Saturday, November 22, 2014

Super Savings Saturday: Target, Meijer, Kroger, Giant Eagle, Estate Sale

Giant Eagle:
5 cans Dole fruit @$1, used 5 x $.40/1 printable coupons
Rice Krispies $3 -.75/1 printable coupon -$1/1 store coupon
McCormick black pepper 2.67 -$1/1 store coupon
Philadelphia cream cheese 1.49 -free item e-vantage coupon
Cool whip .99 - free item e-vantage coupon
3 roasting pans on clearance for .39 each
apples 1.14 -$1 off on apples e-vantage coupon
bread- free e-vantage coupon
carrots - free evantage coupon
jell-o pudding .67 -.50 e-vantage coupon
canned corn .59 -.50 e-vantage coupon

Wheat thins 1.99 -.50/1 printable coupon
clementines 4.99
apples 2.50 for 3#
zyrtec clearance 4.72 -$5/1 peelie
Kiss my face lip care .95 -$1/1 hang tag coupon
2 Ekrich sausage @$2 -2 x $1/1 printable coupons
silk almond milk 2.37 clearance -$1/1 coupon

cream cheese 1.19
cream cheese 1.67
sour cream 1.49
2 scrubbing bubbles 1.69 -2 x $1/1 coupons
mushrooms marked down to 1.79
Italian bread marked down to .99
6 Sargento cheese @1.99 -3 x $1/2 printable coupons
4 Sundown vitamins @3.29 - 4 x $2/1 - bogo
2 nature made vitamins $5.29 -2 x $3/1 - bogo
-$5/25 purchase coupon

Estate Sale:
Lego set $.50
2 rugs $3
book $.25
Yarn $7.50 - this was a partly finished blanket with the rest of the yarn plus about 15 skeins, which were a mix of full and at least half-full.
My 8 year old was thrilled about the Lego set. It is currently retailing for $9.99.

Target: I detailed this extravaganza earlier in the week. I had won $50 in Target gift card from a blog contest and redeemed my points on for another $50.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Book Review: Gramma Nancy's Animal Hats

Gramma Nancy's Animal Hats by Nancy Nielsen is a book of fun knitting patterns for babies. The book features matching booties and animal hats to make for a newborn or infant.

What I liked the most about this book was that most of the patterns were realistic rather than cartoonish. The only one that wasn't was an elephant, which for some reason had a crown. I suppose the crown could just be left off. 

I also liked that there were multiple photos of each project, plus there were small thumbnails of each project in the front of the book.

I was hoping that there would be a range of sizes included for the patterns so that they could be made for preschoolers and older kids and even grown-ups. Some of us 35 year olds like silly hats also! Unfortunately, there were no directions for making the hats in other sizes.

The other issue I had was the binding of the book. When working from a pattern, it's really helpful if the book stays open so that both of the user's hands can be working on the project rather than holding the book open. This book would be much better spiral bound.

Overall, the patterns in this book are really nice and would be adorable for any baby.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Book Review: 365 Moments of Peace for a Woman's Heart

365 Moments of Peace for a Woman's Heart is a daily devotional published by Bethany House. It is a nicely bound book with a sewn-in marker.

This devotional is dated, which I do not care for. I prefer a devotional that offers a greater level of flexibility. That said, I turned to the devotion for today's date and it spoke to me! I've caught the cold that is going around my house and have been feeling crummy. Meanwhile, everybody else is back to their usual selves so there's plenty of crazy at my house. Today's devotion was about needing someone to comfort you. Go figure!

Each day is one page and includes a passage of scripture and a reflection on that passage. It includes a question for contemplation as well.

This would make a lovely confirmation gift, wedding gift or graduation gift for a woman. It would also be a nice birthday gift or Mother's Day gift. I could also see it as a nice addition to a women's Bible study group.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation.

Book Review: Nature Girl

Nature Girl: A Guide to Caring for God's Creation by Karen Whiting and Rebecca White is an interactive book for girls age 8 to 12 that offers an introduction to the environment and nature.

Topics include air, water, energy, natural resources, recycling and caring for plants and animals. What I liked the most about this book was how interactive each chapter was. There were several activities to do such as quizzes, crafts and games. Some of these activities would require the help of a parent or another adult and most would be great for group activities.

This book was not too heavy on the scripture side of things but it also was not too heavy on the science aspect of the environment. I did think it was a bit too girly though. Planning a day at the spa and making skin care products? Not really stuff I was doing when I was 12 but maybe girls that age these days are more girly?

I think this would be a great book for a girl scouts or brownies troop or a vacation Bible study group for school age girls. It could also work as a 4-H group guide.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Super Saving Sunday: Target

I have found that I can no longer do complicated couponing trips with my kids. They cause too much of a ruckus. The other day I took them into a store to get just a few things and one of them had a total fit and nearly crushed the bread and bananas (which was 2/3 of what we were buying). So, this morning I went out, armed with $100 in free Target gift cards. I got $50 by redeeming my points on and I won $50 gift card in a blog contest in September but just finally received the card.

I was excited to get both cards in time to take advantage of this week's $10 gift card when you buy $50 in food and beverages store coupon. The nice thing about this offer was that other threshold coupons could be used (like $1.50/$7 purchase on Market Pantry items), plus other Target coupons, manufacturer's coupons and Cartwheel discounts. There were also several other gift card offers for buying certain foods.

In addition to the food deal, they also released some store coupons for the kind of cat food my cat likes. I had manufacturer's coupons and a Cartwheel to stack with those.

All of the multi-transaction, heavy math type of grocery shopping is next to impossible to do with my kids. Not having the kids with me for this meant I could take my time to make sure I did it all right. The stores were busy as we have a pending winter storm coming overnight too.

In the end, after visiting two locations and doing six total transactions, I got:
8 Mott's juice @2.49
2 Campbell's soup @.75
eggs 1.50
2 gallons Market Pantry milk @3.49
6 Barilla Plus pasta @1.99
2 Hormel pepperoni @2.84
1 Starbucks bag coffee 6.99
2 12-ct bags poptarts @2.66
6 boxes Lipton green tea @1.92
80 Sheeba canned cat food @.52
10 Temptations cat treats @1.52
2 12 pks Sheeba cat food @5.69
8 Schick razors @8.59
24 boxes Nutrigrain cereal bars @2.50
Fantastick cleaner with scrubbing bubbles 3.49
2 Quaker oats @3.99
Libby's pumpkin 1.69
4 Speed stick men's deodorant @3.99
9 Pillsbury grands @1.67
12 Betty Crocker potatoes @1.02
20 Quaker Oatmeal @2.50
6 boxes of K-cups @11.99
Market pantry chicken nuggets 4.29
Gevalia coffee 5.69
Archer farms coffee 5.49
Archer farms coffee 3.28
2 Mccormick food coloring @3.34
Diamond pecans 4.99
Gold Medal flour 1.99
2 Karo syrup @2.46
8 Market Pantry frozen vegetables @.99
3 Dove shampoo @3.49
Tressemme hairspray 2.74
Gillette razor 2.89
2 Ore-Ida frozen potatoes @2.79
Fruit of the Loom boy's boxers, clearance 3.01
6 wonka candy canes @1.00
Simply balanced trail mix 6.29
simply balanced fruit snacks 3.29
2 packs Sunmaid raisins @1.69
The regular retail value was $522.42. Of course I would not pay regular prices!

I had tons- tons!! of store coupons, manufacturer's coupons and stacked with Cartwheel and giftcard offers. I did separate transactions to roll gift cards and maximize my savings. I did pay $46.63 out of pocket as I was rolling the gift cards from one transaction to another. By that, I mean I got a $10 gift card each transaction for the $50 in groceries, plus I got gift cards for the razors, the nutrigrain, the coffee and the shampoo.

So my first transaction, I paid with one of the $50 gift cards and I didn't use the full value of it plus I got back a $10 gift card for spending $50 (pre-discount total) on grocery plus another $5 gift card for the coffee K-cups plus another $5 gift card for every 4 boxes of nutrigrain bars. There were other specials too, like buy 4 get 1 free oatmeal and buy 5 get 1 free potatoes.

And after all that, I still have $15 in gift cards! I may do one last transaction at the end of the week when we need milk and eggs again. But if not, I'll have them for another time.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Super Savings Saturday: Meijer, Target, Aldi, Kroger

Aldi: Milk $1.99/gallon (Meijer is $3.49!!)
crackers 1.79

yoplait .50 each
raspberries .50 each
poise liners 2.79 -$3/1 mPerk
3 pairs clearance socks .40 each
clearance costume 2.99
jennie-o sausage 2.69 -$1/1 printable coupon
6 lipton tea 1.42/box -3 x $3/2 coupon = free
Zyrtec marked down to 4.72 -$5 peelie = free
-$5 off purchase mPerk reward

8 Sargento tastings cheese @1.99 -4 x .75/1 coupons and -2 x $1/2 coupons
yogi tea 2.99 -$1/1 coupon
2 Blue Diamond almond milk @2.49 -2 x $1/1 coupons
donut holes .79
bread .88
apple streusel bread 1.69
-$5/25 purchase
-$2 oyno from last time
I paid $12.75

Target trip 1:
Archer farms coffee 5.31 (clearance) -$1/1 coupon -5% cartwheel
Archer farms biscotti 2.49 -$1.50/$7 Archer farms purchase
Market pantry chicken breast 6.49
2 cans Libby's pumpkin @1.67 -2 x .55/1 coupons -10% cartwheel
Market pantry frozen corn .99 -$1.50/$7 Market pantry purchase -5% cartwheel
4 packs Huggies pull-ups @8.99 -4 x 2.25/1 printable coupons and -4 x $2/1 Target coupons
4 packs Huggies wipes @1.97 -$10/40 in-ad Huggies/household purchase coupon
clearance girl's gloves and head warmer set .49

Target trip 2:
pull-ups 7.99 -$2.25/1 manufacturer's coupon -$2/1 Target coupon
4 huggies wipes @1.97 -2 x $1/2 coupons
2 scott tp @3.99 -2 x $1/1 coupons
3 cottonelle tp @6.29 -3 x $.75/1 coupons
-$10/$40 baby/household purchase coupon
3 play dough clearance 2.97 -3 x $3/1 coupons - buy 2 get 1 free deal I didn't know about till I paid
Market pantry chicken breast 6.49 -5% cartwheel
can pumpkin 1.69 -5% cartwheel -.55/1 coupon
Market pantry frozen corn .99 -5% cartwheel -$1.50/$7 Market Pantry purchase coupon
2 swiss miss cocoa @1.29 -10% cartwheel -2 x .40/1 coupons
Keebler cookies 2.39 -50% cartwheel -$1.50/1 coupon
-5% red card discount
I paid 24.97.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Book Review: Food: A Love Story

Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan is just plain funny. I've enjoyed his comedic enterprises in the past because he's brutally honest, observant and very practical in his sense of humor. In other words, he's from the Midwest, like I am, so he really makes sense to me.

This book is all about food and his take on different types of food. Gaffigan explores food generalizations (like coffee in the Northwest and cheese in the Midwest) as well as what he eats and why. Gaffigan also explores our eating techniques and all of the rituals that surround how we eat.

The photos really tell a tale, even though some of the descriptions of foods in his book are slightly excruciating in their amount of detail. But that is who he is, and he is funny. Some of the material is recycled so if you regularly watch his stuff, it might not all be new to you. But since I don't have cable (we stream stuff on Netflix though), most of it was new to me and I loved it.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation.