Thursday, May 13, 2010

Rouge Magazine

I love checking my mail and finding freebies and coupons. Today, I got a beauty magazine from Proctor and Gamble, called Rouge. It's sent out once per quarter, and has beauty tips that promote their products, which is okay. The best thing about it though, is that there are several coupons in it.
Since P&G products go on sale fairly often, you can save some money with these coupons. This time it contained:
$1 off Olay body wash or lotion
$1 off 1 Crest toothpaste, rinse or Oral-B toothbrush
$1 off Zest, Ivory, or Safeguard bars
$1 off Natural Instincts hair color
$1 off Secret Soothing Effects
$1 off Olay facial moisturizer
$1 off Perfect 10, Root Touch -up, or Nice 'n Easy
$2 off Venus Embrace or Breeze razor or cartridges, or Venus bikini kit
$2 off any CoverGirl Simply Ageless product
$10 off Crest 3D Whitestrips Professional Effects with Advanced Seal

Go sign up here to start getting Rouge.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

This week's CVS deals

There are lots of ladies who blog about CVS deals, and do a much better job of it than I do. Money Saving Mom is one of the best of them. But I'm going to share the deals I'm taking advantage of this week. Some things I bought yesterday, the others I will pick up today or later in the week. I break up the transactions to roll the Extra Care Bucks, but also to scan my Green Bag tag more often. It can only be scanned once per day, and after 4 scans, you get a $1 ECB.

Transaction 1:
Crest Pro-Health toothpaste $3.50 + .25 tax = $3.75
(There is a .75 coupon out there, I had used mine already.)
2 Right Guard deodorants $2.99 each + .42 tax = $6.40 - $3 off 2 coupon = $3.40
(You can get the coupon HERE. Last I looked, it was on the last page.)
Total = $7.15
Get back $7.50 in Extra Bucks

Transaction 2:
Schick Hydro razor $8.99 + .63 tax = $9.62 -$5.00 coupon (from last Sunday's paper) = $4.62
U by Kotex $4.99 + .35 tax = $5.43 - $1.00 coupon = $4.34
Total = $8.96 - $7.50 ECBs from 1st transaction = $1.46
Get back $8.99 ECBs

These I will do today or later in the week:

Transaction 3:
Clear Care contact lens solution $14.99 + $1.05 tax =$16.04 - $3 coupon (from last Sunday's paper) = $13.04
2 Pantene products 2/$6.97 + .49 tax = $7.46 - $2 coupon (from free sample) = $5.46
(There's also a $1 off 2 coupon from the 5-2 paper)
Total = 18.50 - $8.99 ECBs from last transaction = $9.51
Get back $6.00 ECBs

Transaction 4:
(All of these coupons came from inserts in the Sunday papers.)
4 Mentos gum @ .99 each + .28 tax = $4.24 - 4 $0.55 coupons = $2.04
1 Carefree liners $1.00 + .07 tax = $1.07 - $1.00 coupon = $0.07
1 Always $1.00 + .07 tax = $1.07 - $1.00 coupon = $0.07
1 Taster's Choice instant packets $1.00 + .07 tax = $1.07 - $0.50 coupon = .57
2 Cover Girl lip products $4.99 (Buy one, get one free) + .70 tax = $5.69 - $2.50 off 2 coupon = $3.19
Total = $5.94
This is where I can choose to give them the $6.00 ECBs, and lose 6 cents, or find a really cheap "filler" and pay a few cents after using the ECBs. I'll probably grab a candy bar or something .50 or less.

Total for the week, about $18.62 for about $64.00 worth of stuff, about a 71% savings.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pokemon bag

Today is my nephew Quin's 9th birthday. I love this kid! He has to be one of the sweetest, most loving children in the world.

I knew I wouldn't see him on his birthday, so last time I was at my mom's, I left his present there. He loves Pokemon stuff, so I got him a bunch of little Pokemon action figure things (which I didn't take a picture of). There are 15 of them, so I figured he needed something to keep them in, so I wanted to make a drawstring bag to go with the toys. I meant to look for some fabric at Joann's in Meridian, but completely forgot. Luckily, found a twin size sheet at a thrift store that was perfect (and it only cost $2!). So I threw the toys in, put some tissue paper coming out of the top, tied the drawstring, and just let it be the gift wrap too.


Back:I hope Quin has a very happy birthday and enjoys playing with his new Pokemon toys.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Bread machine rolls

The other day, my mama asked me for the recipe I use for making rolls in my bread machine, so I thought I would share it with y'all and give Mama step by step instructions.

Here's the recipe:
Basic Dinner Rolls
Warm water - 7 1/2 ounces (3/4 cup + 3 Tbsp.)
Bread flour (I just use regular all-purpose and it works fine) - 3 cups
Dry milk - 2 Tbsp.
Sugar - 3 1/2 Tbsp.
Salt - 1 tsp.
Butter (or margarine) - 3 Tbsp. cut into 6 pieces
Yeast - 2 tsp. active dry, OR 1 & 1/2 tsp. fast rise (I use 1 & 1/2 tsp. of Fleischmann's yeast for bread machines)

Add the warm water to the bread pan.
Add the flour, right on top of the water.
Sprinkle the dry milk on top of the flour.
Sprinkle the sugar in next.
Then and salt to the pan.
Tap pan to settle dry ingredients, then level dry ingredients, pushing some of the flour mixture into the corners.
Place the pieces of butter around the outer edge of the pan on top of the dry ingredients.
Make a slight well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the yeast.
Place the bread pan in your bread machine, making sure it's locked into place. Choose the dough cycle (to do this on my machine, I have to push the "Program Bread Select" button until it shows "Dough"). On my machine, the dough cycle takes 1 hour and 20 minutes, yours is probably similar. Now go do something else while the bread machine works its magic, it should beep when it's done. During this time, take a minute to lay out a piece of wax paper and sprinkle a little flour on it.

When the machine beeps, take out the bread pan and flip it over on top of your floured surface, making sure to remove the little paddle from the dough. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
After letting the dough rest, the you can shape however you like. This time, I wanted some rolls to use for burger and sloppy joe buns, and a few for eating with other meals, so I made a few large rolls and a few small ones. I like to use a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper, but if you don't use parchment paper, just put your rolls on a greased sheet.
After shaping the rolls, let them rise until they are close to double in size, about 45 minutes to an hour. At this point, you can brush then with melted butter or a beaten egg white (but I usually don't). Bake them in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for 15- 20 minutes, or until golden brown. After taking them out of the oven is when I like to brush them with butter. They're best right out of the oven, but will be good for a couple of days.
It does take a little time to make them, but it is so worth it. They taste better than store bought, and have to be healthier for you, since you know exactly what went into them and know there's not a bunch of preservatives and artificial junk in there. If you have a bread machine, I hope you'll make some, you'll be glad you did.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

I just wanted to take a minute and say Happy Mother's Day to my mama, Wesley's mom, my sisters, and friends, and all of the other mothers out there. You are all wonderful, precious women and I love and appreciate you! I hope you have a great day.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Spring wreath

The weather has been so nice and spring-like this week that it made me want to clean things up a bit outside. Every few months I like to freshen up the wreath that hangs on the front door. I keep the same grapevine wreath and just change the ribbons or whatever I decide to put on it. It was looking kind of sad since (embarrassingly) I didn't even change it for Christmas, so it still had autumn thing going on. I know, pitiful, right? So I went to the Dollar Tree (love that place) and grabbed 3 rolls of wired ribbon. I cut the ribbon from each roll into 4 equal pieces (so altogether I had 12 pieces) and formed each piece into a bow and tied it in the middle with a piece of thin white ribbon (I thought it looked good with the polka-dots). Then I took some florist wire and attached the bows to the wreath. It was easy-peasy and only took about an hour to make. I don't know (or care) if anybody else likes it, because I think it is adorable.
I hope y'all are having a great weekend!

May 2-8 CVS and Walgreens shopping trips

I took advantage of some of the good deals at CVS and Walgreens last week and thought I would share it. Sorry I didn't get it posted sooner, so y'all could get the deals too. I have a couple of friends who are learning to coupon, so I thought I would go step by step on how I did my transactions to get the most value for my money and Extra Care Bucks (ECBs).
Instead of getting everything at once, I make multiple transactions to "roll" my ECBs so that I have as little out of pocket expenditure as possible. To learn more about how to shop for deals at CVS, go HERE and HERE. A tip from me is to get a Green Bag Tag, every 4 times it's scanned, you will get an ECB for $1.
When I make my list each week and calculate my expense, I take the sale price, add tax, then subtract the manufacturer coupon or CVS coupon to get the price of the item. Then I add the price of all of the items in the transaction for a total, then subtract the amount of ECBs to get the total out of pocket expense. I'm sure there are other ways to do it, but this works for me.

1st Transaction:
Venus Spa Breeze razor - On sale for $9.99 + .70 tax = $10.69 - $ 2 man. coupon = $8.69 - $6 ECB from last week = $2.69 got back $6 ECBs.

2nd Transaction:
Olay Total Effects body wash $7.00 + .49 tax = $7.49 - $ 2 man. coupon = $5.49
Carefree liners $3.99 + .28 tax = $4.27 - $4 off CVS coupon (that printed when I scanned my card at the kiosk) = .27
Colgate Total toothpaste $2.99 + .21 tax = $3.20 - .75 = $2.45
Crest 3D White toothpaste $3.99 + .28 tax = $4.27 - .75 = $3.52
Total = $11.73 - $6 ECB from 1st transaction = $5.73 got back $9 ECBs

3rd and 4th Transactions:
2 Sensodyne Pro-namel toothpastes $4.49 each + .63 tax = $9.61 - $2 in man. coupons = $7.61
Sensodyne Pro-namel isoactive foaming gel toothpaste $4.99 + .35 tax = $5.34 - .75 man. coupon = $4.59
Total = $12.20 - $7 ECBS = $5.20 got back $6 ECBs
(I actually gave him all $9 worth of ECBs, but one $2 one didn't get scanned and it was a big hassle. They ended up printing me out a new $2 one to replace the one he didn't scan.)

Dr. School's insoles $9.99 + .70 tax = $10.69 - $2 man. coupon = $8.69 - $6 ECBs = $2.69 got back $3 ECBs

5th Transaction:
2 Folgers decaf. coffees 2/$7.00 + .49 tax = 7.49 - two .75 man. coupons = $5.99
Bounty 6 big roll $6.49 +tax = .45 tax = $6.94 - .25 man. coupon = $6.69
Charmin 20 roll (The 16 roll were on sale, but they ran out and this rang up as the same price, yay 4 free rolls!) $9.99 + .70 tax = $10. 69 - .25 man. coupon = $10.44
Tide $5.97 + .42 tax = $6.39 - $1 man. coupon = $5.39
Dawn Hand Renewal .97 + .07 tax = $1.04 - .50 man. coupon = .54
24 pack of Gold Emblem water was free with the purchase of the Procter and Gamble products.
Total = 29.05 - $5 ECBs = $24.05
(Actually I wrote down $23.91 in my checkbook register, so I'm not sure why there is a 14 cent difference, and I can't look at the receipt because I just sealed it up in an envelope with the form for the P&G coupon booklet!).
I never spend that much, bet we were getting low on tp and paper towels, so it was worth it.
So now I have $0 ECBs. I did that on purpose, so I can try to figure out the best deal scenarios for next week for someone just starting out.
Total spent at CVS this week = $40.22

Walgreens Transaction
Walgreens' has this policy that you have to have at least as many items as you have coupons. I had a Walgreens coupon from the weekly ad for the Russell Stover, and I also had manufacturer coupons for them, as well as 2 Register Rewards coupons from last week. So altogether, I had 5 coupons, so I knew I needed to have at least 5 items, even though I really only wanted the chocolates. Since M&Ms and Mars candy was on sale for 49 cents each (without a coupon) I knew those would make good "filler" items. (When I need "fillers" I try to get things that I will use, I can use the M&Ms in cookies). Adding the M&Ms gave me 5 items, so now I had the same number of items as I had coupons.
2 boxes Russel Stover chocolates $4.49 each with Walgreens coupon + .63 tax = $9.61 - $2 in man. coupons = 7.61
3 bags M&Ms .49 each + .10 tax = $1.57
Total = $9.18 - $8 in Register Rewards (from last week) = $1.18

I don't know if any of this has helped anyone, (there are so many others out there who are better at this than I am) but I hope it may help somebody understand a little better about how it works. I'm going to try to post next week's (5/9 - 5/15) deal scenarios a little earlier.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Menu plan and other stuff

So I know yesterday was Monday and I didn't do the menu thing, so I guess it's better late than never.
Tuesday- Eat out (A friend's husband is out of town, so we're having dinner with her, just to give her some company. I know how lonely it can be when you're husband's out of town.)
Wednesday- Cheeseburgers on bread machine rolls, potato salad
Thursday- Chicken spaghetti, rolls
Friday- Sloppy joes on bread machine rolls
Saturday- Baked chicken, broccoli with cheese sauce
Sunday- Lasagna (from freezer)

I didn't get any posts made last week because I spent the week at my Mama's since Mr. McHacker was out of town for a conference. I had a good time and really enjoyed spending time with her and my nephews, niece, and Nana.

I want to write more, but I have eleventy bajillion things left to do today. One of which is clean up a bunch of Nerds that I spilled earlier. It's kind of reminding me of the gumball incident of 2009, but not that bad. I guess that's what I get for eating crap like that. I grabbed the dustbuster to vacuum it up off the rug, but the battery was too low, so I plugged it in to charge up and took that time to write this post. If it's not charged up yet, I'll just use the broom, even though I hate sweeping stuff like that up from carpet. Anyway, I hope y'all are all having a good day!