Saturday, December 27, 2014

Easy soup

Looks good doesn't it?

So easy to make, and CHEAP!  Two boxes of organic vegetable stock ($2.00)  One head of Escarole (.89)  A good scraping of some nutmeg, A cup of diced ham taken from the freezer (free, as already accounted for in previous totals).  4 cups of water.   Gpa P will have this for his lunch today.  He has a huge appetite, if I haven't mentioned that before.  He may consume most of this for one meal.  Hopefully DD will have some too.   Total for entire 6 quarts of deliciousness, $2.89.  

Friday, December 26, 2014

After Christmas Purchases and FB sale

Christmas was very nice...after I got over the emotional muck-a-luck of missing my Mother In Law.  Wonderful woman.  Spent time at my Mother's, which we don't do very often.  My sister and BIL were there, as well as our daughter and her BF.  Was very nice.

I am very blessed with students who are generous gifters.  I had $85 worth of Target Gift Certificates, which I used today very wisely.   I was at Target by 7:15 a.m.   It was quiet, but festive, with the few shoppers there in good moods (the Starbucks being open didn't hurt).  I headed right to the 'holiday section'.  Was I looking for ornaments or gift wrap?  No way.  I wanted Glad and Ziploc items!  I was prepared, with an envelope of coupons in hand.

There were 4 carriages worth of shoppers by this section, and one wife noticed I was piling gallon ziploc bags into my cart.  Are they on clearance?  They should be I replied, but I haven't checked the actual pricing yet.  Her husband took one and ran to a price checker, and we heard him should $1.49!  That was the price for all of the bags and plastic ware containers!  She put one in her cart and I said, take another one, and here's a coupon for a dollar off two!

I put 10 ziploc gallon bags in my cart, as well as 21 gladware and ziplocware containers.  Here is the pic!  Please notice my Kitty on the stair above the loot.  :)         I have great storage in my basement.

I also purchased two parchement paper rolls (I was out), Method wood cleaner for our dining room table (also out), two Betty Crocker Peppermint Cookie mix (holiday 50% off!) a new loofah for DD, a Tazo Chai Concentrate, and 12 holiday Glade Oil packages in scents that I find light and appealing for the studio.

I had them ring it up in two separate orders (Glad/Ziploc and everything else) due to other savings opportunities.

The ziploc/glad order after sale and coupons was $33.16 including tax.  I used gift cards.  I then submitted my receipt to Savings Star and have already received $7.00 back in rebates.  Total cost (though it was all gift money $26.16 after rebates/coupons)

The rest of the products (parchment/loofah/method/glade/cookies) with a Target deal of being on sale (2.39) buy 3 get one free (got 3 for free) Tazo (got free with coupon) and coupons for all Glade products purchased I paid $37.14 including tax.  I then submitted for a checkout 51 rebate on the Glade (an additional dollar).  Total cost after coupons/rebate was 36.14 and paid for with student gift cards.  $62.30 with no out of my pocket!  And still have gift card money left for another day.

I brought everything home, Had a quick bite to eat, and then hopped back in the car to meet a woman in the Walgreens parking lot for her to purchase some of my Santa's that are food themed.  She paid me $20.00 for three of them.  I was happy they were being gifted to a relative who was opening a food based business, and now I was going to use that money to again purchase things for our household without taking money out of pocket.

DH and Gpa P LOVED the Cook's half shank ham I purchased several weeks ago at $1.49 a pound at Shoprite.  DH was usually a Carando Spiral Ham only type of guy.  He asked me if we could get the same price, and I said I thought the sale was ending this Saturday.  He suggested I go back before then.  After I made the sale, I got back in the car and drove to Shoprite.  They still had some of the hams.   I got a 12.81 lb ham that is dated February 18th for 19.09.  Great way to spend the Santa money.

Back to the house, put the ham in the fridge, grab another cup of coffee and meet my DS at Bj's wholesale parking lot for our birthday adventure.  I had gotten her a gift membership for her birthday gift, plus a spending gift certificate.  We went to get her registration done, to find out they were having a sale on memberships!  She got a 14 month membership for $40....not the $50 that I had purchased it for.  They gave her the balance on a gift card.  So she had more money than she expected to spend!  She enjoyed finding all sorts of new products.  I loved that my birthday gift from her we found there.....the new 'non messy' play sand.  Much cheaper here, with more items then buying at Brookstone or Michaels.  My Mom gave me a snowman miniature kit, that they recommend using the sand with.  (I collect snowmen related items....a great winter collection that I leave out at the studio and house until the thaw happens)

I did not buy any deals at the warehouse store in terms of holiday sale....but I did get bagels/lox/cream cheese as a treat for the weekend, as well as more Skinny Pop, tomatoes, cucumbers, sour cream and a treat of guacamole for me. Michael's prepared eggplant (two 2 pound trays.....might be cheaper to purchase all parts....but I know it tastes like my grandmother's, and it will be a quick meal for the nights it's just me and DD) A huge tub of Snyders pretzels on special for $2.00,  Salami sampler for DH, plus a rechargeable battery charger and batteries.  $108.00 out of checking account.  Plus I got to spend several hours with my sister.

Then DH and I went to the mall (oh my...the insanity) to return the Brookstone pillow I purchased him (I did get a side sleeper one, but it was a hugger side sleeper, not his preference.)  An even swap, and I got to see some decorations.....I wasn't that impressed with the hooplah I had heard about the Frozen Santa display.    I also checked out Lush (DH gifted me the Ocean Salt scrub I absolutely love, as well as a new to me Ice Blue bar soap.  Very nice.  They were having a B1G1 free sale, but it was only on holiday gift sets.  I told him I would rather just use up my gifts, and then replenish these two I absolutely love products when I need to.

All in all, a great day.

Friday, December 19, 2014

A way to use up the apples

The crock pot is a wonderful tool.  I used it for the first time to make a crumb 'dump' cake to gift to a family.        I peeled and sliced 6 apples.  I placed them in the crock pot on medium (after spraying it with Pam)  I then sprinkled cinnamon onto the apples.  I dumped a .43 cents (after sale/coupon) box of cake mix combined with more cinnamon and then topped with pats of butter (one stick).    4 hours later, YUMMO!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Holiday Deals

I have set a few new challenges for myself financially.  DH is supportive and participates enthusiastically (most of the time)

Pay cash for all holiday purchases.  Try to find the best deal for our wallet.  FREE is FANTASTIC!  Here are a few examples:

CVS Trips

Trip 1
Store in North Haven didn’t have good labels on products.  Items in the flyer couldn’t be found.  I did buy a Starbucks Espresso (gave to DD when I got home) and a Kraft Mac and Cheese.  Got two ECB’s back that represented full price paid.  $1.50 and $1.00 back .   I did pay 2.50 plus tax out of pocket but they gave me back 2.50 in ECB.

Trip 2
Store in Wallingford also didn’t have good labels, but I now had a few more minutes and glasses on.  I purchased DD a lipstick (Loreal, final cost .99 with ECB and coupon)  Two bags of Hershey’s kisses (final cost 1.00 each with ECB and coupons), gum and candy for stockings free after ECB.  I paid $10.09 after coupons/ECB’s.  I received  $7.99 back in ECB. 

I know that I have to now spend the ECBs (I used the first two on the second trip) But I will use those ECB’s to now buy more ECB deals that will work for stockings until I run out of them. 

Bob’s Stores
We haven’t been going to Bob’s, as DH was not happy that most of their coupons would not be honored on the products he wanted.  But I feel that if we aren’t going out of our way, and get items for others for next to nothing we should look!  Bob’s lets you stack certain deals.  He went with me for Trip 1, which was on the way home from an out of state trip.

Trip 1
Newington Store
Paid .54 cents for leggings for DD.  This was after sale/10 free coupon that said we miss you/25% off friends and family. 

Trip 2
Hamden Store
Combined with a license renewal, drop off items to a friend trip.  I had a Birthday $10 reward/$10 on any purchase and can be combined/25% off of one item.   I got DD a 30 dollar sweater for $0.00!  I even thanked the manager and asked them to tell corporate that they are very generous.

Kohls has some great stacking opportunities.  I have added together birthday $10.00 rewards, Kohl’s cash, discounts for percentages off and free shipping codes.  I have used my Kohl’s card and then paid it off immediately!    I will admit, most purchases were for me, but I did get DD a beautiful swing coat for only $40.00 (regularly $190!)   I gave it to her to wear for Thanksgiving as she needed a new warm wool coat.

I got myself my first ever cashmere sweater, was $160, on sale for $49.00.  I have $30 in Kohls cash and I got an additional 30 percent off (after the Kohls cash was deducted)  $13.30 out the door!

I made sure any other purchases that were ordered online included AT LEAST free shipping, but I also used discount codes for all but one purchase.  I also did every order I could through  Mypoints, and have almost 10,000 points that will go towards some gift certificates for our household after the holidays.  I will do a Mypoints post at a later date. 

I did pretty well.  I had one horrible experience with an ebay purchase that I am still trying to rectify.   I have returned the watch that was shipped in a manila envelope.  Yes, that’s right.  No box, no inches of bubble wrap.  Wrapped in the purchase slip and mailed in a manila envelope.  I was offered an exchange (I don’t think so!) or a refund.  I sent it back in a BOX, return receipt requested, and if I do not get my refund within 5 business days upon receipt I will dispute with my credit card company.   I haven’t paid off that balance yet.     I use credit cards when it is a company I cannot pay with cash (i.e. other state) and I then pay off the card immediately upon receipt of an acceptable product.

All in all, I think we are on track for our budget.   Even including staff (mine and his) gifts!  I’m very pleased with what we did this year. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Fall Decorations become Winter soup starter

So, what do you do with all those pumpkins you have decorating your house/porch/yard?

I cook mine!  Ok, not all of them.  The large oversized jack o lantern bigger than the dog one that I put my hand through when I went to pick it up (gag ewwwwwwwwwww moment) went into the compost box.

The still in perfect shape but not a sugar pumpkin I put into one of the raised beds to see if it will seed in the spring.

And here is what I did with the sugar pumpkins.  Did I cut up/peel/dice them?  No way.  I poked one hole in each of them after I washed them and threw them into a convection 375 degree oven.   For 90 minutes.   And aren't they pretty?

Just cut the top off and start scooping out the delicious squashiness.  The first pumpkin was perfect, everything came right off the skin.

The second one probably could have gone a bit more, it was a bit watery.  But still good!

All empty!  I was able to freeze 3 gallon bags full!  Nice for spiced pumpkin soup.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving, Food Prep and a weak moment of resentment

I am thankful that my husband is next to me. I am thankful that we can provide plenty of food for my father (ok, one snarky remark here). I am thankful that I was able to get to the studio today, relieve my co-educators of stress and teach our students who came in. I am thankful that my maternal Grandmother is still here. I am thankful that my sister is still here. I am thankful that I can take my Mother out for a meal tomorrow. I am thankful that my daughter has grown into a beautiful woman. I am thankful that I am still here. I am thankful that I have gotten most of the sides done for our Thanksgiving meal number two (gotta feed Pops!) I am thankful that some of you read this. I am thankful for my friends. Writing this has made me feel more thankful. Amen.

We will be taking my Mother out for dinner tomorrow.  Noon reservations for her, DH, DD and Significant other, and my DS and her husband.  Including me 7 total.   But we still have to take care of Gpa P.  So tonight I have gotten the following prepared:

4 pounds of mushrooms and onions sauteed in butter (extra prepared to be frozen for mushroom soup another day) garlic and a splash of Gravy Master.

Stuffing with sausage, onion, celery, butter (of course!) vegetable broth and bread cubes. 

Pierogies (a throw back to my Italian Great Grandparents who lived in Austria....I grew up hearing a combination of German and Italian)

Potatoes peeled and ready to be boiled for mashed potatoes (for DH)

Turnip peeled and cubes ready to be boiled for mashed turnips (for me!)

Brussel sprouts trimmed and halved, ready to be roasted with garlic, olive oil and bacon.  

Did I mention this is NOT a low fat day?

Vegetable peelings all saved to go into the largest crock pot with the neck to create stock (to be frozen)

We will put the turkey in the oven as we leave to get my Mother.  

Cranberry sauce (whole and jellied) and gravy.  

I also made broccoli rabe and sausage (pre cooked and taken from the freezer) for today's lunch.  

I cooked down two pounds of kale in vegetable stock with garlic.  This was frozen for a future creation of Kale/White Bean/Sausage soup. 

I still have to take the pies out of the freezer, and add some things to the freezer for use on a later day. 

Did I mention the two loads of laundry?

All this as well as billing, studio newsletter, rescheduling other educators students, teaching some of my and some of their students.  I get frustrated with the was truly not bad from the studio south, yet we had a lot of cancellations and no shows.  It was so bad that I suggested one teacher stay home with her kids, no sense her driving in for two students (I actually am the closest to the studio at almost 20 minutes of travel on a dry took 35 minutes not for weather related issues I felt, but holiday is coming issues.) The other educators are at least 30 minutes, some 45 minutes away from home. 

I managed to get a workout in, and some more ribbons cut for some projects.  

I also reminded myself with the openings to today's blog post that I have much to be thankful for.....after having a moment of huge resentment.    I will share it here, and I know it will be considered by some to be petty.  Please know that you don't live in our day to day situation, and things like this happen every day. We provide for 4, sometimes 5 people.  Those that provide seem to never enjoy what we provide.  Sometimes, it just pushes me a bit over the edge. 

We have a family who gifts us their farm raised eggs.  They have given us at least 4 dozen eggs in the last six months.  I have never tasted one.  DH has had one breakfast of them, and I chose to give the two left that time to him as he works hard.  

Gpa Paul ate 8 of the last dozen that I brought home on Friday night.  DD had three (and I do not begrudge her those)  but there is 1 egg left.  And after the weather/studio stress I dealt with I just wanted to cry.  And when I tried to talk to my Dad about it (after DH teased me a bit about being resentful....I stated to him that I was having a resentful moment) he just said but you said they were there, and I didn't eat all of them.  I said to him, but Pops, you seem to forget that there are other people here.  I want you to have some of them, but you always seem to have ALL of them.  I had to get it out, or it would have eaten at me for days.  It won't change this behaviour.  He consumes alot, (and I resent that it doesn't show) He has a problem, he thinks that the food will go bad, and he has to eat it all.  If it's open, he eats it.  We have hidden food, locked up food, marked doesn't matter.  It's part of our daily life.  

When DH and I discussed this, he said to me, then we don't bring so much good food into the house, and you and I will enjoy these good things when we go out. 

Seems extreme to me.  But if that's what we need to start doing, I guess that's what we will do. 

So forgive me my moments of failure, dear reader.  I am just human, and am not always the perfect daughter/wife/mother/teacher I hope to be.    A Happy Thanksgiving to you all.  

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Free Turkey!

So, I did most shopping at Shop Rite these last 6 weeks.  I made sure to only buy on sale/clearance/with coupons.  I spent EXACTLY 400.00.  The only non perishables I bought in those weeks were discounted sausage (all sorts), eggs (never more than .99 a dozen) yogurts (only on sale and with coupons) milk, lemonade (DH special treat), ricotta cheese and select produce (when Broccoli Rabe is .89 cents a pound I stock up!)  All other items were canned/cleaning/paper good.  

Here is the proof that I got my free turkey.  

But we aren't done.  DH wants a fresh turkey for Thursday.  I have figured that with the Big Y coupon it will be cheaper than purchasing a fresh one at BJ's.    I also plan on getting one more frozen turkey for .59 a pound at Stop N Shop. 

Ham Bone Soup

I have been trying to make room in the kitchen freezer for a turkey, so more use it up cooking!  I always keep vegetable peelings in plastic containers for just this project.  I also had a ham bone in the freezer.  Both came out, and went into the crockpot over night.  The peelings contained onion skins, celery ends and carrot tops.
The meat just fell off the bone.  I strained the broth, saving every bit of meat, and added ground pepper, chopped onion, corn, lima beans and two cans of small white beans rinsed.  Here is the final result 6 hours later.  Gpa P said it was a winner!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Zaycon Prep Day

So, this past Friday was Zaycon chicken pick up day.  My friend Margaret H is always the designated pick up person as I'm usually teaching.  I had great guilt over this, so I shared 5 strip steaks from our local grass fed CT raised beef purchase to assuage my guilt (and make room in the freezer, lol)

We had each ordered 40 pounds of chicken at $1.49 a pound (incentive price as we had bought ground beef in August....and we both have loads of that left too).  The price as I have mentioned then skyrocketed to $2.49 a pound (still a good price for hormone/antibiotic free boneless skinless breasts) .  Then a week before delivery the price went back down to $1.89 a pound.  I pounced, buying another case of 40 pounds (we planned on sharing that third case)  Margaret tried to purchase another case herself, but the delivery amount for our location sold out before she could get in on it.

When pickup day arrived, she mentioned to the gentleman loading her truck with our three cases (remember, 120 lbs) that she had tried to order more, and he said today is your lucky day.  And she was texting me that she had gotten TWO MORE CASES and needed to know when my DH would be home to let her into our second fridge.

Since I was teaching, I don't have a picture of our fridge, but here is a picture of hers, with three cases of chicken

My DD took our two cases out and drove to the studio on Saturday, where we transferred them to my vehicle and then we drove to Margaret's Mum's house.  

With Margaret and I trimming and cutting and DD vacuum packing we got 160 pounds of chicken vacuum packed in less than three hours.  Our friend Melanie L came and picked up 20 pounds, and a friend of Margaret's also received 20 pounds.  

Next purchase, I'm taking the day off.  We tried to think about marinating, grilling, other cuts or preparations but we just couldn't fit in more work. 

Yum Yum, Zaycon chicken.  

Here is a picture of Margaret's fridge AFTER the chicken was all packed in the freezer.  

Making use of left overs

Making room by using up leftovers.  Need room for the 80 lbs of Zaycon chicken (another post)

We roasted a chicken this past week, and I also made soup. 

I always prep the vegetables for the soup stock that I create overnight while I'm preparing the roasting chicken.

I froze the left over white meat that I didn't use up in previous meals, which I plan on 
turning into a pot pie!    I had coupons/saving star deals on pie crust, so it was cheaper to buy it then try to make it on my own (not one of my strengths in baking, maybe some day!)  So, left over chicken (already paid for) pie crust (.90 cents after all deals) one jar chicken gravy (.75) frozen vegetables from garden and past deals (free) plus one onion (a nickel maybe?)  A great frugal venture (as long as you get the deals).   Plans change.   Everything except pie crusts went in crock pot today for stew.   

Three dinners out of one chicken.  Not to shabby!

We also had one last ham from our half of a pig that I have written about earlier. 

We had ham, potato salad and broccoli 

Today I made crescent purses with the leftover ham, an onion, dijon mustard, leftover broccoli.  Pulverize it in the food processor.  The crescent rolls were purchased with coupon and savings star deal, so I paid $3.50 for two roll packages.  Not cheap, but a treat.  I have yet to create a pastry product that works well for this one recipe, so it was definitely a special purchase.  8 more lunches created for the cost of those rolls.  .44 cents a meal.  I'm not complaining.  

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cauliflower Soup

A very frugal filling soup.  

One oversized locally grown cauliflower        2.99
Large Onion                                                       .15
celery top                                                           .15
Two pats of butter                                              .25
carton of vegetable broth                                 1.00
Quarter cup hormel real bacon crumbles           .50
Quarter cup store brand shredded cheese          .40

The day I made it we had 6 soup bowl servings.  I had another cup the next day, I had another soup bowl today and I froze 4 more servings in individual containers.   .45 cents a serving!

Celebratory Sauce with meatballs and sausage

When the Uncle comes we cook. This is his arrival dinner plan. Johnsonville sausage mild Italian. 2.85 pounds purchased at BJ's warehouse for just $4.50 with coupon.
48 meatballs. Little bit larger than a golf ball size. 2 1/2 pounds of 85% lean ground beef bought fresh this week from big Y at 2.89 a pound. Combined with 1 pound of locally raised ground pork, onions breadcrumbs, two eggs, salt and pepper.

Two large pots of sauce made from a 6 pound can of Contadina Crushed tomatoes (purchased a while ago at Costco, and it was time to use it up) two one pound cans of Tuttoroso crushed tomatoes with basil.  A large batch of garden basil, dried oregano.  Two large onions chopped and one clove of garlic chopped and softened in olive oil.  Secret ingredient, several pats of butter.  Meat added, simmered for 5 hours on the lowest setting. 

Final result

House Party, fun way to try products for free NO Cost to you (and noreferral link from me)

A lot of fun if you get chosen to host a 'House Party'.  I haven't done one in the last few years,  I recently tried to get in on, and was chosen for a Tazo Chai party.

You do have to blog about it (if you have one) post pictures on social media and jump through a few hoops on twitter/facebook, but it only take a few minutes.

I usually host the event at the studio with my ensemble.  It's an easy way to give them a treat as well as get some freebies for me.  I will be hosting these beverages with the ensemble this week!

In the past I have gotten a coffee maker (best one!)  Dozens of glade products, Aprons, cutting boards, bowls, samples to share with 'guests' plus free coupons to share too.

This one I really didn't get a 'keeper' for future use item, but I did get a over a dozen TAZO tea bags, a carton of their concentrated Tazo Spice liquid, game ideas, cups, and coupons for free products to share with my guests.

Here are photos of what I received.  I was impressed with the packaging.  Came delivered by UPS.

Visit and see if you qualify for a party today!

Finished Pantry Door

My house was built by my Grandparents in 1958.  As a child this pantry had a 'country bar' double swinging door.  I used to love to play with them, and see them.   I was disappointed when my Mom removed them when it became our immediate families home.  My Mom hung a curtain on a pressure rod.  I never liked it.

Now it's my and DH's home (with my Dad Gpa P and our daughter)   This pantry has been an eyesore and bone of contention for me for the last 6 years.

Not any more!  Our great handy man made a custom door for this odd frame.  $100.00 well spent, with magnetic catch, hinges and handle.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Still not sure about Zaycon? Live Web event (referral link)

Refer a Friend!
Zaycon customers who refer their friends earn Zaycon Credits which can be used towards their next purchase. My referral link is

Sign In | Sign Up
  • We tried it, it was fun. So let's do it again!
  • This Friday at 10am, it's an encore of our very first live webcast!
  • Learn about: What is Zaycon, What's in the box, ask questions in real time!
Proudly Announcing an Encore Zaycon Foods Live Event!
We had lots of fun during our very first Zaycon Foods Live event two weeks ago, and apparently so did all of you who participated. Thanks to your enthusiastic response (and to how much we like seeing The Two Matt’s ad-lib act), we’re doing it again– and this time, instead of a small test audience, everyone is invited.

This Friday, 10/24, at 10 AM Pacific Time, you can join up with dozens of other Zaycon Foods fans to interact live and…
- Ask members of the Zaycon Team questions and get answers in REAL TIME
- Watch Matt the Driver cook a meal right before your very eyes!
- Learn about our chicken and what makes it the best (hint: freshness and price)
- Learn a bit more about what makes Zaycon “tick” from Matt H. and Matt K.
This encore event is free for all Zaycon Foods enthusiasts, and our Zaycon Foods Live events are a great way for your friends and relatives who don’t know about us to get acquainted with our quirky company. Invite the whole gang – you never know what the Matts might say, but you know you don’t want to miss it!
Just head to this link at 10 AM on Friday and we’ll see ya there, live online!
See ya in the kitchen!
Team Zaycon

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A new way to try products for free (referral link)

We all like getting samples in the mail.  I'm checking out this new program.  Smiley360.  I am adding my referral link, and will add more information as I learn about it this evening.  It's free to join, couldn't hurt!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Broccoli Rabe and Sausage planned leftover

Yummo, Broccoli Rabe, one of my favorites.  I bought three pounds last week when Shop Rite had it on sale for .89 a pound.  An amazing price for this good for you green.  I cooked some last week for a side dish, and this week I cooked down the last two pounds. This time I also added just two links of italian sweet sausage crumbled.  So it became a meal.  I just use olive oil, some water and some chopped garlic.    So far, we have gotten 5 servings out of it.  There are at least 5 more. Approximately .32 cents a serving!  YES!!!!!!

I froze the other 8 links worth of browned crumbled sausage for another day.

SNAP! New way to save at the grocery store. Referral link and other ways to save discussed (no smartphone needed)

I have had good luck with payouts with previously reviewed apps of Savings Star and Ibotta.  I have cashed out several times (totaling over $65.00) without any problems through Paypal.  Cashout on these apps start at $5.00 through paypal or with a few gift card choices.  I have also saved alot with Target Shopping Cart (SC)  You DO NOT NEED A SMART PHONE!  Google Target Shopping Cart. You can print off your scannable to you UPC and laminate it keeping it in your purse.

The jury is still out on Checkout 51, as you cannot cash out until you hit $20.00.  I am at $11.50.  Cash out is only a check they mail to you.  I cannot find a way to refer you, and it looks like you DO NOT NEED A SMART PHONE!

Now Snap (previously I believe SnipSnap) has been acquired by Groupon.  I found this app more interesting than SnipSnap, so I bit. Snap requires a $20.00 minimum for you to cash out, and a check will be mailed to you.  So it will take me a while to accumulate.  I really like that this program has lots of produce.  I have already logged in for a $1.00 back from apples, bananas, green beans and lettuce.   No assigned stores, just take a picture of your receipt showing these items and the money is saved to your account.  You DO NOT NEED A SMART PHONE.  You can do it from a regular computer.  Here is my referral link, I will be compensated if you join through it.

I was also able to 'triple dip' with the bananas on checkout 51 (.25) and the lettuce 20% back from Saving Star.

Saving Star you do NOT NEED A SMART PHONE.  You link it to your rewards cards at local stores.  You can create it online.  You can choose payout (after just 5 dollars) to your bank account, paypal account, gift card (I just found this out, and am THRILLED!) or donate it to a charity. Savings Star was created by Upromise.

I would re-check out these companies.  Things are changing for the better for those of us who do not have smart phones.  *Full disclosure, I own a business, and use my smart phone, tablet and laptop to run this business.  All my family members have smart phones.  We are a tech family, and I use them to the fullest.

Here's to getting money back!

Target and a freebie in the mail this week

Nice Sample received from my DM.  Three K cup samples from Chock full of Nuts and a coupon with the opportunity to get more.  I tried the Dark Roast, it was OK.  I'm very picky about coffee.  Some are this way about wine.  

Being that it's such a tight month, it was time to use the Target gift cards I've been hoarding.  I earned $35, but gave one to a student who came to her lesson on her birthday.  (The amount of reasons students don't attend lessons are getting out of hand, so I wanted to reward her).  So I had $30.00 to spend.  

It was also spend $25 get $5 off of frozen foods week.  So, with only my phone, and gift cards (no coupons) off I went. (DD came too, girl time!)

She also had a gift card of $30 that she earned at work, which she used within this order for jewelry and makeup, so I will not count those purchases in this post. 

Tostito tortilla chips 3.99 

Beef Jerky               3.99 on sale

Goldfish bulk box    6.99 not on sale, but compared to smaller pkg on sale, this was the bargain

AF wheat bread        2.42  after 10% shoppingcart* discount

Wonder Bread          2.29   less 1.00 snap

Target frozen vege    3.14   big bag of individual servings of veggies, good for me plus 10%  SC*

Target frozen vege    3.14   big bag of individual servings of veggies, good for me plus 10%  SC*

Jim Dean Bkfst 4pd   6.16   4 good for DH breakfast sandwiches, quality ingredients, 250 calories

Evol Burrito Chix       3.49   enough for the two ladies in the house to split for lunch

Evol Burrito Beef       3.49    enough for DH or Gpa P for a lunch quite oversized, why ladies would split

PF Changs eggrolls     3.03   treat for DD 5% off with SC*

4 Pace salsa, LARGE 7.47  total for all 4.  Got 10% SC* AND was buy 3 get one free DH snack of choice

2 Campbells crock pot sauces 3.98 PLUS got a box of Minute Rice Brown FREE

MP chunk cheese    5.50 got two for 2.25 each after 10% *SC)

MP snack tray cheese 3.39 after 10% *SC

Total 62.47 less saved gift cards -30.00 now 32.47 less 5.00 phone coupon $27.47 out of pocket, and $1.00 back from so $26.47.  I was happy with this haul.  

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Monday short ribs

The last of our local grass fed beef short ribs.  I had 9 short ones and two very long ones.  I shook them in flour, pepper and salt and then browned them in olive oil.  The two large one's are shown in the fry pan.  The one in the glass bowl represents the size of the other ones.      After they were all browned, I de-glazed the pan with apple cider vinegar, onion, garlic, some brown sugar and the last of some bottled barbecue sauce.   Everything went into a crock pot on low for 8 hours.   So far we have gotten 8 servings of meat, with two more left.  I will be making stock from the bones.  Not my favorite, but DD and Gpa P really enjoy them.    Accompaniments were homemade coleslaw, mashed potatoes and canned corn.  

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Meals this past week

So far this week we have had turkey chili (used 40 ounces of ground  meat prior to cooking) two cans of kidney beans, a can of refried beans, onions, peppers, two cans of tomatoes and spices.  In one crock pot was all but the beans, in another crock pot all the beans/tomatoes/a third of cooked meat. 

Two quiches, one broccoli onion, one zucchini onion.  Both had a tablespoon of bacon jam in it. Broccoli Rabe. 

I baked a pan of Immaculate Brownies that I got with Ibotta and a .75 cent coupon doubled.  Still pricey, but they were pretty tasty.  

Six pork chops that came from the $1.49 a pound pork loin.

A roasted chicken, with mashed potatoes and broccoli. 

Chicken soup made from the remains of roasted chicken. 

Lunches were from assorted leftovers. 

Today I made fake baked potato soup.  (Cauliflower, half onion, one box vegetable broth, celery, black pepper, one big tablespoon of sour cream, half stick of butter, quarter cup of shredded mozzarella and quarter cup of hormel real bacon bits)  Since most of these items have been in previous planned purchases in past months, the only this month cost was a HUGE and beautiful head of cauliflower for $2.99. 
I also made two bags of Marie Callenders cheese biscuits.  I believe after coupons these cost me a total of .50 cents.  Each bag said it was to make 5 biscuits each.  If you wanted them the size of your head!  I got 21 biscuits.