Thursday, September 26, 2013

Little Dude loves to help mix

My little helper love to help, "mit it" when I'm cooking. Big Dude's birthday was recent and I made him a birthday cake while LD was napping. After the cake cooled I let LD help me make some chocolate icing for the cake.
 Helping me stir the icing.

CVS 9/15/13 and 9/22/13

I've been lucky enough to get $3 ECB emailed to me twice in a row these last 2 weeks. If I can wait to shop I wait for Monday or Thursday to see if my CVS emails have any discounts or ECB's for me. These surprise ECB's are making for some awesome deals.

Retail Value: $24.41
Oop before tax: $1.76

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Where is my water bottle?

LD is at that magical age of two. He's more independent now and tries to do things himself. Now that he's two (and tall enough) I'm allowing him to help me do the laundry. One of his jobs is to take the wet laundry I hand him from the washer and put it in the dryer. Now there is a fascination with putting things in the clothes washer and dryer. After spending a whole day not able to find my water bottle I went to do some laundry during nap time. This is what I found:

Harris Teeter triples 9-18-13 trip #2 and #3

I made two more trips to Harris Teeter this week. My first trip I forgot my Cheerios and each time I went back they were out. Sigh. This is why I make a list. But I didn't this week. Oh well.
Any whoo.

Trip #2
Retail Value $25.08
Oop: $6.78 before taxes

way overdue cvs posts.

So I have been keeping track of my CVS deals and even writing them up. I haven't gotten around to posting them because I started working part time watching 2 girls (sisters, ages 4 and 1) and that has completely thrown off my weeks! There were time I was going to the store at 9 at night (sometimes even on the last day of the sale). I'm getting my groove down. LD is loving having his two friends come over and play with him. He was the main reason I was wanting some children near his age. I don't think it's good for him to spend so much alone time with just me. He's learning to share and take turns, something he's only able to learn with other children. He's also got a jealous streak if I'm holding the 1 year old. He immediately comes over and wants to be held too.

Here's 3 weeks worth of my CVS deals:
8/25/13 weeks deal was good. If I could have found a second bogo coupon I could have paid a penny before taxes. THAT would have been scream worthy. I used 10 ecb's from here and only got a total of 8 back (5 and 3) so you could say I "lost" 2 ecb's, but I found it hard to keep rolling the 10 into a deal that would give me 10 back. It'll be easier to buy things my family needs and will use if I have a smaller amount of ecbs to roll. I have to keep reminding myself that even if a deal is awesome, if it's not for my family, I don't need to buy it.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Harris Teeter Triples! 9/11/13

Harris Teeter had a triple coupon event this week! I scored some major deals!

Retail Value Before Sales: $48.89
OOP: $6.19!!

The breakdown:
(2) Martha White mixes $1.00 each
  -.55/2 coupon
(2) Hawaiian Punch $2.79
  -(2) .75 coupon
(1) Bisquick $2.69
  -.50 coupon and -.50 evic coupon
(1) Pampers $2.50
  -.50 coupon and /.50 evic coupon
(4) Dole Pinapple $.99 each
  -(2).50/2 coupon
(2) Colgate Total Plus $2.50 each
  -(2) .75 coupon
(1) Natures Own Honey Wheat $1.94
  -.75 coupon
(2) Kraft Fresh Takes $1.67 each on close out
  -(2) .99 coupon
(2) Yo Crunch $.60 each (Not pictured. They got eaten and were yummy!)
  -(2) .25 coupon

(3) Hamburger Helper $1.00 each
(1)Ultimate Helper $1.67
  -.80/4 coupon and -.75/4 evic. I grabbed a Ultimate instead of a regular Helper by mistake so my total is .67 higher than it should have been.
The cashier also forgot my .20 bag credit for my 4 bags and I didn't realize it till I got home. Oh well.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Simple Summer Day (with pictures of LD)

     We've had such nice weather all summer long. It's only been in the 90's like 10 times or so. It's a great thing to have my family back together and enjoy some outdoors! Big Dude got a new grill this summer after we moved. We switched from propane to charcoal and we're loving it. He's the griller and I'm the sipper of wine for our cook outs (I do help with the sides). I got some chalk for Little Dude a while back and forgot about it (oops!) till now. I gave him a piece to play with and he absolutely loved coloring outside! It was hard to convince him to stop so he could eat dinner. I think there was a cookie bribe involved.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

CVS 8/18/13 Cheap razor blades and free makeup!

Wow. This week's CVS trip is making me do another happy dance!!! I'm leaning towards believing the drugstore game will save my family money each month.
     I get a weird high from saving money when I shop. This deal had me so excited I was texting my mom late at night telling her all about my awesome coupon trip. Made me remember when I was a little girl after she'd gone through the coupons herself she'd let me cut out whatever ones I wanted (great fine motor skill activity!).  I would go to the grocery store with her and push my pretend shopping cart and put my pretend groceries in it. And I never forget to point out all the blown up "bonuses" (Supermarket Sweep anyone??). Remember the blinkie coupon machines in the aisles?  My mom had to make a rule I could only take one and then place it on top of the machine or I wouldn't get my cookie from the bakery. And cookies trump coupons any day. Anywhoo. Here's my awesome deal I did at CVS this week.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

CVS 8-1-13 Cheap Excredrin Migraine!

     I was browsing some blogs when I had some down time to myself yesterday and stumbled upon The Cents'able Shoppin. I had seen the Excedrin deal of buy $20 get $10 ECB's earlier in the week, but the coupons didn't look good enough. I had seen the internet $3/2 Excedrine Migraine, but without printing it to see the specifications needed I assumed it would be for the higher count and not the small 24 ct boxes. After looking at The Cents'able Shoppin I saw that it was a really good deal for the migraine 24 ct. I registered my

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

CVS 7-27-13 and 7-29-13. A nearly 50% and 75% savings!

I made two trips to CVS the past few days. One a few days ago during last weeks sale and one yesterday for this weeks sale. My savings for the trips was close to 50% and 75%. Woohoo!!!

I scanned my newly registered CVS card to get the coupon for the free roll of paper towels ( love freebies!). I also went to do the Colgate $5 ECB with a $10 purchase. The other soda and candy was a treat for the

Monday, July 22, 2013

CVS 7/22/13- Almost a 50% savings with coupons

The drugstores have been calling my name and I'm going to take my couponing to the next level! I keep seeing all these posts about people spending little or no money oop for all those items. I was inspired by Gretchen's shopping trips posted at in particular.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Moving Day Drama

     Where have I been lately? Recovering from out move. The actual packing up wasn't the hard part (thank you Navy!!). I didn't have to do a thing but be at my house (and get a sitter for Little Dude), because, after 6 months away from my husband, we were finally able to move up to the DC area to be with him!!!!! And let me tell you after 6 months of solo parenting I was more that ready to move. Single parents, I tip my hat to you. I learned just how thankful I am to have the support of my husband.
      I found a realtor I trusted in February and both a renter and rental house in March. Big Dude worked

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Homemade poptarts

     I love pop tarts. We never had them growing up unless I sneaked (I always want to write snuck, sneaked sounds so wrong) some from a vending machine with spare change. After I got married and had to make our grocery money stretch and I understood why. Those little tasty delights are expensive, even the generic ones! After I actually read the nutritional label I cringed. Those little tasty delights are bad, bad, bad for you! They come 2 in an individual  package and that's supposed to be the meal. How many of you had more than one package? I know I have. How many ate a package for a snack? I know I did (WHAM~Hello thighs). So I rarely buy them. It has to be a super sale with coupons, and those corporations are catching on to me.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Homemade Tater Tots

Here's my review I promised!

6 potatoes (peeled and diced)
1 small onion (diced)
salt, pepper, garlic powder
1 large egg
1/2 cup flour
oil (to fry with)

 I changed up some things but if you want the original recipe then click here for the recipe from The Pioneer Woman as featured on Food Network.

                                                              Look at them fry away!

                                                              Such a pretty golden color.

I forgot to take a picture of the mixture till the end, oops.

     I took 6 russet potatoes and peeled and diced them. I also diced a small onion and put it all in a pot. I covered with water, added salt and pepper, and let it boil. I took a wooden spoon and tried to mush a potato and it didn't work so I let it boil some more. A while later I tried it again and it smushed. I drained the potatoes in a colander then fixed lunch for Little Dude and myself (yummy pbj!). After Little Dude went down for his nap I put the drained potatoes (and onion) back in the pot and went to work with my potato masher. I left them lumpy like in the original recipe (maybe they were too lumpy?).
     Next I beat 1 large egg and added some more salt and pepper. Then I dumped it in the pot with the potatoes and added  1/2 cup of flour (all purpose). I took out my frying pan and added some olive oil (the only kind I ever use, seriously. I have a big gallon container of it and that's it. I use it for everything, even my baking).
     Once the pan was hot enough I took some potato mixture rolled it into a sorta ball, sorta flattened it, and kinda kept its shape as I scraped it on my hand and placed it into the pan. I did this till the pan was full then sprinkled garlic powder over them all. They are ready to flip over when they move loosely in the pan when you have a fork to try and flip them with because your spatula is dirty and at the bottom of the sink filled with dirty dishes. Now that they are all flipped is the part where I look back in the pot and realize this is going to take FOREVER.
     For my second batch I tried kinda plopping some in the pan and smushing them once I flipped them over. They weren't as pretty as the first batch and I prefer the first batch over the second. After I got the second batch cooking I could hardly wait to try one. They smelled amazing. After they cooled and I tried my first one I realized these weren't going to last. They are seriously that good.

This is a dish I wouldn't plan on using potatoes for, unless they were starting to go bad. Next time I want to try leftover mashed potatoes (there's always some and never enough for everyone at the next meal). Also, since potato size can vary I don't think I had the right ratio of mixture. It was way too sticky to work with easily (another reason why I think left over mashed potatoes would be better). Did I mention they were yummy? There were none left over. Little Dude and I ate a delicious snack (and no, I didn't let him eat too many. I'm a mean mama like that).

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Hello New Year!
I haven't gone away forever. I've been busy working on the house after Little Dude is asleep. Big Dude got his new orders and left for his new dusty station on October. Little Dude and I are still here at the house. I have some work to do before I can rent it out. Painting (a lot of painting), flooring (both upstairs baths and pantry), grouting (the master shower that is taking FOREVER), new fence panels (2), fix the deck (replace warped baards, screw down where nails popped up, power wash, and stain), fix the gate, mulch the flower beds. It's been a struggle having 2 households, both financially and emotionally. Little Dude loves Skyping each evening with his daddy.
My days turned into a boring routine. Wake at 7, breakfast, Morning Little Dude time, lunch, nap (research on how to do the things I was planning to do/ clean house), afternoon Little Dude time, clean house. Make dinner at 4, eat at 5, Skype at 6, bath, bed at 6:30, dishes/ straighten house, work on house/more research, shower, bed at 10 (or 11).
Some weekends Big Dude was able to come home and it was nice to be together as a family again. For Christmas I went up there and was able to spend 2 whole weeks with no projects to work on and have a nice Christmas. As nice as it was to be there I got bored. I'm so used to being so busy as night that I didn't know what to do with myself. So I now have a whole bunch of pinterest stuff to try and fit in my day.
I want to make more of my family's food homemade. I plan to try one new thing each week homemade, rather than it's store bought counterpart. This week's project was inspired by the Pioneer Woman. Long story short, last week I saw an episode where children where there for a sleep over and she made breakfast for dinner. One of the dishes was tater tots. Looks easy enough (don't these things always though?) and I've got some potatoes looking for a new home in my belly, so that's my project for this week.