Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mom's Eat Free at Carino's Italian on Mother's Day

Carino's is one of my very favorite restaurants!!! When I was at my mom's house this afternoon, I saw a flyer on her coffee table that said Mom's eat free at Carino's on Mother's Day! It includes a soup or salad, one of a select variety of entree's, a mini-dessert and a free soft drink or tea. Fine print said limit 1 free meal per table with purchase of an additional entree. I didn't see anything on their website about this and though I'm a subscriber to their email newsletter, I haven't seen anything there yet either, so YMMV (your mileage may vary). I would recommend calling your local Carino's and asking whether they are participating before trekking out there on Mother's Day!

Even More Printable Coupons!

Go to or print coupons from the widget in my sidebar to get $1/1 Kellogg's Cereals. There's one for Frosted Flakes, Frosted Mini-Wheats, Corn Pops, Raisin Bran, Froot Loops, Apple Jacks, Special K, and Rice Krispies (8 separate coupons that you can print 2x each!!!)

Go here for $2/2 Purell Hand Sanitizer. That is IF you can find it anywhere! I went this afternoon to pick some up for my daughter and they were almost completely out of any kind of hand sanitizer at my Walgreen's! Getting scary out there!

Click here for $1/1 any one Pert Plus shampoo. Some varieties are included in the Tom Thumb Living Well promo.

Here's one for $1/5 Weight Watcher's Smart Ones Products.

And another one for $1/1 Evercare Roller or Refill. This is different than the one on, so you can print two of these too and have a total of 4 coupons!

Click here for $0.75/2 Lucky Leaf Pie Filling. I use these to make my Homemade Gourmet Texas Cobblers and Old Fashioned Apple Crisps! Yummy!!!

Save $0.55/1 Hillshire Farm Lunchmeat. Deli Select varieties are included in Living Well promo.

Save $0.50/1 Angel Soft Toilet Paper, 6 Double-Roll or larger

Save $0.50 on 2 Big Rolls or 1 2-pack or larger of Viva Paper Towels. This one would only let me print once. :( The 6 roll packages are included in the Living Well promo.

Save $0.55/1 Mann's Fresh Cut Vegetables. The BROCCOLI CARROTS & CELERY, CELERY CARROTS & GRAPE TOMATOES and CELERY CARROTS & SUGAR SNAP PEAS varieties are included in the Living Well promo.

And Save $1.50/1 Bertolli Frozen Meal. Certain varieties are included in the Living Well promo. Click here for a full list of all participating products in the Living Well promo, courtesy of Bob at

A little tip for printing all these coupons: You can hit your back button and usually print two of each coupon. Most coupons only take up the very top portion of a sheet of paper with a large ad or recipe underneath. I typically print the first coupon and then insert the sheet of paper back into my printer so that the other coupon prints on the back of the paper on the opposite end of the first one. I recommend testing this with some unimportant document to determine exactly how to put it in your printer before trying it on a coupon, but it helps cut down on the amount of paper wasted.

Also, make sure your printer is on a lower quality setting. The coupons do not need to be printed at the same quality as your photos and such that you normally print. By setting your printer at a lower setting, you can save a great deal of ink!

Happy Printing!!

Don't Forget Your Unilever Rebate!

Many of the products from the Tom Thumb and Kroger sales over the past 2 weeks were included in the eligible products for the current Unilever rebate promo. Details are in the 4/5 Unilever coupon insert or on their website here.

Just buy any ham or turkey and $40 in Unilever products between 4/1/09 and 4/30/09 (can be purchased in multiple shopping trips), send in the rebate form and your receipts with the products and prices circled, and receive a check for the purchase price of your ham or turkey (up to $20).

Participating Unilever brands include the Bertolli, Skippy and Suave items in my recent transactions, as well as Axe products that are part of the current movie ticket promo. Click here for the full list of participating products.

Be sure and mail your rebate form and receipts by 5/7/09 to qualify for the rebate!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Kroger Deals - 4/29-5/5

I guess they needed to take a break after all the awesome deals over the last 2 weeks, because I'm not seeing much that jumps out at me in this weeks ad. There are some good produce deals though.

Supersweet Corn, 5/$1

Ripe Hass Avocados, 3/$1

Green Cabbage, 3lbs/$1

Mangos, 3/$1

Boneless Chicken Breast or Breast Tenders, B1G1 Free
Use $0.75/1 Pilgrim's Pride (1/25 SS) (expires 4/30/09)

Boneless Pork Loin Chops, B1G1 Free

Springdale Milk, $1.99
(but don't forget to use up any Catalinas you may still have from Albertson's for free milk from the Kellogg's cereal deal a couple weeks ago)

General Mills Cocoa Puffs, Trix or Cheerios $2
Use $1/3 (4/5 SS) = $1.67 each

Healthy Choice Frozen Dinners, $1.88 each
Use $1/2 (4/5 SS) = $1.38 each (not bad for a cheap lunch and pretty tasty too!)

Texas Honey Sweet Onions, $0.97/lb

Colgate Toothpaste, 2/$3
Use $0.75/1 (4/26 SS) = $0.75 each

Coca-Cola 2-liters, 5/$5

Crazy Combo Deal:
Buy Any 2 Kroger Beef or Chicken Seasoned Fajitas, 32oz pkg
Get Free:
Fresh Express Shredded Lettuce, 8oz bag
Country Fresh Pico de Gallo, 8-10oz
Dos Padres Tortilla Chips, 14oz
Kroger Sour Cream, 12-16oz

Free Movie Tickets, Number 2

Kellogg's has a FUN new promotion available! Look for Star Trek Official Movie Pass vouchers on specially-marked packages of Kellogg's Pop-Tarts Toaster Pastries - available on 8 ct, 12 ct, and 16 ct varieties!

1) Collect movie pass vouchers from specially marked Kellogg's Pop-Tarts
2) Mail 5 vouchers along with order form found inside the box
3) Get a movie pass (up to a $12 value) good for one free admission to Star Trek- or any other movie of choice! You can also get up to 5 FREE movie passes per household!

**Offer good until 6/30/10 or while supplies last!

Rumor has it there are $1/1 peelies out there somewhere, though I haven't seen them. But there were coupons for $1/2 in the 4/5 Red Plum to help sweeten the deal!

My kids are going to love this deal!

(Thanks, It's Hip to Save!)

Free Movie Tickets, Number 1

The FREE Axe movie ticket promotion is available again at Walgreens!
This promotion will run thru 5/30!

Purchase three Axe products: shampoo, deodorant and/or body wash
Receive one FREE movie ticket code (Up to a $12 Value)


Purchase five Axe productsReceive two FREE movie ticket codes (up to a $24 value)

**These codes will print out of the Catalina machine after paying for your transaction.

Plus, there was a coupon for $1/1 Axe Shower Gel or Detailer Shower Tool in the 4/5 Unilever coupon insert. And according to, Axe products will be 25% off the week of May 10-16.

The best part--Select Axe products are on clearance! Axe Bullet (4 pk) sprays are reported to be on clearance for $1.39 and are producing the FREE movie ticket Catalina!

Deal Scenario:
Buy 5 Axe Bullets $1.39 each=$6.95
Pay $6.95 + Tax
Get back 2 FREE Movie Tickets ($24 value)!

This is a great deal if your planning to go to the movies anyway!
When you get home just go to and print your certificates for the tickets. You can also go here to check theatre locations first and make sure there are some in your area.

(Thanks, It's Hip to Save!)

More Great Printable Coupons!

Go here and enter your email address to receive a coupon for a FREE CroisSONIC Breakfast Sandwich with the purchase of a large drink. Although Sonic serves breakfast all day, the coupon specifically states "Not valid during Happy Hour" when the drinks are half price. (They must've read my mind! LOL) But still a great deal!

Save $1.50/2 Velveeta Shells & Cheese! Too bad the Tom Thumb Catalina deal on these ended this weekend. But they are still a part of the Living Well deal. My Tom Thumb has them on sale 2/$4 this week so that makes them only $1.25 each after coupon! And while you're there, make sure to click on the link at the bottom of the page to donate a box to Feeding America for FREE! ***ETA: These are 2/$3 at Wal-Mart thru 5/2/09, making them $0.75 each after coupon!

Save $1 on Wendy's New Frosty flavors! Click here for a coupon for $1/1 for the new Coffee Toffee Twisted Frosty or the Frosty-cino Shake. Don't forget to hit your back button to print a total of 2 coupons so you can try one of each new flavor! :)

Click here to print a coupon for $1.25/1 Morningstar Farms Italian Sausage or Hickory BBQ Riblets

Printables at

There are some great coupons on right now. I've listed a few of the highlights below. You can also print coupons directly from the sidebar on my blog. Just click "Scroll Coupons" to find the one you want and then click the "Quick Print" button!

Save $2/1 California Pizza Kitchen. There's actually 3 different coupons and, as always, you can print each coupon twice so you can get 6 of these coupons! These are included in the Tom Thumb Living Well Promo.

BOGO Sierra Mist. Buy one 2-liter Sierra Mist, get one 2-liter Sierra Mist Ruby Splash free!
Save $.75/1 Fresh Express Complete Salad Kit.
Save $1/2 Fresh Express Salad Blends. ($0.98 each at Wal-Mart thru 5/2/09)
Save $1/1 Evercare Roller or Refill. Use this coupon to get them free at Wal-Mart!
Save $1.50/2 Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing
Save $1.50/2 Kashi Go Lean Cereal (part of Tom Thumb Living Well promo)
Save $1.50/2 Kashi TLC Snack Bars (part of Tom Thumb Living Well promo)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mastering The Tom Thumb Living Well Promo

I was feeling brave this morning, so I tried to give the Tom Thumb promo another try after some very careful planning. However, my planning wasn't too careful because I realized only too late that a couple of the Catalina deals I was counting on had already ended. Don't forget, you can get all the details of the Living Well Promo by clicking here.

Transaction #1:
5 Velveeta Shells & Cheese $2 ea
2 Classico Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce $2 ea (used $1/1 Wine Tag)
2 Safeway Pasta (Free with purchase of 2 Classico Sauces)
2 Ozarka Sprt Top 6pk $1.99 ea (used $1/2 Catalina)
1 Pringles Stix $1.79 ea (used $.50/1 from 3/15 or 4/5 PG)
1 Bright Green Bleach $1.49 (used $1/1 from Bright Green Flyer in store)
3 Pillsbury Crescent Rolls 4ct $1.29 ea (used $1/3 from 4/26 SS)
1 Colgate Toothpaste $2.99 (used $1.50/1 printable from Aetna)
2 Oscar Mayer Deli Creations $3 ea (used Free item coupon & $1.50/1 from Kraft mailer)
Used $19 in Catalinas from last week's transactions

Total OOP: $2.97
Received: $10 OYNO from Living Well Promo, $3 OYNO from Pillsbury, $2 OYNO from Ozarka and $1/2 coupon for Ozarka

Transaction #2:
5 Velveeta Shells & Cheese $2 ea
2 Ozarka Sprt Top 6pk $1.99 ea (used $1/2 Catalina)
6 Hershey Special Dark $1.79 ea
1 Pringles Stix $1.79 ea (used $.50/1 from 3/15 or 4/5 PG)
1 McCormick Grillmates $0.99 (used $.25/1 from 1/18 RP)
2 Yoplait Yo Plus 4pk $2.50 ea (used $1.50/1 printable)
3 Pillsbury Crescent Rolls 4ct $1.29 ea (used $1/3 from 4/26 SS)
1 pkg of Beef Kabobs w/Veggies $3.02 (used 50% off peelie on pkg making it $1.01 OOP!)
Used $15 in Catalinas from Transaction #1

Total OOP: $16.42
Received: $10 OYNO from Living Well Promo, $3 OYNO from Pillsbury, $2 OYNO from Ozarka and $1/2 coupon for Ozarka

Transaction #3:
3 Kraft Salad Dressing $2.49 (used $1.50/1 from 3/29 SS)
2 Ozarka Sprt Top 6pk $1.99 ea (used $1/2 Catalina)
1 Pringles Stix $1.79 ea (used $.50/1 from 3/15 or 4/5 PG)
2 Sun Chips $3 ea (used $1/2 printable)
2 Bertolli Pasta Pouch $2 ea (used $.60/1 from 4/5 UN)
1 Skippy Peanut Butter $2.50 (used $.40/1 from 4/5 UN)
1 McCormick Grillmates $0.99
1 Capri Sun Sunrise $1.99 (used $1/1 from 4/19 SS)
3 Pillsbury Crescent Rolls 4ct $1.29 ea (used $1/1 from 4/26 SS)
1 18ct Lucerne Eggs $1.99 (used 2 $.75/1 peelies on carton making them $0.49 OOP!)
1 Colgate Toothpaste $2.99 (used $1.50/1 printable from Aetna)
1 pkg of Beef Kabobs w/Veggies $3.38 (used 50% off peelie on pkg making it $1.19 OOP!)
Used $15 in Catalinas from Transaction #2

Total OOP: $9.66
Received: $10 OYNO from Living Well Promo, $3 OYNO from Pillsbury, $2 OYNO from Ozarka and $1/2 coupon for Ozarka

Transaction #4:
1 Kraft Salad Dressing $2.49 (used $1.50/1 from 3/29 SS)
2 Ozarka Sprt Top 6pk $1.99 ea (used $1/2 Catalina)
1 Bertolli Pasta Pouch $2 ea (used $.60/1 from 4/5 UN)
1 Pringles Stix $1.79 ea (used $.50/1 from 3/15 or 4/5 PG)
1 Skippy Peanut Butter $2.50 (used $.40/1 from 4/5 UN)
1 Bright Green Bleach $1.49 (used $1/1 from Bright Green Flyer in store)
3 Pillsbury Crescent Rolls 4ct $1.29 ea (used $1/1 from 4/26 SS)
5 Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers $1.99 ea WYB 5 (used $1/2 from 4/5 SS)
1 Colgate Toothpaste $2.99 (used $1.50/1 printable from Aetna)
Donated $1 to People with Disabilities
Used $15 in Catalinas from Transaction #3

Total OOP: $6.51
Received: $10 OYNO from Living Well Promo, $3 OYNO from Pillsbury, $2 OYNO from Ozarka and $1/2 coupon for Ozarka

Grand Total OOP: $35.08
Retail Value: $203.89
Savings: 83%

Plus, I still have $15 in Catalinas to spend on my next order!

I'm Loving Kroger This Week!

4 Kraft Salad Dressings $2.19 ea (used $1.50/1 from 3/29 SS)
6 Mahatma Rice $1.09 ea (used $.50/1 from 4/26 RP)
6 Birds Eye Steamfresh Veggies $0.99 ea (FREE after $.35/1 from 3/29 SS)
6 Quaker Quakes $0.99 ea (FREE after $1/1 from 3/29 RP)
6 Suave Deodorant $0.99 ea (FREE after $.50/1 from 3/29 RP)
6 Softsoap $0.99 ea (FREE after $.35/1 from 4/26 SS)
6 Suave Shampoo/Conditioner $0.99 ea (used $.50/1 from 3/29 RP)
6 Pillsbury Brownie Mix $0.99 ea (FREE after $.35/1 from 3/29 RP)
4 On Cor Frozen Entrees $1.99 ea (used $.30/1 from 3/1 RP)
1 Popsicle 12ct $1.00

Total OOP: $11.80
Retail Value: $88.66
Savings: 87%

Yummy Pasta Dinner!

I made this a couple of weeks ago but just haven't gotten around to posting it. It was oh-so-yummy!!! I kinda made it up as I went along, but I basically followed the recipe found here, but I substituted Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage for the chicken and I added a little Roasted Red Bell Pepper just because I had some I wanted to use up. We loved it so much, we ate the leftovers for dinner later that week!

And I recently tried this recipe for Sweet Bacon-Wrapped Venison Tenderloin and it was amazing!!! I used Applewood Smoked Bacon for a little extra flavor!

Free Sample of UnderJams Nightwear

P&G is giving away free samples of their UnderJams Nightwear. Click here and choose Boys or Girls to get yours!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Kroger Trip 4/23/09

I apologize for the crappy picture! And some items are not pictured because it was a long trip between Kroger and Tom Thumb and I needed to get everything in the fridge/freezer ASAP.

4 Grande Tortilla Chips - $2 ea (used $1/1 from 4/19 SS)
2 NY Strip Steaks - marked down to $5.15 each (used $2 off peelies from Grande Tortilla Chips)
6 Fast Fixin Chicken - $0.99 ea (used $.30/1 printable)
2 Birds Eye Steamfresh Veggies (used $.35/1 from 3/29 SS)
1 Lloyds BBQ - $6.99
1 Kroger Hamburger Buns - FREE with Lloyds BBQ
1 Kroger BBQ Chips - FREE with Lloyds BBQ
1 Dole Cole Slaw - FREE with Lloyds BBQ
1 Big K Root Beer - FREE with Lloyds BBQ
1 Earth Sound Reusable Bag - FREE with Lloyds BBQ
2 Whole Fryer Chickens - $.69/lb

Not So Great Tom Thumb Trip

This was my first attempt at doing the Tom Thumb Living Well promo. I didn't plan things out very well at all and got up to the register with my transactions not grouped together and my coupons not sorted properly. I know, major violation of the Couponer Code of Ethics! But it was just a bad morning for me. To top it off, I had a very UN-friendly cashier! I spent way more out of pocket than I should have, but I still got to stock up on a lot of stuff we needed. So here goes...

I did three separate transactions to maximize my savings and roll my $10 catalinas. You can read more about the Living Well promo and other coupon matchups here.

Transaction #1:
4 Fiber One Toaster Pastries - $2 each (used $.50/1 from 4/19 ss)
2 Kashi Go Lean Crunch - $3 each (used $1.50/2 printable)
2 Sun Chips - $3 each (used $1/2 printable)
1 Triscuit Crackers - $3.49
2 Capri Sun Sunrise - $1.99 each (used $1/1 from 4/19 SS)
2 Smart Balance Spreads - $2.50 each (used $1/2 from 4/5 SS)
1 Smart Balance Butter Blends Sticks - $2.50 (used free item coupon from 4/5 SS)
Used $10 OYNO from my mom's purchase! (Thank You Mommy!!!)

Total OOP: $14.57
Received $10 OYNO from Living Well promo

Transaction #2:
2 Kashi Go Lean Crunch - $3 each (used $1.50/2 printable)
2 Kraft Salad Dressing - $2.49 each (used $1.50/1 from 3/29 SS)
5 Bertolli Premium Pasta Sauces - $2 each (used $1/1 from 4/5 SS)
2 Kellogg Special K Cereal Bars - $2.59 each
1 Special K Crackers - $3.19 (used $1/1 printable)
2 Skippy Peanut Butter - $2.50 each (used $.40/1 from 3/29 or 4/5 SS)
1 Pam Cooking Spray - $3.49 (used $.55/1 from 3/29 SS)
2 Dreamfield Pasta - $2 each (used $1/1 printable)
Used $10 OYNO from Transaction #1

Total OOP: $17.59
Received: $10 OYNO from Living Well promo

Transaction #3: (This is where it gets ugly! I got frustrated with the cashier and just threw everything else up on the register in one final transaction!)
5 Velveeta Shells & Cheese - $2 each
1 Safeway Refreshe Water (was supposed to be on Trans #2 to be free w/purchase of 3 Special K products, but cashier was nice enough to apply that discount on this transaction)
2 Smart Balance Oil - $3 each (used $1/1 from 4/5 RP)
2 Ozarka Sprt Top 6pk - $1.99 each
6 Hershey's Special Dark Bars - $1.79 each, plus $5 WYB $10 (used $1/1 from 4/19 SS)
4 Classico Pasta Sauce - $2 each (used $1/2 printable)
4 Safeway Pasta - 2 FREE with purchase 2 Classico Pasta Sauces
2 French's Honey Dijon Mustard - $2.64 each (used $1/1 from 3/29 SS)
3 Coca-Cola 2-liters - $1.33 each WYB 3
2 McCormick Grill Mates Seasoning (used $1/1 printable)
4 Chef Boyardee Ravioli - $1 each
2 Mission Tortillas - $2.50 each (used $1/1 printable)
3 Pillsbury Crescent Rolls 4ct - $1.29 each (used $.25/1 from 2/8 GM and $.40/2 from 4/5 SS)
2 Trop50 Orange Juice - $2.50 each (used $1/1 printable)
5 Healthy Choice Natural Frozen Dinners - $1.99 each WYB 5 (used $1/2 printable)
2 Jenny O Ground Turkey - $3.50 each
2 Pillsbury Chicken Thighs - $3.13-3.17 each
2 Fresh Express Salads - $1 each
1 Buitoni Pasta - $2.50 (used $1/1 Wine Tag)
1 Buitoni Pasta Sauce (used $1/1 Wine Tag)
Used $10 OYNO from Transaction #2
Used $5 off $50 purchase from Entertainment Passbook

Total OOP: $60.12
Received: $10 OYNO from Living Well Promo, $1 OYNO from McCormick, $2 OYNO from Ozarka, $3 OYNO from Pillsbury, $4 OYNO from Kraft, $1/2 Ozarka Coupon

Grand Total for the day: $92.28 OOP OUCH!!!
Retail Value: $253.38
Savings: 64%

The good news is, I still have $19 to use on my next purchase!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kroger Trip - 4/21/09

I did two transactions to get these all in. I was absolutely thrilled with my totals.

6 Quaker Quakes (FREE after $1/1 from 3/29 RP)
6 Suave Deodorants (FREE after .50/1 from 3/29 RP)
4 Grill Mates Seasoning Blends (FREE after $1/1 from 3/15 RP)
4 Angel Soft 4pk (FREE after .50/1 from 4/19 RP)
5 Scott Mega Rolls (FREE after $1/1 from 3/29 SS)
6 Pillsbury Brownie Mixes (FREE after .35/1 from 3/29 RP)
4 Lawry's Marinades (used $1/2 from 4/5 RP)
2 Ziploc Storage Containers (used $1.50/2)
2 Hillshire Farms Smoked Sausage (used $1/2 peelie)
1 box Kroger Farfalle Pasta

Total OOP: $10.43
Saved 88%

I think that's a personal best! :)

Albertsons Trip - 4/21/09

I wasn't as happy with this trip as I thought I would be, but it was still pretty good. I got:

Doritos Singles 6ct - Free with Monopoly Instant Win Coupon
2 Libby's Canned Vegetables (used .50/2 printable found here)
6 cans Dole Pineapple (used .55/2 from 3/29 SS)
4 cans Pillsbury Grands 5ct (used .50/2 printable found here)
Albertson's Milk - Free with Catalina from Kellogg cereal deal
6 Suave Shampoos/Conditioners (used .50/1 from 3/29 RP)
4 Limes
1 Lemon
Fresh Express Salad
4 Blueberry Bagels (99cents on markdown Bakery rack)

Total OOP: 14.27
Saved 65%

While I was there they were handing out a check to a lady who had won $5,000 in the Monopoly game! It was very exciting!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Fashion on a Budget

Jen over at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam has started a Frugal Fashionista series all about finding designer outfits for under $15. I'm loving this series and can't wait for each new article to come out! I'm such a bargain hunter that I really get excited when I score finds like this and I'm working on making it more of a regular occurrence. We're talking entire outfits, shirts, pants, shoes, AND accessories for under $15. And she never looks like she shops at Good Will or thrift stores! I think that's the hardest part. Anybody can go into Good Will and pick up a shirt for a couple dollars, but it takes a little more work to hunt down the really good pieces.

There are 3 posts in this series so far, check them out here:

Designer Wardrobe on a Frugal Budget
Building a Core Wardrobe - Frugally
Frugal Fashionista - Designer Outfits

And be sure to check back each Friday for a new post in this series!

Friday, April 17, 2009

My Backyard Garden

I finally got my garden started! I'm so excited! I'm just not loving the fact that I'm going to have to work my butt off for a couple of months before I really see any results. I chose a container garden so I wouldn't have to dig up the yard because we are only renting right now. From top to bottom in the picture, I have a tomato plant, 2 buttercrunch lettuce plants, a zuchinni plant, 2 red bell pepper plants and some rosemary. The two long planters are green onions and sweet onions. Not pictured are the basil, cilantro and flat-leaf parsley. Should be yummy!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Justice for Girls Clearance Sale!

Justice for Girls is having a Last Chance Clearance Sale - Online Only. There are some tops starting as low as $2.99! Lots of great deals, but it's very hit or miss on the sizes. Use Coupon Code 817 to save an additional 30% on the Clearance prices!

Plus, if you are a member of Ebates, be sure to go through that site to earn 4% cash back on your purchase! If you're not a member of Ebates, click here to sign up! You'll automatically get $5 when you sign up and make your first purchase, plus you'll earn cash back on your purchases at hundreds of online stores!

Happy Shopping!

Earth Day Deals!

My good friend HeatherMama has posted some awesome Earth Day freebies on her blog! Go check it out!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Good Shopping Day!

I ran a few errands when I picked the girls up this afternoon and I think I did pretty well! I went to The Plant Shed in Keller in search of a few more plants for the veggie garden I'm planting tomorrow. I picked up 2 buttercrunch lettuce plants and a rosemary plant for under $4 total. Then we went to the Rufe Snow Farmer's Market to pick up some fresh veggies and I found a big bucket of about 8 pounds of over-ripe bananas for $2. My friend and I split the bananas and we're gonna make up a big batch of banana bread to freeze.

I also stopped by the Mrs. Baird Thrift Store on my way home and cashed in my punch card that I filled up last week to get a free loaf of bread and a free snack cake. And since I purchased a few other items and my total was over $6, I also got to pick a free loaf of bread from their "free item" table! I ended up with 3 loaves of bread, 7 cherry cinnamon rolls and a package of english muffins for $6.88. I'd have done a lot better without the cherry cinnamon rolls but they are a rare treat in our house.

All in all I thought it wasn't too shabby for a few impromptu stops!

Going Green!

With the new house comes new recycling rules! The City of Fort Worth is much more strict about their recycling policies than Watauga. They provide much larger bins for recycling and many more opportunities. These recycling rules have inspired me to implement some of the changes I've been wanting to make our family more "green".

We've definitely been making better efforts at recycling. In addition to the recycling, I'm making more of an effort to reduce our waste in general. In order to cut down on the amount of paper towels we use, I purchased some dishcloths to use as cloth napkins. I prefer the dishcloths over traditional cloth napkins because they are more absorbent. I'm also keeping an eye out for boxes and things that we can reuse instead of discarding.

We had already changed out our regular lightbulbs for those compact flourescent bulbs. We've all been making an effort to conserve electricity by turning off lights when they're not in use and opening the blinds to use more natural light. I'm also going to make an effort to turn off my computer when not in use because I'm really bad about leaving it running all the time. I'm trying to find a good setting on our thermostat to keep it comfortable while using the least amount of energy. It's hard on the weekends because Luke is home more and he's rather hot-natured. I was quite comfortable today but he was complaining about being too hot.

I'm also going to be starting a garden! My main motivation for that is to save money on groceries and have a new hobby but I know it's also good for our environment. More on that tomorrow!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Fun

Easter was pretty laid back for us this year. My mom had to work so my parents stayed home but my grandmother did come over to spend the day with us. I got up early and put a big pork roast in the crockpot with some BBQ sauce to make BBQ Pulled Pork. Then I boiled the eggs for the Easter eggs. I let the girls have free rein of dying the eggs. I also had some plastic eggs I had filled with candy last night.

We hid the eggs in the front yard and the girls had fun finding them all. Jessica's getting a bit old for that stuff and wasn't near as enthusiastic about it as Ashley was. She knew we'd pretty much divide things evenly, plus she still had her Easter basket from her dad's house, so she just kinda took it slow and let Ashley find most of them.

I made homemade Au Gratin Potatoes to go with the BBQ Pork, but sadly it didn't turn out quite as well as I had hoped. It wasn't really bad, just not really great either. I think I'll stick to the boxed version from now on. Everyone loved the pork and it was so easy to make. I pretty much just threw it in the crockpot with a couple bottles of the Kraft Honey BBQ sauce I got for 39cents a bottle at Albertson's a few weeks back and let it cook for several hours. Once it cooked long enough to start falling apart, I shredded it with forks and served it up! Yummy!

For their Easter gifts this year, I let them have their choice and both girls chose to pick out items at the store rather than get one of those big Easter baskets from Wal-Mart. Jessica got a new belt, a wrist-band and a bag from Hot Topic. Ashley headed to the Hallmark store to pick out some Webkins but she found these things called Shining Stars instead. They are similar to Webkins, stuffed animals with a code for access to an online world, but in addition you get to register and name a star with the International Star Registry. She has talked non-stop about the 2 stars in the sky that she now "owns".

Hope everyone had a Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Moving: Overwhelming but Exciting!

We are now completely moved out of the house in Watauga and settling into our new house in Haslet. I'm very excited but feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the boxes right now. I know it will be great once we get everything unpacked. It's a 4 bedroom house so the girls each have their own room and I have a separate room for my office. I'm really excited about that part. And I'm just thrilled about my kitchen! It's a very open floor plan so I still feel like I'm right there with the family while I'm preparing meals. The cabinets are so much bigger and there's even more counter space! The house was built in 2006 so the appliances are fairly new and it's very well insulated and energy efficient.

Since it's so close to the end of the year, the girls are going to finish out the school year at their current schools. It's kind of a pain driving them back and forth everyday but it's a lot better for them this way. They'll start the new schools next year. Hopefully they'll meet a few of the neighborhood kids over the summer and not be completely lost at their new schools next fall.

Well, I'm off to do some more unpacking and such. I'll try to post pics of the house once we get things in order.