Friday, August 24, 2012

CVS & Kroger Cheapies!

I know I've had mostly coupon & savings blog posts lately, but within the last few weeks,
several friends have contacted me asking for helpful hints in this area.
I am happy to oblige & fortunately, there have been some decent deals to share.
Someone even sent a note & asked me if I was one of those 'extreme couponers' ;)
That, I am not, but I do like to stretch my dollar as far as I can ...
& couponing is one way to do that.

I do my very best savings at the grocery store.
They tend to have the most straight-forward deals & less coupon confusion.
{Shopping at Walgreen can net you some freebies pretty often, but it's a bit like jumping
through hoops to get them.}

However, the next best is CVS.
They offer many different scenarios for saving & after you do it a time or two,
you become familiar with their system & get some really good deals.
It just takes a bit of planning.

This week at CVS, I made a couple transactions.

First, I bought the Listerine.
It was $2.99 & I had a $.50 coupon, making my OOP {out of pocket} $2.70.
Now, why this was a good deal:  I got a $2 coupon {extra care buck} back that can be spent
on my next transaction.

I had a $1 ECB {extra care buck} left from a couple weeks ago, giving me $3 to put toward
the Dove deal.
Also, some customers received via email a $2 off coupon from CVS this week.
I was one of those lucky customers!
I applied it here, as well.

The Dove deal was this:  buy $15 in Dove products, get a $5 ECB coupon back.
I bought the 3 shampoos, 1 body wash, 1 hairspray.
I used my ECBs & my CVS coupon, & I had coupons for every Dove item I purchased.
With a total of 6 coupons, valuing $12, I paid $6.05 OOP, & got back a $5 ECB for the next time!

Yes, this deal took a little bit of planning, but so worth it in the end!

**The bonus for this week:  I scanned my card at the CVS coupon kiosk
& got 2 awesome coupons that I went back & used the next day!
I will tell you all about that one tomorrow morning. 

{If you are new to CVS shopping, be sure to always scan your card at the red coupon
kiosk at the front of the store. 
It prints out coupons that you can combine with other coupons for additional savings!}

This week also involved 2 quick trips to Kroger {I'll share 1 today, 1 tomorrow}.
Here was the best deals!

This was done simply by matching my coupons with their sale items.
Here's the breakdown:
Chex .99
Irish Spring .49
Speed Stick .49
2 Dial soaps .18 each
2 Carefree .09 each
2 Skittles .09 each

I love these cheapie deals!!
Stayed tuned tomorrow for more =)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Good Deals at Kroger & Meijer

Kroger is having their mega event again this week & I took advantage of some good deals!
You've got til Wednesday to scoop up on these savings!

The way the mega event works, for every 10 items you buy that are part of the deal,
you get $5 off.
What sweetens the deal is when you combine coupons to save even more.
That is exactly what I did these week.

I planned out my shopping trip to include 40 items in the mega event,
counting off & marking my list carefully, mind you.
If you come up short an item or two, it will throw off your whole deal.
{If that ever happens, they can suspend your order til you grab what you need ...
or they can scan an item twice & you can run back to pick up another when you are finished.}

The bonus, the super good deal for this week was the Fiber One & Nature Valley granola bars.
They are on sale through August 26 as part of the mega event.
Here's how it works:

$2.49 Fiber One Bars
-$0.50 on each when you mix/match 10 participating items
-$0.50/1 Fiber One Chewy Bars coupon (from 7-8 SS or 8-5 GM)
Final price $.99

Now, that's a good deal, in & of itself ... but here's where the bonus comes in!
Kroger is offering a catalina too:
Buy 3 Fiber One Chewy Bars {many varieties} in one transaction, 
get a $1.00 checkout coupon valid on your next order. 
Buy 4, get $2.00. Buy 5 or more, get $3.00. Limit 1 offer per transaction. (through 9/2)
Buy 3 Nature Valley Bars in one transaction, get a $1.00 checkout coupon valid on your next order. Buy 4, get $2.00; buy 5 or more, get $3.00. Limit 1 offer per transaction. (through 9/2)

I did both deals!
I bought 11 boxes total ... 6 Fiber One & 5 Nature Valley & received two $3.00 checkout coupons!
Funny thing, I didn't even know this catalina was going on!

So, I have 2 coupons for $6 off my next trip
 if you look at it this way, I got all these items for $9.63!
{I tallied up what I paid for all these items, taking the $6 off}

I pack 3 work lunches every day for my hubs & 2 sons, so these granola bars won't last long.
With only 6 in a box, we can go through 1 box every 2 days.
This was definitely a good deal for us.

I got the Ragu for free {a coupon by mail from Kroger to get a free jar of Ragu}.

The Irish Spring was also free.
It shows in the ad to be $1.49 {after the .50 off for the mega event}, but mine rang up for .99.
I added a .50 coupon which doubled to $1, making it free!
{There's also an ecoupon that you can load to your Kroger card.}

The Hefty bags were .99 {mega event} & combined with coupons, they were .49 a box.

So, you've still got time to make a quick trip to Kroger to get in on some good deals!

{BTW, I could've shared lotsss of things this week, as all of my mega events items were paired
with coupons & ended up being pretty cheap, but it was just too much to post.
I used $28.42 in manu/Kroger coupons & saved $95.39 by using my Kroger plus card.}

On Saturday, I made a quick trip to Meijer for their Super Saturday Sale.
The best deal here was the Soft Soap.
It's was on sale for .99 ... & if you bought 4, you got a coupon back for $4 off your next purchase!
{basically, you were getting your 4 Soft Soaps for free!}

This week's freebie items!

I rolled my $4 coupon right onto my 2nd purchase which was the Peter Pan peanut butter
that was $1.67 each, part of the Super Saturday Sale.
Last year at back-to-school time, I stocked up on Peter Pan pb for .99.
I was hoping to see that deal again, but no such luck.

As far as CVS/Walgreens, I didn't see any deals last week that were worth taking advantage of,
except the .99 eggs which I price-matched at Walmart.

Couponing & planning out your grocery trip is work & takes time, but it's worth it to see the savings.
The money saved can be put toward something else {like vacation!}

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ready to Decorate for Fall!

It's a bit early ... I know that, but I am ready to get out my fall decor!
Course, it doesn't help any that all the stores have had the new fall goodies out for several weeks now.

Here are some beautiful towels that I spotted at JoAnn's.

Aren't these color combos & patterns just darling?!

I resisted the urge to buy the towels {for now}, but I did buy this cute lil' leaf bottle of soap!
It's 'maple sugar' & smells so good.

I won't put it out to use until September though.

How about you ... ready for fall decorating?
Or perhaps you've decorated already ... tell us about it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Unexpected Blessings at an Unlikely Place

Really, there are no unlikely places to receive a blessing.
But at the state fair?
I guess I was more than a little caught off guard.
And it all started with a funnel cake.

James decided that his first foray with the delightfully healthy fair food would be with a funnel cake.
Fair food in it's finest, right?!
When he walked up to the window to order, he noticed the fella running the booth was reading
a book on theology, one that James has read & enjoyed.
Course, from that, they struck up a conversation & spent a few minutes talking about the goodness of God.
As he handed James his funnel cake, he told him to hang on for another one ...
he wanted to give him a second one for free. 
It fed several of our friends who just happened to be getting to the fair & had walked up at just the right time.

The second little bonus blessing came just a few minutes later.
James, sweeted out on the funnel cake, decided to buy a bottle of soda from a machine
that was just inside the horse barn.
You know how it is at the fair ... expensive!!
For a family of five, the cost of food & drinks can add up ... & add up quickly!
The soda machines are a cheaper route, so James put in his money.
Low & behold, out popped 2 bottles!!

But I have to say, the icing on the cake came a few hours later.
We'd been at the fair for several hours.
We'd been through the barns, watched the Wild West Show, & we were just meandering along
trying to decide what to do next.
James had bought a large cup of iced tea & had passed it along to me.
Somehow, amidst my animated talking & gesturing, the cup slipped right out of my hand,
spilling out all over the ground!
Almost before I could even pick it up, a lady in the food booth that we were standing in front of
hollered out to me & said, "Here, let me refill that for you!"
I said, "Oh no, it's ok ... we didn't even buy it here, plus it was almost empty anyway."
She insisted, "No, please ...I'd like to refill it for you!"
I declined again, repeating that I hadn't purchased it there, etc.
She kept insisting ... & I kept declining ... & back & forth we went.
Finally, my friend spoke up & said, "Stop arguing & let her refill it!!"
So, as I got to the sweet lady to hand her my cup, she said, "Are you a Christian?"
I told her I was & she told me she was too.
She said that she & her husband run the booth ... he saw me drop my cup & told her to refill it.
After she had refilled my cup & came back to the window, I was expressing to her how much I
appreciated their kindness & super sweet spirit.
I told her that I was a 'giver' & have a hard time being a 'receiver'.
She said that she could tell that about me.
She went on to say that every day, she & her husband look for someone at the fair to be a blessing to ...
to encourage ... and she said, "Today, it's you, my dear."
My eyes filled up with tears ... & hers did too.

Amazing, isn't it?
God uses all kinds of people ... in all sorts of places to show His kindness.
People living out their faith in day-to-day life ... being salt & light.

I felt so happy in my spirit ... it's kind of hard to put into words.
My favorite scripture & a song comes to mind:

Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.
Psalm 68:19

Blessed & highly favored...
daily loaded with benefits ...
that's the kind of God I serve.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Well, this week's coupon deals were plenteous.
There was only one problem.
I didn't have the necessary coupons!
Seems like I came up short with every CVS deal I had hoped to snag.

For the last couple weeks, no matter where I stopped to buy a paper,
it seemed to be missing part {or all} of the coupon inserts!

And for the best story of all, last Sunday, I stopped to buy my paper.
I checked before I bought it to be sure the inserts were there ...& they were...
only to get home & find the whole page missing that had the really good coupon for shampoo
that I needed to make my deal!!
The whole page was missing!
The only conclusion I can come up with is this:
someone on the south side is taking pages/inserts that have the high-dollar coupons!

Ah well, my theory when couponing is 'you win some, you lose some'.
There will be another good deal at another time.
Don't get crazy.

I did, however, get a couple freebie items this week.

The coffee creamers were free from Meijer.
They were $1.97 each.
I had 2 coupons for $1 off & combined those with a $2 off Meijer perk.

The razors were buy one at $3.99, get 50% another one.
I used 2 coupons for $3 each which made them free!

So, nothing major this week, but every little bit counts.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Our Beautiful Anniversary Basket

Our sweet congregation completely surprised us with an anniversary gift last Sunday!

Let me tell you, this was thee most gorgeous basket ever put together, I do believe!
It was perfectly packed with every single item you'd need for a romantic anniversary celebration ...
& I must admit, James & I were tempted to take another weekend trip just so we could take it along ;)

Take a look at how unbelievably pretty this is:
{remember now, my nice camera is in the shop, so these are from my smart phone}

See!!  So lovely!

A combo of burlap, buttons, & a basket ... with ruffles & raffia ... right up my alley!
This basket {which is antique} was overflowing with goodies.

Trail mix in a jar decorated with lace, burlap, & lace, Ghirardelli chocolates, summer sausage & crackers.

 Mixed berry lemonade to go in these goblets.

Look at the blingy on these goblets!
I don't think I'll ever take that off cause I love it so much.

Talk about down to the details ... look at these fancy 'P's that are decorating the candlesticks!

Love this fancy frame & the rose soap petals too.

And at the bottom, I found this darling apron!!

On top of ALLLL this, they showered us with many kind & encouraging words
& gave us a card with a love offering inside.
{That's going toward a new vacuum sweeper ... ours just konked out!}

Our overwhelming thought concerning & toward our sweet congregation is that of love & gratitude.
They truly exemplify this scripture, not only on Sundays, but in their day-to-day lives:

John 13:35
"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Family Life Assembly, from the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU ... & a great big hug.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

It's a little late to be sharing a blog ... not my typical routine,
but I wanted to share the super deals that I got at CVS this week before the new ad starts tomorrow.

I wanted to hurry & get this on here tonight to inspire me & you check out next week's deals,
not only at the drugstores, but at your grocery too.
Not every week brings a good sale, but every free or cheap deal is worth taking advantage of.

I have to thank Jessica & Jody ... they both made their CVS trips before I did
& passed along tips & some additional coupons which helped me out!
{Jessica helped me think through this scenario cause I was having a brain freeze!}

I am going to start sharing one picture each week, along with a break-down of my best deals.
I definitely didn't rack up as many deals as others did this week {esp. with the Olay deal},
but I am pleased with what I got.

Not too bad paying $2.75 for all these products!!
This was 2 orders combined completely free except for paying tax
{had to add in the 2 candies so the coupons would come off}.
I had manufactures coupons for every item, except the 2 candies, which as I said were filler items,
plus several higher dollar coupons that the CVS coupon center gave me when I scanned my card.

Next week, I'll share exactly what coupons I used to get the deals.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Garrett & Gunnar's Graduation Open House

I confessed a while back about being sooo behind on blogging about events in our life ...
well, here is the proof!
I wish I would've posted these right away, while they were still current, like any good little blogger would,
but alas, I am a good 2 months behind.
Where in the world has the summer gone??

I do want to share these pictures though, because although it was nothing fancy~schmancy,
I was proud of the decorations for our twin sons' graduation open house.
Due to the fact that we have all boys, my general decor theme throughout our home leans more
on the manly side ... nothing too frilly or frou-frou would fly around here.
When thinking how I'd decorate for their open house, I knew the same logic would apply.
My thoughts immediately went to burlap!
I am crazy about burlap & knew I'd have fun with this one!
All my ideas were approved by the graduating class of Garrett & Gunnar ...
the decor would be black & grey, using burlap, twine, & tin cans.
I have much of this same style & look in our home, so we decided to incorporate various antiques
& decor items that we already had {bonus ...saved some $$}.
All in all, it turned out beautifully.
The food was delicious & the fellowship was the best part of the day.
The boys got special treatment from start to finish ... many congratulations & well-wishes for their futures.
It was a day they'll remember always.

We decided to host the open house in our back yard.
My sweet cousin, Darlene, not only loaned us her tents, her husband came & put them up for us!
They were just what we needed!

The tents are going up!
Let's get the party started!

The candelier, one of my favorite ever, added just the right amount of flair to this tent!

{We hung three other candeliers throughout the yard, but sadly, those weren't photographed!
I tried to think of everything, but sadly, a few things fell through the cracks.}

James smoked a huge pork shoulder & 2 whole chickens ... let me tell you,
the sandwiches flew off the plates!

We feasted!
My little chalkboard that normally sits on my kitchen counter served as the perfect menu board.

I saved a few tin cans to use for various things ... here, they are holders for the plastic ware.

I wanted to buy small brown sacks for chips, the candy-store size bags, but decided to save $$
& go this route {more to come on these chip bags}.

Totally loved these!

I used Mason jars for the BBQ & the pickle bar.
Yes, we had a pickle bar!
My boys love pickles =)
{I can't seem to find pics of it}

This beautiful drink dispenser was a gift from my friend, Stacy, for my birthday.
I just love it!
It fit right in with this theme.

You'd have thought this gummy jar had magical powers!
There was a steady stream of adults & kids alike

I turned one of my vintage suitcases into a 'card box' ... isn't this adorable?
I tell you how I made the banner on a later blog.

This was my 1st project using chalkboard paint ...& it was a success!
I'll show you how I took this wall hanging apart & gave it a whole new look {blog coming soon}.

I've always wanted to do drinks in a wheel barrow!

The wheel barrow, full of ice, kept the water bottles cold.

Each table had tin cans filled with peanuts in the shell.
My sweet friend, Aleisa, helped gets the cans all decorated up {more on that later}.

 We also use a few various metal/galvanized containers ... here, we used my antique scoop too.

These lanterns ... what a find!!
I was so excited to come across these at the Christmas Tree Shoppe!
They were spot on with the decor theme & were only $7.99.

My father-in-law makes the best potato salad known to man-kind
& he so graciously made up a huge batch for the party!

My mother-in-law makes delicious everything!!
She is a wonderful cook.
All the party-goers found that out when they tasted this pasta salad.
I was asked probably a good 15 times, "Who made this salad & can we get the recipe?"

So proud of our boys!

 Homeschool grads rock!

And the party would have been incomplete without a whole host of family & friends.
They were truly the icing on the cake!

And what would we have done without all these mustaches?!

All in all, this day couldn't have been any better!
We are so grateful for all our friends & family for making this day over-the-top!
We love all of you!