Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Garlic in the Ground, Tomatoes out of the Ground and Tulip Bulbs Planted

Before the rains invaded the Pacific Northwest...I got 50 cloves of garlic in the ground!  I love the garlic I grew last year and look forward to having some to share next year. 
Silverskin Garlic ~ Silver Rose
I ignored my tomatoes, I didn't water them, they were trampled on while our house was being painted and yet...they still grew for me.  Granted, had they been treated with a bit more love and respect, I would have had a much larger yield ~ but I was pleasantly surprised.  I had enough to can some salsa and put several gallon sized freezer bags full of fresh tomatoes into the freezer to use later to make pizza sauce.
My first attempt at canning salsa turned out well. I used my own grown tomatoes, onions, garlic and jalapeno's for this salsa.  My goal is to make enough next year that I won't
have to buy salsa for an entire year.  Baby steps!
How do you get your hubby to help you garden? him a gardening bit to put on his cordless drill.  It was amazing how enthusiastic he got when I showed him that new toy!
This drill bit made fast work of my 68 tulip bulbs!
My first attempt at braiding garlic...isn't it beautiful!??

Double Coupons @ Albertsons

Tonight I used the last of my double coupons at Albertsons.  I always dread going...but when I get in my car and realized I paid a faction of the full retail price...I am always glad I took the time to coupon. 

Today I was able to get 10 cans of soup for 15 cents a piece by utilizing a sale, a double coupon and a $2.50 register reward (catalina) I earned.  Normally a can costs $1.29 so it feels good to only pay 15 cents for each can.  I predict a winter full of sloppy joes (using tomato soup).  I was also really excited to get Secret deoderant for only 19 cents a piece!  To think that at one time I would have been happy to pay $2.19 for one. 

Here's what I got tonight:

10 cans of soup, 3 Fuze drinks, 4 boxes of cocoa, 3 Pam sprays, 2 bags of chocolate chips and 4 units of deoderant.  Full Retail ~ $60.22.  I paid ~ $16.01...a savings of 73%.  These are things I needed and was thrilled with the savings.

Rumor is that Albertsons will be having double coupons again next week.  I am hoping to get some great deals on holiday baking supplies.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I'm baaacckk...

I cannot believe that I have not blogged since the first week of July.  It has been a busy life...too busy really.  I didn't get enough time to enjoy gardening and I certainly didn't have time to coupon...which is reflected in an out of control grocery budget.  To be honest, I think I burned out on couponing for a bit but after getting low on items and having to pay full price...I realized that I don't want to pay full price if I don't have to.  Hence...I have gotten more motivated to coupon.  I will spend over my monthly budget this month but that is because I am trying to stock up on some needed items.  I should be back on track next month.

Here are my deals this past week:


2 boxes of pasta and 4 jars of Ragu pasta sauce. 
Retail:  $11.64.  Paid: $2.29  ~  81% Savings!


3 boxes of kleenex (I did this same transactaion 2 times for a total of 6 boxes)
Retail:  $4.43  Paid:  $2.71  ~  39% Savings.  Not a super savings but we were seriously low on kleenex after my favorite youngest daughter caught a nasty cold and went through an alarming amount of this stuff!

Ace Hardware:

I loved this deal.  I was able to get this toilet paper for $1.00 (plus SST)!  The had a coupon, plus I was able to use a $5.00 loyalty card reward they sent me!  Score!
Retail:  $10.08  Paid:  $1.09  ~  90% Savings!

Albertsons (sorry for the blurry pic):

Doiuble coupons are out!  1 bag of Tostitos and 2 tubes of toothpaste.
Retail:   $10.01  Paid:  $1.04  ~  90% Savings


1 shampoo and 2 toothpaste.
Retail:  $11.11  Paid:  $1.34  ~  88% Savings


1 Shampoo and 2 laundry detergent.
Retail:  $18.23  Paid:  $6.04  ~  67% Savings!

Feels good to be back in the game again.  :)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sunday Breakfast at its BEST!

I saw a really wonderful recipe on a blog I follow and knew I had to attempt it.  I did not follow the recipe on the blog ~ rather I went online and found a shortcake recipe that I liked and built this wonderful dessert breakfast my way.

I will call this my 4th of July Special:


2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp shortening
3/4 cup 1/2 and 1/2

Preaheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Cut in butter and shortening.  Mix in 1/2 and 1/2.  Drop by large spoonfuls onto a baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes or until brown.  (Original recipe came from Alton Brown via the website.  I did adapt it a bit.)

While the shortcake is cooking, I washed and dried the strawberries (1 pound) and sliced them up; sprinkle with sugar and stir.  I then whipped up my whip cool whip for this girl ~ yuk!  I added sugar and a bit of vanilla to the heavy cream...I whipped mine until fairly firm. 

When the shortcake was cool, I broke it up and placed half of it on the bottom of my trifle bowl.  I topped that with half of my sliced strawberries, slathered half the whipped cream on the strawberries and topped with a cup of blueberries...and started the layer over again (red, white and blue).  

This dessert breakfast was amazing and I think I will be taking it with me to my families 4th of July get-together!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

2 Pizza's for under $9.00...

Pizza is a weekly event around our house...and because of that, I had to learn to make pizza for cheap.  Thanks to Winco...I can make one thin crust pizza (my hubby's favorite) AND one thick crust pizza (my favorite youngest daughter's favorite) for a total of $8.52.  This is enough pizza to stuff ourselves silly for dinner and have some for lunch the next day...unless your favorite youngest daughter and her friend raid the fridge for a midnight snack; then what's left is quickly grabbed by the hubby for his lunch leaving me without one bite of leftover pizza.  Doesn't seem fair does it?  Next time I make it, I am hiding the leftovers deep, deep, deep in the fridge and am eating every single bite myself!

I drizzle olive oil on the bottom of each pan and then add the dough.  I then pre-bake them for about 10 minutes in a preheated 425-450 degree oven.  I find that by baking the dough off for a bit...the crust is much firmer and doesn't get soggy from the toppings.

Next up ~ I used some Ragu pasta sauce that I stocked up on when it was 49 cents a jar.  Then came some shredded cheese and pepperoni.  On the thin crust I added some red onions and olives as well. 

All baked and ready to yummy!

Cost Breakdown:

Dough (Winco) ~ $1.48 each (I used two)
Cheese ~ $3.00
Pepperoni (Winco) ~ $1.28
Olives (Winco) ~ 78 cents
Onion ~ 25 cents
Ragu Sauce ~ 25 cents (I used 1/2 a jar which cost 49 cents)

Total for both pizza's ~ $8.52.

Monday, June 25, 2012

I didn't wanna do it...

I didn't wanna do it...I didn't want to go couponing on my lunch break. Somedays are like's a Monday, I am tired from a busy weekend and I just wanted to go to the break room and read for awhile. Thankfully, I made myself go to Albertsons today to take advantage of their double coupon deal...I did good!

Here's what I got...

Retail  ~  $88.90.  Paid ~ $ 81% savings. Not to bad!!!

My best Albertsons deal?

These razors normally cost $9.59 a package...which is crazy expensive. Albertsons has them on sale ~ buy 1 get 1 free.  PLUS I had a coupon for buy 1 get 1 free.  SO...these cost me $1.76 TOTAL which was actually the state sales tax. I got about $40.00 worth of razors for FREE. No to bad!

As I was strolling around Albertsons, I saw this sweet deal as well...

Poise is now making a panty liner. Even better, there was a coupon on this package to "try it free". I took that nice little "peelie" off of the package, handed it to the cashier and I got this for free. I saved myself $2.99.  I plan on picking up a few more of these.

After Albertsons I headed to Rite Aid...

What is it about getting into your 40's and having heartburn/acid reflux all of sudden? I know if I would quit eating carbs and dairy at night I would probably not be battling the acid but since I can't seem to stop doing that...I take Zantac.  Zantac is expensive.  Normally a package cost $10.79 at Rite Aid but today I was able to get it for 99 cents a package. How? They were on sale for $7.99, I had a $5.00 coupon and I received a $2.00 "UP" coupon for each box I bought.  I cannot use the "UP" coupon until tomorrow but it is still "free" money for a future purchase.

Retail ~ $58.42.  Paid ~ $ I earned $10.00 in "UP" coupons. Tomorrow I will be going back to get this same deal but it will only cost $11.64 because I will use my "UP" coupons.

I am so glad I took a lunch break and did some couponing...I went back to work with a pretty great attitude.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like...

Okay...I am going to say it.  It is beginning to look a lot like...Christmas!  Our weather the past two weekends has been so cold, gray and rainy that I feel like I am "hunkering" down for winter.  I am crafting, baking and gaining a big ol' bear that is getting ready for hibernation!  I hear sun is enroute and that by Friday we will hit 80 degrees.  It if doesn't, I may be going after the weather man at King5 News!

Here's what I have been up to this week:

On Friday it was our last day of school here in Lake Stevens.  My favorite youngest daughter decided to have a party...for four hours my house contained SEVENTEEN 14 year olds...yikes.  To make matters worst ~ it poured so those kids were unable to go outside and cook smores.  My little smore basket looked so cute...but it was all for naught!  My hubby was the hero of the night.  He braved the pouring rain to bbq burgers and hotdogs for the kids.  He was soaked!  Oh, the things we do for our kids.

Next up:

I started a quilt.  My favorite oldest daughter's best friend (Jenna) is getting married.  Years ago Jenna asked if I would make her a quilt when she got married...and I said yes.  My little Jenna never forgot and right after she told me she was getting married...she asked if she was getting a quilt for her wedding.  I am not a good quilter but I enjoy trying.  The only quilt I know how to make is a "Log Cabin in a Day" that is what she is getting.  I am crossing my fingers that it works...I seem to pick funky patterns and then pray it all comes together.  I am still praying about this one!

Finally...weeds or flowers?

The debate between my hubby and I is on.  My front yard flower garden started growing a large amount of these...things.  I have argued that they are flowers though I do not remember throwing any seeds in the ground...but I do have a habit of throwing things into the yard to see what happens. My hubby says they are weeds.  Today I saw flower buds...but it could be a fancy weed.  Regardless, I am pulling them out because they are overtaking all the other plants and flowers and they are not contributing much in the way of prettiness.

**Today Albertsons has double coupons in the Sunday paper.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day means Cinnamon Rolls

It's Father's Day and that means homemade cinnamon rolls.  Back in the old days, when they still offered Home Ec in high teacher taught us how to make these super yummy cinnamon rolls.  What I love about these is that they can be made...from beginning to about an hour.  You don't have to let the dough raise a couple of time for a couple of just mix, wait, roll and bake.  This recipe is a family favorite and always makes my hubby and kiddies very happy.

I like to roll out my dough really thin so I can have lot's of
layers of cinnamony sugary goodness.

I topped the dough with a cube of butter and a cube of margarine and added brown sugar by the handful until it was covered and then sprinkled cinnamon over all.  I like the unsalted butter and margarine combination because when these are done cooking the bottom of the cinnamon roll is crispy with a salty sweet delish!

All rolled up, sliced and ready to go into the 20 minutes they will be done!

Fresh out of the oven and topped with a quick cream cheese frosting I whipped up. 

Cinnamon Rolls

1¾ cups very warm water (approx. 110°)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs ~ beaten
3 T yeast
5¼ cups flour (okay to use up to 2 cups of wheat flour)
1 tsp. salt
1 t. vanilla

Combine warm water, oil, sugar and yeast in a large bowl and stir until just blended.  Cover with a light towel and let rest for 15 minutes.  Add beaten eggs, flour, salt and vanilla.  Mix until the dough forms a ball, if the dough remains sticky; keep adding flour slowly until the dough stiffens up into a ball.  Knead until smooth.  Roll out dough to a thin rectangle on a floured surface.  Spread dough with one cube of butter and one cube of margarine (or any combination you may desire); top with brown sugar and cinnamon.  Roll up and slice into 12 sections.  Place into a greased pan and let sit for 10 minutes.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until light brown.  Top with a frosting of your choice if desired.

**NOTE:  I must have been half asleep when I made these this morning because I forgot to add the 2 beaten eggs.  They tasted fine and I couldn't tell a difference.  Also, I don't knead these by hand anymore...that's what I have a Kitchen Aid for. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Still Trying to Get Into the Coupon Groove

This week I struggled, AGAIN, to focus on couponing...I don't even want to grocery shop.  What is wrong with me?  I did manage to make myself go, and I am glad I did!

Safeway had a great deal on some ice cream bars:

These are de bomb...but so expensive that I wouldn't buy these normally.  Full price is $4.49, on sale for $3.49 but if you buy 3 get an additional $3.00 off.  The price is now down to $2.49 each BUT I had three coupons for $2.00 each.  These cost me 49 cents a box.  They tasted really good!

Through I was able to get a good price on some dishwasher soap:

Buy utilizing a sale, "clipping" an online coupon and using a $5.00 gift card I earned from I got 60 dishwasher tabs for $5.23.  Not too bad!

Today I SCORED at Albertsons!  I was able to get $105.87 worth of groceries for only $22.25

In this picture is 5# of ground beef (85/15%), 4 bags of chips, 1 20ct single packages of chips, 6 Ken's Dressings, 2 gallons of ice cream, napa cabbage, 2 cantaloupe, 1 jalapeno pepper, 4 sour creams, 2 cream cheeses and 2 gallons of milk....all for $22.25.  I was able to save 79 percent by utilizing sales and using several coupons that I had earned.  Albertsons is back to being my favorite store. :) 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Damn Dogs

Two yorkies...they are on my naughty list!

Not only did they do a bunch of digging in my garden bed...they then walked throughout the entire house dumping my garden dirt along the way.  I am still not speaking to them.

Couponing Update

I took advantage of the Safeway's $5.00 Friday specials.  They had 3# packages of turkey for $5.00...I got 9#'s of turkey for $15.00...not too bad!

Lucerne eggs were on sale for 99 cents a dozen, Lucerne cheese was $5.00 and I bought some Lucerne Cottage cheese...and then I received $2.00 off automatically for buying $10.00 worth of Lucerne products...PLUS, I had an additional coupon off of Lucerne products.  Between taking advantage of sales and using coupons...I saved $9.00 on $16.44 worth of Lucerne products. 

As for the ground turkey...I saved $20.97 on $35.97 worth of meat.  Not a bad buy!

Next up...feminine hygiene.  Last year I thought I had enough of these on hand to last years...but my stash only lasted one year.  Time for some stockpiling!  Rite Aid had these on sale for 2/$5.00.  If you bought two, I was able to get a $2.00 UP coupon plus I could use (2) $1.00 off coupons.  These ultimately cost 50 cents a piece (plus some tax). 

It has been slow going getting back into the couponing groove...but I am working on it.  I have all my coupons clipped and stashed in my notebook and I am keeping up on my couponing blogs.  Time to start saving some more money again!  Getting a good deal is a very good feeling!

Monday, May 28, 2012

My Garden Update

This year I have had to take the attitude of..."whatever happens, happens...when it comes to my garden.  My knee has prevented me from doing weekend gardening marathons.  I can usually putt around the yard for an hour or two but then I start to feel the ache in my knee.  I am getting quite creative in how I kneel down to plant...I just hope no one can see me because I am sure I look a bit foolish.

Today I planted some seeds that should have been put in the ground a couple of weeks ago...but again...whatever happens, happens!  Here is what I did:

Here is what I planted...another row of spinach ( I LOVE this spinach), corn (decorative), lettuce (I LOVE this particular lettuce blend as well), 1 row of carrots (by my broccoli), and some beets.

This bed has my garlic, onions, 5 strawberry plants, 3 blueberry plants,
spinach, lettuce, radishes and some peas.

This bed has a few more onions, a couple of miniature red pepper plants, broccoli, corn (decorative), beets and I planted some more lettuce and spinach behind the artichoke plant.

An entire bed of tomatoes ~ I started these all from seed.  I am curious to see how these do.  This location does not get a lot of sun though it gets lots of heat.  Our trailer is parked right along the side this bed so it blocks the sun.  I am crossing my fingers that I get tomatoes.

This smaller bed is FULL of pumpkins and gourds.  In the center is a giant pumpkin plant and surrounding that are mini pumpkins and gourds.  I am sure these will all cross-contaminate so this is an experimental planting!

Paid $15.04 for $80.65 worth of Groceries!

Happy Memorial Day!  We were lucky enough to spend a couple of nights on Whidby Island.  My hubby and I took our favorite youngest daughter to a drive-in movie...SO MUCH FUN!  The drive-in was in Oak Harbor and was the cutest place.  While waiting we rode go carts and enjoyed munching on 50 cent hotdogs.  We watched Men in Black III.  To be honest with you...I don't care what movie we would have watched...just being there was great and it was a "first" for Cassidy. 

I am slow getting this coupon blog written...but better late then never.  Last week I took advantage of Albertsons double coupons.  After not couponing for almost 8 felt good to get some grocery bargains.  It is very satisfying to pay only $15.04 for $80.65 worth of groceries ~ a 81% savings.  Here's what I bought:

Summer time is coming up...and we love our smores around here.  By utilizing a sale and using double coupons, I paid $2.94 for all 6 bags of marshmallows.  Full price was $13.14...77% savings.

I ran out of I was happy to see shampoo on sale ~ and have a coupon for it.  **There should be 3 candy bars in this picture. 
Retal: $9.83   Paid: $2.47  ~  74% Savings!

Retail: $5.87  Paid: $1.29  ~  78% Savings

and...6 more bags of marshmallows. 
Retail: $13.14  Paid: $2.94  ~  77% Savings

Yahoo...I am stocked back up with Sweet Baby Rays, our family favorite. 
Retail: $27.90  Paid: $3.90  ~  86% Savings!!!!!

I loves these for breakfast...add a piece of fruit and a cup of coffe
and I am good for a few hours.
Retail: $10.77  Paid: $1.50  ~  86% Savings!!!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

7 weeks since the total knee replacement and every day life gets more back to normal...but I still don't get as much done in a day!  I am working full-time and doing more and more around the house but I am still frustrated that I don't have all my energy back. 

I am going to start couponing tomorrow...Albertson's is having double coupons!  I will post my buys later.

Here's what's been going on in my life lately:

My walla walla onion starts...they didn't get very big but I am
hoping that they still grow in the garden.

My first harvest...4 radishes!  I need to get some more planted. 
I am a bit behind in my gardening.

My hubby and my son-in-law.  We all went up to Lake Riley and they
were able to catch a couple of fish.  I on the other hand planted my
butt in my favorite reclining chair and soaked up all the sun!

Spinach salad tomorrow pretty does this look? 
I need to plant more of this too.

My garlic is looking good.

Here is one of my peonies...they are BEAUTIFUL this year! 
I have two of these in bloom right now and I just love looking at them.

An opportunity too good to pass up.  I had cornstarch on my hands
(from making some shortbread cookies) and my hubby was standing
there...and I just had to cop a feel!