Friday, February 20, 2009

Save Money at Restaurants!

Well, they are doing it again! has an 80% off sale. You can get a $25 certificate for $2!!! Enter discount code: DINE at checkout. This sale ends February 28th.

I have had good success with this company in the past. In fact, we will use a coupon I purchased during their last 80% off sale this week while we are skiing - I don't just use them for restaurants at home, I also pick up certificates for vacations. You do have to carefully read the restrictions and make sure you are comfortable following them, but overall it can be a great deal!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Getting ready for vacation and Kitchen reorg!

This has been an unusual week - we are taking off on a ski trip Friday after school. So, no real menu plan - just eating up what's in the fridge. I didn't go out and do my normal shopping runs although I may still get to Walgreen's and CVS this week. However, there has been a lot of time spent packing, researching deals and planning our time away.

I'm sure I'll have a full report when I return on how we manage an annual ski trip for very little money - at least compared to the thousands we used to spend to go skiing every year!

In the meantime, I promised to talk about how I re-organized my kitchen in January.

I started by going through EVERY cabinet and drawer. I took out everything I hadn't used in a year and either took it to Goodwill or tagged it and put in in the garage sale box. Then, I reorganized each cabinet one at a time. A few things I changed: I elminated most of the mugs and cups. Simply by moving extra mugs and wine glasses to the basement - that way when we have large parties I can run down and get them, but the 90% of the time that it's just my husband and myself drinking coffee and wine we have what we need and have lost all the clutter. I also moved the potholders from under the sink to the drawer next to the stove - makes a lot more sense! I eliminated all small appliances except the Kitchen Aid, waffle maker, rice cooker and small George Foreman - these are the ones I use on a regular basis and they are now hidden in a cabinet near the sink. The coffee maker and toaster are on the counter.

I also redid my pantry - I got lucky early in the month and my son took a long nap ond day, my daughter had a friend over and my husband had a card game going in the basement so I had several hours to accomplish this task. I did a shelf at a time and used a lot of baskets and plastic containers to contain similar items (chips in one, mixes in another, puddings/jellos, etc.) The very top shelf is used for "extras" - I can see what I have extras of and can use my stepstool to grab them when needed. It's been a month and a half and the pantry still looks great!

Finally, I did a deep clean of the entire kitchen. I've made an effort since then to pick it up every night and at least wipe down the counters and sink. So, overall, it's stayed in pretty good shape. I do have two junk drawers near the laundry room that are getting out of control again - I may have to invest in some containers to help corral that mess.

This month I've been focusing on the Master bedroom and it's looking good!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Frugal Valentine's Day

Today was the day for class parties for my kids. I managed to do Valentine's for both classrooms, goody bags for my daughter's class and gifts for six teachers for about $5.

All I did was plan ahead. Last year a few days after Valentine's I hit the stores and purchased six boxes of valentines for $.25 or less each. It's more than I needed, but I thought it would give my kids some fun choices - and surely they'd like at least one of them! I also picked up two Valentine's boxes for $.25 each and four nice ceramic plates for $.50 each.

I used two packages of Valentines for the classrooms and stuck on a Dummy sucker to each one (have these on hand at all times). I used some leftover red Christmas saran wrap squares and filled them up with candy purchased on clearance after Christmas for $.25 a bag (kisses, and Hershey's bliss - just pull out the green and you are good to go). I tied the "bags" up with red leftover Christmas ribbon and placed one on each bag or in the box for the teacher gifts. The baggies were purchased last year on clearance for $.15. I filled them with suckers, sticker sheets and candy hearts from Walgreen's purchased with my $6 Register Reward (see Tuesday's post).

So - be ready for next year! Go to the stores next week and snap up some stuff on sale. I know I will! Plus red and silver can easily be used for Christmas!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Deal of the week!

Wow, did I have fun at Walgreen's on Sunday!


Buy 1 Gillette Gamer razor, use the $4 off coupon from Sunday's paper, and get a $6 Register Reward. I did this deal, then turned around and used the $6 for goodies for valentine bags for my daughter, did the razor deal again, used the $6 for 4 AXE products at 25% off (found the 2 sprays for $2.99), got movie tickets with that deal, then did the razor deal two more times, so I have $12 for next week! Fun!


I had a bunch of $2/2 wheat thins or Ritz crackers coupons from a few weeks ago and ended up with 10 free boxes of crackers. They are the small ones I wouldn't normally buy, but for free, I'll take them!

Menu Plan Monday

I'm just a day behind this week!

Monday - Cheeseburger meatloaf & mashed potatoes (didn't get to it last week)
Tuesday - Balsamic Pork Tenderloins/ spinach
Wednesday - date night mystery shop
Thursday - Tuscan Chicken / salad
Friday - Something in the crock pot - not sure what yet
Saturday - heart shaped pizza, chocolate fondue
Sunday - leftover shells from the freezer

Not a terribly exciting night and a few items that were on last week's menu but with all the headcolds in the house I just didn't get to them. The good news is that aside from Sunday night at Don Pablo's (with a gift card), we didn't eat out, we just ate other stuff from around the house.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Frugal School Snacks

At my daughter's preschool, the parents take turns bringing in snacks - it averages out to 3 or 4 times for the entire school year, so pretty inexpensive. However, I discovered this week how I could save even more money.

I always let my daughter decide what she wants to bring and she decided on cookies. So, while we were at the grocery I picked up a container of cookies - she said to me "no mom, not those, I want cookies with pink frosting and sprinkles," I walked over to the bakery, but all the cookies had that potential nut exposure which is a no-no at her school. So, I thought to myself - we'll just make cookies.

The night before she brought snack, we baked sugar cookies together, iced them and put on sprinkles. I didn't have to buy ANYTHING for the snack - I had all the ingredients already at home.

In addition, thanks to I had scored some free Ocean Spray juice at Target.

Just taking a few minutes to plan ahead saved us $5 and created a fun afternoon!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

One room a month!

This year I'd really like to get my house finished (decorating) and organized. I'm not in bad shape, but why not get things in great shape and keep myself from falling behind? I'd really like to take the time this year to do those extra little touches that make a home special. So, I've decided to attack a room a month!

January - Kitchen
February - Master Bedroom
March - Home Office
April - Bathrooms
May - Guest Room and Laundry Room
June - Screened in porch/ outdoors
July - Kids rooms
August - Linen closet and hall closet
September - Dining Room
October - Family room and Basement Media room
November - Storage room
December - Nothing - just enjoy the holidays in my organized home!

Sound like a plan? I'll periodically post what I'm working on (perhaps with pictures) and how I'm doing things inexpensively. I'm excited about the project!

In the next few days I'll share how I handled the kitchen - that was accomplished in January as well as what I'm working on for the Master Bedroom.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Deal of the week!

How convenient for me that this week Theraflu is on sale at Walgreen's? My husband had a terrible cold and he swears by Theraflu!


2 Theraflu at 2/$10, I used 2 - $2.00 off coupons (from the internet) and will submit for a $8 rebate


2 L'Oreal cleansers (wipes) for $5.99 each, used 2 - $2 off coupons and got $10 back in ECB
1 L'Oreal mascara for $7.99, used 1 - $2.00 off coupon and submitted for a free movie ticket from the deal mentioned in the Feb 2 issue of People

Monday, February 2, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Another week, another menu . . .

Monday - soft taco's (with leftovers from Saturday's burritos)
Tuesday - corned beef, potatoes, cabbage in crockpot
Wednesday - out with hubby :)
Thursday - Pepperconi shrimp, homemade bread, garlic mashed potatoes
Friday - cheeseburger meatloaf, leftover potatoes
Saturday - Balamic pork tenderloin, spinach, cheese & crackers
Sunday - Chicken with red wine sauce

I might switch Thursday and Sunday - depends upon how the week goes. Other than that, pretty well set. Grocery wise I stocked up on Friday, so all I'll need is milk and eggs later in the week.