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Good Deals For A Newbie!

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Good Deals For A Newbie!

The best way to catch the couponing bug is to get a few fun products for free or something you really need for over half off!

I’ve been lucky to have my youngest sister staying with me for a week and have been teaching her my couponing ways!  She got her first free items at Target, gotta love Target!  She got a pack of gum as well as lip gloss for FREE!  Well actually she made about $0.30 on the gum, which is even better.  These deals were only possible by stacking Target coupons with manufacturer coupons.  If you don’t know about Target coupons, click here to be linked to them directly.

Now for the really fun deal…Crest Whitestrips!  Specifically, we got the 14 count, Crest Whitestrips Advanced Seal Dental Whitening Formula, which retails at my local Harris Teeter for $42.49.  They were on sale this week for $38.24, and we had a $10 off manufacturer coupon.  Harris Teeter had an eVIC coupon for $10 off as well (eVIC coupons are electronic coupons available to eVIC members).  Harris Teeter is generous enough to allow coupon stacking so we were able to get the Whitestrips for $18.24!!

$42.49 – Regular Retail
$38.24 – Sale Price
-$10 – eVIC Coupon
-$10 – Manufacturer Coupon
$18.24 – Final Price!
 

Stacking is the key to all of the deals that we got!  The best way to maximize your shopping power is to find out which of your stores will stack coupons, learn their policies and then combine all the sales and coupons that you can!  Happy shopping.

Meatless Monday…Sloppy Joes – Veggie Style!

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I’ve been wanting to try this concoction out for sometime now, so with my vegetarian sister in town, I had the perfect excuse!  At my house we are NOT vegetarians (we love-a spicy meata-ball!) but we eat a lot of veggies.  I constantly look for ways to add vegetables to our meals, sometimes I do this with salads, sometimes side dishes, and sometimes I add them to the main dish.

Recently I started I adding shredded green cabbage to my Sloppy Joe recipe each time I made it.  I don’t have official numbers to share, but I am sure that the calories, cholesterol, and fat are significantly reduced when you replace about half the meat with cabbage.

After doing this a couple of times, I became interested in making a totally meatless Sloppy Joe sandwich, which leads us to today’s recipe!

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes (Recipe makes about 8 sandwiches)
6-8 Cups Shredded Green Cabbage
1 Carrot, Shredded
1/2 Green Pepper, Diced
1 Cup Corn (I used frozen, but fresh or canned will work too)
Water
 
Sauce
1 Cup Ketchup
1/4 Cup Water
1 Tablespoon Vinegar
2 Teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 Teaspoons Mustard
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
 
1 Package Buns 
  1. Add shredded cabbage and a 1/4 cup water to large saute pan over medium heat, stirring frequently.  Allow cabbage to cook for about 5 minutes.  You basically want to give it, a head start on cooking before adding the other vegetables.
  2. Add remaining vegetables to pan, stirring occasionally.  Allow to cook 2-3 minutes.
  3. Combine all ingredients for sauce in a medium size bowl.
  4. Add sauce mixture to vegetables, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low-medium.
  5. Cook for about 5-8 minutes until cabbage reaches desired consistency.
  6. Scoop mixture on buns, eat, enjoy!
Nothing goes with Sloppy Joes better than Mac & Cheese! I recently used my couponing skills to buy Kraft Homestyle Macaroni & Cheese for $1, it was creamy, cheesy, and oh so good!
 The package comes complete with a tasty breadcrumb topping, after a few minutes in the oven, you’ve got a real comfort food classic ready for dinner!

Super Double Coupons HT February 15, 2012

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Super Double Coupon Week at Harris Teeter!  This is the best time to put some high value coupons to good use.  Any coupon under $1.98 will be doubled, so if you have a coupon for $1.50 off an item, it will become $3 off an item!  This made for some good deals, let’s check it out…

  • 2 Kraft Homestyle Mac & Cheese: $2 Total
  • 10 Greek Yoplait Yogurts: $4.50 Total
  • 2 Boxes Honey Nut Cheerios: $1.50 Total
  • 1 Box Cinnamon Toast Crunch: $0.75
  • 1 Box Honey Nut Chex: $0.75
  • 2 Knorr Rice Sides: $0.50
  • Garlic Knots: $0.50
  • 4 Boxes Fiber One Bars: $3.60 Total
  • Johnsonville Chicken Sausage: $2
  • 2 Boxes Hefty One Zips: *Free*
  • 2 Bag Milo’s Dog Treats: $1 Total
  • Bic Pens: *Free*
  • Welch’s Pom-Blueberry Juice: $1
  • Loaf of Bread: $1.99
  • Half Dozen Bagels: $2.24
  • HT Frozen Yogurt: $3.33
  • Gallon Organic Milk: $7
  • 1 Organic Pear (for making baby food!): $2.39
  • 2 Packages Stride Gum: *Free*
  • Got 2 Be Hair Smoothing Serum: $0.19

Total Cost of Items: $77.68 (before VIC card or coupons)

Once my Harris Teeter VIC card was applied and then a nice handful of double coupons were subtracted, I only paid…

$37.07

Highlights for this trip were: cereal for less than a $1 a box, free pens and gum for my Operation Christmas Child Boxes.  If these savings aren’t dramatic enough for you, if you take out the gallon of milk alone, then I got all of the above for $30, not too shabby!

Organic or Conventional

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The following is a list of fruits and vegetables commonly referred to as the “Dirty Dozen” due to their high pesticide content.  When possible try to buy the organic variety of these.

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Strawberries
  4. Peaches
  5. Spinach
  6. Nectarines
  7. Grapes (imported)
  8. Sweet Bell Peppers
  9. Potatoes
  10. Blueberries
  11. Lettuce
  12. Kale/Collard grens

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the “Clean 15″.  A list of the “cleanest” fruits and vegetables in terms of pesticide content.  If you haven’t fully committed to a 100% organic lifestyle, you can feel good about buying the conventional variety of these items.  (“Conventional” is the nice way a grocery store labels fruits and vegetables that are NOT organic.)

  1. Onions
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Avocados
  5. Asparagus
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Mangoes
  8. Eggplant
  9. Cantaloupe
  10. Kiwi
  11. Cabbage
  12. Watermelon
  13. Sweet Potatoes
  14. Grapefruit
  15. Mushrooms

Saving With A Baby!

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Oh babies!  So cute, so cuddly, so incredibly expensive.  To help you maximize your saving here are the ways to save when it comes to your baby needs.

Diapers – The following 2 reward programs allow you to collect points for purchasing their products.  The programs are free to join and easy to use.  You’ll find reward codes inside the product, you’ll enter them online, collect points, and redeem for coupons (or other great stuff!).   Creating your account is easy, just click the links below.

Pampers – Gifts To Grow

Huggies – Enjoy The Ride

Click here for a list of codes to get you started!

Luvs - join their mailing list

Formula – Another expensive need your baby may have is formula!  You can sign up with the following companies and they will send you information, samples and coupons/checks for formula.  I 100% support breastfeeding mommas, but even if you breastfeed you might eventually need formula.

Similac – Strong Moms

Gerber – Start Healthy, Stay Healthy

Enfamil

Baby Gear – These are just a few of the stores you might be shopping or registering at for your new baby, click each link to join their mailing list.

Baby Depot – they don’t send out a lot of coupons, but when they do, there usually aren’t too many restrictions.  So it’s a good place to buy some of your “big-ticket items”.

Buy Buy Baby affiliated with Bed, Bath & Beyond

Babies R Us - They offer a rewards program and you can combine it with your registry.  Personally, I am not a fan of Babies R Us , their coupons and rewards program are not very customer friendly, and neither is their return policy.  But, I have yet to know a pregnant woman that doesn’t register here (myself included) so I’m including it.

Target - like their facebook page (Target Baby) for special offers!

Motherhood Maternity – they offer a free gift bag for your first purchase when you register in the store.  My bag came with a $20 credit to Shutterfly – which we used to buy personalized thank you cards for lots of the baby gifts we received!

Meatless Monday…Zucchini Ripieni (Stuffed Zucchini)

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Meatless Monday…Zucchini Ripieni (Stuffed Zucchini)

I love zucchini!  That’s all there is to it.

Just because it’s Meatless Monday doesn’t mean it can’t be yummy (and fun!). 

This dish could not be easier!  And I was pleasantly surprised that besides the zucchini themselves, I had everything else needed!

Zucchini Ripieni (ripieni means stuffed in Italian)
3 Zucchini (medium size): $2.50
1/2 c. Feta Cheese, if yours is in big chunks, chop it up: $0.50
1/2 c. Red Pepper, chopped: $1
1/4 c. Onion, chopped: $0.25
1 TBSP Butter or Olive Oil (Pantry)
1/8 TSP Oregano (Pantry)
 
Adjust the filling as you like! Makes 6 “boats”.  Approximate cost: $4.25
 
Wash zucchini, cut off ends and discard.  Then cut zucchini in half lengthwise.
Using a melon baller, scoop out middle section of zucchini to form something resembling a canoe/boat.  Be sure to leave the sides of the zucchini about 1/4 inch thick.  Save scooped out portion for following step.
 
Steam Zucchini boats for about 4 minutes, then place Zucchini upside down on paper towel to soak up some of the moisture.
 
Roughly chop the scooped out Zucchini (should be in about 1/2 inch chunks).  Saute the chopped Red Pepper, Onion and the leftover Zucchini bits, in Butter or Olive Oil over medium heat. 
 
Remove mixture from heat and add Feta and Oregano, lightly stir.  Place Zucchini in a shallow oven safe dish (or cookie sheet).  Then scoop mixture into your Zucchini boats.
Broil for about 4-5 minutes, until cheese starts to look toasty.  These came out best when broiled about 4-5 inches from heat source.  And ta-da…
 
Served with Garlic Mashed Potatoes – stay tuned for that recipe!  Happy Monday Y’all!

Organic Produce vs. Conventional – Cost Comparison

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In honor of Meatless Monday I wanted to share with you a comparison of the cost of  organic vs. conventional produce.  Using the EWG’s (Environmental Working Group) list of the 2011 “Dirty Dozen” I gathered the cost for each item and listed it for you below.

A couple of notes: 

  • The higher an item is ranked, the larger the number of pesticides are found in it (ex: Apples have the highest pesticide content).
  • Prices listed are the “regular” prices, weekly sales and seasonal items were not taken into account.
  • All items listed are the fresh variety, not canned, pickled or frozen.
  • Every effort was made to compare “apples to apples” in terms of size, weight, packaging, etc.
The Dirty Dozen Cost To Buy Organic Cost To Buy Conventional Cost Difference
1 – Apples      
    Fuji $2.99/lb $2.29/lb $0.70/lb
    Gala $2.99/lb $2.29/lb $0.70/lb
    Red Delicious $2.29/lb $1.99/lb $0.30/lb
2 – Celery $2.99/bunch $1.99/bunch $1/bunch
3 – Strawberries $4.99/lb $3.79/lb $1.20/lb
4 – Peaches NA in fall season   NA
5 – Spinach $3.99/ 5oz. ($0.80/oz) $3.69/6oz. ($0.62/oz) $0.18/oz
6 – Nectarines (imported) NA in fall season   NA
7 – Grapes (imported) NA $2.79/lb NA
8 – Sweet Bell Peppers      
    Red Bell Pepper $3.99/each $2.99/each $1/each
    Green Bell Pepper $1.99/each $1.49/each $0.50/each
9 – Potatoes      
    Russet $1.99/lb $1.19/lb $0.80/lb
10 – Blueberries (domestic) NA $4.99/lb NA
11 – Lettuce      
    Romaine $3.99/12oz. ($0.33/oz) $3.79/16oz ($0.24/oz) $0.07/oz
    Spring Mix $3.99/5oz. $3.69/5oz. $0.30/per 5oz. package
    Green Leaf Lettuce $2.79/head $1.99/head $0.80/head
12 – Kale/Collard Greens $2.99/bunch $1.99/bunch $1/bunch

 How can you shop smarter?

  • Become familiar with your store’s organic section!  Most people avoid this area all together because they think buying organic is too expensive.  Cruise this section first while shopping to see if anything is on special, or just looks good!  Typically stores will put all of the organic items together in one area, which makes it convenient to see what they have, but it makes comparing prices vs. the same conventional produce more time-consuming.
  • Look for weekly sales.  Even organic produce goes on sale.  For example: Now is the time to stock up on APPLES–I’ve seen organic varieties sold for less than $1.50/lb!
  • Think QUALITY when it comes to QUANTITY.  If there is a particular food that you eat every day, you may want to make sure to invest in the organic version – for me this is carrots!  Even though they aren’t a “Dirty Dozen” vegetable I always buy organic carrots, since I eat them almost every day. 
  • It’s ok to go “half & half”.  Don’t feel guilty if you don’t buy everything organic, every time you shop.  When you can fit it into your budget and your menu, do it!  Every little bit will help.

How do you shop for organic produce?  Have any tips to share?  Leave a comment if you do!

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