Mailbox Freebies

Another fantastic week in our mailbox. Here’s what we received…

2 reusable Halloween bags from Kellogg’s. Link here.

Fructis sample and coupon from Target website.

Rudi’s organic coupons from the company.

Purine Active Life Dog chow sample & coupon from Walmart website.

Similac formula coupon

Bear Naked Cereal and coupon from Target website.

Downey Unstoppables sample.

Gucci Premiere perfume sample

Nectresse sample & coupon

$25 iTunes gift card from Monopoly Live Like a Millionaire promotion.

Did you get anything good in your mailbox?

School lunches

Lately there has been some debate over school lunches. We were notified at the beginning of the year that our daughters elementary school was raising the cost of lunch to $2.75. We were told the increase was due to having a healthier menu with fresher ingredients.

Im all for having healthier lunches and think it’s fantastic that our kids are being offered new choices. At first, I didn’t think anything of the price increase, but, when I went online to put money in her lunch account, I stopped and did the math.

At $2.75/day, with an average of 5 days a week, that equals $13.75 a week. Multiply that times 4 weeks in a month and your looking at $55 a month. There are 10 months of school (Sept – June) which results in $550 a year for school lunch. (I know that this is really an estimated number since it doesn’t take into account 1/2 days or conference or vacation days. It still is a staggering number. )

This prompted me to do some more math and calculate how much it would cost if she packed a lunch from home instead.

Here’s what I came up with: a loaf of bread for the week=$1, 1 lb deli meat =$4.99, Juice boxes for week $1, snack (usually yogurt or fruit) $1 for the week. That’s a total of $8 a week, $32 a month, and $320 a year. (Again, this is an estimated number, using the same factors as the other calculation.)

The savings of packing versus buying is $230 a year!!

I know the savings are much more than that because some weeks, we don’t need deli meat because Jasmine likes to bring leftovers for lunch. I also use coupons to get things like juice boxes and snacks for even less than calculated. She also brings a thermos with water in it which costs nothing!

I appreciate the efforts to bring nutritious lunches to kids at school. I also know that for some kids, that’s the healthiest meal that they may get all day. For our family, that is not the case. Financially, it makes more sense for us to provide her with lunch that I also know it nutritious and filling).

I didn’t want to ignore my daughters feelings towards buying lunch because last year, it was the cool thing to do and she preferred to do so. We had a family talk about it and Jasmine is perfectly happy with this. She buys lunch on Thursdays, because that’s pizza day, and the rest of the week she brings lunch from home. It’s a win win for everyone!

What’s for Dinner?

A better week for dinners in the Green household. I am back to my normal self and have been back to looking for new things my family will enjoy!! Part of couponing is getting products for free or cheap and getting to check them out. We tried the Green Giant Steamers this week and we weren’t too impressed. 😦 The flavors just weren’t what we liked. Here’s what we had…

 

Sausage & Broccoli Toss– Here is another variation of a family favorite. I used ground sausage and broccoli to change it up a bit.

Sausage & Broccoli Toss

  • Premio Ground Sausage – on sale $1.98
  • 1/2  box Ronzoni pasta – on sale $0.88 – $1/2 coupon = $ 0.19
  • Fresh broccoli – $0.77/ bunch = $0.50
  • 1 onion – $0.20
  • seasonings on hand

Total Cost $ 4.86

 

Cajun Chicken – A spicy twist to the chicken breast.

Cajun Chicken

  • boneless, skinless chicken breasts – $1.77/lb = $3.54
  • Green Giant Seasoned Steamers Broccoli – $2.50 on sale – $0.75 coupon (doubled) – $0.75/4 E coupon = $0.75
  • Minute Wild Rice – $1.99  – $0.60 coupon (doubled)= $0.79
  • McCormick Cajun Mix – $2.99/box = $0.60

Total Cost = $5.68

 

 

Porkchops & Applesauce– With all of the great fall apples, we had to make some applesauce. Jasmine got to help so she was extra excited about trying it. I also made extra potatoes for later this week.

Porkchops & Applesauce

  • Porkchops – $1.74/lb = $3.42
  • applesauce – Apples- $2.99/3 lbs = $1
  • Green Giant Roasted Corn Steamers – $0.75
  • Mashed Potatoes- Potatoes – $1.99/5 lb bag = $1

Total Cost = $6.17

 

 

Garlic Herb Chicken-I served up this sauteed chicken breast over a salad with a side of mashed potatoes.

Garlic Herb Chicken

  • Boneless chicken breast – $1.77/lb = $3.54
  • Kikkoman garlic herb marinade – got for free over the summer
  • 1 onion – $0.20
  • mashed potatoes – leftover from previous day = $0
  • Earthbound Farms Romaine lettuce – $2.50/3- $0.75 coupon doubled = $0.33
  • 1 cucumber – $0.67

Total Cost: $4.74

 

Jasmine’s Choice-As you can tell by the name, this was Jasmine’s choice for dinner! While not the

Jasmine’s Choice

healthiest, I think it’s important for her to have some input into what we eat.

  • Ball Park Hot Dogs – $1
  • Silver Floss Sauerkraut – $1.69 – $0.75 coupon (doubled) = $0.19
  • ShopRite Pork & Beans – $0.79
  • Back to Nature Organic Macaroni & Cheese – $1.59 – $0.75 coupon (doubled) = $0.09
  • Earthbound Farms Romaine = $0.33
  • 1 Cucumber – $0.67

Total Cost : $3.07

 

Total Cost for the week: $24.52

The Christmas closet

It’s no secret that I have a huge family. And as you can imagine, Christmas can get very costly. I’m also the type of person who agonizes over what to get someone To ensure that it is the perfect gift. Due to the fact I worry so much, I can not keep a present a secret and I end up telling someone or everyone to get their input, even if it happens to be that person. (I am sure my sisters are laughing because they know this is the truth)

Since being married, my family has grown and it continues to grow. How do I possibly buy everyone a present without selling my soul or robbing a bank? The answer, My Christmas Closet. Deep in this secret treasure trove, there are presents and gifts aplenty! I already have a jump start on Christmas with presents that I know my family will love! I also have a couple secrets since I have months, instead of weeks, to ponder how it will be accepted.

This years shopping started last year. I shopped the crap out of the after Christmas sales and snagged some awesome toys for my nieces and Jasmine. I was also able to score a bunch of other stuff for other people on my list all for at least half of the price! I neatly tucked these gifts into our storage closet where they were ready for me when I needed them. (birthdays this year were a breeze!)

The shopping didn’t stop there. I am constantly on the search for the perfect presents and I always check the clearance shelves in stores like Target and Walmart for filler and stocking items. (The amount I save in just stuff for Jasmine is enough to buy for almost everyone else! ) For the pricier items, it’s a little bit more of a process. I do some research on the item and get a general idea of what it costs and how high or low it can go. Then, I wait until i can get it for the best price I can get it for. Sometimes a coupon will come out or a store will have a special on it and that will seal the deal.

The Christmas closet has saved my butt on several occasions. Last minute birthday parties and events no longer sent me to the store in a panic. I had a gift on hand, as well as all the wrapping and such to make it pretty.

One thing I don’t have to worry about yet is Jasmine peeking. With so many bags (and them being strategically placed behind golf clubs and such), she has no clue that I have a stash that would make Santa jealous.

What’s in My Cart??

Another good week at the store. Here’s what I picked up….

  • International delight coffee creamer – $1.66
  • Minute Maid Juice boxes – $3.19
  • 4 – Pepsi product 12 packs – $4/$12
  • Shady Brook Farms Breakfast turkey sausage – $2.99
  • 2 – Campbells Skillet Sauces – $2.49 = $4.98
  • 4 – College Inn Broth Cartons – $1.67 = $6.68
  • 2 – Muir Glen Tomato Sauce – $1.59 = $3.80
  • Tabasco Sauce – $1.59
  • 2 – Marzetti Caramel Sauce – $2.99 = $5.98
  • 2 – YoCrunch Cups – $0.50 = $1
  • 2 – 4 packs YoCrunch Cups – $2.99 = $5.98
  • ShopRite White bread $1
  • 3 – Wonka Fun Size Nerds – $2.50 = $7.50
  • 2 – Pillsbury Cake Mixes – $0.79 = $1.58
  • Dixie Paper Plates – $2.89
  • ShopRite Napkins – $1.69
  • 2 – Turkey Hill Ice Cream – $1.99 = $3.98
  • Tyson Grilled & Ready Breast Strips – $2.39
  • Carmex Lip Conditioner – $1.69
  • Carmex Vanilla Stick – -$0.99
  • 4 – Nivea Lip Protection – $1.99 = $7.96
  • 2 – Halls Cough Drops – $1.19 = $2.38
  • 2 – Reynolds Baking Cups – $1.39 = $2.78
  • 2 – Johnsonville Ground Sausage – $2.99 = $5.98
  • ShopRite Delil Ham – $3.99/lb = $2.54
  • Kleenex Hand Towels – $2.99
  • 2 – Wagon Train Dog Treats – $2/$5
  • 2 – 3 lb bag of Apples – $2.99 = $5.98
  • 2 – Cheez-its – $1.99 = $3.98
  • Lindt Truffles – $4.19

Subtotal : $123.51

 

Here are the coupons I used….

  • $0.25 Canvas bags
  • ShopRite Super Coupon -3/$6 Wonka Candy
  • $1.50/3 E-Coupon Wonka candy here
  • $1.50/3 Wonka candy here
  • $0.55 International Delight Coffee Creamer here
  • $0.85 Minute Maid Juice Boxes from Facebook
  • $0.55 Shady Brook Farms from Red Plum insert 8/19/12
  • 2 – $0.75 Campbells Skillet Sauces here
  • 4 – $0.55 College Inn Broth (NLA)
  • 2 – $0.50 Muir Glen here
  • $0.60 Tabasco Sauce from SmartSource insert 9/16/12
  • 2 – $1 Marzetti Caramel from SmartSource insert 09/16/12
  • 2 – $0.25 YoCrunch here
  • 2 – $0.50 YoCrunch Multi-packs here
  • $0.75 Tyson Grilled chicken from SmartSource 9/23/12
  • $0.50 Carmex lip Conditioner here
  • $0.30 Carmex lip here
  • $1/2 Halls Cough Drops from SmartSource 9/16/12
  • 2 – $3/2 Nivea Lip Care from RedPlum 9/21/12
  • 2 – $0.35 Reynolds Cake Liners here
  • 2 – $2 Johnsonville sausage (NLA)
  • $0.75 Kleenex Hand Towels from SmartSource 9/30/12
  • 2 – $2 Wagon Train Dog Treats from RedPlum 10/21/12
  • $1/2 Sunshine snacks here
  • Free (up to $3.99) Lindor Truffles from Facebook

Total Paid : $72.97

Mailbox Freebies

This was a top notch week for mailbox freebies!

A great week for freebies!

Here’s what I got:

  • Free copy of BabyTalk Magazine
  • Free copy of Family Fun Magazine
  • Bag of Hills Science Diet Veggie Chips Dog Snacks from their Facebook Page
  • Bag of Hills Science Diet Fruity Snacks Dog Treats from their Facebook Page
  • Dove Go Fresh sample from Target.com website
  • Olay Age Defying Serum from Olay’s Freebie Friday Facebook Page
  • Olay Body Lotion from Olay’s Freebie Friday Facebook Page
  • Sheet of smile stickers from Disney Movie rewards
  • Kleenex Care package that included 2 packs of tissues, hand sanitizer, nose balm, coupons, and codes for free music downloads from here.

My HABA Addiction

Anyone who has ever visited my house knows that i have a health and beauty aides (AKA HABA) addiction. I have a whole closet filled with a vast assortment of hair products, body soap, hair dye, and everything needed for superb dental hygiene.

I’ve tried to break this addiction but it’s just not happening.

I start each week off by saying that I will not buy anymore HABA. I will use what is in there and let my stockpile shrink. But, somewhere along the way, a deal pops up for free products, and I cave. I just simply can’t resist. Whether it be toothpaste, razors, soap, feminine needs, or any other HABA goodies, I can not say no to free!

I’m not saying that my addiction is necessarily bad…

A lot of good has come out of my closet. I have donated a lot and helped many families in need with my extras. I’ve also given bags full to friends and family members. Best of all, anytime we have company, I’m like this awesome concierge that can cater to your every need. (Forgot your deodorant, no problem, take your pick because I’ve got many! )

Here is a glimpse inside of my HABA insanity. Hopefully, with a little help from me, you too can have your own HABA stockpile. 🙂

What’s inside your closet?