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Life is beautiful whether you're soaking in sunshine or caught in a thunderstorm. I take the beauty of life for granted too often. I have a supportive husband who I don't want to live life without, a beautiful son who is always reminding me of the simple things that really matter, and an independent daughter who is teaching me to throw schedules out the window and live in the moment. My day is made when free samples fill my mailbox. I love discovering a new product and sharing it with others. I hope you will enjoy reading my posts and will share your stories with me as well.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wicked Whoopies

I had my first Whoopie Pie in May of 2009 when Mike and I took a trip to Boston.  Mike was so excited for me to finally try what he had grown up with all his life.  I had never even heard of a Whoopie Pie.  I still remember my first bite and just how delicious it was!
Getting ready to take a bite of my first Whoopie Pie

Mike's parents live in Lubec, Maine but his brother and sister and their families live here in Greenville, SC.  Recently we had a family supper together and my in-laws surprised us with a very special package.  A huge basketful of Wicked Whoopie Pies, one for each of us including the children.  These pies are HUGE and I'm not even going to mention how many calories are in each one.   The company, Isamax Snacks, my mother-in-law ordered them from have their bake shops in Maine.   I was very impressed with how fresh and delicious they were!  The filling was out of this world being so light and creamy!  I could go on and on about how incredible these are but it's seriously making me crave another one right now.  This would make a great gift to send someone especially if they've never experience a Whoopie pie before.  Isamax Snacks offers a huge variety of different flavors of Whoopie pies so it's very difficult to make a decision on which one to buy.  For more information on ordering, click here.

Have you eaten a Whoopie Pie?  What's your favorite flavor? 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Buy 1 Get 1 Free Coupon for Lipton Iced Tea 20 oz

"Like" Lipton Iced Tea on Facebook and print a B1G1 coupon for a 20 oz. Lipton Iced Tea.

$20 off your purchase of $50 or more at Woman Within

Use code WW52293 to receive $20 your purchase of $50 or more at Woman Within.  This discount applies to merchandise total, not shipping and handling costs.  Cannot be combined with any other offer.  Expires on 5/31/11

French Toast Casserole Recipe

My sister-in-law, Rebekah, makes this delicious French Toast Casserole and she emailed me her recipe so I could make it for breakfast this morning.  I made a few changes to it since Mike is more of a salty breakfast guy.  The changes were good but I like it better the original way.  This would be great to serve at a brunch along with the Paula Deen hash brown casserole so people have a choice between salty or sweet.

12 slices of bread (sandwich, French, Italian, whatever you have on hand) 
1 stick of butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk

Melt the butter and mix in brown sugar until dissolved.  Pour into a greased 9x13 pan.  You can cut the bread into quarters for easy serving or just place the slices in the pan.  Depending on the type of bread, you will have 1-2 layers.  Combine eggs, milk, and cinnamon and whisk well.  Pour on top of bread.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  In the morning, bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Variations - Add pecans or walnuts to sugar mix.  Add vanilla or pumpkin pie spice.  The variations I used last night were homemade sourdough bread, 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice along with the teaspoon of cinnamon, walnuts, sausage, and bacon.  Mike wanted something more salty in his so I thought the sausage and bacon would be perfect for him.  Turns out that he wasn't in love with it so we'll just stick with making him a different casserole and this one can be mine.  The walnuts were a perfect addition and my favorite part in this casserole is the nice brown sugar and butter crunch that it adds to the bread. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Two Codes for 15% off at Kohl's

Here are two different codes to save an additional 15% on everything at Kohl's.

If you have a Kohl's Charge Card, use code SPRINGPYD.  This code expires on May 10th.
If you don't have a Kohl's Charge Card, use code SAVE15NOW - this code cannot be combined with Pick-Your-Day.  This code expires on May 3rd.

Happy Shopping!

Huggies Diapers on Sale at Target this week

 Target has Huggies diapers on sale this week.  Jumbo packs are priced at $8.99 each and when you purchase 3 packs, you receive a $5 Target gift card.  Combine that with using a $3 coupon for each package and it comes out to be $4.32 each.

I had $25 to spend for New Beginnings this week and I needed to buy more diapers, wipes, baby soap and lotions.  They had their multi-packs (3 packs) of wipes on sale for $5.49 and using a $2 coupon brought my cost down to $3.49.  I also was able to pick up 3 bottles of baby wash and 3 bottles of lotion and my final total came to $25.34.  These items will fill three duffel bags that will go to three different babies coming into foster care.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Kids eat Free tonight at Schlotzsky's

Having trouble deciding what's for dinner tonight?  Head over to Schlotzsky's Deli where kids eat free every Tuesday night.  The great thing about this is that you can have two kids eat free per adult, adults don't have to buy a combo meal, and you can use their convenient drive-thru window!  We have a foster parent training meeting tonight so this will be our supper tonight.  I normally order one original sandwich and one turkey kids meal.  It's enough food to feed both Mike and I and the total cost is under $4.  And for an extra bonus, they have one of my favorite drinks....Raspberry Lemonade!!  Every franchise is different so you will want to check with your local restaurant for all the rules on the Kids Eat Free night.

Free Events offered in Greenville, SC

I love living in Greenville, SC!  I love this time of year especially because there are so many great free events that are offered to the public.  

My favorite is the Farmer's Market that will be opening on Saturday, May 7th.  It's from 8 am - 12 noon every Saturday from May until October.  There are more than 50 vendors that sell anything from fresh veggies to fresh flowers and local honey and gourmet foods.  This one vendor makes homemade peanut brittle that is out of this world.  I sent a package to my brother in Afghanistan last year and he loved it!  For more information about the Farmer's Market, click here.

Free Moonlight Movies are featured every Wednesday night in May and September.  The movies start at 8 pm and end by 10 pm.  You are allowed to bring your own coolers, snacks, and beverages.  Just remember that pets are not allowed.  The movies that are shown are from 1950's to 1980's.  For more information, click here.

Free performances of two Shakespeare plays are offered every Thursday 7 pm - 9 pm from May 26th until August 7th. This is another great family event where you can bring your own picnic and eat while watching a performance. For more information about these plays, click here.  Donations are accepted at the end of this event.

Music by the Lake is offered at Furman University which is only a few minutes outside of Greenville.  These concerts are featured at 7:30 pm every Thursday evening from May 26- August 4th.  One lucky person will win a free picnic basket filled with goodies at each performance.  Well-behaved pets and picnic baskets are allowed.  For more information, click here.  If Baby G will cooperate and I'm feeling up to it, I would love to try and make the May 26th performance of "The Magic of Andrew Lloyd Weber."

These are just a few options of free events offered in the Greenville, SC area.  For more information and to see a listing of other events, please visit www.greenvillesc.gov.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Glade Sale at CVS

Another disappointing drugstore stop this morning was CVS.  Both Walgreens and CVS had a small amount of great deals this week.  Guess I'll be saving my ECB's and Register Rewards for another week.

 They had Glade products on sale with $3 back in ECB's when you spent $10.  I just received my free Glade Spring Collection product coupon in the mail Saturday so combining that coupon with two other manufacturer's coupon I was able to purchase two candles and two air fresheners for $1.43 out of pocket.  I also received $3 back in ECB's.  I saved a total of $19.25.

Very few deals at Walgreens this week

I didn't even bother taking a picture of the two items I picked up at Walgreens this morning.  The sales were very disappointing this week.  The only items worth mentioning are the following:

Nexcare Bandages - $2.99 less $2.99 Mail in Rebate would make your final cost FREE.

Stayfree Maxi Pads - $2.99 with $2.99 back in Register Rewards makes final cost FREE.

Walgreens was out of stock in the bandages but I picked up one pack of maxi pads and used $1 coupon so these were free plus $1 in overage.  I also picked up a sympathy card.  My final cost was $1.66 out of pocket, saved $5.80 and I received $3 back in Register Rewards.

Corn on the Cob Sale at Publix Grocery Stores

There is nothing like fresh grilled corn on the cob!!  And it's on sale this week at Publix.  12 ears for $3 which makes it 25 cents each!  I picked up 12 ears this morning and will probably go back later this week to buy more to put back in the freezer.  This sale is good through Tuesday, May 3, 2011.

The only other item I picked up at Publix today was a box of Pampers diapers on sale for $19.99.  I used a $5 Publix Coupon combined with a $3 manufacturer's coupon which made my final cost $11.99 for 96 diapers.  Included in the box was $30 worth of coupons P&G booklet.  Yay for more coupons!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Seven Stores...Spent $36.17 out of pocket!

Do you ever have one of those days you really want to go shopping but it's not in your budget to just blow money on items you don't need?  Today was one of those days for me.  It's been so long since I've just been shopping for fun.  I spent about 30 minutes this morning figuring out a game plan on how I could go shopping without blowing our budget.  Mike was coming home early this afternoon so he could help me run errands.  Here's what we accomplished this afternoon and I got my shopping fix without overspending.

Deposit check at Bank

Drop off Clothes at Storage Unit for New Beginnings

Old Navy - Maternity shirt originally $16.50 but was on clearance...Total Spent $8.89

Drink Stop at Sonic - Free coupon for a Route 44 drink...Total Spent $0.00

Breakout Bras - I had credit in the store so I was able to buy a new bra and still have credit leftover for my next visit...Total spent - $0.00

Babies R Us - this was one of my favorite stops because I wanted to go ahead and buy Ty's birthday present so it would be one less thing I needed to worry about once Baby G arrives.  They had a BOGO sale on Fisher Price toys.  I bought a Musical Activity Walker and Musical Ocean Wonders Friends Table.  The walker was $24.99 and the table was on clearance for $24.98.  Since they had the BOGO, the table was free.  I had a $5 in store coupon and a $5 manufacturer's coupon for the walker.  I used $16.19 in store credit so my out of pocket cost was $0.00.

Mr. K's Used Bookstore - my Mom LOVED this place in TN.  I was so happy when one opened up in Greenville about a year ago.  I brought some books for trade credit and used that credit to purchase 3 Hardy Boys books.  Mike grew up reading these books when he was a boy and it's a great series that our boys will be able to read when they get older.  So I've been slowly finding these books at Mr. K's and building our collection.  After my trade credit my total out of pocket cost 80 cents.

Target - When you register for a baby at Target, you get hooked up with a lot of great coupons.  By combining the Target coupons with manufacturer's coupons,  I was able to get some great deals.  While I was shopping, Mike went to the cafe and spent his $1 coupon on popcorn.  Big mistake because Ty was hollering for popcorn the entire time.  You know how hard it is to feed popcorn to a 9 month old while taking out the kernels so they don't choke?  I used $22.25 in coupons and then used an additional $22.15 from a gift card.  Total out of pocket cost - $1.23.

Bi-Lo - I only took a picture of the items that were excellent deals with coupons.  I purchased several other items that I needed for upcoming meals with company.  I spent a total of $25.75 at Bi-Lo and saved $24.73.  But the great deals that I was super happy about were:

Heinz Ketchup priced at $2.15 - I used $2 coupon so total cost was 15 cents
Hellman's Mayonaise on sale for $3.29 - I used 75 cents coupon so total cost was $2.54
Cascade Dishwasher Detergent on sale for $2.99 - I used $1 coupon so final cost was $1.99
Snuggle Liquid Softener on sale for $2.89 -  I used 75 cent coupon so final cost was $2.14
Stouffer's Roasted Chicken Frozen Dinner on sale for $1.98 - I used $1 coupon so final cost was 98 cents.

So I got my shopping fix and spent a total of $35.37 out of pocket today. 

"Arise, My Love" by Newsong

This is the perfect song for this weekend! Easter is so much more than the Easter bunny, egg hunts, Easter baskets, new outfits for church, etc. It's about Jesus and what He did for us so we can spend Eternity with Him one day!

Free 8x8 Shutterfly Photo Book ($29.99 value)

 Use code CT25-BBMXBFMZ-K9TKC8 for a free 8x8 Shutterfly Photo Book.  This is a $29.99 value.  Limit one per household and this offer ends on May 31, 2011.  Shipping charges will apply.  I've actually never used Shutterfly so I'm not sure how expensive their shipping charges are but this might make a great Mother's Day present at a reasonable cost.

Click here to get started on your photo book. 

Don't forget April's giveaway is a $20 gift card to Shutterfly.  You can enter the giveaway here.

15% Coupon at The Children's Place

Here are two different coupon codes for 15% off all your purchases at The Children's Place


These codes expire on June 19, 2011.

When you shop online, don't forget to check out through Ebates to receive additional cash back.  The Children's Place has 3% cash back right now on all purchases.  I recently received almost $30 from cash back on purchases I made online and most of them were just 25 cents and under.  But it all adds up in time.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

20% off at Gymboree

Use code 11ZBHP88CW83441 to receive 20% your entire purchase at Gymboree.com.  This code expires on May 31, 2011.

$10 off $50 plus free shipping at Land's End.com

Use Code PARENTS and PIN 3135 to receive $10 your purchase of $50 or more plus free shipping at Land's End.  This code expires on May 15, 2011.

Grape Salad Recipe

This is one of my favorite salads!  I would get so excited when my Grandma would make it.  She normally made it at Easter.  We are going to go over to some friend's house for Easter lunch and this is one salad that I'm definitely bringing!  It's going to bring back special memories!

2 cup grapes, I prefer red but you can use green or black or a variety to add color to the salad. 
2 cups whipping cream
1 package of cream cheese, softened
1 cup mini marshmallows
2 tablespoons mayo
1  tablespoon lemon juice
Slice grapes in half.  Beat whipping cream, cream cheese, mayo, and lemon juice until smooth.  Add grapes and marshmallows and stir with a spoon.  Refrigerate for a couple of hours, serve chilled.

My picture up-loader isn't working right now....sorry I can't post a picture of what this delicious salad looks like. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Waffle Cone Wednesday's

One great thing about Wednesday is the 99 cents waffle cones at TCBY.  I'm always excited when I have an errand over on that side of town where TCBY is located so I can stop in and get my chocolate soft serve yogurt waffle cone!  This offer may only be available at certain locations so you may want to check with your local TCBY before making a special trip.

Quick Macaroni Salad with Chicken or Tuna

Mom would make this macaroni salad a lot during the summers when it was too hot to cook.  It's so simple to make and with adding lots of fresh summer veggies from, it's so delicious!

One box of Elbow or Seashell Macaroni
Two cans of Tuna or Chicken, whichever you prefer
Chopped Carrots, Celery, Pencil onions, black olives, pickles, red and yellow pepper
Salt and Pepper
Shredded or Cubed Cheese

Boil pasta until tender.  Rinse well in cold water and drain.  Add rest of the ingredients.  I normally add about 1/2 cup of mayo but you can add more depending on how much you want.  Last night I used cubed mozzarella cheese.  The great thing about this recipe is you can add your own favorite veggies and take away any that you don't like.  Peas, pickles, chopped egg are some more items you can add.  You can experiment with other dressings such as Italian or adding a little mustard.   Refrigerate for a couple hours.  And this is one of those recipes that I think is always better the next day for lunch.  I normally serve this with toast or crackers. 

It's already Wednesday???

I can't believe it's already Wednesday!  I feel so far behind on my blog posts and my weekly chores.  I'm hoping to catch up on some of my blogging today.  I had several unexpected appointments come up Monday and Tuesday that I just didn't have time to blog.  I was so tired last night that I went to bed at 8 pm!  So with a glass of ice cold Cherry Pepsi and a good night's rest, here's to getting lots accomplished today!

Monday, April 18, 2011

CVS Deals Week of April 17th - 23rd

I was so happy to see Aveeno products go on sale this week at CVS.  I love Aveeno and the face lotion is the one and only lotion my husband will actually use.  The face lotion is normally $17.99 for a 4 ounce bottle.  See below for what I paid for it!

One Aveeno 18 ounce bottle lotion and one 4 ounce Aveeno face moisturizer - Buy $25 worth of Aveeno products and receive $10 back in ECB's.  The face moisturizer was on sale for $15 and the lotion was $10.  I used a $3 manufacturer's coupon so my final cost with ECB's was $6 each!

One Edge Shaving Cream - on sale for $3.29 with $2.30 back in ECB's to make final cost 99 cents.  Mike is now fully stocked in shaving cream for the next 2 months!  I'm getting so excited to finally start seeing my stockpile ready for 2 months of no shopping!

One GE Energy Efficient Lightbulb - on sale for $2.99 with $2 back in ECB's.  I used $1 manufacturer's coupon so my final cost was FREE.  Do you realize these light bulbs cost $6.19 each?  That is crazy expensive!

1 CVS Green Bag Tag - 99 cents with 99 cents back in ECB's so this was free.  My friend Bridgette keeps telling me how great this works because every 4 times you use it at CVS, you will receive $1 back in ECB's.  This is a super easy way to get ECB's!

One Cover Girl Loose Face Powder and One Cover Girl Blush - Buy $10 worth of Cover Girl products and receive $3 back in ECB's.  The powder was $6.29 and the blush was $4.99.  I used a $5/2 manufacturer's coupon so with ECB's my final cost was $1.64 each.

My final out of pocket cost was $31.42 and I saved a total of $24.02.  I also received $18.29 back in ECB's so all these items cost me $13.13 in the end.  

Once again your out of pocket costs can be lower if you decide to do multiple transactions.  I'm not a huge fan of ticking off the cashier which normally happens when you ask for multiple transactions so I just stick with one transaction and hold onto my ECB's for later purchases.  ECB's have a longer expiration date than Walgreens Register Rewards so it makes it easier to keep them for a great deal in upcoming weeks.

Walgreens Deals Week of April 17th - 23rd

Here's what I picked up at Walgreens today:

Scott Naturals Paper Towel 6 pack - $5 but I used a $1 manufacturer's coupon along with $1 Walgreens coupon to make final cost $3 which equals to 50 cents per roll.  I'm now fully stocked in paper towels for the next 2 months!
Four Cans of Campbell's Cream of Chicken and Mushroom Soup - on sale for 79 cents with in ad coupon combined with a 40 cents/4 coupon made each can 69 cents.

Softsoap Antibacterial Handsoap - on sale for 99 cents with in ad coupon combined with 35 manufacturer's coupon made final cost 64 cents.

Two Colgate Toothbrushes - on sale 2/$6 with $4 back in Register Rewards.  I used two $1 manufacturer's coupons so both toothbrushes were FREE.

My final cost out of pocket was $10.12 and I saved $11.07.  I also received $4 back in Register Rewards to be used on my next purchase!

The only other item I wanted was their canned vegetables on sale for 49 cents with in ad coupon.  They were completely out of stock. I will check with another Walgreens this week and will ask for a raincheck if they are also sold out.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Free Maggie Moo's Sundae Stimulus on Monday, April 18th

WooHoo!  Free Mini Crumb Cake Fundae from Maggie Moo's on Tax Day, April 18th.  This nationwide ice cream social will take place from 3 pm - 6 pm.  One per person while supplies last.

Life Without Limits by Nick Vujici book review

 I was so excited to read Nick Vujicic's book, "Life Without Limits".  I had recently seen a YouTube video of him and the story of his life so when I found out I could do a book review on this book, I couldn't wait to start reading.
I don't think I've ever met anyone who has a story like Nick's.  He was born without any arms or legs but still has such a positive attitude on life.  His central message is the most important goal for anyone is to find their life's purpose despite whatever difficulties or seemingly impossible odds stand in their way.  The emotional pain he suffered as a child being teased, made fun of, dealing with coping with his missing limbs was very hard on him.  He actually tried killing himself twice.  Once by trying to make himself fall off the kitchen counter and then by drowning himself in the bathtub.  Thankfully, God didn't allow either one to happen.  I can't imagine the emotional and physical pain he went through as a child.  Nick shares how God has been his source of strength and once he found his own sense of purpose, he found the confidence to build a rewarding and productive life.  Nick is now a motivational speaker and the director of the non-profit organization Life Without Limbs.  You can read more about Nick Vujicic here.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes from the publisher through the Waterhouse Multnomah.  The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Glorious Day by Casting Crowns

I love this new version of the old hymn, "One Day". This was a hymn I used to almost dread singing in church. Not that it's a bad song but we would sing it so fast and there were so many words that you would be completely out of breath by the end of the song. It was one of those For Pete's Sake do we have to sing that song again? This new version by Casting Crowns really allows you to think about the words you are singing and worship God without wondering when the song will be over. This song excites me so much thinking about what God has done for me and knowing one day we will all be worshiping with Him in heaven!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

HoneyBun Cake Recipe

My friend, Melissa, made this honeybun cake the other morning for our Sunday School breakfast.  I'm so glad she made my husband bring some home to me since I had to stay home due to a little sick guy.  It's extremely delicious and is the perfect match to a cup of coffee or hot chocolate!  Thanks Melissa for letting me share this recipe!

2/3 Cup Oil
1/2 Cup White Sugar
4 Eggs
1 Cup Sour Cream
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
4 Tablespoons Milk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease 9x13 pan.  In a large bowl beat the eggs, add oil, white sugar, and sour cream.  Mix well.  Add cake mix and stir until mixed.  Pour 1/2 mixture into pan.  Mix brown sugar and cinnamon.  Spread 1/2 of sugar mix over the batter in pan.  Spoon on remaining cake batter, then cover with remaining brown sugar mix.  Use a knife to swirl batter.  Bake 30-40 minutes.  Mix powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk for glaze.  Pour glaze over warm cake. 

20% Coupon at Kohl's

Use coupon code EASTERTIME for an additional 20% off  your order at Kohls.com  This coupon is only valid if you use your Kohl's charge card and the code expires on April 20, 2011

They are also offering Kohl's cash through Sunday, April 17th.  For every $50 you spend, you receive $10 in Kohl's Cash.

Quick Stop at Bi-Lo Grocery Store

I was at Chick-Fil-A for their free breakfast this morning (I'm going to have breakfast withdrawals next week) and Bi-Lo is right next door so I ran in for a couple items on sale this week.

Dole Canned Pineapple - on sale BOGO making each can 82 cents.  I used a 50 cents coupon from Sunday's paper which doubled so my final cost was 32 cents each.

Wisk Laundry Detergent - on sale for $3.99.  I used a $2 manufacturer's coupon along with a $1.50 Bi-Lo kiosk coupon to make my final cost 49 cents.  Lately Bi-Lo has been giving me more in- store coupons which are great when combined with a manufacturer's coupon for additional savings.

Sunbeam Bread - on sale $1.99.  Crazy that I paid more for the bread than the other items total.

I spent a total of $3.27 out of pocket and saved $9.65.  I also have 60 cents saved up in Fuel Perks which I MUST remember to use before the end of the month.  Last month I forgot and ended up losing almost $1 in Fuel Perks.  It was a very sad day for me.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Garage Sale earnings buys Flowers for Flower Beds

We had a garage sale this past Saturday.  I really didn't have a huge amount of stuff to sell and was thinking we would only make about $50.  I was even thinking about just canceling the sale and taking the items to Goodwill because it wouldn't be worth the extra time to get ready for the sale.  But I figured whatever we did make could go for flowers for our flower beds by the front porch.  We haven't planted anything in those beds for a year so it was time they got some tender love and care.  The garage sale was a huge success.  Weather was perfect and we had steady traffic all day long.  In the end I was surprised at the amount of "junk" we sold and the amount we made.  We made $165 in sales, completely went over the amount I thought we would make.  After the sale, my husband went to Lowe's and picked out the flowers for the beds along with potting soil, and Boston Ferns.  He even cleaned out the flower beds (they were covered in weeds) and planted the flowers.  To me, flowers just make a house look better like pictures on a wall make a room look better.  Here are some pics.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Free Energy Efficient Light Bulbs!

 A couple weeks ago when I received my utility bill, I noticed where they were offering free energy efficient light bulbs to those who qualify.  I ignored it thinking that the qualifications would be very strict and more than likely we wouldn't qualify.  But as I went to pay the bill a couple weeks later, I decided to take a minute and just go online to check it out.  All I had to enter was my account number and press enter.  Next screen comes up tells me that I qualify for 15 free energy efficient light bulbs!  I couldn't believe it!  Sure enough, on Saturday, I received my box of light bulbs.  For those of you in the SC area that use Duke Energy for your utilities, you might just want to check here to see if you qualify for these free light bulbs. 

Walgreens Deals Week of April 10th - 16th

I wasn't too impressed with the Walgreens deals this week but I picked up a couple of items that were on sale.

Kraft Mac n Cheese (3 boxes) - on sale for 69 cents each with in ad coupon

Blue Diamond almonds (2 cans) - on sale BOGO and I used a 60 cents coupon to make final cost $1.44 each.

Two Bags of Dove Chocolates - on sale 2/$5 and I used $1 coupon from Walgreens booklet and $1 coupon from Sunday's paper to make final cost $1.50 each.  These bags will go to Mike's office for their candy jar.

Carefree Pantyliners - on sale for 99 cents and receive $1 back in Register Rewards.  I used a 50 cents coupon so they paid me 51 cents to purchase these.

Bic Hybrid Razors - on sale buy one get one 50% off.  I used $3 coupon so it made my final cost $3.74 each.  They have 6 cartridges in each pack so these razors should last Mike the rest of the year.

I spent a total of $13.62 and saved $22.17.  I also received $1 back in Register Rewards.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Menu Planning this week

So this is my 3rd week of menu planning and can I just be honest and say that I'm already tired of planning menu's.  I don't know how people do this week after week or even plan their entire month's menu.  I admit that it's a lot easier knowing what you are going to fix that night for supper but just planning it in general is a pain to me.  But here's how it will go for this week:

Monday - Taco salad
Tuesday - Pasta with broccoli and grilled chicken strips
Wednesday - Potato soup and a side salad
Thursday - Chicken Tacos
Friday - Mike is headed to an XBOX party that night so I'll be on my own which means cold cereal or peanut butter and jelly
Saturday -  OYO (on your own)

Free Breakfast at Chick-Fil-A in the Greenville, SC area

WooHoo!!!!  I don't have to make breakfast this week....it's free breakfast at Chick-Fil-A all week long!  This is an advertised promotion in the Greenville, SC area locations so you might want to check your local Chick-Fil-A to see if they are running the same promotion.  My husband and I both went together this morning at 6:30 am and got our breakfast burritos.  Here's a picture of him chowing down on one of his favorite menu items there.

Here is a list of the free breakfast items available each day:

Monday - Chicken Breakfast Burrito
Tuesday - Spicy Chicken Biscuit
Wednesday - Chicken, Egg & Cheese Bagel
Thursday - Sausage Biscuit
Friday - Yogurt Parfait
Saturday - Cinnamon Clusters

CVS Deals Week of April 10th - 16th

Here are the great deals I picked up at CVS this week.

$5.14 for all these items with coupons and ECB's

3 Boxes of Kellogg's Cereal - on sale for $1.66 each - used $1.50/3 coupon to make each box $1.16

4 American Greetings Birthday Cards - variety of prices but I used a Buy 3 Get 1 Free coupon and a $3/$12 coupon printed from the CVS kiosk to make each card $1.86.  I know you can find cards a lot cheaper than this but all of these are so cute and funny and one is a musical card for my nephew.

2 Large Bags of Easter M&M's - on sale for $1.97 - used $1 coupon to make each bag $1.47

1 Neutrogena Blush - $12.99 - not on sale but I used a $3 coupon to make my final cost $9.99.  Definitely not a great deal but I love Neutrogena products and I've been out of blush for the past week and I couldn't live without it any longer.

1 Biore Face Wash and 1 Biore Pore Strips - Buy $15 worth of products and receive $5 in ECB's.  I used a BOGO coupon so my final cost with coupon and ECB's was $1.25 each.  After I got home, I found out that there is also a $2 online coupon I could of used so that would of brought my total down to 25 cents each.

1 Russell Stover Coconut Cream Dark Chocolate Egg - 74 cents and receive 74 cents back in ECB's so final cost was FREE.  Nothing is better than FREE CHOCOLATE!

I spent a total of $10.88 out of pocket after coupons and ECB's and saved $55.40.  I also received $5.74 in ECB's to be used on my next purchase.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chicken Tacos Recipe

 My sister gave me this delicious recipe for chicken tacos.  I've made it several times and each time I have to call her up asking for the ingredients.  It's so simple I don't know why I can't remember it.  I'll just blame it on pregnancy.  Might as well take advantage of that excuse while I can.  I'm going to post it on my blog so I'll never have to bother her again.  :)

2-3 boneless chicken breasts
1 Tablespoon Chili Mix
3 Tablespoons Lime Juice
1 Cup Corn (optional)
1 Jar Salsa

Place chicken breasts, chili mix, and lime juice into crock pot.  Cook on low 6-8 hours until chicken is tender.  Shred chicken.  Add corn and salsa and stir well.  Serve over tortilla chips or inside flour tortillas.  Add your favorite taco toppings!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Basketball, Baseball and Childhood Memories

On Monday night, I watched the championship basketball game with UConn Huskies vs the Kentucky Wildcats. I'll admit that before I got married I didn't give a hoot about basketball or baseball. I liked my UT Vols football but that was about as far as I would go when it came to sports. My husband quickly changed my attitude and converted me into a Red Sox Fan and a UConn Huskies fan. He has such a passion for both teams and sports that it was easy for me to catch on to that same passion. I was surprised at how quickly I learned the players names and the rules and concepts of both games. And yes, I even have my favorite players such as Big Papi (David Ortiz) and Kemba Walker! I'm still considering naming Baby G after each one of them. LOL On Monday night it was the first championship basketball game I'd ever watched so of course I wasn't familiar with the famous "One Shining Moment" song that was played at the very end with all the basketball highlights. It's funny because as that song was playing, it triggered a childhood memory of my brother and me listening to a Baseball Highlights CD on our computer with the song "This is the Moment". I don't know why we loved watching it so much but we would replay it over and over again. We had the song and pictures memorized. I searched YouTube for about 30 minutes just looking for a clip of that so I could email it to my brother. I had no luck and went ahead and emailed him about it. He found the clip within minutes and had it posted to my Facebook wall. I can't even explain the emotions I felt when I watched it for the first time in about 16 years. It definitely brought back special memories. So here's the clip, I know most of you don't care anything about baseball and watching this clip would bore you to tears, but it's special to me and I just wanted to blog about it this morning.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Yoplait Yogurt Cups for 26 cents each at Bi-Lo

Bi-Lo has Yoplait Yogurt cups on sale 20/$8.  Buy 6 cups and use 40 cents off six coupon and each cup will only be 26 cents!  I have two of those coupons so looks like I'll be stocking up on Yogurt this week!  Yay!!

My Stockpile Update

Most of you know, Baby G (no we still haven't decided on a name yet) is due June 11.  My goal for March and April has been to work on my stockpile so I don't have to worry about shopping in May and June and maybe even July.   I'm completely stocked up on Shampoo, Conditioner, Hair Spray, Mousse, Body Wash, Toothpaste, and Toothbrushes.  The amount I have will last us the next 3 months.  I'm still working on toilet paper, tissues, shaving cream, and razors but hopefully by the end of the month, we should have enough to last us the next 2 months.  Then I think we should be set for our personal hygiene products.

My grocery stockpile is a different story.  Not doing so hot on that one.  It's easier to find personal hygiene sales than grocery sales, at least it is for me.  I would love to have enough staples in the pantry so all Mike has to do is buy the perishables in the month of June.  Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I can really focus on my pantry stockpiling and find some great deals.

When you stockpile, when do you decide enough is enough?  The show Extreme Couponing featured on TLC will have a new episode tonight at 9 pm.  The first time I watched it, I was intrigued but also disgusted with the amount of hoarding these people were doing.  Do they really need 100 bottles of shampoo or 200 tubes of toothpaste?  It gets to a point where you have to ask yourself are you really needing these items or are you just addicted to hoarding?  I get very excited when I find great sales or free items and it's easy to go overboard when an item is free or dirt cheap.  But unless you are planning on donating your extra items, I believe excessive stockpiling is wrong.  There's a difference between making sure your family is taken care of and having a large stockpile to look at like it's a trophy on the wall.

What are your thoughts? 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Walgreens Deals Week of April 3rd - 9th

Ty is suffering from allergies really bad right now so I made a quick trip to Walgreens to pick up some allergy medicine for him.  I found a couple other deals while I was there.  

Right Guard Body Wash - finally back in stock after their BOGO sale over 3 weeks ago.  I picked up two bottles and used a BOGO coupon so both bottles were free.  By the way, I didn't even need to use my rain check for this, they were still ringing up BOGO.

Crayola on the Go Travel Pack - on sale for $1.50 and I used $1 coupon to make final cost 50 cents.

Gillette Venus Razor - on sale for $7.99 with $4 back in Register Rewards.  I also used a $2.00 coupon to my final cost was $1.99.

Scott Toilet Paper 12 count - on sale with in ad coupon for $6.99.  I used a $1 coupon to make my final cost $5.99 which makes each roll 50 cents.

Hyland's All Natural Complete Allergy 4 Kids - $6.99 but used $2 coupon from in store booklet to make final cost $4.99.

Total spent out of pocket was $19.15 and saved $22.47.  I also received $4 back in Register Rewards to be used on my next purchase.

Chicken Alfredo Recipe

Ok, so I know Alfredo sauce is pretty simple to make but I got pretty excited when I came up with this recipe on my own and it turned out so delicious!!!  Mike said it was definitely restaurant quality.

Two Boneless Chicken Breasts
One Box of Your Favorite Pasta, cooked and drained (I just used what I had in the pantry)
One 8-ounce package of Mozzarella Cheese
One Container Philadelphia Cooking Creme
One cup of milk
Two Tablespoons Butter
1 Teaspoon Garlic Salt
1 Tablespoon Parsley
Freshly Cracked Pepper

Cut chicken breasts into small cubes or thin slices, whichever you prefer.  Melt butter in saucepan and add chicken.  Cook until chicken is no longer pink on the outside.  Add the remaining ingredients and cook on low for about 12 minutes. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Grocery Trip to Ingles

My favorite deal at Ingles this week was the General Mills cereal.  Selected varieties were on sale 3/$6.  When you buy 5 participating General Mills products, you receive a free gallon of Laura Lynn orange juice.  I bought 5 boxes of cereal and used two $1/2 coupons and one 75 cents coupon along with a $1.50 Ingles coupon.  My final cost was $1.15 a box and I got a free gallon of orange juice!

Gold Medal Bread Flour is on sale for $1.78 which is normally priced at $2.96 so I picked up two bags.  I make homemade sourdough bread or cinnamon rolls every week so bread flour is a staple item in our house.

The Golden Girls got hooked up with special treats this week.  Alpo canned dog food was on sale and I used a BOGO coupon to make each can 32 cents each.  I also picked up two package of bones and two packages of dog treats.  Both were on sale and I had coupons for each.  They are in heaven right now since it's been awhile since I've bought them any special treats.

Ziploc containers were on sale for $2.27.  I bought 3 packs and used $1.50 coupon and a 75 cents coupon to make each pack $1.52.  Somehow my stash of containers seem to start dwindling the more Mike brings his lunch to work.  Does anyone else have this problem?  :)

Hamburger Helper on sale 10/$10 - I bought 3 boxes and used 75 cents coupon to make each box 75 cents.

I bought 34 items and my total was $40.64 with a savings of $41.76.

CVS Deals Week of April 3rd - 9th

I'm so bummed because I headed to CVS about an hour too early this morning.  When I got home I checked out my favorite blog, MoneySavingMom.com and saw where Facebook was offering a $5 off $40 purchase at CVS.  I could of totally used this coupon this morning!  Oh well, I can't cry over spilled milk.

Here are the deals I picked up today:

Right Guard Body Wash - Pay $3.99 and receive $3 back in ECB's making final cost 88 cents

Gold Bond Ultimate Body Wash - Pay $5.88 and receive $3 back in ECB's.  I also used a $2 coupon from Sunday's insert to make final cost 88 cents.

Crest toothpaste - Pay $3.49 and receive $2.50 back in ECB's.  I also used a $1 coupon to make my final cost FREE.

Oral B Floss - Pay $3.49 and receive $2.50 back in ECB's.  I used a 75 cents coupon to make my final cost 24 cents.

Prilosec OTC 42 count - Pay $24.99 and receive $5 back in ECB's.  I also used $1 coupon to make my final cost $18.99.  This medicine is EXPENSIVE!  My husband has to start using this for his acid reflux, does anyone know of a cheaper off brand that works just as well?

Mentos Fruit Chews - On sale 2/$1 and I used a 50 cents coupon so my final cost was FREE.

Tide Stain Release - on sale for $3.99.  I used a $3 coupon so my final cost was 99 cents.

Two Oral B Toothbrushes - Pay $2.99 and receive $1.98 back in ECB's.  I used a BOGO coupon so my final cost was 50 cents each.

My total was $35.80 and I saved $30.15.  I received $17.98 back in ECB's which makes my final total $17.82 for all nine items.  And that was basically what I paid for the Prilosec so everything else was pretty much free. So far year to date, I've saved $405.15 at CVS!  Woohoo!!  My goal is to save $1,000 this year at CVS.

I made one other transaction for Mike's work and that was for the Puff's Tissues that were on sale for 87 cents each.  I bought five 100 count boxes and used a 50 cent and a 25 cent coupon to make my final cost 72 cents per box.   Spent $3.86 and saved $6.35.

This Week's Menu

Here is our supper menu for this week:

Monday - Chicken Alfredo with steamed veggies (I'm trying a completely new recipe for the Alfredo sauce so if turns out delicious, I'll post the recipe on my blog later this week)

Tuesday - Baked Potato with Steamed Broccoli

Wednesday - Homemade Pizza

Thursday - Take out (we have an orientation class at the hospital for the new baby from 5:30 -6:30 that night so it will be easier to just grab something before or after our class)

Friday - Omelets and Toast  (we love having breakfast meals for supper)

Saturday - OYO (on your own)  these are nights where we pretty much just raid the refrigerator and use up leftovers, make your own sandwich, etc.

What's on your menu this week?  Are you trying any new recipes that you'd like to share?  Feel free to comment and copy a link to your blog sharing that recipe or your week's menu.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cake Recipe

So I have been craving homemade chocolate chip cake for two days now.  Yesterday I finally found a recipe for a chocolate chip cake that was completely homemade.  There are many recipes online where you just add certain ingredients to a boxed cake mix.  Which is fine, but I wanted HOMEMADE.  So I started to make the cake yesterday but realized I didn't have enough white sugar.  It was rainy and cold and I didn't want to drag myself or Ty out in the nasty weather so I waited another day.  I picked up the sugar at the grocery store this morning.  Went to make the cake this afternoon and ahhhhh, we only had 1 egg left and this calls for 4 egg whites.  Seriously, was it a sign that I didn't need this chocolate chip cake?  Pregnancy cravings over ruled and I packed Ty up and we went up to the store to pick up a carton of eggs.  

The cake just came out of the oven and you can be sure that I sliced myself a big piece while it was still hot.  Chocolate chip cake with a cold glass of milk.....totally yumminess!

Here's the recipe:

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 egg whites
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 bag (12 ounces) mini chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups confectioners' sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream
Chocolate curls, to garnish (optional)

Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Coat two 8x2-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray.  Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.  Set aside.  With mixer on medium speed, beat butter and granulated sugar in bowl until light.  Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  On low speed, beat in flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating after each addition.  Stir in 2/3 cup of mini chocolate chips.  Divide batter evenly between prepared pans.  Spread level.  Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely.  Place remaining chocolate chips in a glass bowl.  Microwave on high 30 seconds and stir.  Heat 45 seconds more, stir until smooth.  Set aside.  In large bowl, beat together confectioners' sugar and heavy cream until blended, 1 minute.  Beat in half of the melted chocolate, then remainder.  Beat 1 minute until shiny, smooth, and good spreading consistency.  Spread one cake layer with frosting.  Top with second cake layer.  Finish spreading frosting over the rest of the cake.  Garnish with chocolate curls.

*I decided not to try the icing this time.  All I wanted was plain, simple chocolate chip cake this time.  The cake was seriously exactly what I was craving.  Not too sweet and perfectly moist.  I also made a bundt cake rather than a 2 layer cake since I wasn't going to make the frosting.  This cake definitely is a winner and I can't wait to make it again, next time with the frosting!

April's Giveaway - $20 Gift Card to Shutterfly

 The giveaway for the month of April will be a $20 gift card to Shutterfly.com.  Shutterfly is a great website to create personalized invitations, announcements, photo books, thank you notes, and so much more! There will be two ways to enter the drawing.   

  • Be a follower on my blog.
  • Post a comment on whether or not you've used Shutterfly before and what you had printed.
 This giveaway will end on Saturday, April 30th and the name of the winner will be posted and contacted on Monday, May 2nd.