Saturday, November 29, 2008

Saturday savings!

Dropped by Marsh for something I haven't bought in quite a while -- beef!

Got 6 pounds of ground beef at $1.57 a lb. (I still dislike that price, but it's the best I'm gonna do these days.)

My best bargain though was at the markdown counter: 2 sirloin tip steaks, normally $5 or so each, marked down to $1.34 and $1.29! Guess what's for Sunday dinner?

Friday, November 28, 2008

High finance

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Unless the Black Friday crowds are making a run on the bank, I won't be joining them.

This visit to the bank could be a little odd: I read in the paper yesterday that the bank has been sold to another bank. Allegedly they weren't in financial distress, they just wanted out of the market??

This shouldn't surprise me .. many of the banks here are on their 3rd and 4th owners due to mergers and buyouts. So we shall wait and see what the new folks are offering ... I just feel badly for the bank's employees, who may be out of a job very soon.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Hoping you have a day filled with the warmth of family and friends ....

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Odds and ends

We're busy cooking today at the casa de chaos, putting together our contribution to the family Thanksgiving dinner. (Which is elsewhere, so I don't have to clean house!)

Feeling like homesteaders here ... we're making soup from our very own pumpkin, and dessert using mulberries from our very own tree. (Hey, nice case of frostbite, DW. Yeah .. I stemmed 4 cups of frozen mulberries!)

At least I'll be able to eat dinner on both sides of my mouth. The new crown went in with a minimum of fuss. (Though I may be gnashing my teeth over the bill.)

Friday, November 21, 2008

An unexpected blessing

I stopped into Meijer to pick up a gallon of milk and scored a bargain: Fresh sweet potatoes, which the weekly ad listed at 69 cents a pound, were marked down to 29 cents a pound.
I was pleased, but I think it really made the day of the elderly woman who was standing next to me. "This is a real blessing," she said as we both filled a bag and traded cooking tips.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday: Trash bags

I live in a community that doesn't mandate the type of bags we can use for trash. And while I do buy 13-gallon bags to hold garbage, when it comes to things like paper and non-recyclables, I've learned to be creative.
So here's what passes as a trash bag at my house:
  • 25lb paper sacks from cat litter and cat food. (these are very good for yard waste).
  • Large plastic bags from mulch, top soil, etc.
  • Large shopping bags (the bags used for big or multiple items at stores)
  • Plastic bags from the multipacks of TP, paper towels. (these aren't the strongest, so I save them for lighter materials.)
  • Dry cleaning bags. (I use my meal sealer to put a seam across the area where the hanger goes. The result is a bag strong enough to hold a pile of leaves)

We make sure any bag we use can be twist-tied or sealed up somehow. And with paper bags, we take special care during rainy weather...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mr. Pumpkin must die, Round 1

The annual dismembering of the pumpkin began yesterday at the casa de chaos. Since there's not a lot of room in the freezer right now, just one of the pumpkins went bye-bye. The other one remains in a cool, dry place (which, I suspect is how most folks kept them back in the day.)

The total: 12 cups of roasted pumpkin and 61/2 cups of puree. This was a rather watery pumpkin. I think we must have drained at least 3-4 cups of water out of the puree.

I was hoping for a bit more puree, but we certainly have enough to make pies, soup, muffins, etc, for a while!

As a bonus, I have about a cup and a half of pumpkin seeds soaking in salt water .. they'll make a nice snack after they're toasted.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Free calendars

If you receive the e-mail newsletter from, you should be getting an e-mail offering a 2009 calendar with recipes. Doesn't say if it has coupons, but hey, who can't use a free calendar?

Also, just a reminder that the 11/09 SS carries a coupon for a free calendar from Tylenol (well, free for the price of a stamp.) This one does have coupons, so it may be worth the investment.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Free veggies!

Among the best deals this week:

Central Indiana Marsh stores have the Green Giant Valley Farms Steamers on sale 5 for $5. You don't have to buy all 5 to get the price, so if you have $1 coupons from the 10/05 SS, (alas, I think the printables are gone for now) you get the veggies for free.

Update: There are $1 coupons for the steamers in this Sunday's SS!

Also, Marsh again has meat on sale for 98 cents a pound. This week it's pork picnic roast. I've never cooked one, but I think at that price, it's time to learn..

On a related note, looks like Costco beats out Aldi on walnut and pecan prices this year. I picked up a couple of pounds of pecans for my holiday baking

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My mouth hurts: Let's talk!

I'm a bit sore from the poking and prodding and the numbing shots that came with getting a temporary crown. I may have skated by the root canal, but I got nailed for the $100 visit that my $$%! # dental insurance won't pay for...

Odds and ends:
When the Wall Street Journal talks about folks turning to private-label and store brands, you know something is up... from a recent story:
  • Still, about 40 percent of primary household shoppers said they started buying store-brand paper products because “they are cheaper than national brands,”
  • Sales of private-label detergent rose 12 percent over the 52-weeks ended Sept. 6.
  • Meanwhile, private-label versions of soap and other bath products are up 23 percent in the 52-weeks ended Sept. 6, to $168 million, according to Nielsen Co. Private-label versions of skin-care items are up 16 percent to $182 million during the same period.

I'm certainly a big fan of store brand stuff; we have a family joke about the "Meijer Christmas Dinner." I do have to wonder if this is good news for us who play the coupons/sales/rebates game. Could a drop in name-brand purchases bring more sales, or maybe more and better coupons?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Markdown madness

My best deals this week came from poking through the clearance sections. My haul:

  • Package of Italian-style turkey sausage, $1. Enough to serve with spaghetti one night, and for lunch another day.
  • Cherry coffee cake, 99 cents.
  • Bakery-style hotdog buns, 75 cents (to use for sausage sandwiches).
  • And the best deal ... a set of 4 napkins and 4 matching placemats for $3.20! (Kroger had linens and pot holders marked down to 40 cents each.) These go in the Christmas present stash!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

October freebies

I'll be occupied in the dentist's chair today, so I'll leave a list of freebies...

Not the biggest haul, but not bad:

Kotex tampons and pad
1 bag Iams Premium Protection cat food
1 pouch Wholesome Goodness cat food
American Greetings card
Quaker Simple Harvest granola bar
Pantene shampoo/conditioner
Bounce softener sheets
Excedrin express gels (FAC)
Degree for Women
Airborne table
Airborne Pixie
2 Taco Bell tacos

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A rising deal

If you need yeast for baking, Kroger has the 3-pack of Fleishmann's yeast on sale for $1.49. There's a 65-cent coupon in Sunday's SS good for the 3-pack or a jar. That brings the total to 84 cents.

And if you get the package with the "Run for the Cure" logo (and a pink stripe), you'll get a Catalina worth 50 cents off your next purchase.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Please vote!

It's Election Day here in the U.S. Whatever your political affiliation, please vote!