CVS had a couple good deals this week that I had to snatch up. I did two small transactions…
3 bottles of Gillette shampoo/conditioner on sale for $4.99 each – (3) $2 MC’s – $3 ECB’s = $5.97 for $18 worth of shampoo, earned $9 ECB’s!
2 packages of Huggies PullUps on sale for $10 each – (2) $2 MC’s – $2 CVS coupon – $9 ECB’s from Gillette = $5.00 for $30 worth of PullUps, earned $5 ECB’s!
Why did I ever pay full price for this stuff? Man, did I waste a lot of money! 😉
Yesterday I did my grocery shopping at two stores. Although it’s a challenge with the twins along, it is definitely worth getting the good deals.
I went to Copp’s first. It was my first time shopping there and it’s a bit out of my way, but the deals were worth it. There were several items on sale BOGO which I also had coupons for, and chicken breasts were on sale less than 1/2 their normal price, so I stocked up. I got 9lbs. of b/s chicken breasts, two packages of hamburger buns, 4 cans of Manwich, 2 Dean’s dips, Wholly Guacamole and Salsa, and 4 boxes of Ronzoni SmartTaste pasta for about $28. According to my receipt, between the sales and coupons I saved over $36. Not bad if you ask me!
I went to Festival next. Stocked up on Ground Round (6 lbs.) as it was on sale, and used a bunch of store coupons for the week. I mainly bought meat and produce, but also stocked a few pantry items on sale+coupon. I spent about $100, so between both stores, I spent my usual grocery budget for the week. However, between my now stocked freezer and the aforementioned pantry, I shouldn’t need to do much shopping at all next week. I’m hoping to see the spending come way down throughout February. Looks like I’m getting on the right track to saving lots of money!
Yesterday was baking day again. I only made two things since I had mounds of laundry to catch up on as well. Finally made my pumpkin bread, which was very yummy for breakfast this morning. I also made Reese’s chocolate peanut butter chip cookies and they are sooooooooooo good! I was going to make them at Christmas time but never got to them. I had bought a couple bags of Reese’s chips on sale+coupon and there’s a recipe on the back of the bag for the cookies. They turned out great, and I ended up with way more than the 4.5 dozen it’s supposed to make. I might end up freezing some. They’re really soft and chewy. I will definitely be making these to give out for Christmas next year!
Two loaves of fresh pumpkin bread. Mmmm...
Mount Cookie (and this was only half of them!)
I emailed Brian while he was at work to let him know there were yummy treats waiting for him. I said he’s going to be spoiled if I keep up with my baking day routine. His reply… “I’m going to be really round if you keep this up!” Heehee! I’ll have to make sure I don’t go overboard on the sweets!
Just thought I’d quickly share how we use our credit card to our advantage. MoneySavingMom advocates not having any credit cards and paying cash for everything so that you stick to a strict budget. I disagree. Even with a credit card, you can stick to a budget, as long as you don’t make frivolous purchases (not that we haven’t!). In fact, using a credit card for your every day purchases is convenient and can save you money! The key is to have a rewards card. My husband and I have a flexible rewards card that earns us points for every dollar we spend. We use it for everything; gas, groceries, eating out, clothing, holiday shopping, etc. We always pay the full balance every month, so we never have any interest charges. We can redeem points for gift cards, airline miles, gift items, and even cash back. Two years ago we redeemed our points for gift cards to some of our favorite stores. Last year, we had enough points that we were able to get a good amount of cash back. They sent us a check in the mail that went straight into our bank account. It was awesome! I rarely ever have any cash in my wallet. The card is just so much more convenient. So, as long as you’re smart enough not to use a credit card to buy things you can’t really afford, then why not use one that will earn you rewards? Makes sense to me!
The well stocked pantry
Inner section of the pantry
Since I began couponing and shopping for the best deals, my pantry has become so well stocked, I’m often not sure where to put everything. Initially we were still spending the same amount of money on groceries, just coming home with a lot more in our shopping bags. Now that my pantry is almost ready to overflow, the spending is slowing down and I’m finding that there is less I need to buy each week when I go shopping. I am starting to plan my menus around what’s on hand instead of making a menu and then shopping for it. Lately I’ve only needed to buy things like milk, bread, meat, and produce, so I’m hoping to keep that going for a while. I’ve only bought dry goods and canned goods that have deals to good to pass up the last few weeks. Hopefully I will start to see our credit card bill shrinking each month as I spend less and less per week on groceries. Yay!
Sorry it took so long to wrap this up! It’s been a busy week. Here are the products of my baking day last week…
Nestle break n' bake cookies
These cookies looked really good, but were pretty disappointing. I definitely like Pilsbury’s cookies better, but both pale in comparison to homemade. I think I’ll save my break n’ bakes for random weeknight desserts and try to only make homemade cookies on my baking days.
Irish Soda Bread
The Irish Soda Bread was really easy and REALLY good. It’s the first kneaded dough bread I’ve ever made. I’d never had soda bread before, so the taste caught me off guard at first, but after a couple bites I realized I loved it. It’s a very dense bread that definitely needs some butter on it and is great for dipping. We had it that night with an Italian Pasta Florentine, which was good, but it was much better the next night with Brian’s chili. The kids gobbled up this bread and Brian even ate some as a snack, so I know I’ll be making this again. I’ll probably plan it to go with chili again!
My brown Red Velvet Cupcakes
Although they weren’t red, the cupcakes were delicious. I had some cream cheese frosting on hand, so I used that, but I think vanilla would have tasted even better with these. I will definitely make these again as well. The recipe makes 20 cupcakes, so we had them for dessert a few times and I even sent some with Brian to share with friends. I’ll have to keep these in mind for future school birthday treats.
Baking day will fall on Friday this week. I will definitely be making my pumpkin bread. Haven’t decided what else I’ll make yet. I need to make a grocery list tonight and shop in the morning, so we’ll see what else pops in my head.
My baking day ended up going a little differently than planned. I started out popping the cookies in the oven, and then started to assemble the ingredients for my pumpkin bread. I was short one egg! My recipe calls for four and I only had three left. Bad planning on my part, especially since I was at two grocery stores this morning and eggs never crossed my mind! So, I decided to jump online and visit my favorite recipe site. Since I had that buttermilk to use up, I decided to do a search on all recipes that include buttermilk. I found two that sounded good, and would only require the three eggs I had left! So, I made Irish Soda Bread and Red Velvet Cupcakes. Everything seems to have turned out very well, but the true test will be taste! The red velvet cupcakes turned out pretty brown. I didn’t have liquid food coloring, but I had the concentrated paste, so I just guessed on the amount. Obviously it wasn’t enough because the 1/3 cup of cocoa powder took over the coloring. Doesn’t matter though, they’ll still be yummy even if they’re not red! I can’t wait to enjoy my fresh bread with the pasta dinner I have planned for tonight and cupcakes for dessert! (I’ll add pics later when my cupcakes are frosted!)