Sunday, February 28, 2010

Our Thriftstore finds

Today, my daughter and I went to the 50% off Everything Sale at Thriftsmart. How much do you think all of this cost?


The breakdown:
1 pair of barely worn dress ankle boot shoes $2.50
Kid's Jumba Juice Smoothie Maker (never used - everything in original packaging) $3.00
Easter Basket (with original tag still on it $4.99) .99
Bowls .49 ea
Big Mugs .25 ea
Kids Books .30 ea

Getting a little retail therapy on a really tight budget - priceless!


Menu Plan Monday

Happy March Everyone! I don't know about you, but I am not sad to see February go.

I try to keep my dinners at $5 or less every day. Unless I use meat, then it's going to be more since I've committed to only purchasing organic, humanely raised meat. We only eat meat once a week or sometimes not at all. Otherwise, I'm able to keep my meals under $5 by shopping sales, using coupons and stockpiling. Or making the meals from scratch.

Monday - Crock Pot Falafel, couscous, greens salad

Tuesday - Southwest Pot Pie (I'll be using my own cornbread mix instead of boxed)

Wednesday - Crock Pot Mac n cheese, mixed veggies, biscuits

Thursday - Simple Supper: Spaghetti with Meatballs(pre-made)

Friday - Dance Class! Simple Supper, Vegetable Soup and sandwiches

Saturday - Tamale Lentil Casserole

Sunday - Very Veggie Chili with confetti corn cakes

For more great menu ides, visit


Saturday, February 27, 2010

New Goodwill in Franklin and other News

The new Goodwill in Franklin is celebrating their grand opening this weekend. Lots of good stuff there. They are in the shopping center with Big Lots.
The address is:
1203 Murfreesboro Road
Franklin, Tennessee 37064
(Thanks to Leslie for reminding me of this)

If you are in the Priest Lake are of Nashville. The entire Goodwill store is going 50% off starting today as they prepare to move to their new location in the Antioch area at the Mt View Marketplace in March.
The Priest Lake store is located at:
2619 Murfreesboro Pike
Nashville, TN 37217

And, you never know who you will bump into when your at Goodwill! Barry Williams, aka "Greg Brady" is supposed to tour some Goodwills and the plant while in town doing a play. Click here for the story.


50% Off at ThriftSmart on Sunday

On Sunday, February 28, Thriftsmart will have their entire store 50% off.

It's a great time for treasure hunting!

Happy Shopping!


Friday, February 26, 2010

How Thrifty are You?

1. Do you use coupons to save over 50% or more on your groceries?
Yes, I'm averaging 65% right now! Yea!

2. Do you reuse paper products like foil, plastic baggies, or plastic utensils?
I do re-use plastic baggies as long as what was in them originally was not yucky or smelly.
I tried washing them in the dishwasher for a while. That didn't work for me.

3. Do you buy things like clothes, home goods, or entertainment items for full price? No. Most of those items come from consignment sales, thriftstores or the clearance shelf.

4. Do you eat out more than once a week?
Hah! Try once a month and then only with a coupon or a B1G1 special.

5. Do you feel an obligation to take free samples or toiletries in hotels?
I do send off for free samples of some things especially if I think they may also send coupons along with the sample. I don't normally take the free toiletries at a hotel. But I haven't stayed in a hotel since we brought our little girl home. Maybe I'll start taking the free toiletries now.

6. Do you send in more than one mail-in rebate a month?
Sometimes, but one a month is my average. Usually rebates have to be a money maker for me to invest money in the product up front. Unless it's a product that I had to buy anyway.

7. Do you feel an obligation or need to stop at every yard sale you pass?
I often wish I could stop, but most of the time I'm going somewhere and don't have the time. I'm not great at the yardsaling thing. But I do hit a few every season.

8. Do you recycle items on Freecycle or for money?
I've taken things offered on Freecycle but I've never posted an offer yet. Need to do that.

We recycle and compost 90% of our trash but we don't earn money for it. We do save money by not using a trash pickup service. What little trash cannot be recycled is dropped off with a garbage collection truck that is permenantly parked at our recycling center.

9. Have you lowered all your bills to the smallest amount you can pay for acceptable services? I think so. I hang dry quite a bit of our clothes to avoid the dryer. And my husband has sacrificed ESPN and I've sacrificed Lifetime so that we only pay $12 bucks for a limited satellite TV package.

10. Have you figured out the best way to save money is to spend less and stretch all you have as far as you can? Yes. It took 30 years, but I got it.

See what others said at The Coupon Teacher


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Weekly Shopping Wrapup

This week is the beginning of less processed foods, more whole foods. Which of course, means more work for me in the kitchen. But after enduring the health issues that I and my family members have had lately, I think it's worth it. I've come to the conclusion that there is no way I will be able to make this transition on just $40 a week (my preferred budget) and this week I went over my real budget of $50 a week. I'm still going to try to not go over $50 but I've managed to squeeze an extra $10 into our weekly grocery budget for this purpose.

I hit 3 stores in one day, with my 4-year old in tow. Somehow we made it through alive.

I didn't make it to the store until the last day of their sale, so alot of what I wanted was gone. I did manage to get a raincheck. Publix is pretty good about giving rainchecks, but I've noticed lately they are pretty strict on limiting the number of items you can get.

2 Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes
Price: $1/50
- $1/1 Printable
- $1/2 Publix Q Printable

4 Progresso Soups
Price: $1.15 ea
- .50/2 (doubled)SS 1/17
-$1/4 Publix Q
= .40 ea

12 Muellers Pasta
Sale Price: .75 ea
- $1/3 Printable
=.42 ea

Rico Rice 3 lbs
Sale Price: .99

Lentils 1 Lb
Price: .99

Total OOP w/ tax: $11.86


Sale Price: .44 ea

8th Continent Soy Milk
Sale Price: 2.49
- 2/1 Printable (no longer available)
= .49

Healthy Lifestyle Whole Wheat Bread
Sale Price: 1.67
- .35/1 (doubled) 2/7 SS
= .97

Kroger Natural Granola Cereal
Sale Price: $1.67
- .45/1 Kroger Home Mailer
= $1.22

Kroger Cottage Cheese
Sale Price: $1.00

Kroger Sour Cream
Sale Price: $1.00

Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice cocktail
Sale Price: $1.98

Kroger Organic Flour
Price: $3.79

Martha White Corn Meal

Kroger Organic Sugar
Sale Price: $2.05


Total OOP: 26.17


3 lbs Oranges $1.39
Baby Carrots .99 ea
Spinach 1.69
Bananas 2.5 lbs 1.02
Roma Tomatoes $1.49
Romaine Hearts $1.99
3 lbs Onions $1.29
2 Frozen Juice $1.24 ea

Total OOP: $14.36

Grand Total: $52.39

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

75 % Off at Go There Do This

Go There Do This is a site that you can purchase certificates for events, services and dining in the Middle Tennessee area at 50% off. The vendors change frequently.

Right now, they are having a 75% blowout sale. You can purchase 2 tickets to the Nashville Symphony for $37.50 total!
Other great deals are the certificates for $6.25 haircuts at T'zers Hair Salon in Smyrna and $4.50 haircuts at Sportsclips(various locations).

Go here to see all offers.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I'm still trying to keep my meals at $5 dollars or under. But I'm also on a mission to feed more nutritious and whole foods, less processed foods. It's going to be a challenge and a long journey because you cannot change everything (and your budget) overnight. I had already made a commitment to only purchase humanely raised meat for the occasional meat meal, but now I'm learning how important that organic meats are for our health too. That goes for all products, especially any animal derived products.
Here's our menu for the week.

Monday - Vegetable Stew with Herbed Dumplings

Tuesday - Roasted Vegetable Pasta (minus the meat, add more veggies)

Wednesday - Slow Cooker Black Beans & Rice

Thursday - Simple Supper, Mashed potatoes, green beans, mac n cheese, biscuits

Friday - Dance Class! Leftovers or Quick Bean Quesadillas

Saturday - Mom's Mini meatloaves, corn on cob, baked potatoes

Sunday - Spaghetti Broccoli Bake (minus the chicken)

For more great menu ideas, visit


Friday, February 19, 2010

Supernanny comes to Nashville

I have days when I would pay Super Nanny a million dollars to come to my house. This week we're in luck.

Supernanny producers will be at the Adventure Science Center from 1 -4 on Sunday looking for "out of control" (their words, not mine) families to appear on the show. If you're interested in getting into the reality TV show world, here's your opportunity! No need to pretend to put your child in a runaway balloon.


Big Lots 20% Off Coupon for Weekend

Head to Big Lots on Sunday night from 5-9pm and get 20% off your entire purchase! This coupon can also be used for clearance items for an even better deal.

Happy Shopping!

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

75% Off Valentines at Target

Stopped by my local Target in Brentwood today and they have all their Valentines stuff marked down 75%. There was not any candy left at my store, but I've heard other stores still have lots.

This is the time when I buy valentines cards for my kids next-year valentines parties. They had boxes of valentines for as low as .24 cents. I sprang for the .74 cent ones though!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Publix Deals

I don't normally post the grocery store deals because there are so many other blogs that do it so well. But, I've had a few people ask me about how I come up with my grocery deals before I post my week end totals. So, I thought this week, I'd share my Publix game plan with everyone ahead of time so that you can take advantage of the deals too!

First off, this is a good week of sales at Publix. They are having their Progresso Italian Days. There are several BOGO deals and a store coupon flyer to match up with many of those deals. Look for the "Progresso Italian Days Stock up and Save" flyer in your store. Or it is printable here. For the locals, I found these flyers in many of the Franklin store locations. And, don't forget, the flyer is Publix coupons, which you can stack with Manufacturer's coupons to get an even better deal!

Here's the highlights of my list for the week w/ coupon matchups:

Progresso Soup
Sale Price: $1.14 each
- .50/2 SS 1/17
- $1/4 Progresso Products Store Coupon Printable (or in flyer)
= .39 ea

Progresso Broth
Sale Price: $1.29 ea
- $1/4 Progresso Products Store coupon Printable
= $1.04 ea

Muir Glen Organic Canned Tomatoes
Price: $1.50 estimated
- $1/1 Printable
-$1/2 Store Printable
= FREE or very cheap

Progresso Canned Beans
Sale Price: .66 ea

*I will purchase enough of the above products to qualify to use the "Buy 20 participating items, get $5 off" coupon also included in the flyer. This is only available on the in-store flyer not the printable one.

Other deals:

Mueller's Pasta
.74 ea
- $1/3 printable
= .36 ea

Cole's Garlic Bread
Sale Price: $1.14 ea
- .50/1 Printable (will double)
= .14 ea

Rico Long Grain Rice 3lb bag
Sale Price: .99 ea

For a complete list of the sale items with coupon matchups, visit


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Shell Stations to honor Kroger Gas discount

Starting this week, most Shell stations will be honoring your Kroger Plus card gas discount. You must have accumulated enough points on your Kroger card to get the .10 cents off. Based upon the press release, they are not honoring the .03 cents off right now.

Go here for the complete details including the cities that are currently participating.


Entertainment Book now 40% Off!

Great News! The 2010 Entertainment Book is now 40% off! I buy this coupon book every year. It's full of great coupons for meals, events, and products from places all over town. Most of the food coupons are Buy One get one free. These are great to use when you are on a tight budget like my family, but still would like to enjoy the occasional meal out. We use enough of these coupons to pay for the book several times over.

Also, another trick I've learned with these books, trade out coupons with your friends and neighbors that you won't use. My family likes Indian food, my friend's family does not, they like bowling, we're not into bowling. So, we just trade our coupons.

Click on the graphic above to order one for your city.


Free Pantene from Vocal Point

You can get a free full size bottle of Pantene for free from VocalPoint right now. Just go here and request it. You do have to be a member of vocalpoint, but membership is free and you can sign up on the same page.

Go quick, because this offer will go fast!


Monday, February 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I'm a little late posting, but things are finally getting back to normal around my house. I'm happy to report that everyone in my family is healthy and well again! Now, if we could just say goodbye to the snow! I'm over the snowy winter!

Some of my meals are repeats from my last post because I was not home to make them. My family has been eating alot of simple suppers and sandwiches lately.

Monday: Southwestern Pot Pie

Wednesday: Simple Supper: Salad & Baked Potatoes

Friday: Dance Class! Quick Bean Quesadillas

Sunday: Leftovers or grilled cheese w/ tomato soup

For more great menu ideas, visit


Wee Wares Kid's Consignment Sale This Week

  • On of my favorite consignment sales is happening this week! The spring/summer WeeWares sale is here. I got a special sneak peak at all the items available last night and it's a whopper of a sale!

    Sale Dates:
    Thursday, Friday & Saturday
    February 18 - 20th
    10 am - 6pm
    Half Price Day: Sunday, Februrary 21
    2p - 5pm

    New Location: 1810 Columbia Ave in the WareHouse at the Rolling Hills Community Church.
    Franklin TN 37064

    Lots of parking , lots of space!!

    Visit their site for more details.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Weekly Shopping Wrap up for 2/13/10

This has been a difficult week. And I've been off my normal routines for everything, work, shopping, housework, etc. I didn't do alot of shopping, but I did manage to score one great deal that I wanted to post.


4 Boxes of Post Cereal
Sale Price: $2.50 ea
- $2/1 Raisin Bran, Grapnuts or Shredded Wheat Printable (no longer available)
= .50 each.

1 Gallon of Milk
Sale Price: $2.59
- "Buy 4 Post Cereals Get a Free Gal. Milk" coupon in Yellow Advantage Flyer

5 Bags Goodlife Cat food (not pictured)
Sale Price: $2.24
- $2/1 RP 1/24
= .24 ea

Total OOP: $5.25

Total for Week: $37.69

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Blogging Break - Be Back Soon!

I have some personal and family health issues going on this week, so I am taking a break from the blog. I plan to be back by next week with a new Menu Plan Monday and grocery wrap up.

In the mean time,check out my friend Ronica over at Keeping Our Cash. She's got a great post about saving money on prescriptions here and here

Have a great week!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Nashville Zoo Half Price Day Sunday

Sunday is the Nashville Zoo's annual Zooperbowl Event. Admission is half price.

Adults $7.00
Children (3-12) $4.50

Now, let's hope it's not like last weekend with the snow & ice!

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1/2 Price Day at Goodwill

It's my favorite Saturday of the month! This Saturday is half price day at all Middle Tennessee Goodwills. Go here for a list of locations.
Happy treasure hunting!


My Money Making Trip to CVS & Final Grocery Tally

I went to CVS to do the Huggies ECB deal they have going through Saturday. I also received a CVS coupon for $3 off one Glade candle. They have the little 2oz candles for $3.29 so I got one of those too.

Here's what should have happened:
2 Packs Pullups
Sale Price: $10 ea
- (2) $2/1 Printable
= $8.00 ea

1 Glade Candle
Reg Price: $3.29
- $3/1 CVS Coupon that came from in-store scanner
= .29

- $10 ECBS from survey
= $6.29 OOP and receive $5.00 ECBs

But something went wrong at the register and a strange unknown $3 dollar item was rang up. I didn't catch it until we had completed the transaction. The only way to make it right was for them to do a return and refund and then ring it up correctly again. But I had used coupons and ECBs and the register considers those cash so the manager had to come over, approve the transaction and they refunded the entire purchase in cash! The manager said "This is your lucky day". They then rang up the items again, used the same coupons and ECB's and I paid the correct amount. Here's how it went:

Old OOP: $10.80
Refunded cash: -$25.44
New amount due w/ tax: $7.25
Money maker: $ 7.39 cash + 5 ECBs for the huggies and $1 ECB from the green bag tag

So, please always look at your receipt after you check out. It can not only save you money, but once in a while it can actually MAKE you money!
I felt okay about this because 1.) I had the manager's approval and blessing of sorts, and 2.) I spend hundreds of dollars (maybe thousands now) a year with CVS on prescriptions. They'll be okay without that $7 dollars.

I also had to make an extra trip to Publix this week because I forgot a couple of things. I've lost the receipt, so I'm going off memory of exact price:

One A Day Kids Vitamins
Sale Price: $4.22
- $2.50/1 Publix Family Magazine (Publix Q)
- $2/1 SS 1/3
= FREE + Overage

Pop Secret Popcorn - I promised my child I'd buy her popcorn and since my budget was blown anyway......
Sale Price: $2.19
- $1/2 RP 1/3
= $1.69 ea

Reg Price: $7.99

Total OOP w/ tax: $12.57

My new weekly total including my earlier trips here is: $60.95.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

For the Locals: Cheap Bread Update

One of the best kept secrets in Nashville is that you can get .50 cent Pepperidge Farm bread at the Apple Market on Nolensville Road. It's day old bread that comes from another bakery.

Lately, there has been a shortage of the bread. Here's the skinny on the shortage:

The man that delivers the bread has recently sold 9 of his bakeries and so his supply has greatly decreased. He does still make regular deliveries on Tuesday and Fridays (but it's never guaranteed). But, if you want this cheap bread, get there early. The store employee told me that they have people that line up and wait for him to deliver. They don't put limits on the amount of bread you can buy, so often folks are buying 15 or more loaves at a time.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Free Eggs coupon on Friday

If you become a fan of the Incredible Egg on Facebook, you have a shot at a B1G1 coupon available Friday on their Facebook page. The coupon will be available for the first 30,000 people to get it. Go here to become a fan. You do have to have to be signed up with Facebook to join, but Facebook is free!

They released this same coupon a few months ago. I was able to combine the coupon with a sale and another coupon and got 2 dozen organic, cage free eggs for $2.00! Can't get that deal every day.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Weekly Shopping Wrap Up

I got a little carried away with the Kroger Mega Sale today. I got some great deals, but I went over my weekly budget. I will have to do better next week. The good news is that I came in $9 under budget total for the month of January! That is grocery budget, don't ask me how the rest of our budget went.

But on with the grocery wrap up ......


Baby Carrots .99 ea
Broccoli 1.49
Tomatoes 1.69


Knox Gelatine
Reg Price: $1.39
- $4/1 RP 1/24
= FREE + Overage

Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
Sale Price: $1.72
- $1/1 Printable
= .73 ea

8 O'clock Coffee
Sale Price: $2.49
- $2/2 Printable= $1.49 ea

Juice Juice
Sale Price: $1.50 ea

Total OOP: $12.57

Kroger continued their Mega Sale this week. You buy 10 participating items and get an automtice $5 (or .50 each item) off at check out. I did three sets of 10 and got a total of $15 off. The items starred are the Mega Event items and the price listed is the price after the .50 cents off has been applied.

* Chex Mix
Sale Price: $1.49
- .50/1 (doubled) Printable
- .50 Cellfire & Shortcuts

Sale Price: .50
- .30/1 (doubled) SS 1/24
= FREE + Overage

*Quaker Rice Quakes
Sale Price: .79
- .75/1 Kroger Mailer
= .04 ea

*Frank's Hot Sauce
Sale Price: $1.19
- .50/1 (doubled) SS 1/24
= .19

*Nature Valley Nut Clusters
Sale Price: $2.19
- $1/1 Printable
- $1/1 Cellfire & Shortcuts
= .19 ea

*Hunt's Canned Tomatoes
Sale Price: .50 ea
- .45/3 SS 1/24
= .20 ea

*Kraft Deluxe Mac & Cheese Dinner
Sale Price: $1.36
- $1/2 Printable
= .86 ea

*Chi Chi Salsa
Sale Price: $1.49
- $1/2 SS 12/6
= .99 ea

*Mission Tortillas
Sale Price: $1.49

*Tombstone Pizza
Sale Price: $2.49
- $1.50/2 Catalina
= $1.74 ea

8th Continent Soy Milk
Sale Price: $2.49
- $2/1 Printable (no longer available)
= .49

10 lbs potatoes
Sale Price: $2.49

1 lb Almonds
Sale Price: $2.99

Organic Romaine Lettuce
Sale Price: $2.79

Healthy Lifestyle Bread
Reg Price: $2.75
- .50/1 doubled
= 1.75

OOP: $37.64
TOTAL OOP: $55.77. And to be honest, this will not be the total for the week. I still have some items at CVS to get and I realized hubs was out of gatorade after I returned home. So, my total for the week will be closer to $60.

UPDATE: my new total OOP: is $60.97 Go here for my CVS overage story.

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