Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Monday, December 6, 2010

Pine-Sol Scented Chocolate

I have been in a work/Christmas coma.  There is so much going on!  We finally decorated the tree yesterday.  The stockings are out of storage but not yet on the mantle.

Funny story about Dec 26th clearance shopping.  I had bought an Advent calendar at CVS last year on clearance after Christmas.  I liked the design on the box and didn't plan to eat the chocolate.  My husband had other ideas.  I put it out the other day, and later he told me he didn't feel so great.  He said he'd eaten a piece of chocolate from the calendar, and that it, honestly, tasted like Pine-Sol.  Hehehehehehehehe.  (That's me being a mean wife, laughing at his misfortune.)  It had been in a storage container with Yankee Candle tarts (including Mountain Pine) for the past year.  I did promise to buy him some non-tainted chocolate to substitute.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tis the Season

Ahem.  How is everyone?  I apologize for the lack of posts lately, but I've had a cold all week.  Amazing how much a little cold can slow you down!

Today is, unfortunately, the last day of B1G1 free holiday drinks at Starbucks.  This goes from 2-5 pm today.  I had an eggnog creme frappucino the other day--very good!

I ran a few quick errands this week, mainly for toilet paper.  Such an exciting life I lead, I tell you.  Beyond that, I read a lot of magazines in bed and watched the leaves seem to change color overnight.

They've also put up the tree at the mall.  Sorry that I cut off the top.  I got a shopping day in on Tuesday as I took a day off work.  And then I woke up with a sore throat Wednesday morning. :(  At least I should be better for Thanksgiving!

Speaking of Thanksgiving, you know all the super cheap and/or free food you are getting right now with your coupons?  Buy a few extras.  Donate them to the Food Bank or another cause.  Please and thank you!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ultimate Christmas Countdown Checklist | Real Simple

(Photo from Real Simple)

Here's a little something to help with your holiday planning.  The turkey is bought for Thanksgiving, the wrapping paper and Christmas cards are bought, and Christmas gift shopping is 40% done. It's nice to have some things checked off my list!

I have shopped like a maniac this weekend.  I was off Friday so spent the day shopping with my parents and sister.  Jimmy was at work, because, well, someone's got to pay the bills! ;)  Okay, and a day of shopping would be like a day of torture to him.  I haven't been able to get him to do it since we've been married.  Dang!

Yesterday was shopping, a 1st birthday party, and more shopping.  I have made index cards with everyone's names on them and have what I've bought or am going to buy for their stocking on the front, and the same thing with the actual gifts on the back.  That helps me remember what all I have so one person doesn't end up with 20 items.  Or with 2 of the same items.  Ahem.  I just knew that I had bought one thing for my mom, but could not find it.  I remembered thinking at the time what a great deal I had gotten.  So I bought another for an equally good deal, got home to put it in the Christmas stocking bag and found the original.  It's nothing that two can't be used, it was just good to validate that I am not dreaming up things I've bought!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Beautiful Day for Christmas Shopping!

It was a gorgeous day today!  This was thankfully was not on the bridge that got stuck.  After work today my sister and I went Christmas shopping.  We scored some great deals, most of which can't be discussed, but I can say that if you go to the mall, there are deals to be had!

Have you checked out the Black Friday ads yet?  Well, the ones that are out, that is.  It's going to be an early day for me this year!  Target is opening an hour earlier than last year, at 4 am.  Am I one of those crazy people who gets up at the crack of dawn?  Yep!  I can barely sleep Thanksgiving night out of excitement, so I'm usually up without the alarm clock.  I know, I probably need a therapist, but I do love the hustle and bustle and great deals! :-)

Also keep an eye out in some December magazines for Hallmark coupons.  These are $5 off a $5 or more purchase, including sales deals.  I'm sure there are exclusions, but I used that coupon too fast to even read it!  Well, my sister used it and got two rolls of Christmas wrapping paper for $1.48 total.  The wrapping paper is Buy 1 (4.99) Get 1 for .99 cents.

I also stopped in Bath & Body Works and now my house smells like Evergreen.  Mmmmmm.  Love the smell of Christmas!  How cute is this Wallflower?

My sister ordered my doggies super-cute Christmas bandanas.  You can go comment on her post to try to win one! :)  Here is my parents' dog Chloe modeling hers:

So when we take our Christmas picture the dogs are going to be wearing theirs.  Too cute!  Yes, our dogs will be in our Christmas picture.  We have no children.  Don't judge. ;)  And apparently after Christmas last year when I bought the clearanced cards, I felt like we should do picture cards this year.  I didn't quite think through all the everything involved on that one.

In other news, Rite Aid is having some great sales this week!  I bought a few things this week and only spent $4 out of pocket.  I saved $30.  I'm telling you, watching those Video Values ads are the way to go.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Day I Survived Wal-Mart Twice

If you've been reading my blog for more than 2 seconds, you know that I loathe going to Wal-Mart.  I will go once a year, though, usually if it's something for Christmas (but NEVER on Black Friday).  Holy teryaki, we went one year on 4th of July and that was bad enough.  Yesterday Wal-Mart was having an early Black Friday sale as Sears and Best Buy have also been doing.  I'd like to think this will lessen the craziness on the real BF, but I also am an eternal optimist.  According to the salesguy at Wal-Mart, they'll be having BF deals the next few Saturdays, too, until the real day.

So I got myself up at 6:40 yesterday morning, right after Jimmy had left to go golfing.  I also got up at 6:40 this morning, too, but that's because I'm a ding-dong and didn't adjust my clock.  Regardless, the sale started at 8 am, so I got there at 7:15 am and was about the 16th person in line.  I occupied the time by texting my mom and people watching.  There was an organized line, and the salesguy came around to ask what you wanted to get so he could keep a running inventory to let the people at the back of the line know if all of the items they were there for had been claimed yet.

Around 8:07 someone realized they were supposed to start the sale.  It moved really slow at this point.  30 minutes later it was my turn!  I can't tell you what I got because something I got is a Christmas present for my sister who would still read this post even if I told her not to... :)  Anyway, up at the register, which was not working right and kept requiring the manager's key (sigh), the register wasn't even recognizing the items that I was buying.  They made a list of all of our names and told us they'd call us to come back later to pay for and pick up the items.  In the meantime Jimmy and I went up to Colonial Downs for a horse race.  More on that in a minute.

I came home to a message so went again at 4 pm.  Ugh.  Of course the shift had changed and no one knew what I was talking about.  It was crowded and noisy, and ugh.  20 minutes later I had my BF purchase in hand.  A very good deal, for sure, but hopefully by next Saturday they'll have all the kinks worked out for everyone.  The sales listings for next Saturday should be on Walmart.com towards the end of this week.

Jimmy and I determined yesterday we are not horse race people.  I had bought a Groupon a few months ago to Colonial Downs.  Last Christmas we'd gone behind the scenes at Churchill Downs, so I thought it would be neat to see an actual horse race.  We were seated right by a window, so had a good view, not to mention there was a little flat screen tv at our table.  As part of the Groupon, we were each given $2 bets.  Now, let me mention we're not betting people.  The statistics next to each of the horses info in the book?  Might as well be Greek.  Jimmy doesn't want to deal with placing a bet, so gives me his $2 bet.  Soooooo... I pick the horse with the name I like the best.  Needless to say, in the race he was in, he and only one other horse (out of about 10, mind you), were the only ones who had never won a race.  Whoops.  Though, I do like to root for the underdog!  Who did I choose?  Tidewater Pretty Boy.  Highway, our dog, is a pretty boy.  We actually call him Snow White, but Pretty Boy is close.  Love him to death, but he's so much prissier than our female dog.  Except when it comes to rap music.  He loves him some Snoop Dogg.  We had a music channel on one day and Snoop Dogg came on.  Highway went crazy and barked through the whole thing and ran around excited.  Not sure what that's all about, but it was funny.

Back to the races, though, here are a few pictures of our day.  By the way, we left after the 5th betting race.  There were 14 races slated, and we'd already been there for 4 hours total (including the non-betting races).  Maybe had we made money on Pretty Boy, I might have been more interested, but there was too much of a time lag between the races.  Regardless, it was fun.  It was definitely something different to do on a Saturday than sit home and watch tv.

Oh, did I even need to mention Pretty Boy didn't win?  He was doing good until the last turn and then he fell way back and came in 6th.  Oh well.

Here are some pictures of our day at the races.

And a 3-D poodle sweater to round out the day. :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Living at Target

I'm very embarrassed to tell you how many times I've been to Target this week.  FIVE!  I'm even more embarrassed to tell you I still need to go back tomorrow because I couldn't use all my Target coupons in one transaction.

I got some Halloween plates and cups for next year, a bag of candy, then I've bought various grocery items and clearance items.  I haven't taken a picture of everything, because, well, my husband might see it.  Haha, j/k!

Christmas shopping is coming along well.  I still have only stocking stuffers for my dad, but everyone else is at least 50% done.  How is it coming for you?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My Birthday!

I never made it to Farm Fresh the other day.  By the time I got off work, I was exhausted, and nothing was so hot that I couldn't live without.

Today is my birthday.  Yay!  (I get VERY excited about birthdays, don't mind me! ;-)  I was excited about everything I got in the mail in way of free things, but it got even better this morning.  I checked my e-mail and had a whole new slew of coupons.  Aaaaah, what a great day! ;-)  I've mentioned a few things that I got, but let me tell you, even if you have everything go into a junk e-mail account, you should sign up for stores' newsletters!  I got things from Victoria's Secret, The Limited, Starbucks, Ben & Jerry's, Coldstone, Dairy Queen, Carraba's, Sears, etc.  That's just what I can remember.

I went to Target this morning after my mom and I went to Peninsula Pet Pantry's yard, book, and bake sale.  I got a couple of books and made a donation.  Back to Target--it was a madhouse!  However, it still was better than Wal-Mart.  My Target has a lot of things on clearance right now, and I've gotten some good deals this week.  Pictures later, but I got Woolite Dark Wash for around $5, marked down from $11.  I bought 3 bottles.  I use that on my dress pants, because, well, as much as I pay for them, they better stay looking good!  There were also some other odds and ends things.  There were still a ton of Halloween things left today, so I'm hoping for a good clearance selection come Monday.  Or so I can at least snag plates and napkins cheap for next year.  I'm not so much interested in the candy, mainly because come this evening I will have had 3 birthday cakes and will need to lay off sugar for the next year or so to make up for it.  Ha!

Besides that, I didn't set foot in a drug store this week.  I went to Target and I did drop in Kroger, but the trip wasn't real successful.  As in, the only thing I really remember buying was bananas.  See, not real exciting. :-)

I'm off to read my mail.  And then watch Hoarders.  Yay.  My sister bought me season 1 for my birthday.  Such a good sister!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I realize I've been MIA this week.  Is it already Wednesday?  I shopped Friday and Saturday and was like a zombie on Sunday.  Years ago I went with one of my friends on a shopping trip where we hit 6 malls in 1 day.  This year my mom, sister, and I hit 4 malls in 2 days, and it took an extra day to recover.  Ha!

I'm heading out to Farm Fresh this evening after work.  My refrigerator doesn't look bad, but I'm having my family over for Halloween dinner, so I need to pick up some things for that.  I went to Target on Monday and stocked up on a few things--I'll talk about that later.

Hope the week is treating you well!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Wreck and Recipes

Nothing exciting on the home front.  My husband and I were rear-ended in my car on Saturday.  Last time we were rear-ended he was driving my car, too.  I told him to mess up his own!  He did--once.

Insurance, car rentals, car repairs, what fun.  No one was hurt, thankfully, just inconvenienced.

I'm trying to not spend money this week since I'm going shopping this weekend.  I did buy myself a birthday present from my husband this past Sunday--a wireless printer.  I have a laptop and having to go connect with the printer every single time was old.  Too much exercise, anyway.  This one also has a scanner in it, so I can help my dad scan all the magazine articles that he's been collecting forever.  So happy early birthday to me! :-)

My mom, sister, and I are going to Richmond Friday and Saturday for girls' time for my birthday.  It's going to be cool weather, pretty sights, great shopping, lots of fun.  I'll be sure to share pictures!

We've been doing good eating at home this week.  Granted, it's only Tuesday, but that's besides the point.  I made potato soup last night, we're having chicken, green beans, and french fries tonight, sweet and sour meatballs with some kind of potato side tomorrow, and probably the rest of the potato soup Thursday night.  Guess who's still trying to think of ways to use all those potatoes she bought?

In the meantime, laundry awaits me today, so I'm off to do that.  Hope everyone's having a great week!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Picking Up a Pumpkin

The free pumpkins were a good size.  You just had to sign your life away to get one, but that's besides the fact.  No, not really, you just had to sign an info sheet and tell them how you found out about it.

The little patch:

That's Daisy, the Vomiting Princess on the right.

Highway made sure there were no pumpkin pieces going to waste on the kitchen floor while Jimmy was carving out the pumpkin.

The finished product, which obviously needs a dentist.

Friday, October 15, 2010

It Was All Going So Well...

Today was a good day at work.  I got to the early meeting on time, I got my work done, I didn't eat another cupcake.  Then I left work and went to try out a new hair salon where walk-ins are welcome.  I didn't have to wait at all and got a great, cute haircut!  I got home and my dogs were happy to see me and my house was somewhat cleaned (Jimmy was off today).  I got some nice things in the mail and only 1 bill.  That was for the Sunday newspaper that brings my coupons so I don't mind seeing that bill.  I checked my e-mail in peace...

Then I got up to go to the bathroom and it was all over.  Daisy, my female dog (I'll have to find the picture of when she was a strawberry for Halloween to post) woke up vomiting this morning and although the back door was open while I was in the bedroom checking my e-mail, she vomited ALL over the living room floor.  For some reason, 1 day a month she vomits all day long, seems pitiful, and then the next day is completely over it.  Thankfully the living room floor is tile, only I then remembered my mop was broken.  I'm not sure why I still have it as I hate when people keep things that don't work, but I digress.  Four Swiffer Wet Jet pads later and I decided I needed a real, honest to goodness mop.

That, of course, meant a trip to Target.  I think Target was beginning to miss me, anyway.  Needless to say, one mop turned into 24 items and $79.  I did save $35, though!  I had found that our dog treat pile was getting low and I had a coupon from Purina that's going to expire in a couple of weeks, so I got those.  They had Woolite dark wash on clearance for $7.62 so I got some more of that as I only have about 2 more loads left in my current bottle.  I decided to get a replacement pad for the mop I bought which was $5.  The mop was $10.  Guess who threw things in the buggy without looking at the price when I got to the mop aisle?  Why is the replacement so expensive?  Heck, I'd put so much else in my buggy I was just happy I had remembered the mop!

I check out, feeling pretty happy, and then I notice it's gotten dark outside.  It's raining.  There went my cute, professionally styled hair in about 20 seconds.  So my picking out a  free pumpkin pictures are no longer going to be as wonderful as I imagined.  (By the way, since I posted that yesterday I got an e-mail today saying they are only giving away the free pumpkins on Friday evenings now.  I'm not sure if that's because they're running out of pumpkins or because there wasn't much interest.)

I guess I really do have a Friday Fails story now!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fall Tour

I finally broke out my fall decorations today.  Take a tour of my living room with me.

I got these candles at Yankee Candle last year.  They're white, but when the wax starts dripping it drips red, like blood.

I got this at TJ Maxx.  I love their holiday selections.  There are also smiling ghosts on here.  Nice and happy. :-)

So cute.  I got these at CVS this year.  This is what they are supposed to look like.  Jimmy likes to move the accessories around.

This is the magazine rack I snagged for $12 on clearance.  I watched this baby for quite a while.  Can you believe the original price was $120?  And that it's still $60 on their website?  Sheesh!  Now if I can get him to move the tv stand so it can sit nicely, that would be great.

This was a treat at work today, made at the Hilton Bakery.  There were some cute cupcakes!  This was definitely the least pretty of the bunch (but still really pretty!), but it's red velvet, so I wasn't going to pass it up!  I didn't have my camera at work to get a shot of the rest.

Hope you've enjoyed your tour!

We're going to get our free pumpkin at Peninsula Town Center tomorrow.  The picture in the e-mail (above) shows full size pumpkins, so we'll see what they actually give us.

Pumpkin Patch in Town Square

October 8th - October 31st

Monday - Friday 6:00 - 8:00 PM
 Saturday - Sunday 2:00 - 6:00 PM

Visit our Pumpkin Patch in Town Square! One free pumpkin per guest.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"I Think I Have a Fear of Touching Raw Vegetables"

Jimmy's grocery trip was mostly successful.  He let me know he got everything on the list except the vegetables.  He calls me and tells me "I think I have a fear of touching raw vegetables."  What in the world?  He tells me he picked up something and immediately started itching all over.  Ends up it was collards, so I told him to just not pick them up.  He is allergic to mango skin, so this is believable, but I guess he thought he had a fear of it because it was so immediate.  Silly Jimmy.

Then he told me this old lady had to laugh at him.  He called me at work to ask what kind of cake mix to get since they didn't have German chocolate.  I did put on the list that he could get whatever kind if they didn't have it, but he told the lady after he got off the phone that he wanted to check with me so he didn't get beaten when he got home.  The lady laughed and looked at his list and coupons and asked did he now appreciate his wife more?

I didn't get pictures of everything.  There are two bags of potatoes (I guess he could touch them since they were in bags already), two cans of cinnamon rolls, and two cans of crescent rolls that didn't make the pictures.

Excuse the mess in the background.  I wish I had a good excuse for it, but I really don't. :-)

He saved $19.30 with coupons and paid $49.90 out of pocket.
I didn't specify a couple of things so he got the more expensive versions, but did tell me that had I not specified Old El Paso refried beans on the list he could have gotten me the store brand cheaper.
I won't break it all down because it's a lot, but I'm happy I got a break from grocery shopping one week!  He did so well I might have to send him again...

Empty Refrigerator

I am way behind on shopping this week.  Monday afternoon was busy, yesterday I was in bed with a migraine, I work late today, here's hoping I get some done tomorrow.  Thankfully, Rite Aid is really the only place on my list.  And Farm Fresh.

Farm Fresh, however, is Jimmy's job today.  We are completely out of milk.  I have given him a list with coupons attached, so I'll let you know later how it goes. ;-)  Remember they are doubling coupons up to $1 today, and they have had some great deals lately!  Don't buy all the milk before Jimmy gets there, though!

My refrigerator looks kind of empty.  I think it's because he finally drank the rest of the Sobe.  That was tucked into every nook and cranny.  Also, he's eaten down some of the yogurt.  My shelves need to be full again!

He did go to get some rice out of the cabinet yesterday and said, "Wow, I didn't know we had all this food down here!"  And I wanted to say, "Wow, welcome to this house!  You're in charge of dinner for a week."  But I didn't. :-)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Who, Me?

MIA?  Me?  Ha!  I had a list of things I needed to run and get Saturday, but nothing on that list got accomplished.  It was all good, though, as they didn't get done because I was tired from doing two charity walks.  I'd much rather do good that way as nothing on my list was for other people!

First, my mom, sister, and I headed up to Richmond for the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) walk.  It was a sunny (hot) day, with the best turnout yet (over 800 people)!

Then I came home and tried to take a nap.  You'd think with football on that would have been easy.  I mean, it puts me to sleep at night when my husband is watching it.  But, no, no nap for me.  Later that evening my mom, sister, and I again headed out with my coworkers for the Light the Night Leukemia and Lymphoma Walk.  This time it was at City Center in Newport News.  Such a pretty place.

Yesterday I cut coupons, vacuumed every inch of my living room, dining room, and kitchen (it is all tile), vacuumed the guest room and am still unsuccessfully trying to get the smell of dog vomit out of there (thanks, Daisy).  I need to clean the rest of my downstairs so I can have a professional come out and clean it.

The only good thing I have found is a Refresh Air candle I bought on clearance at Target a while back.  It does what it says--it is odor neutralizing.  At least while burning, and you know what, as long as I can buy some more, I'm happy until I get that professional out here.  I have Blooming Orchid.

Ooooh, and I finally found some Seventh Generation Free and Clear products!  When in Richmond I remembered there was a Whole Foods, so we stopped there and I got two bottles.  That should hopefully last me until we go back up to Richmond for birthday weekend in two weeks.  I'm going to do a big stock up then.  I used their store locator on the SG website, but only one store actually had any Free and Clear products, and those were dish soap and laundry detergent.

The plan today is to make it to Rite Aid, CVS, and Target after work, so if all goes according to plan, I'll have trip details later.  We'll see. ;-)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Already?

And I don't mean already like I'm bummed!  This week has been a whirlwind.  I vaguely remember it involving a money-making trip to Rite Aid, a so-so trip to Farm Fresh, asparagus, lots of cereal, and lots of work.  Yep, that's about it in a nutshell.  Pictures later. :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Doing Good

With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month (among other things: National Liver Awareness Month, Celiac Awareness, Healthy Lung Month, National Orthodontic Health, National Down Syndrome Awareness, National Spina Bifida Awareness, Lupus Awareness, Rett Syndrome Awareness Month, BackCare Awareness Week, and Mental Illness Awareness Week, as well as World Mental Health Day, National Depression Screening Day, Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day, World Food Day, International Osteoporosis Day, and International Stuttering Awareness Day -- source),
SC Johnson is giving you the chance to show your support and in turn they will show theirs.  You can "Pink Your Profile" on Facebook, and for every picture that is "pinked" they will donate $1.00 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Fall Is Definitely Here

Ummm, BRRR!  Fall hit with a vengeance!  Time to switch out the clothes in my closet and put away the flip flops.  Yipee!

You do realize now, that there are less than 100 days until Christmas, right?  How's it coming along?  I need to pull out my winter decorations and take inventory of the Christmas gifts I bought on clearance last year and packed up with the decorations.  I've been buying small things throughout the year so my bank account doesn't go crazy all at once.  I keep all the gifts together, make a list of what I have, and then wait until the last minute to wrap them.  I get credit for at least buying early, right?  Actually, I put off wrapping presents.  Call me crazy, but I like looking at what I've bought people.  To be honest, I just like everything about this time of year.  Especially if there is snow. :-)

This afternoon my mom and I are going Christmas shopping.  Well, she's going birthday shopping, but I'm doing Christmas shopping.  I haven't been able to find the item I'm looking for for my sister, so I'm hoping a different mall will have it.  I'm not sure if this is something carried all the time or not, so I'd just feel better getting it now, assuming I can find it.

Okay, I'll cut back on the caffeine and go to work now.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hitting the Sales

The yard sale went well.  The rain stopped long enough to have a great day.  It came back again yesterday and today.  Thursday morning the schools had a 2 hour delay because of the rain.  My house is getting back to normal, so I'm happy about that!

After work today, I ran by CVS and Target. 

First, you will notice that I'm in a snacking mood today.  Don't judge.  PMS happens.
All Crayola at CVS is B1G1 50% off this week.  I've been looking at this 3D Sidewalk Chalk at Target for a while now for Jimmy's cousin for Christmas.  (We'll not talk about then I went to Target and all their Crayola chalk items are on clearance.)
The dry erase crayons are probably going to be better received than dry erase markers, so I got those to go with the $2 dry erase removable sticky pad I found clearanced at Target a couple of weeks ago.

All in all, with my $5/$25 coupon I spent $16.04 out of pocket and got back a $9 ECB for the Revlon.
I forgot to take my ECBs from last week with me, so I had a higher out of pocket.  It happens.

Where was the glass cleaner when I had a coupon last month?
The Spongebob and Diego books were clearanced to .88 cents each.  Again, going in kids' Christmas presents.
Funny thing about the Golden Grahams:
12 oz was $2.54
16 oz was $2.39
These were the regular prices, not that one was on sale.  Obviously, I bought the 16 oz.

Select ice cream items are Buy 5, get a $5 giftcard.
Since I was going to buy 1, why not buy 5?
Remember, we're not judging. ;)

I am running to Rite Aid tomorrow.  I'm going out to dinner with friends tonight, and my Rite Aid seems to close really early.  I was going to go earlier but didn't have my Up Rewards with me.  The story of my unorganized day.

Luckily there are about 5 Rite Aids in a 2 mile radius of me (not kidding!), so I think I'll be able to get the Schick razors, Nivea chapstick and Viva Paper towels.  I'm hoping anyway.

I'd been saving my $2 Video Values coupon for Banana Boat sunscreen until it goes on clearance.  I skipped a couple of weeks at RA and when I went back in at the end of last week they only had 4 bottles of sunscreen left.  Total.  Of course those were RA brand, so my coupons weren't any good, but I was amazed at how quickly the sunscreen was scooped up.  I didn't pursue more than one store as it was going to be a good deal if they had it, but not a search around for it.  However, the deals this week definitely will be!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Advantages of Having a Birthday

I was going to title this advantages of getting older, but beyond turning 16 and being able to drive, what advantage is there?  Right.

My birthday is at the end of October and my mailbox is filling up with goodies!  My mom, sister, and I spend the night at a hotel in another city for our birthdays and have girls' time.  We usually go shopping, eat a lot, and just hang out.  So these mall coupons I get are going to be used for sure!  So far I have received (mainly all from shopping at their stores, even just once a year!)

- Free Starbucks drink.  Venti Pumpkin Spice Cream Based Frappucino, anyone?
- $15 Victoria's Secret Giftcard
- $15 off any purchase made with The Limited card this month.  In the past it's been a $10 giftcard, but this works, too, as I'll get points for using my card.
- and 25% off any Gap purchase when you use your Gap card.  Don't they know I currently have a 30% off coupon?  Oh well.

My husband doesn't get why I get so excited for birthdays.  Maybe if he got stuff like this in the mail he'd get excited! :)

In other news, it has been raining cats and dogs here the last few days.  I didn't even go to Farm Fresh yesterday because I was done being out in the rain.  That, and the deals were good, but not spectacular.  Not great enough to get me out there.

Yard sale preparations are moving along.  The forecast is showing a sunny day for Saturday, so let's hope the weatherman is right!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rite Aid and Candy Corn

Whew, it's a busy week!  My spare bedroom is still a nightmare as it has yard sale items in it.  It's an organized chaos, but chaos nonetheless.

I made a quick trip to Rite Aid this week because I found out the Nexxus deal was going to get even better!  It is B1G1 50% off this week, there is a $6/2 Video Values coupon, AND if you were lucky enough to snag one of those elusive coupon books from the store a couple of months back, another $2 off coupon.  When you spend $20 you get a $7 Up Reward.  After everything, I got $32 worth of shampoo (one 33 oz bottle and a shampoo with free conditioner pack) for $11.  Of course I still used a $5/$25 coupon, but put some more things in the buggy, so that discount kind of disappeared. ;)

My memory card is still not inputting, but I'll show you a picture of what I'm going to be working on:

Of course I'd like to think it's not nearly as much work as it really is going to be.  Here is the link with the instructions.

Also while at Rite Aid, I ran across some 75% off Starbucks coffee.  $9.49 bags for $2.37?  I think that if you're getting a Christmas present from me, you can be pretty confident it's going to include Starbucks (well, assuming you like coffee :)).  Plus, making it even better is that when you finish the coffee bag, you can take it to a Starbucks store and get a free tall coffee!

I also got two bags of candy corn for said wreath and some feminine hygeine products.  I paid with $11 worth of Up Rewards, spent $11.30 out of pocket and got back $8 in Up Rewards for the next great sales week.

Then I ran to Farm Fresh to grab some crab legs and margarine.  That was $17.  It's so weird to walk out with 3 items for that much vs. last week when I spent $40 and got 50+ items.

Speaking of Farm Fresh, even though it wasn't advertised yet this week, the cashier said their new policy is .99 doubles everyday and $1 doubles every Wednesday.  It had been like that the past few months on and off, but she said it's standard now.  You better believe Wednesday is going to be my official grocery day.  Boring, yes, but worth it?  Absolutely.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rite Aid October Video Values

I knew I was forgetting something.  The October Video Values are up.  Looks like some really good coupons this month!

Weekend Rundown

Friday was a blur.  It feels like so long ago.  I know I went to work and went to City Hall to get a garage sale permit.

Yesterday morning our work had a carwash to benefit one of our coworkers who was recently diagnosed with leukemia.  Then lunch with the golfers (my dad and husband), laundry, gathering and dusting off items for next Saturday's yard sale (my spare bedroom looks like a warehouse), then it hit.  A horrible migraine.  So I did nothing for the next 4 hours besides take a pill, ice my neck, take a hot bath (I don't think that helped, but it was relaxing :)), and drink a Monster Energy drink.  Darn thing put quite a stitch in my plans.  I was going to get more housework done and then we were going to have dinner with friends, but neither happened.

So then the energy drink kicked in at 3 am.  I was using it for the caffeine to kick out the migraine, which did not work, instead it had me up and ready to tackle anything at 3 am.  Instead, I stayed in bed and made lists in my head until 6 am when I finally fell back asleep.

Famous last words, but the only "usual" shopping I plan to do this week besides hit up Farm Fresh on Wednesday to get some scent free Seventh Generation products (more on that in a minute) is go to CVS.  When you buy $25 in select P&G products you can get an Iron Man 2 DVD for $4.99.  Of course I have coupons and can stockpile some tp and paper towels.  In the listing done in my head last night, that with my CVS coupon will mean I pay $11 for everything, including the DVD.  The DVD will go with Jimmy's Christmas present and I can check one more thing off the list.

Remember when I bought 12 bottles of Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day All Purpose Cleaner?  Okay, I only showed you 4 bottles, but I went back two more times over the next two weeks.  Thank goodness I bought so many, because I went to the website last night and found they now only carry fragrance-free laundry detergent.  Thankfully Seventh Generation has a Free & Clear line so I'm going to stock up on some at FF this Wednesday, because of course I have a coupon.  They constantly have coupons available on their website (love that!).  I used their Lemongrass & Thyme wipes yesterday but the scent still bothered me.  Jimmy is happy about this because he said the wipes smell like a mixture of a cab and camel butt.

That, in a nutshell, is the current excitement in my life.  After lunch my mom and I are working more on the yard sale and then I'm coming home for an early bedtime.  I'm thinking 7 pm sounds nice.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Daggone computer

Okay, well, you'll have to see my pictures later.  My memory card will not input into my laptop.  Sigh.  This better not mean my laptop is about to bite the dust!  We already had a near miss once this year, I have other plans for my yard sale profit that do not include purchasing a new computer.  Okay, well, I have no plans, but I definitely do not want to spend money on a new computer.

Anywho, Farm Fresh has really been stepping it up lately!  Their $1 doubles have been really great.  I spent $44.41 before tax, and saved a total of $58.03 which was a 57% savings.  I got to use those $3 off Wisk coupons that are expiring soon to get 32 load bottles for $1.50 each.  Guess what I'm doing this weekend?  Yep, washing everything in my house!  I have enough laundry detergent, you know.

I went to Target this afternoon.  Gulp.  The good news is I saved $15.67 plus got a lot of items on clearance, so probably saved close to $40 when you figure that in.  The bad news?  I spent $64.  Holy cow.  I did get back a $5 Target giftcard, though, does that count?  Also, about $15 was Christmas presents.  See, it doesn't look so bad now!

Time to pull out the fall decorations.  Might as well make him pull out the Christmas tree while we're in there, see if it should go in the trash now.  However today does not feel like fall.  It is 90 some degrees outside.  The back door is open, the AC is on and The Rachel Zoe Project is on my tv.

I'll try to get my laptop to behave and post pics and details later.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Farm Fresh Doubles

I'm having a slow start to a very busy day.  Oh boy.

Remember today is $1 doubles at Farm Fresh.  A Full Cup has the sales ad matched up for you.  You can click on shopping list and it will give you a printable version, where you can click just what you're interested in.  I'm going to try to get out there for a few minutes today.  Believe it or not, we're running low on milk.  At this point it may be cheaper to just buy a cow.

Hope you all have a great day! :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Busy Weekend

What a fun, but busy weekend!  It started Friday evening with date night.  Friday was 6 years since my husband and my first date, so he took me out for a fancy dinner.  We went to The Trellis Restaurant in Williamsburg.  Unfortunately, they have recently changed ownership and it wasn't nearly as good as it was before. :(  They no longer offer the seasonal special dinner option, and it seemed a bit more expensive, too.  We now have to find a new special occasion spot.

He got steak and I got rainbow trout.

Saturday he went golfing and I slept in.  After lunch he took me to the library's used book sale.  I scored pretty well, spending a total of $8.50 out of pocket for everything.

Hopefully I can get a book or two read before my yard sale in two weeks so I can turn around and get rid of it.  We wouldn't want Jimmy thinking I'm a hoarder or anything...

Today I made cupcakes for dessert after lunch.  The homemade buttercream frosting was a little runny, but, again, we've discussed my lack of culinary skills already.

After lunch my mom and I tackled some pulling of garage sale items.  We should have a good little sale.  I told Jimmy that I'm selling off things so he can move the new things I've bought!

Now I'm at home being a golf widow again.  I'm taking a break from reading magazines and the dogs are napping, so it's a nice, quiet afternoon.  At least until he gets home and starts yelling at the tv/football game.  Will he ever realize they can't hear him?  :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Orange Cream and Other Ramblings

Freezer cooking has come to a halt.  Mainly due to my finding other things to do.  Yesterday it was watching tv, today it was reading magazines.  Marie Claire, House Beautiful, OK Magazine (don't judge! ;)).  Maybe tomorrow I'll get it done.

I made a quick trip to TJ Maxx today to look for a small whisk.  I did not find one, but I found Orange Cream Soda.  Yum!

  I also found another Santoku knife.  I love my Santoku knife and am planning on buying a Kapoosh knife block as I don't use but two of the knives in my current block set as frankly, they're not really good knives.

I ran to Farm Fresh for $1 doubles yesterday after work.  I spent $17 and saved $23.  Disclaimer:  I am in no way endorsed by either ADA--the American Dental Association or the American Dietary Association.  Ha!

I was able to "cherry pick" this week to get just the deals, with the exception of milk.  Once your stockpile is in place, you can shop just to get the deals.  Of course you have to make sure you'll eat it, or it's not a deal if you're just wasting money.  I guarantee those Cinnabon bars won't make it near the expiration date!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

CVS Trip

The magic coupon machine (love that thing!) spit out a $1 off 12 oz Starbucks coffee coupon.  The coffee is on sale this week for 6.99.  I was also using a $3/$10 grocery coupon from the CVS coupon machine, so after the 1.88 cereal and the $1 Milano cookies (used two .75 cent off coupons, too), it was all nice and cheap.

I used $10 in ECBs to pay
My total out of pocket before tax was .36 cents and I received back a $2 ECB for the Tylenol Precise

The Starbucks is going in a Christmas gift and the cookies may make it if I hide them.  This is what I call Christmas on a budget. :)

Cooking Day Two

I got a little bit more done today.  One recipe did not make the cut and I knew it about the time I got to this part of the directions:

Corn in a blender?  Made me want to hurl.  Nevertheless, I put the rest of the ingredients together, but the Summer Squash and Corn Chowder didn't make the cut.  I tried a bite and it wasn't a winner.  Not to say yours won't be, but mine certainly wasn't!

I finished mixing up the cheese balls and made a key lime pie and a pan of cornbread.  I have carrot souffle in the oven as we speak and am going to try to put together the vegetable casserole, the quesadillas, and the meatballs later.  I figure at least if I don't get the meats done, it's easy to grill some chicken and heat up a side dish.  As long as there is something available to eat that is quick, I'm happy.

I had a good CVS trip yesterday, I'll put up the pics later.  Right now, the souffle is ready to take out of the oven!

Getting Back To It

I'd love to say I haven't posted because I've been too busy being productive around my house.  Ha!  Truth is, I woke up feeling horrible Sunday and then was exhausted yesterday when I got off work.  My intentions are to finish up my freezer cooking this evening as I won't have time again otherwise until Friday afternoon.  Sigh.

I'll let you know how it goes. :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

So Far, So Good

With the exception of a quick run to Farm Fresh to buy more Neufchatel cheese and french bread, it's been smooth sailing.  I'm taking a break and then we're headed out to dinner with friends.  Yes, I realize the irony in stopping my cooking to go eat. :)

So far I've mixed up some Watergate Salad

Mixed up a cheese ball (well, it will make three).  I forgot to take a picture but this was the pepper.

Then my quick $16 Farm Fresh trip.  I was going to make the pie crust but have no idea where my pie pan is, so I decided to speed things up and just buy a pre-made crust.  I hate how the quick trips are always the most expensive!  Such as, I was thirsty, so the Gatorade looked really good.

Then I made the One Dish Blackberry French Toast

I'm going to try to tackle some more of the casseroles tonight when it gets cooler and won't be so miserable to run the oven.  So far, so good.  Oooh, and I've done two loads of laundry in between.  Go me. ;)

Jimmy's yelling at the tv watching the Ohio State game, so he's been on doggie duty.  It's amazing how much more you can get accomplished when not having to let dogs in, out, up, down every 5 minutes!

Target Trip, Menu Plan

I should have waited for Jimmy to get home.  My total would have been lower.

Silly goose, though, you didn't really think I could go to Target and only get what was on my list, did you?

I figured I needed some containers to store my cooking in, since our plastic containers have vanished as well.
48 load Tide Free & Clear was 30% off, marked down to $7.41, my manufacturer's $1.50 off coupled with a $1.50 Target coupon brought it down to $4.41.  I never want to run out of laundry detergent, apparently.
My windows are gnarly looking, so the Windex was clearanced to $9.08 and I used a $3 off coupon.
And while I'm at it I may as well clean my dishwasher (cherry Kool-Aid) and my washing machine (the Clorox).

Mmm, here are the rest of my freezer cooking ingredients, minus chicken.  I have to go back to Farm Fresh as Target had tons of turkey, but no chicken.

My total was $66.  I plan on the freezer cooking lasting us two weeks, though, so with that and my other totals, it works out to be a lot cheaper than eating out. :)

So today is cooking day.  On my agenda is:
Vegetable Casserole
"Senator Russell's Sweet Potato Casserole"
Watergate Salad
Cornbread Dressing
Cheese Ball
Spicy Cornbread
and Carrot Souffle'

So after all this work, it better last more than a week!  Jimmy will be having his meals rationed.

I'm off to a funeral and then lunch with my parents and Jimmy, but after that, it is down to business!  I'll update you later. :)