Tuesday, November 29, 2011

CVS Matchup Nov 27 - Dec 3

CVS Match-Ups – [GC] means it’s one of the qualifying products where if you spend $30 you get a free $10 gift card to your choice store.
* Coupons are all from Sunday papers unless otherwise noted. If I have more than 1 coupon for the same thing at different prices, I’ll list both incase you only have one of them.
* Extra savings if you have been buying 2 Sunday papers for a few of the 2 For items. I only recently started doing this and wish I had started sooner.

[GC] Puffs 95-108 ct. or Puffs Plus 48-72 ct. $0.99 - $1 off 2 coupon = 2 for $0.98 total ($0.49 each)
[GC] Tide liquid 19-32 loads $5.94 - $0.50 off coupon = $5.44
[GC] Dawn 9-10.3 oz $0.99 - $0.25 off coupon = $0.74
[GC] Bounty paper towels  12 pk $9.99 - $1 coupon  OR $0.25 coupon= $8.99 or $9.74
[GC] CoverGirl Foundation, Powder, Blush, Concealer or Eye BOGO 50% off - $1 off coupon
[GC] Oral-B Cross Action Power toothbrush 1 ct $4.99 - $3 off coupon = $1.99
[GC] Duracell AAA, AA 16 pk, D 8 pk, 9-volt 4 pk, Ultra Power AAA or AA 12 pk - $9.99 - $1 off coupon or $0.50 coupon = $8.99 or $9.49
[GC] Vicks NyQuil, DayQuil 48 ct, liquid 24 oz  $9.99 (Buy Two, Get One Free coupon) = 3 / $19.98 ($6.66 each)
[GC] Vick’s Nature Fushion liquid/caplet Combo pk $9.99 - $1.50 off coupon = $8.49
[GC] Olay Regenerist Facial Care $20.99 - $3 off coupon = $17.99
[GC] Pantene Pro-V 2/$6.97 - $3 off two coupon = 2 for $3.97 total ($1.98 each)
Folgers Instant Classic roast or decaf coffee 8 oz - $4.99 - $1.00 off coupon = $3.99
Bigelow Tea 20 ct 2-$4 - $0.55 coupon = 2 for $3.45 total
Pringles 4/$6 - $1 off 4 coupon = 4 for $5 total ($1.25 each)
Downy liquid 40 loads fabric softener $3.99 - $1 off coupon  or $0.50 off coupon = $2.99 or $3.49
Xtra 2x Laundary detergent 28 loads $1.49 - $1 off two coupon = 2 for $1.98 ($0.99 each)
[GC] Glade Scented Oil PlugIns Refills 2 pk $4 - $1 off 2 coupon or $1 off coupon = 2 for $7 ($3.50 each) or  1 for $3
[GC] Cottonelle Wipes 42 ct $1.99 - $0.50 off two coupon = 2 for $3.48 total
Duracell AAA, AA 4 pk, C, D 2pk, or 9-volt 1 pk batteries 2 / $7 – 2 $0.50 off coupons or - $0.50 off coupon and $1.00 off coupon = 2 for $6 total or 2 for $5.50 total
L’Oreal Eye or Lip BOGO 50% off - $1 off coupons
Lysol No-Touch Hand Soap System $9.99 - $3 off coupon = $6.99 + Extrabucks reward of $5.00 towards next purchase
Gillette Bodywash 16-18 oz $3.49 - $1 off coupon = $2.49
Olay Bodywash 23.6 oz $6.00 - $1 off coupon = $5 + Extrabucks reward of $4.00 towards next purchase
Aussie or Herbal Essences Shampoo or conditioner 2/$6.97 - $1.00 off two coupon = 2 for $5.97 total ($2.98 each)
Clairol Natural Instincts or Natural Instincts Vibrant Hair color $5.99 - $2.00 coupon = $3.99
Old Spice Bodywash $3.49 - $1 off two coupon = 2 for $5.98 total ($2.99 each)
Secret Deodorant 2/$4 - $1 off two coupon = 2 for $3 total ($1.50 each)
Old Spice Deodorant 2/$4 - $1 off two coupon = 2 for $3 total ($1.50 each)
Mucinex or Mucinex DM 20 ct or maximum strength 14 ct $11.99 - $1 off coupon = $10.99
Mucinex Fast-Max Liquid 6 oz $9.99 - $1 off coupon = $8.99
Robitussin or Children’s Dimetapp Liquid 8 oz $6.99 - $1 off coupon = $5.99
Poise Pads 27-72 ct $11.99 - $1.50 off coupon = $10.49
Garnier Nutrisse Hair color $4.99 - $1 off coupon = $3.99
Pampers Jumbo pk Diapers 2/$19 - $1 off two bags or one box (use 2) = 2 for $17 total ($8.50 each)
Other Pampers deal : $2 off coupon for One Pampers Diapers AND One Pampers Wipes so…get the diapers and throw in the wipes for $2.49, get another $2 off, and it’s like getting the wipes for $0.49.
Prilosec OTC 42 ct $24.99 - $2 off coupon or $1 off coupon = $22.99 or $23.99 + Extrabucks reward of $5 towards next purchase
Align Digestive Care 28 ct $28.99 - $5 off coupon = $23.99 + Extrabucks rewards of $5 towards next purchase
Metamucil $12.49 - $1 off coupon = $11.49
Disney Gummies Vitamins BOGO 50% off - $2 off coupon or $1 off coupon (or combine if you have both)
Hershey’s Holiday Assorted 7.8 oz – 8.5 oz 2/$5 - $1 off two coupon = 2 for $4 ($2 each) + Extrabucks reward on 2 of $1 towards next purchase
Charmin Big rolls 16-pk $9.99 (limit 3) - $1 off two coupon = 2 for $18.98 ($9.49 each)

[ I won't be getting all of these deals, but I thought I would post all of the ones I noticed that I had coupons for.]

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Funday!!!

It's sad how excited I get on Sundays. I never thought that would be my favorite day of the week. And to think, I don't even have the day off! But on my way to work I stop at 7-eleven and get 2 newspapers, and then on my lunch break I clip coupons. Awesomeness. lol. I already went online to coupons.com to print some coupons, and then printed some more from target.com, checked their weekly ads, and then went to couponmom.com to check what she had listed for savings. But I won't know any further deals until I get the paper and compare my coupons. I won't post any deals until I go myself and actually get them, because it drives me crazy when I see something and then I go and it's not for sale for the same price due to living in a stinky couponing state. lol.

Another reason Sunday is my favorite day of the week is my new favorite show (One Life To Live ends in January so I can't call that my favorite show for much longer) is on: the Walking Dead!!! I love it. If you don't think you would like it just try watching it, but you have to start from the beginning so either buy the season or watch it online. It plays on A&E. I never liked zombie movies much (they creep me out) so I didn't think I'd like it, but this show has such an amazing story line. Love it. And it does creep me out too. I have to shut my bathroom door before I go to bed and leave my closet light on. (For some reason I feel like if zombies were to suddenly appear, they'd come through my bathroom, but with the door shut I'd be safe?) Just found out a few weeks ago too from my friend from work that they play it for free every Sunday at one of the movie theaters around here. But I never catch it when it first comes on. I always end up watching it late, at like 11 pm, because for some reason, as much as I try to watch it at 9 pm, I'm always in the middle of a project that requires me to catch it later.

Well gtg get ready for work!!! Have to make sure I leave early enough to get my newspapers!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Planning A Yard Sale

I think I might have a yard sale this weekend. I work every day, but I don't go in until 6 pm on Friday and 5:30 on Saturday. From my experience, there's no point doing a yard sale on a Sunday.

So once I decide that it's final that I'm doing one, I need to start advertising ASAP. I don't do any of the costly advertisements, like in the paper or anything. I do it on craigslist, and some local yard sale websites where you post when you're having one. Sounds silly but there are a lot of people that go weekly (mostly in search of antiques, or stuff they can resell themselves) so they'll check those sites. I don't know if it's the fact that I work in retail or what, but I can't stand haggling with people. So that's the one thing that's going to drive me crazy about having a yard sale. The "10 cents" people when it's clearly marked $15. At that rate I'd rather donate it. But hopefully I can make some extra cash to help out around the holidays.

Unfortunately, also from my experience, the worst time to do a yard sale is around the holidays, so I might end up like last year and make $5 the whole day. If I'm needing extra money, everyone's needing extra money, and not wanting to go out and spend it. The best time is tax return time, but then of course I'm not hurting as badly then so I don't think to do one then. lol. I need to remember this come March, April.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sugar Drop Cookies

Made these with the kids on Thanksgiving. This recipe will be enough for several dozen. I didn't have time to finish baking all of them so I decided to store the leftover cookie dough in my refrigerator, but you can also freeze leftover dough.

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup vegetable oil (canola will work as well)
1 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar (or as I call it, powdered sugar)
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tarter (can't remember why in the world I had it, but I did!)
about 1/2 cup or so of white sugar for decorating, & sprinkles optional


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In large bowl, cream together the butter, oil, white sugar, and confectioner's sugar until light and fluffy (I gave in and used my mixer).
3. Beat in 1 egg at a time. Then stir in the vanilla.
4. In a separate, also large bowl (or you'll run into the problem I had with the flour getting knocked out of the bowl by crazy kids, or by your crazy self), combine the flour, baking soda, and cream of tarter. After mixed, pour into the creamed mixture.
5. Real quick on a separate plate, pour the 1/2 cup or so of sugar & sprinkles if you want it, because you'll need it after the next step.
6. The only way to really mix this together is to use your hands, so make sure you did a good job washing them, or double-wash the kids' hands in case they did anything gross in between washings, and dig in.
7. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls, and then roll onto the plate with the sugar (and sprinkles if you chose to add those too, like I did).
8. Put onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and use a fork to gently flatten them. Be careful not to press them too flat (I had to redo the ones my 3-year-old did when she wasn't looking because she flattened them like a pancake) or they'll come out super thin and crunchy. Unless you like super thin and crunchy cookies.
9. Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges appear slightly brown. If you've never made sugar cookies before, it might look like they're not done, or you'll poke them and it'll cave in and you'll think they're not done, but they are. After a few minutes of cooling they firm up. Took me a couple of times to realize that so in the beginning of my baking life I would keep burning all the cookies I made, lol.

Cranberry Cheesecake Recipe

Ingredients :

1 pie crust (or if you are making it homemade, which this time I did not, 2 cups graham crackers and 1/3 cup melted butter)

4 8-oz packages of cream cheese (I used Philadelphia's, as I always do for cheesecake)
1 cup sugar
5 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Cranberry topping:
1 package of fresh cranberries
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. If making your own crust, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press onto bottom of pan and bake for 5-8 minutes. Cool.
3. For the topping, rinse cranberries and throw into a saucepan with the water and sugar. Turn heat all the way up until bubbling and then reduce heat and cover. Stir constantly or it will become a sticky clumpy mess all over your pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, then take off the stove. What I did next, I threw it all into my blender and chose the "liquify" setting, then set aside.
4. Beat cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. Then gradually beat in 1 egg at a time. Add the sugar. Add vanilla. Beat until light and creamy. Pour into the crust.
5. Take a few spoon fulls of the cranberry sauce you made and pour down the middle of the cheesecake. Then take a butterknife and do a fancy swirly pattern with it to give it a marble effect.
6. Bake for 15 minutes at the 350 degrees, then turn the oven down to 200 degrees and cook for about an hour, or until the cheesecake is slightly jiggly when you gently shake it. The key is timing. If you leave it in too long it will start to crack, but don't worry, because then you can just use the cranberry sauce left over to fill the cracks and it's good as new. If preferred you can cover the whole top of the cheesecake with the leftover cranberry sauce, or do what I did and leave it on the side for people's personal preference. To me I thought covering the whole top would've been too much of the tartness.
7. It's best if you can refrigerate overnight (try to let it cool first  for 15 minutes or so, so the condensation doesn't build up when you cover it), but if you're making it the day off like I was, 4 hours in the fridge will do.
* If the cranberry is too tart for some guests, serve with whip cream that they can top it with. It's the perfect touch to add some extra sweetness.

Happy Black Friday!

I didn't think I would be anywhere near the computer today. I had to be at my first retail job last night at 11:30 PM. I thought I was going to be late due to traffic and left my house an hourly early, and therefore arrived at work 45 minutes early. Oops. lol. So I had to wait in the parking lot for a while. Then I worked until 7:30 AM. We were busyish (nothing compared to the electronic stores I'm sure) until about 4 AM (but still nothing that 2 people couldn't handle) and then slow and boring. There's one good thing about the stores opening ealier every year. You can avoid the craziness and still get some good deals. On my way home from work I decided to stop at Toys R Us, and found they had some BOGO Free Nintendo DS and Wii games. So for $19.99 I got Hello Kittie: Seasons Wii (I looked it up. It's $26.99 at Walmart) and Jewelry Designs Nintendo DS. I wanted to get more so bad but I had to control myself because I think today is the day we are going to get the Xbox Kinect sensor on sale for $99. Hubby is about to head out to Best Buy to TRY. It wasn't too busy there on my way home. Then I have to leave at 4:30 PM to go to job #2, which I have a feeling is also going to be super slow.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Getting ready to leave in a few hours to my inlaws, where we will enjoy a nice turkey dinner, until I have to rush off to work. My first retail job is opening up at midnight, so I have to be at work at 11:30 pm, and will get off at 7:30 AM. But it works out better that way, because job #2 doesn't have me going in until 5 PM Friday, so I'll get some time to sleep in between.

I am so mad at myself because I had my glass pie pan packed away in a very unorganized fashion in the garage, and cannot find it (I know what my next project will be), so I had to whip up something from what I had on hand. This is the year I made: Cranberry cheesecake. I haven't tried it yet, so I will let you know tomorrow if it was a hit or a miss. But here's a picture of it baking, and the recipe will be following shortly, when I have more time, and when I decide if it's recipe:post-worthy.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Coupon Tips

1. Know your store's coupon policy. Some stores are different in different locations, so if you read what someone in Michigan said about their Publix, it could be completely different than your Publix. I made this mistake when I went to Publix and tried to buy ONE pack of Tyson's BOGO Free chicken patties, expecting to get it half-price and use 1 coupon to get it cheaper. Well apparently in Florida, unlike other areas, you can't get just one for half the price. You have to either get 2 for the full price, or 1 for the full price, so you might as well get two.

2. Check the expiration dates ALWAYS before planning to use a coupon. Nothing is more embarrassing than getting to the check-out line and the cashier telling you the coupon is no longer valid, and then either having to pay full price, or ask to take the item off.

3. Buy 2 Sunday papers. It's well-worth what you'll save. A lot of times Publix will have a Buy One Get One Free deal going on, or Winn Dixie too, where if you have 2 coupons, you can use them. For instance, let's say Betty Crocker's cookie mix is BOGO Free. You can use 2 of the 40 cents off manufacturer coupons from the paper to get 80 cents off, instead of only 40 cents off. I promise, if used correctly, you will always save more than you spent on that extra paper. If not that week, you will the following week, or the week after that. Or if you really can't afford to buy the 2nd one, as sometimes I can't if money is too tight, ask a relative or friend. I'm sure you've got one close by that subscribes to the paper but thinks clipping coupons is a waste of time.

4. If you don't buy any other Sunday paper, get the first one of the month. It's always the best. It has the most store ads as well as more coupons.

5. Always check your paper before you buy it. I sent my husband to the gas station to pick up a Sunday paper, and I was so mad when he got home to find that there were NO COUPONS in it! Someone had taken them out, and probably stuck it in theirs to double-up. I sent him back to the same gas station to get another one, since you can't return the paper. Also a local convenient store (family-owned) got in trouble because they were stealing the coupons out of the papers and keeping them for themselves.

6. Check out store websites for coupons as well. Publix will have some you can print out from time to time, and Target has TONS. This is where you'll really save. Also keep a look-out for when Publix sends you any coupon booklets in the paper or regular mail, and Walgreen's coupon ad in the paper as well. Every store that I know of will allow you to combine a manufacturer coupon with a store coupon, doubling your savings. So let's say Dunkin Donuts coffee is on sale for $6.99 at Target, and you find a $1 off coupon on Target.com for Dunkin Donuts coffee. And then you have a $1 off coupon you clipped from the paper. You can combine them and get $2 off, making it $4.99. This came in handy for me last week, when also for every 3 bags you bought you got a $5 Target gift card. I was planning on getting a few for teachers at my daughter's school for Christmas, so it worked out perfectly.

7. Keep your coupons organized. Everyone has their own preferred methods. I would NOT recommend spending a lot of money on a coupon binder sold off the internet. I've searched for a lot of ways to organize coupons and came across all these binders that cost $20 or more, not counting having to pay separate for the baseball card inserts. When I looked at them closer I thought, "Jeez, not only is that easy to make on your own, but I wouldn't want to split my coupons up the way they are." Right now I'm in the process of making my own coupon binder. Up until now I had been using a small accordion binder I found in the dollar section at Target, but it's become overstuffed and annoying to flip through and find a coupon I need. I already had a 3-ring binder, and I found someone getting rid of a box of toys on craigslist. One of the things listed that was in the box was a few baseball card sleeve inserts. I did originally ask if I could just take the baseball sleeves, but the person really wanted to get rid of the whole box and not deal with it anymore, so then I offered to take the whole box, and just add it to my Red Cross donations boxes (I've been cleaning out the house & have scheduled a few pick-ups). Unfortunately I still need more baseball sleeves, but don't want to spend the $10 that a pack of them is in the store, so I'm kind of in between right now with my organizing them. But I do have all the personal hygiene stuff and cleaning supplies in the binder, which seems to be what I use the most often. For now though, I'll have to flip through the envelope for any food coupons.

8. Print coupons. Coupons.com is the only one that I really use, just because all the other trusted sites seem to be linked to where if you print too many on one site it won't let you print any more on the other, so it seems to be pointless to use the other ones. But I could be wrong. At first I was only relying on Sunday paper coupons, and getting annoyed at all the deals I was missing out on according to other blogs, so I finally sprang for some new printer ink (I just got new black ink & figured I could just pring back and white, and it was about $15) and have already saved in coupons what I spent on the ink.

What I Got For Free This Week

So I'm really obsessed with coupons lately. I think I'm driving everyone just a little nuts, and my co-workers look at me strange when I come walking into work with more than 1 newspaper and spend my lunch breaks clipping coupons. But that's ok. So far I got 2 things for free! I live in Florida, the worst state ever for couponing, so I can't expect to get many things for free. I've gotten quite a few good deals over the past week but since they're not going on anymore I won't post them here because I feel like that would be bragging and rubbing it in. (Ok, let's just say I got tons of Dunkin Donuts coffee and Glade candles, which I will be giving out for Christmas presents, and some $5 Target gift cards were included in those deals).

So the first thing I got for free was some Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo. I had signed up to get a p&g coupon book mailed to me (they let you request coupons from them in cycles, and I think the next cycle is coming up in December, so keep checking back and I'll post as soon as I find out) and one of the coupons was $2 off a Johnson & Johnson baby product. It didn't specify type, but it did say "No travel sizes included". At Target they had a smaller (but not travel sized) bottle of shampoo (3.0 oz to be exact) for $1.67, so I used my coupon and got it for free! I was so embarrassingly excited that I wouldn't shut up about it.

Then I decided to check out this great site called Coupon Mom. It's a bit hard to understand at first glance, but once you get the hang of it and realize how everything is split up, it's a huge time saver when trying to find good deals. You can not only search different stores, but it's personalized for your state too, which is good because Florida's coupon policies in stores are different than a lot of other stores. Well on that site I found that I could go to Target or Wal-Mart and use a $1 off any Johnson & Johnson First Aid product coupon that was in the Sunday paper to get a FREE Johnson & Johnson  First Aid To Go Kit! I felt like such an idiot because I kept going to the store (finding excuses, like, oh I need more toilet paper, when really I just wanted to get this darn thing for free) and searching the band-aid isle but couldn't find a first aid kit for lower than $6. Well finally I decided to check out the travel sized isle (mainly to see how much the Tide detergent was, since I did have a 50-cent off coupon and could get a travel-sized 1 load packet for 50 cents) and found it in there for 97 cents. So I used my coupon and got it for free! Then I rushed home to brag to my husband (who pretended he was excited but I could tell he really didn't care...) and put it in the diaper bag.

I probably won't do any more "extreme couponing" until next week, because this is the Black Friday week. I know most people that run these kind of sites thrive on Black Friday and post a ton of deals, but I work TWO retail jobs, so I will be WORKING ALL DAY (and even a little bit on Thursday night) so in between jobs I'll be sleeping, not shopping. Plus I hate waiting in lines. But I promise I will be back to it starting Sunday! :)

First Post!

So this is my first post for this blog, Mom Is Cheap. It took me forever and a day to try to think of a halfway creative name for a blog that includes recipes, great finds with coupons, freebies that I run into, homemade crafts, etc. Just about every name is taken and I was surprised that this simple one wasn't. Maybe it's because people don't really want to be referred to as "cheap", but my husband hates when I say "frugal", and my kids just don't know what that means. And so I don't take "cheap" as an insult. I think of it as being smart. :) So here's to being cheap!!