Saving At CVS 11/20/2016

I will not be able to shop at CVS on Thanksgiving or Black Friday because we are out of town. But I was able to make a quick but thirty trip today.



I managed to save 81% or $21. I also grab some needed soda for myself. Total spent was $4.73 or less than the price of 3 2 litters.

Have you found any great deal yet?


This is an awesome time of year to be shopping and I really do enjoy getting some great deals. I am going to share a few of these deals and other suggestions to help you save today as well.

First, if you are shopping on-line be sure you check and use the places that offer cash back. We needed to purchase some new sheet last weekend, so I check out the sales at JCPenny’s. I ended up going through Swagbucks to make the purchase so I was able to grab 3 sets of sheets and 4 shirts for around $115 including shipping. I will also be receiving over 800 swagbucks with no real extra work.

I made some last minute trips out Friday night to Dollar General and even texted Amanda to make a stop for me. The reason a sale on Hot Wheel and Matchbox cars. The sale was Buy 1 and Get 2 free. Which made each of the cars thirty three cent. This is an AMAZING deal that I have scored one time before. I was able to grab 100 cars in three different stores. We hide some of the cars and placed the others in a gift drawer. Zach decided he needed some new cars and offered to purchase them from the gift drawer. I am so glad we got extras. I do have plans to use some of the cars as gifts for my church group in addition to they make cool birthday gifts.

I have also taken advantage of sales online at Bath and Body Works, The Children’s Place and JCPenny’s again this weekend. JCPenny is currently running their black Friday deals on-line which is a huge sale.

Finally, I am using my CVS card to purchase items. Here is a picture of my trip today.

I used $14 on the gift card leaving me with another $10. I saved $45 or 76% prior to using the gift card. I am so happy to be able to use free money to buy things we all need!

Thursday Thoughts

Many things are going on around here, so are money saving and some are just fun so I thought I would share some .

  • Matt is working on digging holes for our new trees that are scheduled to arrive today. I purchased 6 fruit trees last month. I realize that these may take several (3-5) years to produce but I am so excited to be able to do some eatable landscaping.  We are getting 2 apples and 2 pear trees, so they will cross pollinate, 1 cherry and 1 peach tree.  They are going in our backyard along the property line to create a natural boundary.
  • My goal for the weekend is to get my snow village up and in place. I am so excited to have time to spend on this project this year without feeling rushed. I will refrain from placing other Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving but the snow village can go up now and stay til at least January.
  • We picked up our Zaycon steak order this morning! Both boxes were less than one pound off the promised weight so we have a $15 credit to use on our next order. The steak look amazing! Can’t wait to try them tomorrow night.
  • Menu planning has definitely not gone as planned this week. Last weekend we spent trying to finish up left-overs and made some head way but not enough. We are not eating out just not eating what is scheduled. Today, I am making broccoli-cheese soup and steak will be on Friday. I am betting that Saturday will be left-overs again.
  • No grocery spending this week!
  • The temperature has finally turned to fall and we ended up turning on our heat on Sunday. Our first hard freeze is expected this weekend which means the end of tomatoes and green peppers. I did plant some lettuce and we are getting a small amount from that so I hope that will continue for a few more weeks.

CVS Quick Trip

I was so excited because I was able to earn and print out my $25 gift card to CVS. My plan is to use this card this month instead of money from our budget.  Thursday, I took a quick glance at the ad and then decided to wait until Saturday to really look at the ad. I made my plans and completed my trip tonight (Sunday) I will admit up front that I am a little disappointed, why you ask? Because I did not even get to use my gift card.  My CVS was already out of the free gummies, so my only purchase was for disposable razors.

img_1962I used a $3 off coupon from the newspaper but there are still several printable one available.
I also had $5 ECB from a previous transaction.
My total was $0.56 which I had in my pocket.

Earned $3 in ECB.  A good and easy trip.

Saving on Saturday-10/08/2016

I did not have a chance to share my Food Lion trip from last week, it was a needed trip but not a fun and exciting trip. It also ended up being my large trip during this sale. I spent a total of $104 and saved $43 or 30%. What I did accomplish on this trip was to grab soups for cooking, such as Cream of Chicken and Cream of Mushroom, in addition to canned beans and fruits. I also grab Kendall’s favorite tomato soup as it was on sale.

Now on to more fun savings.  I did return to CVS this week to grab deodorant and Diet Coke. A nice surprise to start my trip was 2 ECB from quarterly savings. I was able to grab 4 deodorants for Matt and 3 12 packs of Diet Coke for a total of $10.34 saving 74%.

A final trip to Food Lion happened on Thursday night as well. A friend told us about the frozen burritos that are part of the quarter back sale. The original price on the burritos is 2 for$1.  I did not go to my normal store but instead left Lily at cheerleading and went to the store in Welcome. I was only able to find 15 burrito but I grabbed all of these. To get my total up to 40 items, I grabbed 2L sodas, cans of beans and corn.  I  honestly did not have any of this transaction planned but am certain we are stocked up for in our pantry now. The second transaction was much more fun, the reason why it was FREE!


Food Lion has an additional promotion this week, where if you buy 5 items on there list you automatically receive $5 off. Kelloggs Poptart 12 count boxes are on the list. I purchased 5 boxes for zero.

This has again been a bigger than normal shopping week so I hope the rest of October goes smoothly.

5 Things Friday 10/07/2016-

5thingsfriday-logoREDMost if not all this weeks event are financial!

  1. Several of our monthly bills are lower than expected this month including cable (refund on over tax), water and electric bill.
  2. I purchased an Orchard In A Box. We will be planting when it arrives in November. I am super excited!  We should be harvesting fruit in 3-5 years. This is long range planning for sure but in 5 years we will have 3 teenagers including a boy so I am fairly certain that our food bill will go up instead of down! I did take this expense out of our normal grocery fund.
  3. Zach is growing! I really this morning that we are going to NEED to purchase at least 5 new pair of pants for him. He and I will be heading to the local goodwill tomorrow. If we are not able to find things there it will be a major trip to Winston on Sunday.
  4. I have finished the majority of my Christmas shopping!  I still need to buy my nieces gifts and we will be purchasing pictures for my parents. I am so excited to have this expense out of the way.
  5. In addition to the orchard, we are going to add pavers around the square foot garden in order to make it easier to maintain!  We are using gift cards earned from Lowes and Swagbucks to cover this expense.

Saving On Saturday 9/17/2016

sos We have been taking advantage of some really good deals this week. On Thursday, Moes Southwest Grill  offered a free cup of queso with any purchase. Zach decided that he wanted to share everyone food so we purchased lunch for five of us for $19.65. We even had enough queso left over that I have it warming in my dipper slow cooker to enjoy as part of lunch.

Next, the local grocery store has my absolute favorite sale of the year. This particular sale is running for a month this time with different special each week. For each of the house/store/generic brand item you buy you receive a quarter back to use on your next purchase. Initially this sale ran twice a year in January and June, unfortunately for the last two years it is only running once a year. The reason I LOVE this sale is that it is a perfect chance to stock up on items that normally don’t go on sale.  I have discovered via math calculations that I can purchase bread flour, regular flour, and sugar in bulk at a better rate, so I am leaving those out.  The limits of the sale are, you must buy at least 4 house brand items in one transaction and the limit is 40 per transaction.

Here is a breakdown of how I am shopping this sale.  First I checked the pantry for items that I may need. My goal is to have 12 of most items as I “plan” to fix each dish once a month. I don’t stick to this especially if we like something but it at least gives me a plan.  After making the list, I check my price book and/or Aldi to make sure if I can just purchase regular at Aldi at or below the cost.  Next is to check the sale ad to see which if any of the items are on sale for the week. My plan is to only buy items that are on sale or a best deal to round up to even dollar. The remaining items stay on my list and I will wait till the final week of the sale to purchase unless a better price comes first.

Here are the items and transactions I used this week.
Transaction #1
20 boxes of store brank gelatin (jello)  2/$1
10 boxes of pudding                             $0.72 each
5 packets of Gravy                               2/$1  but they only had 3 so the remaining 2 were $0.72 each
5 packets of Ranch Dip                        $1.09 each
Total out of pocket $26.54 and received $10 off next order

Transaction #2
20 cans of Tuna                               $0.78 each
15 cans of can veggies ( 10 mixed vegatables)  $0.68 eacyh
5 boxes of Tea                               $1.58 each
Total out of pocket $23.97  and Received $10 off next order

Transaction #3- This was things we needed and keeping as close to no out of pocket
2 packet shredded cheese     $2.00 each
Gallon of OJ                           $3.89
Packet of Diet Coke (for IBOTTA deal)  $2.50
Packet of Gravy                  $0.50
Total out of pocket $1.25 and received $1 off next order.


Other items that would make good deals if you did not need as much as we do on one item include 2L soda  $0.84 each, packets of Taco and Chill seasoning, and cans of beans for soups and chill.


Let me know if this helped.

Saving on Saturday 08/06/2016


This month we are approaching our grocery budget a little bit different. First, our summer is coming to an end. Next week is our final “slow” week of the summer followed by our beach trip. So after looking at our supplies and realizing that we are to back to school days and crazy nights. So the decision was made to go ahead and get things ready for our crazy busy life. We headed to Aldi on Wednesday night to buy some staples and make sure we had can goods. Next it was Costco on Thursday. Fortunately, Costco had an awesome sale on convenience foods and lots of things that make our lunches easy to pack in the mornings.  Zach and I also went to Walmart and grabbed 40 lunchables which were on sale for $1 each. These are awesome for the kids at the beach and also for a special lunch treat.   On Friday, I stopped at CVS to grab the laundry detergent that was on sale. This is a ton of shopping this week but I am vey happy with feeling confident for the first couple of month of fall.

Next is actually getting some things in the freezer for grab and go dinners. Matt picked up 80# of ground beef that we ordered from Zaycon on Friday afternoon.  This is some of the freshest meat we have ever received the date stamped on all the packages is July 23rd, so 2 weeks ago this was a live animal.  We decided to simple put in the freezer 20 pounds or 10 packages to use for things that call for raw meat.  Next we spent five hours, fry up and packaging the rest in one pound containers. These are also for pulling out for taco meat, spaghetti sauce, hamburger helper, sloppy joes, chili and stews or crock pot recipes that call for a pound of ground beef. I estimate this should last us six to nine months. This morning I made a large batch of French toast. The kids and I enjoyed some for breakfast and the rest was frozen to stick in the toaster for a quick easy breakfast.

We have a very full pantry and freezers. I plan to reduce our grocery budget to $100 in September and $300 in October. I may be able to keep it low for the rest of the year depending on how things work out with sales and how much the kids decide to eat.

Grocery Budget Buster

I will be the first to admit that I don’t grocery shop like most people but I do shop in a way that over a period of a year, saves money and feeds us well.  I did excellent in the month of June of keeping cost low and even decided to reduce our monthly budget. I knew that sometime this summer, I would need to restock on meat and some other items, even last Sunday I had high hope of holding down our spending for the month. We had been to Costco twice and spent a total of $497 . But as of today that is not possible.

Last Friday, Matt texted that we were out of toilet paper so I stopped by the CVS, where I thought our preferred brand was on sale. It was on sale but not what I thought so I just grabbed one package.  The sale I was thinking about started on Sunday. Sunday night Lily and I headed back to CVS to grab the toilet paper of course and a couple of other deals. I was disappointed that I had to get a couple of rainchecks which threw off my savings. My goal is always 60% but with buying the needed toilet paper and also some additional sunscreen I ended up spending $27.25 and saving 48% or $24.71.  I did start this trip without any ECB and ended with $2 so not a complete fail.

Next, the one store in our area that doubles coupons started a super sale, which doubles coupons up to $2. I looked over the list and realized that many of items we need were available so last night we headed out. I was also able to grab drinks that we will be taking with us for our beach trip.  I did hit my 60% mark, spending $77.97 and saving 140 or 64%. I used three rainchecks that included 10 packs of hot dogs, flour and sugar, all items that I did not have coupons on but were a great deal with the rain check.

Finally, we are still following our monthly plan with lots of different items on the weekend. We decided to have Hamburger Helper on Monday since both girls had cheerleading. Matt and I realized that we were using our last pack of ground beef.  Typically we purchase between 30 and 50 pounds at a time and fry and place in one pound bags which make meals really quick and easy to fix. Zaycon Foods is where I always purchase chicken breast and I have been pleased with the ground beef in the past. I got an email this morning with a pick up for ground beef next week and an additional 12% off code. We decided to go ahead and purchase 80 pounds of ground beef. We plan to fry up 50 pounds and just freeze the other 30 pounds to use as raw meat. Total cost for 80 pounds of ground beef $215.38 or $2.69 a pound which is the cheapest I have seen this year.

Currently I have spent $818.07 so a total budget fail but it should allow us to eat well through the rest of the year. My goal will be to lower the grocery budget to $400 for both August and September to keep us on track for the year.

Monday Musing 1/25/20016

  • We have 5 weeks before Zach and Kendall start back to school and 4 before Lily begins her adventure in a Charter School. The next three weeks are what we consider slower because the girls have cheer on Monday and Thursday. They will also have piano once a week.
  • I was able to make a deposit on our next Disney trip this week using money that we have earned from Swagbucks. Matt and I are both using this site to earn extra money. I am so excited. The goal of this trip is to totally pay for it with money not included in our regular budget!
  • Our garden has not produced like we had hope but one of the biggest reason is the heat. Currently in NC, we are experiencing Day 26 of the summer with highs in the 90s. A typical summer is 29 days of 90 degree temperatures.
  • Matt has assembled the new water barrel to start collecting any rain water. Hopefully we will be able to water the garden on a regular bases without increasing our water bill.
  • I did plant 3 additional tomato plants and a dill plant this weekend with hopes of increasing our harvest.
  • We have really enjoyed our 2 trips to Emerald Point, a water park, this summer. We hope to go a couple more times but plan on spending only 4 or 5 hours at the park instead of 8.
  • The plan for August is to re-stock the pantry so our spending may be really close to budget.