So the last few years in January or February Rite Aid has run a month-long promo where if you spend $100 in the monthly period on participating items (about 100 different brands of stuff), you earn a $20 reward. SWEET. Last year in February I actually EARNED $28 dollars after factoring in the $20 UP that I received. Let’s see how I did this year:

Rite Aid 1.7.13 $5.49 oop $0.99 act Rite Aid 1.12.13 $7.33 oop $9.33 act Rite Aid 1.15.13 $18.01oop $9.01 actRite Aid 1.20.13 $1.36oop earn $20 UP

(4) Nivea chapstick  – $0.84 (0.21ea)
(1) Nivea lotion – $0.21
(4) Finish dishwasher detergent – $10.20 (2.55ea)
(2) Veet – $1.62 (0.81ea)
(1) Culterelle – $1.52
(1) Photo album – $1.31
(1) Picture frame – $0.92
(2) L’Oreal Revitalift cleanser $1.12 (0.56ea) 
(6) I.D. gum – FREE

Total OOP Paid: $25.97
Total Actual Cost: $17.74
Received: $20 UPR
Final Cost: $2.26 moneymaker!

So it’s not the $28 profit that I made last year, but I did make a small profit and within those items, managed to buy a 1.5-2 year supply of diswasher tabs! also a nice photo album and frame for the house or for a gift. The rest of the items will go into the donation box that I take in every 2-3 months for coworkers.

Rite Aid is doing this promotion again for February, so let’s see how I do with that one! I think I’ll maybe focus a little harder on spending less OOP. Part of my challenge in January is that I started the month with only a $3 UPR and so it was difficult to not spend much OOP on higher cost-up-front (high UPR value) items. I did a lot of breaking transactions up over multiple days in a week, never fun. Good news is that I am leading into February with that $20 UPR and another $8 UPR so that gives me a little more flexibility to spend in the first couple of weeks!

Happy hunting!

~Lissa

Ok guys, week 1 went really well! Only 51 weeks to go!

I decided to cheat a little and pull a couple bucks from my February alcohol budget. Partly because I know I have a $15 rebate pending on the champagne that will probably come in sometime in February. But mainly because last night at work was wretched and I really wanted some faux-mimosa this morning to chill out since the champagne is STILL $3.99/bottle. PLEASE RITE AID PLEASE STOP TORTURING ME WITH THIS SALE PRICE.
K, here we go!

Dollar Tree: $2 – newspapers

Rite Aid 1.12.13 $7.33 oop $9.33 act

Rite Aid: $7.33 OOP, $9.33 actual cost (+$4.37 for the champagne!)

Cheap cheap dish detergent – comes out to $0.08/load – awesome stock up price! This should give me about 1- 1.5 years supply. Candy and lights at 75% off – can’t beat that.

Rite Aid 1.15.13 $18.01oop $9.01 act

Rite Aid: $18.01 OOP, $9.01 actual cost

So this week I did spend a good chunk out of pocket at Rite Aid, which is pretty unusual. Part of that was because I have only been rolling $3-4 of UPR each week, and I wanted to buy the Culturelle for $16 to add to the January Buy $100, get a $20 UPR promotion.  ( I got a $16 UP reward for the Culturelle though so it was free + tax). So I paid about $14 up front for that, and rolled the $16 UPR for the picture album and frame and Christmas lights. Good thing is that now I have $12 in UPR rolling forward to use next week. I already have my transaction all planned out, and it should put me just over the $100 mark. Stay tuned and next week I’ll tell you how much of that $20 UPR will be PURE PROFIT.

 

Safeway 1.13.13 $9.38

Safeway: $9.38

Score! $0.99 turkey bacon! $0.74 shredded cheese, $0.40 salad kits, and $0.15 bananas.

Albertsons 1.13.13 $0.74

Albertson’s: $0.74

Free free free fest! I am SO excited to get free OJ. Just paid $0.37ea for the 2 greek yogurts!

Reclaimed 1.14.13

Reclaimed Produce: FREE!

Pretty boring week in produce. Gave the lettuce and 1/2 the tomatoes to a neighbor for her tortoise – I have 3 heads already leftover from last week. Made oven-dried tomatoes from the rest to add to salads. Made a cute 1/3 bath of blueberry muffins for breakfast this week. :)

Weekly GDP Total: $37.46 (yikes! but the Rite Aid oop will pay off next week when I earn that $20 UPR)
Weekly Alcohol Total: $4.37 (-1.85 for the month)

Happy shopping!
~Lissa

So here’s the thing. I EXCEL at baking. I was an awesome first-grader. I got extra stars for my ability to follow directions. Cooking is more of an Extrovert Sport. It is for those people who can go up to strangers and have conversations at parties. Those artsy people who are creative and like to make their own rules, or have no rules.

I am not that person. I like to work within a set of expectations and guidelines. However. I also do not like to spend money eating out in restaurants all the time and I want to eat healthy, yummy food. So I have been forced to learn how to cook, not just bake yummy fattening awesome cookies.

I love love love homemade chicken noodle soup. It is one of my favorite things to make (even if nearly every time I do, I immediately come down with a cold. It’s like I have a premonition that I’m )getting sick. Or it’s all psychological. Whatever.)  Sadly, sometimes it comes out AMAZING. And sometimes, bland. I don’t know why. I try to do it basically the same every time. Thus, my frustration with cooking. But this after-Christmas, I made a pot of turkey noodle soup whilst making some homemade stock from a turkey carcass and it. was. awesome. So I’m going to share my basic techniqe with you. Don’t you feel special? I make absolutely no promises about the results of your own soup. (or even my own if I tried this exact thing again, sigh.)

Turkey Noodle Soup (+Turkey Stock)

Ingredients:
Turkey carcass (obviously, cooked and carved. Not raw. No feathers please.)
2-3 onions, quartered 
2-4 large carrot, 1″ chunks
2-6 cloves garlic, chopped
4-5 sticks celery, 1″ chunks
Whole bunch of water, enough to submerge turkey carcass in stockpot
Spices (this is where measuring goes out the window)
Salt – probably about 3-4T?
Pepper – 2T?
Chili Powder – 1T?
just dash some oregano, sage, thyme, whatever you feel like in there too
2-3 bay leaves

Note: Instead of whole veggies, you can use peels & ends that you collect. I save all these odds and ends (may also include mushrooms, leeks, sweet potatoes) in a gallon ziplock in the freezer. When full I make a batch of veggie or chicken broth. I used a bag of frozen “scraps” to make my turkey stock and added in one more onion and 2 sticks celery and 2 carrots this time.

Directions:

-Put turkey carcass, frozen or fresh veggies into large stockpot (whatever size it fits in) and fill with water until turkey is covered. Toss in spices. Heat on high until boiling, then cover and simmer on low however long you wish. I simmered this bath for about 24 hours.
-Strain turkey and veggies from the broth. I ladled out the big pieces and then poured the rest of the broth through my colander.
-Put pot of broth into the fridge at least 12 hours so that fat congeals on the top. Scoop off fat and warm enough to liquify the broth again.
-Pull out and shred any remaining turkey from the carcass. Save turkey in fridge for soup/etc. Throw away other veggies. Or pick out large garlic/onion chunks and feed to rest to the dog.
-If making soup: separate out as much broth as you want for the soup.
-To make stock: Whatever amount of broth you want to make stock out of: heat in appropriate sized pot to boiling, then turn to medium or medium-low and simmer until reduced by at least 1/2 to 2/3.  Cool, then ladle into jars to freeze or can. Alternatively, spray muffin pans with oil and ladle into muffin pans, freeze, and then store frozen “cubes” in a gallon ziploc to thaw and use in recipes requiring smaller amounts of stock.

Turkey Noodle Soup

*There are very few measurements here. Thus the reason I get such varying results, I’m sure. Sigh*
I use a double boiler pot and eyeball amounts to make a full pot.

Ingredients
6-8c. broth
2-4 carrots, chopped/sliced
2-4 sticks celery, chopped thin
1 small onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
Turkey – 1lb? 2c.
Noodles – 1/2-1c. uncooked?
Salt, pepper, chili powder, sugar, oregano, etc to taste – hmmm

Directions
-Pour broth into pot until 2/3 full.
-Add veggies and spices (add turkey/chicken also if raw)
-Cook over medium about 20min
-Add turkey/chicken if had been precooked. If not, pull out now-cooked meat, shred it, and add back in.
-Cook another 20 min
-Add uncooked noodles
-Cook another 20 min over medium

Add additional seasonings to taste, cross your fingers, and enjoy!

So, first off since this is the first week of the year, let’s review last year goals and how that all panned out:

2012 Goals
Grocery/Alcohol/Drugstore/Pets: $100/mo
Restaurants: $80/mo Jan-Jul, $50/mo Aug-Dec

Actual spending
G/D/P: $1700 ($142/mo) – $500 over budget
Restaurants: $636 ($52/mo) – $174 under budget
Total Year: $2336 ($195/mo) – $326 over budget

Not too bad, but some room for adjustment. What I decided to do was to separate alcohol purchases from the equation and move to a set $20/mo pulled out in cash to spend on alcohol. I am hoping that this gives me a better representation of the GDP spending as well as help to limit my alcohol intake. Restaurant spending was upped just to $55/mo because I like $175/mo better than $170/mo as a total goal, lol. Also, I no longer have a newspaper subscription so it will be easier to track my purchases of newspapers (for coupons) and this amount will be included in the GDP numbers.

K, here’s week one!

Rite Aid – $17.48
4 bottles of champagne @ $3.99ea – will be submitting a rebate of a total of $15 from 12 bottles total. Will equal only $3.20/bottle cost (including tax!) after the rebate.

Dollar Tree – $2 – newspapers

$2.25 moneymaker!

$2.25 moneymaker!

Fred Meyer – FREE!

Have you tried the smartphone app Ibotta yet? It’s a great little app that let’s you quickly, simply, and easily get cash back for purchasing common grocery items. I will be getting $1.25 back for the Frosted Flakes and $1 back for the Rice Krispies. And with other sales and coupons I paid NOTHING for them already! Score! Here’s a link if you want to check it out:

http://ibotta.com/r/zJYYZQ

Safeway $5.95

Safeway $5.95

 With Safeway’s Just4U program, it has become one of the best places for me to get my hard-to-get-for-free-with-coupons items – primarily cheese and produce. They have frequent enough awesome personalized prices and 2o-30% off discounts on TOP of the personalized prices that I can combine to = really amazing savings.

Bananas – $0.36/lb ($1)
Cucumbers – $0.39ea
1lb Baby carrots – $0.43ea
Shredded cheese – $0.69ea

Albertsons 1.7.13 $0.34

Albertson’s – $0.34

Cheezits for $0.17 a box, wow!

Rite Aid 1.7.13 $5.49 oop $0.99 act

Rite Aid – $5.49 out of pocket, $0.99 actual cost!

Reclaimed 1.7.13
Reclaimed – FREE

Weekly GDP Total: $13.78 OOP
Alcohol Total: $17.48

So far so good! Plus I have $2.25 pending from Ibotta. I plan to just collect earnings in there each month and then redeem through Paypal and reconcile for the month’s total.

A New Year: 2013

January 5, 2013

Well, it’s that time again. A new year, new resolutions (or rehashing of old resolutions as these things tend to be). I will attempt to keep this brief and to the point.

1. Seriously. Get a life already.
2. Pay $500-$1000/mo extra mortgage principle. If can maintain, will be on track to have mortgage paid OFF in 5 years. How ridiculously awesome would that be?
3. Dance more. Dancing is fun. And good for me.
4. Eat less processed food. Drink less aspartame.
5. Keep myself on a $20/mo cash budget for alcohol purchases. Ergo forced limitation of solo intake.
6. Post here weekly – once for couponing, once for life update. Or more. Heck, go hog wild and post every day if I feel like it (don’t get your hopes up).

Ok, how’s that for short and sweet? Next: the first couponing post of the year! May the coupons be EVER in your favor ;)

~Lissa

Sorry sorry I’ve been such a lazy poster! I blame it on my being swept away in my last 2 weeks of fulltime work. And some almost-relationship drama. Which I had been very excited to gush about on here, but which has become nothing at all so I will save posterity the iteration of it.

Back to couponing, a faithful and simple love! Doubles returned to Albertson’s and I had some catalinas to use up, so it was a fun week. :)

Fred Meyer: $5

Quick trip: $1 pineapples to dehydrate and $1 chips to take to work with reclaimed pico de gallo

Rite Aid: $1.31 OOP, $3.31 actual

Free popcorn and a BIG tomato plant on clearance for $1.99

Rite Aid: $0.69 OOP, actually a $4.31 moneymaker!

Quick trip to pick up a moneymaker. I bought the Suave on clearance (with coupon) for $0.64 to use a UPR and reduce my out of pocket expense.

Petosas: $0.75

Safeway: $10.54

This was a great trip utilizing some of the Just4U pricing deals in their new program. $1.88 Doritos, $1.67 Cheezits, and the produce was $3 off $10. I needed carrots and onions and the snap peas were on sale BOGO so only $1 a bag!!

Albertson’s $0.77 OOP, actually a $1.23 moneymaker!

 

 

 

Quite a week! Doublers plus I had $25 in catalinas to use up. $20 from the Lowe’s card promo from last week, and a $5 rewards coupon. So there’s a few “extras” in there, though I did do a strategic doubler transaction to put all the items that would out of pocket cost into the same transaction with my extras. Anyways! Highlights:

$1 boxes of crackers
Free cup o noodles (omg these are SO good…and soooo bad for you!)
Free dressing to go along with all my free lettuce!
Free cracker creations – the granola/chocolate ones are amazing
With my $25: Pork roast,  steak, 1/2 gallon almond milk, can salmon, can of artichoke hearts, small jar pickled herring
Kikkoman: 3 small jars soy sauce + $2 steak = $0.54, received a $2 catalina!

Albertson’s : $1.70 OOP, actually a $3.30 moneymaker!

Just a quick trip to try the razor deal again. Didn’t work right but they wrote me a raincheck for the $5 catalina rather than fuss with returning them. Plus, free pantiliners with peelie coupons.

Reclaimed Food: FREE

A fairly good week all in all. A lot of the standards, a sprinkling of others, and I lucked out into a score of celery to go along with the carrots & onions I picked up at Safeway. Always nice to stock up on a staple like that for free. :)

3 heads green leaf lettuce
10 ears corn (I am never buying corn again)
3 tomatoes
2lbs strawberries
1.5lbs grapes
one bunch lacinato kale
~1 bunch celery
2 pears
1 peach
1 mushroom
1 plum
1/2 zucchini

Rite Aid: $3.01 (bottle of wine)

Weekly Total: $23.77!
Quite a great total given the number of shops and some of the great deals I got. And only one bottle of wine. :)
Dining Out: $15 -one meal @ Italian restaurant and one cup of soup @ Denny’s

I’m over a week behind still as I have to post last week plus this week which ends today. EEK! This one was an annoying one to post as there was just so many shops!

Happy hunting!

~Lissa

I’m a little behind in my weekly shopping posts, so here is last week’s. It was a pretty quiet week really, primarily just picking up my reclaimed boxes and being very very lazy. Hey, it’s my vacation!

$0.57

Albertson’s – $0.57

Just a quick stop to use the last of my Essential Everyday coupons before they expired. Also I took advantage of a gift card deal: Buy $100 in selected gift cards (I chose Lowe’s cuz I would need to spend money there for house stuff and/or gardening supplies anyways) and get $20 catalina. Woot! Basically that is $20 FREE of groceries!  Even better- the rewards points from buying the gift card put me over 5000 points so I earned a $5 rewards coupon. See next week’s post for how I spent these. 

Petosas’s – $0.84

Reclaimed food: FREE!

Another winning week in Adventures in Produce!

7 ears corn (took to a BBQ along with another 6 ears I got on Saturday)
7 tomatoes (oven-dried for salads/pasta)
2.5lbs grapes
3lbs strawberries
4 apples (dehydrated)
6 heads green/romaine lettuce (honestly, 3 of these just went in the trash. I have a surplus of lettuce. Need to find out the apt. # for the neighbor who has a tortoise she can feed it to)
1 artichoke (I steamed and ate this but I either did it wrong or it was too far past it’s prime. not very good)
2 bunches Kale (some in salads, made Melting Tuscan Kale)
1 bunch dinosaur kale (this went bad before i figured out what to do with it, sad)
14 russet potatoes (made roasted potatoes with 2…..maybe make some mashed potatoes to take to work? We’ll see what happens)
1/2 carrot (poor lonely carrot)
handful raspberries/blackberries
and……..almost 3 pounds of Rainier Cherries!!

Seriously…..the street value of Rainier cherries is $6/lb right now. That’s $18 in cherries that there is no way on earth I would have bought otherwise. Not to mention $6 in strawberries and $5 in grapes. And free corn to contribute to a BBQ. It’s INCREDIBLE! I can’t wait to see what the box holds tomorrow. :D

Elsewhere: $13.95
A small bottle of rum and a bottle of wine

Weekly Total: $15.36!
Obviously, another week where it would be nearly nada without the alcohol. I swear, I’m working on it.

Happy Hunting!
~Lissa

This was a much busier week, grocery shopping-wise! Lots of small trips and did a big multi-stop shop on Tuesday after my massage. It’s such a good time to do that because I have to get out of the house and I can take a route back home that hits all of the major stores so I’m not going out of my way at all and wasting gas money.

Birthday was ok. I wish I could say I was super excited and it was awesome, but really I just felt kinda bleh about the whole thing. It was my 30th and while I did go out and have dinner and drinks with a couple of friends, my head just wasn’t really into the party spirit. Dinner was nice with a friend I haven’t really gotten much chance to hang out with outside of work, and then drinks started out pretty good with a couple other friends. But drinks was the sole activity (no darts, pool, etc) so I just literally sat at the bar drinking rum & coke after rum & coke and chatting a bit. The two friends didn’t know each other so that can be a bit challenging conversation wise. I dunno….it was basically just drinking with the sole intention of getting drunk….which I did magnificently. Pretty sure I was shoveled into the car by my friend Craig and shoveled into bed at home. I have a feeling that I wasn’t too good of company for him all in all, which is too bad. My personal life is in SUCH a stall right now, birthday celebrations just felt a little forced. Hopefully things improve in that department soon.

Ok, back to groceries! I definitely have THAT department all figured out! Here’s the week in pictures:

Safeway: $6.05 & $6.10

More cheese! Apparently the $2/$10 e-coupon is still on my card, so with a printed $2/$10 Lucerne products coupon, all these dairy items were 40% off! $0.75 per 80z bags of cheese (since somehow apparently I ran out of mozzarella), more feta and cottage cheese. Free silk almond milk singles too! And onions that were basically free from a Just4You pricing error.

$1.99

FREE!

Albertson’s: $6.87 OOP,  $1.87 actual cost!

Lots of great freebies at Albies with the $1/1 Albertson’s brand coupon: pasta, ketchup, mustard, marinade. A catalina deal on the razors + deodorant, I took my $5 catalina coupon to Fred Meyer’s since I was doing some gardening purchases. See below! $1.99 baguette to take to work with bruschetta from my reclaimed produce boxes – yum!

Fred Meyer: $0.54!

I took the $5 catalina that I earned at Albertson’s from the razor deal and used it at Freddy’s for a hanging plant bracket that I needed anyways.

Target: $6.12

Ok, because I am TOTALLY lame and ridiculously frugal (and maybe just not feeling my birthday), I took the $30 giftcard that my mom sent me to Target for my bday and used it on pet supplies. Hey! I NEEDED dog food and cat litter and I was just gonna buy them at Walmart instead. Probably got a better price at Target combining store and manufacturer coupons…..$3 off the dog food, $3.50 off the 35lb cat litter, $3.05 off the cat food. Plus a lonely can of enchilada sauce for $0.57 to make layered chicken & black bean enchilada casserole with. Truly though, I have been very pleased on how much I have been able to save with my pet supplies lately by thinking outside of the box. Just in the last 3 months I have:

-Bought dog & cat food at Rite Aid capitalizing on manufacturer coupons + my 20% wellness discount and using UP rewards that I earned in moneymaking transactions to pay the bulk of the rest of the cost – paying nearly only tax OOP.
-Bought cat litter at Albertson’s on sale + manufacturer coupons + doublers + catalinas = cheap!
-Bought cat food at Fred Meyer’s using manufacturer coupons and paying with catalinas earned at Albies and Rite Aid
-Bought all of the above at Target combining manufacturer and store coupons and using a gift card to pay the majority of the balance!

By doing this, I have vastly reduced my OOP expenses for these items – which would typically run $40-50/mo – to less than $10-15/mo! Pet supplies are kinda like cheese and meat — always needed, generally can’t get for free, and a good place to use UP rewards or catalinas earned from other moneymaking transactions!

Rite Aid: $49.57 OOP, $45.57 actual cost ***

***BUT that includes the purchase of a $50 gift card to Lowe’s! (See the next pic for what an awesome haul I got!) So reaaallly it’s like $0.43MM oop and $4.43MM actual cost.  The $50 gift card had a promo where you get $10 UP, bringing the true cost of it down to $40 for $50 of merchandise. Sweet! An excellent way to save money on gardening supplies that i was going to buy anyways. Other highlights:

FREE big bags of sour patch kids!
$0.49MM Kotex liners
$0.39 sink stopper! (unadvertised UP + wellness discount – sweet!)
More $0.05 Milano cookies :)

Lowe’s: $0.38 OOP ($50.38 actual cost)

Sooo…..after picking up that handy $50 gift card at Rite Aid, I wandered around the garden department at Lowe’s. I knew I wanted a few things: a hanging basket, some more strawberries, and 1 or 2 hanging baskets of flowers. Here’s what I got:

Lovely hanging basket of petunias – $20
Empty hanging basket (to plant big strawberry plant in!) – $6
BIG strawberry plant with lots of strawberries already ripening (the less likely for me to kill it off) – $5!
Medium cherry tomato plant – $4
4-pack of broccoli (I fully expect to kill this within a week or two) – $2
Small trellis for snap peas or tomato – $4
Garden twine – $2
Hand trowel – $3

I am now ready to plant! I have 2 hanging plant brackets to install, one for the petunias, one for the big strawberry plant in new basket. I have another round planter to put the tomato plant and small strawberry plant in. I have a long rectangle planter to put the snap peas & broccoli in. And lots of organic potting soil from a couple of weeks ago! I think I will stick with just this for this year. Though I *may* get another flower basket. And I’ll probably stalk for more veggies later in the summer if I don’t manage to kill all of these ones. This is definitely my most ambitious gardening year ever!

Reclaimed Food: FREE!

Another different week in Adventures in Produce. A fairly standard, though smaller selection from the local grocery. And at the natural foods co-op – fairly quiet except for the HUGE berry score! I just had an ice cream maker given to me from a coworker so I am SO making some strawberry sorbet! Oh yes I am.

10 ears of corn – frozen
4 heads of lettuce
4 tomatoes – oven-dried for salads
6lbs of strawberries – 1/2 for eating, 1/2 for sorbet
2lbs fresh green beans – I need to find a good recipe using these
one sad carrot
one white potato
one head of garlic (yay!)
one bunch  parsley – dried
8oz raspberries – snacking
a few blackberries – ate them!

I am making a chicken, black bean and corn layered enchilada casserole this weekend. It’s awesome to know that the tortillas were free, the black beans were $0.25, the enchilada sauce was $0.57, the chicken will be about $0.80, and all the rest of the produce was FREE! So that’s $1.62 for a 5-6 serving meal or ~$0.30 per serving! I LOVE couponing!

Ok, even more shocking, I didn’t buy hardly any alcohol this week. Granted, it was my birthday Sunday and I knew I’d be going out drinking (and having it paid for/comp’d) Which was lovely. Happy hour dinner and a glass of wine my coworker friend paid for. One free drink from the bartender I know there. And then all my drinks at the casino were free because the bartender is the boyfriend of my other friend from work who I met there. So FREE birthday outing = yay!

Weekly Total: $24.71!!

I am so excited that even with all those stops AND cheese stocking up I still managed to stay under my $25/wk budget! Course, no alcohol helps with that. Wait….there WAS a bottle of wine…..

As you may have noticed, I did NOT include the gardening supplies in that total, I just didn’t think it was fair to put it in this category. For budgeting purposes, it will go under home improvements.

Gardening supplies: $50.95

I am now officially on vacation for the next 10 days! What will I do? Well square dancing tomorrow night, next Saturday my friend is having a Pride party, I plan to actually plant and situate my balcony plants, and spend plenty of time in the sun in the park and at the beach (if we actually GET any). Of course, the grocery adventures won’t stop either!

Happy hunting!
~Lissa

Ugh I am already so over this weekend. Like many of  my weekends (which are Sat-Tues FYI), I accomplish darned near nothing until Tuesday and then feel like I am constantly running out of time. Big (ironic) problem this week? I actually stayed on a graveyard sleep schedule…but I have to get up at the crack of dawn tomorrow for a stupid leadership seminar thing for work, rather than my normal graveyard shift. I am bitter about this for many reasons: A. It’s a LEADERSHIP SEMINAR. B. It completely messes up my sleep schedule this week. C. I have to drive all over kingdom come to get to and from the thing. D. I lose out on about 3-5 hours of shift + differential pay. For those counting, that’s about $100 pay cut for the day for a STUPID mandatory seminar of which I will see no use.

Me = pissed.

Good thing I’m saving tons of money with couponing and grocery shopping and free-produce-gathering! This week was quick, simple, and great. Check out the rundown:

Fred Meyer: $14.95

Bottle of rum….I HAD to! It was the first day of privatized liquor sales!

Rite Aid: $3.67

Another quick little trip, mainly to roll UPR forward. Nair, paying tax only of  0.47 and 4 packs of Milano cookies for $0.05 each (woot car snacks!) + cheap-o bottle of wine, of course. (was way underbudget again this week despite bottle-o-rum so said “why not?”. Elsewise would have skipped.

Albertson’s: $0.27

Yup, that’s right – 27 cents! While definitely not my most amazing Albies trip (and DEFINITELY not the trip I planned to make THIS weekend) I am still quite happy with what I managed to accomplish with just 3 (THREE!) doublers.

Albies released doublers in the Friday papers – instead of on Sunday due to the privatization of liquor release on Friday. Seems all good… until you remember that many couponers (like ME) get multiples of the SUNDAY paper in order to maximize on the coupon inserts and Albies doublers. All well and good except no one knew until Sunday that we wouldn’t be getting doublers ALSO in the Sunday paper. To be honest, I didn’t try very hard to find Friday papers to buy, just checked the recycle bin at the apartments carefully through the weekend. But the end result? Only the 3 doublers from my own Friday paper. Sigh. And it was SUCH a GOOD weekend for doublers!

But…..
2  Tribe hummus – free
1  Albies vinegar – free
1 Albies WW pasta – free
4 Kraft dressing – $0.27 total (after overage from the hummus)
= a pretty darned good trip of all useful stuff

 

Reclaimed food:  FREE!

Wow! Another great (and different!) week in Adventures in Produce! So I still have to look up some recipes and figure out what to do with the leek and the peppers, but’s here’s the rundown:

5 ears corn – boiled, cut, will use in salads/sides
14 tomatoes – will make pico de gallo, cut for salads, + oven dried
4 hearts of romaine – eat them! these are excellent for snacking :)
4lbs strawberries- eating UP! I am SO LOVING the all-you-can-eat summer of strawberries! I didn’t eat nearly enough last year- hah!
2 – 8oz of blueberries – have to do something with these….
2 bunches broccoli rabe
3 cucumbers
8 chili peppers
5 jalapeno peppers
1 pablano pepper
handful of snap peas – used in chicken noodle soup
1 head green lettuce – will take to work
1 leek
1 orange
1 tangerine
1 peach – ate!
2″ ginger

- phew!

Weekly Total: $18.89

Another under-budget week, once again would be negligible without the alcohol. No dining out. Next weekend is my 30th birthday so there will not only be plenty of drinking, but definitely dinner on Sunday. Stupid leadership thing tomorrow, then a short 2-day week! One more week, then 10 day vacation, 2 more weeks and then I’m onto part-time! Yay bring on the summer!

Happy hunting!

Well this week was a quiet one! No grocery shops, just a quick trip to Rite Aid to use some expiring UPR, my 2 boxes of reclaimed foods, and some alcohol. Not even any dining out!

Rite Aid – $2.11 OOP ($6.11 actual cost)

$0.49 tampons to go into boxes to send to soldiers in Afghanistan + cheap potting soil. Plan this weekend is to actually PLANT some plants with the soil on the balcony. We’ll see how that goes. So far I haven’t managed to kill off the sugar snap pea and strawberry plants I got from work for Earth day. So I’m one up on last year.

Various locations: $18.27

Bottle of wine, champagne, and small bottle of raspberry vodka. What can I say?

Reclaimed food: FREE!

I had SUCH issues getting pics to attach and the computer to cooperate with this post! It was a great week in Adventures in Produce though! Here’s the final tally (and what I did with it!):

2 eggplants – making eggplant lasagna using some of the homemade tomato sauce and free mushrooms. Yay!
10 cucumbers – lots of raw snacking! + in salads
4 zucchini to go with those from last week. – made 2 loaves of zucchini bread to share at work, plus lots of roasted zucchini with meals!
1lb carrots – snacking + in homemade chicken noodle soup
1lb broccoli – snacking + roasted veggies
2 orange bell peppers – yum! raw snacking
1 bunch parsley – dried
1.5lbs apricots – made a wonderful apricot crisp and took to work
2lbs red grapes – soooo delicious! ate them :)
a few rasperries/blackberries – ate them too :)
9 heads of leaf lettuce – gave 5 to a neighbor for her turtle
12 ears of corn – boiled and cut off cob. 1/2 frozen, 1/2 eaten as a veggie side through the week
3lbs strawberries – ate them :) – I am definitely getting my heart’s content in strawberries this year and I LOVE IT!

Weekly total: $20.38
Obviously would be nearly nothing without the alcohol. Oh well! This week is looking very good in the grocery budget department too. Catch you soon!