Sunday, November 30, 2008


Noah LOVES Christmas lights! I mean really, really loves them. Our house is drowning in lights as well speak and I couldn't be happier. We went to the Disney/Osborne Spectacle of Lights at Hollywood Studios on Saturday night. How awesome is my dh to drag out there after working all day? All three boys(mommy and daddy too) were in thrilled. Words can't even describe how pretty they were. Noah looked like his face might crack from smiling so much!

Making Ornaments

I had a slightly freezer burned bag of flour, I just couldn't bring myself to throw out and I figured making dough ornaments would be a messy but fun way to use the flour! And it was...both lol.
Recipe is easy.
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
little oil (i would guess 2 tsp not needed though I saw plenty recipes w/o it)
1 cup water
I had to add a dash of vanilla to mine because it smelled freezer burned

Slowly add water to other ingredients until you have a nice dough.
Not sticky and doesnt crumble.
I sprinkled a little flour on the table and gave each boy a ball of dough and a bunch of cookie cutters. We didnt have rolling pins so we improvised a bit and used cans (paging Martha Stewart). They boys had sooo much fun punching out the shapes.
I lined the pan with wax paper and placed them in a 250 degree oven for 1 hour.
After they cooled we painted them. I used kids paint because Noah tends to get things in his mouth but it made them a little wet. So I put them back in the oven for about 20 mins. Tonight I get to paint some glaze on them and VIOLA homemade ornaments!
All in all this took a while. But I was so surprised how much fun my tough guys had making them!
(please ignore the dates on the last 2 pics I need new batteries and didnt reset date.)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tis the Season

Its no secret that money is tight in our house, but I know we are so blessed! I was able score some major deals to make my boys Christmas wonderful, but more importantly we have a closet full of food, a roof over our heads, and a way to get around. What more could I ask for?

I love the spirit of giving that this time of year brings and normally like to donate to several places to help others celebrate the holidays. Thanks to couponingI will be able to donate food and household items easily, even with very little money.
But, I want to show my boys more than dropping off a bag at food drive, giving should be more than once and a while a should be part of everything you do!

I was so excited to get a great deal on Glade candles this am at Publix (will post it next)and on the way out gave one to the sweet lady ringing the bell, while the boys dumped their change in the bucket. She was so surprised and happy and the kids were excited! Charged with happiness we went to a craft supply store to get supplies to paint our dough ornaments, as we cashed out I gave the person behind me my extra 50% of coupon and she was thrilled. When I got home I was so happy to see a freecycler had given me 2 $10/50 grocery store coupons!! I realized today giving doesn't have to be BIG in order to make a difference. And as I raise my little boys/monkeys I want them to have that philosophy be part of who they are. So please give me some good ideas.. What little things do you do to make the world around you a better place?
Leave me a post with an idea or good deed and enter to win a $5 GC to a store of your choice. Winner will be chosen Saterday December 13th at 6pm! Please leave an email address.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday Madness

After slaving away in the kitchen, making a very yummy Thanksgiving dinner (BTW the left overs are GONE!), I actually manage to hit the hay early at 9:45. But, it seemed like only minutes later my sister was calling my phone telling me to get my big ol' bootie out of bed. So into the night we scurried off to meet my friend at Kohls for the 4 am opening. WHY oh why do these sales have to starts sooo early?? Kohls was pretty calm, but the sale was not that great. Off to Walmart we went.. I had the begins of a panic attack before we even parked. Last year my sister and I were nearly trampled in a mob infront of a department store, I had crowd anxiety for months afterwards! Walmart was AWFUL, though not as awful as in some places as I later heard. I was going back and forth between getting the boys Leapsters or Vtech handhelds, I quickly chose the Vtechs because the crowd pushed me into the palet. I grabbed three of them and 3 Hotwheel 10 packs and then freaked when I could not find my sister anywhere. There was pushing and shoving and screaming and I heard there was a fist fight in electronics, but I got the most important things I wanted for the kiddos.
Next stop was the mall, which was amazingly peaceful! I was able to
score tons of awesome deals in the Disney Store and finished shopping for the boys. My bags were so big I had to DRAG them to the car! I went home and took a quick 1 hour nap and ventured back out with the family. We hit a few more stores and picked up a few more gifts and then went and picked up our TREE!
My favorite part of Black Friday is getting the Christmas tree!
I am just a tiny bit picky about picking a tree and it may have taken an Its so big and pretty too!
I loved the wreaths from the Disney Store, but had already splurged on a Mickey Mouse star for our tree! So I fashioned my own Mickey wreath, not exact, but hey, it works!
Did anyone one else brave the crowds??


I won an $10 CVS Gift Card from this awesome blog!! Go check it out!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Happy Joy Joy... Fun at CVS

Anyone who knows me knows I have been so excited about this CVS sale. I got there early, around 11 pm thinking I would have to race to get all the good deals! To my suprise I was alone until 1130 ish when the other frugals started coming in. My store had tons of stock and I had no problem getting everything I wanted. I had all my qs and ecbs sorted and ready to go, I even had a list (I am a nerd what can I say?) but I did even better than I planned!!

Transaction #1
2 Hersheys Bars sale $1
used 1 bogo q
earned 1 ECB
1 Aussie Mousse sale $2.99
used $1/1q
earned 2.99 ECBS
1 Bic Soleil Razor sale $5.99
used $3/1q
earned 5.99 ECBs
1 J&J Soft lotion sale $5.69
used $1/1q
earned 5.69 ECBs
1 Loreal Lip Juice sale $6.99
used $1/1q
earned 6.99 ECBs
1 Ear phones sale $6.99
earned 6.99 in ECBs
1 Garnier Face cloths sale $5.99
used $1/1q
earned 5.99 ECBs
1 Maybelline Mineral Base sale $8.99
used $3/1q
earned 8.99 ECBs
1 G2 sale $1.49
earned 1.49 ECBs
1 Cover Girl foundation sale $7.99
used $1/1
earned 7.99 ECBs
1 Cover Girl powder sale $5.99
used $1/1 q
earned 5.99 ECBs
1 Always Infinity
used get free q
Also used $10/50 CVS q
used $39 ECBs
Paid $1.33 oop!!!
Transaction #2
1 Crock Pot sale $19.99
earned 10 ECBs
1 Playtex sale $3.99
used $1/1q
earned 3 ECBs
1 Schick Razor sale $7.99
used $4/1q
earned 6 ECBs
1 Norelco Shaver sale $28.99
1 G2 sale $1.49
earned 1.49 ECBs
2 toys sale on bogo $9.99
2 toys sale on bogo $9.99
used $10/50 CVSq
use all but 8.99 of ECBs from 1st transaction
Total OOP $3.19
Total saved all together $210!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMGoodness so worth the weeks of planning! I left with 29.50 in ECBs too!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Whooo Hooooo Wal-Mart

For weeks I have been stalking the web for Black Friday ads, I scored the CVS ad almost 2 weeks ago and I am biting at the bit to get there. I was really bummed that many stores were focusing on electronics sales and very little in the toy department.
Target was a huge let down, as was Toys R Us. BUUUTTT the Walmart ad finally made its way to the web and it ROCKS!!! Great prices on electronics, household items, and best of all TOYSSSS! Check out the sneak peak at
As many that know me in real life know I am no fan of Walmart, but for these deals I will be there!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Super Safari

It was a chilly day (well for Florida it was chilly)a brisk 63 degrees, we active were excited to go to Animal Kingdom and ride the Safari. For some reason the animals are usually very active when its cool outside. Today was no exception, we also had a wonderful driver/guide, it was a blast!

CVS Deals starting Nov. 16

This is a great week to build some ECBs for Black Friday (which is actually Thanksgiving Day). I got up early (no easy thing while sick) and ran over to CVS to be sure I was able to get the deals I wanted.
*4 packs Duracell digital PIX AA on sale $5.99 ea
used 4 $1/1 peelies and $5/2 CVS Duracell hang tag q
Buy $20 in Duracell get 15 ECBs
*4 Glade Glass Scents on sale 2/$5
used 2 Glade bogo qs
Buy $10 in Glade select items get 5 ECBs
*1 Loreal Pro Calcium moisturizer sale $15.99
Used loreal $1/1q and $3/15 CVS skin care (printed in store)
Buy item get 15.99 in ECBs
*1 Mens Right Guard sale $2.99
buy item get 2 ECBs
1 gallon Milk
used $10/50 CVS q
used $29 ECBs
Total oop $2.40
total saved $65.04
ECBs made $37.99!!! I actually MADE money this week.
I will probably go back and do the battery and glade deals again.
Best of all, I got another $10/50 for Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

New to CVS??

Are you new to CVS (or just low on ECBs)and don't want to miss out on the awesome black Friday sale? Go to Hot Coupon World here and read post #147 by DEEAN7. She has broken it down to spend as little out of pocket as possible! And if you have a few ECBs to start even better. Dont be embarrased about doing multiple transactions, CVS workers are used to it.
Just a few tips: go ahead and shop for everything at once, just keep them organized in your cart with coupons.
If there is no line go ahead and do them back to back but if there is go to the back of the line each time. (:

Shopping with a Cold

Since I a feeling a bit better today, I am assuming I dont actually have the plague (or the flu) its just a really wicked cold. I needed to get milk, and hate wasting gas to get one thing, so I decided to shop.
4 Kellogs Frosted Flakes sale $1.99
used 4 $1/1qs
10 Martha Muffin Mixes sale 5/$4
used 4 .55/2 qs and a Publix $5/10 of Smuckers (muffins incl)
2 Promise Active $3.49 ea
used $2/2q and 2 $1/1 Publix qs
4 Progresso Soup sale 4/$6
used 2 $1.10/1 ip
8 McCormick Grinders on sale $1.99 and BOGO!
Picked up 4 pepper grinders ans 4 assorted
used 4 $2/1 qs (on the pepper)
2 Juicy Juice on sale bogo $3.49
used 2 $1/1 ip
Bakers Cups .85
used .25/1 q
Non q items
1 pineapple $4.99 (isaiahs preschool)
Lenders bagels on bogo
was able to use $10/50 CVS q!!!! this is up to each store
total oop $15.18
saved $64.98
not as good as usual but pretty good!

Also went to Albertsons
I was hoping to grab the buy a ham get a free turkey deal, but could not bring myself to spend $40 on a ham!
I did get my turkey though!
20 lb turkey $16.04
Chicken breast sale $1.69 a lb
2 cans cranberry sauce
spent $25
I am pretty much on budget for the week even though I cant really put two thoughts together and beginning to be ready for Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 14, 2008


I am alone with the kiddos and have no voice! I have the flu (either that or the plague). Even drugged up with dayquil, I really cant move, speak or breathe without a great deal of discomfort. I am feeling pretty pathetic.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Early Preview... CVS

Once again the awesome people at Hot Coupon World have provided a great preview! This time for the Thanksgiving/Black Friday sale!!! There are over $65 in FREE items (after ECB) and a bunch of other great goodies! This coming week is a great chance to build up some ECB's and get great deals on batteries. Happy shopping!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Where Did he Time Go?

It seems like only yesterday, I three kids in diapers. Now I have three big boys. ::sob:: Its a silly little milestone, but today Isaiah figured out how to swing all by himself! It kinda struck me, they are needing me less and less. Noah will more than likely always need me, but holy cow is he big, adorable, and making strides all the time. Jordan is 5 going 25 he is so smart and independant. And my "baby" Isaiah is also smart, pretty much advanced at everything he does, and super funny. The upside is I don't have to push anyone on the swing anymore...until the next baby comes along!

Be on the look-out!

Thanks to the awesome folks at Hot Coupon World on the CVS forum. I know next week Duracell Batteries will be a super deal! When you spend $20 on batteries (they will be $5.99 a pack) you will get 15 ECB!!! There are coupons out ranging from $1.50/1 to .75/1 AND there are $5/2 CVS coupons for Duracell batteries that can be combined to make a great deal! Be on the look-out the $5/2 qs are in CVS stores hanging on the battery display!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

CVS ECB Building

I was so excited that there were so many ECB deals this week! I am trying to build up for the Black Friday sale.
My deals included:
1 Contor Meter $30
used $30/1q (I know I am not making ECBs on these but they are great filler to get to $50 to use my $10 off q!)
5 Palmolive Dish soaps sale $1.49
used 5 .25/1q & received 5ECB (1 ea)
1 Garnier conditioner sale $2.99
used $1/1q & received 2 ECB
1 Smart Water sale $1.59
received 1.59 ECB (kicked myself found a bogo q later)
1 Loreal Revitalist sale $11.99
used $1/1q & received 11.99 ECB
3 St. Ives Body Wash $3.99
received 9 ECB (3 ea)
used CVS $10/50q
$21.98 in ECB
total oop $2.54!! ::happy dance::
savings $121.82
Received a total of $29.58 in ECBs!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Home-made Bread and a Super Soft Slide

exploding dough


I have been in major nesting mode lately (no, not pregnant) and have had the urge to make home-made bread. Never having been the baking type I was leery, but I decided what the heck, give it a try. It helped helped that Albertsons had flour on sale for $1.38 a 5lb bag.
I was all excited to go home and make it, when I got home I realized I didn't have loaf pans!! What kind of mom doesn't even have loaf pans? I was really bummed...until I came across a bread machine at a yard sale for $2 this am SCORE!
After hunting around the web for a bit I discovered Hilly billy Housewife had a great generic bread machine manual. The recipe I use was super easy, basically dump the ingredients in and turn it on.
Two hours into the rising I was a little worried, it was pressing on the glass! Visions of bread making ala I Love Lucy popped into my head, but thank goodness it stayed contained.
It was stuck to the lid a bit and looked a little like a mushroom, but yummy just the same. The entire loaf was devoured in under 10 minutes, a huge hit with the kids!
So I bet you are wondering where the super soft slide comes into this, huh??
Well while I was cleaning the egg bombs of the porch (another story all together), my dear sweet (cough) Noah got the almost empty (thank God) bottle of fabric softener from the garage and gleefully poured it down the slide. Being pooped from scraping raw eggs off the porch I was in no mood to clean the slide... So I let them slide down it in their jeans and put then the jeans in the washer. Hey, I killed 2 birds with one stone; slide clean and clothes smell good. Kids also needed a bath but that's kinda a daily thing.

ETA:Second loaf turned our much better looking!

Sage Thanksgiving Advice

Thanksgiving is almost here! We are in 3 weeks away from one of my favorite holidays. There is nothing better than spending time with family and friends, sharing a meal, with no commercial expectations of gifts. I am thankful everyday for the wonderful life and family I am blessed with, but having a day set aside to just be thankful (and pig out) is wonderful.
In 1999 I was a new bride, and scared to death to death as I prepared my first Thanksgiving dinner. We ended up inviting a few of my hubby's friends over,luckily it turned out perfect! Now ten years and ten turkeys later, I am still excited to cook Thanksgiving dinner! We take the traditional route with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, home-made gravy, cranberry sauce (the jellied kind from a can lol)and tons of pie of course! A few things have changed over the years; as our family has grown the turkey had to get bigger along with us! Feeding at least 7 this year means at least an 18 pounder. Have I mentioned my family can eat ALOT? I am also making home-made rolls for the first time this year.
One thing that never changes is the seasoning that I use; its a northern seasoning that I have to hunt to get down here but its soo worth it. Just the smell of sage makes me giddy! Bells seasoning has meant the holiday season to me since I was a little girl. Its blend of herbs and spices but mostly sage and oh so yummy on turkey!

“This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by Butterball."

Friday, November 7, 2008

Making it on a MUCH Lower Budget and Publix Deals

This week has been a rough one on the finacial home front, well actually it started 2 weeks ago. Dh lost his second job due to downsizing. Then on Wednesday of this week his full time job cut hours from 54 to 43. All together we have lost more than a $1000 a month! This is a scary thing to face. Being the OCD budgeter (is that a word?) that I am, I have the budget done til early January and we will be ok.. by the skin of our teeth. Dh is a working machine and is looking for another part-time job. I have faith he will find one.
I am so thankful to have my newfound frugal skills! Before this we would have been in trouble!
I went to Publix this week and was able to get alot for a good price!
6 32oz College Inn broths sale bogo $2.79
used 6 $1/1 Publix qs from winter booklet
10 Pillsbury Savorings sale bogo $3.99
used 3 $1/1qs and 7 .75/1 qs
2 Mrs. T Perogies sale bogo $2.59
used 2 $1/1qs
4 Cans Hunts tomatoes sale bogo $1.39
used 2 .40/1qs and 1 Publix .55/1
2 Kraft Olive Oil salad dressings sale bogo $2.93
used 2 $1/1qs
4 bags Tollhouse Choc. Chips sale bogo $2.50
used 4 .50/1qs
2 Captain Chrunch on bogo $4.49
used 2 .50/1qs
4 cans Cambells Select soups on bogo $2.39
used 2 .50/2 qs
2 Land o Lakes on bogo 2.09
2 fresh grape tomatoes sale bogo $2.99
McCormick Black Pepper grinder sale $1.99
used $2/1q
1 beechnut baby cereal (for friend) sale $1.40
used $1/1q
2 Nestle Cookie Dough sale 3/$6
used 1 $1.50/2 q
also not on sale
2 packs of chicken quarters
brown sugar
Also used $5/50 Albertsons q
Total oop $39.85!
saved $95.44!!!
I am looking for ideas on how to stretch our dollar further outside of the grocery store! Any suggestions?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Free Ziploc Gift Pack

Go here
to sign up for a free gift pack of ziploc products for the holidays! I also includes coupons, but be quick its only the first 20,000.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tales from a Frugal Test Kitchen

I have only been at this stockpiling-coupon-hoarding thing for a few months and have a pretty good stockpile going. We use to run out of food 2-3 days before I was due to shop again and this was while I was spending $80-$100 a week! We never run out of food now. Its amazing how much you can get for free with a little effort!
That's not to say everything you get is worth it; even if its free.
I will start off with the bad.
How could I not know Hamburger Helper is NASTY??!! I mean really gross! I have 20 boxes of it, right now... That's after giving away 20!
I will be donating most of it to food drives, but hey I actually made money buying them so no loss there!
Voila frozen dinners were another bomb in my house, with the exception of the Alfredo which was pretty yummy, they went over like a ton of bricks. They should have been tasty; lots of frozen but fresh ingredients and pretty tasty sauces, but something was missing. However, they did work out great for my single brother!
There are some things that are surprisingly yummy!
I was very hesitant to try the Steam and Mash Potatoes; had they not been nearly free, I would not have purchased them. But they were super cheap so I HAD to buy them lol. I popped my first bag in the microwave last night. WOW are they good! They tastes just like fresh, homemade ones! The only issue is since they are not water logged from boiling it takes more milk to smooth them out. They don't even need salt.
One bag fed my family of 5 easily and I am feeding 3 boys!
We also discovered that Strawberry Mini Wheat are super tasty.
This week we will be trying the Pillsbery Savorings for the first time, I will let you know how they come out!
Have you had and great successes or huge flops trying new things with coupons??

Monday, November 3, 2008

Walgreens Deals

I am still new to Walgreens couponing. I dont do as well as I do at CVS, but I am learning. I love Glade Candles and since they seem to be the only ones I am not allerigic to I just had to get them!
I picked up 4 Glade Scent Oil Candles on sale for $5.99ea
I used 2 bogo ip ( ) and 2 $2/1blinkie qs
I also was able to buy 2 packs of Quatro Razors and make $2 overage!
using 1 bogo q & 1 $2/1q PLUS 2 $3/1 Walgreens qs from the Easysaver book.
My total OOP was under $4 and that was mostly tax!!
Please let me know what other deals Wags has this week!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

CVS deals

This was a great shopping week at CVS! I think I have become addicted to getting things for free!
I bought:
2 Easy-ups sale 2/$20 get 5 ECBs
used 2 $1.50/1qs
2 Crest Pro-Health sale $3.49 get 3.49 ECBs
used 1 .75/1q and 1 $1/1q
10 Ice Breakers Gum sale $1ea get 5ecb WYB $10
used 5 $1/2qs
2 Gold Emb. candies .99ea
used $1/2 CVSq
1 Dawn Dish Soap .99
used .25/1q
1 Breeze Meter sale $30
used $30/1q
also used CVS $10/50 q
and 18 ECBs
total OOP $2.47
Saved $110!!!!!!!!!!!!!