Monday, March 30, 2009

Watch that aluminum foil deal

Just a heads-up on the Walgreen's deal for Reynolds Wrap.

Currently the deal is 89 cents after in-ad coupon. Use $1/1 from 2/8 Smart Source insert to make it free with overage.

A word of caution: These coupons say 1 per purchase/ household. I tried to get 2 -- the first one went through, but the register refused to take the 2nd one. So if you want more than one, do it in seperate transactions.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Drugstore deal

If you use Thermacare heat wraps (A product my back truly loves), there are a couple of deals out there this week.

Buy 1, get 1 at 50% off. (usually $6.99 for the regular wraps)
2 regular heat wraps - $10.48
Use 2 $1 coupons from 3/29 RP.
OR, use 2 $2/1 coupon from Feb. All You magazine
Final price: 2/$8.48 to 2/$6.48

Buy 1 for $5.99
Use $1 coupon from 3/29 RP
OR use $2/1 coupon from Feb. All You
Get $1 in ECBs
Final cost: $2.99

I'm more than a little bummed to hear that Walgreens is doing away with the Easy Saver Rebates. I will miss the free shampoo, allergy meds, and such. Guess I will have to pay closer attention to "free after coupon" deals and start getting serious about rolling those ECBs over at at CVS.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The deals, they don't come easy sometimes

We needed new chair mats ... simple, right? LOL!

We'd cashed in some credit-card rebates for gift cards from a certain office supply company. Found some mats on its Web site .. on sale. Great!

Big catch: The online store doesn't take gift cards!

We'd called the nearby store and found out they price match their .com site, so we headed over there.

New problem: They didn't have the mats we wanted in stock.

But, we had a very helpful sales associate. No problem, she told us. She could order them from the Web site. At the sale price.

Er, can we use the gift cards?

Sure, she replied. You'll pay for the mats at the register.

So that's what she did. The mats arrived the next day!

How's that for a happy ending ;)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

"Trashed" no more

The economy's in the dumpster, and it's showing up at the local landfill. Many landfills are saying that the amount of trash they're getting has dropped by as much as 30 percent, the Washington Post reports.

The trash man is the first one to know about a recession because we see it first,” said Richard S. Weber, manager of the Loudoun County, Va., landfill. “Circuit City’s closing, so people aren’t going there and buying those big boxes of stuff and throwing away all that Styrofoam and shrink-wrap ... and whatever they were replacing.”

It’s all part of the cycle of stuff that people in the trash business say they’ve seen in every economic downturn since the end of World War II. People don’t buy stuff, so there’s less packaging — which typically makes up one-third of all landfill trash — to toss. With a drop in demand, manufacturers make less, creating less waste. More vacant homes and fewer people in a community mean less trash. A stagnant housing market means less construction debris. On tight budgets, people eat out less, so restaurants order less, so there’s less to throw away. Landscapers are out of work, so there’s less yard debris.

So, we lose and the environment gains ....

Trash volume has dropped so much, Weber said, that instead of running out of space in 2012, as had been projected, the Loudoun landfill will gain a year and a half or so of use. “That’s huge,” he said.

See the full story:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Kindness of Strangers

During our recent travels, we were standing in a restaurant line when a lady approached us. "Here's a coupon for you folks," she said, handing us a BOGOF coupon.

Sweet deal! We'd picked up a newspaper, and while reading it during lunch, we found another copy of the same coupon!

So, we decided to pass along our good fortune. We stood outside the restaurant for a few minutes to give the coupon to someone else. (Harder than we thought -- that coupon was popular!) But we finally gave it to a couple of ladies who were quite happy to get it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Here's wishing all my bloggy and forum friends plenty of corned beef and cabbage and green beer -- all bought on sale, of course!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Deal update

Spent $41.33 at Aldi and Meijer today, and that was after $14.15 in coupons! I have another $7 coming back in rebates, so the grand total should be about $34.33.

I have to admit, my cart looked pretty healthy .. lots of produce on sale this week at Meijer.

I didn't go for the General Mills Cereal deal. It would have come out to $1.25 a box, which isn't bad. But I had a coupon/rebate on All Bran that would make it a 70-cent moneymaker. And the new multi-grain Rice Krispies were on sale for $1.99, and I had a $1-off coupon. So, after figuring postage, I'll pay around like 57 cents for 2 boxes of cereal. Much better, LOL!

Do good, get free seeds

Head over to to help Campbell's give away tomato seeds, and perhaps get some for yourself.

When you get to the site (skip the intro), click on the "grow" button, and Campbell's will give 50 seeds to the FFA (formerly known as Future Farmers of America) to grow tomato plants in schools and communities across the U.S.

Then, go dig through your pantry to find a can of Campbell's condensed soup. Enter the code on the bottom, and they'll send you a package of free seeds, and send 100 more seeds to the FFA.

Personally, I don't know how quickly tomato seeds grow, so I have no idea if I'd have plants ready for the garden by early May. But it may be worth a try for next year ...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Deals here and there

Here's a few deals I've come across:

  • For you corned beef and cabbage fans, Kroger in Central Indiana has corned beef brisket on sale for $1.57 a pound. This is the point cut, which is supposed to have more fat, but I figure that after a couple of hours of simmering, it may not make much difference. Oh yes, cabbage is 19 cents a pound.

For those of you with Meijers .. and more importantly, with Meijers that begin their ads midweek:

  • Fiber One Yogurt is 2 for $4. The 2/8 General Mills insert has a 50 cent/1, which can be doubled. Final price: $1 for 1.

If you're taking advantage of the deal to buy 4 General Mills cereals and get $5 off at the register, here's a way to make that a potential $9-off deal:

  • The 2/8 General Mills insert has a 50 cent coupon for Cheerios Yogurt Burst, which doubles.
  • All You has a 75 cent coupon for Banana Nut Cheerios in the February issue; the 2/22 SS has a 50-cent coupon (doubles)
  • The 2/22 Smart Source has a 50-cent coupon for General Mills Fiber One Original, Fiber One Honey Clusters, Fiber One Raisin Bran Clusters or Fiber One Carmel Delight Cereal or Fiber One Frosted Shredded Wheat Cereal. (doubles). Also, the February All You has a 75-cent coupon for the shredded wheat.
  • The 3/8 SS also has a 50 cent coupon for Fiber One bars (which are included)

Do remember that coupons vary from region to region, so check your database before you get your heart set on a deal.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Use it up: Food edition

I promise, no more pudding tales, LOL!

A couple of things we're trying here at the casa de chaos kitchen:

I've decided to try making vegetable stock. We've made chicken stock for years, and even shrimp stock. (now if if lived in New England, I'd have a freezer full of lobster stock.) So it can't be too hard, right?
So, taking a few tips from my friends at the Dollar Stretcher forum, I have a bag in the freezer that I'm filling with various veggie scraps and peelings. Stay tuned!

We recently had a soup recipe that called for fresh cilantro. (also known as coriander). Now you can get a big bunch of it here for 75 cents or so. Nice, but not so great when you only need a couple of tablespoons!

So, I took the leftover leaves and popped them in the oven at 200 degrees for about an hour, turning and stirring several times. Voila! Dried cilantro.

When that was finished, I popped in some lime peel and let that dry out ... didn't take long at all.

Admittedly, this is one of those frugalities I wrestle with. On one hand, saving 70 cents worth of cilantro and a bit of lime peel is certainly more frugal than buying bottles of commercially bottled herbs. (or buying more fresh herbs each time.) Then again, I used energy to dry them, so that erases some of the savings.

Is there a right or wrong here? Likely not. At the end of the day, I feel good about not wasting something. And I suppose that counts most of all.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Well, I tried

"Repair, reuse and recycle" is an excellent philosophy .. but sometimes ...

We've had one of those periods at the casa de chaos in which things are breaking. Most recently, the food processor's blade housing cracked, and the breadmaker is having some issues.

(Now admittedly, food processors and breadmakers are conveniences, not necessities. But they are kitchen conveniences we prefer to keep. )

The first though was: Hey, we'll just buy new parts and the appliances will be good as new. That one probably had the retail and manufacturing gods rolling on the floor with laughter!

Replacement blade? Nope. Heck, no one carries that brand of processor anymore.

Breadmaker parts? The manufacturer's site says, Oh, gosh, we haven't made that breadmaker for years. We don't have any parts. Now there are online stores that carry parts, but not what I need.

So, plan B. Check the thrift stores for comparable gadgets. After a month, we were empty handed. Not a food processor to be found in any of the stores we checked. (though if we weren't looking ... ) A few breadmakers, but not with comparable parts.

So, we broke down and bought a small food processor on sale. The breadmaker is still usable, so we have time to find parts or a possible replacement. We'll also hold on to the old processor, since the slicing/shredding blade is OK.

In the meantime, I'm getting an idea for a new business: buy up old breadmakers and sell the parts!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Out and About

I'll be out and about for the next couple of days and won't be posting. Be back soon!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

No rebates for you!

Every once in a while, I outsmart myself....

I recently printed out a rebate form for a new shampoo. I even had a coupon that would match it. So when I spied the shampoo at Wags, I though, ' Woohoo! Moneymaker!'

When I got home, I prepared to fill out the rebate form, but was stopped short. The form calls for a "Try Me Free" sticker that can be found on the bottle. My bottle has a nice little sticker that says, "New." Therefore, no rebate for me.

So, Grinch that I am ... I took the shampoo back to Wags. And the hunt for the elusive "Try Me Free" sticker begins ....

Friday, March 6, 2009

Do good, get a discount

If you need to replace some clothing ...

Through Saturday, Stein Marts are offering a coupon for 20% off any one item when you bring in a piece of gently used clothing. Limit is 4 coupons, though you can donate as many items as you want. Clothing will go to the Salvation Army.

For more info, check out their home page at

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Use it up: Fun with pudding II

The latest use-it-up push around here has to do with emptying the freezer a bit.

Of course, my buying a 12lb ham on sale and a big bag of seafood have nothing to do with the crowded conditions in there.

So, we pulled a bag of frozen mulberries to make cobbler .. but come time to serve it, I realized we had no whipped cream, or ice cream. (and hey, at the casa de chaos, cobbler has to have some sort of topping)

So, back to the pantry, where I spied the second box of instant pudding I'd purchased by mistake. Why not?

Since it was instant, it came to a soft set within a few minutes .. made a nice topping for the cobbler. And since it was sugar-free, it's guilt free .. right?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Things that make you go hmmmm

I took my own advice about buying garden seeds early.

At Wags last week, the seed display had packages from a company that shall remain nameless (and no, it's not the company you see pictured on the right.). The packages were marked 99 cents each, on sale at 5 for $1.

After Wags, I went to another big chain that also starts with a "W" and checked out its garden center.

What should I see but seeds from the same company ... marked at 20 cents each! And a bigger selection of veggies.

Perhaps there's a difference .. maybe I should count seeds per package. But right now .. hmmm ....

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Get Suave for cheap

If you have a Marsh Supermarket in your area, check out the deal on Suave shampoo this week. I'm using a Central Indiana ad.

15oz bottles are 88 cents each. (various types). Pair that with Sunday's RP coupons for either $1 off 2 or $1.75 off 3 (good on Professionals, Naturals, Men's or Kids). Or use the 1/11 RP coupon for 50 cents off 2 (will double).

Price - 29 cents to 38 cents a bottle. (before tax)

And don't forget to take your reusable bag - you'll get an extra 5 cents off.