Saturday, July 30, 2011

8 Fun Freebies you can request right now!

Speaking of mailbox freebies, here are a few that you can request right now!!

FREE 5-pack Sample of Tampax Pearl Tampons!  (You do not need to be a Cosco member to request this freebie!)

FREE Sample of Kirkland Signature Supreme Diapers!  Will arrive in 2-4 weeks.  (You do not need to be a Cosco member to request this freebie!)

FREE Sample of either Kashi Cinnamon Harvest Cereal or Kashi TLC Peannutty Dark Chocolate layered granola bar!  Will arrive in 4 to 6 weeks.

FREE U By Kotex Sample Pack!  Includes 3 freebies and money-saving coupons!

FREE Depend Sample Pack!  Says will arrive in 7  to 10 business days!

2 FREE Issues of Family Circle Magazine!  (completely free - you will NOT receive any kind of bill)

FREE Samples of John Frieda Frizz Ease Smooth Start Repairing Shampoo and Conditioner plus Original Strength Serum!  Will arrive in 8 to 10 weeks.

FREE One-Week Sample of Align Probiotics!  (You do not need to be a Cosco member to request this freebie!)  Will arrive in 4 to 6 weeks.


Mailbox Freebies!!

This week was a GREAT week for mailbox freebies!!!  I have been so excited about what all I got in the mail this week, I just had to share them with you!

First, yesterday, I received a package from Tide that had all of this inside...

I remember signing up for a free sample of Tide Stain Release, but didn't think it would include a 10-pack bag! 

Then, today, I received a coupon booklet with several coupons inside - including 3 FREE product coupons!  Along with it came a $2 rebate check I had been waiting on also!

I don't even remember signing up for this one!

Once again - just goes to show you that it pays to sign up for free sample offers!

Have you gotten any great freebies in the mail lately?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thrifty Thursday! 7/28

Today was a full day of shopping for me!  I made it to Target, CVS, Kroger, Dollar Tree, and Food Lion! 

My goal at Target was to pick up some clearanced toys.  Unfortunately, I didn't find any that I wanted or that were "cheap enough."  (Most things were only marked down 25 - 50%.)  I did, however, find some great deals on children's clothes and picked up a few things for my kids to wear this fall and next summer!  Here's what I got:

Total value: $70.80
Total amount spent out of pocket after sale prices: $25.33
Total saved:  $45.47 or 64%!

Next, it was on to CVS.  At first, I was disappointed b/c they were either sold out of what I wanted or the deals ended up not being as good as I thought.  However, as I walked around the store, I came across a few clearance and sale items that made for a few good buys!

The Tide Stain Release was on clearance for $3.36 and after a $3 coupon, cost me only $0.36!  Plus, the cereal was on sale 2/$4 and I had (2) $1.25 coupons, making them only $0.75 each!  The Crystal Light were coupon match-up deals - on sale for $2.50, I had a $1 CVS coupon from the coupon machine and a $1 manufacturer coupon that made them $0.50 each!  Plus, the soap was FREE after a CVS coupon I had!

Total value of 8 items:  $23.80
Total spent after sales, coupons, and ECB's:  $2.93  (I used $2 ECBs on this transaction)
Total saved: $20.87 or 88%!
Total ECB's received: $1.99

My trip to Kroger today wasn't all that thrilling.  I bought a $14 package of pull-ups that drove my total up.  They were totally out of all the cereal that I wanted from the mini mega-sale, though I did find some cereal / treat bars that were part of the sale that I decided to buy.   I ended up with mostly staple items - milk, yogurt, produce, fruit, lunchmeat, etc.

The Golden Grahams Treat bars above were $1.49 (if you bought 4 items in the mega sale).  I used (2) $0.50 coupons from the 7/10 SS to get them for $0.49 each.  The cereal bars were $1.89 (mega sale price) and I used (2) $0.50 (from the same insert??) that made them $0.89 each.  The sippy cups were buy one get one free - making this one $2.27 - not a bad price, especially since these cups are my favorite and we needed a new one!

Total value of 23 items: $71.63
Total spent after sales and coupons: $44.10
Total saved: $27.53 or 39%

After Kroger, I ran in the Dollar Tree to grab some bread.  I also ended up buying a package of Snapple ice pops as a treat for the girls.  I've never had these before, so I'm hoping they are good!

Total value / total spent: $3.08

My last stop of the day was Food Lion.  I had $4 in "Catalina money" that was going to expire, so I wanted to use it up.  Plus, they had a decent price on grapes and cheese this week.  I also ended up grabbing a FREE bottle of coffe creamer after a coupon I had been saving and a carton of Breyers ice cream.  (So, that was a little bit of a splurge!)  :)  I did find a good deal on 100 count boxes of Splenda packets - on sale for $3.  I used a $1 coupon that I printed from the Splenda website to get it for $2!

Total value of 6 items:  $25.06
Total spent after sales and coupons: $7.97
Total saved: $17.09 or 68%

All in all, it was a pretty good day!

Total value of all items purchased:  $194.37
Total amount spent after sales and coupons: $83.41
Total amount saved: $110.96 or 57%!

So, how have you done this week?  Come across any good deals?!  Please share them!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

FREE Splenda Sample!

If you use Splenda on a regular basis, you will be excited about this freebie!

You can currently head on over to the Splenda website to request a FREE Sample of new Splenda Essentials!  Choose from Splenda with Vitamin B or Antioxidants added!

While you're there, you can also sign up to print coupons for $2 off any Splenda Essentials, $1 off any Splenda products, or $3.50 off select Splenda products!

I am down to my last few packs, so I was excited to find these coupons today! 

FREE Tea Day at McAlister's Deli tomorrow, 7/28!

If you are going to be near McAllister's Deli tomorrow, you may want to stop in for a FREE tea!  No purchase or coupon is necessary for this freebie!

Check out the details here.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Staples Deals 7/24 - 30

There are a number of great deals at Staples starting tomorrow, 7/24!  To see the full ad, go here.  You will also find a number of "dollar deals" that I have not listed.  There will also be a $5/$25 coupon in this week's ad that will made all of these deals even better!  (Check out the deal scenerio I've posted at the end of the list where you can get everything listed for less than $6!)

Sunday - Wednesday Deal

2-Pocket Folders $0.01 each with $5 minimum purchase (limit 10)

Week-Long Deals

Zebra Z-Grip Retractable Ball Point Pens, medium, black, 7/pack $4
-Submit for $4 Easy Rebate (limit 1)
*makes it FREE!

Staples Pink Cap Erasers, 12-pack $0.10 (limit 2)

Sharpie Permanent Markers, black, fine point, 2-pack $0.25 (limit 2)

Staples 8 1/2 x 11 multipurpose paper, 500-sheet ream $5.99
-Submit for $5.49 Easy Rebate (limit 2)
*makes it $0.50!

Bic White-Out Correction Fluid 2/pack $0.50 (limit 2)

Staples Jumbo paper clips, assorted colors, 50-pack $0.50 (limit 2)

Slider Pencil Case, assorted colors $0.50 (limit 2)

ScanDisk Cruzer 4GB USB flash drive $5.99 (limit 2)

Get 50% back in Staples Rewards when you buy ANY backpack! (limit 1)



(10) 2-pocket folders $0.10
(1) Zebra ball point pens $4
(2) Cap Erasers $0.20
(2) Sharpie markers $0.50
(2) Staples multipurpose paper $11.98
(2) Bic Correction Fluid $1
(2) Staples paper clips $1
(2) Pencil Cases $1
(1) ScanDisk flash drive $5.99

TOTAL:  $25.77

-use $5/$25 purchase in-ad coupon

PAY $20.77


Not bad - especially when you're getting 2 reams of paper and a flash drive!

Let me know if you find any other great deals while you're at staples!

FREE Backpacks and $0.01 printer paper after Office Max Rewards! 7/24 - 30

Here are two great deals at Office Max starting tomorrow 7/24!

Office Max 8 1/2 x 11 multipurpose paper, 500 sheet ream $6.99
-get back $6.98 in Office Max Rewards (limit 2)
*makes it $0.01!!

Get 100% back in Office Max Rewards when you buy select backpacks, totoes and messengers!!

You can check out the full Office Max ad here.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thrifty Thursdays! 7/21

There really wasn't that much happening at the drug stores this week, so I decided to skip CVS and Walgreens and focus on the grocery stores.  I went to Food Lion on Tuesday and Kroger today.

Food Lion was having a great sale on V8-Fusion juice this past week (2/$5), so I picked up 9 bottles using (6) $1.50 coupons and (3) B2G1 coupons - paying only $6 out of pocket for 9 bottles of juice.  BUT, then I got back (4) $1 catalina coupons good for my next trip to Food Lion, making it only $2 for 9 bottles of juice!  Yay!  I also picked up some bananas and a can of diced tomatoes I needed for dinner that night.

Total value of 11 items: $38.32
Total spent after sales and coupons: $8.94
Total saved: $29.29 or 76%!

This week was the last week of the mega sale for Kroger.  I got 30 items from the Mega sale today - mostly mac & cheese cups and tissues (I was down to 2 boxes in my stockpile!  Agh!)!  I also stocked up on FREE Twizzlers and $0.15 notebooks and folders (for my workshops).  I saved a lot this week, but I hate how your total is always higher than usual when there is a mega sale happening!

Total value of 90 items: $146.07
Total spent after sales and coupons: $70.55
Total saved: $75.52 or 52%!

How did you do on your shopping trips this week?  I'd love to hear!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Freezer Cooking Update = Healthy Pancakes!

I have really enjoyed trying out a lot of new freezer-friendly recipes lately and wanted to share a new one with you!

Last week I made these Whole Wheat Cocolate Chip Oatmeal Pancakes and they were wonderful!  I even had a friend over to try them and she asked for the recipe right away!  Be prepared if you make them - the recipe I had said it would make 20 - 25 pancakes, but I definitely got at least 40!!  Needless to say, we have plenty of pancakes to last us for a while!


5 1/4 c whole wheat flour
3/4 c oatmeal
3 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp salt
5 1/4 c milk
3/4 c butter, melted
6 eggs, beaten
9 tbsp sugar
1 bag chocolate chips (I didn't use quite a whole bag)


1.  Combine flour, oatmeal, baking powder and salt in a LARGE bowl.
2.  Beat milk, butter, eggs and sugar together.
3.  Make a well in center of dry ingredients.  Pour in wet ingredients and mix.
4.  Stir in chocolate chips.
5.  Heat large skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray. 
6.  Pour 1/4 cup batter onto hot skillet and cook.  (I actually used a 1/4 measuring cup to pour my batter.)

To Freeze:
Cool pancakes.  Lay on cookie sheet(s) and flash freeze 1 - 2 hours.  Place in freezer bag before returning to freezer.

To Serve From Frozen:
Reheat in microwave or toaster oven.  Or, lay on cookie sheet and heat at 350 degrees for 5 - 10 minutes.

*original recipe taken from

Weekly Menu 7/21 - 27

Can you believe it is almost August?!  It seems like the summer has flown by!  Softball season ends this week, which means I have to come up with 2 extra meals to cook per week until the next sport starts!  :)  I'm still searching for some good dinner-time freezer friendly recipes to try out.  I never got around to making the Lasagne Casserole this past week, but am planning on fixing it tonight & will let you know how it turns out.  I did, however, manage to make the Homemade Taco Seasoning, and it turned out great!  My husband LOVES mexican food, and he really liked this!

I don't have a plan yet for what I want to cook & freeze this week.  I may take the week off - but if I change my mind I'll let you know!  :)

Here's what we're planning on eating during the upcoming week!...

leftover Cinnamon Roll Biscuits (recipe coming!)
scrambled eggs / toast
cereal bars / Poptarts
blueberry muffins (mix from stockpile)
yogurt / toast
pancakes (from freezer)
breakfast at Grandmother's house

deli meat / cheese / fruit (x2)
PB&J sandwiches / chips (from mega sale at Kroger last week) / fruit
Lunch out
Spaghettios (from stockpile) / fruit
hotdogs (from stockpile) / pretzels / fruit
Lunch at Grandmother's house

Parmesean Tilapia / rice / pasta salad
Dinner out!
Crockpot Sloppy Joes (may be a good freezer recipe - I'll let you know how it turns out!) / corn on the cob (3/$1 @ Kroger this week!) / macaroni (from stockpile)
Herbed Pork Chops / rice / green beans (from stockpile) / rolls
Dijon Chicken / frozen steamed broccoli ($.89 @ Kroger this week!) / other leftover veggies
Leftover night / salad / rolls
BBQ Chicken Pizza / salad

What are you eating this week?  Let us know!

Mailbox Freebies!

As I've mentioned many times, I LOVE getting freebies in the mail!  I sign up for every free sample I come across - not just for the products themselves, but also because almost every free sample I receive comes with a coupon attached!  Here's a pic of some of the freebies I got this week!

Okay - so the All You magazine wasn't free, but I'm always excited when it comes!!! :)  The Victoria's Secret mailer I received came with a coupon for a totally FREE panty, and I also received a coupon for a FREE 8-pack of Jif To-Go peanut butter!  (Jif sample no longer available.)
Then, a few days later, I got this one...(if you want to turn your computer sideways to see it....)

with the points I've earned from the "Old Orchard Fan Club."

FREE peanut butter, FREE panties, and FREE juice!  Not a bad week for mailbox freebies!

Have you gotten any great freebies in the mail recently?  Please share them!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Best Drugstore Deals This Week! 7/10 - 16

Here are my favorite deals at the drugstores this week!  Happy shopping!


Get $7.99 ECB wyb Complete Multi-Purpose Contact Solution, 12 oz @ $7.99 (limit 1)
*makes it FREE!

Get $1.69 ECB wyb (1) Balance Bar @ $1.69 (limit 1)

Get $3 ECB wyb Bic Soleil Shimmer Razor Starter Kit @ $6.99 (limit 1)
-$3 mc (SS 7/10)
*makes it $0.99!

Extra Gum, 15 ct  $0.99
- &0.75 CVS store coupon (print)
*makes it $.29!

Caliber 1 subject notebooks $0.33

Caliber 2 pocket folders $0.10 (limit 10)


Get $3.99 RR wyb Women's 6 Blade Razor System @ $3.99
*makes it FREE!

Get $2 RR wyb GUM Micro or Super Tip toothbrush, 2 pk or Floss, 200 yds @ $2
*makes it FREE!

Get $5 RR wyb Hyland's Teething Gel, .5 oz @ $5
- $1 mc (print)
*makes it FREE!

Noxema Disposable Razors, 3-4 ct B1G1 starting at $2.99
- (2) $2 mc (RP 7/10)
*makes both FREE!

Weekly Menu 7/14 - 21

Wow!  After a few weeks of inconsistent shopping and planning due to a busy schedule, I am finally back to my normal routine!

Here is what we are planning on eating this coming week (I shop on Thursdays, so I plan my menu from Thursday to Friday).  At the end of the list, I've also given you my freezer cooking plan for the coming week!

(breakfast at Grandparent's house)
yogurt / fruit
egg biscuits
cereal bar and/or Poptarts
Cinnamon Roll Biscuits (I will post this recipe after I make them if they are any good!)  :)
cereal in milk

(lunch at Grandparent's house)
deli meat / cheese / fruit (x2)
PB&J / cheese crackers / fruit
(lunch out)
chicken noodle soup / peanut butter crackers
grilled cheese / pretzels / fruit

Lasagne Casserole (see recipe below) / salad / bread
(dinner out)
Roast Sausage & Veggies / leftover salad / rice
Sloppy Joes / baked potatoes / corn
fish sticks / macaroni (kids only)
Dijon Chicken / rice / frozen steamed broccoli / pasta salad
hotdogs / frozen sweet potato fries


The past few weeks I have focused on breakfast items for my freezer cooking experiments.  I now have a freezer stocked full of breakfast burritos, muffins, mini cinnamon rolls, and pancakes!  This week, I decided I would try a few things we can use for future dinners.

On Friday night, I am planning on fixing a Lasagne Casserole and doubling the recipe so that I can put one in the freezer for later.  Here's the recipe...

Lasagne Casserole

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
8 oz uncooked noodles
1/3 to 1/2 jar spaghetti sauce
1, 15 oz can diced tomatoes
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
8 oz mozzarella, grated
1 tsp parsley
salt / pepper

1.  Brown beef & onion together.
2.  Boil noodles according to package directions.
3.  Mix spaghetti sauce with tomatoes & beef.  Set 1/2 cup of mozzarella aside to sprinkle on top of casserole.  Combine rest of mozzarella, cottage cheese, eggs, parsley, and salt & pepper to taste.
4.  Layer 1/3 of meat sauce, then noodles, then cheese mixture in 9x13 pan.  Repeat 2 more times.  Sprinkle with cheese.
5.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 45 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

**Recipe taken from**

We are also big fans of taco meat in our house.  I found a recipe for homemade taco seasoning that I decided I would try out!  If I go ahead and make the taco meat & then put it in the freezer, it will be ready for a quick dinner!  (I am planning on having "taco burgers" week after next - just put taco meat on buns and add shredded cheese, salsa, and sour cream!  Yum!)

Homemade Taco Seasoning   (you can find the original recipe here)

Mix the following ingredients & store in an air-tight container for up to 6 months:

1/4 cup chili powder
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper