Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Favorite Recipe of ALL TIME!

I wanted to share with you my favorite recipe that is from my Aunt Peggy in California. I've been eating this dish since I was 9!

Cheese Strata

6 slices bread, toast each piece and butter ( I used I can't believe it's not butter spray, no calories and no difference in taste!)

Stack the toast and cut into cubes

Spray a 9 x 13 pyrex dish and arrange the bread cubes in the pan, yes that is my son's hand in the picture!

Beat together 4 eggs, 2 cups milk

Layer a 2 cup bag of shredded cheddar cheese and a small bag of cubed ham on top of the toast. Then pour the egg mixture on top. Cover the dish and refrigerate overnight.

Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 45 minutes (cooking less than this has resulting in it turning out a little runny), I've played around with the time for many years and at this temp and time, it seems to let the egg and bread set well.

This is a fantastic dish, it does vary slightly from my Aunt's original recipe but its a keeper in my house!! I hope you enjoy it as much as I have over the years!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Incredible deals at CVS!

I read on Hip2Save about Huggies wipes in the super mega big packages for 2.50, normally 7.99. They didn't have a sale sticker but when I scanned them under the red machine towards the front of the store, they said 2/5.00. Here's a fantastic transaction I made today:

5 packages of Huggies Wipes (enough to fill 3 tubs) 2.50 each
Spiderman valentines 75% off .75
2 Softsoaps at .88 each
1 Earinse 7.99 (free after ECB)
1 Colgate Max Toothpast 2.99

I used 2 .50 coupons from the March issue of All You for the Softsoap, one 1.00 coupon for the Colgate out of a recent All You and I used a 5 off 25 coupon. I have tons of ECBS so I'm trying to burn some, so I used a 10.00 ECB and a 9.00 ECB. I paid 1.22 out of pocket and received a 2.00 ECB for the toothpaste and a 7.99 ECB for the earinse.

Value of the products was 62.42, I saved 98%! I left plenty of wipes on the shelves in Walled Lake so I hope some of you can score this deal. I didn't take my coupon bin so I'm not sure if there are recent mfg coupons for these.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Favorite Store?

What is your favorite store to shop at with coupons? Mine is probably CVS, they seem to always have good deals. I got out of Walgreens because it was the farthest for me to drive and my store never seemed to have stock. For some reason, check out always took FOREVER and there were times that the register would not take my coupons and the manager couldn't even get them to push through. It became aggravating so I just avoid it unless there is a really hot deal! I have so many ECB's from CVS, I don't even know what to do with them! I had about 50-60.00 at one time!

Would love to hear your favorite place to coupon :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010


I am amazed at how much I have already received in rebates since the beginning of the year! 87.98 to be exact and I have another 75.00 I'm waiting to receive. My friend Laura suggested putting that money aside and collecting it all year long and then at the end of the year, you've got a nice rainy day fund! This is what I did last year and we were able to pay for at 75% of our annual ski trip (which ain't cheap let me tell ya!). I encourage you to start saving yours. What I do is I cash them at the bank because if that money is in my acct, I will spend it, I promise you!! And I collect it in an envelope and keep a tally of how much is in there.

Some of the rebates I've gotten so far are the Dulcolax from Walgreens a few months back, Proctor and Gamble rebate from Rite Aid, Rite Aid Single Check Rebates (monthly), SC Johnson Wax rebate that is still ongoing and a few others here and there.

Inexpensive pancakes!!

As a mom of two young boys and one that is in Kindergarten, convenience at breakfast time is a must. I don't have time unfortunately everyday to make "from scratch" items. We buy a lot of waffles and pankcakes (frozen and normally store brand) and I was a little shocked last week when I grabbed a box of mini pancakes at Kroger that were 2.48 a box. This morning it "dawned" (LOL) on me that I had two nice size boxes of pancake mix that I know I got for under 1.00 a box and I think it might have even been under .50 for a 32oz box. I also thought about the many packages of chocolate chips I have that I paid .99 each for that are just sitting on my shelf.

So, I decided to make a big batch of mini pancakes and jazz them up a little bit with a few chocolate chips. I figured if the store could cook them and put them in a bag and then freeze them, then why couldn't I?

If my guesstimates are right, I used about 3/4 of a box of pancake mix and about 1/4 of the chocolate chips. Lets base this on the pancake mix being 1.00 a box (even though I'm certain I paid far less for it) and I paid .99 for the chocolate chips and that's 1/4 of the way gone. So for approximately 1.00, I made 50 pancakes that are double the size of the mini pancakes that Kroger sells. Not a bad deal and if I can keep making them this way, I don't have to worry about running out so quickly.

Just some food for thought....anyone else have any money saving suggestions that are doing right now?

Friday, February 19, 2010

New segment!!

One of my cousins, Pam, who lives in Tennessee has come up with some clever recipes and ideas that I would love to share with all of you! Pam is an identical twin to Pat and my running joke to both of them is that I still after all these years, cannot tell them apart. When I look at pictures of them, it is visible that their hair style is completely different but when I was a kid, I'd be looking at one and say their name, and the one in the other room would answer. We've got lots of fun stories of my escapades as a child!

I'm going to call this new segment, Cousin's Corner!

To kick off the new segment, I'm going to share one of Pam's ideas/recipes!

We love Infusium detangling spray and use it all the time on Jennifer's long hair. It's not cheap so I searched for a recipe online. I found this one (super easy) and it works great. Very simple and just the right consistency/texture. Not too thick, not too runny.

Leave in Hair Conditioner spray

1 oz. conditioner (They say commercial grade. I used we had which was Aussie)

5 oz. water

put in spray bottle, shake (I used my our Infusium bottle)

I'm back from vacation!

I was so busy getting ready to leave for vacation that I neglected to post that we were going on vacation!

Luckily we are back before Saturday since I want to hit up CVS for some very inexpensive vitamin supplements I take!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Getting coupons for your favorite brands

I'm often asked how you can get coupons for your favorite brands especially if you don't see that they are ever in the coupon inserts. I highly recommend that you contact the manufacturer and ask them for coupons. Isn't their goal to have loyal customers? So, if you'd had luck contacting a mfg who is more than happy to send you some coupons, let us know!

On a slightly different note, if you are unsatisfied with a company's products, don't be afraid to contact them. I've had two instances where this has paid off:

1) John Frieda hair products - I really like the Luminous Volume products and I scored a bunch of these super cheap at Rite Aid last spring and after only using the shampoo a few times, I noticed the bottle was almost empty. When I looked at it closer, it looked like it might have been a design flaw since the bottle was designed to have the cap that dispenses on the bottom rather than the top and it appeared that when you set it that way, the shampoo would leak out. So, I called them, they asked me for a few codes off the bottle and they sent me a coupon for another bottle completely free!

2) Pampers Cruisers - I've been pretty loyal to Pampers(in fact, it's all I used for my first son, I love the powder smell they have before the are SOILED!) and have been alternating between Pampers and Huggies for my 2nd son. I noticed that my son was leaking though his diaper almost every time. So I gave Pampers a call and they very promptly sent me 2 coupons for 5.00 off. They asked me to try their Baby Dry (green box) product instead and see if those were better. They told me that I should get back to them if those leaked as well and they would have me send back the remaining ones and they would give me a refund. Personally, I like the cruisers A LOT better because the baby dry tabs are very plasticy (is that a word?) but they seem to be a little bit better.

So, here are my two examples of products I've have some issues with and the company has been happy to work with me!

Don't forget to let me know if you'd had success with this as well (or calling any mfg for coupons).

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sorry for my absence!

Well, I had quite the dummy moment yesterday. I was going to post some great stuff on Friday and was home by myself with the kids and was a bit tired. Had everything ready to post yesterday morning when my internet connection became non-existent. Finally this morning after a full 24 hours without internet, I decided to call my provider. Well, nothing wrong with the appears that my almost 2 year old hit a button on my keyboard that either turns on the wireless or doesn't. Well, guess which setting he hit. This computer is still fairly new and I had no idea to check this.

So, sorry about my absence!!! I won't bother to post about too many things from last week since you can't duplicate them now!

Happy Valentine's little Valentine had me up at 5:22 this morning, maybe the hubby will deem that my present will be a nap!

Just got home from church and thought I'd post to let you know I'm still around :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Super Easy and Super Yummy Recipe!

My friend Judy gave me this recipe and it's so easy and so good! With as cheap as I've gotten all the ingredients lately, I bet this meal which provided dinner for all 4 of us and lunch for me and the hubby the next day cost no more than $2.00.

Pasta Bake
Preheat oven to 425
Use 1 pound of pasta ( I use penne)
1 jar of sauce & 1 jar water

Spray your baking dish, then put in pasta, sauce and water and stir together. Bake 30 minutes covered, stir again, add 2 cups of shredded cheese to the top and bake 10 more minutes uncovered.

It is so easy and I promise you will enjoy! Thanks Judy!

What's wrong with this picture? Look close!


Well, if you can figure out what is wrong with this picture, it's the reason I scored these for .49 at Kroger yesterday! The sell date on these is 2/16/09. Great for the freezer....I'm really curious if anyone will comment!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Slow Cooker recipes

Anyone have a tasty slow cooker recipe involving chicken? My husband is getting little tired of Chicken Picatta, Chicken Marsala, and chicken that has topping so I thought I'd see if any of my readers had a tried and true recipe you would lend??

Are there many deals this week?

I don't know about you but I'm super excited about Kroger or Meijer deals this week! A lot of the free things at Meijer, I got a few weeks back and don't have anymore coupons. I still have to check out the drug store ads but there were only a few things at each store I need so I may just opt to go to one this week. I shop with my almost 2 year old in tow so going to only store makes things a little easier on us.

Friday, February 5, 2010

CVS & Meijer shopping trips today

I went to CVS and Meijer today. I want to explain how this broke down as this may not be duplicable as far as the diapers are concerned.

CVS Spent 4.25
Saved 43.14

I bought 4 boxes of cereal that were 1.88 each (these normally go for 4.29 a box!), I used 1/2 coupons from 1/10 Red Plum insert

I called Pampers and told them that my son was leaking through their diapers and they sent me (2) 5.00 coupons to try a different type of diaper rather than the Cruisers I've been using.

I also used a 5 off 20 from Rite Aid, my store will accept competitor coupons, YOU NEED TO ASK FIRST before you do this as some stores may not allow this.

Meijer Spent 9.98
Saved 23.38

I went and got the following deals along with milk and Garden Fresh Salsa (is there any better out there and it's B1G1 free this week!)

0.50 McCormick Dry Seasoning Mix, packet
-$0.25/2 coupon (from 1-24 RP), use 2
-$1.00/4 Meijer Mealbox printable coupon
FREE when you buy 4 with coupons*

$0.99 Lipton Cup-a-Soup Mix *NEW*
-$0.40/1 coupon (from 11-15 or 1-31 RP)
$0.19 after coupon* – great charity donation!
$1.50 Hefty Everyday Foam Plates (50 ct), Compartment Trays (20 ct), Strong n Deep Plates (20 ct), or Zoo Pals Paper Plates or Cups (14-24 ct) (price drop through Feb 21) *NEW*
-$0.50/1 Hefty plates or cups coupon (from 1-31 RP)
$0.50 after coupon* – thanks, LaTasha!

Thanks to Jolyn at Macomb Money Savers for the awesome matchups!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas - this recipe is a winner!

I wanted to share this recipe with you since several of the ingredients are part of Kroger's special this week!

1 large onion chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed
3 cans diced tomatoes and green chiles (Rotel or Kroger brand mild)
5-6 cooked chicken breasts shredded
1 pt heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 T chicken granules
~20 tortillas
8 oz monterrey Jack or Mozzarella shredded cheese
Vegetable oil
Cook onion and garlic in small amt of vegetable oil just until onions are transparent. Add tomatoes and green chiles, and chicken. Spoon mixture into tortillas and place seam-side down in greased dish. Heat whipping cream and granules together (to dissolve) then pour over enchiladas. Top with cheese and bake 30 min at 350 F. Enjoy!

I boil my chicken and then shred it. This seems to be easiest for me. I only use about 1 package of tortillas and normally one package of Tyson skinless/boneless chicken breast.

This week I bought tortillas that were part of the promo at Kroger as well as Rotel. They both have fairly recent coupons.

We love this recipe at our house and I serve it a lot when we have company. It pairs great with Spanish Rice (which I still have tons of from when I stocked up about 6 months ago when it was on a great sale at Meijer!).


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I am in awe at my friend's generosity!

I could not let this opportunity go by without giving "props" to my girlfriend Kim who drove ( I say 30, she says 20 minutes) over to my house with an incredible amount of things to donate to my local food pantry in Walled Lake, Hospitality House. I had to show you a picture (and this doesn't even show it all and yes, I know it isn't superb quality). My neighbors mom volunteers there twice a week and I thought Kim brought 5-6 bags of stuff which I was very grateful for.....well, I went in the garage and realized there was one more bag stuffed to the gills and 1 medium sized box and 1 LARGE box of stuff filled completely! Inside the bags and boxes were tons of bar soap, feminine hygiene products, aspirin...all stuff that I know the people on Thursday will be so excited about when they get to do their shopping and pick out their things for the next 2 weeks.

Kim is one of the most generous people I know (except when it comes to napkin rings, INSIDE JOKE!) and has become like a sister to me. I have learned so much from her over the last 2 years and can't imagine not having her in my life! She's taught me a lot about life, A LOT about the Lord and I am so grateful for her friendship and love. And today, I am just in awe of her generous heart.

My friend Laura Webber says that coupons really are a blessing since most countries don't receive them at all and are forced to pay full price for everything. Look at the impact and the blessings you can bestow upon others with couponing!

If you would like to donate to Hospitality House, please email me and I will be glad to give you their information.

Thanks Kim, you're the best!

Shopping at Kroger today

Spent $79.03
Saved $42.90

It wasn't my best week but I was running low on staples like syrup, waffles (for the kiddos!), ketchup, juice, etc. Most of these things I didn't have coupons for. I did take advantage of the Mega Sale where when you buy a participating item, you get .50 off that item if you buy 10. I did stock back up on ground beef, I got them on Mgr's Special (that's the little cubby in the meat dept) so I saved several dollars on each package. I buy from that area a lot, and bring it home and throw it in the freezer. My total is also a little higher because I purchased two packages of frozen shrimp for 6.99. So my total is about 25.00 higher this week because of those deals I found.

Here is a list of the items I purchased with coupons that you should be able to duplicate. These matchups have been graciously provided by Jolyn at Macomb Money Savers.

$1.49 Philadelphia Cream Cheese, 8 oz brick or tub
-$0.50 Big-Game Greats Event Savings
-$1.00/4 printable coupon
$0.74 after instant savings when you buy 4

$1.69 French's Classic Yellow Mustard, 14 oz
-$0.50/1 printable coupon or 0.30/1 coupon (from 1-24 SS)
$0.19 or $0.59 after coupon and instant savings

$2.49 Solo Cups, 30-50 ct
-$0.50 Big-Game Greats Event Savings
-$1.00/1 coupon (from 12-6 SS) or $0.75/1 coupon (from 1-24 SS)
$0.99 or $1.24 after coupon and instant savings

$2.89 Tropicana Pure Premium or Trop50 Orange Juice, 59-64 oz
-$0.50 Big-Game Greats Event Savings
$2.39 after instant savings

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Who wants a B1G1 free coupon to Ruby Tuesday?

I came across (6) B1G1 Free coupons to Ruby Tuesday coupons that expire 2/11. The first 6 people to leave a comment on this post, I will send you each one! I will email you to get your address. I know I like saving money when we dine out, I'm sure I'm not alone!