Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Target Clearance Finds

I found myself in a small town this morning with some time to kill, so I made my way over to the local Target were I found some great clearance deals!
Fresh Step Cat Litter - Clearance $4.74 (regular $9.49) ( This was the only box, or I would have bought a few).
Assets Panty Hose - Clearance $3.75 ( Regular $15.00!) These are the best things ever, made by the creator of Spanx!  I found another pair clearanced at $3.00 at my local Target, but they seem to be sparse.

Suction hooks - .62 cents ( just needed them!)

I also found some Michael Graves cleaning supplies on clearance, and I tried to buy a microfiber mop replacement, but the mobile coupon wouldn't work on it :(  The cashier said it was probably because it was on clearance, but who knows.  Bummer, I was excited about getting a good deal on that.

P.S.  Why was I in a random small town this morning?  Well, let me just say, do as I say, not as I do.  And if you were wondering how NOT to save money, the answer is get a speeding ticket.  (don't do it).

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fresh Foods at Fred's!

OK, so people are always saying that you can't buy healthy foods when you coupon.  It's true that often there are great deals on junk food.  I have been struggling with my food budget lately, and although I have some things stockpiled ( Like pasta and spaghetti sauce) I don't have things like meat, fruits, veggies and cheese.  (Of course, I COULD live without cheese, I guess, but what kind of a life would it be??).

It's true that you will rarely find coupons for fruits, veggies and meat.  But couponing has taught me how to watch the sales, and when to recognize a "stock up" price.  Instead of blindly buying things no matter the cost, I often will wait for a good sale and then buy as many as I can to get me by. 

This week Fred Meyer had some great deals, and so I decided to hit them up.
The whole chicken was only .88 cents/lb, which seems to be a pretty good deal.  I actually have never bought a whole chicken before!  So, trying something new.  There were also peelies on the chicken for $1.50 off chicken wyb Philly cooking creme.  The cooking creme was $2.50 and there was a tear pad there for $1.50 off - combined they made the cooking creme free and took an additional .50 cents off the chicken.

Foster Farms Whole Chicken - $4.49
Philly Cooking Creme - $2.50
- $1.50 off chicken wyb Philly
-$1.50 off Philly cooking creme tear pad
=Free cooking creme and chicken for $3.99!

4x Tillamook Shredded cheese - $1 each with in ad coupon
This is a rock bottom price, and the cheese is good until June or July unopened!

Strawberries - $1.50
Lemon - .59 cents
Celery - .26 cents
Broccoli - .73 cents
2 onions - .49 cents ( they were very small)
Carrots - .25 cents

Total - $11.77
Coupon savings: $9.50
Fred Meyer doesn't tell you what you saved on sale prices : /

I should be able to get a few meals out of that chicken - I'm off to search for recipes!

.49 cents cat food at Freddy's!

Fred Meyer is quickly becoming one of my favorite stores to shop.  It's already in my blood, since I grew up in Alaska and although we didn't have Target, K-Mart or Wal-Mart ( at the time), we DID have Fred Meyer.  Now there are a million Fred Meyer's near where I live, so I find myself there several times a week.

Last weekend while picking up a few groceries there was a lady doing a demo of the new Purina One Beyond cat and dog food.  Now, you should know that I am kind of a pet food snob.  Since first getting my cat Pepper, I have always tried to feed my cats the best food.  I believe that it is an important part of being a pet owner and taking good care of your animals.  I currently feed my cats Wellness, which they seem to like and keeps them healthy.  But, as you all know, I'm on a budget ( if you can call being perpetually broke a budget).  And Wellness is not cheap.

The lady was giving out $2/1 Manufacturer Coupons, and the 16oz boxes were on sale for  $2.49 - making them only .49 cents after coupon.  I decided to have a box on hand just in case I ran out of their regular food and was unable to get more right away.  I took it home and put it on their food shelf.  And, for some reason, they were obsessed with it.  It must smell good, because later they kept getting up there and trying to get into it, even though their bowl was full of their regular food.  I even found it on the floor with little bite marks on it!  I finally gave them some, and they wolfed it down like it was the best thing they had ever eaten.  Hmmm.  Probably because it was different. but most cats turn their noses up at a new food.  I decided that since I am on such a tight budget, I would try this food out for awhile, so I went back to Fred's and stocked up on a few more boxes. ( The demo lady let me take a bunch of extra coupons!).
5 boxes of food (16oz each) - $2.45 at Fred Meyer!  I also understand there was a $3/1 coupon in last week's paper, 3/13. ( I didn't get it).
I also found a $2/1 Target Coupon HERE that could be a combined with an MQ for even better savings if you are interested in trying it out.  I don't know what the regular price is at Target, but chances are it's on sale, so I would imagine you could get a pretty good deal.

*UPDATE:  Not sure if this is going to work out.  Sebastian, our mascot, barfed right after eating today.  Hmm.  This is abnormal, so I will be keeping my eye on him and if it keeps happening I will need to switch him back.  Somethings are worth paying more for!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Broke Kitchen: Holiday Edition

I love holidays.  Growing up, my mom always made every holiday special, and that is something I have carried on into my adult life.  Since I recently moved into a new house, I decided to have a dinner party for St. Patrick's day.  Normally my mother would make a nice Irish stew for St. Patty's, and I was planning on doing the same.  But hosting a dinner party on a budget is no easy task.  Luckily, if there is one thing the Irish know how to do, it's feed a crowd on a shoestring.  While at the store, I noticed how cheap corned beef and cabbage were!  Partially it was because they were on sale for the holiday, but it was still a better bargain than buying all the ingredients for stew.  So, corned beef and cabbage it was.  Although I AM a good Irish girl, I have actually never made, or maybe even eaten corned beef and cabbage.  Weird, right?  Well, Wikipedia told me that corned beef and cabbage is a distinctly Irish-American dish, so I guess my Irish-American family missed out on that memo, who knows?

Anyway, I had to go searching for a recipe, and I found one that sounded pretty good HERE.  Later I realized that I probably hadn't gotten enough meat, so I ran back to the store to pick up some more.  I decided to make the dish both ways, traditional and non traditional.  Traditional is basically simmering the roast for 2 hours, then boiling the cabbage in the same water.  However, everyone agreed that the non-traditional way was more delicious, hands down. 
Stick about 12 cloves into the meat, then slather with hot honey mustard and sprinkle with brown sugar.  Wrap in foil and bake at 350 for about 2 hours.   Take off the foil and broil for about 15 minutes so that the roast gets nice and brown on top.

Chop up the cabbage into strips and then heat up some olive oil with chopped garlic and onions.  Throw in the cabbage and saute it until it gets nice and brown.  Waaay better than boiled.

Total for this meal:
Corned Beef - $5.47
Cabbage: $1.08
Sweet Honey Mustard: $1.50
Cloves: .10 cents ( bulk spices are your friends!)
Olive oil, onions and garlic from stockpile
Total meal cost under $10!  Not bad for a dinner party! :)
Now dessert was a different story...but that's another post.
Happy St. Patty's everyone!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Take a break from aftertaste with a FREE sample.

Add nothing but taste to your morning cup of coffee with a FREE pint of Breve Crème coffee creamer, brought to you by your friends at Vocalpoint.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Broke Kitchen

A few months ago, I thought I was as broke as I would ever get.  But I was wrong, my friends.  Dead wrong.   How did this happen?  Don't ask me.

  Ok, I'll tell you.  See, I moved to the big city, and now I have to drive further, pay more for the same stuff, and get paid the same, or maybe slightly less?  So, yes, a new job and perhaps a small bank robbery are in order.  But in the meantime, a girls gotta eat.

I have gotten amazingly good at making something from nothing, or at least something from whatever I have in the cupboards.  I recently received my coupon for a FREE tub of the new Philadelphia cooking creme that I got from Kraft First Taste.  (PS - if you haven't joined Kraft First Taste yet, I suggest you do.  I have gotten quite a few freebies from them!)
I decided I could use this to whip up something edible from my stockpile, and so I did. 
I used:
1 Box of Ronzoni Smart Taste Penne (Free at Albies awhile back)
1 Bell Pepper ( $1 at Fred Meyer last week)
2 lbs of chicken breast ($1.88 lb at Albies last week)
1 tub of Philadelphia Italian Cheese and Herb Cooking Creme ( FREE)

(I would have really liked to add some broccoli or spinach to this, but I didn't have any.)

I cut up the chicken into small pieces and seared it in a pan with olive oil ( At this point I would suggest you season the chicken, at the very least with salt and pepper.  I didn't, and I wish I had)  I also cut the bell pepper into strips and added it to the pan when the chicken was mostly cooked.  Waiting until then allowed the bell pepper to remain a bit crunchy but gave it a nice sweet flavor.
I cooked the noodles, drained them, then threw everything in the pot with the cheese.  Stir it up and done!  Easy Peasy.
This made about 5-6 good sized servings.  This dish in particular cost me about .90 cents per serving!  Not too shabby.
Notes for next time:  As I said, I would for sure season the chicken, I think it would make a big difference.  Also, I think this would be good with a few more veggies.  The sauce was pretty good, but you could probably fancy it up by adding addition cheese, milk or cream, maybe some more seasonings.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Free Secret!

Hurry over HERE to score a free sample of secret deodorant!  They are only giving away 3000, so they will go fast!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

FREE Target beauty bag!

This is a fun freebie!  Go HERE to sign up for a FREE beauty bag from Target with samples and coupons!

Thanks Hip2Save!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Walgreens wants to talk...

OK, so I told Walgreens how I really felt.  And they want to talk.  I went ahead and sent in a copy of my blog post.  They should know how their rewards system is affecting their customer base, right?  Well, Friday night I noticed I had a voicemail, and it was Walgreens.  A LOCAL Walgreens person.  Sounded like a manager, I think his name was Craig.  Or Chuck.  Anyway, he left me a message about my "cute little poem"?  And he wants me to call back to talk about it.  I haven't called back yet.  I don't know, Wags, we've been through so much...
I haven't decided if I'm going to call back or not.  Maybe if I have time Monday....

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I'm breaking up with Walgreens

Dear Walgreens,

I'm sorry to tell you that I'm breaking up with you.  It's not me, it's you.  Back in the day, before I was a couponer, I never shopped at Walgreens.  Why would I when I could just go to Target?  But then, I discovered the wonders of couponing, and more importantly, register rewards.  Register Rewards are a broke girl's best friend.  You can earn them one week, and then use them the next week to score tons of free stuff!  Keep doing it every week, and eventually you have a closet full of toothpaste, razors and shaving cream that you paid pennies for out of pocket.

I heard some grumblings about "test markets"...certain cities where Wags was testing out a new reward system.  I noticed because one of the cities was not too far from me, but honestly this new reward system was way to complicated for me to understand, so I just ignored it and kept doing my weekly Wags shopping.  Oh, Wags, how I loved you.

Then, something changed.  I moved to a "test market" city.  Now I live in a city where my beloved Wags offers a complicated and obnoxious "reward" system ( I hesitate to call it a reward, because it is more like a homework project followed by a slap in the face).  I get to hear about all the great deals that are being offered to Wags shoppers in other towns...but not in mine.  Want FREE Motrin after RR?  No, sorry Ms. Broke, you can't.  But, you can PAY 3 bucks for Motrin, and then get 15x points!!!!!  What the hell do I want with 15x points?

I would try to explain the reward system, but honestly, I think I would fall asleep before I finished.  The gist is: you get points for every dollar that you spend.  Like 10 points per dollar.  And then you can use those points for rewards.  2000 gets you a $5 Walgreens rewards certificate.  10 points per dollar  means you need to spend $200 to earn that gift certificate.  BUT WHAT ABOUT THE 15x points?????  OK, so you spend $3 bucks on Motrin ( WHY?  I don't know).  So you normally would earn...30 points.  Wow.  But with the amazing 15x points, you earn....450 points.  That would mean you are a quarter ( almost!) of the way to earning $5 bucks!  Instead of instantly earning a $3 RR like everyone else.  No thanks.  This "Rewards System"  requires too much math, and isn't very rewarding at all.

Sorry Wags.  We had a good run, it was fun while it lasted.  Call me when you get your rewards system worked out.  I'll be at Rite-Aid.