Monday, February 16, 2009

Dinner this week...

After a less than spectacular round of recipes last week, I'm going back to some old stand-bys. I am trying the cauliflower soup for the first time, though. However, Pioneer Woman's recipes have never failed me in the past...

Monday: Creamy White Chili with turkey, cornbread

Tuesday: Leftovers

Wednesday: Taco salad with Fritos (purchased for $1 at Safeway last week!)

Thursday: Trader Joe's marinated King Salmon, Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

Friday: ...still thinking about that one...probably eat out

Saturday: Pizza & salad

Sunday: Pioneer Woman's Mom's Cauliflower Soup, Cheddar biscuits

What are you having for dinner this week?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Safeway deals, 02/11-02/17

Welcome Grocery Gatherers! Here are the weekly deals for Safeway. These prices are valid Wednesday, February 11 through Tuesday, February 17. I am using a Northern California ad. Your prices and coupons may vary.

President's Day 4 Day Sale: These prices are only good Saturday, Feb. 14 through Tuesday, Feb. 17.

  • All American Two Flavor Pie (cherry/apple): $3.99

  • Starbucks Coffee, 12oz.: $5.99

  • Safeway Select ice cream: $2.49

  • 3-lb. bag fuji or braeburn apples: $0.99 each.

Coupon Match-ups:

  • Betty Crocker Cake Mix, Cookie Pouches, or Frosting: Buy 2, get 3 free (5/$4.98). Use $0.40 off cookie mix from 02/08 General Mills insert. Use $0.50 off frosting from 02/08 GM insert.

  • Charmin bath tissue, 6 mega or 12 big bath rolls, or Bounty Paper Towels, 6 or 8 rolls: $6.99. Use $0.25 off Charmin from 02/08 P&G insert. Use $0.25 off Bounty from 01/18 and 02/08 P&G inserts.

  • Huggies Big Pack Diapers: $20.99. Use $1.50 from 01/11 or 02/08 SS.

  • Nabisco large snack crackers: $3.99. Use $2/2 from 01/25 SS.

  • Hunt's Canned tomatoes: 10/$10. Use $0.40/2 from 01/18 SS.

  • Post Honey Bunches of Oats: 2/$7. Use $1/2 from 01/25 SS.

  • Orville Redenbacher's Popcorn: Buy one, get one free (2/$3.69). Use $1/2 from 01/18 SS.

  • Powerade: $0.88. Use $0.40 off Powerade Zero from 01/04 SS. (exp. 02/15)

  • Trident Gum: Buy one, get one free (2/$1.49). Use $0.75 from 01/18 SS.

  • Quaker Chewy Granola bars: $2.22. Use $1/2 from 01/04 RP.

  • Swiffer Dust & Shine: $3.99. Use $0.50 from 01/18 P&G.

  • Gain or Cheer Laundry Detergent: $4.99. Use $0.50 off Gain from 01/18 P&G insert.

  • Downy or Bounce fabric softener: $5.99. Use $0.50 off Downy from 02/08 P&G insert. Use $0.25 off Bounce from 02/08 P&G insert.

  • Yoplait Go-gurt: 2/$5. Use $1 printable here.

  • Pillsbury Crescent or Cinnamon Rolls: 2/$6. Use $0.55 off cinnamon rolls from 01/04 GM insert. Use $0.40 off cinnamon rolls from 02/08 GM insert. Use $0.35 off crescent rolls from 12/07 SS, 01/25 SS, or $0.25 off in 01/04 GM insert.

  • Pillsbury Frozen breakfast: $2.79. Use $0.35 off Toaster Strudel from 01/04 and 02/08 GM inserts.

  • Aveeno skin care: 20% off. Use $1 or $1.50 from 01/25 RP.

  • Olay Bar or Body Wash: $5.99. Use $1/1 from 01/18 P&G insert. Use $1/2 from 02/08 P&G insert.

  • Crest Advanced Whitestrips: $34.99. Use $10 from 02/08 P&G insert.

  • Sudafed or Benadryl: $4.49. Use $1.50 from 12/07 RP.

  • Tylenol Cold and Sinus: $5.99. Use $1 from 01/04 RP.

  • Slim Fast Optima Shakes: $5.99. Use $1.25 from 01/04 RP.

  • Kotex: $4.99. See 01/11 SS for several Kotex coupons.

  • Star Kist Pouch Product: 3/$4. Use Buy 2, get one free from 01/04 RP.

Super Coupons: There are several coupons in this week's ad, however there is a limit of one per transaction ($10 minimum) unless otherwise noted. Also, some of the coupons require that 2 or 4 items be purchased, so read the coupon carefully!

  • Hillshire Farm Thin or Hearty Sliced Lunchmeat: 3/$8.

  • Hormel Pork Tenderloin or Filet (1.15 to 1.7lb.): $4.99 each. Use $1 off Hormel Always Tender Product from 02/08 SS.

  • Mission Tortilla Chips: $0.99.

  • Sun Maid 6-pack seedless raisins: $0.99.

  • Signature Cafe Soups, 24oz.: $3.99

  • Safeway Bath Tissue or Paper Towels: $4.99.

  • Safeway Variety Breads: $1.49.

  • Phillips Shrimp Steamers: $4.99. Use $1.75 or $1 from 01/25 SS.

  • Kellogg's Frosted Mini Wheats or Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks: 4/$6. Must buy 4. Use $1.50/2 mini wheats from 01/18 RP. Use $0.75 printable for fruit snacks here. Use $0.50/2 fruit snacks from 01/04 GM insert.

  • Safeway Clear Sparkling Beverage or Soda: $0.49.

  • Vitaminwater Variety pack: $9.99

  • Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent: 2/$7. Must buy 2.

  • Wesson Cooking Oil: 2/$5. Must buy 2.

  • Red Baron Single Serve Pizza or Tony's Pizza: 2/$4. Must by 2. Use $1/2 from 01/11 SS.

  • Listerine Mouthwash: $1.99. Use $0.50 from 02/08 RP.

Other Sweet Deals:

  • 1-lb. sweet strawberries: 2/$6.

  • Jumbo Yellow or White onions: $0.49/lb.

  • Texas Red Grapefruit: 2/$1

  • Sweet Red or Green Seedless grapes: $0.88/lb.

  • Large hothouse tomatoes: $0.98/lb.

  • Safeway canned fruit: 10/$10.

  • O Organics milk, 1/2 gallon: $2.99.

Power Pump rewards are still accumulating so check your receipt to see how close you are!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Organic on the cheap

I've been thinking a lot about eating healthier lately and especially for my babies. They drink organic milk and I buy mostly organic fruits and vegetables for them, but I still have been trying to "healthify" our meals. I think I had a major "light bulb moment" when I watched the Oprah show a few weeks ago that featured the overweight teens. Dr. Oz was talking about some of the foods to avoid (like white foods: sugar, flour, rice) and really reading labels.

Also, a few months ago, Dr. Oz was on again and asked the audience to select three foods to eliminate from their diet and three foods to add to their diet. After watching that episode, Husband and I read a few of the labels in our pantry and realized we needed to do better. Our three items to eliminate were: soda (which we really don't drink all that much anyway), bread that doesn't meet the "healthy" criteria, and cereal that doesn't meet the "healthy criteria". Our three items to add to our diet were: walnuts (good source of Omega-3), more fish (thus the once a week fish item on our dinner menu), and more vegetables (thus the subscription to the CSA).

As I started to buy more of these healthy items, I realized that I could get processed food really cheap (sometimes free!) but healthier items were going to be more expensive and my grocery budget was going to have to shift to make that adjustment.

One way that I integrate more organic and healthy-for-you foods is by shopping at Trader Joe's. I'm a big fan and the more I shop there, the more I love it. Their produce is often less expensive than the grocery chains or even Whole Foods. They carry both conventional and organic varieties, which allows you to realize that organic is not always that much more expensive.

Signing up for the CSA isn't necessarily cheaper. However, it "forces" me to add more fruits and vegetables to my family's diet, which is something I might not be motivated to do on my own. Also, I know the produce is picked in the last day or so and has not traveled from Chile or Mexico or even Texas to get to my table. The nutrients I need are still in the food! I'm willing to pay a little extra for these benefits.

Now I've heard that Costco is starting to jump on the organic bandwagon, but it has been ages since I've been there. I'm hoping to take a trip there soon to do some research (and maybe get a few free samples!), so I'll let you know what I find.

For those of you who already get great organic stuff on the cheap, how do you do it?

***I'm picking up our first CSA order today, so I'll give you a report later in the week!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Dinner this week...

I'm really excited to start our CSA this week (Tuesday). I'm integrating my CSA items into my dinner plan, so I've got a few new recipes to try! Here's what our week looks like:

Monday: Three Pepper Halibut, black beans, rice

Tuesday: Farfalle with golden beets, beet greens & pine nuts; salad, yummy bread

Wednesday: Turkey pot pie (using leftover turkey from Saturday's dinner)

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Top round London Broil steaks, potato parsnip puree, asparagus with hollandaise sauce, chocolate dessert (our Valentine's dinner)

Saturday: Dinner at friends' house

Sunday: Creamy White Chili (using more leftover turkey!)

What are you having for dinner this week?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Safeway deals 02/04-02/10

Welcome Grocery Gatherers! Here are the current deals for Safeway. Prices are good from Wednesday, February 4th through Tuesday, February 10th. I am using a Northern California ad. Your prices and coupons may vary.

Amazing $1 Deals

These items are only $1 each!

  • 1-lb. Eating Right Baby Peeled Carrots

  • Colored Bell Peppers, 1lb.

  • Lucerne Flavored Milk, 16oz.

  • Safeway Premium Breads

  • Kellogg's Pop-Tarts, 8ct.: Use $1/2 from 01/18 RP.

  • Balance Bars

  • Safeway Select Artisan French Breads

  • Rice a Roni: Use $1/4 from 01/04 RP.

  • Dial Liquid Soap: Use $0.35 from 01/04 SS.

  • Suave: See 01/11 RP for several Suave coupons.

  • Lucerne Brick Cream Cheese, 8oz.

  • Oscar Mayer Basic Lunchables

  • Cornish Game Hens, Frozen Twin Pack ($1/lb.)

  • Roma Tomatoes, 1lb.

  • Kellogg's Fruit Snacks (Limit 8): Use $1/2 from 02/01 RP.

  • Fritos or Cheetos

Coupon Match-ups

  • 5-lb. Clementine Mandarin Oranges: $4.88. Use $1 from 02/01 SS on Cuties.

  • Kellogg's Frosted Flakes: $1.99. Use $1.50/2 from 01/18 RP.

  • Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal: $1.99. Use $0.55 printable here.

  • Ball Park Meat Franks: 2/$5. Use $1/2 from 01/25 RP.

  • Johnsonville Breakfast Sausage: 2/$6. Use $1/2 from 01/11 SS.

  • Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice, 89oz.: $4.99. Use $1/2 from 01/04 RP.

  • All Detergent: $4.49. Use $0.40 from 01/04 RP.

  • Kraft Salad Dressing: 2/$5. Use $1/2 from 01/18 SS.

  • Nature Valley Granola Bars: 2/$6. Use $0.60 printable here. Or use $0.50 from 01/04 General Mills insert.

  • Nabisco 100 Calorie Packs: 2/$5. Use $0.35/2 from 01/11 SS.

  • Ziploc Storage Bags: $3.49. Use $1/2 or $0.40/1 from 01/11 SS.

  • Yoplait Yogurt: 10/$7. Use $0.40/6 from 01/04 General Mills insert.

  • Dannon Activia: 2/$5. Use $1 from 01/11 SS.

  • Nestle Cookie Dough: 2/$6. Use $1 from 02/01 RP.

  • Old Spice Deodorant: $2.99. Use $1 from 12/28 P&G insert.

  • Tylenol, selected varieties: $5.99. See 01/04 RP for several Tylenol coupons.

  • Mucinex: $9.99. Use $1 from 12/14 SS or 01/18 SS.

  • Colgate toothpaste, selected varieties: $0.99. Use $1 from 02/01 SS to get it FREE or use $0.75 from 02/01 SS, depending on variety on sale.

Love Your Heart

Get a free heart health screening in Safeway's pharmacy, look for heart healthy savings throughout the store, and pick up the program booklet to find over $25 in coupons (see pharmacy for details). I'm betting the coupon are good for many of the items featured in this section of the ad, so you may get even better prices than the coupon match-ups below.

  • Healthy Choice Steamers: 5/$10. Use $1/2 from 01/04 SS.

  • Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers: 2/$5. Use $1 from 01/04 SS.

  • V8 100% Vegetable Juice or V-Fusion Juice: $2.99. Use $0.50 from 01/04 SS.

  • Barilla Plus Pasta: 2/$4. Use $1/2 from 01/04 SS.

  • Kellogg's Smart Start: 2/$6. Use $1.50/2 from 01/18 RP.

  • Kellogg's Special K Red Berries: 2/$6. Use $1/2 from 01/04 RP.

  • Kellogg's Special K Bars: 2/$6. Use $1/2 from 01/04 RP.

  • Campbell's Chunky Healthy Request Soups: 2/$3. Use $0.50/2 from 01/04 SS.

  • Campbell's Healthy Request Condensed Soups: 10/$10. Use $0.40/2 from 01/04 SS or 02/01 SS.

  • Campbell's Select Harvest Soup: 2/$3. Use $0.50/2 from 12/14 SS, 01/04 SS, or 02/01 SS.

  • Other Sweet Deals:

    • Fresh Green or White Asparagus: $1.48/lb.

    • Kraft Cheese Shredded or Singles: $1.99

    • Save up to $10 on frozen restaurant brand items. See store for details.

    • Safeway Select Variety Breads: 2/$5.
    • Lucerne Milk: 2 gallons for $3.98. That's the lowest price I've seen in awhile!

    Keep racking up those power pump gas rewards. It should tell you at the bottom of your reciept how close you are!

    $5 off $20 at Rite Aid

    Friday and Saturday only (02/06 and 02/07) use this coupon to get $5 off your purchase of $20 or more at Rite Aid. Nice!

    I'll get this week's Safeway deals up later today!

    Wednesday, February 4, 2009

    January Report

    I'm not sure why it was so tough for me to stay on budget in January. I ended up going over my $440 budget by about $40. I did spend a little more on diapers this month because I got behind on the diaper deals, so I'll try to keep up better this month.

    I did get $35.98 worth of free stuff this month,though, including:

    • $9 in free gas (Safeway power pump rewards)
    • 20 pk. Electrasol power tabs
    • Cascade rinse agent (from Right @ Home coupon booklet)
    • Classico pasta sauce (rec'd free coupon from mfr.)

    I'm reducing my budget to $420 this month, which shouldn't be bad, considering there are only 28 days in this month! I signed up for a 4 week trial subscription to a CSA (community supported agriculture) and am really excited for it to start next week. I'm splitting it with my sister to save some money and to make sure that we use all that produce. I'll give you a report on how well it works for us. I'm hoping that by centering more of our meals around fresh produce, we will reduce our food budget.

    I feel like I've gotten a little discouraged with my food budget because I'm having trouble finding the time to gather and organize my coupons, thus forgetting them before my shopping trips. Or I find out the item I've purchased is on sale the next week. Before my babies went to one nap, I used to plan my shopping during their second nap, but now that it's consolidated into one, I find myself using that time for other things! I know I need to get into a better schedule...they're not the only ones making the adjustment!

    I hope you did well on your budgets for January. With the new month comes the chance to do better than before!

    Tuesday, February 3, 2009

    Dinner this week...

    So Menu Planning Monday has been moved to Tuesday...with a sick baby these last few days, it's been a bit hectic! (She seems to be on the mend.) So here's what our week looks like:

    Monday: Creamy Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas, rice, salad

    Tuesday: Leftovers

    Wednesday: Salmon & Asparagus Risotto, salad, delicious bread

    Thursday: Eggs Florentine, fruit

    Friday: Date night

    Saturday: Turkey dinner (hopefully I won't forget to pull it out of the freezer this time!), mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, homemade rolls

    Sunday: Turkey dinner leftovers

    What are you having for dinner this week?

    Saturday, January 31, 2009

    Superbowl Weekend Safeway Savings

    ***Updated with Coupon Match-Ups!***
    In Sunday's paper, you should find an insert from Safeway with some additional deals that extend from Sunday, February 1st through Sunday, February 8th (except for the last page, which goes through Tuesday, February 3rd).

    Sweet deals:

    • Sunday, February 1st: Spend $25 in groceries in a single transaction and get a Signature Cafe Pizza FREE (cheese or pepperoni). This is only valid on Sunday with Club Card and coupon.
    • Sunday, Monday and Tuesday (02/01-02/03): Save $10 off your grocery purchase of $50 or more with Club Card and coupon. Some exclusions do apply and your total must be $50 AFTER Club Card savings and manufacturer coupons (and Safeway coupons). Still, you can do a lot with an extra $10 to spend!
    Super Coupons valid Sunday, Feb. 1 through Tuesday, Feb. 3:

    (Must use Club Card and coupon to get savings)

    • Mott's Apple Juice, 64oz.: $0.99. Limit one with minimum $10 purchase.
    • Large Raw Shrimp, sold in a 2 lb. bag: $3.99/lb. Limit 1 bag with minimum $10 purchase.
    • Cheez-It Crackers: $1.88. Limit 2 with minimum $10 purchase.
    • Oroweat Variety Breads: $1.99. Limit 1 with minimum $10 purchase.

    Super Coupons valid Sunday, Feb. 1 through Sunday, Feb. 8:

    (All items are limit one with minimum $10 purchase, except for Palmolive, which is a limit of 2.)

    • Pantene Shampoo or Conditioner: $5.99
    • Dial or Tone Bars or Body Wash: $2.99. Use $0.35 off Dial bars or $1/2 Dial body wash from 01/04 SS.
    • Colgate or Crest Toothpaste: $1.99. Use $1.50 off Crest from 01/18 P&G insert. Use $1 off Colgate from 02/01 SS.
    • Safeway Disinfecting Wipes: $1.99
    • Glade Candles: 2/$3. Use $1.50/2 from 02/01 SS.
    • Fancy Feast Variety Pack: $10.99. Use $1 from 01/11 SS.
    • Palmolive Dish Detergent: $1.99. Use $0.25 from 02/01 SS.
    • Downy or Bounce: $8.99
    • Kleenex Facial Tissue: 2/$2

    Safeway in-ad coupons good through Feb. 8:

    • Signature Cafe Regular Size Sandwich: $3.99
    • Signature Cafe Soup, 24oz.: $3.99
    • Signature Cafe Salad, 12.5 to 16oz.: $3.99
    • Free Signature Cafe Side Dish with Purchase of Roasted Chicken

    Coupon Match-ups:

    • Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice: 2/$5. Use $1/2 from 01/04 RP.
    • Johnsonville Breakfast Links: 2/$6. Use $1/2 from 01/11 SS.
    • Pillsbury Crescent Rolls: 2/$5. Use $0.35 from 12/07 SS or 01/25 SS.
    • Post Cocoa or Fruity Pebbles: $1.99. Use $1/2 from 01.25 SS.
    • Quaker Instant Oatmeal: Buy one, get one free (2/$4.69). Use $0.70 from 01/04 RP.
    • Nature Made Vitamins or Schiff Move Free: Buy one, get one free. Use $1 off Nature Made from 01/04 or 02/01 SS. Use $5 off Schiff from 01/04 SS.
    • Airborne Health Formula: Buy two, get one free. Use $2 from 01/04 SS.
    • Tylenol or Motrin: $8.49. See 01/04 RP for several Tylenol coupons.
    • Zyrtec: $18.99. Use $4 from 11/23 SS.
    • Hershey's or Marse Large Stand Up Bags: $7.99. Use $2/2 Hershey's from 01/25 SS.
    • Ziploc Food Storage Bags: $3.49. Use $1/2 from 01/11 SS.
    • Duracell Copper Top Batteries: $5.99. Use $0.75 from 01/18 P&G insert.

    ***Also, spend $25 on Kimberly-Clark products in one transaction and receive $5 off your next shopping order. More details in the SmartSource insert.***

    Friday, January 30, 2009

    Best laid plans...

    Last night we took my grandmother out to dinner. She's a widow and we enjoy getting to visit with her one on one every once in awhile. Plus she loves to get out and be social. I had it all planned: we were going to Olive Garden. I bought a giftcard at Safeway (to earn points for the power pump gas rewards) and there was a coupon in the 01/11 inserts for $2 off each entree. Perfecto!

    We had to wait for Husband to get home, so I fed the girls their dinner and planned on letting them snack at the restaurant. They would be up past their bedtime, but I figured they'd be okay.

    The first problem we ran into was ridiculous traffic! Oh my goodness, it was a mess. Since Olive Garden was about 15 minutes away in good traffic, there was no way we would be able to do it in this crazy gridlock. Quickly, we decided on an alternate restaurant that would be close and kid-friendly.

    By the time we ordered our food, the girls were done. I walked them around the restaurant and the diners got a kick out of them, thankfully. (It was Carrow's, and there were a lot of senior citizens there who thought they were so cute.) The food came and the girls ate for, oh, about one minute. Luckily Husband is a fast eater! The girls were so wiggly and then one of them started crying and fussing...Husband eventually took them out and said, "I'll meet you in the car."

    I felt so bad. Husband is in the car with two crying babes, I'm trying to eat something, and I feel like I'm making my poor grandmother shovel down her food so we can go home. Arrgh! I profusely apologized and of course she understood. We decided that next time we would have her for dinner at our house. 16 months is not a good age for dining out!

    So after all is said and done, I still have the Olive Garden giftcard...and I'm desperately craving their breadsticks and salad! Maybe we'll try it one more time...

    Wednesday, January 28, 2009

    Safeway deals 01/29-02/03

    Welcome Grocery Gatherers! Here are the Safeway deals for Wednesday, January 29, through Tuesday, February 3, 2009. I am using a Northern California ad. Your prices and coupons may vary.

    72 hour Game Day Sale
    These prices are good Friday through Sunday, January 30 through February 1, 2009.

    • 12 pack Coca-Cola or 7-Up: 4/$7.99 with card and coupon.

    • Johnsonville Bratwurst Sausage: 2/$5. Use $1/2 from 01/11 SS.

    • Large Hass Avocados: $0.67 each

    • 12 pack Corona: $9.99

    • California Pizza Kitchen Pizza: $3.99. (I love the BBQ Chicken one!)

    Coupon Match-ups

    • Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice: 2/$5. Use $1/2 from 01/04 RP.

    • Campbell's Chunky Soup: $0.99. Use $0.50/2 off Chunky Healthy Request soups from 01/04 SS. Or use $0.75/2 off Chunky Fully Loaded soups from 01/18 SS.

    • Nabisco Snack Crackers or Toasted Chips: $1.69. Use $2/2 Ritz, Wheat Thins or Triscuits from 01/25 SS.

    • Cheer or Gain Laundry Detergent, 150oz.: $12.99 each. Use $0.35 off Cheer from 12/28 P&G insert. Use $0.50 off Gain from 01/18 P&G insert.

    • Tyson Breaded Chicken Selections: Buy one, get one free (2/$4.49). Use $1 off any Tyson breaded bagged item from 10/19 SS (expires 01/31/09).

    • Gorton's Shrimp Temptations: Buy one, get one free (2/$9.99). Use $1 printable here.

    • Hillshire Farm Thin or Hearty Sliced Lunchmeat: 2/$7. Use $0.55 off any lunchmeat 8oz. or larger from 01/04 RP.

    • Kellogg's Corn Flakes: $1.99. Use $1.50/2 from 01/18 RP.

    • Cottonelle Bath Tissue or Viva Paper Towels: $12.99. Use $0.35 off Viva from 01/11 SS. Use $0.50 off Cottonelle 12 pack+ from 01/11 SS.

    • Folgers Coffee: $6.99. Use $0.25 from 12/28 P&G insert.

    • Huggies Big Pack Diapers: $20.99. Use $1.50 from 01/11 SS.

    • Nabisco Ritz or Nilla Wafers: 2/$5. Use $2/2 Nabisco crackers for Ritz.

    • Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Bars: 2/$6. Use $1/2 from 01/11 SS.

    • Orville Redenbacher's Popcorn, 3ct.: Buy one, get one free (2/$3.69). Use $1/2 from 01/18 SS.

    • Star Olive Oil: $6.49. Use $1 from 01/11 SS (expires 01/31/09)

    • Quaker Oatmel: 2/$5. Use $0.60 from 01/04 RP.

    • Cascade Auto Dish Detergent: $4.49. Use $0.50 from 12/18 P&G insert.

    • Air Wick scented oil refills: 2/$6. Use $1/2 from 01/04 & 01/25 SS.

    • Dennison's Chili: 10/$10. Use $0.50/2 from 01/11 SS.

    • Hillshire Farm Lil Smokies or Smoked Sausages: 2/$5. Use $0.35 off Smoked Sausage or $1/2 off Lil Smokies, both in 01/25 RP.
    • Kraft Singles, 12oz.: $1.99. I've seen some coupons in store that might work for these. They are $0.75 off any Kraft cheese product, even though the picture is of Kraft string cheese. Check it out when you go to see if they have them at your Safeway.

    • Yoplait Go-Gurt: $2.99. Use $0.35/1 or $0.75/2, both from 01/04 General Mills insert.

    • Totino's Pizza Rolls: $6.99. Use $0.35 from 01/11, 01/18, and 01/25 SS.

    • Eggo Waffles: 2/$4. Use $0.75 from 12/14 RP.

    • Ball Park Beef Franks: 2/$5. Use $1/2 from 01/25 RP

    • French's Mustard: 2/$3. Use $0.50 from 01/18 SS

    • Dixie Value Pack Plates: $3.99. Use $0.35 from 11/16 RP.

    • Beggin' Strips: $10.99. Use Buy one, get one free from 01/11 SS.

    • Aquafresh toothpaste: $1.29. Use $0.75 from 01/04 SS.

    • Gillette Mega Event: Selcted Gillette Brands are 20% off (including deodorant and shower gel). See 11/30, 12/14 and 01/18 P&G inserts for Gillette coupons. (11/30 coupons expire 01/31/09.)

    • Tums Antacid: $3.99. Use $1/2 from 11/16 SS (expires 01/31/09) and 01/25 SS. Or use $1.25 from 01/25 SS.

    • Advil: $5.99. Use $1 from 01/25 RP.

    • Thermacare Heatwraps: $5.99. Use $1 from 11/30 P&G insert (expries 01/31/09) or 01/04 RP.

    Other Sweet Deals:

    • O Organics Baby Salads, 5oz.: $1.99 each

    • Red or Green Seedless Grapes: $0.88/lb.

    • Vine Ripened Tomatoes: $0.98/lb.

    • Oroweat and Entemann's Mix N' Match Sale: 2/$5

    Buy 5, Save $5

    Mix and match any 5 items below to save an additional $5 off your total at checkout. The ad says to look for "Buy 5, Save $5" tags on participating items, so perhaps there are more that qualify.
    • 6 pack Pepsi or Aquafina: $3 each. $2 each after savings.

    • Doritos Tortilla Chips: $3 each. $2 each after savings.

    • 8 pack Gatorade: $5.50 each. $4.50 each after savings.

    • 8 pack Pepsi Fridge Mates EZ: $2 each. $1 each after savings.

    See anything I missed? Let me know!

    Tuesday, January 27, 2009

    Re: Would you do this if you didn't have to?

    I was reading Mercedes' post today, asking her readers if they thought they would still try to save money, even if times weren't "tight". It made me think about the last few months since I started "couponing". We haven't saved a ton of money yet (though I have a feeling that once I get the hang of things, we'll see more savings add up), but I have appreciated being held accountable for our budget.

    I believe that we should be stewards over the blessings we have been given. That means our family and children as well as our home and our money. A wise steward should spend her money wisely. These past few months, I've paid more attention to how I'm spending our grocery budget and trying to find more creative ways to stay within that budget. One advantage of this is that we have a little extra "found" money to put toward our car loan, and when that's done, it will go toward saving for a house.

    We never know what life will bring us. The skills that we learn in our times of trial can help us throughout our life, rainy day or not. So even if there comes a day when I don't "have" to do this anymore, I think I will. I love the freedom of living within our means. (One of my dad's favorite things to say is: "The worst place in the world to live is just beyond your means." See, some of his smarts did rub off!) I am grateful that we don't have to live paycheck to paycheck because we are being responsible with the money we have.

    Let's face it: it's not easy to live in the Bay Area, especially on one income. It's a sacrifice that Husband and I decided to make so that I could be home with our little ones. Sure, we could have a nicer house and fancier cars and eat out all the time, but we'd miss out on other things. Saving money and living frugally is allowing me to have the greatest job for me: being able to stay at home and raise my beautiful little girls.

    What do you think? Would you do this if you didn't have to?

    Monday, January 26, 2009

    A different kind of date night

    One of our New Year's Resolutions was to go out on more dates! This past weekend, Husband and I went on a little bit different kind of date night. We're always looking for something besides that "dinner and a movie" routine. We went to dinner and then over to Borders, where we used our buy one, get one free coupon to get 2 hot chocolates (coupon good through March 3rd!). We browsed around a little bit, then headed to the magazines to check out some of our favorites. Then we found two comfy chairs in the corner and sipped our hot chocolate while flipping through our magazines. We only stayed for less than an hour, but it was so nice! We got a chance to talk (about things other than babies) and have some quiet time. So fun.

    Valentine's Day is coming up, so I'd love to hear what plans you have for making this day special...and not too pricey, of course!

    Dinner this week...

    It's Menu Plan Monday! Man, I really struggled with the menu this week. Partly because the turkey I intended to make is still in the freezer, so my week of leftovers is out the window. Also, I've struggled to keep within my grocery budget this week, and I'm drawing a blank when it comes to delicious, inexpensive food. *sigh* Here's what this week's menu looks like:

    Monday: Leftovers (the mac & cheese I made last week was delicious, but it made WAY too much! Next time, I'm going to cut the recipe in thirds...seriously. And, it wasn't the recipe I linked to, it was the "healthified" mac & cheese recipe in this month's issue of Real Simple.)

    Tuesday: I'm still trying to figure that out!

    Wednesday: Salmon (frozen, from Trader Joe's) with mashed potatoes and zucchini/yellow squash

    Thursday: Eating out

    Friday: Spinach & onion quesadillas w/peach-pineapple salsa, arugula citrus salad

    Saturday: Salad night (build-your-own)

    Sunday: Super Bowl party at my parents' house. I'm bringing seven layer dip (from January's issue of Martha Stewart Living. I'm still looking for the link).

    Friday, January 23, 2009

    Free Bath & Body Works Signature Item

    I hit the mall today because I am attending a double baby shower tonight and I needed some BabyGap gifts, stat! Thanks to Money Saving Mom, I quickly printed off this coupon for a free signature item from Bath & Body Works, just in case the babies would let me venture in.

    Bath & Body Works is having a mega sale right now. They have redesigned their signature line with all new packaging (very fancy and very beautiful), so all the "old" stuff is on sale. A lot of other items are on sale, too. Since the coupon is a free signature item with ANY purchase, I picked up a travel size of the Warm Vanilla Sugar bubble bath for $1 and then a full size of the same for my free item. My mom loves that scent (and bubble bath), so I'll probably stick it in with her birthday present (the full sized one...the travel size is for me!).

    I love how finding coupons and deals like this can help me to be more generous with the people I love. Normally, that bottle of body wash would have cost $12! But now, after only paying a buck, I can give my mom something else fabulous too.

    The coupon expires January 25th (Sunday), so you have a few more days to stop in and get some inexpensive goodies!

    Wednesday, January 21, 2009

    Safeway deals 01/21-01/27

    Welcome Grocery Gatherers! Here are the deals for Wednesday, January 21st through Tuesday, January 27th. I am using a Northern California ad. Your prices and coupons may vary.

    48 hour sale

    These prices are good Saturday and Sunday only:

    • Safeway Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, 4lb.: $7.16 (or $1.79/lb.) Use $1 off printable here to get them for $1.54/lb.

    • 1-lb. fresh strawberries: Buy one, get one free (2/$4.99) (Last week they were 2/$3.99, so I'd wait if you can.)

    • Hamburger Helper: $0.99 each. Use $1/3 here or here. $0.66 each when you buy 3 after coupons.

    • Hunt's Tomatoes or Chef Boyardee: $0.77 each. Use $0.40/2 Hunt's from 01/18 SS or $1/3 Hunt's printable here. Use $0.35/3 Chef Boyardee from 01/04 SS.

    Coupon Match-ups

    • Kellogg's Rice Krispies or Froot Loops: 2/$4. Use $1 off Froot Loops and $1 off Rice Krispies, both from 12/14 RP.

    • Rosarita Refried Beans: 10/$10. Use $0.50/3 from 01/18 SS.

    • Rice A Roni: 4/$5. Use $1/4 from 01/04 RP.

    • Healthy Choice Meals or Steamers: 4/$10. Use $1/2 Steamers from 01/04 SS.

    • Dannon Yogurt: 10/$6. Use Buy 6, Get One Free (Light & Fit) from 01/04 SS.

    • Cottonelle Bath Tissue, 12 rolls, or Viva Paper Towels, 6 rolls: $6.99. Use $0.50 pff Cottonelle from 01/11 SS. Use $0.35 off Viva from 01/11 SS.

    • Ziploc Food Storage Bags, 15 -30ct.: 2/$5. Use $1/2 from 01/11 SS.

    • Lysol Wipes or Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Buy one, get one free (2/$3.99). Use $0.50 off Toilet Bowl Cleaner from 01/04 SS. Use $1 off Wipes from 01/04 SS.

    • Dawn or Ivory Dish detergent: $2.99. Use $0.50 off Dawn from 12/14 P&G insert. Use $0.20 off Ivory from 01/18 P&G insert.

    • All or Surf Laundry Detergent: $11.99. Use $0.40 off All or Surf from 01/01 RP. Use $1.50 off All from 01/04 RP.

    • Quaker Chewy Granola Bars: Buy 2, get 3 free. (5/$6.98) Use $1/2 from 01/04 RP. (Use two of these coupons and get 5 boxes for $1 each.)

    • Knorr Lipton Rice or Pasta Sides: 2/$3. Use $0.60 off Knorr Sides Plus Veggies printable here.

    • Keebler Mix N' Match: 2/$5. Use $1/2 Keebler crackers from 12/14 RP.

    • Crest or Colgate Toothpaste: $2.49. Use $1.50 off Crest from 01/18 P&G insert. Or use $0.75 off Crest from 12/28 P&G insert. Use $1 off Colgate from 01/04 SS. (expires 01/24)

    • SlimFast Optima Shakes: $5.49. Use $1.25 from 01/04 RP.

    • Vicks Nyquil or DayQuil: $5.99. Use $1.50 coupon from 01/18 P&G insert.

    • Huggies Jumbo diapers: $9.99. Use $1.50 coupon from 01/11 SS. (Buy them at Walgreen's this week and get $1 Register Rewards!)

    • Centrum Multivitamins: 25% off. Use various coupons from 11/16, 12/07 and 01/04 RP inserts.

    • Sudafed PE or Benadryl: $4.49. Use $1.50 off Sudafed from 12/07 RP.

    Other Sweet Deals

    • Fresh Express Salads and Shreds: 10/$10. (If you find a coupon for these, let me know. Sometimes there are little ones right in the salad section.)
    • Organic Blueberries: 2/$4

    • Fresh Yellow Peaches: 10lbs./$10.

    • Oroweat, Francisco, & Entemann's Mix N' Match Sale: 2/$5. (This is a good opportunity to stock up on Oroweat!)

    • Nabisco Ritz Crackers or Chips Ahoy! cookies: Buy one, get one free. (2/$4.29) (Without coupons, this is the best price for Ritz crackers that Safeway has.) ***Update*** Use $2/2 coupon from 01/25 insert to get these for $1.15 each!

    • S&W Variety Beans: $0.79 each

    • Girard's Salad Dressing: $2.99. (I love their Spinach Salad dressing!)

    • Doritos: Buy 3 bags and get 1 free Mountain Dew 8-pack.

    • 24 packs of water (Dasani, Aquafina, Arrowhead, or Refreshe): 3/$9.99

    • Produce 10 pounds for $10:

    • Sweet Navel Oranges

    • Red Roma Tomatoes

    • Bosc or D'Anjou Pears

    • Crisp Fuji Apples

    • Fresh Zucchini or Yellow Squash

    Don't forget about the Power Pump Rewards. This week, I bought a $25 Target giftcard to use for the shopping I had to do at Target. Bonus: I earned points toward my Power Pump rewards! Safeway cards are not eligible to earn points, and neither are a few others. They don't want you to double dip!

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009

    Earn Money Taking Surveys

    Okay, this is not a gimmick. Seriously. A few years ago, I started trying to find ways to earn a little money (or "prizes") by doing online surveys. But I was really scared about scams, since there are so many out there.

    I recently received a check for $150 for doing a survey right before Christmas. It was four days of answering questions, but I'd say it was worth it! This was my only BIG money maker, but I've gotten lots of little checks and prizes that certainly add up.

    So if you're interested in doing this yourself, here are the sites that I use myself and can vouch for. I have taken surveys and have been compensated (some in the form of money, others give points that you turn in for prizes). If you have any that you have personally used, let us know! (No, I don't get any compensation for telling you guys about these companies.)

    1. Valued Opinions: I've only been with this company for about a year. They email you an invitation to a survey and there's a chance that you won't qualify, based on your answers. In the email, they tell you how long the survey should take and how much the compensation is. It is usually around $1 to $4. The most I've made on one of their surveys is $9. Your money accumulates until you reach enough to cash out for a prize. The prizes are giftcards in the amount of $20 or $25. I always choose the $20 giftcard. I have received 3 since August of last year and I use the giftcards to buy books for my little ones.

    2. American Consumer Opinion: This is the one that I got the big bucks from. They recently changed their compensation system so that you can choose to wait to get your money cashed out when it is more to avoid having to cash a bunch of $2 and $3 checks. You can request your check any time you want. They email you an invitation to a survey and they tell you how much you will get paid and how long it will take. I've never not qualified for the surveys. You may also get screening questionnaires that you don't get paid for, but they are usually less than 10 questions and they are used to better select surveys for you. You are also entered into a drawing for each survey you complete.

    3. E-Poll : This one sends you invitations to surveys and rewards you with points. The more points you have, the better the rewards you can get. Previously I have gotten movie tickets with my points, but now I'm saving up for a Target or Olive Garden giftcard. Other stores are on there too. If you can't hold out that long, I think you can get a pint of Haagen Dazs ice cream with the lowest tier of points! You usually get about 500 points per survey, so the points can add up quickly.

    These are the three that I use on a regular basis and I've been happy with each of these companies. I take a survey about once a week between all three of them. It's fun to answer the questions and it's even more fun to get my checks in the mail!

    Monday, January 19, 2009

    Dinner this week...

    It's Menu Planning Monday! Here's what our week looks like:

    Pigs in a blanket
    Baked beans
    Fruit salad
    Sweet potato fries
    Turkey dinner
    Mashed potatoes & gravy
    Green beans
    Leftover turkey dinner
    What are you having for dinner this week?

    Friday, January 16, 2009

    Our car story (hopefully, the final chapter)

    In December, I posted about the trials of our old minivan. The weekend before Christmas, Husband and I left the babies with my parents for a couple of hours, determined not to return without a new car. We found one we liked and we bought it, although it was a little more than we had planned on spending. (Keep in mind we had only bought Husband's new car the month before!)

    (And when I say "new" car, I mean new to us. We each got used cars.)

    Anyway, we ended up financing part of the new minivan purchase, something we really don't like to do. So our goal is to pay off the car loan as quickly as possible. We are paying more than the minimum payment each month in order to shrink the principal.

    Shortly after we bought the car, I asked Husband what he thought we should do with the rebate checks that I get from all my great shopping deals. We threw some ideas around, like save it for vacations or something fun, like a new video camera. But then he suggested we put that extra money toward the car loan. The first month, it was only about $20, but every little bit will help so that we can once again be debt free (except for our mortgage, of course).

    (By the way, the new car runs great and is perfect for out little family. I'm so grateful that it is safe, too. )

    Thursday, January 15, 2009

    Free Magazines

    *updated* I've signed up for a bunch of new magazine subscriptions this week, so I thought I'd share with you!

    Money Saving Mom told us about some of the subscriptions (click on the magazine title for subscription info...thanks Money Saving Mom!):
    Woman's Day
    Wonder Time
    Kiwi Magazine
    Baby Talk
    American Baby
    Parents Magazine (2 year subscription)

    January 4th's Smart Source insert has an offer for a free 3-month subscription to Cooking Light Magazine. You can fill out the form and send it in, but I did it online here. Check the box that says "bill me" so you can decide whether to extend your subscription without having your credit card automatically charged.

    Happy magazine reading!

    Wednesday, January 14, 2009

    Safeway deals 01/14-01/20

    Welcome Grocery Gatherers! Here are the current deals for Safeway, using a Northern California ad. (Local prices and coupons may vary.) Prices in this ad are valid from Wednesday, January 14th through Tuesday, January 20th.

    48 Hour Game Day Sale!

    Saturday and Sunday only the following prices are available:
    • Tyson Hot & Spicy Cooked Chicken Wings: $2.99/lb. in the meat dept.
    • Large Hass Avocados: $0.88 each
    • DiGiornio Original Pizza: $3.99 (limit 2)
    • 30-pack Coors: $15.99

    Coupon Match-ups:

    • Ragu Pasta Sauce: Buy 2, Get 3 Free (5/$6.58). Use $0.25 coupon from 11/16 RP insert.

    • Life Cereal: $1.88. Use $1/2 from 12/07 and 01/04 RP inserts.

    • Tide Laundry Detergent: $11.99. Use $1 coupon from 12/14 P&G insert.

    • Progresso Vegetable Classics: 2/$3. Use $0.50/2 coupon in 12/07 SS and 01/014 General Mills inserts. Or use $1/2 and $2/4 printables here.

    • Slim-Fast Optima Shakes, 6 pack and 8 pack: $5.49. Use $1.40 coupon from 01/04 RP insert.

    • Dole Fruit Bowls, 4 pack: $2/$5. Use $0.75/2 coupon from 01/11 SS insert.

    • Fiber One Honey Clusters Cereal or Chewy Bars: 2/$6. Use $1/2 cereal coupon from 01/11 SS insert. Or use $0.75 printable here. Use $0.50 bars coupon from 01/04 General Mills insert.

    • Downy or Bounce Fabric Softener: $5.99. Use $1Downy coupon from 12/14 P&G insert. Use $0.25 Bounce coupon from 12/28 P&G insert.

    • Barilla Pasta, selected varieties: 10/$10. Use $1/2 Barilla Plus from 01/04 SS insert.

    • Wish-Bone Salad Dressing: 2/$5. Use $1/2 coupon from 01/04 RP insert.

    • Dannon Activia: 2/$5. Use $1 coupon from 01/11 SS insert.

    • Smart Ones Classic Favorites: 4/$10. Use $1/5 printable here.

    • Pillsbury or Nestle Valentine Cookies: 2/$6. Use $0.75/2 Pillsbury from 12/07 SS. Use $1/2 Pillsbury from 12/14 SS. Use $1.50/2 Nestle from 11/02 RP. Use $1 coupon from 12/07 RP.

    • Silk Soymilk: $3.99. Use $1/2 from 01/11 SS insert.

    • Johnsonville Sausage: 2/$7. Use $0.35 from 01/11 SS insert.

    • Windex or Scrubbing Bubbles: Buy one, get one free. (2/$3.99). Use $0.40 off Windex and $0.75 off Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Cleaner from 01/11 SS.

    • Pine-Sol Cleaners: Buy One, Get One Free (2/$5.59). Use $0.50 printable here.

    Other Sweet Deals

    • Fresh blackberries or blueberries: 2/$3

    • 10-lb. bag Navel Oranges: $3.99

    • Whole or Sliced White Mushrooms, 8oz.: 10/$10

    • Lucerne Shredded or Chunk Cheese, 32oz.: $5.99

    • Crisp Cucumbers: 2/$1

    • Red Texas Grapefruit: $0.69 each

    • Buy any 3 Pepsi-Cola 8 packs or 24oz. 6-packs and 2 Doritos or Lay's potato chips for $7.99. (Items must be purchased in a single transaction. Limit 1 offer per transaction.) Submit your receipts to get $15 in coupons from Pepsi and Frito-Lay! Check out the details here.

    ***Check out your weekly ad for a coupon for a complimentary tall tea beverage of your choice, redeemable at any participating in-store Starbucks counter! Good through January 20th.

    ***Don't forget to rack up those Power Pump Gas Rewards!

    See anything I missed? Let me know!

    Free Suave

    Today only, visit Suave's website to get a coupon for a free Suave product (hairspray, shampoo, conditioner, etc.) up to $3. Just click on the Suavenomics link to fill out the form. What a nice way to start the morning!

    Tuesday, January 13, 2009

    Free Electrasol (again), cheap Huggies and Kashi bars

    Here are some of the best deals this week:

    Rite Aid:
    • The Huggies deal I mentioned earlier. Make it sweeter with a $5 off $25 coupon here (coupon good through March so save it for another purchase if you already bought your Huggies).
    • Electrasol free after rebate and $2.50 coupon from 01/04 coupon inserts.


    • Kashi cereal bars (which are much better for you than Nutri-Grain and still tasty) are on sale for 3/$8. Use $2 off printables here to get a box for $0.67!


    • Buy 5 Tree Top apple juice and get them for $1.50 each. I haven't been able to find any coupons for that, but it's a dang good price. (ends today)
    • 3 lbs. fuji apples for $1.49 with super coupon from store ad. (ends today)

    Any other mega-deals worth mentioning? Let me know!

    Monday, January 12, 2009

    Hungry for Spaghetti?

    Remember last week when I tried to get that great deal at the Spaghetti Factory? Well, if you want to brave the crowds for some inexpensive meatballs, every Monday and Tuesday for the rest of January, the Spaghetti Factory is offering a 40th anniversary menu at 40% off their regular prices. You can see the menu here. Hopefully the lines won't be too long and the food will be delicious!

    Dinner this week...

    It's Menu Plan Monday and we are "eating out of our freezer" this week to use up some of the things that have been in there a little too long!

    Monday: Leftovers (chimichangas from Saturday)

    Tuesday: Pork chops, creamed corn casserole, cinnamon apples

    Wednesday: Super baked potatoes and salad

    Thursday: Chicken & vegetable stir fry, pork fried rice

    Friday: Crabcakes, shrimp salad

    Saturday: Pizza night

    Sunday: Spaghetti & meatballs, green salad, garlic bread

    What are you having for dinner this week? Stumped? Try This Week for Dinner or $5 Dinners

    Friday, January 9, 2009

    Cash back for Huggies

    Earlier this week I sent in my form to Caregiver's Marketplace, an organization that reimburses caregivers (of the elderly or children) for some of the items they purchase most. Funding for these reimbursements is supplied by the manufacturer's of the products.

    I had receipts for 10 packages of Huggies diapers (a few were for the Overnites diapers). At $1 per package, I expect to receive a check for $10 in the mail in the next few weeks. I wish I had known about this when my twins were newborns and we were blowing through boxes of diapers faster than you could bat an eyelash! I only found out about it a few months ago, thus my small amount of receipts. Also, I had been buying the bigger boxes and only certain sizes qualify for the reimbursement.

    Huggies is on the list of products to be reimbursed this year, however they have lowered the price to $0.75 per package. Hey, that's still money in your pocket, right? I have an envelope in my desk labeled "Caregiver's Marketplace" and when I buy a package of Huggies (or anything elese on the list) I put the receipt in there. When you have 5 or more items to be reimbursed, you can send in a reimbursement form. I saved mine up until the end of the year so I would get a bigger check.

    Just a heads up: next week, Huggies diapers and wipes will be on sale at Rite Aid. Purchase $25 worth of Kimberly-Clark products (includes Huggies) and get a $10 Rite Aid gift card (rebate #48). You can actually double dip on this one because there is a $2 rebate for the diapers (#29) and $2 rebate when you buy 2 Huggies wipes, baby wash, or washcloths (#30). Then save your receipt for the diapers for your Caregivers Marketplace cash back.

    Thursday, January 8, 2009

    December report

    My budget for December was $460. It was a little hazy tracking things at the end, because Husband went to the store and didn't give me receipts a few times. After all was said and done, I went a little bit over, but I'm going to call it a wash since it was the holidays and we were under on our holiday budget.

    January's budget is $440. I'm already having a bit of a tough time, but I think things will calm down the next couple weeks. Coming back from vacation you always get out of your habits, etc. My goal still is to get the budget down to $400/month, which I think will be doable for us.

    We are trying to improve our eating habits, which can be more expensive than the good old packaged foods standbys. I'm trying to think more creatively to come up with better snacks and meals.

    How have your budget strategies changed for 2009?

    Wednesday, January 7, 2009

    No spaghetti for you!

    Last night, Husband and I packed up the girls and went with my sister and her family to take advantage of the incredible deal at the Spaghetti Factory. In celebration of their 40th anniversary, they had a special menu of spaghetti dinners (with different sauces to choose from) ranging in price from $2.45 to $3.45 per person. And that included a salad, bread, and ice cream!

    Dinner started at 5pm, so we opted to head out early since we had 3 babes in tow. As we approached the restaurant, we noticed a crowd of people on the sidewalk. And the line continued...and continued...There were lots of people with the same idea! There was no way we could stand in line for an hour (at the least) with our babies, so since we were out on the town anyway, we headed to Chili's for a little more expensive meal. Bummer.

    If you missed out on the great Spaghetti Factory dinner deals, have no fear. The specials continue for the next two weeks. Monday and Tuesday nights, they will have the same menu (a little bit expanded) for 40% off the regular price. So it's more like $5 per person instead of $9. Still not too bad. I may be inclined to try it one more time...

    Tuesday, January 6, 2009

    Safeway deals 1/07-1/13

    Welcome Grocery Gatherers!

    These are the deals for Safeway this week, with prices valid from Wednesday, January 7th through Tuesday, January 13th.

    Super Coupons:

    Honey Nut Cheerios, Cheerios, or MultiGrain Cheerios: $1.50 with in-ad coupon. Use $0.75 off Honey Nut Cheerios here. Use $0.75 off Multigrain Cheerios here. Use $1/2 printable on

    Jennie-O Turkey Store Lean Ground Turkey, 20oz.: $2.49 with coupon. (This is a great price!)

    Fuji Apples, 3lb. bag: $1.49 (That's only $0.50/lb!)

    Nabisco Tray Packs: $2.99

    Gorton's Seafood Selections: $2.49

    Buy 5, Save $5:

    Ocean Spray Cranberry drinks are $1 each after savings

    Tree Top Apple Juice and Capri Sun are $1.50 each after savings.

    Welch's Grape Juice and V8 Fusion are $2.50 each after savings.

    Family Fridays:

    Friday, January 9th, get a Signature Cafe Whole Roasted Chicken for only $5!

    Sweet Deals:

    • Foster Farms Whole Chicken: $0.79/lb. This is the lowest price I've seen.

    • Fresh Pork Loin Assorted Chops: $1.79/lb.

    • Sweet Bing Cherries: $2.99/lb.

    • Safeway Canned Fruit: 10/$10

    • Safeway Variety Breads: 2/$4 (I usually buy these instead of OroWeat.)

    • VitaminWater, SmartWater, or Fuze: 10/$10

    • O Organics Baby Salad Blends, 5oz.: $2.99

    Coupon Match-Ups:

    • Quaker Instant Oatmeal: 2/$5. Use $1/2 here. $2 each after coupons.

    • Yoplait Yogurt: 10/$5. Use $0.40/6 coupon in 01/04 General Mills insert. Or use $0.50/6 printable here. $0.42 to $0.43 each after coupon when you buy 6.

    • Tyson Grilled Chicken Breast Strips: Buy one, get one free ($3.99/2). Use $0.55 coupon in 01/04 SmartSource. $1.50 each when you use two coupons.

    • Hillshire Farm Thin or Hearty Sliced lunchmeat: 2/$7. Use $0.55/1 or $0.65/2, both in 01/04 Red Plum insert.

    • Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice: $4.99. Use $1/2 coupon from 01/04 RP insert.

    • Chef Boyardee: 10/$10. Use $0.35/3 coupon from 01/04 SS insert.

    • Quilted Northern Bath tissue, 24 rolls: $10.99. Use $1 off printable at

    • Neutrogena Skin Care or Hair Care: 20% off. Use $1 off hair care in 12/07 RP insert. Or there are two Neutrogena coupons on

    • Quaker Oatmeal: 2/$5. Use $1/2 here. $2 each after coupons.

    • Nestle Hot Cocoa: 2/$5. Use $1/2 coupon from 11/02 RP insert.

    • Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn: Buy one, get one free ($3.49/2). Use $0.50/2 coupon from 12/07 or 01/04 SS inserts.

    • Kleenex facial tissue: 3/$5. Use $0.50/3 coupon from 12/07 SS insert.

    • Electrasol Auto dish detergent: $4.29. Use $2.50 coupon from 01/04 SmartSource insert. Or use $1/2 printable coupon here. Better yet, get it at Walgreen's this week and get it for free!

    • Lindt Bars: 2/$6. Use buy one, get one free coupon from 10/05 SS insert. There's also a coupon for $0.75/1 in the same insert.

    • Tide or Cheer Laundry Detergent: $6.99. Use $1 off Tide from 12/14 Procter & Gamble insert. Use $0.35 off Tide and $0.35 off Cheer found in 12/28 Procter & Gamble insert.

    • All Detergent: $4.49. Use $0.40 off coupon in 01/04 RP insert.

    • Kellogg's Special K Cereal: 2/$6. Use $1/2 from 01/04 RP insert or $1 off coupon from 12/14 RP insert.

    • Splenda sugar substitue: $8.49. Use $0.55/1 or $1.50/2 coupons from 11/02 RP insert. Or use $0.55/1 from 01/04 RP insert.

    • Knorr Lipton Sides Plus Veggies: 10/$10. Use $0.75/2 from 11/16 RP insert.

    • Coffee Mate flavored creamer: $3.79. Use $1 printable here. Or use $0.50 coupon in 11/02 and 01/04 Red Plum inserts.

    • Yoplait GoGurt: $2.99. Use $1/2 coupon from Or use $0.35/1 coupon from 01/04 General Mills insert.

    • Birds Eye Steamfresh frozen vegetables: 2/$4. Use $1/3 printable here.

    • Huggies Training Pants: $14.99. Use $1 off Pull-ups printable here.

    Power Pump Rewards are back! Check your weekly ad for the fine print and rack up those gas savings!

    Monday, January 5, 2009

    January 5 through January 11 Menu

    My first opportunity to post my weekly menu in 2009! Here it is:

    Monday: Orange Rosemary Chicken, salad

    Tuesday: Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup

    Wednesday: Chili and cornbread

    Thursday: leftovers

    Friday: Date Night!

    Saturday: Mahi Mahi (from Trader Joe's) with rice and roasted vegetables (yep, I'm getting healthy on ya)

    Sunday: Chimichangas (I've been craving these for awhile. Gotta love that fried goodness.)

    What are you having for dinner this week?

    Free Electrasol and cheap Chubby Hubby

    I went in to Walgreen's today and got the 20 pack of Electrasol dishwashing tabs. These are on sale for $3.49 and there's a $1.50 Easy Saver Rebate. Combined with the $2.50 coupon from this weekend's SmartSource and you get 50 cents back in your pocket for that Electrasol! Also at Walgreen's, Ben & Jerry's pints of ice cream are 2/$7. I used my $3 coupon that I printed last week and got some Chubby Hubby (my favorite!) for 50 cents. Finally, I almost missed the in-ad coupon that had Mott's apple juice (64oz.) for $1.79 each. I couldn't find a coupon to combine with this, but it was a great deal in and of itself.

    My second stop was Rite Aid to get the 10 Soy Joy bars for $5. I used my $3/10 coupon from this weekend's paper and will get a $5 rebate through Rite Aid. I made $3 on that transaction!

    Friday, January 2, 2009

    Power Pump Gas Reward

    Did you take advantage of the Power Pump Gas Reward program that Safeway ran in November and December? One way I got some bonus rewards was by purchasing giftcards for Christmas gifts at Safeway. Their giftcard mall was quite impressive, I must say. I figured, if I'm going to get these giftcards anyway, I might as well get them in one place and get a bonus on top of that!

    Well, I got to reap the rewards of that program tonight! I had racked up $9 in free gas through Arco. That's almost 5 gallons! Not a bad way to start off the new year!

    (If you have earned rewards, remember that January 3, 2009 is the last day to use them!)

    Year to date free stuff and savings: $9.00

    Thursday, January 1, 2009

    Welcome 2009!

    I am very excited for the New Year and fresh start. This will be my first full year of "couponing", etc. and I'm excited to see how things go.

    I have had a cold that has been hanging on for about 3 weeks now. It's driving me crazy! It's also throwing things so out of whack because I barely feel well enough to take care of my babies, let alone anything else.

    My financial/family management resolutions for 2009 are:
    1. Keep better track of the money I spend.
    2. Stay within monthly grocery budget.
    3. Find ways to buy more items for charity.
    4. Increase food storage.
    5. Learn to do more with less.
    6. Make a weekly menu on a regular basis.
    7. Incorporate more fresh and healthy food into our diets.
    8. Take better care of myself. One way I plan to do this is make a weekly menu of lunches for myself as a special treat. Yes, it can include leftovers, but it should include at least one special meal each week.
    9. Organize my coupons and rebates better.
    10. Plant a garden (again) and make it manageable enough to take care of it.

    That's what I've gotten so far. What about you? Are you excited to make some resolutions for 2009?!!!