Monday, November 29, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Pear Oven Pancake and Sausage

Tuesday: Ground Beef, Cabbage, Celery, and Stewed Tomatoes in slow cooker (too sick to make last week)

Wednesday: leftover beef and cabbage

Thursday: Onions and Potatoes with Mettwurst, Broccoli

Friday: Homemade pizza with lots of veggies

Saturday: Chickpea and Roasted Red Pepper Penne, From-scratch brownies, made dairy-free

Sunday: BLTs, Baked French Fries, salad

Hundreds more menu plans here!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ebates-The No-Brainer

By: Diane O'Brian

Thanks to my co-workers who inspired this post after our lunch conversation about it. If you are an online shopper than using a cash back site should be a no-brainer. You get cash back for doing what you were going to do anyways.

How to use a cash back site
Initially you have to register with the cash back site(s) that you wish to use. When registering you must use your real details as these are needed to pay you. You log in to your account with the cash back site, find a retailer from the lists on the site whom you want to buy from, then click through to that retailer. Once the purchase is confirmed, the cashback website will receive its commission and then pass the cash back onto you.

How to choose a cash back site
There are a lot of cash back sites that have popped up over the years so make sure the site is secure and choose one that has been around for a while. Consider the percentage cash back that you will receive from the site and how you will get paid out. Some sites offer coupons, deals, points and gift cards as rewards. You will also want to find out how and when you will get paid out. Some sites will pay you whatever amount you’ve accrued whenever you want it and some will require that you wait until you have accrued a certain amount. I would also take into consideration how many retailers that site gives you to choose from or if they have the stores you shop from the most. It might make sense to register with more than one cash back site.
Cash Back Chart is a database that lists the highest percentage cashback from various sites and a link to the site.

Cash Back Websites:
Mr. Rebates
Big Crumbs

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Deal Roundup

FREE menstrual cup sample.

Clorox Bleach for $0.49 and Lysol Kitchen Spray for $0.99 at Kroger.

10 FREE holiday photo cards from Kodak.

$0.25 rental at's video on demand.

FREE 8 x 10 collage print at Walgreens.

Great listing of photo card deals at Vistaprint from Centsible Savings. Get 100 photo cards for $22.29.

Groupon for Cincinnati folks: Get a year of Angie's List for only $12.

FREE Duracell batteries at Kroger.

405 piece Lego set for $15 at Walmart.

$10 off Fantasia coupon.

FREE 8 x 10 photo canvas.

Dyson vacuum for 40% off at Target.

150 Snapfish prints for $15.

Robeez as low as $10.99, plus FREE shipping. This is a VERY good price.

Super double coupons at Remke Biggs today and tomorrow.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Mushroom Omelettes with Cheese, Salad

Tuesday: Breakfast for dinner: Pear Oven Pancake, Bacon, Sausage

Wednesday: preparing for Thanksgiving, DiGiorno Pizza while I do my baking

Thursday: not in charge of the feast, but bringing Mom's secret recipe cherry cupcakes with cherry icing, dairy free chocolate-chip cookies, and dairy-free chocolate cupcakes

Fri-Sunday: my MIL is cooking!

Sunday Deal Roundup

At Kroger, Green Giant Veggies for $0.55 each, Betty Crocker potatoes and cake mixes for $0.50 each, carnation Evaporated Milk for $0.69 each, Heinz Gravy for $0.56, FREE Idahoan Potatoes, Philly Cream Cheese for $0.25, six Pillsbury Crescent Rolls for $3, FREE Suave deodorant, $3.84 for 8 packs of Duracell batteries, three GE Energy Smart Lightbulbs for $1.17 according to The Savings Lifestyle.

At CVS, FREE Advil PM, FREE Excedrin Migraine, Kellogg's Cereal $1, get $5 ECBs when buying a Visa Gift card, Beneful Dog Food $2 each, Clean and Clear Cleanser $1.32 each, four Playtex Gentle Glide Tampons $0.79 each, according to Deal Seeking Mom.

At Walgreens, FREE Colgate ProClinical Toothpaste, Olay Soap $0.50, Playtex Gentle Glide $1, Huggies Jumbo Diapers $4.49, Nabisco Cookies, $0.49, Quaker Oats $0.60, FREE Coffee-mate liquid creamer, Tic-tacs $0.24, according to Cincinnati Cents.

At Target, FREE Nestle Toll House Cookie Dough according to Deal Seeking Mom.

At Meijer, $16 off any Grade A Turkey with a $20 purchase, Jimmy Dean Sausage $1, Coffee-mate Liquid Creamer $1, Comstock Pie Filling $0.50, Carnation Evaporated Milk $0.49, Pam cooking spray $0.80, Crest Toothpaste $0.67, according to Cincinnati Cents.

$10 off $10 at Hallmark.

Buy a membership to the Cincinnati Museum Center, get a second and third for half off.

Seven Christmas Classics on DVD at for $12.99.

25 FREE photo cards at (I paid $4.99 shipping).

80% off certificates.

Get a year of the Sunday Cincinnati Enquirer FREE when you subscribe to the Bethel Journal for $20.

25% off at Mattell plus free shipping and handling.

25 FREE photocopies at Office Depot.

50% off at Ace Hardware next Saturday only.

Beauty and the Beast Blue-ray combo pack FREE after sale, coupons, and mail-in-rebate.

Leap Frog Tag Books as low as FREE.

Shrek 4-DVD set as low as $8 per movie.

$3 off a fresh pork product for Ohio folks only.

$1.00 off Wholly Guacamole.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Nest Egg

Mega disclaimer: I have no formal education regarding retirement, 401k's, 403B's, stocks, bonds, etc. etc.

One of my biggest motivations for being so diligent about saving money is retirement. I started saving for my retirement when I was in college. Most people aren't quite as crazy as me and often don't give retirement much thought. Hopefully the following suggestions will help you feel comfortable getting started with your retirement savings.

A general rule of thumb is to save 15% of your salary for retirement. If you have company matching, this number isn't as scary as you'd think.

That being said, each person's situation is different, and you should plan for retirement accordingly. Here are factors you should take into consideration when deciding how much to save:

1.Your Current Age: The older you are when you start saving the more you will need to save.

2.Your Retirement Age: The longer you plan to work the more you will continue to put away for retirement.

3.Your Life Expectancy: OK, so none of us really knows when we will die (unless one of you has a working crystal ball I don't know about), but family history, health and lifestyle can help you realistically prepare.

4.Your Current Savings: This one relates back to your current age and when you started saving. If you started young and were very aggressive you may not need to save as much when you get older.

5.Your Investments: So where did you put the retirement money? If it is under a mattress somewhere, (do people still do that?) then you probably didn't get any return on your money unless you count the change you found in the couch cushions. If you put your money to work for you then you probably won't have to save as much.

6.How Much Income You Need for Retirement: What are your plans for the retirement: traveling, living the high life, downsizing? Those choices will all affect how much you need to save.

7.Your Current Income: Your current income my not reflect how you want to live your retirement. For example, I work for a non-profit and don't make a lot of money. I don't want to have to scrape by in retirement so I save more than 15% for retirement.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Omelettes with Mushrooms, Onions, and Cheddar

Tueday: Bacon Tomato Pasta

Wednesday: Slow Cooker meal of Beef, Cabbage, Celery, and Stewed Tomatoes

Thursday: leftover beef and cabbage

Friday: Pan-Fried Onions and Potatoes (I use olive oil) with Mettwurst

Saturday: Black Bean and Vegetable Quesadilla
Homemade Guacamole
Spanish Rice

Creamy Pasta and Spinach

Day Care Snacks: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, made dairy-free
Strawberries and Kiwi
Multi-grain Cheerios

Hundreds more menu plans here!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Roundup

Grocery total for this week: $47! We'll probably have to buy bananas mid-week, but that should only add another buck. I am still super-stockpiled, so much of what I bought was fresh produce, milks, bread, and a couple small splurges. Next weekend will be shopping for the week of Thanksgiving, and I will not be responsible for feeding us 3 of those days, so another cheap week is anticipated.

And now, for the match-ups!

At Kroger, Cascadian Farm cereal $1.99, Green Giant Frozen Veggies $0.55, FREE Idahoan Potatoes, get 6 Pillsbury Crescent Rolls for $3 with coupon plus catalina, Reddi-wip $0.49, 2 Shedd's Spread for $0.98, FREE Suave deodorant, Duracell Batteries for as low as $0.48, according to The Savings Lifestyle.

At Meijer, sweet potatoes $0.25 per pound, 10 lb potatoes $2.77, Wishbone Salad Dressing $0.49, FREE Jell-o Gelatin, FREE International Delight Coffee Creamer, Pillsbury Frosting $0.75, Heinz Gravy $0.56, Stovetop Stuffing $0.19 when you buy 5, Pillsbury Sweet Rolls $0.25, according to Stockpiling Moms. 3 Seattle's Best Coffee for $3.70 or 3 Starbucks Coffees for $3.82 according to Deal Seeking Mom.

At CVS, FREE Oral-B Vitality Toothbrush, Aussie Shampoo $0.49, Fiber One Bars $0.49, Kellogg's cereal $1, Libby's Pumpkin $0.79 according to Cincinnati Cents. 3 Skippy Peanut Butters and 3 Ragu Spaghetti Sauces for $0.36 each according to Frugal Coupon Living.

At Target, Stovetop Stuffing for $0.04 each, Philadelphia Cream Cheese for $0.94 each, Swanson Chicken Broth $0.40, Heinz Gravy $0.46, Betty Crocker Potatoes $0.29, Carnation Evaporated Milk $0.64, FREE Gas-X, FREE Olay Beauty Bar, FREE Reach Dental Floss according to Stretching A Buck. 5 Glade Scented Oil Candle Holders for $2.50 total, Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa $0.74 according to The Savings Lifestyle.

At Walgreens, FREE Kids-eeze Cough and Cold Relief, Holiday M & Ms $0.75, Vick's Cold Products (NyQuil, DayQuil) for $1 each, Wisk Detergent $2.99 (originally $6.99), Puffs Tissues $0.64, Welch's Grape Jelly $0.95, FREE Gain Dish Liquid, FREE Ecotrin Baby Aspirin, Blistex Lip Care $0.75, French's French Fried Onions $0.49 according to Cincinnati Cents.


75 FREE Snapfish prints (pay shipping only)

MAKE MONEY buying batteries at Office Depot this week

Subscription to Family Circle Magazine for $3.99

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Penne With Sausage and Poached Eggs on Toast

More blog winnings! 48 packs of lovely, addictive, Butterfinger-y crack from Nestle and It Is Tuesday, Right?. Got it a week ago and there are only two packs left. I only ate three. My husband and sister killed one box, and my coworkers killed the other.

This was easy and yummy- Penne With Sausage, Peppers, and Homemade Marinara. I used turkey italian sausage and a bag of frozen peppers and onions over Smart Taste pasta.

This literally took 15 minutes to make and we will make it again. Poached Eggs On Toast With Roasted Tomatoes and Mushrooms. I don't poach eggs very well, so I fried them in a non-stick skillet, and I didn't have any shaved parmesan- but it was still yummy. Roasting the tomatoes took 5 minutes and imbued a lot of flavor.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Deal Roundup

At Kroger through this Sunday, FREE Propel Fitness Water, Campbell's Condensed Soups 2 for $0.18, FREE Nestle Hot Cocoa (but must buy marshmallows), Carnation Evaporated Milk 2 for $0.38, Stovetop Stuffing $0.25 each, Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce $0.75, Quaker Cereal, Life, or Cap'n Crunch $0.49, FREE Colgate Toothpaste and FREE Ricola Cough Drops according to Stockpiling Moms. FREE Dannon Activia, FREE Honest Tea, FREE Colagte Toothpaste, FREE Ricola Cough Drops, Hungry Man Entrees for $0.25, Del Monte Tomatoes for $0.29, Blue Diamond Almond Milk $0.99, Green Giant Frozen Veggies $0.48 each, according to Stretching A Buck.

At Walgreens through Saturday, FREE Revitalens Solution, FREE Schick Razors, FREE Reach Toothbrushes and Floss, Dove Deodorant $0.50, FREE Dove Candy according to Stockpiling Moms. FREE Clabber Girl Baking Powder according to Stretching A Buck. * I got the free Reach items and baking powder this week. FREE Similasen Kids Cough and Cold and Dawn Dish Liquid according to Deal Seeking Mom.

At CVS through Saturday, FREE Gain Dish liquid, according to Stretching A Buck. FREE Noxzema products, Nestle's morsels for $1.15, and Colgate Total for $0.30 according to Deal Seeking Mom.

At Staples through Saturday, 50-ct HP Photo Paper for $1 (usually $10), and 500-ct Multi-Purpose Paper for $1, according to Cincinnati Cents.

At Meijer through Saturday, FREE Betty Crocker Warm Delights, according to Deal Seekimg Mom.

Martha White Corn Muffin Mix for $0.14 at Walmart.

FREE photo greeting card from Shutterfly.

FREE Kotex samples.

Hefty Trash Bags for $0.09 a bag at Walmart.

HUGE list of FREE samples at Deal Seeking Mom.

FREE Wholly Guacamole at Walmart.

A year of Fitness Magazine for $3.73.

Easy Bake Oven at Target for $13.

20 custom holiday cards from Vistaprint for $1.99.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Poached Eggs on Toast with Mushrooms and Roasted Tomatoes

Tuesday: Sirloin Burgers on Buns with Homemade Fries

Wednesday: Bacon and Tomato Pasta

Thursday:Homemade Pizza with pepperoni and veggies

Friday: Chicago Style Hot Dogs (98% fat free, all beef)

Saturday: Grilled BBQ Chicken Quesadillas (on the indoor grill), corn

Sunday: Spanish Rice and Beans (the recipe calls for beef, but I leave it out)

Hundreds more menu plans here!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday Deal Roundup

Organic Maple Syrup for $14.85 on This is usually $20.

Maxwell House Coffee for $0.27 at Meijer through today!

Print a coupon for $0.50 off Driscoll's berries. This should double at Kroger and Meijer.

Coupons for Almond milk.

30% off at Gymboree this weekend.

Lots of rebates for toys and games at Toys R Us!

FREE sample of Lactaid.

FREE Tylenol Sleep Solution Kit. Includes coupons and CD.

FREE bagels, Coffeemate creamer, and Idahoan Potatoes at Walmart.

Hundreds of dollars in toy coupons at Target. We don't really need anything, but I may keep my eye out for a birthday present for the spring. Two-year olds don't need loads of presents. Well, no kid really needs loads of presents. I got him some books on paperback swappers, plus a Blue's Clues computer game at Half-Price books, and a new Toy Story3 coloring book.

10 reams of copy paper at Office Max for $9.99.

Stocking Up on a Good Deal

By Diane O'Brian

It probably comes as no surprise to hear that stocking up when there is a good deal can save you a lot of money. The problem is, when there is a good deal, most of us don’t have more than 2-4 coupons to use on the deal.

Some of us are lucky enough to have friends and family to swap coupons with, but that isn’t always the case.

There are websites where you can purchase coupons in bulk. (Technically you aren’t allowed to buy/sell coupons but you can pay for the time spent clipping the coupons.) You can purchase coupons from these websites:

They charge a small handling fee for each coupon they clip to cover the labor costs involved to locate, sort and clip the coupons. There are shipping costs on everything under $15.00.


They charge a fee and shipping for each coupon requested. There is a minimum of $3.00 to place an order.


They charge a fee and shipping for each coupon requested.

Individuals post coupons on ebay to bid on. The amount of coupons available varies from seller to seller. You will most likely have to pay shipping.

They charge a fee and shipping for each coupon requested. The minimum is $1.00 to place an order.


They charge a fee and shipping for each coupon requested. The minimum is $3.00 to place an order.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday Deal Roundup

FREE Nivea Body Wash

$10 off an organic turkey

FREE Picaboo Photo Book (pay shipping only)

Make $3 buying Nyquil at Walgreens

Kroger: FREE Ronzoni pasta, Hungry Man dinners, Energizer Everready Flashlight, Colgate toothbrushes and toothpaste

Target: FREE Rayovac batteries and Olay Beauty Bar

Walmart: FREE Reach Dental Floss and Tic-Tacs

FREE Folgers sample

FREE tampons sample

Lots of Deal Seeking Mom links: $8 off plus up to $10 rebate for Toy Story 3 (best deal match-ups here), FREE Veggie Tales Christmas album, FREE 8x10 photo canvas

Lots of printable coupons for DVDs

Monday, November 1, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Chicago-style hot dogs

Tuesday: Sirloin burgers and homemade fries

Wednesday: Pasta with garlic bread (lots of free pasta to use up)

Thursday: Slow Cooker Mac n Cheese

Friday: Homemade pizza with onions and pepperoni

Saturday: Baked Potato Soup in slow cooker (adding some cheddar cheese)

Sunday: leftover potato soup