Friday, October 31, 2008


Happy Howl-oween!

(At least that's what it is over here tonight. Baxter barks at every single kid that DARES to darken our doorstep.)

I stopped in CVS on the way home from work, because last night was "stock night", and I thought I just might be able to find the items I need on the shelves. I was right!

Oh, and "need" is a relative term.

I got:
  • Bayer Contour diabetes monitor, on sale for $30
  • 2 3-pack WellPatch, $5.99 each, get $5.99 ECBs back for each
  • 2 4-packs of Bic Comfort 3 disposable razors, $5.89 each, get $4 ECBs back for each
  • 5 SoyJoy bars, on sale for $1 each, get $4 ECB per 4
  • 2 bags of CVS brand peppermints, $0.99 each


Coupons used:

  • CVS coupon for $10 off $50 purchase
  • $30 off Bayer Contour from Sunday's insert
  • 2 $1 off WellPatch from a past insert
  • 2 $2 off Bic Comfort 3 razors
  • $3 off purchase of 5 SoyJoy bars (printed from SoyJoy website)
  • CVS coupon for $1 off 2 CVS brand candies (from coupon machine)

TOTAL AFTER COUPONS = $10.74, plus tax

Paid with $9.96 ECBs, and put the remaining balance of $4.39 on my gift card. ($3.61 of that was TAX!)

Got back $23.98 in ECBs to spend next time, meaning I just made $9.63 by buying this stuff. ($23.98 ECBs earned minus $9.96 ECBs used minus $4.39 cash paid)

Woohoo! Happy early birthday to me!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Raised bed

Here's a shot of the big L-shaped bed once Lance was almost finished building it out on the driveway. It's made of 1x6 cedar boards, 10 feet long on the outside, 8 feet long on the inside, and 2 feet deep. It will hold up to 18 inches of soil.

We didn't have a formal building plan, just a sketch of what I wanted it to look like. Lance took that and decided what supports to use and such. (That's why I married an engineer!)

Here's the bed once installed in the corner of the corner of the picket fence. It's flipped over, with 6 inches of the galvanized brackets in the ground for support. I started folding up carboard and placing it around the edges to keep the bermuda grass at bay. I'll go back and cover all the carboard layers with mulch on Saturday. More pictures coming!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Job interview went extremely well!

Just wanted folks to know that I had a job interview with Sarah Cannon Research Institute (yes, the "How-DEEEEEEEE!" Sarah Cannon) today. Everything went really extremely well, and I fully expect to get a phone call any day to start salary negotiations! At this point, I'd take the job even if they offer me what I'm making now. I'm ready for a change.

Mom and Dad also had good news today: they closed on the flip house, and the money is in the bank! They didn't make as much as they expected, but they both learned a lot of valuable lessons.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cheap chicken dinner

I just wanted to mention how CHEAP our dinner tonight was! Publix has chicken leg quarters on sale this week for $0.59/pound. I bought ten pounds yesterday, put five in the freezer and five in the crock pot this morning with some onion and about a cup of water. It turned out really good and moist! Total cost = about $0.75 for the portion we ate tonight

As a side, I cooked up some pasta that I found in the pantry and used up the last of some Velveeta I cooked with a few weeks ago to make quick mac-and-cheese. Total cost = about $0.75

As a HEALTHY side, I made up some frozen Green Giant broccoli, which is on sale this week at Publix for $1. I had a Mfr. coupon, so I got it for just $0.50.

Total cost of the dinner for two = $2.00! Oh, and let's not forget the dessert: Free Brach's pumpkin candy. : )

Now, I'm off to debone and shred the leftovers chicken to use in a casserole and white chicken chili. More cheap dinners in my future!

Does toothpaste have an expiration date?

I hope not, because we seem to be amassing more than we can use in YEARS!

(And that's after giving Mom and Dad several tubes. The deal: They supply the Sunday coupons, I supply the toothpaste. Win/win!)

Tonight I HAD to make a CVS run, because I had a very valuable coupon that expired today: $3 off Excedrin Express Gels. Know why it was so valuable? Because the Express Gels are on sale this week for $1.99! To sweeten the deal even more, I had a manufacturer's coupon for another $2 off! So, today only, I could buy some Excedrin and make $3. Too good to pass up.

I had to buy a "filler" item, otherwise my total would have been negative, so I grabbed a bag of pecans, which I can use for holiday baking. The transaction went as follows:
  • Excedrin Express Gels, $1.99, used $3 CVS coupon and $2 Mfr. coupon
  • Colgate Max Fresh toothpaste, $2.99, get $2 ECBs back, used $1 Mfr. coupon
  • Pecan Halves, on sale for $3.50

I paid with $2.29 ECBs, put the remaining $0.46 on my new gift card (thanks, Pharmacy!), and walked out of there with another $2 in ECBs. That means I spent a whopping $0.75 on a bag of pecans. Sweet!

Another successful CVS run.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I'll buy anything, take 2

Yes, I bought another bottle of Just for Men hair color. How could I not? It is a money-maker this week! I've already sent in the mail-in-rebate for the other bottle I bought, so I only made $2 by buying it, instead of the possible $9.99. Oh, well!

The other freebies this week are pumpkin pails, Brach's candy, and a few other little things. I didn't take the time to find the others, because they hide the freebies and I just didn't have that time to waste searching for them. I was lucky to find the last pail they had. I wanted to get two, but I'll just be thankful to get the one.

  • 2 Brach's candy, $1.29 each, get $1.29 ECBs back for each (limit 2)

  • Pumpkin pail, $0.99, get $0.99 ECBs back (limit 2)

  • Just for Men Touch of Gray, $7.99, get $7.99 ECBs back (limit 1)

I only used ONE coupon, can you believe it? $2 off Just for Men Touch of Gray. Then I paid with $9.48 in ECBs and 27 cents, and got back $11.56 total in ECBs. That's a profit of $1.81!

And now I think I'll celebrate by munching on free candy corn...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

What I've been reading

I fell in love with the Janette Oke series "Love Comes Softly" back in middle school. Aunt Sherry would check out each book for me from her church library, and I mowed through them as quickly as I could. I love period pieces, through which I can learn about past times in American (or world) history. Through this series, I learned the hardships and the joys of early-American prairie life, as well as the developments of the West.

And now I seriously want a chicken coop.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Five years ago

Five years ago next week, I was spending a long weekend in Birmingham, AL with some of my favorite people. They threw me a surprise 24rd birthday party! And if that wasn't enough fun, I also found out that weekend that my offer was accepted on the tiny house I had my heart set on.

What great memories...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Free drugs at Publix, who knew?

While ambling through random blogs today (you know, where you click on someone's blog, and then follow a link from there, and then another link, and suddenly you have no idea where you are), I came across this bit of news:

Publix will give you a 14-day supply of certain oral antibiotics for FREE! That's got to be GREAT news for parents! Check it out here.

I have to give credit to The Spoon and The Shovel for this. It's only fair.

: )

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Free gift card!

Hooray for free CVS gift cards!

At the Magic Coupon Machine the other day, I got a coupon for "$25 gift card with a new or transferred prescription." Well, I just happened to need a new prescription this week anyway, so I had the nurse call it in to my CVS. When I went to pick it up, I paid a measly $5 for the prescription (generic), and walked away with a $25 gift card, woohoo!

Since my CVS transactions usually only call for $1 or so in cash, this card should last me several months, which is really exciting.

CVS makes me happy.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Miss Perfect Bakes a Cake

Just in case any of you needs confirmation that I am anything BUT perfect:

This is Lance's strawberry birthday cake.

It is the ugliest cake ever made.

It crumbled as I iced it last night, and it split in half just as I was putting it in the fridge. The right side completely slid off. At that point, I gave up and just had to laugh it off.

It still tasted good.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

20 Days Later

I went a whole 20 days without making a CVS purchase, can you believe it? But now I'm back, and going full-steam ahead.

Yesterday, I made a trip before AND after work to take full advantage of the great deals to be had.
Morning Transaction:
  • Bic Soleil Razor, on sale for $5.99, get 4 ECBs
  • Colgate MaxFresh, $2.99, get 2 ECBs
  • Glaceau vitamin water, $2.29, get 2.29 ECBs (free)
  • 2 packs of Always Infinity pads, $4.98 each, get 4.98 ECBs each (free)
  • CVS Vitamin D, $2.99, get 2.99 ECBs (free)
  • 3 90-count bottles of Maalox chewables, $7.99 each, get 10 ECBs when you buy $20 of specified products
  • 2 bags of Halloween treats, $2.50 and $3.29

Coupons used:

  • $10 off $50 purchase, which printed from the Magic Coupon Machine
  • $2 off Bic Soleil razor or cartridges (printed from site, offer has ended)
  • $1 off Colgate MaxFresh, from the Sept. All You magazine
  • 3 $2 off Maalox mfr. coupons from recent inserts

Paid with 23.99 ECBs and $12.72 in cash. Got back a total of 31.24 ECBs, which means I essentially paid $5.47 (23.99 + 12.72 - 31.24). Not bad, considering that's less than I would have paid for just the Halloween treats!

Evening Transaction:

  • Bic Soleil 4-pack cartridges, on sale for $5.99, get 4 ECBs
  • Glaceau vitamin water, $2.29, get 2.29 ECBs (free)
  • 1 pack of Always Infinity pads, $4.98, get 4.98 ECBs (free)
  • WellPatch arthritis patches, $5.99, get 5.99 ECBs (free)
  • CVS vitamin D, $2.99, get 2.99 ECBs (free)

Coupons used:

  • $2 off Bic Soleil razor or cartridges
  • $1 off WellPatch Mfr. coupon from recent insert

Paid with 16.98 ECBs and $2.71 cash. Got back a total of 20.25 ECBs, which means I made a profit of $0.56. Too bad I didn't have a $3/$15 coupon or something!

That comes to a daily total of less than $5.00 spent on quite a lot of goods. We really needed the Maalox Multi-Symptom, and I'm always excited to try a new razor. Oh, and the Halloween treats were obviously a necessity. In the past, we've spent up to $20 on treats for the trick-or-treaters, but this year we're spending next to nothing!

It's good to be back in the swing of things.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The best "milk-run" ever

Why is it that I only want to use recipes that call for milk when we're OUT of milk?

I really wanted to make broccoli-cheese soup for dinner, but after realizing that it called for milk (big duh), I had to think quick. Either try the recipe WITHOUT the milk (not a good idea), or make a special trip. Hm.

I decided on a special trip. And this trip started with Best Buy. Non sequitur, yes, but we earned some Best Buy gift certificates that expire TOMORROW (why do we cut things so close?), so it was use them today or never. (We'll have no time to use them tomorrow, due to my cousin's out-of-town wedding.)

I was pleased to get the Labyrinth special edition DVD for a pittance after our certificates. Then it was off to get the milk. Sort of. We were too hungry to wait for dinner, so we stopped at Krystal for a sack-full. Yeah, I know.

Finally, with the hot food stinking up the car, we rolled into Kroger. I ran in, grabbed two Glade Plug-in Gel Warmers ($1.89 each), a half gallon of milk ($1.89 on sale), and boogied to the registers. I had a BOGO free coupon for the Plug-ins, so the total after tax was $4.06. I sheepishly asked the cashier if I could use the two $2 catalinas that had just printed (one for each Plug-in) towards my total. She had no problem with that, and I ended up paying her $0.06 cents.

That's a nickel and a penny for milk and two Plug-ins. Unbelievable.

So, as convoluted as the trip ended up being, it turned out to be a pretty great "milk-run", huh? :)