Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Kohls Black Friday Shopping

Hi Everyone

I'm still here. It's just been a crazy busy month and next month will be more of the same.

I tell ya, Kohls wore me out this month. I always look forward to their BF sale, which actually starts on November 1st. I shopped the 1st, Veteran's Day and again on the 19th. I'm plumb worn out, but had lots of fun. Other than drugstores and an occasional Meijer trip (if they have gift items I need), I don't set foot in any stores. In fact, by the time BF rolled around, I was done shopping. Other than the discounted Target gcs this coming weekend, my Christmas shopping is done. So what did I get?

Lots of athletic shoes
2 Comforter Sets for DS
1 Big One reversible comforter for ourselves
Lots of Bath and hand towels
2 Big Ticket Christmas gifts - one has a rebate
Ski jacket & gloves for DS
24 Piece Pyrex Storage set - rebate
Coffee Maker - rebate
Toaster - rebate
Bath mat for 2nd bathroom
1 Sweatpants for DS - filler item so I could earn Kohls cash and get free shipping
Slippers for myself
Replacement Cuisinart coffee pot

I always stock up on athletic shoes for us during this sale. DS always needs new shoes. I wear my shoes until they break. So I keep some shoes stockpiled for when we need it. My old pair actually got some holes in them just before BF.

The towels is an annual purchase too. Nothing wrong with our old towels, but I like having new fuzzy towels. DH uses the old towels for work.

I buy the reversible comforter every 4-5 years. These things are light, but very warm. We use it as a spare blanket during winter, since we turn the heat way down at night. As safe as electric blankets are, I can't see myself using one. I won't get any sleep worrying about the blanket electrocuting me while I

The comforter sets for DS was too good to pass up. His room is red, white & blue. Actually more navy and white with touches of gray and red. He currently has a red/white/blue Izod comforter, but it's way too heavy for summer. Last summer he used the spare bedroom's lighter comforter in his room. When I found this one on sale, I couldn't resist. As you can see there were stackable Veteran's Day codes and Kohls cash, so I got this and another sherpa one for a song. I love this one. It's gray, blue and light green. We can just get rid of the few red touches when he uses this comforter.

I wasn't planning on getting the Christmas gifts at Kohls, but I figured it's a better deal with the discounts, rebate, ebates & Kohls cash, than any other store. Hence my high OOP.

Now for the crazy tale of the coffeemaker. About 2 years ago I scored a great deal on a Cuisinart Grind & Brew coffee machine at Macys. I got the machine & 2 other Cuisinart items for $60 oop after rebate. Not long after buying the coffee machine,  I accidentally knocked the glass coffee pot off the counter. I was bummed, because I loved this machine. I packed it up and put it in the basement and have used a French Press (DH's idea) ever since.

Last year I fell in love with the Ninja coffee system, but missed out on the sale. The same item was on sale again this year, but I just didn't have peace about buying it. You know that gut feeling you get when something doesn't feel right? Well, I trust mine because it's always right. Besides, the reviews were mixed and there were some really bad ones about it leaking and stop working. Then I decided to search for a replacement coffee pot (I was too cheap to pay $25 before, since the whole system cost double that amount) and found that Kohls has it. So after discounts, I got a good price. When it arrived, both DS and I were excited and I went downstairs to hunt for the machine. Except, there was no machine. We have a finished basement, so there's only a small area in which to look. This thing wasn't buried under loads of stuff. I went to the shop (where DH works) to search the storage area. Nothing. I know that I didn't get rid of it, because I figured I could still sell the system, since it was fairly new. Well darn, so much for my new coffee pot. So I opted for the cheap Hamilton Beach coffee maker, that's $7 after rebate. Hey, as long as it makes my coffee, I'm happy.

I've searched all big box stores for a deal on the Cuisinart, but it was $100 almost everywhere. Then I noticed that Meijer had a week long sale on it for $74.99, get $25 CAT. For BF week, they run different sales that overlap with the weekly ad. On Saturday they had jingle bucks. So I told DH to stop at the store on our way out, grabbed my coffee maker and paid $38.xx after all discounts. I'm a happy mama, because we now drink freshly ground bean coffee again. Yay!

Back to Kohls. I buy the Pyrex every year to use for food storage. I'm replacing all my plastic storage containers with glass. Last year I opted for the Corningware set, to add to an existing set I have. Don't ask about the toaster. Our toaster works fine. However, I've found that when I get the urge to buy something, it always turns out that we need it. Just ask Last year I bought him a Philips Norelco electric razor for Christmas (scored a great deal at Kohls). When he opened the gift, he asked me why I bought him something he already has. I told him that his other razor was old and this way he has a spare when the other one breaks. Not long afterwards, he accidentally dropped his old razor and guess who had a brand new one to use? No need to run around with a 5 o'clock shadow and no paying full price. And no, I'm not

So on to the money:

OOP $337.44 (total after gcs)
GCs used $372.92
Less Ebates (28.01)
Less Rebates submitted (84.00)
Total cost to me : $225.43

Total retail value : $1864.68

I combined stackable coupon codes and rolled some Kohls cash to purchase all my items. I did separate transactions to get the most out of my gcs.

I still have $75 Kohls Cash to use. We don't need a single thing. I'm going to see if I can find some clearance athletic shorts for DS. The rest will be used to buy clearance to resell, so I can recoup some of my OOP.

Monday, October 29, 2018

A BIG Thank You to Thrifty Mom in Boise

About 2 months ago I saw this post about a new vacuum on TMIB's blog. I had been researching new vacuums at the time, because our Dyson quit after 3 years and the Shark just doesn't seem clean to as well as I'd like it to. I hate feeling any kind of dirt when I walk around the house bare feet. My plan was to look for a good vacuum deal over the holidays.

Well, I found this Bissell she mentioned at Walmart. I must admit that I was rather skeptical when I first saw the size of it, after opening the box. DS assembled it and immediately took it for a test drive. This little sucker works great! (pun intended). It cleans far better than the Shark does. We haven't used the Shark since purchasing the Bissell. I can also easily vacuum under the beds, without taking the vacuum apart (like I do with the Shark)

Then last week (out of curiosity) I asked DH to test how much energy the Bissell uses vs the Shark (we mainly use Solar energy, but I'm still mindful of our energy consumption). The Bissell uses 260 watts vs 1000 watts that the Shark uses. So not only does the Bissell clean better, it also saves us almost 75% worth of energy for vacuuming. Such a great investment for just $20.

So a great big Thank you Thrifty Mom for sharing this deal! We couldn't be more pleased with this stick vacuum.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Easy homemade pizza recipe

Two weeks ago, my friend shared this pizza recipe. She knows that I like to cook, so she's always sending me recipes of things that she thinks I might like. When I saw this recipe, I knew that I absolutely had to try it.

So this is what's called a rainbow pizza. The part I liked was the easy dough recipe. The best part was that I already had all the ingredients at home.


1½ cups Self raising flour - found at Walmart (or AP flour and 1 tsp baking powder)
1 cup plain or greek yogurt

Mix together. Add more flour as needed and roll into a crust. Top with basil pesto, 2 cups mozzarella cheese and veggies of your choice. Top with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes at 400F

I made 2 large pizzas and they were gone within 2 days, they were THAT good! Now I must admit that I'm a food snob (no shame here). I grew up eating lots of fresh, high quality food and all our meals were cooked from scratch with fresh herbs and pure spices. We ate very very little processed food. In South Africa, we never knew pepperoni pizza. Our pizzas were topped with a variety of meat and/or veggies, so this recipe was right up my alley.

Then yesterday I decided to make 2 more pizzas, since I have to run errands today. I'm experimenting with different toppings.

Grilled eggplant (I just grilled it on my small George Foreman grill. I added salt/pepper and a little olive oil
1 Can artichokes
Roasted red peppers (Ollie's sells the large jars for cheap)
Mozzarella cheese
Basil pesto
I sprinkled a minimum amount of oregano on top
Top with olive oil

I had a slice last night and this was the BEST pizza I've ever made. Even DH was impressed when I told him that it tastes better than the ones we get at our favorite restaurants. Those pizzas normally set us back $25 each. They also don't offer as many toppings. I made sure that I placed a layer of each topping over the entire pizza. I want to get all those flavors in every single bite.

Hawaiian pizza with a twist

Famous Dave's bbq sauce
Ham (I just diced up the slices that I buy at Sams)
Diced pineapple (I just up a can of rings)
Red onion slices

Unfortunately I ended up overcooking this pizza. After 20 minutes, the crust wasn't completely done. So back into the oven it went. A little too long - yikes! The flavor's still good, but it's not as pretty as the artichoke pizza. I won't serve this to anyone other than DH & DS, because presentation is as important as taste to me.

You can play around with all kinds of different toppings. There's no right or wrong way. Just choose your favorite toppings and fill your pizza with it.

For pasta sauce. Mix tomato sauce, some tomato paste and a little oregano together. Garlic is optional. I'm just gonna use my Prego pasta sauce, instead of buying tomato sauce and hope & pray that my pizza turns out

I told DH that I should just make about 6 pizzas at one time and freeze the rest. That way I don't have to bake pizzas every week. Although the fresh pizzas always taste better :)

Bon Appetit.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Drugstore fun

Hi everyone

I've decided to just do a 2 month finance blog post next week again. I'm just way too busy to write 2 separate posts. All online sellers will tell you that this is the busiest time of the year for us, so there's not much time to blog.

Today I hit up WAGS (to spend down points) and CVS. So here's what I got

 Trans 1

1 x Lays chips $2.49
Less CAT from last week (1.99)
OOP $0.50

Earned 3000 BR ($3). Found this q in my account today. Crazy part is that just last night I told DH I was craving some Lay's chips. So a nice MM and my craving's getting satisfied :)

Trans 2

1 x Tide $4.99
1 x Gain $4.99
1 x Gain Flings $4.99
2 x Carmex Supercran $5.98 (B1G50% off 2nd)
4 x Mars Minis $10.00
Less Tide DQ (2.00)
Less Gain DQ (2.00)
Less Gain Flings DQ (2.00)
Less Carmex DQ (1.00)
Less Mars q (2.00) monthly q booklet
Less CAT from 2 weeks ago ( 0.89)
Less CAT from last week (1.99)
Less BR redeemed (20.00)
Sales tax $1.26
OOP $0.33

Earned $1 BR for Carmex. Submitted $4.10 Ibotta ($2 Mars candy, $2 Carmex, 10c any item)

I started out with $70 worth of points. Redeemed $20 points, but still have $55 worth of points available. Crazy WAGS


2 x Maybelline eyeshadows $7.98
Less CRT (2.98)
Less EB (5.00)
Tax : 0.48
OOP $0.48, earned back $5 EB

There are lots of good deals at CVS this week, but without RMN qs (can you tell I'm still upset that we don't get those inserts. I don't even know why they no longer distribute them in select states) and CRTs, it wouldn't have been worth it for me.

When I got home, I went online to order Softsoap bw. There's a $5 EB WYS $10 and 30% off + free
shipping online.

4 x Softsoap bw $19.56
Less $2 off BW DQ (2.00)
Less 30% (5.27)
Less $10 EB (10.00)
Sales tax $0.74
OOP $3.03 Paid with an old gc.

Earned $5 EB and should qualify for $3 Beauty EB

I've had this gc for about 7-8 years. I got it for an item I returned, but this darn things set off the alarm at CVS whenever I walked into the store. So it's been sitting in my desk drawer for years. When I checked the balance, I saw that there was still $7.41 on it, so I will use it for online purchases.

Then I made a dozen chicken pot pies in my pie maker. So that's what's for dinner tonight. I still have some filling left over, but need to get more pie dough from Sams (I use the Pillsbury ready made dough. It's just way more convenient than making my own). Eating out of the freezer, so I made steamed broccoli, snap peas and carrots to go with the pies.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

WAGS tripping

Boy did it feel good to get out of the house today, after being home sick for so long. I decided to make a quick WAGS run to make use of that 10x points and $7 bonus WYS $20 q.

Trans 1

2 x Kit Kat $3.98
1 x Black Forest gummy bears $1.99
2 x Mitchum $3.98
1 x Bic Razor $2.99
1 x Tostitos Salsa $3.59
2 x Speed Stick (B1G2nd 50% off) $4.48
Total $21.01
Less 2 x Mitchum qs (2.00)
Less Speedstick DQ (1.00)
Less CAT from 2 weeks ago (0.89)
Tax 0.69
OOP $17.81

Earned 16100 points ($16.10) + $1.99 RR (register reward for gummy bears)

Points breakdown

1000 wyb 2 Mitchum
3000 wyb 2 Speedstick
3000 wyb Tostitos dip or salsa (my main reason for buying the salsa, cause it's 59c after reward)
7000 wys $20
1890 10x bonus
210 everyday points

So I spent $17.81 OOP and earned $18.09 in rewards.

For some reason my $3 Bic DQ didn't deduct. I think it's because the razor was $2.99 and WAGS does not adjust qs or give overage. I'll contact CS to see if they'll give me the credit.

The gummy bears are free after RR this week, so that's a nice filler item.

The register gave me another $7 bonus wys $25. Sigh. I don't need it, unless there's a really good sale. Next week doesn't look too great, so we'll see.

Trans 2

4 x Kit Kat $7.96
2 x Mitchum $3.98
1 x Gummi Bears $1.99
Less 2 Mitchum qs (2.00)
Less 10000 points (10.00)
Tax $0.24
OOP $2.17

Earned 1000 points ($1) Mitchum and 30 everyday points and $1.99 RR (gummi bears)

So grand total spent today : $19.98
Total rewards earned : 17130 points ($17.13) and $3.98 RR. So $21.11 earned

I know that there's 5 bags in 2nd pic, but I only purchased 4. We don't eat much candy, but this is DS's favorite, so he opened a bag the minute I got The rest of the candy is for halloween.

My account says that I now have $70 in rewards. What on earth. I'm supposed to be spending down points, not accumulating more. I want to try and use points for RR deals next week. I don't like this new rule of only being able to redeem up to $5 reward per transaction.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

I'm still here - I'm sick

I apologise for my lack of posts. I've been so busy with work and then I got sick a little over a week ago. I spent the past 2 days in bed all day. I'm so over the flu. I'm finally beginning to feel human again, so will be back to posting soon.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

My $6.09 for 16 items Ibotta Walmart trip

Last week Ibotta had a $10 bonus offer. I had to purchase 15 items to earn $10 bonus (number of items varies by user). So off to Walmart I went. I've read that people were finding peelies on the Softsoap Earth Blends items, but alas, there were none at my store

Round 1

Quaker rice chips $1.50
Quaker oatmeal 2.34
Softsoap bar soap 2.97
2 Softsoap hand soap $1.96
Forto coffee shot 1.98 (free after rebate)
Barilla pesto 2.78
Band aids 1.93
Tax 0.41
OOP $15.87

Earned $9.28

Round 2

I waited until the rebates reset, to do round 2

Quaker oatmeal $3.24
Barilla pesto 2.78
Ballpark hot dog buns 1.98
Lala yogurt smoothie 0.88 (free after rebate)
Softsoap hand soap 0.98
Band aid 1.93
Breakstone sour cream 1.99
Tax 0.17
OOP $13.95

Earned $16.43

Also the Sargento sweet snacks that I paid for with WAGs rewards, counted towards this deal. Earned 50c.

Total OOP : $32.30
Total earned : $26.21

Total cost for 16 items after Ibotta rewards = $6.09

During the first trip, I wanted to check the different oatmeal prices. I always calculate unit price, to see which sized item is the best value. However, there were no shelf tags and no scanners. When I went to Walmart the 2nd time around, there were shelf tags, so I gladly grabbed the bigger oatmeal container.

18 oz oatmeal $2.34 (0.13c per ounce)
42 oz oatmeal $3.24 (0.08c per ounce)

With the exception of the coffee shots, we use everything. I'm especially happy that I got oatmeal and pesto (my favorite) at such a good price.

 I also picked up this Bic Soleil razor pack for $3.47 (incl tax). Earned $4 Checkout51, so a 53c MM (moneymaker).

I should've checked the limit before going shopping, because I didn't know it was a limit of 2. I just read about the deal online and added it to my shopping list. Oh well, I'm not gonna make a special trip to Walmart just for an extra pack of razors. I'll wait until I do my weekly shopping there again.

I've been cherry picking at Meijer and doing the bulk of my grocery shopping at Walmart and Sams. I'm always amazed at the price differences when I buy something 'new' at Walmart. Last week I was planning on buying more Johnsonville breakfast sausage (the only brand I'll eat) at Meijer, since it was on sale for $3 (regular price $4.29). Well, when I was at Walmart and checked the price, I saw that their regular price is $2.98. Unbelievable Meijer!!

I know that Walmart gets a bad rap (my closest store leaves a lot to be desired, but I have a few other nicer locations where I can shop), but you just can't beat their prices.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Shopping the past 2 weeks

Here are a few good deals I scored the past 2 weeks

Kroger mega event (amounts are after the Mega event discount)

2 x Colgate Optic White $3.98
1 x Colgate Total $1.99
1 x Stayfree $1.99
1 x Kotex 1.99
1 x Epic bar $2.00
Less Colgate DQ (4.00)
Less Colgate DQ (2.00)
Less Epic DQ (2.00) Friday freebie
Tax $0.59
OOP : $3.34

Earned 50c back through Savingstar for Epic bar, so total cost $2.84

My plan was for no more than $1.50 OOP, but Kroger was OOS on the other items that I had DQs for, so I had to improvise

Walgreens. I don't really like spending much cash OOP, but I wanted the $10 wys $25 bonus and you don't earn the bonus if you use points to pay.

1 x Gain $4.99
1 x Tide 4.99
4 x Irish Spring $15.96
1 x Newspaper $2.00
Less 2 x Irish Spring qs (2.00)
Less Gain DQ (2.00)
Less CATS (9.00)
Tax 1.56
OOP $16.50

Received $20270 points. Approx $20 worth points ($10 bonus $10 Irish Spring). The rest of the points were everyday points that you earn on any purchase. I was on my way out when I did this deal. When I checked my receipt the next day, I saw that my $2 Tide DQ didn't deduct. Ugh! Too much hassle for me to contact them over $2.


4 x Softsoap bw $15.96
Less Softsoap DQ (1.00)
Less CAT (4.00)
Less BR (10.00)
Tax 0.96
OOP $1.92

Earned $10 BR. So $1.92 for 4 bottles of bw or 48c each


2 x Shick Razors $14.00
1 x All detergent $2.99
1 x Sargento sweet breaks $1.79
Less Schick DQ (7.00)
Less All DQ (1.00)
Tax $1.02
Less BR used (10.00)
OOP $1.80

Earned $2 BR and 50c Ibotta (Sargento)

I had a different pack of Shick razors in my hand and then I spotted these bonus packs. 4 Extra razors, yes please! I always grab bonus packs when it's available. Why not? If it costs the same price as the regular item, then I'll gladly take the free extras.

I'm trying to spend down my points, because from 11/08 you will only be able to redeem up to $5 in BR....grrrrr. Bye Bye WAGS. This is a bad decision on your part.

And whaddya know - WAGS gave me another $10 bonus WYS $25. I'm gonna try and double dip with the PG deal this week.

When I was at Sams 2 weeks ago, I noticed that their cheese slices were $5.98 (down from $12). Signs said $5.98 wyb 8, but it worked for me. I bought 4 packs of cheese (we love cheese), but think I need to go back and get some more to freeze. This is even cheaper than the grocery store and the cheese tastes much better too.

Friday, September 28, 2018

July & August Numbers

I've been crazy busy with work and we also had a death in the family. I feel like I'm constantly behind and can hardly catch up with things. I've been getting up earlier, so that I can be more productive. 

I've decided to just combine the 2 months numbers into one post, since it's already very late. So without further ado, here we go:

Gift cards earned

Mypoints $175 Kohls
Swagbucks : $75 Target & Kohls
IGC : $10 Target
Ibotta : $70 Kohls
Savingstar : $0 - not enough funds to cash out yet
Checkout51 - nothing requested yet

So onto the gc balances:

Previous balance $15.36
Added : $270
Spent : $90.51
New balance : $194.85

Previous balance $100
Added : $60
Spent : $150.00
New balance : $5.00

Previous balance : $155.18
Added : $0
Spent : $83.69
Total : $71.49

Previous balance : $40.27
Added : $0 
Spent : $40.27
Total : $0


Previous balance : $59.31
Earned $0
Spent : 0
New balance : $59.31

DSW - $25.00 (I let my $5 reward expire. It just wasn't worth my time to go to the store to spend $5)

WHBM - $50.00

Starbucks : $35 

Total Gift Cards : $440.65

Total earned from online sales (after fees) : $261.78
Plus previous balance $633.79
Less expenses : $83.20
New Balance : $812.37

So we have a total of $1253.02 in cash and gcs for holiday shopping and whatever clothing items we need for the rest of the year. 

On the shopping front. 

$24.91 - workout gear at TJM
$15.90 - denim jacket for DS
$42.39 - the black dress I got for myself
And then used the GAP gcs for the sweaters I got.

The Target gcs were used to buy a pool for the backyard, a new game for DS (I promised him that I'd buy a new game once I've saved up enough gcs)  and some hair color. 

Walmart gcs were used to buy another Christmas gift and also the cake for the party.

Kohls gcs were used to purchase a big ticket Christmas gift

$15K savings goal

Starting balance : $1328.65
Plus 52 wk plan : $567.29
Plus sales : $373.42
Less purchases : $0
New Balance : $2269.36

I think I spent around $5 OOP when I redeemed Kohls cash. I have to check the receipt. 

$1 Savings
Previous balance : $91
Added : $22
Total : $113

$5 Savings 
Previous balance : $180
Added : $0
Total : $180

Friday, September 14, 2018

This week's drugstore fun

My plan was to hit all 3 drugstores this week, since there were some good deals to be had by all. However, I've read many reports that RA wasn't accepting the $3 Rimmel q, so I wasn't gonna waste my time going through all that.

CVS was, hands down, the best store to shop this week. But with no RP coupons and only 1 SS insert, I missed out on many deals. Something is either wrong with our Metro paper or it's just Meijer. I know that there were supposed to be 2 SS inserts last week. However I only found one insert in the local paper. The Metro paper hasn't had any inserts in weeks. This is the paper that Dollar Tree carries and one weekend they had a sign that said "No coupons" on the newspaper stand at DT. I sure hope this issue gets resolved soon, cause there's so many deals to be had, if you have all the right coupons.

On to the deals.

CVS - I started out with $10 EBs that I earned from the detergent deal

Trans 1

2 x Colgate mouthwash $7.98
2 x Colgate t/brush $7.98
1 x Scope mouthwash $3.99
1 x One a day gummies $4.00
1 x Colgate t/paste $3.50


2 x Colgate qs (2.00)
2 x Colgate t/b qs (2.00)
1 x One a Day q (4.00)
Colgate CRT (2.50)
Colgate DQ (0.50)
Less Scope DQ (1.00)
$3/10 Mouthwash q (3.00)
EBs (10.00)

Sales Tax : 0.97
OOP : $3.42
Received $11 EBs ($4 Colgate t/b, $4 Colgate mouthwash, $3 Scope)

I had man Qs for Colgate optic white, but my store was out of these.

Trans 2

2 x Speedstick $6.00
3 x Softsoap b/w $10.47
Less Speedstick app q (2.02) this was supposed to be $3. I don't know why CVS always adjusts the price down on their store qs. It's not as if there was any overage Ugh
Less $2/8 bw DQ (2.00)
Less EBs from Trans 1 (11.00)

Sales Tax : 0.87
OOP : $2.32

Earned : $7 EBs ($5 Softsoap, $2 Speedstick)
Trans 2 counts towards Beauty Reward. Spend $30 get $3 EB

The $2/8 bw q was a suprise. The q stated that it's for Dove products, but register automatically deducted it.

The cashier stood with her mouth hanging open when she saw the register total go down from $19 to $ Felt like the good old days when we used to shop til we drop at CVS

Total OOP for 12 items = $5.74

Walgreens (WAGS)

I had 3 x $5 CATS from a deal I did 2 weeks ago. I noticed that they're expiring this coming Sunday, so I figured I'd better use them and spend down some points while I'm at it (I still had $60 worth)

Trans 1

2 x Colgate t/p $7.98
1 x Candy bar 0.59

Less Colgate q (1.00)
Less Colgate dq (0.50)
Less CAT (5.00)
Less $2 BR (Balance Rewards points) (2.00)

Sales Tax : 0.48
OOP : $0.55
Received $4 CAT for buying 2 Colgate

I had to add the candy filler item, because your number of qs must match the number of items purchased (insert eyeroll here)

Trans 2

2 x Colgate $7.98
1 x Candy bar 0.59

Less Colgate q (1.00) Last q I had left
Less CAT (5.00)
Less BR (3.00)

Sales Tax : 0.48
OOP : $0.05
Received $4 CAT for buying 2 Colgate

Total OOP for 6 items = $0.60

Whoo hoo, I didn't know that the BR covers sales tax too. I added the candy, so that I could use at least $2 worth of points (before sales tax). By adding the candy bar, it worked out even better because my OOP is lower.

I also received a CAT for earn $10 WYS $25 and $7 for $25 Beauty. So I've worked out a deal to use $9 CATs and qs to earn this reward next week. I can't use BR on this transaction. because I won't earn the bonus points if I do. So let's hope it works.

July & August numbers to follow

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Wags & CVS Shopping

I haven't done much drugstore shopping over the past few weeks (except for free Crest at RA 2 weeks ago), so today I headed to WAGS to use some rewards. I have no clue when the rewards are expiring, so I figured I might as well use them before they do.

There were quite a few DQ (digital coupons), so I headed to the store with my list

1 x All Detergent $2.99
1 x Oxi Clean 3.99
3 x Covergirl B2G1F $10.98
2 x Schick disposable razors $14.00
4 x Crest t/p $11.96
2 x Colgate t/p $5.98
Less All DQ (1.00)
Less Oxi Clean DQ (2.00)
Less Covergirl DQ (3.00)
Less Schick DQ (7.00)
Less Crest DQ (4.00)
Less Crest MQ (1.00)
Less Colgate qs (4.00)
Less Reward (20.00)
Tax 2.99
OOP $10.89

Received $6 RR (Register Reward) for Crest. I also received a CAT for $5 bonus points WYS $20

I started with 44160 points ($50 reward) and ended with 45450 points ($55 reward)

Don't ask me how. I still don't understand WAGS math. I know that I earned $4 for the Colgate & Schick. The other $15 was bonus points ($5 Beauty, $5 for spending $25, $5 August boost).

Now unlike other drugstores, WAGS doesn't give you a detailed list of rewards earned on your receipt. I had to wait until I got home to check my online account. Ugh.

I also noticed that 2 of my DQs didn't deduct ($3 Covergirl, $1 Crest). I'm so upset, because I actually have paper qs for these items too. I also wish that they would allow you to use available rewards for the entire total. I have $50 worth, but could only use $20. Sigh. I know they're doing this to get you to keep spending money there. I'm trying not to spend much OOP there, but it's hard when the DQs don't work in your favor. With a paper q, you know exactly what has/hasn't deducted.

Oh well, I guess $4.89 after rewards for everything above (13 items), isn't too shabby. I should go back and get more Colgate, since I have 2 more qs. Who doesn't like free t/p

Last week CVS had 30% off online orders. I've never shopped drugstores online, but they had a great offer on PG detergent and also DQs to use. Buy $15 detergent get $5 EB, Buy $20 Tide or Gain, get $5.

So I bought:

1 x 100 oz Tide 15.29
1 x 100 oz Gain 14.79
Less Tide DQ (3.00)
Less Gain DQ (2.00)
Less 30% (7.53)
Less $4 EB (4.00)
Tax 1.35
OOP $14.90 and earned back $10 EB

I really need to hit RA, cause I have BC expiring soon. I have a plan, but of course that got waylaid by our printers this time. There's always something. My new printer's barcodes don't seem to scan at any stores. DH's printer is low on ink, so no good printing. I have to switch printers with DS (who has my old printer, that hasn't been connected yet). So hopefully I can get that done tomorrow and get my shopping done. Not to mention I'm still dealing with this spreadsheet problem. I haven't even looked at the current CVS ad yet. I need to see if there's any good deals.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

South African Frikkadel (meatball) recipe

I'm still here. I've been so busy going to tractor pulls this summer, so please excuse my absence.  I'm always exhausted from too much sun, the day after. I'm also still working on spreadsheets. Ugh, it looks like I'm gonna have to buy new accounting software and I really don't want to spend that $200+ on it. However, it's much needed so I'm just gonna have to suck it up and buy the software.

As requested by Linda, here's the South African frikkadel (meatball) recipe. Now, this is not the exact recipe I grew up eating. The old school recipe omits the Paprika, thyme and mint. Instead we added some grated green pepper and tomato.  I also replace my ground beef (mince) with ground turkey.

Of course this recipe has been tweaked over the years by people adding different herbs and spices. So you can mix this up any way you want.

Frikkadel is typically served with mashed potatoes and sweet corn and maybe a tomato/onion relish (just fry some diced tomato, onions, green pepper, salt, pepper, a dash of sugar for the tartness, until tomato is cooked down).

Bon Appetit


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

My workout gear bargains

While running errands last week, I stopped at TJ Maxx to see if I could find any clearance t-shirts for DS. I'm currently trying to stockpile summer stuff (for next summer) by shopping the clearance sales. Well I didn't find anything for DS, but scored these Under Armour items for myself.

Holy smokes Batman! Did TJM have great UA clearance in all departments. I've actually been on the lookout for workout bras, so I was very happy to find these babies. They were $8, originally $24.99 each.

Boy am I glad I can still fit into kids sizes. The t-shirt and shorts are both teen size XL (age 16). The shirt was $4.50 (orig $24.99) and shorts $3 (orig $19.99)

My oop was $24.91 (incl tax). Original retail value $94.96 (excl tax). So almost 75% saving.

I was really happy with my score, because I love this brand. My store had lots of other clearance items. The yellow stickers are Final clearance prices. They normally run this sale over 4th July, but moved it back this year. Probably because most people don't care to shop over the holiday.

Over the weekend, I also noticed a $25 coupon from Chico's in my email. I only noticed this email on the last day it was valid. I scored a pair of jeans and sweater for $11.58 oop.

$4.98 items
$5.95 shipping
$0.65 tax

I've only shopped at this store once, because their prices are so high. However, this is the 2nd year that I've received this q. Last year they offered free shipping though, so I scored a free pair of jeans.

Now y'all might think that I'm crazy to just spend money oop on things I might not need. Well there's method to my madness. I can wear these items (I practically live in jeans during cold weather season) and when I'm done, I can sell it for $30-40 total (people will pay for the brand) So I'll be making a profit on something that I get to enjoy too. Saves me from spending extra cash to buy new jeans when I need it.

So that's my shopping for this month to date. $36.49 oop for $292.96 worth of products

Do you also now see why I don't believe in paying full price? That's because stores mark their products way up (as my dad used to say - you're paying for the designer's name). Well, I like my designer stuff, but not designer prices. Sometimes I do think that I'm a bit cheap to not want to pay more for an item, but then I think of how hard I have to work for that money and that makes me feel better about being cheap :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Stockpiling item of the week & some freezer cooking

Please bear with me regarding monthly numbers. I'm experiencing computer problems - again! I did get a 'new' computer last month. It's refurbished, because I needed one with Windows 7. The new computers all have Windows 10, which is slower than 7.

So the 'new' computer has been giving me problems and when I tried to install spreadsheet software, it wouldn't work. The download would freeze halfway through. We finally figured it out today. That the problem is with the computer, not the software. So I have to install it on DS's computer tomorrow. Sigh.

I'm always on the lookout for food to stockpile. This week Meijer has Italian Sausage & Brats on sale for $3. Not the greatest price, but I figured it would make some nice meals.  For some reason we haven't bought any Italian Sausage in years. Don't ask me I also bought 6 lbs sweet onions that were cleaned, sliced/diced (the diced were frozen). Freezing produce serves a double purpose for me. The produce doesn't get wasted and it's ready to use when I have to cook.

I bought 3 x Italian, 2 x Beer Brats & 2 x Ground Italian.

The ground will be used for lasagna or meat sauce.

The sausage have been bagged with sliced onion. I've kept one bag out for Friday night and the rest have been frozen. I can throw this with some sliced peppers (I need to get more from the produce market) and a can of Rotel (optional) into the Instant Pot for 15 minutes for an easy meal. This will go onto a hot dog bun and served with baked potatoes and salad. Easy peasy.

I like to prepare freezer meals whenever I'm done shopping, with the approach of busy work season. That way I can just dump the contents into Instant Pot, steam vegetables on the side and not have to worry much about fixing dinner at night. This is also great for when you're sick or too busy (keeps us from just picking up fast food constantly)

I also picked up some ground turkey and organic chicken breasts at Sams. I made fajita chicken with 4lbs of the chicken (one package). I added some Mexican rice, black beans, cheese, red onion, lettuce to make the Mexican chicken bowl above. I also made fresh Pico de gallo that I added inside the cheese quesadillas. That was dinner last night. Unfortunately, we were out of sour cream

I'll keep some leftover chicken out for lunch and the rest will be frozen into 1lb portions for easy mexican meals.

I used half of the turkey to make Frikkadel (a South African meat patty) and salads for Monday's dinner. Half were frozen too. So that gives us 3 different meals, but there's enough for at least 7-8  meals. I need to buy some pasta sauce and cook the meat sauce to freeze.

We finally finished this bottle of Cascade on 8/6. Just 2 days shy of using it for 8 months! That's $2.50 for 8 months or $0.01 per day (I just used 30 day months). That's a new record for us, since we run the dishwasher daily. No dishwasher tabs for me. I still have a huge amount of Cascade liquid in my stockpile, so I'm happy about that.

Hoping to be back with July numbers next.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

A few things I've done the past few weeks

July was a crazy busy month, so I didn't have much time to shop or blog. Here's a few things that I did the last few weeks.

Redeemed $125 worth gift cards ($100 Kohls, $25 Target)

Used the Kohls gc that purchase a big ticket Christmas item and 2 long sleeve shirts for DS. My total came to over $100, but in true Kohls fashion, some of the items were cancelled. My new total came to $90.51, but I still received $20 Kohls cash. No problem. I used the Kohls cash to buy items to make money towards my $15K goal.

I swear I have the worst luck with online orders. Something always goes wrong. Oy vey. I ordered some sweaters (I didn't own any sweaters) for myself when Gap had 40% off + extra 10% off. So I used the balance of my GAP gcs and $5.14 on my CC. Well, one sweater that was shipped separately, never arrived. When I checked the tracking, I saw that only a shipping label was created. The item never left their warehouse. So they issued me a credit. $5.14 to my CC and a check for $2.28.

They said they couldn't issue a $2.28 gc, because the amount was under $5. So they spent money on paper, printer ink, envelope and a stamp, to send me a check for under $5. Yep, that makes perfect sense

I also splurged on a new dress at Marshalls. After attending numerous important meetings, I realised that I hardly had any dress clothes. Of the few items I have, most were outdated. So when I saw this dress at Marshalls, I fell in love. It cost me $39.99 + tax. Retail price is $89.

So for July, I spent less than $50 on clothes.

I also got DS a new game that he wanted at Target. I told him a few months ago that he could get the game when I have enough gcs to pay for it. So I paid a whopping $63.59 for a game. These video game manufacturers sure know how to rip us off.

I've also been stockpiling blueberries since they are on sale at Meijer $1.25/pint. I've been washing and freezing most, because I pay over $10 for a 4 or 6 lb frozen blueberry bag at Sams during winter. I can buy frozen blueberries at Dollar Tree, but the Meijer ones are locally grown and so delicious.

On Monday I decided to turn on the oven to bake (I rarely use the oven during summer). A friend gave me about a 30lb bag of fresh wheat from their fields. I mentioned that I wanted to try a whole wheat bread recipe, so when they harvested, she asked if I wanted some. I have some really generous friends.

So I baked these 2 loaves and it was so good. The recipe is from a grocery store in SA. I was trying to duplicate the whole wheat bread that they sell. I replaced one cup of flour with a cup of crushed wheat and it made a huge difference. The loaves were small though, so I'll make 6-8 loaves, next time I bake bread again. I will also add some honey and olive oil, so that it's not too dry.

Bread recipe

I also made a chicken pot pie for dinner, 2½ dozen carrot/pineapple muffins and 1 dozen blueberry muffins (with those fresh blueberries).

That's about it for me. I still need to crunch numbers, but I currently have a cold.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

My $33 cupcake party for 30 people

As I've mentioned before, I had a surprise party last week. I heard about someone leaving and thought it might be a nice idea to throw a small surprise farewell. Nothing elaborate with lots of food & drink. I just settled for cupcakes, fresh fruit (since this person loves fruit) and drinks. I could've gone the whole nine yards, but there wasn't enough notice. 

My first stop was at Dollar Tree for some supplies (plates, serving trays, balloon, card)

OOP $10.07

Then I went to Meijer for fruit. I also bought 3 packs of juice boxes for the kids. I cashed in pop cans to the tune of $7.70 and used a $3 Mperks reward only paid $23 OOP. I actually bought way too much fruit. We only needed half, so the rest was eaten and also frozen.

Then at Sams I picked up 60 cupcakes. They sell 30ct cupcakes for $14.99. There were only ones with Happy Birthday decorations, so these were the best I could find. I actually like the ice cream decorations. Paid with a Walmart gc, so zero OOP

Then I grabbed 2 x $15 Red Robin gcs (the ones I bought at Sams before) and placed it inside the 50c Hallmark card that I bought at Dollar Tree. So that was the person's gc.

I also had lots of 2 Litre Canada Dry Lemonade (that we got for free or near free through Ibotta before) for the adults. 

So total OOP was $33.07 and everyone had enough to eat. I was so worried that it might not be enough food, but it was definitely enough.

I actually enjoyed planning this simple party, because I spent so little and everyone had a good time. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Some shopping deals

I'm still here. Between a funeral, some personal business, a spur of the moment surprise party, summer & work, I've been really busy. I will try my best to write 2-3 blog posts per week. No promises though, because from now until the end of January, I'll be very busy with work.

Here are just a few deals I did today.

This week Meijer has select GM cereals on sale for $2.50 and wyb 4, you save $4 instantly. There's also a CAT deal wyb 4, you earn $3 OYNO. So here's what I got

4 x Cheerios $10.00
Less instant discount (4.00)
Less 2 x $1/2 qs (2.00)
OOP $4.00
Received $3 CAT and $1 Savingstar. So 4 free boxes of cereal.

I will print more qs from DH & DS's computers and do the deal a few more times. Since the Savingstar offer has already been redeemed, the cereal will cost 25c each.

Walgreens (WAGS)

2 x Poise Liners $11.98
2 x Benadryl itch relief sticks $5.23 (B1G50% off 2nd)
Less L2C Poise (3.0)
Less Poise Monthly booklet q (2.00)
Less 2 Benadryl qs (2.00)
Less $10 Reward used (10.00)
Sales tax 1.03
OOP $1.24

Received $4 Ibotta poise and a free photobook CAT (wyb 2 Benadryl)

Earned $3 reward (wyb 2 Benadryl)

So, I only bought these items, because I read that the Poise is a big MM. I still don't understand how it's a MM (unless there's another Man q available). I have to go find that post again, to check the details. Since I only paid $1.24 OOP and earned $4 cash back, I guess it's a MM deal for me :)

I started off with $50 in Balance rewards and I still have $50 available after today's trip. I'm not even gonna mess with the points, because it's too much of a mess to work through. I still don't understand it. I do have less points than before, but I still end up with the same Dollar amount. Huh?! (scratching

I also placed an online Target order. Ibotta currently has a $5 bonus reward when you place one mobile order. The Target men's beauty box is currently $5 with free shipping (includes samples and 1 full size Old Spice item). So I paid $5.30 with a gc, earned a whopping 5c cash back (it's still money in my pocket) and should get $5 bonus through Ibotta. So total cost will be 25c for the box, but that was covered by a gc, so free to me. Yay!

I also stopped at Dollar Tree for bread, but they only had some horrible white dinner rolls and english muffins. I don't eat white bread and none of us care for English muffins. I did pick up a few other items, but left everything behind because the checkout line was so long with only one register open. Meanwhile, they had staff stocking shelves all over the store. I'll make another trip on Thursday (cashier told me they get bread on Tuesday and Thursday).

I was also hoping to score some Sunday newspapers at DT, but none of them had any q inserts, so that was a bust.

I will wait until the Poise deal resets on Ibotta, then hit WAGS and Meijer again. I'm mainly interested in those free photobooks. They will make nice Christmas gifts and I don't have to pay that heavy shipping costs that Shutterfly charges.

I also shopped Kohls on Sunday and bought a big ticket Christmas gift and 2 shirts for DS. I had a few more items, but in typical Kohls fashion they were somehow OOS. Paid for everything with gcs (around $90. I need to check the updated total now that some stuff were cancelled) and earned $20 Kohls cash. So Kohls is also on my shopping list this week. I still have $25 Y2Y reward to use before the end of the month.

That's my shopping thus far. I haven't even checked the ads for the other drugstores yet.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

June numbers - very late

I know this is wayyyyy late. I've been in holiday mode since the end of June. I've been lazing by the pool, shopping, dining out and just plain doing nothing. It's rare for me to just take time off like this, so I enjoyed it to the fullest. I had absolutely zero interest in writing a blog post, but that's all behind me So onto the numbers we go.

It's been a really slow earning month on all point earning sites.Lots of things not working, so the numbers are low. I do,however, remain thankful for the extra cash in my pocket :)

Gift cards earned

Mypoints $0
Swagbucks : $25
IGC : $50 (Kohls, Target) 
Ibotta : $50 Walmart
Savingstar : $0 - not enough funds to cash out yet
Checkout51 - I requested a $20.75 check that will be added to $15K fund
Total gcs earned in January : $180 (excluding CK51) 

So onto the gc balances:

Previous balance $146.57
Added : $25 (Mypoints)
Spent : $106.21 Kohls + $50 Christmas gift transfer
New balance : $15.36

Previous balance $70
Added : $30 (Swagbucks, Bing) 
Spent : $0 
New balance : $100

Previous balance : $66.44
Added : $100 Ibotta & CC
Spent : $11.26 (Lance crackers)
Total : $155.18

Previous balance : $40.27
Added : $0 
Spent : $0
Total : $40.27


Previous balance : $59.31
Earned $0
Spent : 0
New balance : $59.31

DSW - $25.00 + $5 reward

WHBM - $50.00


Previous balance : $15.00
Spent $15.00
Balance : $0 (pending credit which I still haven't received)

Starbucks : $35 

Total Gift Cards : $385.12

Total earned from online sales (after fees) : $195.33
Plus previous balance $465.57
Less expenses (27.11) $23.15 was for my BBW purchase
New Balance : $633.79

So we have a total of $1018.91 in cash and gcs for holiday shopping and whatever clothing items we need for the rest of the year. 

So, the Kohls number is a little off. I only shopped at Kohls once this month. However, I told my friend I was gonna order a gc through my CC as a Christmas gift. I wasn't sure about redeeming for a small amount, because I would've preferred a larger gc. So my friend told me to just get a gc to use for our household and then take the cash amount out of household (eg groceries) and save it towards a bigger gc. Brilliant idea. Then I thought, why not get a Kohls gc, buy some items to resell and use that money to buy a bigger gc. Even better idea. So off to Kohls I went with $50 gc and bought items to sell (which should bring me about $125). I also earned $10 Kohls cash which I used to buy 3 more items to sell, which should bring even more money. I'm counting on $150 total in my pocket. See how that $50 gc is growing :) BUTTTTTT The day after my Kohls trip I tried to redeem my CC points for a $50 Kohls gc. Except, they didn't have any Kohls gcs available :( So I ordered a Walmart gc instead, cause Walmart is on my shopping list too). 

So long story short. I traded a $50 Kohls for a $50 Walmart card. So these numbers are reflected on my gc amounts above.

$15K savings goal

Starting balance : $844.21
Plus 52 wk plan : $282.16
Plus sales : $181.53
Plus CK51 check : 20.75
Less purchases : $0
New Balance : $1328.65

$1 Savings
Previous balance : $76
Added : $15
Total : $91

$5 Savings 
Previous balance : $155
Added : $25
Total : $180

I sure hope that the point earning sites will pick up soon, because I still need to earn a lot of gcs for BF shopping and it's already the middle of July. Our cash situation is a lot better, so I don't know why I'm so worried. Probably because I feel less guilt when I pay with a gc versus cash. 

So that's our holiday savings/shopping numbers to date. How have you done with saving/shopping for Christmas?

I did quite a bit of drugstore shopping last week, so need to work on that post. I hit all 3 stores last week and stocked up on P&G items. 

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