Thursday, July 23, 2009

**Winner: SpongeBob Party Pack

The lucky winner of the SpongeBob Party Pack Giveaway is Uncles!

Congratulations - please email me your contact information by Saturday July 25 and I will get the party pack sent out to you!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

UPDATE**Giveaway: SpongeBob Party Pack


Have you entered my giveaway for the cool SpongeBob Party Pack? Go HERE now to enter, it's so easy.

Not only could you win the SpongeBob plates, cups and napkins, but if you go HERE to PartyCity.com, you can also enter to win a visit from SpongeBob at your next party! How cool would that be??!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Awesome Albertson's


I needed to get a few basics like milk and bananas so I decided to hit my Albertson's on my way home from work yesterday. I usually like to shop without my kids because I can't seem to keep them happy and keep all my coupons and scenarios organized at the same time. But since I was on my way home I worked it so I'd pick up 1 y.o. Emily, shop and then pick up 5 y.o. Michael. Something is up with Emily though, and she was cranky the whole trip. When we got out to the car, I figured it out - diaper blowout! It was a mess.

Needless to say, the trip was ok. The catalina machine was broken at the register and I didn't notice until the end when nothing had printed. In my baby-crying-induced-daze at the end, I realized the cashier only gave me $3 back for the catalinas, when it should have been $7. Because of the diaper situation, I just couldn't go back in.

So here's what I got:

2 boxes Kellogg's Frosted Mini Wheats $2.88 each
2 Dole Mandarin Oranges $1.25 each
12 Kraft BBQ Sauce $.50 each (M&M)
8 Mac N Cheese $.50 each (M&M)
1 box Ronzoni Penne $1.79
1/2 gal. organic skim milk $3.79
Bananas $2.02
Real Simple Magazine $4.99 (Going away next weekend so needed reading material but yikes - I didn't realize this was so pricey!)

Coupons used:
B1G1 Mini Wheats
2 B3G1 Mac N Cheese coupons
$.55 2 Dole Mandarin Oranges
$1/1 Ronzoni Smart Taste
$1 off Real Simple Magazine
$9 Catalinas ($6 tuna deal, $1 V8, $2 Mac N Cheese from last transaction, see earlier post)

-$3 Doubles

Total OOP: $11.49. As stated above, I should have received $5 in Catalinas for the BBQ sauce and $2 for the Mac N Cheese, which would have made my OOP $4.49. I probably should go back but sometimes it just seems like more of a hassle for $4. Plus, the store is on my way home from work but not close to get to from my house.

What do you think? Do you go back in a situation like this?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Giveaway: SpongeBob Party Pack


Last month Nick Jr. sent me two fabulous party packs - one Dora the Explorer and one SpongeBob. We used the Dora pack for my daughter's 1st birthday party late last month. Dora Cups, small Dora plates and a box of Kellogg's fruit snacks in Dora shapes ("Mommy, look at all the 'Backpacks' that were in this one!!") were all a big hit! The packs also came with great recipe ideas and games that you can play at your celebration.

For you, my fabulous readers, I have the SpongeBob pack to give away to one lucky reader. In it you will find: 1 8-pack of large plates, 1 16-pack of napkins, 1 8-pack of cups and the SpongeBob recipe and game ideas!

Wanna Win??All you have to do is leave me a comment about how cool it would be to have this for your next party (and who said it had to be for a kid's party??!!). Get extra entries if you subscribe or blog about the giveaway and link to this post - make sure you leave another comment that you did. Winner will be selected on Tuesday - good luck!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Free 2009 Entertainment Book

Entertainment Book

I know that we're more than half through 2009 but right now you can get the 2009 Entertainment Book for free when you sign up for your 2010 Entertainment Book. I have always been a big fan of the Entertainment Book because it has so many great discounts for just about everything that people do: dining out, travel, shopping, and entertainment (of course!). My local one only costs $25 and with this deal, it's like getting 2 for the price of 1. Check it out!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Awesome Albertson's

I been shopping a lot at Albertson's lately because there have been such screamin' deals, especially the Mix & Match Promo. Buy 10 participating items and get $5 off instantly. The best deal so far has been Starkist Tuna, which was on sale 2 weeks ago. Combining the Mix & Match, coupons, and Catalina for $1 on your next order for every 5 that you buy (until July 17 reportedly) I was getting tuna pouches for $.05 per pouch! Lots of good stuff to donate to my local food bank.

Needless to say, I was able to get a lot of super cheap groceries while this was going on. But the store ran out of tuna before I ran out of coupons so I got a raincheck. Yesterday, the store had some more of the tuna in stock so I was able to work the deal and use the Catalinas to bring my total down on the other items I needed. There was also a new promo on the tuna, get a free snack pack of chips for every 3 puches that you buy - so free chips!

Here's how it worked:

30 Tuna pouches $37.50
10 Snack Pack Chips $20

- $15 M&M promo
- $18 Chips promo (this is wrong, should have been $20 off)
- $15 Tuna coupons

Paid $9.50 and got $6 in Catalinas to use on my next order!



My next order was a few things that were on sale and some basics that I needed. With double coupons it turned out great! Kraft Mac n Cheese was on Mix & Match for $.50 and I had Buy 3 Get 1 Free coupons. V8 Fusion drinks are 2/$5, use 2 $1 coupons, doubled plus a $1 Catalina when you buy 2, makes these Free! I had coupons for the chilis, Cheerios (M&M), Grill Mates and Rubbermaid containers (not shown). Found coupons on the syrup for $.55 off. No coupons for the coffee (M&M), cheese, dill or bananas. Total was only $17.05 after all coupons (total savings of $40.54)!



The store found more tuna after I was done, so I did one more transaction and still have the $6 in Catalinas to use for the next trip! How did your shopping go this week?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Cool Contest - Year's Worth of Diapers


I always enter free contests because I figure, someone's got to win. Remember when I won a local mall's online contest for a $250 gift card? It doesn't happen a lot but it does happen! Here's a great contest for a year's worth of free diapers from Costco. You don't have to be a Costco member to enter. Anyone who has a baby still in diapers will appreciate this!

Simply Summer Salad


I will admit that with my job as crazy as it is right now, menu planning and cooking have fallen seriously on the wayside. I have had and still have enough of a stockpile, from careful shopping and taking advantage of great deals, that I'm not shopping meal by meal and we haven't been eating take out (not regularly anyway!). Plus, this summer has been unusually warm for Seattle, so heating up an already hot kitchen is not very appealing. I've just been cooking very simply and it's been nice, actually. Here is a simple salad that makes a healthy, fabulous and quick summer night meal. I almost always have all of these ingredients on hand so it's also my "take along" salad if we get invited to a last minute BBQ at a neighbor's house.

Dressing

1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp honey
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt/Pepper to taste

I use a small lidded container so that I can put all ingredients together, shake and dress the salad right before serving.

Salad

1 bag mix greens or whatever lettuce you like
1 medium apple, cored and chopped into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup walnuts/pecans *can also be toasted
1/2 cup feta or goat cheese

Make it a main dish: Add one can of chicken or tuna.

Gayle's Grocery Cart Challenge is THE place to get all of your recipe inspiration. She hosts the Friday recipe swap and I always seem to find something new over there. Enjoy the weekend, everyone!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Free Kotex Overnight Sample

Kotex Ultra Overnight Pads
It seems that I get a free sample everyday in my mailbox. It's just so simple to fill out a quick form and get a new product to try or a product that you already like for free. Here is a great sample of Kotex Overnight with Wings. I have used these before and they really do provide great overnight protection. And really, how can you go wrong with free?!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Free Formula Offer


Do you know someone who is expecting a baby or just gave birth? I consider myself a big fan of breastfeeding, but I recognize that it's not possible for everyone and I found that after I went back to work, I just wasn't able to pump enough to satisfy my little one. This is a great offer that I took advantage of when I was expecting and after I had my daughter last year. Sign up for a great free gift and money-saving coupons from Enfamil formula. I don't think I paid full price once for formula with all of the great coupons that they sent to me.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Free Starbucks Ice Cream


I haven't had Starbucks new ice cream flavors yet but they look absolutely delicious. It's easy to get a free coupon for a free pint of ice cream. Log in to your Facebook account and go here. It says that you can share it with a friend, but also says that no one will judge you if you want to send it to yourself - hee hee! The coupons are given out every hour and I found that the best way to catch one is to click the "Share Now" button as close to the top of the hour as possible. This will be such a cool summer treat - enjoy!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Grocery Budget Update

Things have not eased up one bit at work. I am busier than ever. Which is a good thing in a tough economy where not many people feel like their jobs are secure. I am not complaining. But I haven't been writing, let alone blogging at all and I really want to! I do! So I am reorganizing and reprioritizing some things to make that possible...starting NOW!

My budget update is actually pretty good. I have a monthly budget of $83.62. April was a great month where I came in with $32.08 to spare. In May, I spent $71.86 (wow - that seems like a lot but I wasn't couponing hardly at all that month so I guess that really demonstrates the power of the coupon, doesn't it?). In June, I did better, spending only $50.57. So the grand totals are as follows:

May: $83.62 + $32.08 (April leftover) = $115.70 - $71.86 = $43.84
June: $83.62 + $43.84(May leftover) = $127.46 - $50.57 = $76.89

I am debating about whether I should even carry the leftovers into the next month since I seems like I really don't need to. Although the minute I don't, I'll have a non-coupon or something else come up month and need it, so I'll keep it for now. I am taking a serious look though for next year's budget and wondering, will I even need that much?

Now that we've gone 6 months into this year, how are you doing?

About Me

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Seattle Area, Washington - the state
I am an attorney, working mom of 3, who loves a bargain, a great deal and freebies. Who doesn't want the best, for less? Come here to see my triumphs and budget tribulations, good deals and my take on what the good life can mean...