Cheese and Bread Feast

I promise I do not work for Central Market.

Nor do they endorse this blog.

It is just a new found obsession.

Alex’s parents were here last week.

We needed to run by Central Market on our way to dinner to pick up a gift.

In the midst of taste-testing everything, we decided to forego our initial plans of dining at Pappadeaux for picking out fun cheeses and breads and bring them home.

And bring them home we did!

Manila and Indian mangos

Pomegranate-Plumcots, Sugarplums, and Apricots

Parmesan Sourdough and more of that Prosciutto-filled Sourdough

Cinnamon-savory rotisserie chicken, Rye bread, and Garlic pita chips

Aged White Cheddar with Peppercorn and Garlic-Parmesan olive oil

Alex’s slice of Parmesan bread topped with Feta and Spinach spread, rotisserie chicken, Aged White Cheddar, and Gouda

The delicious feast!

Buon appetito!

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Cereal Haul and Too Many Times to CVS

I went to CVS twice last week.


2 Colgate toothpastes on sale for $2.50 each from $3.79 each.

4 Covergirl eye shadows for $3.99.

Rimmel Fix and Perfect primer for $7.79.

I forgot my covergirl coupons at home. L

The eye shadow color “fig” was on clearance for $1.99 and did not count toward the “buy $15 of Covergirl, get $5 ecb” deal.

I used 2 Colgate coupons for .50 off each.

Used a CVS coupon printed at the coupon machine for $4 off of $20.

Used 2 $5 ECB printed off from the coupon machine.

Used $11 ecb from past receipts to pay.

Total before: $31.33

Total after sales, coupons, and ECB’s: .75 plus tax

ECB’s earned for next time: $3 from buying the toothpaste

I went in on a later date with my $3 ecb and bought 2 additional eye shadow palettes (not pictured) for $2.99 each on sale from $5.99 each.

I also got a candy bar (not pictured) for .75 on sale from $1.19.

I used a $3/2 covergirl coupon and $3 ECB.

Total before: $13.17

Total after sales, coupons, and ECBs: .73 plus tax

ECB’s earned for next time: only .75 for buying the candy bar.

The associate told me that sale items won’t count for the Covergirl $5 ECB.

So I grabbed two more eye shadows (not pictured) that I KNOW are full price.

2 for $3.99 each.

I used another $3/2 covergirl coupon, plus the .75 ECB I just received.

Total before: $7.98

Total after coupon and ECB: $4.23 plus tax.

ECB’s earned for next time: $5 for finally buying $15 of not-on-sale Covergirl.

Now I have 8 eye shadows…

I was fortunate enough to shop at Homeland during a trip to Oklahoma over the weekend.

Upon my return, I also went Walmart to get some cheap makeup remover and to Albertsons to take advantage of a bogo sale.


Homeland honorable mentions:

Dr. Pepper Ten 12 pack on sale for $3.75 from $4.79.

Used $1 off coupon that was doubled.

Paid $1.75

Tidy cats 20lb litter on sale for $7.59 from $8.19.

Used $1 off coupon that was doubled.

Paid $5.59

2 Kellogg’s Frosted Mini Wheats on sale for $2.34 from $4.69.

Used $1/2 coupon that was doubled.

Paid $1.34 each.

2 Kellogg’s Raisin Brans on sale for $2.19 from $4.39.

Used two .70 off coupons, one doubled (limit 1 of same coupon can double).

Paid .79 for 1st box, $1.49 for 2nd box.

Kellogg’ Krave cereal on sale for $2.19 from $4.39.

Used .70 off coupon that was doubled.

Paid .79.

Yakisoba Noodles on sale for $1 from $1.15.

Used a .50 off coupon that was doubled.

Free!

Crystal Light Mocktail mixes on sale for $2.50 from $3.69.

Used $1 off coupon that was doubled.

Paid .50.

2 Nestle Girl Scouts candy bars (eaten already) for .87 each.

Used .75/2 coupon that was doubled.

Paid .12 each.

Bounty Regular single roll towel for $1.79.

Used $1 off coupon that was doubled.

Made .21!

Covergirl pencil sharpener for $2.49.

Used $1 off coupon that was doubled.

Paid .49.

U by Kotex pantiliners for $1.29.

Used $1 off coupon that was doubled to $1.29.

Free!

Lady Speed Stick deodorant for $2.09.

Used $1 off coupon that was doubled.

Paid .09.

Albertsons honorable mentions:

6 Quaker cereals on sale for $3.79 each from $4.69 each.

Surprise! One (maple and brown sugar Life is on sale for $2) on sale.

BOGO sale took off $15.16.

Paid .96 each.

Walmart honorable mentions:

Almay makeup remover pads for $1.14.

Used $1 off coupon.

Paid .14.

Stayfree pads pricematched to CVS ad for $2.

Used $2 off coupon.

Free!

Total spent: $50.85

Total saved: $115.16

How to Save Money on Groceries Without Using Coupons

$33.96

I paid only $33.96 by shopping at a discount store and price matching at Walmart

I saved $33.18 by shopping at a discount store and price matching at Walmart.

Today I went to Walmart, Aldi, and CVS with the purpose of buying groceries for the upcoming week. Our budget allows for $200 a month on groceries, which usually gives me $50 a week to spend. To stretch this out further, I use coupons like crazy and score some pretty sweet deals.

But what if you don’t have time to clip coupons?

My favorite discount grocery store is Aldi. This store has grocery items sold at a discount price, for example, milk for .50-.70 less than Walmart. The great thing about Aldi is that most items are made in the same factory as national brand food items. Kraft, for instance, makes the same cheese for Aldi under a different label. Aldi doesn’t accept coupons because most items are their own private label. Using this store won’t get you any free items, but prices are consistently lower than any other store nearby including Walmart.

For items I cannot get at Aldi or for items I can get for less by price matching, I shop at Walmart. You know those flyers you get in your mailbox or with your newspaper for all of your local grocery stores? Walmart will match any price listed in those ads for identical items. You can learn more here.

And of course, CVS, which has a frequent buying rewards program. My CVS total for 5 12-packs of Coke products was $26.45. Since I bought 5 for a promotional sale, it brought the total down to $15. I used $12.32 is Extra Care Bucks (reward money) to pay and only owed $2.68 plus tax. Additionally, I got $5 back to use next time. Not bad!

I paid $56.43 for $117.01 in groceries

I love saving money and I love eating. Combining the two is peachy.

I went to CVS, Target and Walmart today and got the following for only $56.43:

Groceries for the week

Great prices:
3 80ct boxes of Splenda Essentials sweetener, $3.98 each, $3 off coupons = .98 each
4 Cascade 4pks, $1.09, $1 off coupon = .09 each
Red seedless grapes, $1.88/lb, price matched Aldi’s price of .88/lb
Red Bell pepper, $1.57, price matched Sprouts’s price of .99
8oz sliced mushrooms, $1.98, price matched Central Market’s price of $1.50
Kix cereal, $3.68, price matched Tom Thumb’s price of $1.99, used $1/2 coupon = $1.49
Lucky Charms, $3, price matched Tom Thumb’s price of $1.99, used with coupon above = $1.49
Roma tomato, $1.37/lb, price matched Tom Thumb’s price of .99/lb
2 Johnson & Johnson first aid kits, .97 each, used $1.50 off coupon = .22 each
Target brand eye drops, .97, used .50 off coupon from target.com = .47

Look at what I got for free:

Freebies worth $29.17


*Oops, only 1 nail polish should be pictured
Carmello bar, scanned my card at CVS price checker and a free coupon spat out
Revlon nail polish, $4.99, used $1 off coupon and used ECBs to pay the rest
Bic Soleil Shimmer razor, $8.39, used rain check to bring it down to $5.99, used $3 off coupon, used ECBs to pay the rest
CVS waterproof bandages, 3.69, free coupon from price checker
CVS body wash, $2.27, $3 off coupon was emailed to me
2 Penmate 10pk pens, $1 each, used $1 off coupons from target.com
2 Cascade Action pacs 3pk, .97 each, used $1 off coupons

Spent $56.43
Saved $60.58
Received $19 ECB to use next time (whoo-hoo!)

Mini trip plus way too many freebies (no, that’s not possible)

My sister-in-law was married this weekend! Now I have a brother-in-law-in-law. This is the third day I have been back from the wedding “week”end and I am just mustering the will the blog again. I’ll be honest – I was really enjoying not having responsibilities. I also did not exercise (except for one day) during my six day trip.

Back to real life.

While in Oklahoma, I got to shop at my favorite OK grocery store, Homeland. I grabbed only a few items because the prices are a bit higher than down here. On Tuesday I went to CVS and Walmart to get just a few deals.

Here’s what I picked up.

Homeland, Walamart and CVS


Deals worth mentioning:
Tresseme products $4.89, marked down to $3.29, used $1 off coupon that was doubled = $1.29
Weber Steak seasoning bottle, $2.29, used $1 off coupon that was doubled = .29
Hefty OneZip Freezer bags marked down to $1.31, used $1/2 coupon that was doubled = .31 each
Glad plus Febreze trash bags ($7.37 at Walmart) $5.75 at Homeland, used $1 off coupon that was doubled = $3.75
RePHresh Brilliant tampons $7.39 at CVS, used raincheck to price it at $6.79, used $2.99 in ECB = $3.80 plus received $7 ECB for next time

I got these freebies.

Freebies!


Aussie hair spray: use free coupon I received in the mail from their Facebook page (see pic below)
U by Kotex pantiliners: $1.29, used $1 off coupon that was doubled at Homeland
Revlon Nail Clippers: $1.99, used $1 off coupon that was doubled at Homeland
Wishbone salad dressing: $1.84, used $1 off coupon that was doubled at Homeland
Bayer Advanced Aspirin: used mail in rebate form found in newspaper
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser: $1, used .75 off coupon that was doubled at Homeland

Total before sales and coupons = $73.46
Total after sales and coupons = $39.37
Total saved = $34.09
ECBs rrecieved = $7

When I got home I got all of these freebies in my mailbox!

Mailbox freebies!


First, from Atkins website, you can sign up to receive a free box of products to try, no obligation! My package had 3 protein bars, a recipe booklet, an Atkins quick-start guide, and an additional booklet that shows you the calories in foods at various restaurants. Plus coupons!
Second, I received a free coupon for any Aussie hair product up to $3.99 by liking their Facebook page.
Third, from Vocalpoint, I received a $1 off coupon for Mott’s for Tots apple juice (that I could not find at Walmart…).

More mailbox freebies!


Fourth, I received a full-size tube of lipstick from liking Milani cosmetics on Facebook.
Fifth, my reward from Recyclebank = buy one get one free pizza coupon at Mr. Jim’s Pizza here in Dallas.
Sixth, a free sample of Youth Code from Walmart’s free smaple website.
And finally, a full size pair of Dr. Scholl’s for Her High Heel inserts to try and review from BzzAgent along with FIFTEEN $4 off coupons! Wow! The booklet says the retail price is $12.99, so yikes. I suppose $4 off would help if you were planning to get them anyway.

None of the above products have any catches. All completely free. You need to get in on this “free” business!

July grocery total: $241.64 for 5 weeks of groceries

That’s just under the budget of $250, so that works for me! We budget out $50 a week, but since there were 5 Sundays, I got a lil extra this month.

Look at what I picked up today

Walmart, Kroger and CVS

The shelf cost was $131.98. I only spent $62.33 by ad-matching lower prices and using coupons with those lower prices and with sales at Kroger and CVS. I spent a lot of money this week because I am leaving Alex alone for 3 days and I wanted to make sure he would be taken care of while I was gone. I know he can cook for himself, but I didn’t want to hear “there’s nothing to eat here” on the phone. 🙂

But, wow, look at what I got for free

Freebies!

Coupons used:
2 Organic Farms 1lb carrots, .98 each, used $2 off of 2 coupon from Recyclebank (see post below) = 2 FREE plus overage (overage: when the coupon amount is higher than the price of the product, the extra money is applied to your total)
Kotex U pantiliners, free coupon from scanning my card at the price check machine at CVS = FREE plus overage!
2 Dawn dish soaps, on sale for $1, used .50 off coupons (doubled) = 2 FREE
Herbal Essences mousse, used free coupon from Facebook = FREE
2 Crest toothpastes, on sale for $1, used .50 off coupons (doubled) = 2 FREE
6 3 Musketeers bars, on sale for .50, used .50 off of 2 bars coupons (doubled) = 6 FREE (chocolate mmmmm….)
Reach dental floss, .88, used $1 off coupon = FREE plus overage!
2 Tide single load detergents, .97 each, used $1 off coupons = 2 FREE plus overage!
Revlon emery boards 10pk, .94, used $1 off coupon = FREE plus overage!
4 Pure Protein bars, $1.16 each, used 2 BOGO coupons, then two .50 off coupons = 2 FREE and .66 each for the other 2
French’s classic yellow mustard, on sale for $1, used .30 off coupon (tripled) = .10
Heluva Good french onion dip, $1.58, used $1 off coupon = .58
2 Kraft veggie mac n cheese, $1.38 each, used .75 off coupons = .63 each
3 Herdez 16oz salsas, $1.98 each, used $1 off coupons = .98 each
Skinny cow candy, BOGO coupon = .99 for 2, plus I got back .99 to use next time at CVS!
Fiber Plus cereal, $2.99, price matched to $1.99, used $1 off coupon = .99
French’s Dijon mustard, $2.12, used $1 off coupon = $1.12
Honey Nut Cheerios, $2.77, pricematched a local store for $1.88, used .75 off coupon = $1.13
Rhodes warm and serve frozen rolls, $2.28, used $1 off coupon = $1.28 for 12 rolls
4 Lean Cuisine frozen meals, $1.98 each, used $2.25 off of 4 coupon = $1.41 each
4 Nature Valley granola bar packs, $2.48 each, price matched to $1.88 each, used .75 off of 2 packs coupons = $1.50 each
3 Weight Watchers smart ones frozen meals, $1.98 each, used $1 off of 3 coupon = $1.65 each
Olivari olive oil, $4.98, used $3 off coupon = $1.98
Digiorno individual-sized pizza, $2.98, used $1 off coupon = $1.98
Stacy’s pita chips, $2.68, used .55 off coupon = $2.13
Sundown vitamins, BOGO sale at store, $2 off coupon on one, $1 off coupon on the other = $2.25 each (or $4.49 for one, the other free)
Romano’s Macaroni grill Chicken marsala kit, $3.74, $1 off coupon = $2.74

Some couponing tips

Hello faithful couponing followers. I have received feedback about how I do what I do and I have been trying to be more helpful in my blog to show you, well, how I do what I do. I do not know everything about couponing, but I have picked up a lot of information from reading books at the library and other various websites. I discovered one such website this week: Recyclebank.

Recyclebank is another coupon site, but you gotta work for those coupons. The site is about recycling and going green. To get the coupons, you can watch videos or do little games online that usually take less than one minute. Here are the coupons that I got for free by playing on this site so far:
-Buy one get one free pizza (will be mailed) to a local pizza place, Mr. Jim’s Pizza
-Free one year subscription to Good Housekeeping magazine (which has lots of coupons in it!)
-$2 off of 2 Organic farms coupon (which I used yesterday for 2 FREE bags of carrots)
So it is way worth it as you can see!

Most of my coupons I get from the newspaper.

Dallas Morning News

You can see the Sunday paper costs $3, which is pretty high, but look at the dollar amount of coupons inside. $555! I think I can afford $3 a week to get a newspaper with all of those coupons. AND this week I accidentally got a double of one of the inserts so I got a bunch of doubles. *note: this is the highest coupon amount in the newspaper I’ve seen yet. There is usually about $350 inside, which is still WAY worth it.

Printable coupon sites:
Coupons.com is a website that you can print off valid coupons and redeem them in-store. Tip: try other zip codes like 90210 and you can get different coupons.
Redplum.com is a similar website. They have different coupons than those on the site listed above, but not as many.
Smartsource a the third coupon site with loads of coupons. Tip: try the different zip here as well.
All “other” coupon sites are just these in disguise. Don’t bother searching coupon sites in google, because even though they may have a different name, someone is getting paid for you to go to their site where they have links of these 3 original coupon sites. I just find it easier to get them straight from the originals.

Also 2 other great resources: facebook and the actual product’s website.
Here are 2 things I got in the mail this week from Facebook.

Free Herbal Essences product

I got some free mousse today.

Free Tide stain release, detergent and coupon

Remember how I said a couple of posts ago that Tide’s facebook page is always giving stuff away? This time I got a free full size Stain release pack, trial size liquid detergent and another $2 off coupon all in the mail.

I hope that helps in your accumulation of coupons. There is a lot of money to be saved by those who look for it. (Doesn’t that sound like a Harry Potter quote?)

“Why aren’t you going to Albertsons anymore?”

This is what my husband asked me on Sunday. He was concerned because he knows that Albertsons (and the other grocery stores in our area) double and triple coupons. By shopping only at Walmart like I have been the past few months, I am not taking advantage on those extra savings. Lately I have found that the extra savings are minuscule compared to driving to three different stores. Must be a summer lull. However, if there is a great deal that I can only get by double/triple coupon savings, I’ll definitely do it. Free trident layers gum just isn’t worth the extra trip. Walmart is making it so easy since they changed their policies this year to ad match and take coupons (competitor coupons, too!).

I also heard a rumor that they will be doubling/tripling coupons this fall. Then Walmart will be the perfect storm. No one will be able to compete. Sad for my friendly Albertsons store, but my loyalty goes out the window if I can save extra money to go on vacation.

One thing I have noticed since shopping mainly at Walmart is that my savings amount number has diminished. The Walmart receipts do not tell me how much I save, so I have to manually add up my coupons and ad match savings. I noticed this week that bananas were priced .36 a pound when last week they were .49/lb. There’s savings right there, however, the receipt doesn’t tell me that so it’s hard to keep track. I am still saving, I just don’t know how much.

Here’s what I picked up on Sunday

$59.63 BEFORE ad matching and coupons

After ad matching and flashing my coups, I spent only $42.94! I saved $16.69 just by ad matching other stores and coupons, this is without sales!

Ad-matches and Coupons used:
Fuji apples, $1.27/lb, ad-matched Albertsons for .99/lb
Peaches, .99/lb, ad-matched Sprouts for .47/lb
Zyrtec 5ct, $5.27, $5 off printable coupon from walmart.com = .27
Classico Pasta Sauce, $1.98, $1 off 2 coupon = $1.48 each
Green Giant canned veggies, .88, ad-matched Tom Thumb for .69 each
Arm & Hammer Carpet powder, $1.54, .50 off printable coupon from A&H’s website = $1.04
Atkins Protein shakes 4pk, $5.48, ad-matched Tom Thumb for $4.99, then used a $2 off printable coupon = $2.99
Old El Paso Tortilla Stuffers meal, $2.50, $1 off coupon = $1.50 (BONUS: I have a mail in rebate form that I will send an get $2.50 back in the mail. I actually made money!)
Ruffies 50ct, $3.97, .50 off coupon = $3.47
Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch, $2.37, ad-matched Tom Thumb $1.79, then used two .75 off printable coupons from coupons.com = $1.04 each!

Saving money isn’t as hard as you may think. You get as much out of it as the effort you out it. I get the Sunday paper and cut out the coupons. I get the weekly store circulars in the mail. I circle things I think I may have coupons for. If they are good deals, I price match at Walmart and fork over my coupons = voila. Money stays in my pocket.

It’s that easy!

$199.68 worth of groceries today

Only cost $55.97

I paid only $55.97 (I miscalculated how much my chicken cost) for these groceries that cost $199.68 before sales and coupons. I saved $143.71!

Just look at what I got for free!

Freebies!


6 Herbal Essences products ($3 each originally)
2 Store brand pastas ($1.19 each)
Open Nature premium ice cream ($3.99)
Jif to go peanut butter 8 pk ($2.08)
Cascade 3 pk (.97)
Store brand multivitamin ($8.99)
2 Carefree pantiliners ($2.38 each)
2 Noxema mini razors ($1.97 each)
2 Oral B Indicator toothbrushes ($2.57 each)

Have you seen how much produce has gone up compared to last month? Good grief!

Meal plan shop

I needed some things for my meal plan this week. On Sunday I went out and got $82.62 worth of groceries.

Lotsa stuff for only $39.54

That’s right. I paid only $39.54 for my groceries. I saved $43.18 by using coupons and ad matching sales.

And take a look at what I got for free +

Freebies!


2 Cascade Action Packs trial size (3ct), .97 each (free plus .03 overage on each)
2 Frank’s RedHot Hot Sauce, .99 (free)
Complete Multipurpose solution (included free case), $7.99 (free)
Noxema 3 pk shavers, $1.97 (free plus .03 overage)
Balance Bar, $1.69 (free)
6 2 pocket folders with brads, .10 each (free, not pictured)

Honorable Mentions:
2 PaperMate ballpoint pens 10pk, .02 each
2 Kikkoman Soy Sauce, .42 each
Eggs, .64
Morton’s Season All, .64
Mt. Olive Pickles, .67
Kraft Swiss Cheese, .99
Morton’s Sea Salt giant size, $1.04

The only thing is we were dying for some things to snack on throughout the week. I got some peaches, but Alex ate them all within the hour I got home from shopping. This Sunday I will definitely be loading up on apples, oranges and bananas (and some Pita chips I will hide from him – shh).