Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Why I Meal Plan (Repost) + October's Meal Plan

Good Morning!

I get a lot of grief about my meal planning habits. First, it is hanging right on my freezer door for the whole world to see with big black sharpie cross-outs and arrows. Second, I am not a weekly planner (most are)...I am an overacheiver, you see...I am a MONTHLY planner. Third, we have an incredible stockpile of food and I like it that way!

You see, I was raised by a single mother (my father dies when I was three) and my grandmother. We had nothing, people. We stood in lines at a church to get government peanut butter and cheese (it tastes like Velveeta by the way.) I remember my grandma taking me along so we could get extra cereal... There were many nights when stewed tomatoes and bread were our dinner.

Now, mind you, we also had feasts! Thanksgiving and Easter were always HUGE! My grandma could make a mean pot of spaghetti and meatballs to feed all of us cousins (she put bread balls in the middle to stretch the meat and "make it moist.") She was known in the family for her cole slaw recipe. We liked to eat and I still do!

I kind of have the "Scarlett O'Hara" complex. You know, "As God as my witness, I'll never go hungry again" kind of thing... So, as an adult, I am a planner. A slightly obsessive organizer. A daily checkbook updater. A "honey, let's talk about our budget" kind of girl. I simply can not do one week of meal planning. What if the car breaks down and all out food money goes to repairs?!?!? I need a plan, people!

Thus, the monthly meal plan was born. I choose to plan 20-22 meals per month that can be served for dinner. When I make my plan, I have all of my meats and boxed foods on hand that I list (see my stockpile pictures to follow). I usually have to purchase fresh produce and dairy only. I like it this way - I feel prepared - I feel wise - I feel safe.

So, if there is ever a major storm in Central Ohio, I could feed you all for at least 2 weeks! :)

I choose to not plan an entire 30 days. This gives our family flexibility to have dinner with friends, family, order a pizza, attend a church function or simply throw something together on a whim. 20 days has proven over time to be nore than enough for our family.

I also only plan dinners. We eat simple breakfasts, lunches are sandwiches, mac and cheese, or leftovers. Dinner is the only thing I focus on because for me, it is the hardest.

I like having a list on the fridge. In the morning (or the night before) I can look at the list and decide what sounds good. Then, I don't have a lot of excuses. I know what to make. I have the ingredients. I have the side dishes. I just have to make it and serve it with love :)

Here is our actual October Meal Plan. I love that fall is here! It's going to be a good month of eating here at the Labutis Home!

October's Meal Plan

1. Amish Meatloaf, Baked Potatoes, Corn
2. Italian Chicken Breasts, Cheddar/Broccoli Rice, Frozen Vegetable Medley
3. Cresent Roll Hot Dogs, Tator Tots, Dirt Pudding
4. Black Beans and Rice, Chips and Queso Dip
5. Lasagna, Garlic Bread, Caesar Salad
6. Ham and Macaroni Casserole, Peas, Applesauce
7. Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
8. Swiss Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Corn
9. Chicken/Broccoli Packets, Mac and Cheese, Green Beans
10. Chili and Cornbread Cake
11. Seasoned Pork Roast, Potatoes, Carrots
12. Baked Ziti, Breadsticks, Salad
13. Steaks on the Grill, Twice Baked Potatoes, Green Beans, Apple Crisp
14. Shepherd's Pie, Applesauce, Rolls
15. Egg Casserole with Sausage, Toast, Apples/Grapes
16. Pepperoni Pizza Bake, Brownies
17. Hamburger Gravy over Mashed Potatoes, Corn
18. Homestyle Bake, Fruit Cocktail
19. Stuffed Shells, Garlic Bread, Caesar Salad
20. Shredded Chicken Sandwiches, Chips, Jello Salad, Baked Beans

Monday, September 28, 2009

Zanesville KMART Update on Super Double Coupons

According to "Steph" at Zanesville KMart's customer service, they ARE participating in super double coupons this week. All coupons are included (not just proctor & gamble) and there is NO LIMIT to how many you can use.

I also asked her what days they stock the shelves. They receive trucks Wednesday and Friday. So, even if you wait uintil Saturday, you should still be able to get some deals.

I would recommend calling your local KMart and asking these kinds of questions before venturing out... Have fun!

Get Motivated Monday - Week 2

Good Monday Morning!

How did you do on week 1's pantry challenge? I had so much fun with it!!!

Here is this week's challenge:

I have heard from many sources that Goodwill Industies is having a shortage of clothing due to the economy. (Many people are headed there first for clothing for work, school, and growing kids.) As you change to your fall clothes, clean out. Release items that you haven't worn for over a year. Bag this stuff up and immediately put into your trunk of your car. The next time you are near a Goodwill, Salvation Army, or charity of your choice, drop off the bags. Try to drop them off within the week. Let me know how many garbage bags you had and where you donated by leaving a comment. The person with the most garbage bags, will get a "treat" from me via mail!

Let's clean out, help others, and make a difference today!!! :)

PS I will post a pic of my bags by the end of the week.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Use What You Have - Creative Uses for Household Items Part 1

Waste not, want not. What can you do with the items in your pantry besides cook with them? Check out some of these options below:

Baking Soda

Use instead of Comet to scour your tub or shower floor.

To remove pesky dead insects from the exterior of your car: Sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge and wipe down the hood and/or windshield of your vehicle. Once all desired areas have been wiped down, simply go back over those areas with a dry cloth to remove the baking soda and bugs. The baking soda is a mild abrasive that will remove the bugs without causing damage to the car’s finish.

Peanut Butter

To clean CD’s and DVD’s: Clean a scuff mark from a CD or DVD by rubbing a dab of creamy peanut butter on the disc with a soft cloth and wipe clean.

Cooking Spray (Pam)

Coat the inside of your containers with cooking spray, then pour your tomato sauce products into the container to prevent staining.

Use to grease a sqeaky car door instead of WD-40.

Baby Wipes

Wipe your car's cup holder, dashboard and steering wheel with baby wipes to remove dust and stickiness.

Lemonade Mix (Powdered Form)

To clean a dishwasher: Make sure your dishwasher is empty, then fill the detergent cup with lemonade powder and run the machine through its normal cycle. Your dishwasher will smell lemon fresh and will be sparkly clean.

Vanilla Extract

Soak a cotton ball with pure vanilla extract and place it on a saucer in the corner of the room. Your home will quickly be filled with the fresh scent of vanilla.

You can find a long list of other useful tips and tricks just like these in the popular book “Fix-It Magic” by Joey Green.

Its a Good Week to Go to Meijer!

Here are some of my favorite deals at Meijer this week:

Green Giant Steamers (in frozen section) .99/each
*Use .50 Man. Coupon to get these for FREE!

Red Grapes .88/lb.

Glade Soy Candle (4.9 oz.) $2.95/each
*Use $2.00 Man. Coupon and pay .95!

Cheerios Snack Mix $1.19/bag
*Use .50 Man. Coupon to get these for .19!

Russet Potatoes (10 lb. bag) $1.99

Also, here is some info on the MEIJER MEALBOX STORE COUPONS program:

* Mealbox coupons may be used in addition to Manufacturer coupons.

* Mealbox coupons cannot be doubled or tripled at any time.

* Print these coupons directly from Meijer's website. You may also want to print a copy of the rules in case you are ever questioned by a cashier.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pantry Organization - Check!

After posting my challenge on Monday, I decided to get started organizing my main pantry, which is housed in a old closet. Each shelf is labeled so there is no confusion as to where everything should go... Here are the results, shelf by shelf:

SNACK SHELF: fruit snacks, crackers, cookies and anything snacky!

BAKING SHELF: everything for baking, includes marshmallows, frostings, food coloring, chips, and mixes.

BOXED SHELF: pasta (+ sauce), helpers, and boxed meals

TOP SHELF: breakfast items; including cereal, oatmeal, pop tarts, and granola bars + all drink mixes

NEW & IMPROVED OVER-THE-DOOR STORAGE: holds all condiments, mac and cheese, pouches, and the like.

Now, I know what I HAVE, what I can GIVE, and how to PLAN my meals :) (I just love my labels too...
How did you stack up to the challenge?

Friday, September 25, 2009

To Mark, Happy Anniversary, Darling...

A quick post to commemerate my 10th wedding anniversary:


10 years ago today, I thought we knew each other...
10 years ago today, I thought I loved you completely...
10 years ago today, I thought we had it all figured out...
10 years ago today, I thought our plans were solid...
10 years ago today, I thought that "in sickness" was not likely...
10 years ago today, I thought I knew what it meant to serve...
10 years ago today, I thought a lot of things...

Now, I KNOW that bills rise, jobs change, we get sick, kids can make us crazy, schedules are insane, time flies, laundry piles up, vacations are a wish, we can pass each other like ships in the sea...

Yet, my heart KNOWS that you still choose me and I choose you. Yearly. Daily. Hourly.
My heart KNOWS that God's plan for me includes you and that will never change.
My heart KNOWS I trust you with my deepest secrets, fears, and dreams.
My heart KNOWS that you are faithful, a servant, a friend to many. That you try your best.

10 years ago today, I married my best friend.
TODAY, I am grateful for the journey, lumps and all...
And, I would do it all over again!

Five Fab Finds on Fridays

A new series for you all...My Five Fab Finds on Fridays!

5. A new Redbox code for any location is available. It is 9HB6MP22.
4. FREE museum day courtesy of the Smithsonian; see post HERE
3. The Three Bags Full Childrens Sale continues today and tomorrow at the Hartford Fairgrounds; see their site HERE. Clothe your kids on a budget for fall! Re-sell in spring!!!
2. Victoria's Secret has a coupon to get panties at 10/$25! See Moms by Heart's post on how you can get this great deal!
1. Many Kroger's are participating in TRIPLE coupons this weekend; call your store to see if they are participating!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

September's Grocery Challenge - FINAL TOTAL

As of last update, I had $21.56 left to spend. I have finished my shopping for the week and here are the results.

Aldi $7.91 (1/2 of a turkey ham, tator tots, hot dog buns, shr cheddar cheese)
Meijer $11.11 (pizza, bread, milk, yogurt, 2 hot dogs, salami, lunchable jr, and a 2 liter of soda for pizza night!)

Total left to spend $2.54!

Total spent for the month: $137.46 (My budget was $25/week + $40 for KMart Super Doubles = $140) I DID IT!!!

(Now, to make the milk last a full week...) :) Thanks for journeying with me, friends!

Arby's Free Roastburger with Drink Purchase

Check with your local Arby's to get a FREE roastburger TODAY ONLY with a drink purchase. (Only certain Arby's are participating...)

Free Redbox at Meijer Thru 9/24!

According to Charlene at My Frugal Adventures, there is a free Redbox code for those that have Redbox kiosks inside Meijer stores- 9MEJR24. This code is valid through 9/24 and can be used once per debit/credit card.
What will you rent for movie night?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

WIN: $40 towards family games

See Keeping the Kingdom First to enter to win $40 for family game night!

Thanks, Alyssa for this great giveaway!!!

Trick or Treat Books at McD's for $1

Go here to see how you can get 12 coupons for free items (like ice cream, apple dippers, and drinks) from McDonald's for just $1! I think that the kids in our preschool classes would love free treat coupons instead of candy, don't you?

Thanks, Savings and Stewardship for this great idea!

$5 off CVS Coupon

Go to to get a $5 off a $25 purchase coupon. All you have to do is take a quiz on the flu and you can print this coupon. Use it on a major purchase (or when you have a lot of ECB's stocked up) to get a low OOP cost!

Applesauce: God Bless Megan! I was Looking for this!!!

Here we go friends! Megan has the scoop on how to make our own applesauce for our stockpile. I think that I will be attempting the freezer version as well as canning. Now, to find one of those machines...

Monday, September 21, 2009

UPDATE on September's Grocery Challenge

Last Balance 36.16


2.17 Target

4.27 Dollar General (I got 48 rolls of TP, 8 rolls of paper towels, and 2 boxes of dishwasher soap for this amount by hitting a Grand Opening sale to get a $10 gift card, using a $5/20 store coupon, and using 3 manufacturers coupons! Hard to believe, but it pays to get up early - first 50 at 8 AM received the gift card - I was number 48!)

8.16 Aldi (a quick stock up on essentials and a few baking items)

Total Left to Spend $21.56

Days left in month: 9

Selected Cranium Games $2 at Target

Go here:
and see how you can get Cranium games for $2 at Target.

What a fun idea for Christmas or your birthday box!!!

Thanks, My Frugal Adventures!

Get Motivated Mondays

Hi Everyone! I am ready to start a new series called "Get Motivated Mondays." Every Monday, I will be sharing a personal challenge and something to motivate YOU for the week.

This week, I am feeling inspired by fellow bloggers "Coupon Geek" and "Moms by Heart" to get organized! See their posts on ways they have organized this week: (Just going to say that this pantry is AMAZING!) (Great work here on a garage and family car!)

This week I am going to tackle my main closet pantry. I will toss expired foods, donate things that we have abundance, and just plain SEE WHAT I HAVE! I may also bring up things from the basement pantry to fill it up. By Friday, I will post pics of my before and after and you can see the progress that the pantry has made.

My challenge to you: Find something to clean out. A closet, your car, garage, attic, cupboards, dresser drawers, whatever. Donate what you can. Make it look and feel pretty!

Let me know what you accomplished this week by leaving a comment. No comments = No readers... Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy our new series: Get Motivated Mondays!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

KMART Super Doubles May Be Back! Hallelujah!

Read this to see what "Saving and Giving" found out about KMart's Super Double Coupon promotions:

I am SO HOPING that it will be back at my store!

Friday, September 18, 2009

In My Opinion - A Pet is Money Well Worth Spending

We just had to put down our 12 year old English Bulldog last night. He was a loyal dog, loved our family, and was a laid-back kind of pet. You all know that I am obsessively frugal. I want to clarify that I believe that a pet is a great way to spend money. Dolph was a gift to our family. We received him when a friend was being transferred for work and couldn't take him along (he was 4). We had him through infertility, pregnancy bed rests, the birth of two children, and now the preschool years. I would do this all over again! So, in memory of Dolphie, I give you my Top Ten reasons to spend money on a pet:

10. A pet teaches your children responsiblity.
9. A pet is a home-security system.
8. A pet forces you to exercise and minimizes gym costs!
7. A pet is a counselor when you need one.
6. A pet can be free entertainment - they can be really funny :)
5. A pet keeps you warm when you are cold.
4. A pet eats your leftovers willingly (don't tell the vet I said this...)
3. A pet is always there when you come home.
2. A pet protects babies sleeping in cribs.
1. A pet adds to your family dynamic by giving love, companionship, and loyalty.

We miss you, Dolphie. You were a good dog!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Giving - What do You Have to Give?

I really do love to save. I get a charge out of it (and not the kind that affects my credit score.) I enjoy a good deal. I love sharing the deals with you. But, what do I love most about this lifestyle? GIVING. Thats' right, not hoarding, but GIVING.

I love to give freebies or cheapies to our local food pantry. I love to bless my friends with small pampering gifts. I love to have excess for new moms, grieving families, or those affected by layoffs. It does my soul good to share a meal, a sack of food, a basket of toiletries...anything I have to give.

I love to teach my children the art of giving, the practice of sacrifice. They like to put our purchases in the food pantry collection basket at church. They have stocked the shelves there. They understand that we are blessed, that Daddy takes good care of us, and that God holds our world in His hands.

What do you have to give today? Can you clean out a cupboard for a food pantry? Can you pull clothes from your closet to donate to a rescue center? Can you take extra school supplies to a school in need? Can you give cookies to a lonely neighbor? Can you simply take your kids to a retirement home and give the gift of time?

I love this old Crystal Lewis song and I will close with these lyrics... What do you have to give?

In Return
By Crystal Lewis

All I had to give was a broken heart, torn apart
That's all I had to give
All I had to give was an empty hope and promises
That's all I had to give
But in return He gave me joy that could never be told
And in return he gave me love that was more precious than gold
So whatever you have to give, You don't have to be ashamed
Just come as you are and present it in Jesus name

For in return of a torn life, He'll give you life abundantly
And in return of a raging storm, the Lord will calm the sea
So whatever you have the Lord has so much more
So what do you have to give?

Oh if you were like me, you didn't have a lot of gold
Position or money, you didn't own wealth untold
But I'm glad He didn't look on the things that I had
But he looked and gave me all, all that I need!!!!!

Oh for in return He gave me joy that could never be told
And in return He gave me love that was more precious, more precious than gold
In return of a torn life He gave me life abundantly
And in return of a raging storm my Lord will calm the sea
So what do you have to give?

Bath and Body Works Freebie

Follow this link to see how you can get free lotion at Bath and Body Works, while spending less than $2.00 OOP!

Sounds like something fun for a Christmas stocking to me!

Target Deals $2.17 OOP!!!

Today I shopped at Target with manufacturer's coupons only, no Target-specific coupons. Here's what I got for $2.17!!!

2 Oust Air Sanitizers 2.50/each
*Used BOGO Free coupon - 2.50
* Used 1.00 off man coupon
***Paid 1.50 for both or .75/each

2 Glad Plug Ins Scented Gel 1.66/each
*Used BOGO Free coupon -1.66
***Paid .83/each

Bounce Dryer Bar 3.79
*Used 1.00 man coupon
***Paid 2.79
All Small and Mighty Trial Size .71
*Used 1.00 man coupon
***EARNED .29

Resse's Pieces .58
*Used .55 man coupon
***Paid .03

Lipton Cold Brew Tea 2.54
*Used FREE BOX cpn from mailer -2.54

2 Right Guard Trial Size Deodorants .97/each
*Used 1.00/2 man coupon
***Paid .47/each

Degree Trial Size Deodorant .97
*Used 1.25 man coupon
*** EARNED .28

2 Bic Red Pens (clearance) .25/each
*Used 1.00/2 BIC coupon
***EARNED .50

TOTAL FOR THESE ITEMS 7.17 (includes tax)


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Don't Forget - Your Chance to Win $1000

See my previous post on how to win your emergency fund from Dave Ramsey. You never know, you may just win and be blessed!

Update on September's Grocery Budget

At the last update, I still had 55.98 left for the month.

2.45 Target
.31 Target
17.06 Meijer

I have 36.16 left for the month of September.

By the way, I am not counting my CVS trips if there is a profit. Since the profit is not actual cash, but ECB's, I am not adding them to my total available amount left.

Meijer Trip - Total $17.06

Sorry about the quality of this pic - something was wrong with the flash. Thankfully, Mark fixed it (yea, Mark!), so we shouldn't have this problem anymore. I am good with a budget, but technically challenged...

I purchased all of this food at Meijer for $17.06!

A few hightlights were:
Boneless, skinless, chicken breast at 1.99/lb
Kraft cheese - 1/2 price
Quaker Quakes - FREE after coupon
Super Pretzels - .36 after coupon
Kool-aid coolers - .69 after $5 off snack promotion

A few things that I learned from this trip:

Regardless of convience, it is always cheaper to buy a head of lettuce (.99) over bagged salad. The only exception that I make to this is when bagged is .79 or less.

Budgeting is good, but I wish I would have saved money to stock up on chicken - this is a fantastic price! So, if you have it in YOUR budget, RUN to Meijer for Tyson chicken!

Overall, I bought 16 items for 17.06. This is app. $1.06/item. According to my receipt, I saved 17.01 (or 50%).

Monday, September 14, 2009

My CVS Trip - Profit of $3.03!

Here is my pic of today's CVS trip.

Transaction 1:
3 Suave Body Washes @ 2.00/each
1 Almay Smart Bal Foundation @ 9.99

Used $5 off $15 skin care CVS coupon (was printed on bottom of previous receipt)
Used .50 off body wash man. coupon
Used .75/2 body wash man. coupon
Used 1.00 Almay man. coupon
Used 2.50 old ECB (from last week)
Used 6.00 old ECB

Paid 1.36. Earned 5.00 ECB from Almay. Earned 2.00 ECB from Suave.

Transaction 2:
1 Colgate Total Advantage @ 2.99
1 Herbal Essence Shampoo @ 5.99
2 Brach's Autumn Mix @ .50/each

Used $1 off Herbal Essence man. coupon
Used $1 off Colgate man. coupon
Used 2.00 old ECB
Used 5.00 ECB from Almay purchase

Paid 1.61. Earned 2.00 from Colgate. Earned 2.00 from Herbal Essence.

Overall, I spent 2.97 OOP, but earned $11 ECB and have $6 of those ECB's remaining for next week.

I made an overall profit of $3.03.

How did you do?

Shopping with Kids

Does anyone else feel like a meanie when you shop with your kids? For me, it starts at the door with, "No, you can't have the cart that plays cartoons, because that costs money." It continues with, "Is that a sometimes food? We can only buy 2 sometimes foods today..." Then there's the ever popular, "That's not on my list." or "That's not in the budget." Yes, friends, my 3 year old knows what a budget is and why we stick to it :)

The one thing that I always give on though is "Sandy" at Meijer. She is a ride-on horse who only costs a penny. Yes, .01!!!! Praise God for Sandy! I figure after all of that time of saying "no," my "yes" only costs .02 (and doesn't add to my waistline)...Not a bad bargain, friends.

Have a great day!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Things to Consider at CVS This Week

Colgate Total 4 oz. .99 after ECB's
*Use $1 off MQ and this is FREE!

Suave Body Wash $2.00 each
*Buy 3 and get $2 ECB = $4 OOP
* Use .50 MQ and .75/2 MQ to get all 3 for $2.75 or .91/ea

Almay Smart Shade Makeup 4.99 after ECB
*Use $1 off MQ to get $10 makeup for 3.99 (60% off!)

Head and Shoulders or Herbal Essence Shampoo 23.7 oz $3.99 after ECB
*Use $1 off MQ and pay 2.99 (a little high for me, but worh it if you need shampoo)

Brach's Candy Corn 2/$1
*Fall is coming - Fall is coming - Fall is coming!!!

I'll post what I bought and show you my deals later this week!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Win Your $1000 Emergency Fund From Dave Ramsey

Please read this post by Alyssa at Keeping the Kingdom First! Dave Ramsey is giving away $999 starting 9/9/09. What a blessing this would be to us! (You may register to win daily during this contest.)

Thanks to Alyssa for a great blog!

FREE Family Fun on Sept 26th

Treat your family to a day at a museum for FREE on Sept. 26th, courtesy of the Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day. Your family can receive up to 2 tickets from a providing list of museums by visiting this site:

Our family will be going to the Ohio Historial Society to learn about Native Americans, rock formations, and early OH settlers.

Let me know where you decide to go for a little weekend learning adventure! :)

This Sunday - 5 Inserts!

Check out Megan's site to preview the 5 COUPON INSERTS that we will be getting in the paper this week!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Old Navy Weekly

Rumor has it that Old Navy Weekly updates tonight. This site contains hidden coupons that can be used at your local store. I have received $15/$50 purchase previously. There are sometimes coupons for $80/$100 (if only I could get that lucky!) Since the coupons are hidden, you have to click around to find them. Sometimes you actually have to click and drag an item like a purse to another manequin. This week: if you clicked on the girls necklace, the bird dipped his head and you got a $65/$100 purchase coupon.

The beauty of these coupons is that they can be combined with sale items and clearance, which really saves you some moula! You can find a coupon for yourself and also send one to a Facebook Friend.

When I get a good coupon, I use it to stock up on jeans and socks for the kids. (Sometimes I get cute stuff for the parents too!) I think that this would be a GREAT way to save on your holiday shopping!!!

Happy Hunting!

Old Navy Weekly Link:

Target's Fiber One Deal $2.45 Net Cost

Target is offering a promotion this week where if you buy 5 Fiber One items, you get a $5 Gift Card back. Here is my detailed transaction and how I got all of this for $2.45.

2 Fiber One Bars $2.50/each
*I used (2) .40 off man. coupons
2 Fiber One Toaster Pastries $1.75.each
*I used (2) .50 off man. coupons
1 Box Fiber One Cereal $2.50
*I used (1) .75 off man. coupon
* I stacked with 1 Target coupon for $1 off General Mills Cereal

My OOP Total was $7.45. I earned a $5.00 gift card. My net cost was $2.45! This is .49/item and a great way to add to my stockpile :)

This deal is good through Saturday if you are interested. Feel free to email me with any questions.

Examples of Stacking Coupons at Target .31 OOP!

I got all of this at Target today for .31!!!! Here's how:

2 PopTarts $1.52 each
*Used (2) .75 off Target coupons
*Used (1) $1 off 2 man. coupon
***Paid .27 each!!!
Cutter Pump - 2 pk $1.74 on clearance
*Used $2 man. coupon
***Earned .26!!!!!!!!
Cutter Wipes - 2 pk $1.74 on clearance
*Used $2 man. coupon
***Earned .26!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Honey Nut Cheerios Bowl .95 (sale price)
*Used $1 man. coupon; adjusted down to .95
2 Bic Pens .99 each
*Used $1/2 Target coupon
*Used $1/2 man. coupon
***Earned .02!!!!!!!!!!!!

My subtotal was 0.00
I paid sales tax only for a total of .31 OOP!

Stacking = Savings :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

FREE Autographed Photo from DISNEY

See Charlene's post on getting a FREE autographed pic for your favorite princess or pirate from Disney!

Sounds like a Christmas gift waiting to happen! :) Shall we get Ariel or Cinderella?

Dinner Tonight at Arbys

Wednesday (TODAY) only get a FREE roast beef sandwich with purchase of a drink (usually 1.49). I think that this is what we will be feasting on this evening before our busy night of church activities.

My kids start preschool tomorrow! Woo-Hoo!

This Week's Meijer Trip

Just wanted to show you how much I bought at Meijer this week for $26.48. (No picture because we put everything away so fast as we were on our way to a BBQ - soory in advance).

First of all, it is 10/$10, get the 11th free week at Meijer. This is always a favorite week of mine. It gets even better when you have coupons for these items!

I purchased 38 items for $26.48. This is an average of .70 per item!

Here's the list (if you see an *, I used a coupon):
1 1/2 lbs Bananas
Rice, Meijer brand
Mentos Gum* (.39 after coupon)
Salsa, meijer brand
Shredded Cheddar, Meijer brand
2 boxes Barilla Whole Wheat Pasta* (.39 each after coupon)
2 Boxes of Barilla Piccolini Pasta* (.39 each after coupon)
3 cans of Chef Boyardee with Meat*
3 boxes of Hamburger Helper*
Green Giant Steamers* (FREE after coupon)
2 boxes of Green Giant Veggies with Sauce* (.50 each after coupon)
2 Velveeta Shells and Cheese Cups* (FREE after coupon)
Hunt's Chocolate Pudding Snack Pack
Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate, Meijer brand
Whole Wheat English Muffins, Meijer brand
4 boxes Pizza Rolls**
2 Campbells Soup at Hand* (.25 each after coupon)
Loaf of Sunbeam Bread
Can of Tomato Juice, Meijer brand
Sargento String Cheese* (1.64 after coupon and 1/2 price sale)
Promise Margarine Tubs* (.75 after coupon)
2 Lunchable Jr's
Hilshire Farm Chicken Breast* (.09 after coupon and reduced price)
Hilshire Farm Turkey Breast* (.09 after coupon and reduced price)

According to my receipt, I saved $36.85. I completely finished my shopping list and saved a lot too! It was a great week at Meijer!

Update: September's Grocery Goal

Hi, Friends! We've been doing fairly well living off of our stockpile and sticking to our lower grocery goals. For those of you who are new (welcome by the way!), I usually spend $55/week for our family of four. The $55 includes groceries, toiletries, paper products, and pullups. This month, due to extra expenses, I made a goal of living off of my stockpile and lowering my budget to $25/week + $40 for KMart's Super Double coupons sale. Here's how it looks so far:

KMart: 24.79 (15.21 UNDER budget)
Week 1 (Meijer): 32.75 (7.75 OVER budget)
Week 2 (Meijer): 26.48 (1.48 OVER budget)

As of today, I am still 5.98 UNDER my projected budget of 90.00 (2 grocery trips + 1 KMart).

I still have 55.98 left to spend for the month.

Can I do it? Yes, I can!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Explaining the Target Coupon Game

Target is a beautiful place for frugal shoppers. They have a dollar spot that frequently updates, they have awesome clearance sections, and you can STACK COUPONS! What? I can stack coupons? What does that mean?

The basic definition for stacking a coupon at Target is: using a Target store coupon + a manufacturer's coupon on the same item. 2 coupons for one item.

Example: Dove deodorant 2.99. Target coupon $1. Man coupon $1. You pay .99 for the deodorant. Get it?

The beauty of this is that you can get many items for FREE or little money if you stack coupons on top of sales. You can also save significantly on diapers by doing this.

See sites such as a "a full cup" for Target specific coupons. These change monthly. Print them off of your computer and stack them for savings. You can also use Target coupons that you have received in the mail.

Also, check the end caps in the food and beauty sections for clearance items that you can use coupons on to get for free. I just saw Cutter Insect Repellant (2 pks) on clearance from 7.99 to 1.89. I have $2 off man coupons on these, making them FREE.

Target is the only store in the central OH area that I am aware of where you can coupon stack. I've tried it at Meijer with their mealbox coupons and my cashier won't let it go through. So, lets shop at Target and show them how much we appreciate this program!

Happy Shopping!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Free Redbox Code TODAY ONLY

Today only for Labor Day, there is a free Redbox code. If you use more than one debit card you can get more than one movie...

Here it is. Are you ready? Can I hear you say RED-BOX? (hehehehe)


Just type it in the promo code box for a freebie.

Codes you can use anyday are : BREAKROOM and DVDONME. These codes can only be used once, but on anyday of the week.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Wanted: Followers

Hi Friends!

Please officially sign up to "follow" this blog if you haven't already. The more followers we get, the easier it is to get things to give away to you!

Invite your friends and other frugal-istas to join.

My personal goal is 30 followers by Thanksgiving. I'd cry if we got 50!

Thanks, friends for your help and keep telling others about A Hope-Filled Home!

CVS - Profit of $2.13!

Today at CVS was questionable for me. Do I do separate transactions to use my ECBs with low OOP costs? Or do I shoot for $20 before coupons so I can use the $4 off $20 purchase? I chose the later and my OOP was higher than I usually spend. However, I earned more ECBs than what I spent, got some great deals, ate an awesome candy bar, and had an overall profit of $2.13! Here's how it all went down:

Transaction 1 (Only Transaction Today):
1 Aussie Scrunch Spray 2.99 (earned 2.00 ECBs)
2 Aussie Hi Hold Sprays 2.99 each (earned 4.00 ECBs)
1 Scope Outlast 3.49 (earned 2.50 ECBs)
1 Johnsons Softwash 5.99 (earned 2.00 ECBs)
1 Hersheys Bliss candy bar .89 (needed this to hit the $20 mark...)

Used $4 off $20 purchase CVS coupon (from asking about ready fill Rx program)
Used $1 man. coupon on Johnson's body wash
Used $7 in old ECBs (these were so old that they were ready to expire and I had to use them up!)

Total after tax OOP $8.37 (gasp - this is usually at max $1 for me!)

I earned $10.50 in ECBS as detailed above. Gaining a total profit of $2.13.

According to my receipt today I saved $18.40 between sales and coupons (this does not count the ECBs that I earned) and my year to date savings us $479.59. To think that I've already saved that much CVSing with pocket change!

Also, I shouldn't run out of hairspray for a while :) How did you do?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

CVS this Week - Preview

I see 3 things that you may want to consider this week at CVS.

1. Johnson's Adult Body Wash (price unknown). Earn $2 ECB.

2. Schick Dispos. Razors $6.99. Earn $4 ECB. Pay $2.99.

3. Aussie Products $2.99. Earn $2 ECB (limit 3). Pay .99. ***This deal is for Sun, Mon, and Tues ONLY!

I have Manufacturer's Coupons for all 3 of these items, making them even less!
I will report my findings tomorrow after my trip...

Have a great night.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Garage Sales and Farmers Markets

Hi Everyone! Wanted to take a few moments to share with you tonight.

Today the kids, God, and I went garage sale-ing. God, you ask? Absolutely. You see I have a growing boy who is VERY tall for his age and also very skinny. I needed adjustable waist pants in good condition for school. I had $20 cash and no newspaper. My internet newspaper hadn't updated for the morning and no garage sales were listed. I hopped in the car and verbally said, "Lord, I have $20. Grant needs pants. Show me where to go."

I know you think I'm nuts here, but yes, I literally said that. Started toward the nicer part of town. Whipped my car a hard right at the 4th sign I saw (don't know why, just felt right.) Pulled up to a house with boys clothes sized 4,5,6 slim, with adjustable waists. All were in great condition, some hardly faded. Nothing was priced, so I took a deep breath and asked. .50/each! Are you kidding, me, Lord! We left with a large bag-full of adjustable waist pants, jammies, sweats and shirts, 3 books, brand-new flashcards, and a BUZZ Lightyear toy (G's new obsession) for $13!!!!

I would just publicly like to say, "Thanks God, for meeting me where I am to meet my needs. You watch out for the sparrows and I know You watch out for me and mine. I love how You love me! Amen."

We also had the Farmers Market today. It was customer appreciation night and the crowd was nice. The weather was perfect. But a lot of the farmers weren't selling much...

I want to encourage you, friends. Now is the time to buy that bushel of tomatoes to freeze for winter. I have already frozen a TON of green beans and corn off the cob. This will increase your stockpile and help with future meal planning.

If you talk to the farmers and want quantity, they will usually make you a deal. It doesn't take much time to prepare veggies for winter and directions are easy to find on the internet. If the farmers can't sell their produce to you, it will turn into compost (or waste). Use this time to support your local community farmers and buy LOCAL. Remember, NO FARMS=NO FOOD.

Thanks for listening! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Home Depot - Free Fun for Kids

Grant enjoying time with the BIG boys:

If you haven't heard of the Home Depot Kids Workshop program, check out this link.

This Saturday from 9-Noon, your child can build and take home a bean bag toss game. Perfect for tailgating and fall fun! They will also receive an apron, pin, and certificate of completion (ours usually gives away popcorn too!) This is a great time for Daddy-bonding and it's FREE!
Hope you enjoy your weekend!

$10 Toys R Us Gift Card Promo

Thanks to Toys R Us for providing us with free Christmas gifts for our kids!

This weekend (Sept 4 - 7th), buy any 3 Pampers Diapers or Pants at a participating Babies R Us location and receive a $10 Babies R Us/Toys R Us Gift Card!! No coupon required.

If you need diapers, why not buy them here (small packs with coupons, of course) and earn a free gift for your favorite kid. This will help the holiday budget, for sure!