Monday, August 12, 2013

Menu Plan Monday August 17

Happy Monday! The weather has been cooling off a lot here in Central Virginia, thanks to all the rain and flash storms we are having. Hope it doesn't get too cold to finish off the dozen of popsicles still left in the freezer!

Anyway, the past couple of weeks we've been having one-pot-pasta. It is the best thing ever! The dried spaghetti cooks with the veggies and sauce all in one pot at the same time. It's revolutionary like baked tacos! This week, we're having Filipino spaghetti cooked as one-pot-past. I don't think I can go back cooking it another way.

Yes, there are green peas in this spaghetti. It did not damage the taste!
pancakes, waffles, muffins (the last batch of pre-mixes I made)
homemade blueberry compote from the U-pick blueberries
cereal (for Saturday morning cartoons, of course!)
chili and cornbread (when the weather is below 80)
tuna sandwiches ($0.79 a can at CVS!)
lentil-brown rice casserole
Filipino spaghetti
pool party snacky foods

popcorn, popsicles, cake, and fruit, smoothies

Missing those fresh U-pick strawberries

lots of salad (Kroger produce sale!)
arroz-caldo or lugaw (Filipino rice porridge)
sotanghon (Filipino noodle soup)
adobo (Fiipino chicken stew)
Church dinner



Saturday, August 10, 2013

CVS Shopping Trip: Paid Nothing! Got $5 ECBs Back!

My CVS pharmacy starts the new weekly ad on Saturday evening. So the current and new weekly deals run at the same time for those few hours that night. I often shop during this time even though I sometimes end up getting rainchecks for deals going out-of-stock.

Paid $0 for these, just tax, plus got $5 ECBs for next week!
The total saved $34!
For this shopping trip, I did two transactions.
First Transaction:
2 Suave bodywash (no kids' wash at my store) $2 each
2 Revlon nail polish, $4.99 sale price
=$13.98 subtotal
  • Used $1/2 Suave coupon from Kroger tearpad
  • Used two $1 Revlon coupon from 7/28 SS
  • Used $3 off Revlon from Magic Coupon Machine
  • Used $5 Beauty Bucks
  • Used $3 ECBs from last week
  • (I forgot to use my $2/2 bodywash q from the magic machine!)
=Paid $0, just tax!!! Got $6 ECBs for Revlon
Second Transaction:
1 Sally Hansen Xtreme Nails, $3.19
1 Sally Hansen Salon Manicure (Dry and Go Drops), $8.99
  • Used 20% off purchase from Sunday paper, -$2.40
  • Used $1 and $2 Sally Hansen coupons from 7/28 RP
  • Used $6 and $0.78 (adjusted from $1) ECBs
=Paid $0, just tax!!! Got $5 ECBs for Sally Hansen

Bluberry Picking in Virginia!

Previously, while we lived in Florida, I picked with friends early in the morning, around 6am. It got too hot for picking there by 8am, well before little kids are supposed to wake-up! But, for the free blueberry iced tea served at Beulah Berries, it was well worth the trip. I even made a Youtube video about that place.

This was our first time picking as a family in a few years. This time we went to Swift Creek Berry Farm near Richmond, VA. The weather was cool for July and it was cloudy. It rained the day before so the berries were wet and glistening. Perfect conditions for picking!


Weather here in the river city has been awesome this summer! We stayed out until about 11am and it was still very nice out. The berries were sweet and plump. We filled two 3-gallon buckets and paid about $20 for them. The price was reasonable at only $2.09 per pound, plus we ate a satisfying amount while picking.

I made blueberry jam a few years ago and it was so, so, good. I won't be doing that this year, though. The berries are great eating fresh and I froze a gallon for smoothies.

So far our family has picked apples in Charlottesville in the fall, picked juicy strawberries in the spring, and picked blueberries in the summer. I hope we can make it back out to Charlottesville to pick fresh peaches before the summer season is over. Then in the fall, pick grapes and apples again!

How about you? Did you make it out to u-pick farms this summer?

CVS Hot Deals for August 11-17

UPDATE: I already bought a few things Saturday evening for the new weekly ad. I paid $0 for $34 worth of items. Check it out!

Find more weekly CVS deals and coupon match-ups from these sites:

Suave Body Wash 12 oz, Professionals, Kids, Stylers 9-14.5 oz, $2 
Buy 2 Suave Body Wash
  • use two -$1 off Suave body wash, July All You magazine (EXP 08/15)
  • (there was also $1/2 any Suave products from a tearpad at Kroger)
  • -$2/2 Body Wash or Bar Soap from Magic Coupon Machine

$5 ECB WYB $12 Sally Hansen Cosmetics, , limit 1
Buy 1 Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Nail Color $5.49
Buy 1 Sally Hansen Complete Salon Nail Color $7.99
  • -$1 off Sally Hansen nail color RP 7/28
  • -$2 off Sally Hansen Complete Salon manicure RP 7/28
  • -$2 off $10 Maybelline/Sally Hansen from Magic Coupon Machine
=$3.48 for 2 after ECB, manuf and store coupons

5 ECB WYB Bausch+Lomb Soothe 0.5 oz, $7.99, limit 1
Buy 1 Bausch & Lomb Soothe 0.5 oz
  • -$4 off Bausch+Lomb Soothe, SS 6/30
=FREE +$1 Money Maker after coupon and ECBs

Post Honey Bunches of Oats, Grape Nuts Fit, Cocoa or Fruity Pebbles Cereal, 11-19.2 oz, $1.99, limit 5
Buy 2 cereals
  • -$1/2 Post kids or regular cereals, 6.2 oz+ (regional), SS 7/28
=$0.99 each

5 ECB wyb 3 select First Aid Kit items plus FREE Case
Buy 3 Band-Aids, $3.79 each
Buy First Aid Kit Case
     Use $5 off 3 coupon inside the case
=$1.37 after coupon and ECBs


6 ECB wyb $15 Revlon, limit 6
Buy 3 Revlon Eye Shadow singles $5.49
  • Use three $2 off Revlon from 7/28 SS
  • Use $3 off Revlon from coupon machine
=$1.47 after ECBs and coupons

$0.79 Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna
(I think this is a decent price, especially for those who get $5 off $15 from the coupon machine)
Image from Hip2Save

Friday, August 9, 2013

Target: Buy Select DVDs, Get $5 or $8 Hollywood Movie Money!

More Hollywood Movie Money, this time at Target!
I was enjoying some Mommy time at Target and happened upon some deals in the movie section. Plenty of action movies had peelies for $5 or $8 off a movie ticket. If it's a DVD, the coupon is for $5 off a movie, for Blu-ray it's an $8 coupon.

These DVDs are also on sale at Target through Saturday:
$4.75 for 300- DVD (reg $5)
$6.99 for Book of Eli & Wrath of the Titans- DVD
$8.99 for Blu-ray movies: Book of Eli, 300, Braveheart, Clash of the Titans, Terminator

Visit WB Summer Promo to check out the movies out at the theater. I saw Pacific Rim, We're the Millers, and The Conjuring.  
If you still want to see Despicable Me 2 before it leaves the big screen, some DVDs have $7.50 Hollywood movie money peelies on them: The Lorax DVD was $8.99, Beethoven's Big Break was $7.50 on sale.

On a side note:
Have you seen more DVDs with Hollywood Movie Money peelies on them at Wal-Mart like the ones when the Hobbit movie came out? I saw a bunch at my store today but did not get a picture or the info. That store was pretty rough and very crowded. I think the DVDs were $8 something and the movie ticket was up to $8 off.

Also, reminiscing...
I remember the first time I saw "Hollywood Movie Money" peelie was October 2009 from a Jumanji DVD! That DVD was $3 and we got a FREE movie ticket too!

Office Max: I Got a $10 GC By Mail!

First, I am so giddy that Crystal at Money Saving Mom shared this week's Office Max deals I did AND she gave me a sweet reward for it! So, if you have deals to share- don't hesitate to submit it. Plus, sharing deals on these blogs is the best way to find out about hidden deals and clearance.

Next, remember the Office Max penny backpack deal a couple weeks ago? My hubby chose one super nice Swiss Army inspector gadget bag at the store. I also picked up the blue bag on the left online for $29.99; it was to come with all the school supplies pictured.

But the bag was empty when I got it. Looking at the comments on Hip 2 Save, I read some called corporate and were told that a $10 gift card would be mailed to them. So I called and guess what came yesterday? A $10 Office Max gift card! Woot! I will use this for all the other cool penny deals this back-to-school season at Office Max. Yay!

photo source

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Walgreens: FREE Photo Collage!


Get a FREE 8x10 photo collage from today only! Use the promo code DEAL8xTEN at checkout and have it shipped to a neighborhood store to pay nothing for shipping.

I have done this 4 times this year with no problems at my store. For Mother's Day, I made my mom a photo collage and sent it to her neighborhood Walgreens. She lives a few thousand miles from us and she still got her photo that same day I made it! WOW! Was she surprised when she had to pay nothing for it! It was a great, easy, FREE gift.

You can make your photo anytime today, even up to midnight (although I don't recommend it!) and just pick-up the photo anytime in the next few days. You do need to register first online. Thanks Hip2Save!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Office Max: FREE Highlighters With Coupon!

Did you guys get to Office Max to grab all the nice penny deals like the scissors and penny backpack?! Wow! Office Max rocks!

I love Back-to-School deals. It's like Christmas!

There is also FREE highlighters to be had. Check page 2 of the Office Max weekly ad (from Sunday's paper, NOT the store copy). Cut-out the coupon for FREE highlighter coupon! Each customer can use two coupons, no other purchase required!

The coupon says:
FREE with coupon.
Sharpie Accent Asstd Tank-Style Highlighters, 4-pack
2211-7433 $3 Value. Limit 2.

I got two this Sunday. I went straight to Office Max before picking up a copy of the Sunday paper because I wanted to make sure we got the penny deals. But the store's copies of the weekly ad does NOT have the coupon. They were nice enough to work it out for me after I showed them that the online ad showed the coupon (it can't be printed out online either).

So save yourself the trouble and bring your own copy of the weekly ad from Sunday's paper!

CVS: FREE Herbal Essence Hair Care PLUS $2 Money Maker!!!

Here's another surprising transaction I just did at CVS tonight.

I've read that for some, the BOGO Herbal Essence coupon from 7/28 PG is ringing up at $4.99 instead of just $2.50, which is the sale price. I tried it tonight, and it worked! I still got the $1 ECB for buying 2 afterwards.

This is the breakdown of the transaction:
Buy 4 Herbal Essence Hair Care products, $2.50 each
Use 2 BOGO coupons from 7/28 PG, -$4.99 x 2
Pay $0.02, Get $2 ECBs (limit is 6, not 1 like in the ad)
=$1.98 Money Maker

COUPON ETHICS: Should the cashier have given me $4.99 off for the BOGO coupon?

Some are reporting that their cashier will manually adjust the coupon to the sale price of $2.50. My cashier did not do this. When she scanned the coupon, it automatically deducted $4.99 for the coupon. So is CVS losing money or are they cheating Procter and Gamble?

This is my take on the issue- CVS needs to deduct $4.99 for the coupon. It was CVS's decision to lower the sale price of the product, so, they are losing money. But they put it on sale so we are more interested in buying it. They would much rather sell it to you and me for $4.99.

Kinda like at a yard sale when the prices start dropping off later in the day.

So when we use a BOGO coupon, CVS is able to get that higher profit margin again. But instead of us paying for it, it's the manufacturer. Also, remember that manufacturer coupons get reimbursed at face-value plus shipping. The store makes a little money because of that extra shipping cost for every single coupon they submit to the manufacturers.

So, by giving us the regular price off the BOGO coupon of $4.99, CVS makes up the money they are losing having the product on sale.

What do you think? Does it all add up in your own opinion?

CVS: Cheap Band-Aids and FREE First Aid Case

Buy 3 select first aid items at CVS this week and get a FREE case to put them in PLUS $5 ECBs! Target and Walgreens also offer a free case with 3 first aid items. But this deal at CVS is better. Why?

Free coupons worth $15 inside the case! Be warned, however, that you will need to do some treasure hunting. Many of these cases don't have the coupon booklets. If you do find one, you'll get another surprise. There is a coupon for $5 off 3 select First Aid items.

So, this is the transaction I did:
Buy 3 Band-Aids, $3.79 each
Buy First Aid Kit Case
Use $5 off 3 coupon inside the case
Pay $6.79, Get $5 ECBs
=$1.37 for 4 items or $0.34 each!

COUPON ETHICS: How would you handle this?
The packaging on case says that it includes a $15 coupon booklet. I have no problem using the $5 off 3 coupon that is in the case, since I am getting it anyway. I look at it like I'm using a "peelie" coupon. Also, the coupon booklet does not say "Good for next purchase". However, I would not take one from other cases I am not getting. Whoever gets the bag owns that coupon booklet. It is part of their purchase.

Do you have qualms about using coupons from a package to pay for that said package (or in this situation, to use for the other items in the transaction- the bandages)? If so, use the $0.50 Band-Aid coupons in the 7/28 SS. Then next time CVS has this deal again, use the higher value coupon booklet!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Target Clearance, Some Toys 70% Off

The Target cashier teased me last night that she's seen me every day that she worked this week! It's true. Between the Summer Clearance and other great deals posted at Totally Target, I have been scouting the store everyday. Like a hawk hungry for savings.
I have been waiting and waiting for the 70% Off Toy Clearance. My store had the 30% sign-up BUT I did find some at 70% off. Check out this Monsuno 8-piece toy. 
 It was $27.99 marked down to $8.38, as most of the other Monsuno toys were also 70% clearance! 

Yay! One more for the gift closet. 

Target 70% Off Shoes!

Target Clearance: 70% off shoes!!!
Not just summer shoes, but lots of random kinds for the whole family (ladies' boots, espadrilles, tennis shoes, dress shoes and more!).
I picked up summer sandals and slip-ons for less than $5 for our girl. And these CG shoes were only $7.48, originally $24.99 and a size 3.5, perfect for back-to-school.

Search my blog or the web.