Thursday, July 29, 2010

Catching Up With Old Friends

These past two weeks have been a fun whirlwind and it has been busy, busy.

We saw a few good friends we had not seen in months and had a chance to catch up and hang out and it is a wonderful thing!  Dinner with the girls was wonderful and the food was delicious over at Bill Bateman's in Severna Park, MD.  It also helped that I purchased the groupon not too long ago for $15 for $30 worth of food.  Of course our bill was more then $30 because the food is so delicious there.

We have also been catching up and trying to be here for another good friend of ours who's circumstances has changed over the last year.  She is doing wonderfully, has been so positive and cheery all the time and she really inspires me.  With everything that she has going on in life, her positive outlook on life makes me realize that life is full of unexpected journey's and as Clint Eastwood said in Heartbreak Ridge (one of our favorite movies), you overcome, adapt and improvise.  She is making so much progress and we are so proud of her.

One of my other friends needed help with a project and we were more then glad to help her and be there for her.  She has been a good friend to us over the years we have lived in Maryland and it was wonderful to spend the day with her.  Since then, we have tried to spend at least one day a week hanging out and visiting our friend from the paragraph above.  It has also been great seeing and spending some time with her grandkids who used to hang out with our kids when we first arrived in Maryland.  We are trying to get the kids together before school starts one last time to play and hangout.

The other good friend of ours also needed help with a project she had going on, so we didn't hesitate to go help her last week.  She and her husband have been great friends to us over the years we have lived here.  She found the drawings and artwork that her two youngest kids did when they were in kindergarten and some when they were a little older.  I told her I could take pictures of all of them and make it up in a photo book for her so that she could have it to look through instead of keeping the originals which she is going to pass on to her kids now in their 30's.  She said it would be a great idea and if I could get this done for her she would pay me back.  I took all the pictures and just need to sit down and work on it for her.  Of course, I will look for a coupon or something and get it done for her when I have some spare time.

Saturday, July 24, 2010 Deal 80% off July Deal now when you use promo code PLATE valid until July 31, 2010.

Also, if you go through, you can get an additional 30% back in online rebates. 

Snapfish Buy $25 in Photo Gifts and get a $25 Gift Certificate

Snapfish has a deal purchase $25 in photo gifts (excluding 4x6, 5x7 and 8x10 prints), you get a $25 gift certificate free, details here: Snapfish free $25 promo with $25 photo gift purchase.  Offer valid until August 11, 2010.

Grocery Shopping Day

Yesterday was grocery shopping day, so we decided that going with a good friend and her family would make it a little more fun and it was.  

The night before, we made a spreadsheet of everything we needed and organized our coupons so we would be ready.  We got everything on our list and found a few coupons for things we needed to purchase anyway on the shelves at the commissary...yay!  

We get up to the register to pay and notice a sign there saying if you shop on July 30 and 31st using a lot of coupons, you can enter to win a chance for a $150 gift card.  We were bummed because this was our big monthly commissary run.  Putting that aside, we paid and the bagger loaded our groceries into our vehicle and we said goodbye to friends.  

Our commissary run was excellent this time.  We had not been to the Fort Meade commissary in weeks, so this was it.  We got $194.81 in groceries for $138.62, saved $56.29 in coupons and 30% of my bill which is excellent in my book.

Here's the play by play (q=coupon, b2g1=buy 2 get 1 free, b1g1=buy 1 get 1 free):
2 Jolly Time popcorn @ $1.19/ea - $1q x 2 = $.19/box
3 King Size candies b2g1 free
2 Hershey's candies b1g1 free
2 Kellogg's Frosted Flakes cereal @ $1.99/ea - $1.50q = $2.48 or $1.48/bx
1 Oreo Blizzard Cookies @ $2.25
2 Mueller's noodles @ $.75/ea - $.55 = $.95 or $.48/bx
1 V8 V Fusion @ 3.10 - $1q = $2.10
2 Hershey's Strawberry Syrup @ $1.45/ea (.50 off a gallon milk q)
4 Pop Tarts @ $1.50=$6.00-$1q x 2 = $4.00 or $1.00/bx
2 Kellogg's Cocoa Krispies @ $1.99/bx - $1q = $3.00 or $1.50/bx
1 Jello snack packs @ 2.69
2 Campbell's chicken noodle soup @ $1.83/ea
4 Campbell's cream of mushroom soup @ $1.05 = $4.20
2 Hunt's ketchup @ $.69/ea - $1q = $1.38 or $.19/ea
3 Betty Crocker warm delights @ 1.43/ea - .75q x 3 = $2.04 or $.68/ea
2 Oriental crackers $1.29
1 Crystal Light Pure Fitness To Go drink mix @ $2.00
3 Taco Bell taco seasoning @ .40/ea - $1q = $.07/ea
1 French's honey mustard dipping sauce @ $1.79 - $1q = $.79
1 Marcal napkins @ $2.49
2 Ziplock bags @ $2.85 - $1.50q = $1.35 or $.68/ea
1 Solo paper plate @ $1.69 - $1q = $.69
1 Hot Shot Ant Killer @ $2.23 - $1q = $1.23
1 Mr. Clean magic eraser @ $1.61 - $1q = $.61
1 Puffs Plus with lotion facial tissue @ $1.11 - $.50q = $.61
2 Hefty bags @ $2.75 - $.50q x 2 = $1.75 or $.88/ea
2 Kings Hawaiian sweet bread @ $2.99 - $.50q x 2 = $5.00 or $2.50/ea
2 Sargento sliced cheeses @ $2.39 - $2q = $2.78 or $1.39/ea
2 Florida's Natural OJ @ $2.49 - $1q = $4.00 or $2.00/ea
1 International Delights coffee creamer @ 1.89 - $1q = $.89
4 Dairy Maid gallon milks @ $2.26 - $.50q x 2 = $8.04 or $2.01/ea
2 Sargento cheese sticks @ $2.49 - $2q = $2.98 or $1.49/ea
1 Coffee Mate coffee creamer @ 1.89 - $1q = $.89
2 Baby Bel cheese @ $2.79/ea - $1q = $4.58 or $2.29/ea
1 Precious fresh mozzarella cheese @ $2.99 - $1q = $1.99
1 Fage greek yogurt large container @ $3.44 - $.75q = $2.69
2 Fage greek yogurt individuals @ $1.45/ea - $.85q = $2.05 or $1.03/ea
2 Eggo waffles @ $1.75/ea - $1.50q = $2 or $1/ea
1 Contessa chicken florentine @ $4.99 - $1q = $3.99
1 Jimmy Dean Breakfast Bowl @ $1.79 - $1q = $.79
1 Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches family size @ $5.69 - $1q - $4.69
1 Yoplait Smoothie @ $1.75 - $1q = $.75
2 Jimmy Dean pork sausage @ $2.09/ea - $1q = $3.18 or $1.59/ea
1 Sara Lee lunch meat @ $2.89 - $1q = $1.89
2 Off the Bone lunch meat @ $1.99/ea - $1q x 2 = $2.00 or $1/ea
2 Oscar Mayer hot dogs @ $1.25/ea - $1q = $1.25 or $.63/ea
3 Schmidt sandwich bread @ $1.12/ea
2 Nivea lip care @ $1.65/ea - b1g1 = $1.65 or $.82/ea
1 Degree deodorant @ $2.99 - $1q = $1.99
2 Dole salad mix @ $2.15/ea - $1 q x 2 = $2.30 or $1.15/ea
5 lbs of bananas @ 3.09
Subtotal: $194.84
Coupons: $56.29
Total: $138.52

I would love to hear about your great coupon savings!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Deals for July 18-24, 2010

Here are some deals great deals this week.

1. McDonald's coupon for $1.00 off any size and flavor McCafe real fruit smoothie or frappe, valid until 8/15/10, details here:

2. Greene Turtle promo where kids 12 and younger eat free with the purchase of a burger, entree or sandwich for a limited time, details here:

3. Get the Greene Turtle limited edition green plastic bracelet for a limited time.

4. Famous Footwear is offering 25% off off their Sketcher Shape Ups for a limited time.

5. Quizno's coupon for get any small sub, chips and regular drink for $2.99, valid until 7/27/10, details here:

6. Game Stop Power Saver Sale 10-50% off previously owned titles, details here:

7. Fleischmann's has a great offer going now, for just $5 you get a free sample of their Pizza Yeast and a free Pizza On The Grill Cookbook (worth $17), details here:
We have always wanted to try grilling pizza's and now we have a great opportunity.

8. Dole promo try to win a bag of salad or $1.00 coupon, details here:

9. Ziploc and Taste of Home Promo - purchase 2 Ziplock products and enter the upc's here to download their Back to School Menu Plan, details here:

10. Stop by Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin Robbins before noon and pick up $1.00 off coupon off a medium or large Baskin Robbins beverage after 2pm, limited time only.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Baking and Cooking Day

This afternoon turned into our baking and cooking day.  We are running low on a few things and really do not feel like running out to the grocery store and what better way to enjoy homemade goodies and save some money doing it then by making our own.

Today, we made up some fruit smoothies and froze them into small cups for a quick and easy snack.  We also made some strawberry freezer jam.  Here's how they turned out.

Then we made the dough for the homemade dinner rolls in our bread maker, put them on a baking sheet topped with melted butter and let them rise for 30 minutes prior to baking them.  The smell of fresh baked bread fills our house and is making us so hungry.   These were so good we pre-made dry mixes for future dinner rolls recipes.  We cannot wait to make these again!  This is how they turned out.

Oh, man we just tasted the dinner rolls and they are DELICIOUS!!!  We just found this recipe online today and tried it, go here for the Dinner Roll recipe:  Update, there is only one dinner roll left and we are stuffed.

We also diced up and froze the onions from our garden already prepped for future meals.  We are now making homemade white bread in our bread maker because we are almost out of bread altogether.

The bread is sooooo good that the kids just want soup and our homemade dinner rolls for dinner tonight.  Two wonderfully tasting things paired together.  I do not think there will be any bread leftover because we already ate half of it.

What To Do With What Is In Our Garden

This year, we are growing onions, garlic, melon, roma and cherry tomatoes, long hot peppers and tomatillos in our garden.  We also have our staman apple tree and an asian pear tree.

Our garden recently started to produce crops - tomatoes (cherry and roma), onions and some staman apples from our tree.  Our kids locate and pick our produce to bring them in for washing and preparing.

Now the question is what to do with all that our garden produces this year.

This year, I am going to try canning our tomatoes rather then freezing them so that we can make them last longer and be easier to work with rather then being mush.  I am going to blanch them, take off their skins and can them.  We will continue to dice and freeze our onions from our garden (as we do with those we purchase from grocery stores) for use with future meals.  We find that this has been working well for our family when meal time rolls around.

The staman apples have not been lasting very long.  It seems like once they are picked, the kids and I eat them up pretty quick.

I am hoping to get enough apples from our tree this season to make at least one apple pie.  Last year was the first year we had our tree and it gave us one apple, well half an apple because our youngest decided to hit it with his stick when he was fighting it.  This years abundance of apples is an unexpected and welcome change.

It looks like our tomatillos and asian pears are coming along great.  Our peppers do not seem be going very well.  Our strawberry plants look like they are coming along but no fruit yet.

This year like last year, we will continue to share what our garden produces with friends and with people in our community.  Last year, we shared bags of tomatoes and some jalapeno peppers.   Some people used them in chili, some in stews, some in salsa, some fried green tomatoes and so on.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Items Received This Month

I have received so many wonderful things that include the following this month.

Cashed out my consignment account.
Base Consignment Check.

$1.00 Kandoo coupon
$10.00 off $10.00 purchase Burlington Coat Factory coupon
10% off Shutterfly coupon code
Marlboro free pack of SNUS with any Marlboro purchase coupon
$2.00 Hallmark Customer Appreciation Coupon
Coca Cola coupon booklet with $9 in coupons available at Giant Supermarket.
$5 off $75 Target coupon from Target Ad
Famous Dave's birthday coupon for a free dessert for our son's birthday.
$5 off any purchase at Build A Bear for our son's birthday
Free scoop of ice cream at Baskin and Robbins for our son's birthday
Free like it from Cold Stone Creamery for our son's birthday
Kids eat free coupon from Greene Turtle

Excellent Deals:
Two free PS3 video games from Game Stops buy 2, get 1 free deal
Hollister 50% off on redlined items
Transformers kids shoes for $10 from Famous Footwear, on sale plus coupon
Magellan Maestro gps unit for $42 ($26 + s/h + tax) from
Playstation 3 wireless controller for $18 + free shipping from
25 photo greeting cards free w/paid shipping ($4.99) from

Free Stuff:
Tomatoes and onions from our garden
Apples from our tree
Kids clothes for friends
Digital camera gift from a good friend
Two free PS3 video games from Game Stops buy 2, get 1 free deal
Nexxus free Therappe shampoo, Numectress conditioner and Humectress deep conditioner samples and valuable offer.
Netipot - signed up for a free one on facebook.
Free luggage tag in an Amex solicitation.

$3.00 Rite Aid Single Check Rebate Check
$5.00 Sorrento String Cheese Rebate Check
$23.90 Mr. Rebates Online Rebate Check
$8.99 Ace Rebate Check

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Deals - July 11-17, 2010

Here are some great deals you may want to check out.  This will be updated as deals come in this week.

1. SeeHere by Fujifilm is offering 25 free 4x8 greeting cards, regularly $12.99.  Just pay shipping $4.99 and use online coupon code: cards-36, valid this week only.  One coupon code per person, per household.  (Great for birthday's, thank you's, engagement, weddings, etc...)
2. CVS Photo is offering buy one, get one free 4x6 prints online, valid until July 26, 2010, details here:
3. TGI Friday's is offering a free $10 gift card when you order two carribean dishes, valid until September 6, 2010, details here:
4. Yes to Carrots is having a 30% off sale here:
5. Mastercard Marketplace Overwhelming Offers:
6. Quizno's coupons:
7. Snapfish is offering 99 4x6 prints for .99 with online coupon code JULY99PENNY, valid until July 13th.
8. Bath & Body Works is offering free shipping with $40 purchase, use online coupon code FREESHIP40, valid until July 18th.
9. Aeropostale is offering buy one, get one free shorts and polos, details here:
10. Old Navy's 15% off (20% off for card holders - ONSTUFF20) and free shipping on $50 or more online only, use coupon code: ONSAVE15, details here:
11. Quizno's Catering Coupon - $5 off $20 or $10 off $35:
12. Aeropostale - 15% off Uniform Approved Wear, use coupon UNIFORM5 at checkout, valid until 7/21/10.
13. Snapfish is offering 10% off plus free shipping on a photo book, use code BOOKFSJUL, valid until 7/18/10.
14. Target Coupons:

Clutter Control and Freecycling

Today is dedicated to clutter control and freecycling.  More in the past several months, our fellow freecyclers have benefited from our unused items.  It gives us a great feeling to help other people and families out in our community.  I am now going through everything in our attic to see what we no longer need/use and what we can get rid of.  I am vowing that after this year we only keep items we use around.  Granted a couple times a year I go through what we have and either save, store, freecycle, consign or donate whatever we are not using.  I want to organize the attic to a point where when comes time to move again, we will be ready and organized.

Clutter control has been difficult and pain stakingly slow but when all is said and done, the task will be conquered.  In the end I think it will feel refreshing to shed all this clutter from our lives.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Back to School Part II - Sales

This holiday weekend, there are many great sales to take advantage of that will probably be better then the traditional back to school sales.  Check these out!

Aeropostale - 30% off clearance this weekend only $10 off of $50 coupon plus $5 tanks and t's, coupon here:
American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie - 30% off clearance and free shipping this weekend only when you buy 3 items or more, details here:
Hollister - 50% off of redlined items (clearance items)
Old Navy - 30% off select items at their Star Spangled Banner sale

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Pantry Challenge

This week we started our Pantry/Refrigerator/Freezer Challenge where we are eating stuff we already have in our house when we are home to eat.  We are challenging ourselves to concoct a dish from what we have in stock with the exception of purchasing bread, milk, eggs, etc...

So far this week, we have eaten the following:
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Breakfast - cereal w/milk
Lunch - out all day
Dinner - Breakfast for dinner
Dessert - ice cream sandwiches

Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Breakfast - spam, vienna sausage, eggs & rice
Lunch - leftovers
Dinner - whatever we wanted to eat
Dessert - coffee cake

Thursday, July 1, 2010
Breakfast - pop tart w/milk
Lunch - out during the day
Dinner - shrimp sauteed in butter and garlic over fettuccine noodles with alfredo sauce (DELICIOUS!)
Dessert - pound cake

Plan for Friday, July 2, 2010
Breakfast - cereal w/milk
Lunch - steak umm sandwiches
Dinner - meat juhn w/rice & veggie

Do you want to join me in this challenge?  If so, share your plan of action and good luck!