Welcome to Economic Endeavors!
This blog is dedicated to bringing you the hottest deals, coupons, money savers, and money makers available, both on and off the net!
Thank you for visiting, and please stop by often to see what's new :)


If you enjoy this blog, please use the buttons at the top of this page to subscribe to the posts or comments by RSS feed.

To have my posts sent to your email, subscribe here:
Subscribe to Economic Endeavors by Email

CVS Black Friday deals!

I haven't been doing much CVSing lately, I'm sorry to say. Ok, I haven't done any, really. But I really do miss my favorite hobby, and have been thinking of getting back into it. Even though the deals have been much slimmer lately than they were just a few months ago. Every time I have to pay cash for diapers I die a little inside.

So I'm happy to say that the Black Friday deals look HOT! A ton of what I like to see: Free after ECBs! This sale starts Thanksgiving Day, so you can eat dinner with the fam and then get out there and get a jump start on your Black Friday shopping!

Here's the link to the preview ad.

And here are the deals that I see:

  • Colgate Total, $2.99 - FREE after ECBs! (Limit 2) -$1.50 off Colgate Total printable or $1 off Colgate Total from 11/2 SS
  • Aussie Hair Care, $2.99 - FREE after ECBs! (Limit 2) -$1 off Aussie product (from 10/12 P&G)
  • Johnson’s Soft Lotion, $5.69 - FREE after ECBs! (Limit 1) -$1 off Johnsons Body Product printable, or $1 off Johnsons Baby Product (from 11/2 RP)
  • Gatorade 20 oz, $1.49 - FREE after ECBs! (Limit 3)
  • Hershey’s King Size Milk Chocolate bar, $1.00 - FREE after ECBs! (Limit 1)
  • Bic Soleil Single Razor with 2 Cartridges, $5.99 - FREE after ECBs! (Limit 2) -$3 off Bic Razor (from 11/2 SS)
  • Garnier Nutrisse Cleansing Towelettes 25 ct., $5.99 - FREE after ECBs! (Limit 1) -$1 off Garnier Nutritioniste Cleanser (from 11/9 RP)
  • Maybelline Mineral Power Liquid Foundation, $8.99 - FREE after ECBs! (Limit 1) -$3 off Maybelline foundation (from 10/26 RP) or -$2 off Maybelline foundation (from 9/21 RP)
  • 5-Hour Engergy, $3.99 - FREE after ECBs! (Limit 1)
  • CoverGirl Smoothers Pressed Powder, $5.99 - FREE after ECBs! (Limit 1) -$1 off any CoverGirl (from 10/12 or 11/2 P&G)
  • CoverGirl Smoothers Liquid Makeup, $7.99 - FREE after ECBs! (Limit 1) -$1 off any CoverGirl (from 10/12 or 11/2 P&G)
  • L’Oreal Colour Juice Sheer Lipgloss, $6.99 - FREE after ECBs! (Limit 2) -$1 off any L'Oreal product printable (register, go through diagnostic survey, coupon should be at the end)
  • Sally Hansen Maximum Growth Plus Nourishing Nail Color, $3.79 - FREE after ECBs! (Limit 1) -$1 off Sally Hansen nail treatment (from Beauty Book)
  • Magnavox Universal Remote or Philips Headphones, $6.99 - FREE after ECBs! (Limit 2)
If you're able to find all of these products and have enough ECBs to pay for them all, you're getting $96.82 worth of free products!

Free Holiday Music MP3s

Amazon is offering a sampling of MP3 downloads of classic holiday music. The five songs available on the free sample album are:

  • I Wish You A Merry Christmas (1999 Digital Remaster) - Bing Crosby
  • Deck The Halls - Peggy Lee
  • The Nutcracker Suite - Les Brown & His Band Of Renown
  • Auld Lang Syne (Remixed 1991) - The Beach Boys
  • Jingle Bells - Roger Wagner Chorale
Go to this link and click on "Get MP3" button on upper right.

I was just thinking of downloading some of my favorite Christmas music to make into a cd to listen to this holiday season, so this is an excellent start! If you get a minute to leave me a comment, please recommend one or two of your favorite holiday songs (with artist/version). I'm trying to remember all of my favorites and I don't want to overlook any! And just in case you were wondering. top of my list is Little Drummer Boy/Peace of Earth by Bing Crosby and David Bowie. Love that song! :)

Menu Plan and Aldi grocery list

Since my little hiatus from deal shopping and blogging, my coupon stash has seriously dwindled. I am happy to say that I am back in the saddle, and feeling great about it!

I need to build back up my coupon organizer, but in the meantime, I have been managing to stay well within our grocery budget ($70 per week for our family of 5) without coupons, by shopping at Aldi. A new Aldi store opened near us last month, and I have been so excited to be able to have their great prices to fall back on while I was burned out on coupon and deal shopping.

Every week, I have been planning out my menus and grocery lists with prices based on Aldi's pricing sheet (available inside the door at my Aldi store), and I thought that starting this week, I'd post about it in case any of you need dinner ideas or just want to use my whole list!

So here it is. Typically, I plan for 7 dinners, my daughters and I eat cereal for breakfast most days and my husband has a granola bar on the way to work. I know, not very exciting, but it works for us at this stage. My 11 year old eats lunch at school, and my husband has a separate amount of money budgeted for his lunches on his break from work, so I only plan lunches for my 2 1/2 year old and myself (my 8 month old eats baby food).

This week's dinners (this week I bought 8 dinners because I threw on the pizza at the last minute, but I still stayed way under budget!) :

  • Pizza (take and bake from Aldi)
  • Pineapple-Brown Sugar Ham (Put a 3 lb turkey ham in the crockpot with half a can of pineapple and a cup of brown sugar, cook on low for 3 hours), with Sour cream and chive mashed potatoes and peas as side dishes *I already have the peas in my pantry*
  • Spaghetti (1 lb spaghetti noodles, one jar spaghetti sauce, and 1 lb. ground beef *I already have the ground beef in my freezer*)
  • Chicken and Dumplings (Put 3 cans of Chicken broth and 3 large chicken breasts in the crockpot on high for 4 hours. Remove the cooked chicken and cut into bite sized pieces. Return chicken to the crockpot. Remove 2 cups of broth and in a separate bowl, stir in 1/2 cup of flour, return broth/flour mixture to crockpot to help thicken. Using 2 tubes of buttermilk biscuits, flatten each biscuit in your hands and tear into small pieces and add to crockpot. These will be your dumplings. Cook for 30-90 minutes more until dumplings are cooked through. You can also add carrots and celery to this when you add the dumplings, I did not this week), serve with corn *I already have corn in the pantry*
  • Meatball Stroganoff (Using 3 packets of brown gravy mix, prepare as directed in a large saucepan. Add 8oz of sour cream and 1 package of frozen turkey meatballs, simmer until meatballs are cooked through. You can also add a can of mushrooms if you like, I did not. Serve over cooked egg noodles.) Serve with peas *I already have peas in the pantry*
  • Bubble Pizza (I made exactly as directed, only exchanged the pizza sauce for spaghetti sauce. I didn't use any extra ingredients). Thanks Meal Planning Mommies! I love their site. Serve with green beans *I already have green beans in the pantry*
  • Chili (Brown 1 lb ground turkey, drain. Add 1 large can of tomato juice, 2 cans chili beans, and a packet of chili seasoning. We eat ours with cheese crackers)
  • Salsa Chicken (Put 4 chicken breasts in the crockpot, add one large jar of salsa and 8oz sour cream. I usually add a cup or two of shredded cheddar, but I only have mozzarella this time, so I will try that. Cook on high for 6 hours, shred up the chicken with 2 forks before serving. Serve over cooked elbow noodles. This is a staple in our house, we all love it!) Serve with corn *I already have corn in the pantry*
For lunches, I planned 3 Mac and cheese days (I have fruit cups in the fridge already) and 2 cold tuna noodle casserole days. Maybe a pb&j in there if we get bored (we always have the fixins for pb&j)! I also threw in ramen noodles and 3 cans of soup for my older daughter, who often comes home from school hungry and is a total soup and ramen lover.

Here's my grocery list, with prices:

$5.97 3 gallons of skim milk
$1.89 Cookie Cereal
$0.89 canned pineapple
$0.99 box of Sour cream and chive potatoes
$0.99 cheese crackers
$1.69 2 lb box of spaghetti noodles
$0.99 egg noodles
$1.69 2 lb box of elbow noodles
$3.57 3 boxes of Shells and Cheese
$1.98 2 jars of spaghetti sauce
$1.14 2 cans of tuna
$1.56 4 chicken broth
3 packets brown gravy (not sure on the price)
chili seasoning (not sure on the price)
$0.99 large can of tomato juice
$0.90 2 cans of chili beans
$2.00 box of 12 ramen noodles
$4.17 3 cans of Chunky soup
$6.50 take-and-bake pizza
$1.52 4 cans of refrigerated biscuit dough
$0.99 16oz tub of sour cream
$1.99 bag of mozzarella cheese
$1.49 1 lb of ground sausage
$3.50 turkey ham
$6.49 3lbs frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts
$1.99 frozen turkey meatballs

Pre-planned total: $55.88
Actual total when leaving the store was $60.xx
The other $10 of our weekly budget will go to buy Hubs's granola bars (he doesn't like the ones from Aldi) and baby food at Kroger or Meijer.

There you have it, that's what we'll be eating around here this week. If you like this kind of post, or if it was helpful to you, leave me a comment and I'll try to do them every week in the future!