete the entry.
I am grateful that I have the money to pay the bills, the discipline to save $450.00 a month for property tax and home owner's insurance, the ability to budget for the winter's high utility bills, doing my own "budget billing", so the high winter bills don't cause a setback. I am grateful that I have learned how to save money, be frugal, know how to live well without spending a lot. So, I will try to keep a positive attitude, and when I write out the checks for the high property tax and utilities, etc., etc., etc. I will remind myself that life is good, and I don't have much to complain about.
I heard on TV that Goodwill is having a 50 per cent off sale tomorrow, but it is across town, and I had to go that direction today, so I stopped in to see what was available. I have been keeping the thermostat down, so would like to have a few more sweaters. Well, all white tagged items were 50 per cent off today, and I found three great sweaters with white tags. They ended up costing $2.50 each! All are expensive brands, Liz, Rico hand-knit, and Bushwacker.
I also found a pretty vase for a dollar, and bought it for a gift. My big "splurge" was $8.50, and I am thrilled with what I bought.
I love spending $2.50 on something that someone else probably spent $75.00 on!
In keeping with the frugal mode, I am making a double batch of homemade spaghetti sauce, and will freeze a quart of it for another day.
Life is good!
The Feds lowered interest rates another 1/2 per cent, today, and at this writing the market went down, after having been up a little.
This does not bode well for retirees, who in many cases, are living on savings interest and investments. This population is going to suffer with this economy.
It's great for those wanting to purchase a home, and are smart enough to lock in a FIXED rate.
I think a lot of people are going to get frustrated with saving, and seeing low interest rates.
It might have been the optimal day to transfer savings to a CD. I just switched my ING account to a CD, and probably just got in under the wire.
This is going to be a day of accomplishing things that add up to small savings. Accumulatively, it's the small things that can make a big difference.
It is supposed to be near sixty today, and I am going to do laundry and hang it on the lines, outside, for the first time in months. The sub-zero weather we have had, earlier this month, has not been conducive to this activity!
I am going to make homemade beef and noodles with leftover brisket that is in the freezer.
I am going to make a cake from scratch, that will be dessert for much of the week.
I am going to shampoo the living room carpet myself, instead of hiring someone else to do it.
I will call out-of-state family, because my cell phone service allows unlimited calls on weekends.
I will cut coupons out of the newspaper inserts, but only for things that are not convenience food, and only for things I need.
I will stay at home, and not spend any money!
This is going to be another no-spend day.
I've done well with the cash in the "grocery" envelope this month. I still have $20.00 left, and if I don't spend it, it will go in savings. I have a well-stocked pantry and freezer, so I don't think I will have to spend any more on groceries. Yesterday, I got a free gallon of milk, with the purchase of cereal(on sale, along with two $1.00 off coupons), and have been purchasing mostly loss leaders, so the grocery budget was low this month.
It is "warm" enough at 44 degrees, in Northern Colorado,to hang laundry outside, but the wind is blowing so hard, it might end up in Wyoming! I really hoped that I could hang sheets outside, but that isn't going to happen.
Faithfully reading and blogging on this site has helped me to stay the course this month!
My very old laptop computer "died" and I shopped for a new one in December. Staples had a Compaq Presario on sale for $429.00, after rebate, with a free HP printer. The rebate arrived, and is going directly to ING. I love the computer! Didn't need a new printer, but it is going to make a great gift for a college bound relative.
I went to Albertson's today, to get a few loss leaders, that I needed.
I Spent $6.53 and saved $12.30. This is how I like to shop!
What I purchased:
2 boxes of Zesta saltines $1.00 each
15 pounds of potatoes $1.99
1 dozen eggs $1.00
1 18 oz jar Peter Pan peanut butter $.75
1 pound frozen corn $.79
1 can Hormel chili FREE
Oh, and on the receipt is a coupon for a free loaf of French bread, for doing a short survey.
Now that prices on food have increased significantly, I am doing a little updated price comparisons.
Yesterday, DH shopped for a few things at King Soopers (Kroger),(while waiting for glasses to be made next door) a store that doubles coupons.
I don't use many coupons, and have suspected that every-day prices at stores that double, make up for it with higher prices.
So, today, at Wal-Mart, I compared prices on the same brands, that DH purchased.The rice and beans were the respective House Brands.
18 large eggs: Kroger-$2.89 Wal-Mart $2.60
5# rice: Kroger $2.99 Wal-Mart $2.48
2# Gr. Northern beans Kroger $2.69 WM $1.42
Crisco 48oz. Kroger $4.89 Wal-Mart $3.94
5# Pillsbury flour Kroger $3.29 WM $1.96
SAVINGS: $4.35 on only five items! Staples that we always keep on hand.
Say what you want about Wal-Mart, but I will continue to shop there for staples, for which there are rarely,( or never) coupons available.
It was seven below zero this morning. Little Lhasa was a "chili dog". I went to Wal-Mart to look for a dog sweater. They were sold out. So, I wandered around in the store for 15 minutes, doing some price comparisons while talking on a cell phone to DD2.
I didn't buy a thing. Walked out of the store empty handed! Another no-spend day.
DH decided to go ice fishing this morning.
He caught three fish that I estimate to be worth about $126.00 each.
When he pulled the last fish out of the water, his glasses went into the water!
Three hours and $380.00 later, he can see again. It does a good "fish story" or a new take on the "one that got away" however!
Snow falling, blanketing the Spruce tree the kids and I planted years ago, a fire in the antique stove, bread baking, a feeling of contentment.
I spent the morning making bread and brownies, making frugal homemade versions of rice-a-roni, and hamburger helper, six in all, for frugal meals in the weeks ahead.
I wrote out a menu for the week, using things in the freezer and well-stocked pantry.
I listened to CD's that my son made for me.
The stereo system is 15 years old, but still sounds great.
Finding contentment with the things I have, and being able to live frugally is not drudgery. Attitude makes all the difference.
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