Tuesday, June 30, 2009

DEAD DEAL Tide Stain Release

I love free samples! Go HERE for a $1.50 coupon off the new Tide Stain Release and get a free sample of Tide Total Care

Monday, June 29, 2009

Going on V.A.C.A.T.I.O.N!


Counting down the days till we leave for our second annual trip to Wild Eagle Lodge in Eagle River, Wisconsin. First I've got to get a run in to Dominick's for their 99 cent per pound pork ribs (sorry my dear veggie friends but this gal likes her BBQ).
But back to Eagle River....

My MIL found this place online last year and decided we all needed to get together to celebrate her 50th wedding anniversary. So my MIL and FIL, my BIL, SIL and their 4 kids plus John, me and our 2, made the 5.5 hour trek due north to Eagle River. I only wondered about a half dozen times if we were in CANADA yet, but apparently the state of Wisconsin is a lot bigger than I thought. It is seriously TOO big. Consider I live 40 miles outside Chicago on the map below. About ten more miles and I might have needed passports. I mean, I CHANGED BIOMES to taiga from grasslands!

Despite the drive (and I drove), we had a fantastic time at this resort. That's saying a lot since the last "fantastic" trip we took was a cruise in 2004 so this is saying something.

There were bald eagles everywhere, canoeing, swimming, boating, fishing and even an indoor pool. The accomodations are especially nice (everything is furnished). If anyone is looking for a nice getaway in the North Woods, I'd recommend this place.

Happy next two weeks to you all!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Crazy savings

I ran out tonight and got all of this, plus 4 more yogurt for making smoothies with all the strawberries my son picked at the farm the other day.

Shelf price was $70 and I paid around $9.

I also got 4 $10 OYNO of $160 (thought I rarely ever spend that kind of money on groceries in a week). It was just fun to watch the reaction of the trainee cashier as the machine started spitting out $10 off my next order coupons after each transaction. That was priceless!

All the puddings go to the church food pantry (they were free anyway).

**UPDATED** My children apparently don't like smoothies. Who knew? Strawberries, vanilla yogurt, some milk...what's not to love? Well, you live and learn. And I learned especially that I am going to be living on Dannon Activa Vanilla smoothies for the next 30 days....but you will all envy my digestive health...I hope!

Jewel deals that are practically free

The sale that was to spend $25 get $10 back has been changed due to a misprint in the Jewel flier. Now the ad is good for what it originally stated: spend $20 get back $10.

The catalina prints off shelf price, not sale price.

My planned scenarios (PS: I do all of these on one belt. I split the order with dividers. I also go when no one is around because this takes a few minutes and I don't want to annoy anyone.)

Transaction #1:
4 Wesson oil
Shelf price: $5.50 (x 4 = $22)
I pay sale price: $2.50 (x 4 = $10)
I get a $10 coupon
I pay the store tax only (these are basically FREE and I plan to donate to the food pantry)

Transaction #2:
11 Hunts snack puddings
Shelf price: $1.99 (x 11 = $21.89)I pay sale price: $1.00 (x 11 = $11) – the $10 coupon I just got from #1 = $1 for 11 puddings (these go straight to food pantry—I already have 13 packs at home)I get another $10 coupon

Transaction #3:
3 Orville Popcorns
1 32 oz Dannon yogurt
Shelf price: $20.52I pay sale price: $13.94 – the $10 coupon I just got from #2 = $3.94 for everything
I get another $10 coupon

Transaction #4:
12 Hunts diced tomatoes
I don’t have the shelf price but out of pocket, after the $10 from #3 = $2.50 for 12 cans
And I get another $10 coupon!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Great shopping day at Jewel

It really helped to have a plan of attack, and having my husband and kids along actually worked well because we split up the list, and at the check out, husband paid for each transation while I prepared the next. The cashier was well impressed!

Transaction 1:
5 Wesson Oil (I donated two the church food pantry)
Shelf price $25
Sale price: $12.50
$10 catalina coupon

Transaction 2:
13 Snack puddings (I have to pack a lunch all summer. I got the low fat ones, also the jello kind)
Shelf price: $1.90 each ($25 ish)
Sale price: $13
Used the $10 coupon from #1
Out of pocket (oop): $3

Transaction 3:
All my remaining items
Used $33 in coupons
Plus cashier used TWO of my $10 catalina (I didn't expect her to do this. She did seem to care. Technically you aren't supposed to use 2 in one transaction).

Ends up getting almost $300 in groceries for $130.

A good day!

Friday, June 19, 2009

I laughed so hard I cried

Seriously, about the funniest thing I've heard: Sending your husband to the grocery store.

Listen to it here.

Back from Camping

I am just grateful that it was a single night of camping because at about 2am, in the freezing cold, taking my son to the bathroom in the dark, I was THIS close to climbing into the minivan and going HOME.

The kids, of course, were having a blast. I'd remembered to pack their inflatable mattresses and plenty of blankets. They adored their tent and watched movies in ours courtesy of electricity at the campsite and the laptop we brought with a stash of movies. Earlier in the day there had been a cookout and lots of kids and food and conversation.

But now it was 2am. I'd forgotten to bring our air mattress and enough extra blankets in our rush to leave on time. I was sleeping on the hard ground, it was 50 degrees outside and inside. Twenty feet away were three RV's with their heat pumps running all night long. I can only describe it as the sound of tennis shoes in the dryer. All night. All night. All night.

I thought I would lose my mind.

By 5am I was awake again with the sun. By 9am I was actually out and brushing my teeth in the back of my car. I felt strangely like a homeless person. It was weird brushing your teeth in public.

I wanted to take a hot shower, several Tylenol and eat. But breakfast had long packed up (how did these scout parents get up, eat and out of the camp so quickly??). We decided to take a walk instead, since it was sunny and warm. By noon we were packed, in the car, and heading home. I took a 4 hour nap that afternoon and was feeling normal again by dinner time.

The next time we go camping I'm renting an RV.

The cub scout cookout

Making smores

The "street" we camped on.

Very nice, very clean, very warm toilets and showers

The lake by the campsite. No swimming though, which is a bummer.

Home sweet home

It was at this point I realized I'd left our air mattress in the laundry room.

They had a great time.

Thankfully the tents were easy to set up. We'd practiced at home.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Goin' Camping

I'm taking a hiatus until next week. We're heading to Cub Scout Family Camp tomorrow and I'm running around getting prepared (as well as taking advantage of a new Jewel Catalina deal--see below). This is my first experience camping. We actually have two large tents we got for next to free a million years ago. We set them up a few weekends ago to make sure we knew how they went together and to verify they had all the right parts.

The kids are really looking forward to this. I'm not. The weather isn't great. It isn't going to rain, but it isn't exactly going to be warm. It's been an unseasonably cool June. We wore jackets this entire week. The nighttime low will be in the mid 50's. Brrrr. My SIL is lending us some air mattresses so we won't have to sleep directly on the ground. It's a state park campground, so I'm hoping there will be showers and electricity but I'm not hopeful. It's only one night.

Jewel Cataline Deal
Here's the scoop: Buy $25 worth of General Mills, Coke or Unilever products and get a $10 coupon towards your next purchase. The $25 is based off shelf price, not sale price or price after coupons. I selected the following items:

2 All 3x detergents (shelf price $6.50, sale price $4.50 + $1 off /1 coupon so $3.50 ea)
2 Breyers ice creams (shelf price $6.00 each, sale price $3.00 + $1 off/1 coupon so $2.00 ea)

$25.00 shelf price but $12 out of pocket and a $10 coupon back so total for all 4 items was $2.

I ended up also saving $64 in coupons and preferred card savings. Got a lot of fruit, veggies and items to make lunch this week while the kids are in camp. I'm going to try a zucchini and goat cheese frittata I found a recipe for at Whole Foods. I'll post photos when I'm done.

Monday, June 8, 2009

So proud of my little smartypants

Little Miss Smartypants was recognized by Northwestern University's Center for Talent Development on Saturday as one of the top 1% of scorers on the ACT: Explore. We missed the $500 scholarship by one point but I think by that smile you can tell she doesn't care.

The ACT: Explore is a test of Math, Science, Reading and English given to 8th graders as an early indicator of college readiness. Miss Smartypants is in the 4th grade.

The one thing I remarked on was that there were so few little girls at the awards ceremony. We so need to increase our girls' exposure to math and science opportunities, either in the classroom, home study or through enrichment programs catered specifically to the needs of gifted children.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

$2.99 blowdryer at Walgreens?

I am in the market for a stronger blowdryer for my daughter who has over 24 inches of long blond hair that takes forever to dry.

Thanks to Saving with Shellie for alerting me to this deal. You need to check your Walgreens!

How it works:

Blowdryer is for sale $12.99 (some stores may ring up $19.99 so check to see if the sale is at your Walgreens)

Buy one and get $10 back in register rewards (like a $10 coupon toward your next purchase).
Total: $2.99 for a blowdryer!


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