Thursday, December 30, 2010
What we learned...we enjoy eating out and it is hard to not do that as often. Dining out is really our only vice, we don't drink alcohol, smoke anything, or party; we just like to eat at restaurants. I think reigning in the restaurant use was the hardest part about this year.
We did actually spend more thatn $1200, but that was because I added in $58.76 worth of rebates I received from different bargains. Here are our totals for the 2010 Challenge:
Total amount of money actually spent: $1219.55
Total rebates added in: $58.76
Amount left: $9.79
Amount saved: $891.27!!!!
Total value of purchases: $2110.82
I can't believe how much can be saved. We used coupons, gift cards, and sometimes people gave us items. Amazing.
It was a good challenge for the year. We are proud of ourselves for trying the challenge and it has definitely taught us some budgeting skills.
Stay tuned for a post on next year's challenge!
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
4 - Holiday brownie mixes on sale for $0.79 each = $3.16
Total OOP = Zero ( saved $6.36 from sales and using a gift card)
3 bags of Pretzel M&Ms at 50% off = $3.75
We took advantage of the Meal Deal of the week. Purchase one package of pre-seasoned fajita meat (beef, chicken thigh, or pork) and get several items free.
Total OOP = zero ($7.15 on giftcard, savings of $13.64 with all the free items.)
We also ate at Olive Garden for lunch using a giftcard from my parents. That was a savings of $25. Then we had ice cream using the money my parents gave us for our wedding anniversary which was a savings of $7.56.
It was a really good day for us as far as savings goes!
Saturday, December 25, 2010
No picture, but we also picked up some milk and tortillas at Super Target yesterday. Used a gift card so we saved $4.08.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
I used a B2G1 free Q on the Hershey's/Reese's candy, and when scanned it took off the original price of $3.49 instead of the sale price of $2.50. Sweet deal. I actually went negative with this deal and thus ended up having to purchase the M&Ms.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
We made a quick trip to the store last night for some non-food items and picked up these two things. James saw the cakes and said, "Oh, and they are my favorite kind." Who can resist a 40 year old man saying that about Little Debbie Holiday Cakes. Total OOP = #3.76
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Saved = $3.23 (based on the local price of $1.29 per dozen)
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
We have a weird week with James having rehearsals two nights and concerts two nights this week, so you'll see lots of quick meals.
Tuesday - turkey tortellini soup
Wednesday - tuna steaks and baked potatoes
Thursday - turkey Alfredo
Friday - spaghetti
Saturday - turkey enchiladas
Sunday - crock pot BBQ pork sandwiches
In case you didn't notice, we have some turkey to use up!
Monday, November 29, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Total OOP = $5.49
Total saved = $2.50
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Yes, you see a turkey there!!! We are making a huge pot of chili for Thanksgiving, but still going to have some bird as well. James is going to smoke up the turkey the night before and then we will eat on it the next couple of days, as well as chowing down on the chili! Best of both worlds.
The turkey was normally $0.89 a pound, but with a $10 purchase went down to $0.58 a pound. Since we needed to get eggs, drinks for the guests, tortillas for freezer breakfast burritos, and corn chips for frito pies, we were able to snag a 10 pound turkey for $6.30 ( a really good deal around here ).
Total OOP = $19.46
Total saved = $8.03
I saw the recipe for this dish on a show on the cooking channel that was recapping old Pillsbury BakeOff recipes. This one just kind of stuck with me. It is called Cinnamon French Toast Bake. I cut the recipe in half and baked it in an 8x8 metal pan. I really liked the top of this dish, so cinnamony and crunchy. The bottom however was soggy and less appealing to me. I am not a huge fan of bread pudding for this very reason, and this recipe reminded me of the pudding a little bit. I will definitely make the recipe again, but with a few changes. Instead of having butter on the bottom of the pan and then putting in the cut-up rolls, I am just going to spray the bottom of the pan. I also might cut the syrup in half and add it to the custard mixture instead of adding it on top.
We are going to try to warm the leftovers up in a skillet this morning to see if we can crisp up the bottom a little more. Happy eating to all!
Friday, November 19, 2010
The Bzz pamphlet about the toothpaste stated that the toothpaste:
* Provides long-lasting fresh breath, naturally
* Comes in two minty fresh flavors, Cool Peppermint and Spearmint Ice
* Contains fluoride to help fight cavities
* Does not contain alcohol or any artificial ingredients
* Suggested retail around $4.19 for a 5.2 oz tube
Tom's of Maine also stated" "Wicked Fresh! toothpaste combines a patent-pending boost of botanical extracts and great-tasting natural mint oils to fight bad breath germs for hours." Tom's also does not test it's products on animals, uses sustainable practices, uses no artificial colors, flavors, fragrance, or preservatives and use as much recycle content as possible.
After a week and half of using this toothpaste exclusively, I have mixed feelings. I do feel that it does a good job of cleaning my teeth. I also feel very good using it because of all the measures Tom's of Maine uses to help the environment. However, the toothpaste has a very bitter, chemically test that takes a little bit of getting used to. I don't know if the mint oils are just super strong, or if I am accustomed to the artificial sweeteners put in other commercial toothpastes. I am also not pleased with the price. Since I get most of my toothpaste for either free or up to $0.50, I would be hard pressed to spend $4.19.
Overall, I will probably not purchase this product, based mostly on the flavor. My friend Stephanie said that after the first use, and the bitter taste, that she would not use the toothpaste ever again. I didn't think it was that bad and will finish out the tube.
Keep in mind that I was given the samples from Bzzagent and that all opinions are mine or those of my friends. You should always try something on your own to garner your own opinions. Happy Brushing!!
Monday, November 15, 2010
Walmart: OOP = $2.55 (I will be able to use the Half and Half for something else as well.)
I also made a quick stop at CVS to get some mostly free gum!
Total OOP = ZERO ($3.04 on GC)
Total Saved = $19.58 plus I have a $1 ECB
Monday - Crockpot pork loin with potatoes
Tuesday - BBQ pork wraps and chips
Wednesday - Crockpot baked potato soup (Oh, I love how comforting this dish tastes!)
Thursday - LO
Friday - Breakfast for dinner
Saturday - Tuna steaks and rice
Sunday - Pasta
Let's see how this goes for the week.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
CostCo - OOP = $40.81 (My only consolation is that these will last us a little while.)
Total OOP = 45.48
Total saved = $16.31
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Total OOP = $11.85
Total saved = $0.73
My bosses wife is trying to lose weight so she cleared out her pantry. Here's what we received from that cleaning. After a little research, I am going to low-ball this and say this is a savings of $5.50.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
I'm getting nervous because my total amount left for the grocery challenge seems so low. We'll see how things go.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
This seagull was hovering above a pier at Stinky Beach in Goose Island State park. The wind was so strong, it was literally not moving anywhere.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Total OOP = $14.13
Total saved = $3
We also made a quick stop at CVS so I could get some free gum and my favorite cereal.
Total OOP = $1
Total saved = $18.23 (sales and used MQs and ECBs, plus earned $5 ECB on cereal deal)
Saturday, October 16, 2010
We went out to dinner at Firebowl Cafe and had ice cream at Amy's Ice cream. Total OOP = $27.69.
Plus we bought some apples and chips at CostCo. Total OOP = 16.98 (James has really been wanting the Honey Crisp apples and this is the least expensive place to buy that many.)
Friday, October 15, 2010
I didn't have all the ingredients she used, so I had to make some changes. I also halved the recipe. Because I haven't tweaked the recipe enough to make it my own, I don't feel comfortable posting it. The changes I made involved substituting pumpkin puree for prune butter and using a real egg instead of egg substitute. I also added some M&Ms I had on hand and topped the brownies with powdered sugar.
These do not have the typical brownie texture, they are a lot smoother. I am on the fence on whether I like them or not. I think for a "healthier" version of a brownie they aren't too bad, but I would never choose them over a "real" brownie. James likes them okay, but says he can taste the pumpkin puree a little (I can't or I wouldn't even be eating them.)
Saturday, October 9, 2010
On a side note, we are doing really well on our month long challenge of being a one car family. It definitely takes some planning, and I've been riding my bike to work alot, but it's been interesting!
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Total OOP = $24.94
Total saved w/ sales and Q = $7.49
Also made a quick stop at CVS. I have not been super thrilled with their ECB deals lately. Keep in mind, I only buy what I use...I don't just buy things to get ECB. I have been wanting to get the Colgate Wisps for an upcoming backpacking trip, and they finally had some ECB's associated with them this week.
In two transactions:
Total OOP = $2.21
Total saved (ECB, MQ, and sales) = $13
Monday, October 4, 2010
7 wheat pizza shells (not pictured because they were being baked at the time)
4 plain bagels
4 cinnamon-raisin bagels
17 cinnamon rolls (8 regular and 9 with raisins)
3 dozen chocolate chip cookies
1 dozen banana-pecan muffins (vegan)
5 Bacon, potato, and egg breakfast tacos
The muffins ended up being vegan because I ran out of eggs. I had some Ener-G egg substitute on hand so I just used those.
I think James will be happy when he comes home!
Monday - Tuna steaks, baked potatoes, and wheat rolls
Tuesday - Boca chicken burgers and baked chips
Wednesday - Spahetti and Peasant bread
Thursday - Sesame chicken and rice
Friday - Pizza
Saturday - Crockpot BBQ chicken and mac and cheese
Sunday - chili or some other kind of soup
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Total OOP w/ tax = $1.71
Total saved = $2.57
We also decided to stop for a totally unhealthy fry fest and shared a plate at Long John Silver's. OOP = $9.94
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Total before sales and Q = $57.35
Total sales and Q = $49.96
Total OOP w/ tax = $8 (savings of 87%)
Also, need to deduct $6.47 from grocery budget for eating out last night.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
HEB: (eggs and milk)
Total OOP = $2.48
CVS: (shower gel and Milano cookies)
Total before sales and Q = $7.98
Total sales and Q (including $5 ECB) = $7.74
Total OOP w/ tax = $0.31
Total from grocery budget = $2.72
Total saved = $0.76
Monday, September 13, 2010
Monday - Taco Corn Bread Squares (new)
Tuesday - Boca chicken burgers and chips
Wednesday - Tuna tacos
Thursday - birthday celebration
Friday - Beefy BQ macaroni (new)
Saturday - Crockpot BQ chicken and mac and cheese
Sunday - LO
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Neither one of us felt like cooking tonight after eating such a big meal at lunch with my parents and nieces, but we figured we would be hungry later. We decided to use another birthday coupon and went to Papa Murphy's.
Total OOP = $9.99
Friday, September 10, 2010
Our meal ended up costing us nothing. I paid for most of the tip with the remainder of the gift card and left extra (does not come from grocery budget.)
Total saved: $27.44 ($21.65 for the meal and $5.79 for the free desser)t. Can't beat that action!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Total before sales and Q: $15.83
Total sales and Q: $8.57
Total OOP: $7.26
On my way home I decided to drop in at CVS to see if they had any of the BOGO Wisk and pick up a thing of gum. I could have made this deal even better by using my ECB, but I wanted to save those for food purchases or something that would earn my more ECB.
Here's how the product was described to me in the offer email:
• Immediately reduces the appearance of crow’s feet and eye bags
• Minimizes the appearance of eye bags, dark circles and crow’s feet in just four weeks
• Features a a ground-breaking micro-pulse massager to minimize eye puffiness
I went to the L'Oreal website and followed the links to the product to learn more. Here's the link to the page I read.
I have tried this product for over two weeks now and have to say that I haven't really noticed that much of a difference. I like using the product. The anti-wrinkle + dark circle cream is smooth and is easily applied. The "gentle micro-pulse massager" feels good and does make the area under my eyes and around my crows feet feel tighter. However, I think I have only noticed a small decrease in the visibility of my crow's feet and have noticed no change in the size or color of the bags under my eyes.
Having said that, I am willing to give the product some more time to work. I think the L'Oreal Collagen Micro-Pulse Total Eye Corrections System would work really well for people that are just developing crow's feet and bags under their eyes.
If you have any questions about my results, just leave me a message. Thanks for BzzAgent and L'Oreal for letting me be a part of this campaign, I enjoyed trying the product.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Tuesday - steak fajitas
Wednesday - lentil soup
Thursday - pita pizza
Friday - tuna steaks
Saturday - crockpot BBQ chicken and mac and cheese
Sunday - breakfast for dinner
Sunday, September 5, 2010
OOP = $9.40
Savings = $4.99
We went hiking/geocaching this morning and James decided we needed donuts because he was going to be in a hurry to go to church.
OOP = $4.14
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Total value = $ 12.67
Total savings = $12.21
Total OOP w/ tax = $0.50
Next I headed to Walmart, where surprisingly I was not hassled by a cashier. I actually had a really friendly cashier! I also went to the Dollar General for the Tide.
Total value = $9.89
Total savings = $7.81
Total OOP = $2.08
Dollar General - I love Tide, but don't usually buy it because of the expense.
Total value = $5
Total savings = $1
Total OOP w/ tax = $4.33
Finally I was off to HEB. I got some quick stuff for J's lunches and breakfasts. I also had a couple of coupons, making the big bags of HEB chips $0.50 each, so I grabbed a couple of bags. Please excuse Marshmallow's nose, he was checking things out...as usual.
Total value = $48.70
Total savings = $10.93
Total OOP = $37.77
For the grocery budget:
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday - We had yummy carnitas!
Tuesday - Boca Chicken burgers and home fries
Wednesday - chili and cornbread
Thursday - Smoked chicken wraps
Friday - tuna steaks and potatoes
Saturday - crockpot barbequed chicken
Sunday - steak fajitas
Monday, August 30, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
As usual let me state that I could save a lot more at CVS, but I only purchase things we will use. I don't buy things just to get ECB. For me that's what makes this game so much fun!
Total value before sales and Q = $59.38
Total to be deducted for the $1200 grocery challenge = $2.28 and total saved = $16.35
Monday, August 16, 2010
Monday - cheese pizza
Tuesday - crockpot chicken and stuffing with wheat rolls and salad
Wednesday - pasta, rolls, and salad
Thursday - hamburgers and grilled potatoes
Friday - tuna steaks
Saturday - smoked chicken
Sunday - smoked chicken green enchiladas
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
After dinner we went to Culver's, of which James is also a member of their eClub, for his free frozen custard sundae. Total OOP = $2.59 for my custard, savings of $2.59
We also stopped by CostCo and got some bacon. We love bacon and are specific about the brands we like. Unfortunately we are willing to pay more for what we like. OOP = $11.89 for four pounds.
1 Schick Hydro razor on sale for $8.97 - $5 MQ = $3.97
1 Schick Hydro shaving cream for $3.99 - Free MQ peelie on razor box = Free
Total before sales and Q = $12.98
Total sales and Q = $9.01
Total OOP w/ tax = $4.30. Earned $4 ECB
** Plus I'll send in my receipt to the Schick rebate and get a check for $8.97. **
3 Garnier Fructic shampoos on sale for $5 - 2 $1 MQ - $4.99 ECB (U Kotex) - $4 ECB (Schick)
Total before sales and Q = $22.57
Total sales and Q = $18.56
Total OOP w/ tax = $4.21. Earned $5 ECB
Monday, August 9, 2010
Monday - chicken/black bean wraps
Tuesday - Celebrating J's birthday (more to come)
Wednesday - lentil tacos
Thursday - beef fajitas
Friday - tuna steaks and potatoes
Saturday - BBQ chicken, potatoes, and corn
Sunday - Pink pasta
Total before sales and Q = $68.22
Total sales = $5.71
Total Q = $12.58
Total OOP = $49.93
I have been collecting reward points from boxes of soda or bottle tops for over a year. The great part is that we didn't pay for more than 90% of these points. My wonderful Mom collects all her bottle tops and saves them for me. Plus I get a bunch of box codes from both of my jobs. I've "earned" over 5000 points in a year.
Six Flags tickets were 1000 points each, so a total of 2000 points for us. I just redeemed the points and printed my tickets off the computer. Sweet!!!!!
I've also redeemed points for Powerade and magazine subscriptions. It is a pretty cool program and it probably takes me fewer than 10 minutes a week to type in my codes. Not a bad trade off of my time.
**This post is my opinion. Fiesta Texas and Mycokerewards did not compensate or contact me. **