If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Off schedule....

I had a long lasting stomach bug almost 3 weeks ago. I've been better for awhile but I am still off my normal regular daily activities.  Not sure if it is just from being a little weak or if this winter weather is slowing me down or what. 
So that is my explanation for so few blog posts.  

Right now, I am waiting for these cinnamon rolls to cool.  My husband asked me to make them so he could share them at work, but he didn't request them until after supper or I would of started them earlier.
I am not a night owl and am normally asleep by now, but since I've been so off schedule, I am happily baking cinnamon rolls.  I wish you all could smell them- they smell great.  Once they cool off, I'll cover them up for the night and then in the morning, I'll frost them and maybe sprinkle with chopped nuts. 

I made 2 trips to CVS and combined manufacturer coupons and store coupons and sales and extra care bucks, the purchases below cost me 59 cents cash and my other similar purchase but is not photographed was less than $2.  And I have more than $20 in CVS bucks to spend on future purchases. 
If you are wanting to stretch your budget, I really encourage you to pick out a local store and look up their deals online, especially on a Facebook group or YouTube videos, as I've posted about before.  
It does take some research and organization but it really can add up to big savings.  
I shop CVS because there is one in my town and in a close convenient location.  

I see posts about great deals at Target, Rite Aid, Publix, Kroger- and others.  
Getting deals stretches our budget and it's fun! 

I think those rolls might be cool enough to cover up now and I am going to bed.  
I should have very sweet dreams as our home smells like a Cinnabon bakery 
Good night for now

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Mid week catch all post

What have I been up to?
I've been sewing on an American flag inspired quilt that a son requested. His birthday is in April and I hope to have it finished for that. 

I also made 1 visit to 1 thrift store. 
I got all these nice Oneida spoons and forks for 25 cents each.

I also got this pile of children's clothes- minus 2 pair of jeans that my daughter was so tickled to see as they were like new and fit long legged and slim Elizabeth perfectly.  This pile was surprising as most of the clothes are for the older grands.  Like I mentioned before, the bigger size children's clothes are harder to come by so this was a good buy. 

This is an odd fabric product- it feels more like a heavy interfacing than fabric - not sure what I will do with it but I really like the kitchen theme design.  It is 1 yard of 60 inch wide and was 50 cents. 

Beside the Valentine family party,  we had another big weekend event.  We went to a gender reveal ultrasound for grand baby #7 who is due late July.  
In this photo, the baby is looking right at the camera and has both arms up beside the head.  We also saw a yawn and a thumb suck.  So sweet! 

Before we went to the ultrasound, we had lunch with the parents, another aunt and the maternal grandparents.  A friend made these pretty cupcakes with pink and blue mini pacifiers so we could predict what the baby might be.  
They were delicious, but most of us were wrong,  we pedicted a boy baby but 

It's a girl! 
And just what big sister Andie requested.  

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Happy Valentines Day 2015

We just had a very fun family Valentines party. We celebrated with pizza, snacks and homemade Valentine  boxes.
We started doing this years ago when we homeschooled. The one thing the children missed most about public school was the parties. So we decided to sort of replicate a school party at home with homemade Valentine boxes. 

There were some especially creative boxes this year. 
Gavin used a basketball with a slot cut in it.
Son in law John made a Bat Mobile. 
Daughter in law Sheena made a very cute frog princess. 

The grandchildren really had fun - they like playing with their cousins and glow sticks and of course they like the candy, 
We just fill the boxes with little gifts and treats for each other.
Hope you all had a happy Valentine's Day too! 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Oriental Stir Fry - our newest favorite Aldi product

I like to watch YouTube videos while I am doing home things.  One homemaker I like cooked this Aldi Oriental Stir fry.  Hers looked very good so I bought some on my next trip to Aldi.
It comes in a 32 ounce bag in the freezer section and sells for $2.89 here.  There is also a teriyaki with noodles version but we have not tried that kind. 
The bag contains lots of nice vegetables and a packet of a thickened soy and slightly ginger sauce. 
The ingredient label is not scary either. 
It is very quick to prepare. Just heat 1 tablespoon of oil and then stir in the frozen vegetables, cooked covered for 5 minutes, stirring a few times.
Then add the sauce packet and heat through. 
We had it last night with rice and some chicken my husband smoked.  
That is his plate below.  
The sauce tastes like a good sauce from a good Asian restaurant and we enjoy it very much. 
This is a product I will be keeping in our freezer, especially for busy meal times.

I've cooked it twice and both times have cooked it plain just as the bag describes. 
The YouTube homemaker added frozen scallops and shrimp to hers and I think she also got her seafood at Aldi.  
I may sauté an onion next time to add to ours next time I cook it.  

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

More about CVS - part 2

Here are a few more ways to get the good deals at CVS.

My favorite time to shop at CVS is early Sunday morning. Their sales start on Sunday and I have always found the deals I want in stock if I go early in the sale.  I've read that the sales prices for the next week are activated in the computers on Saturday evening but the ECBs don't always print at the early sales.  

Even if the sale tags are not posted in front of the sale items, they should still scan at the ad price. 

The CVS red box scanner not only gives coupons, it also will scan items for price checks.  

If the sale items are not available, ask for rain checks.  CVS rain checks never expire. 

My CVS gets their new shipments to restock on Thursday so that is a good time to shop if I miss going at the first part of the sale cycle too.   Just ask a store worker and I think most will tell you when they usually restock.

CVS often has offers like buy $30 of something and get back $10 in ECB. 
If the offer was for $9.99 priced items and you bought 3 at $29.97, the ECB would print as CVS gives a 1% grace of the purchase price and still honors the ECB. 
If you have coupons on the deal, they count toward payment and don't subtract from what you bought as far as the ECBs part of the deal.   So if you bought $30 of the items and had $10 in coupons toward them, you would still get the ECB. 
If you just bought $20 toward the $30 deal, it will be listed at the bottom of your receipt and if you go back during the sale cycle and buy more, then you could still get the ECB.  This is called tracking.  

This is a mid week purchase I made. My husband needed this 8 hour pain reliever and I wanted to check out some sales I read about on line.  
These Nexxus products were all 75% off and I double checked them at the red box scanner to make sure. Clearance products are not supposed to earn ECBs but sometimes they do.  Some of these did track and some didn't.  The current deal now is buy $20 Nexxus and get $10 ECB.  So if I go back to CVS, I may try to buy more to get the $20 and earn an ECB. 
The Almond Joys were still on 75% off clearance for 39 cents a 6 pack and are use by dated near the end of this year. 

These are some of the CVS coupons I got this week for scanning my card.  
I will keep up with them as they could be very helpful when combined with a sale and coupons. 
For the Mitchum pictured above, they were on sale for $2.99 so I bought 4 of them and used the $2/$10 CVS coupon along with some newspaper manufacturer coupons and got the deodorants almost free. 

Whew!  I think I have covered about all the helpful CVS tips I know. Please share if you know any more. 

And I'm sorry if CVS is not your thing.  I'll be posting soon about a quilt I've started, 2 sacks full of thrift store goodies and an Aldi product we really like. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

How I stretch our budget by playing the CVS shopping game - Part 1

Since the fall, I have been making an effort to shop at CVS almost weekly - buying sale items with coupon match ups that also offer Extra Care Bucks with purchase. ECBs print at the bottom of the register receipt and can be spent on the next shopping trip on most anything. 
If ECBs get spent on another item that offers ECBs as well, then very little, if any, cash is spent on the next purchase. That is called "rolling". It is legal and can really be a savings. 

When shopping at CVS, you must get a Extra Care card. The cashier will be happy to give it to you. 
You also need to register your card online and give them your email. CVS will then email you about sales and more coupons like $5 off your next $20 purchase or $5 off any Revlon.  The coupons CVS sends you might be based on your previous purchases.  I often buy diapers and get CVS coupons like $5 off $30 baby purchase. 
Whenever you visit CVS, scan your Extra Care card at the red kiosk scanner.  These scanners have been near the front of every CVS I've visited. It will print off store coupons for you. Scan your card multiple times until the screen says you've printed them all.

Each week, there is usually one coupon for a weekly deal to get one item at a very good price. Last week, the Colgate was free with the scanner coupon and a newspaper coupon. 

The coupons from CVS are called " store coupons" and can be combined with newspaper and Internet coupons that are called "manufacturer coupons"  That makes for double savings.  

Big Savings happen when store coupons are matched with sale items that offer ECBs and you also use a manufacturer coupon on the purchases. 

CVS also rewards shoppers with a quarterly  bonus of 1% of the purchase price in a ECB. 
Their Beauty Club offers $5 ECB for every $50 spent on beauty items -this includes hair care, fragrance and cosmetics and maybe some other things I am not aware of. Register for the Beauty Club when you register your CVS card online. 
CVS also gives ECBs for prescriptions and refills- I think it $5 for every 10 but I am not sure. 

If you have a smart device, you might also want to get the CVS app. 

I know it sounds complicated but once you learn the lingo, what is allowed and what is not, it is actually easy. 
There is so much information online to show how to match everything up. 
I have joined a couple of Facebook groups where shoppers share their deals and tips. 

IHeartCvs.com publishes the current and future CVS ads and that helps me with planning ahead. 

I also watch a YouTube channel who posts her weekly CVS shopping trip every Sunday morning. She is amazing! She seems to buy about $200 every week and pays for it all with coupons and ECBs she earned the previous week.  www.youtube.com/user/LASavings8

  Besides weekly sales, I read about some clearance sales

I also got 2 gallons of our favorite Borden milk this trip but I put one in the fridge and one in the freezer after pouring one cup into a creamer to allow for expansion when frozen before I had time to take a photo. 
The above photos are everything else I bought 
4 12 packs of soda
Oodles of candy for Valentines and Easter
1 bag potato chips 
Laundry detergent and fabric softener
2 mascara and 2 eye liners
3 body washes
1 razor and 1 shave cream
6 boxes tissue
4 hair colors
1 deodorant
1 toothpaste

My out of pocket (OOP) cash for the 3 purchases was $33.42 and I have $11 ECBs for my next shopping at CVS.  
Everything I bought was on sale or clearance. I used manufacturer and store coupons, ECBs, an email coupon, some coupons CVS mailed me  and $4.22 left on a gift card earned from MyPoints.com

Also, I don't pay sales tax because our state gives tax exemption to disabled veterans and their spouses.  

I don't live in a big town and don't have dozens of stores to chose from so I concentrate my couponing to CVS.  
I've glanced at other deals on line and have seen amazing shopping hauls at Target, Rite Aid, Publix, Walgreens and others.  If you want to find out more, do a search on Facebook or YouTube for the store you are interested in.  
Some couponers don't seem to follow the rules and I avoid their advice. 
I don't shop just to be shopping but I try to get good deals on things my family uses and needs. 

It's fun to get good deals. The cashiers at my CVS are all very coupon friendly and I feel like I am really making our income stretch farther.  

Part 2 coming soon!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Valentine's decorations

After Christmas, I left this small artificial tree up and decorated it with winter theme things. 
Now that it's February, I switched it out to hearts for Valentines Day. 

Nothing is new. I made the felt and sequin hearts years ago and my mom crocheted the hearts several years ago. 
The postcards belonged to my grandparents in law.m
Braeden likes the decorations, he called the little cherubs "babies"
He liked stacking the foam and plastic hearts in the candy dish. 
He will really be excited when he figures out that real candy comes with the actual holiday. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Gavin is 6! We celebrated like sharks

Our oldest grandson just had a birthday and is 6 years old! He is such a sweetheart and I am very proud of him and also sad that he is just growing up so fast.
We like to celebrate around here so we had a family party for him this weekend. He likes sharks and we saw shark hat instructions in a free issue of Ranger Rick Jr that was sent to our house.
I got the foam sheets at Hobby Lobby and I made 12 shark hats for the birthday boy and guests. 

The food was simple. I made buns with dough made in my bread machine, My husband smoked and sliced a pork loin. We also had hard cooked eggs, fresh fruit and veggies and chips. 
My daughter made the cupcakes and my son got the decorations and balloons. 

The party was very little work but it was fun and I think the birthday boy was very happy.

It was cold rainy evening and my husband had a great idea to move our vehicles out of the garage so the children could ride bikes and toys there. 

  1. www.nwf.org/Kids/Ranger-Rick-Jr/Shark-Hat-Craft.aspx
    Make a shark hat craft from the September 2014 issue of Ranger Rick jr magazine

    I have to give a thumbs up on Ranger Rick Jr as a great magazine for young children.  All the grands have enjoyed looking at the amazing animal photos. My husband has enjoyed looking at with the grands. He told me we should get a subscription to Ranger Rick Jr, so I did. 

Monday's list for this week

It's a pretty long list but I got quite a bit of it done yesterday and a few more things done this morning.