Monday, April 30, 2012

List and Enter Giveaways 5-1-12 (Fortune Follies Tuesday)

Welcome to Fortune Follies Tuesday for May 1st, where bloggers can list their giveaways, and readers can enter them!

Be sure to enter these giveaways hosted by Frugal Follies:

4 boxes of Cheerios - ends 5/17

$500 cash - ends 6/29

Please link up your giveaways using the following format: Blog Name - Name of Contest - End Date.  Please link directly to your giveaway and not to your home page.  A link back to Frugal Follies is always appreciated!

Also, if you have a list of sites which have giveaway linkies, please add Frugal Follies to your list.  I'd appreciate it!

And if you have a giveaway linky that's not already on my Giveaway Linkup List, please let me know about it in the comments, and I'll add it to my list and link up my giveaways there as well.

If you're reading this post via email or a reader, click here for the list of giveaways.

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.)


Walgreens: Act now, don't delay!

As I said in my CVS shopping trip post, I was a little lazy yesterday, with it being a rainy day all day, and I decided to delay going to the drug stores on Sunday.  Instead I went this morning.

I used to go on Mondays, but I found that all the great deals were generally gone by the time I got there Monday morning.  I guess I forgot this lesson, because when I went to Walgreens, some of the products I wanted to get were already sold out.  And the matching coupons expire today, so it's not like I can go later in the week to get them.

I'll have to remember this the next time I feel like delaying a trip!

Here's what I was able to get:

U by Kotex tampons @ $3.99 (receive $3 RR)
- $1/1 U by Kotex Product printable
= $2.99 (1¢ moneymaker after RRs)

1 Maruchan instant lunch @ 34¢ (with in-ad coupon - I will donate this)
= 34¢

Total product: $3.33
Pay with $3 RR from last trip

Total after RRs: 34¢
Tax: 24¢

Total out of pocket: 57¢
Total saved compared to Walgreens full prices: $6.85
RRs received: $3

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.)


CVS: Where's the discount?

I headed over to CVS this morning - I was a little lazy yesterday, with pouring rain all day, and decided not to go out to shop until today.  It was raining again, but it was time to get going!

There wasn't all that much I wanted to get at CVS this week.  I picked up the Pantene shampoo and conditioner, and I checked out the discount shelves.  There was still a lot of Easter candy, labeled 75% off.  Most of it was "chocolate-flavored," which I avoided, but I did find a bag of Reese's candy.  I figured, what the heck! 

But when I went to check out, it came up full price!  I pointed this out and the cashier called the manager.  I waited... and waited... and waited.  Finally the cashier just rang up the correction herself.  Luckily there was no one else waiting after me.

Here's what I got:

Pantene shampoo & conditioner @ 2/$6.97 (receive $1 ECB)
- B1G1 Pantene Product, exp. 5/31/12 (P&G 04/29/12) (took off $3.49)
=  $3.48 for two, or $1.74 each ($1.24 each after ECBs)

Reese's holiday assortment @ $2.24 (75% off)

Total product: $5.72
Pay with $4 ECBs ($1, $1, $2) from previous weeks

Total after ECBs: $1.72
Tax: 56¢

Total out of pocket: $2.28
Total saved compared to CVS full prices: $17.25
ECBs received: $1

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.)


Save on outside storage

Need extra storage? Instead of renting space at a storage facility, why not add a storage shed in your backyard? (This assumes, of course, that you have a backyard.)

Here are some ideas to save:

  • Check with your city's building code to make sure that outside sheds are legal in your area, or if there are specific permits you need or codes your building needs to meet.
  • Ask friends and family with outside storage about their experiences.
  • If you have the know-how, consider building it yourself.
  • Otherwise, check all sources for wood and steel buildings, including hardware stores, companies which will build for you, or check online.

(This is a sponsored post on behalf of Crown Steel Buildings. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.)


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Menu Plan 4-30-12: Freezer bounty

Last week, I needed to get some meat in the house.  Now the freezer is full so it's time to start using all this bounty!  I'll be making soup from a turkey carcass that I have in there - that will make some more room.  And I've had some frozen homemade refried beans in the freezer for a while, so I'll take that out to make burritos.

Here's what's for dinner this week:

Monday - Char Crust salmon over salad greens

Tuesday -  chicken cacciatore over pasta

Wednesday - veggie burritos

Thursday - mushroom Whole Wheat Pizza

Friday -  Everything Soup, salad, Challah

Saturday: grilled cheese with tomato soup, veggie sticks

Sunday - takeout

If you're a frugal food blogger, please come and link up with Frugal Food Thursdays. And check out all of my frugal recipes!

Check out Menu Plan Monday for more menu plans!

(This post is sponsored by Famous Smoke - check their site for vanilla dutches and other cigars. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.)


Free shipping on chocolate!

GhirardelliFrequent Frugal Follies readers know that I love chocolate. Love, love, love, love it! Did someone mention chocolate? Yum...

So I am totally excited about this amazing deal: Shop at Ghiradelli for your Mother's Day gifts, and if you purchase $75 or more, shipping is free!

I see a Ghirardelli's Magnificent Mother's Day Gift Basket on the site... it includes chocolate-covered cherries, apricots, and blueberries, 3 chocolate bars, 2 chocolates gift bags, a gift box with 25 chocolates, and a truffles gift box... heavenly! Hopefully Mr. Frugal Follies is reading this... hint, hint!

Click here to get free shipping on your chocolate purchase.

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.)


Lean Cuisine coupon

Because I only have the small freezer over my refrigerator, and not a separate deep freeze, I tend to limit the amount of frozen food I get.  I usually reserve the limited space for meat, frozen juice concentrate, butter bought on sale with coupons, leftover challah to make French toast with in the future, and frozen vegetables.  There usually isn't any room for frozen meals.

Still, sometimes it's nice to have a few in there for emergency meals.  And now is a great time to stock up with this new coupon for Lean Cuisine meals!

55¢ off when you buy THREE LEAN CUISINE® varieties

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.)


Friday, April 27, 2012

Delve Into Your Finances in 2012 April update

Welcome To Delve into Your Finances in 2012!

This year, my goal is to pay off my home equity line of credit once and for all!

This month, we were able to put a medium-sized amount toward our debt.  Not as much as last month, when my husband got a bonus at work, but not as small an amount we were able to devote to debt reduction in January and February.

So we have now paid off 18% of the amount we owed on December 31, 2011.  That doesn't seem like a lot.  But we have been paying off this debt for a while, and yesterday I found the records of all the debt repayment we've done for the last few years.  I discovered that we've paid off 71% of the total debt that we had incurred on our home equity line of credit.  Now that sounds like we've made progress! 

How are you doing on your 2012 financial goals?  Leave a comment below!

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.)


Saving on Cinco de Mayo celebrations #CoronaRita

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Chili’s Grill & Bar. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's almost May - that means it's almost Cinco de Mayo!  It's a great day to celebrate.  And it's just a few days before my birthday and right around Mother's Day, so it's a triple celebration around here in the Frugal Follies household.  Time to have a fiesta and party! Woohoo!

If you're celebrating at home, here are some ideas to save on your celebration:

  • I love to make my own refried beans.  I soak dry pinto beans in water overnight.  I then drain the water, put them in my crockpot with new water and some spices, then cook them on low in the crockpot for 8-10 hours.  After they're done, I drain the water and mash the beans up, adding salt and some more spices like chili powder and cumin as well.  It stores great in the freezer.
  • But I buy tortillas!  I can find them for cheap at ALDI - 99¢ for a 10-tortilla package is normal.  Recently, I found 20-packs of tortillas there for 49¢ in their Special Buy aisle.
  • Look for sales at the grocery store for cheese, sour cream, salsa, and other Mexican food ingredients.  Combine these with coupons to save even more.

But since it is my birthday and Mother's Day and all, I might forgo making the Cinco de Mayo feast myself and go out to a restaurant myself.  Aren't I worth it? One great place we love to go is Chili's, which seems like the perfect place to celebrate Cinco de Mayo!
Google Image Result for http___www.findthatlogo.com_wp-content_uploads_2011_07_chili-large-logo.jpg.jpg

I love to get the queso and chips appetizer at Chili's - in fact, you can get a coupon for free queso and chips when you join Chili's mailing list.

I'm also looking forward to trying something new - the new CoronaRita at Chili's!  It's made with Jose Cuervo Especial Tequila and Coronita.  This sounds great since I love, love, love margaritas!  And it sounds like it will go great with the queso and chips!

CoronaRita sm.jpg

What Chili's item do you like best?  Are you looking forward to trying the CoronaRita?  Leave a comment below!

Disclaimer: You must be 21 years or older to drink alcoholic beverages and as always, please remember to drink responsibly.

Visit Sponsor's Site


Butter substitute coupons!

Here are some great coupons for butter substitutes!  These coupons will be gone at the end of the month so print them if you think you might use them in the next month.

$1.00 off any Country Crock Spread

$1.25 off one ICBINB! product

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.)


Publix: Saved 72% over two trips

I took two trips to Publix this week.  The first one was at the ends of the sales week.  I had two Recyclebank coupons for Kashi cereal which I wanted to use.  So I picked up two boxes of Kashi cereal - and the boxes had codes worth 50 Recyclebank points each!  So I'll be able to get another Kashi coupon, yay!

No photo, but here's the details on the deal:

2 Kashi Honey Sunshine cereal @ $2.99 (saved $1.06) = $5.98
- 2 $2/1 Kashi Product (Recyclebank)
= $1.98 for two, or 99¢ each

Total spent: $1.98
Total saved compared to Publix full prices: $6.12

Then I took a trip on the first day of the new sales cycle.  Again, there wasn't a lot that I needed other than frozen veggies and toilet paper, but I had a $10 off $50 Whole Foods coupon that I really, really wanted to use.  So I ended up buying a 4-lb package of kosher chicken thighs, and I bought Goodnites for my daughter, using my flexible savings account to pay for them.

Here's what I got:

1 Kleenex Cottonelle 12-pack @ $6.49
- $1/1 Cottonelle Toilet Paper @Publix, exp. 5/9/12 (SS 04/15/12 #2 R)
= $5.49

8 Birds Eye Steamfresh Chef's Favorites @ 50% off $2.59 =  $10.36
- 8 $0.35/1 Birds Eye Steamfresh Chef's Favorites coupon found in-store
= $7.56, or 95¢ each

1 Empire quick frozen chicken thighs @ $14.29

1 Goodnites @ $19.99
- $2/1 GoodNites Underwear printable
- $3/1 Huggies Diapers, Goodnites or Pull-Ups Publix in-ad coupon
= $14.99

Total before coupons: $51.13

- $10 off $50 Whole Foods coupon

Total after coupons: $32.33
Tax: $1.59
Total: $33.92

Pay $21.19 with Flexible Savings Account ($19.99 product + $1.20 tax)

Total out of pocket after FSA: $12.73
Total saved: $31.86

Total of two trips: $14.71
Total saved: $37.98, or 72%

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.)


Avent baby coupons and more!

Here are some of the latest coupons from Coupon Network!  Check out all the high-value coupons in this list!

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.)


Nice savings at the drugstores

I generally shop at the drug stores on Sunday, when the sales week has started and items are still in stock.  But this week, I threw a birthday party for my youngest daughter on Saturday night, and I was so exhausted that I just decided to skip the Sunday shopping altogether.

So I planned to go Monday.  I made my plans - I loved the deal on Nice! products at Walgreens - and cut out my coupons, and headed to the store... and realized I had left my coupons sitting on the table at home.  Oops.

So I tried again the next day, and I was successful!  Here's what I got:


1 gallon milk @ $3.69 (receive $1 ECB)
= $3.69 ($2.69 after ECBs)

1 Blink Tears @ $8.99 (receive $8.99 ECBs)
- $1/1 Blink Tears or Blink GelTears Lubricating Eye Drops, exp. 6/4/12 (SS 04/29/12 R)
= $7.99 ($1 moneymaker after ECBs)

1 U by Kotex tampons @ $3.99 (receive $2 ECBs)
$1/1 U by Kotex Product printable
= $2.99 (99¢ after ECBs)

3 Hallmark cards @ 99¢ = $2.97 (receive $3 ECBs)
= $2.97 (3¢ moneymakers after ECBs)

Total product: $17.64
Pay with $5 ECBs from previous visit
Tax: 40¢

Total out of pocket: $13.04
Total saved compared to CVS full prices: $11.90
ECBs received: $14.99


1 U by Kotex tampons @ $3.99 (receive $3 RRs)
- $1/1 U by Kotex Product printable
= $2.99 (1¢ moneymaker after RRs)

Buy $10 in selected Nice! products, receive $2 RRs:
1 ground cinnamon @ 99¢
1 trash bags @ $2.99
1 kitchen trash bags @ $2.99
1 sandwich bags @ $1.29
1 quart-sized bags @ $1.29
1 gallon-sized bags @ $1.29

Total product: $13.83
Pay with $5 RRs from previous week

Total after RRs: $8.83
Tax: 84¢

Total out of pocket: $9.67
Total saved compared to Walgreens full prices: $15.70
RRs received: $5

The milk deal at CVS was so good, I stopped by again yesterday to get one more gallon:

1 gallon milk @ $3.69 (receive $1 ECB)
= $3.69 ($2.69 after ECBs)

Total product: $3.69
Pay with $3 ECB from previous trip

Total out of pocket: 69¢
Total saved: $3.00
ECBs received: $1

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.)


POM Wonderful coupons and more!

Here are the latest e-coupons from SavingStar. Visit now and download these coupons to your store loyalty card - when you purchase the products, you'll earn in your SavingStar account.

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.)


Too much shopping!

I can't believe how much shopping I've done in just the past couple of days.   Check out all my receipts!

I'm already way over budget and I still have shopping at CVS and Walgreens on Sunday to go this week.  Ack!  Here are all the places I've shopped in the past couple of days:
  • 2 trips to ALDI
  • 1 trip to the kosher supermarket
  • 1 trip to Western Beef
  • 2 trips to Publix
  • 2 trips to CVS
  • 1 trip to Walgreens
I'll describe the ALDI, Western Beef, and kosher store trips here; I'll post separately about Publix and the drug stores.

I first stopped at ALDI to pick up just a few things - bread, juice, and veggies.  I also found a great buy in the savings aisle - large boxes of strawberry frosted mini-wheats for 99¢ each.  There were only three boxes left; I was tempted to take all three, but only ended up taking two and left the last one for someone else.

1 multi-colored peppers 2-pack @ $1.39
2 dozen large eggs @ $1.49 = $2.98
4 cans tuna @ 59¢ = $2.36
2 strawberry wheat cereal @ 99¢ = $1.98
2 apple juice concentrate @ 92¢ = $1.84

Total spent: $11.84

The next day, I went to the kosher supermarket to get some meat, as I was pretty much out!  Yes, the prices are real - I haven't added an extra digit or two.  Kosher meat is expensive because the animal feed is more expensive, there is more labor and time needed to kill and butcher the animal, the expense of shipping the meat from kosher butchering plants in the Midwest, and because there is simply lower demand for the meat.

3.48 lb boneless chicken breasts @ $4.99/lb = $17.37
7.47 lb whole chicken @ $2.69/lb = $20.12
2.99 lb ground beef @ $4.99/lb = $14.92

Total spent: $52.41

My old ALDI is just around the corner from the kosher store (I now shop at a newer, closer ALDI), and my husband had asked for some crackers and fruit bars to eat at work, so I stopped at ALDI again.  And I realized I was out of a few things like salmon for my Char Crust Salmon & Veggies as well as cheese, so I picked them up as well.

1 Parmesan cheese @ $2.39
1 2-lb frozen salmon @ $7.99
1 fruit & grain bars @ $1.49
1 16-oz shredded cheddar @ $2.99
1 woven wheats crackers @ $1.39
1 cream cheese @ $1.19
1 Reeva rinse aid @ $1.99

Tax: 12¢
Total spent: $19.55

Lastly, I went to Western Beef yesterday.  It was the last day of their sales cycle, and I wanted to pick up more pasta at 50¢ per 1-pound package that I got last week.  I'm glad I did because this time they had some different pasta shapes that weren't there last week.  I also picked up some produce.

10 Flora 1-lb pasta @ 50¢ = $5.00
1.83 lb bananas @ 59¢/lb = $1.08
2.41 lb plum tomatoes @ 79¢/lb = $1.90

Total spent: $7.98

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.)


La Choy coupon

Here's a recently-released coupon from SmartSource!

SAVE $1.00 on any ONE (1) LaChoy Creations® Family Size Meal

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.)


Totinos coupon and more!

CellfireIf you shop at a Kroger (or a Kroger-affiliated supermarket), then you should definitely sign up for Cellfire. At, you can download valuable coupons from your PC or mobile phone onto your store savings card. No coupon clipping required!

I don't have this service in my area, but I can't wait until it comes here!

The offers below are available from 4/17 - 4/30 and they expire on 5/14. These offers are valid at Kroger and Kroger subsidiaries, Carrs, Genuardi's, Randall's, Tom Thumb, Shop 'n Save, Lowe's, Foodtown and Harps.

Totinos Party Pizza Save $1
Save $1.00 when you buy FIVE any flavor/variety Totino's Crisp Crust Party Pizza Products.

PB Sweet Rolls Save $.40
Save $0.40 when you buy any TWO Pillsbury Sweet Rolls OR Grands! Sweet Rolls.

Pillsbury Crescents Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy any TWO Pillsbury Crescent Dinner Rolls.

Wanchai Ferry Dinner Kit $1
Save $1.00 when you buy any flavor Wanchai Ferry Frozen Entree (excludes Wanchai Ferry Dry Dinner Kit).

PB Rolled Pie Crusts Save $.75
Save $0.75 when you buy TWO packages of Pillsbury Rolled Refrigerated Pie Crusts.

Yoplait Cups Save $.40
Save $0.40 when you buy SIX CUPS any variety Yoplait Yogurt (Includes Original, Light, Thick & Creamy, OR Whips!).

Lucky Charms Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy ONE BOX Lucky Charms cereal.

PB Italian Meal Brd Save $.40
Save $0.40 when you buy any TWO Pillsbury Refrigerated Pizza Crust, Breadsticks, Loaves or Dinner Rolls.

Cocoa Puffs Save $.75
Save $0.75 when you buy any ONE BOX Cocoa Puffs cereal.

Cheerios Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy ONE BOX Original Cheerios cereal (the one in the yellow box).

PB Refrig'd Grands! Save $.40
Save $0.40 when you buy THREE CANS any size/variety Pillsbury Refrigerated Grands! or Grands! Jr. Biscuits.

Gogurt, Trix, Splitz Save $.75
Save $0.75 when you buy TWO any flavor Yoplait products listed: Yoplait Go-GURT Yogurt, Yoplait Kids Cup Yogurt, Yoplait Trix Multipack Yogurt, Yoplait Splitz Yogurt.

Green Giant Boxed Veges Save $.80
Save $0.80 when you buy FOUR any variety Green Giant Frozen Boxed Vegetables.

Yoplait Frozen Smoothie Save $.75
Save $0.75 when you buy ONE any flavor Yoplait Frozen Smoothie.

Yoplait Greek yogurt Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy TWO CUPS any flavor Yoplait Greek yogurt.

PB Cookie Dough Save $1
Save $1.00 when you buy TWO PACKAGES any variety Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough.

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.)


Finding free online games

My daughters love to play games on the computer.  My middle daughter, who has special needs, loves to play the word and number games at  My youngest likes to play games about her favorite television shows and toys.  I'm always looking for new sites for them which are fun yet are also safe for them to play on.

If you're looking for online games for yourself or for a child, here are some ideas:

  • Play games that will earn for you.  I love the games over at Swagbucks.  They're a lot of fun, and as you play them, you'll occasionally win Swag Bucks, which can be used to get prizes like $5 gift cards. 
  • Some other sites where you can play games and earn real prizes are iWon, GamesVille, and GamesVance.  If you do an Internet search for "play online games" and "win prizes," you'll be sure to find a plethora of sites where you can play and have fun and earn prizes as well!
  • Facebook, of course, has many, many, many free games available there that you can play by yourself or with friends.  
  • Search for sites about your favorite shows, movies, music, or products.  You may find games at these sites
  • Check out sites for a specific character you like.  For instance, if you're a fan of Sonic the Hedgehog from the Sega video games, you can find lots of Sonic-themed games at
  • Be careful going to game sites that you're unfamiliar with.  Some may infect your computer with viruses!  Be sure to have virus software on your computer and run it regularly.
  • If your child is playing online, be sure that they do not enter any personal information such as their name or location.  It's best if you keep a close eye on them while they play.

(This is a sponsored post on behalf of Please see my disclosure policy for more information.)

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