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Summer Survival Kit: Week 2 - Angel Hands Apron

This summer, Andrea at Mommy Snacks is hosting a 12-week craft series called the Summer Survival Kit, which I will be guest hosting here 2 of those 12 weeks. More info and links to the crafts from each week are available over on my sidebar.

This week's guest host is Marianne at The New Frugal Mom. Marianne's craft this week is the cutest thing - an Angel Hands Apron. You have got to go check it out, it's simply adorable, and it looks easy too!


My CVS loot for this week

You know, you win some and you lose some. The combined receipts of my two cards say that I have saved $4500 this year, and I have spent about $70. That's huge. And I have so many great, AWESOME CVS trips that I really can't complain on the rare occasion that I have a bad one.
So I'm not complaining. I feel a little ill, but I'm not complaining. lol

Tonight's trip was awful. I won't go into too much detail, but I blew about $20 ECBs because I mixed up my cards and didn't get $10 ECBs from a Garnier deal, and because I bought the wrong products on another transaction. Oh, and I was surprised and excited to see that there was a brand new card scanner/coupon printer in my favorite store, but when I went to scan my cards, there was a message saying "Paper Jam, please see associate". Oh well, next time...

Good news is that I still have $32 ECBs on my husband's card and $24 on mine, more than enough to work with next week. And I got some pretty great stuff this week!

On to the goodies!

Whole lotta Nivea, and a whole lotta Garnier. And some cute little flip flops that were on sale! :)
All in all, less that $2 oop, but I burned quite a few ECBs needlessly. Oh well, better luck next week, right??

*for more CVS savings, hop on over to Denise's "CVS Superstars" at The "Cent"sible Sawyer!


Walgreens $5/$20 coupon and scenarios

As has been posted on many other blogs, Walgreens has released a $5/$20 coupon that is good today only. I wasn't very excited about it because I'm not really a Walgreens shopper. I just started last month, went a couple times to buy the free-after-rebate (FAR) items and submitted them for the rebate on a Walgreens gift card, and was going to use the gift card to buy this month's FAR items.

Just in time for the coupon, my gift card came in the mail yesterday, loaded with $16.40 from my rebates from last month! So I thought this would be a great day to shop for this month's FAR items, use the coupon, and earn even more back.

I did one better by looking online for scenarios. Here's what I found at SlickDeals. I didn't come up with these scenarios, but this is what I'll be buying this evening:

Scenario one:

Buy Two Dr. Scholl's Insoles 2/$20, Get $10 RR
Buy two Nivea For Men Skin care items 2/$10, Get $5 RR

-$4 (2) Dr. Scholl's® Massaging Gel Insoles printables
-$4 (2) $2 off Nivea Body printables

Total before $5/$20 - $22


Total after all coupons: $17 (pay with gift card + $0.60 oop)
earns $15 RR

Scenario 2:

Multi betic vitamins 9.99 (free after rebate)
Walgreens calcium creamies 6.99 (free after rebate)
Theragran 4.99 (free after rebate)

-$2 Multi betic printable from the Diabetic Products site (must complete brief diabetes-related survey)

Total before $5/$20: $19.97


Total after all coupons: $14.97 (pay with $15 RR from above transaction)
Get back $21.97 from the rebates (plus 10% for loading rebates onto a Walgreens card!)

What's Happening in Frugal Bloggy Land, the sequel

After two days with no power, I was not only behind on updating my blog, but was also behind on reading up on the blogs of my favorite fellow frugal bloggers.

So I spent a little time today catching up, and here are a few blog posts that I enjoyed today:

Denise at The "Cent"sible Sawyer has a few RedBox codes, and a step-by-step guide to getting free rentals from these handy boxes. Unfortunately, we have NO RedBoxes here in MI, so I can only envy those of you who can take advantage of these codes to have a free movie night with your families!

Andrea at Mommy Snacks shares photos of how her square foot garden is coming along!

Kendra at Handprints on the Wall posted tips about what to do with the leftover pickle juice after all of the pickles are gone! lol

Emily at Mommin' It Up! posted about Tottoos, which are temporary tattoos for your child that say, "If I am lost, please call 734-xxx-xxxx" (insert your phone number there, of course!). While some might find this a paranoid thing to do I think it's brilliant. I really am going to order some of these to use on my little ones when I know we're going to be in a big, busy place where we could become separated from them accidentally.

And a few interesting posts from a few new blogs that I hadn't visited before today:

Frugal Babe posted a list of blog Carnivals and Festivals going on now. Love it!

Rae at Budget Hippies posted about purging your Medicine Cabinet. This is something I almost never do, and it is definitely past due. Her pictures have motivated me to get this done this week, so it's on the list of tasks to be completed.

Patrick at Cash Money Life has a great post with Financial Tips for Graduates. I wish that I knew then what I knew now. I think I was only 19 when I got my first credit card, a Sears charge, with an $1100 limit. After buying clothes and a new $400 bicycle (and believe it or not, a few lunches at Tubbies subs, which was located inside Sears), I was at my limit without any understanding at all of how important good credit is and how it affects you in the future. I learned the hard way, and will be certain to make sure that my daughters are prepared with good sound financial advice before going out into the world, so that they are ready for whatever life might throw at them.

And while surfing around blogland, I clicked on at least one advertisement per page. Most bloggers put ads on their page in hopes of making extra income for their family. And many of those advertisers pay per click, and not necessarily per sign-up or purchase. So I encourage you to make a habit of supporting your fellow bloggers by taking a second to click on an ad or two per day, even if it doesn't seem like an ad you'd be interested in! :)

Free Ragu after coupons

Thanks to Carrie at Money Saving Methods for the heads up these great offers!

Remember when I posted about using electronic coupons? This week, Kroger has an excellent opportunity to use them to your advantage to get a pouch of Ragu and Lipton Rice Packs free!

The Ragu Sauce Pouches are on sale this week for $1.64 (reg. $2.49). Use the electronic coupon for $1 off and combine with the $1 off coupon from 5/18 newspaper insert, and you'll end up with a $0.36 profit!

Also, Lipton Rice Packs are on sale for $1 (reg. $1.49). Use the electronic coupon for $0.75 off 2, and combine it with the $0.75 off 2 (doubled to $1!) from the 5/18 newspaper insert, and you'll get both rice packs for $0.25!

Gotta love Free!!

If you'd like some free pasta recipes to go with that free sauce, visit Ragu's site for a free Ragu cookbook! You can also get some new, delicious free pasta recipes here. Once you enter your info on the first page, click "skip" until you get to the last page with the recipes.


Free Land O' Frost Lunch meat after coupon

This is a great coupon for 4 reasons: it's for a free product, it says "limit one per purchase" and not "one per customer", it's a PDF coupon so you can print as many as you like, and it doesn't expire until 7/31!

Here's the link: Get any package of Land O' Frost Taste Escapes, FREE!

These are sold at Walmart. Anyone know any other stores these are available at?

Free One Minute Reader book

The One Minute Reader program helps improve your child's fluency in reading and comprehension of what they read.
You can request your free One Minute Reader book here. You choose the reading level of the book you're requesting. To find out which level is right for your child, go to this page first!


Free Pouch of Uncle Ben's Ready Rice

This is available on SmartSource. Go through the pages until you find the free offer. Click the box to "select this coupon" and click "print coupon" and you will be directed to a page where it will ask for your mailing address for your free pouch!

Power's back on!

Yay! It came on last night, so now we're back home and settled in. Kind of. Somehow we have bags of things that need to be unpacked and put away (you'd think we had been gone for weeks!) and laundry that needs to be washed. But I thought I'd get some blogging in first.
It's good to be home! And it's good to be back online and posting.
Thanks for hanging in there while I was away! :)

Power Outage

Due to the storms that we've been having the past few days, there are a lot of homes in our area without power. I thought we had dodged the bullet, but no such luck. This morning around 9am, much to my 2 year old's distress, the Backyardigans shut off suddenly, along with everything else in the house.
The electric company said that our estimated date for it to be turned back on is Friday. Friday?!?
So until then, we're staying with my inlaws and I may not have the opportunity to post often, if at all. They do have a computer, but I probably won't have the chance to sit down and really research some deals.
I will try, though. We'll see how it goes.
Until then, bear with me. :) I really appreciate your patience!

Michaels 50% off 1 item coupon

Since I'm heading out to Michaels today for some "googly eyes" for my "Grass Friend" (the first craft in a fun 12-week Summer Survival Series that I'm participating in - see my sidebar for more details!), this coupon comes in very handy. The googly eyes will probably be pretty cheap, so I'm planning to use this coupon on something else, hopefully something nice from the clearance section that is 75% off before coupon!

Click here to print your own Michaels 50% off any one item coupon (expires 6/14)!

Free childrens book with purchase of Barilla pasta

Mail in 2 valid Barilla Piccolini UPCs and receive a free copy of More Spaghetti, I Say! while supplies last.

Use this coupon to save $1 off of 3 Barilla Piccolini.

Read more about the Barilla Piccolini free book promotion here.

Free sample of VCF

I debated about whether or not this was too personal to post about comfortably, but since I signed up for the freebie, I thought that some of you may want to as well!

Click here for your free sample of VCF (vaginal contraceptive film). You'll receive 3 separately sealed films.

And if you try them and love them, they're available to buy at the best store on earth, CVS!

Free Subscription to Women's Day

Hurry, last week when this was offered, the promotion ended very quickly!

From Money Saving Mom:

For those of you who didn't get in on the free Woman's Day subscription last week, the offer is available again here. This will go really fast so hurry and get your subscription while you can. Once the total on your checkout is no longer $0.00, the free offer is expired.

(Thanks Crystal!)

Free Bus Rides on June 19, "Dump the Pump" Day

Many bus agencies and transit operators are offering free bus rides on June 19, "Dump the Pump" day, in hopes to encourage more people to take the bus to work in wake of escalating gas prices.

Check with your local transit system in advance to see if they are participating. This information should be available on their website, and should easily be found through a quick google search!

Saving Money on Gas!

Today's post was written by guest writer Sarah Scrafford. With the price of gas at a record high, I gleaned more that a few helpful tips from Sarah's article, and I'm sure that you all will as well!

Tips to Save on your Gas Bill

The price of gasoline has never been higher than it is now – increasing demand and limited supply has had a cascading effect on how people spend, how they travel, how they shop for gas. If you’re looking to save more than a dollar or two on your gasoline bill, here are a few tips:

  • Search the Internet for the cheapest places close to you to buy gas.
  • Use gas rebate cards which credit a portion of what you spend on gas to your credit card bills. But make sure you pay back your entire balance every month as gas rebate cards come at a higher interest than regular credit cards. Also, some gas cards are brand-specific, so you may have to drive out of your way to use the card. Check all these factors before you buy one.
  • Fill up your tank each time you visit the gas station to avoid frequent trips.
  • Buy low octane gas if your car’s engine supports it.
  • If you happen to hear whispers in the wind about an imminent price hike, fill up before the rise takes effect. Sometimes, prices are raised around holidays.
  • Buy gas during the coolest part of the day.

You can kill two birds with one stone with these pointers - drastically reduce your gasoline bills and contribute your bit to protecting the environment:

  • Walk or cycle to work if it’s just a couple of blocks away.
  • Car pool with people who live close to you.
  • Take public transportation where available.
  • Go green and buy hybrid cars. You also gain tax advantages.
  • If you must have a regular car, buy one that’s not a gas-guzzler and gives you good mileage. Or choose a model that runs on diesel – it’s much cheaper than gasoline.
  • Check your tire pressure – the right amount increases your mileage.
  • Open the windows if it’s a cool/warm day and give your air conditioner some rest – you’ll see a marked difference in your gas consumption.
  • Reduce strain on the engine by not loading your car with junk simply lying around. Clean the tires of snow or mud.
  • Good driving habits contribute to saving a gallon or two on your gasoline consumption – drive smoothly and not in fits and starts, switch off the engine instead of idling at traffic signals or in traffic jams, and plan your route so you don’t end up searching for locations and wasting precious fuel in the process.
  • Make sure your gas tank is closed tightly to prevent gasoline from evaporating.
  • Park your car outside the direct glare of the sunlight whenever possible.
  • Keep your air filters and injector nozzles clean. Paper filters work better than reusable ones.
  • Synthetic motor oil is good for your car because it brings down the friction on your engine and improves mileage.

Sarah Scrafford is an industry critic, as well as a regular contributor on the subject of
making smart money decisions. She invites your questions, comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address: sarah.scrafford25@gmail.com.


A few things caught my attention today to share with you all:

  • For all of you gardeners out there, Starbucks often has pre-bagged grounds of coffee for free. They're called Grounds of Love, and are for your garden. They're usually in a basket in the store for you to take. If you don't find any in your local Starbucks store, ask the manager to reserve a bag for you. Coffee grounds are great for roses, as well as vegetables. They are not good for certain plants, however, so I recommend doing a bit of research before using them. I found this site with a downloadable tip sheet (the site is the Starbucks UK site, but the Grounds of Love program is available at Starbucks here in the US as well).

My CVS scenarios for the week of June 8, 2008

*If you're new to the CVS game and want to learn how you, too, can get $120 worth of stuff for $0.16, click here to find out everything you need to know!
*To learn how to get your $3/$15 coupon, go here.

This week there are a few more deals that will make my Hubs happy! We got two Gillette Phenom razors last week, and I'm glad to see that they're in the ad again this week. Those are the only razors he likes, and the refills are expensive, so getting them free means a few more blades stocked up. (note: if you want them for the blades only, get the manual razors rather than the power ones. The manuals come with 3 blades, the powers only come with 2!).
Also, Nivea shave gel this week, so we'll be stocked up on his shaving needs for quite a while!

Other things I'm excited about this week: Revlon eyeshadow , Dove shampoo and conditioner, and hopefully the BeFine moneymaker!

Here's what I'll be doing this week:

Transaction 1:

$3.99 x6 Nivea Shave Gels (earns $10 ECBs)

$23.94 before coupons

-$12 (3) $4/2 Nivea Shave Gel (from 6/8 insert)

$8.94 after coupons, earns $10 ECBs


Transaction 2:

$9.99 Gillette Fusion Razor (earns $4 ECBs)
$4.29 2 Dove (shampoo and conditioner, B1G1)
$1 Atkins bar

$15.28 before coupons

-$4 Gilette (from 6/1 P&G)
-$4 (2) $2 off Dove (from 6/8 insert)
-$1 Atkins (from 6/1 SS)

$3.28 after coupons, earns $4 ECBs


Transaction 3:

$6.99 Revlon Color Stay Mineral Eyeshadow (earns $3 ECBs)
$9.49 Schick Quattro Titanium Razor (earns $5 ECBs)

$16.48 before coupons

-$2 Revlon (from 5/18 SS)
-$3 Schick Quattro (from 5/18 SS2)

$8.48 after coupons, earns $8 ECBs


Transaction 4:

$6.67 Cheerios (on sale for 3/$10, towards General Mills deal)
$6.99 Oral B Crossaction 2 pack (earns $6.99 ECBs, monthly deal)
$1.99 CVS 40ct Bandages (earns $1.99 ECBs, monthly deal)

$15.65 before coupons

-$3 (2) $1.50 off Cheerios (from packages of Pampers bought at CVS last week)

$9.65 after coupons, earns $8.98 ECBs


Transaction 5:

$10 5 bags of select Hersheys candy (earns $5 ECBs)
$2.69 Brut deodorant 2.5oz (earns $3 ECBs)
$1.99 CVS 40ct Bandages (earns $1.99 ECBs, monthly deal)
$1 Atkins bar

$15.68 before coupons

-$1 Brut (from 4/6 SS)
-$1 Atkins (from 6/1 SS)

$10.68, earns $9.99 ECBs


Transaction 6:

$13.33 4 Nature Valley Granola Bars (on sale for 3/$10) earns $10 ECBs (General Mills deal)
$2.69 Brut Deodorant (2.5 oz) earns $3 ECBs

$16.02 before coupons

-$1.60 (2) $0.80/2 Nature Valley printables
-$1 Brut (from 4/6 SS)

$10.42 after coupons, earns $13.00 ECBs


And because I have ECBs to burn and my daughter really wants to try this Neutrogena Wave, I'll also be doing this transaction this week:

$13.99 Neutrogena Wave Pore Cleanser Kit (earns $5 ECBs)
$2.69 Brut Deodorant 2.5oz (earns $3 ECBs)

$16.68 before coupons

-$2 Wave printable
-$1 Brut (from 4/6 SS)

$10.68 after coupons, earns $8 ECBs

Weekly Tally:

Total spent in ECBs:$62.13
Total ECBs earned: $61.97
Difference of $0.16 oop for just under $120 worth of products!

*In the ad this week, earn $5 when you buy any one BeFine product. Last time this was advertised, the single-serve packs of BeFine for $1.99 worked, making this a $3.01 money-maker! I'll be trying it tomorrow, and will update to let you know if it works again! Thanks to Crystal for the reminder!