Welcome!

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 :)

Subscribe!

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

My rockin trip to Publix this week!




















As I mentioned in my previous post, I do the bulk of my grocery shopping at Aldis every two weeks. However, each week I make at least one trip to Publix to stock up on the items I can get for free or nearly free after coupons. This week was a great week, I was able to get $86 worth of groceries for $1.20.

Here's how I did it:

First, I went to the Publix thread at hotcouponworld.com. I clicked on the thread for this week's sales ad and looked it over for any items I could get for free or nearly free after coupons. All of the coupons I used this week were printed from the internet.

The items that caught my attention were:

Post Cereal, Assorted Varieties, Selects, 13 to 16-oz, or Grape Nuts Flakes, 18-oz BOGO $3.99
-$2/1 PRINT (if trail mix crunch included)
-$2/1 PRINT(if Pecan bunches included) (I couldn't get this coupon to print, or I would have gotten 8 boxes of this cereal as well)

Kellogg's Pop-Tarts, Assorted Varieties, 8-ct, 14 to 15.2-oz box BOGO $2.39 **Fuel For School Rebate Eligible Item
-$.75/1 Target IP PRINT
-$.55/1 Blueberry Muffin PRINT

Kraft Velveeta Shells & Cheese Dinner or Rotini & Cheese or Kraft Deluxe Mac & Cheese, 9.4 to 14-oz box, Assorted Varieties BOGO $1.99
-$1.50/2 PRINT


I have two laptops at home, and my neighbor also has 2 laptops at her house that she lets me use to print coupons (I pay her $10 every time she needs her ink cartridge filled, every couple of months, and it's worth it for all the money the coupons I print at her house saves me at the grocery store!). Typically I can print 2 coupons per computer, so that gives me 8 coupons for each product to use.

Because Publix takes competitors coupons, using the target coupon for the pop tarts in conjunction with the printable manufacturers coupon made each box free plus some overage.

So my shopping list looked like this:

  • 8 boxes PopTarts Blueberry Muffin flavor, B1G1 @ $2.39, Use 8 $0.55/1 coupon and 8 $0.75/1 Target coupons, ($1.68 overage on 8)
  • 8 boxes Kraft Deluxe Mac n Cheese, B1G1 $1.99, use 4 $1.50/2 coupons, $1.96 for 8 boxes
  • 8 boxes Trail Mix Crunch, B1G1 $3.99, use 8 $2/1 coupons, ($0.04 overage for 8 boxes)
  • 1 lb Chicken $2.99
  • 1 bag salad mix $2.00
  • 1 DiGiorno Flatbread Melt (I had a coupon that was mailed to me from a promotion a while back that made this item free).
$38.47 before coupons

$5.23 for whole order after coupons

I also used a $5/$30 CVS printable coupon which made the chicken and salad mix free, but added on a bag of Funyons and a some M&Ms for my two daughters at the checkout, and my total was $1.20 after coupons. One of my best trips to Publix yet!

Playing the matching game with sales and coupons each week allows me to stockpile groceries for my family and keep down my weekly grocery budget. It only takes me about an hours time of planning and printing, and it really is a lot of fun to me to see the total come down at the register as each coupon is scanned.

Here's a pic of all my loot (and my adorable 3 year old, who couldn't resist sneaking into the picture!).








This week's trip to the grocery store


















Every two weeks, I go grocery shopping at Aldi for the next two weeks' groceries. The nearest Aldi is about a 45 minute drive for me, which is why I only go bi-weekly.

Before going, I make up a menu plan for two weeks and then write up my grocery list. I include approximate prices from my Aldi Price Sheet, so when I go to the store I know a ball park figure of how much I'm spending before going in.

My grocery budget for 2 weeks is $15o, including diapers, baby wipes, and all the household supplies. I very rarely spend all of that, usually I come in right around $100, and we use the remaining to go out to eat during that two weeks, as a treat.
I started a special diet 10 days ago, so unfortunately I am spending more on groceries this week because of special foods I need to buy for it. But this week, I got everything on my list for $126, which is $63 per week. Not bad for our family of 5!

I thought I would post my list, for anyone who is interested in seeing how I shop. In a follow up to this post, I'll show you how shopping the sales at Publix each week using coupons allows me to stockpile items that I can get for free or close to free and how that helps to keep my grocery budget down.

Here is my menu for the next two weeks:

Dinners:
  • spaghetti, peas
  • tacos & yellow rice, corn
  • salsa chicken (chicken breasts, salsa, shredded cheddar, and sour cream cooked in the crockpot and then shredded and served over elbow noodles), corn
  • porcupine balls (ground turkey seasoned with salt and pepper and mixed with minute rice and shaped into balls, then simmered in spaghetti sauce until cooked through), peas
  • chili cheese burgers (cooked ground turkey,mixed with a can of chili and a cup of cheese, heated through and served on hamburger buns, sloppy joe style), curly fries, corn
  • brown sugar ham (a $4 turley ham cooked in the crockpot with a can of pineapples and juice and a cup of brown sugar), rice
  • spaghetti, peas
  • salisbury steaks (store bought frozen family size meal with gravy), over white rice, corn
  • veggie burgers (cooken ground turkey mixed with a can of condensed vegetable soup, served over hamburger buns, sloppy joe style), mac and cheese, green beans
  • chicken ceasar salad pasta (I mix mine with half a bottle of store bought ceasar dressing, rather than making my own as she instructs in the recipe), corn

Breakfasts are cereal or pop tarts (stockpiled) or peanut butter toast.
Lunches are PB&J sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, or leftovers from dinner, and fruit.

And here is my Aldi list:

6.87 3 gallons milk
1.18 3 cans biscuit dough
0.99 sour cream
1.99 shredded cheddar
4.00 ham
2.98 3 bags salad mix

0.99 veg oil
1.10 garlic powder
1.10 onion powder
1.10 chili powder
1.10 cumin
1.10 basil
1.99 corn meal
2.97 spaghetti sauce 3
1.59 spaghetti
1.69 elbow noodles
0.99 egg noodles
3.38 2 boxes cereal
1.98 yellow rice 2
1.49 salsa
0.99 augratin potatoes
3.00 canned chili 2
3.00 bullion cubes
0.90 diced tomatoes2
0.95 vegetable soup 2
1.50 ramen noodles
9.73 7 chunky soup
4.90 corn 4, peas 2, green beans 4
1.99 pineapples
2.00 zucchini
4.00 2 oranges
5.97 3 apples
7.50 5 tomatoes
1.58 2 hamburger buns
0.99 bread

3.98 salisbury steak 2
celery carrots
11.90 ground turkey 10
16.47 chicken 3

120.84


Some of the prices above weren't listed on my price sheet, so I estimated what I thought they would cost. I always estimate high. I forgot to add diapers ($5.49) to the list, and baby wipes. Even after adding those at the store, my total was only $126, because I estimated high on the things I didn't know the cost of.

So that's how I do my grocery shopping. Be sure to read the follow up to this post and see how I got over $80 worth of groceries at Publix this week for only $1.20!



$15 off $30 at Houlihans restaurant













To get your $15 off $30 printable coupon for Houlihans, follow these two simple steps:

1. Sign up for the email club here.
2. Complete the survey here.

Free $10 food item from Schwans














This promotion doesn't start until August 1, so mark your calenders if interested!

Schwans is giving away a free $10 food order to the first 500,000 new customers to order, starting August 1.

Just visit www.schwans.com/free and order any one item for $10 or less, and Schwans will deliver it to your home for free!

I have heard that once on their delivery route, the drivers will stop by your home every two weeks to see if you would like to order again. If you do not want to become on of their scheduled stops, be sure to let the driver know that when he delivers your item the first time. I would recommend telling them that you just ordered to try out their food and service, and will place an order online if you choose to use them again.

B1G1 Smoothies at Jamba Juice until 8/9























Use this printable coupon and receive a free smoothie at Jamba Juice with the purchase of a smoothie, until August 9.

Christmas in July

It's July already, and for most people it may be too early to be thinking about Christmas. But July is the time of year when I start saving and planning and buying Christmas gifts for my family. I have one husband, 3 daughters, 4 parents, 9 nieces and nephews, and 7 sisters and brothers on my list of people to buy for, and all of that can be overwhelming.

If I didn't search out deals to save me money and instead paid full price for all of those gifts, I would put my family into some serious debt. So starting early on my planning gives me time to make educated purchases and get my gifts for incredibly low prices (sometimes even free!).

One deal I stumbled across this week is this one:

Checkoutfree.com is offering a $25 Buy.com gift certificate for completing a sponsor offer. There are numerous offers listed, but the one that most interested me is the VistaPrint offer.
I ordered a free pen and paid $4.66 shipping and handling, and INSTANTLY received my $25 gift code in my email for Buy.com. So I'll use that code to get a $25 gift for someone on my list (shipping is free for orders over $25 that are purchased directly from buy.com) for only the $4.66 I paid at VistaPrint, plus I get a nice free pen out of it!

I am assuming that this can be done repeatedly using different email addresses, but I haven't tried it more than once yet. I will try it and let you know what my results are!

**EDIT: Shortly after I posted this blog, the below VistaPrint offer was no longer available. There was another offer for a free trial of Complete Home that I took advantage and was going to suggest on my blog instead of VistaPrint, but that offer, too, was short-lived. This promotion through CheckoutFree has been going on for months, with different offers showing up regularly. My suggestion is checking back every now and again to see what offers are available and looking out for offers that are free trials that are easy to cancel, or offers like the VistaPrint one that require less than $5. Good Luck!

If you have any other money saving ideas for cheap Christmas shopping, please feel free to email them to me!

Back from a very long hiatus

Wow, so much has changed since I posted last! My daughters are growing so quickly, and my youngest, who was a newborn when you last heard from me, is now 1 year and 4 months!

My long break from blogging was mostly due to my business as a mom- not to mention my stint for a few months with PPD. Keeping up with two toddlers is a new and challenging experience for me, though I'm happy to say that I have settled into a comfortable routine that is allowing me more time to do the things that I enjoy, and that includes blogging here!

In the time since I last posted, our family has gone through a major change- we moved from Michigan to Florida. We are now neighbors of Disney World, and are loving all the sunshine and fun things that living in Florida allows us. In this time of economic stress in our country, my family was blessed when my husband was offered a job working at the Golf Channel in Orlando, and making a significant amount more than we were living on when he was at his previous job.

Though we are feeling a little more comfortable financially, we are still reliant on my steadfast commitment to frugality to keep us that way, and saving money is still a necessity in our home, and one that I enjoy and am passionate about.

I am eager to be back to blogging here, and passing on the ways that I am saving our family money with all of you!

If any of my previous readers are still following along, I thank you for your patience with me all these past months that I have disappeared, and to all the new visitors, I welcome you and hope you'll come back again