Monday, May 31, 2010

It's Summer

The arrival of Memorial Day and the start of June are a sure sign that it is summer. Time for shorts and swim suits. I am a little disappointed to say that I have not achieved the goal that I set for myself with weight loss - I am still the same 13.5# away from that goal that I have been for about 3 months now. I see it as a good news/bad news scenario.

The good news is that even when life has gotten in the way and I have lost my focus on my diet and exercise, I have been able to maintain. This tells me that I have made some positive lifestyle changes in my life that are so much a part of my life that I don't have to think about them it just happens. I know that this is in large part what Weight Watchers teaches - you aren't on a diet, you are changing your lifestyle. It is very reassuring to me that even without thinking about it, the things that I have learned on Weight Watchers have made a positive influence in my life. I've also learned that even though an extremely busy week might set me off course, a return to normal brings me right back to where I was. This helps me realize that even if I get off track, I shouldn't give up and over do it even more - which is something I have been guilty of in the past. In addition, it is also good that I have maintained my work out routine. I am still getting up every work day and exercising. Even when I have overslept slightly, I get up and do as much as I can, which is a huge change for me. It used to be an "all or nothing" approach - which is probably in part, why I haven't been able to maintain a regular work out routine previously.

The bad news is I am frustrated. I am very happy to have lost what I have, but I want to reach my goal. I had a friend say that perhaps this is where I am meant to be - after all, I have been here for 3 months. I'm not sure I'm ready to accept this. I would like to show myself that if I set my mind to it, I can do it.

With my schedule, I did miss a few Weight Watcher meetings and some only made it to weigh in, but I am turning over a new leaf. I had some friends decide to join the class that I have been attending. This is great - it gives me another layer of accountability. I also stopped sharing my journey on this blog. Again, this loss of accountability has allowed me to perhaps be a little more lax than I would have been if I knew I had to share it here. So, I am planning to return to regular posting - not sure if it will be Mamavation Monday, Fat Burnin' Friday, or Weighing In Wednesday - or a mix of them all, but I plan to post regularly about my journey to once again provide encouragement and accountability.

So, here we are, 13.5# to go. I would like to reach my goal by the end of summer (or sooner!). Won't you join me on my journey?

This post shared at Mamavation Monday.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

What a great weekend! Saturday was a beautiful day. I finally got a chance to plant my garden, did my weekly grocery shopping and more. At the grocery, nothing major on deals, but I did have 41% savings with sales and coupons. We had a great picnic on Sunday evening and are looking forward to a day of relaxing on Monday.

This week, as you can guess, there is once again turkey in our menu plan. We had turkey burgers on Sunday at our picnic, there is ground turkey in the Lasagne.

Memorial Day Picnic

Penne Cardinale

Cube Steaks/Rice





Weekdays breakfast is at daycare for my daughter, the rest of us eat cold cereal, frozen waffles, oatmeal, toast or whatever strikes our fancy. Lunch we pack, usually leftovers for me.

Check out other menu plans for the week at Menu Plan Monday at I'm An Organizing Junkie.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

CVS Deals - 5/27 & 5/28

I made two more trips to CVS this week. I might make one more - I don't think my Mom did the Old Spice body wash deal and I have another set of coupons. Of course, if I do it, then I need to figure out what I want for $8 so that I can use the ECBs that I earn.

Transaction #1

1 - 50ct CVS Cotton Swabs
2 - 30ct CVS Cotton Swabs
6 - American Greetings Cards (Father's Day/Birthday)

-$1 $1 CVS Cosmetic Accessory CRT
-$1 $1/2 CVS First Aid CRT (I asked if the cotton swabs qualified before buying)
-$1 $1/3 American Greeting Mfg IP
-$1 $1/3 American Greeting Mfg IP
-$2.79 B3G1 American Greetings CRT
-$3 $3/$12 American Greetings CRT

Total 11.56 OOP. I didn't earn any ECBs and their coupon machine was down, so I didn't get any new coupons - it was out of paper, but they didn't seem in a hurry to replace the paper. When I mentioned it, the cashier responded that she knew it had been out for a while now. Oh well!

Transaction #2

2 - Nivea Body Wash
2 - Nivea Lip Care
2 - 30ct CVS Cotton Swabs

-$4.49 BOGO Nivea Body Wash mfg coupon
-$2.99 BOGO Nivea Lip Care mfg coupon
-$1 Nivea Body Wash mfg coupon
-$1 Nivea Lip Care mfg coupon

Paid with $6 ECBs and $1.26 ($.70 was tax!) on the gift card I had left and $.01 OOP. Earned $5 ECB. I must say, I was a little surprised to learn that the Nivea Lip Care at the register is the same size/type as those on the pegs in the aisle, but without the added packaging they are $.20 cheaper. I was glad I checked and saved myself $.20 on my transaction. I understand that packaging costs money, but if it is a $.20 increase on a lip balm, then maybe they should consider eliminating it all together.

These deals shared at Super Savings Saturday and Shopping Superstars.

Giant Eagle Twitter Promotion

You may have heard that Gillette has a new razor, the Fusion ProGlide—Gillette’s Best Shave Ever. The Fusion ProGlide provides a more comfortable shave with less irritation through its thinner, finer blades, improved cartridge structure, micro-comb technology (on Power only), and improved handles.

To introduce Gillette’s new razor, Giant Eagle is giving their followers on Twitter the opportunity to win one of 50 Fusion ProGlide shaving kits. On June 3, be sure to follow @Giant_Eagle on Twitter for chances to win throughout the day (11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m). Giant Eagle will post a series of 10 Gillette/shaving trivia questions every ½ hour, starting at 11:30 a.m. The first 5 followers with the correct answer will win!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Samples and Freebies


Splenda Flavors for Coffee - choice of Hazelnut or Mocha
Kraft Sandwich Shop Mayo sample
U by Kotex sample
Olay Total Effects Body Wash Sample
Nivea Happy Sensation Daily Lotion

Lever 2000 soap sample
Dove Ultimate Deodorant sample
4 Coupons for free 4-pack of Dole Fruit Bowls (Dole 30 Day Challenge rebate)
Free Chavrie Cheese coupon

SafetyTat Review

A few years ago when we took our son to Cedar Point for the first time, we learned about a program that they offered where you could stop by customer service and get a wrist band for your child that you could write your cell phone number on. The thought was if your child got separated from you, a representative from the park could contact you. As a parent, this seemed like a great idea to me. If he did get separated from us, that would be horrifying - knowing that a park employee could locate us quickly, made me feel better. There were drawbacks to the wristband, but for the benefit, it was well worth it. The wristband was one of those that once it was on, you had to cut it off and as the day got warmer, the wristband did stick to him.

When you are out at the zoo, the mall, the amusement park, or elsewhere, your young children are not likely to know your cell phone number - my daughter who is 3 is just learning her address and phone number. Now clearly, no parent intends to let their child out of sight, but it only takes one moment for a young child to wander off while your distracted. If you could improve the ability for your young child to tell others how to reach you, that would be a great help. That is why, when I was contacted about checking out SafetyTat, I was eager to check out their product.

SafetyTat offers a full line up of products. Their SafetyTat original line is a temporary tattoo that is easily applied with a wet paper towel and will last for one to five days. The SafetyTat can be removed at the end of the day using baby oil or rubbing alcohol. By ordering them preprinted with your contact number, their is no need to worry about the number smudging or getting wet and smearing. If your kids are like mine, they love temporary tattoos, so there is no problem getting them to allow you to apply the tattoo. The tattoos feature a cute little picture - cats, butterflies, robots, along with the message "If LOST, please call:" and then below that are preprinted with your cell number. Another nice feature of these preprinted tattoos that I liked is that they also have version that communicate medical information - Allergic to Peanuts or Bee stings, Child has autism or non-verbal autism, and child is a diabetic. So, in addition to providing your contact information, you can get medical information to someone who doesn't know your child quickly. Have an older child? They also have a Tween series that uses the acronym ICE and has "cooler" pictures.

SafetyTats are also available in a 2-line version, if you want to include more information or a second phone number. They also offer a line that is called TatBuilder - that allows you and your child to customize the temporary tattoo, choosing colors, pictures, and message.

Traveling with a group? Bring along a pack of Quick Stick Write-On Safety Tattoos. These require no water to apply, and include a skin prep wipe and a SafetyTat pen so you can write your own message on the tattoo sticker. These are made of a special material that is durable and water proof.

Another cute product that they have is Tat Kisses. These circle tattoos have a special message and feature either lips or a thumbs up - "Daddy Loves You", "You are So Special", "Kisses from Mommy". These are cute little reminder that they are loved - something to apply on that first day of school, or when you are out of town, or anytime they need a little extra TLC.

Want to learn more about SafetyTat:
The idea for SafetyTat was born on a trip to the amusement park, when a mom found herself writing her phone number on her kids arms (you can read the full story here). also offers some wonderful safety tips here.

No compensation was received for this post. Through my participation in MamaBzz, I received a set of Original SafetyTat and one set of Quick Stick Write-On so that I could check them out and share my experiences.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Do you shop at Giant Eagle? Depending on where you live, will now be able to participate in foodperks! They rolled out this program as a pilot last year in Pittsburgh (and maybe Columbus too), but it appears that they are expanding the program and it now includes at least the North East Ohio locations.

You already can earn savings on your gas by buying groceries (fuelperks!), but starting today you will be able to earn savings on your groceries by buying gas. The best part is that you earn foodperks even when you redeem fuelperks! and vise verse. For every 10 gallons of fuel you pump at GetGo, you earn a 1% discount on a future visit to Giant Eagle. You can accumulate your foodperks! too. The maximum you can redeem is 20% on a $300 maximum grocery bill.

You can learn more about foodperks! here. Watch their interactive video and get a head start by earning 10% foodperks! just for watching.

I watched the video when they rolled out the program a while back (I wasn't able to redeem the % at the time because my store didn't participate, but it showed up on my receipt when I purchased gas within the test market - wonder if it will be on my card?), so when I clicked on the interactive video link, it told me that I had already watched the video but could earn a free coffee. It still showed me a reward of 10% while watching the video, but the last screen told me that I had earned a free coffee from GetGo. Oh well! At least I can start earning foodperks! now.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sex and the City 2 Soundtrack

I keep hearing everyone talk about the upcoming Sex and the City 2 Soundtrack. The local radio stations have been doing Girls Night Out giveaways. Some of my friends at work are planning an evening out to watch the movie.

You'll have to enter yet tonight (contest closes at midnight PST 5/26/10), but by entering your mobile number here you will get a message from Sarah Jessica Parker on the day the movie opens (tomorrow!). One lucky person will win a personal call from Sarah Jessica Parker. You can read the official rules and get more details here.

The Sex and the City 2: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released on Tuesday and the movie is opening in theaters tomorrow.

1. Alicia Keys “Rapture”
2. Dido “Everything to Lose”
3. Cee Lo “Language of Love”
4. Erykah Badu “Window Seat”
5. Natacha Atlas “Kidda”
6. Michael McGregor “Euphrates Dream”
7. Liza Minnelli “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”
8. Ricki-Lee "Can't Touch It"
9. Alicia Keys "Emire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down"
10. Jennifer Hudson and Leona Lewis "Love Is Your Color"
11. Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon “I Am Woman”
12. Sex and the City Men’s Choir “If Ever I Would Leave You”
13. Sex and the City Men’s Choir “Sunrise, Sunset”
14. Sex and the City Men’s Choir “Till There Was You”
15. Shayna Steele, Jordan Ballard, Kamilah Marshall “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”
16. Liza Minnelli with Billy Stritch “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye”
17. Cyndi Lauper “True Colors”
18. Aaron Zigman “Divas and Dunes”

Some notes about the soundtrack:
  • The soundtrack features a brand-new duet "Love is Your Color" by Grammy and Academy Award® winner Jennifer Hudson, along with global superstar, multi-platinum recording artist and three-time Grammy Award nominee Leona Lewis.

  • Soundtrack includes a new song by platinum-selling CeeLo and International superstar Dido also contributes an exclusive new track.

  • Grammy, Emmy, Golden Globe, Tony and Academy Award® winner Liza Minnelli covers Beyonce’s chart-topper “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”

  • 12-time Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys performs her own extraordinary new version of the Blondie classic “Rapture”.

  • The soundtrack also features the stars of Sex and the City 2, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon, performing the Helen Reddy classic “I Am Woman.”

    Overall, I like the CD. There is definitely a unique collection of songs on the soundtrack. Even if you had never seen a preview or a picture from the movie and only had listened to the soundtrack, it seems pretty obvious that the soundtrack is for a movie that is set in a desert. There is just something about the tone of the music that suggests this. The biggest problem I have is that with some of these songs, until you see the movie, they just feel off (like Liza Minelli's "Single Ladies" - that is the problem with other people singing songs you are familiar with in ways that are different from the original. Listening to the soundtrack makes me curious to see the movie. (I have to confess that I have never seen a single episode of the television show nor have I seen the first movie - perhaps I would be best to start at least with the first movie before seeing this one?)

    I like how the commentary in the liner notes talks about how the movie deals with who they were, who they are and who they will become in the future, and how the evolution of music plays a role in each of our own personal evolutions, as an explanation for the span of music that is on the soundtrack - past, present and new.

    I think my favorite song is the new "Love is Your Color", not sure what specifically makes it my favorite, I just like its sound. Of course, the classic Cyndi Lauper "True Colors" is a song that I already know and love. (It reminds me of college - it was among a number of songs we put on a mix our freshman year.) I was disappointed with Liza Minelli's rendition of "Single Ladies" (as mentioned above) - but again, in the context of the movie, this version might make perfect sense, so I won't completely dismiss it until I have seen the movie. The version of "I Am Woman" sung by the four characters is fun and you can visualize them together sharing in this song (I imagine it is what they are singing in this Karaoke picture from the soundtrack liner.)

    You can listen to a selection of the songs from the soundtrack on the Facebook page for Sex and the City 2 (soundtrack tab). You can purchase a copy of the album here.

    No compensation was received for this post. As a participant in this One2One campaign, I received the soundtrack to listen to and share my opinions.

    CVS Deals - 5/24

    I headed to CVS early this week, worried that they would be out of the products for some of the deals. My concern was well founded, I picked up the last two bottles of Old Spice body wash on shelf. I had left my purse at home (short term memory lapse?), so when I stopped by at lunch, all I had were my ECBs and a gift card that I got from an even exchange that turned out not to be so even I had done the week before. As a result, I had to be conservative in my purchases to ensure that I minimized out of pocket.

    2 - Old Spice Fresh Body Wash
    1 - Old Spice Fresh Deodorant
    4 - CVS Pocket Pack Tissues
    2 - CVS 30ct Cotton Swabs

    -$4.00 BOGO Old Spice Body Wash Mfg coupon
    -$2.29 BOGO Old Spice Deodorant with purchase of Body Wash
    -$1 $1/2 CVS paper products CRT
    -$1 $1/2 CVS paper products CRT
    -$1 $1 CVS cosmetic accessory CRT

    Paid with $4 ECB (adjusted to $3.97) and $0.65 on the gift card. Earned $8 ECBs. Not too shabby of a "profit".

    This deal shared at Shopping Superstars.

    the children are growing...part 2...

    A few weeks ago, this is where we played at home.

    Now, we have our own 'playground' (even Mommy can swing!).

    This post shared at Wordless Wednesday.

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010

    Silk Pure Almond Milk Giveaway Winner

    Congratulations to Kathy, Jennifer and Stacey. They were selected by as the winners of the Silk PureAlmond Giveaway. Since Kathy was the first one, she gets the branded Chico Bag in addition to the coupon to try Silk PureAlmond.

    An e-mail will be sent to the winners. Thanks for entering and be sure to check out the Grill Daddy and One eskimO giveaways.

    Random Integer Generator
    Here are your random numbers:


    Timestamp: 2010-05-25 09:42:02 UTC

    Monday, May 24, 2010

    Menu Plan Monday

    What a great weekend! Saturday was a beautiful day, until about 5 pm, when it poured just in time to cancel my son's baseball game. We took advantage of the new found time and headed out to our favorite local Mexican restaurant with a friend. It was nice, plus then, we didn't wind up buying anything at the minor league ball game that we went to. I did my weekly shopping on Sunday at Giant Eagle, I spent $55 on $115 worth of product (52% savings) and I have $7 in Catalinas to use next week. Three of my best purchases weren't even food! - I got 4 30-ct bags of Solo Squared Cups for $2 (and earned a $4 Catalina for the purchase), 30ft of foil for $.19 and I got 4 small boxes (17ct gallon bags and 22ct quart bags) of Hefty One Zip bags for $2, all after sale and coupons. On the grocery side, my best deal had to be the 2 Danoninos (6pk), 1 Activia (4pk), and 1 Danamils drinking yogurt (6pk) for $2.50 total after sales and coupons.

    Sunday night, we joined many across the country in watching LOST. Unfortunately, our local affiliate was having "technical difficulties" and the screen was doing crazy things. We made it through the show, not really sure that we know as much as we had hoped to learn. They are re-airing on Saturday as a result of the issues, maybe I should re-watch it.

    This week, as you can guess, there is once again turkey in our menu plan. We had turkey burgers on Sunday, there is ground turkey in the Skyline Chili (from the freezer), there is diced turkey tenderloin in the enchiladas (from the freezer), and we'll use turkey sausage as part of breakfast for dinner.


    Skyline Chili


    Breakfast for Dinner

    Shredded Chicken Tacos

    Rattlesnake Pasta

    Dinner out with family

    Weekdays breakfast is at daycare for my daughter, the rest of us eat cold cereal, frozen waffles, oatmeal, toast or whatever strikes our fancy. Lunch we pack, usually leftovers for me.

    Check out other menu plans for the week at Menu Plan Monday at I'm An Organizing Junkie.

    Sunday, May 23, 2010

    Walgreens Scenarios - week of 5/23

    There are a few good deals this week at Walgreens. I might have to see about making a trip next weekend to pick up some of the deals.

    Transaction #1
    1 - Goody Ouchless
    1 - Complete Multipurpose Solution

    -$2 Complete Mfg coupon

    Total $8.98 OOP, earn $7.99 and $2.99 RR.

    Transaction #2
    1 - Dove Men + Care
    2 - Qtips
    1 - Vaseline Sheer Infusion
    2 - Hunts Tomato Sauce

    -$1 Dove Men + Care mfg coupon
    -$.60 Qtips IP
    -$.60 Qtips IP
    -$2 Vaseline Mfg coupon

    Total $11.79, pay with $7.99 and $2.99 RR and $.81 OOP. Earn $5 RR.

    Transaction #3
    1 - Scrubbing Bubbles Extend A Clean
    1 - Scrubbing Bubbles Extend A Clean refill
    1 - Goody Ouchless

    -$5 Scrubbing Bubbles Extend a Clean IP
    -FREE Scrubbing Bubbles Extend a Clean Refill with purchase of starter kit IP

    Total $5.98, pay with $5 RR and $.98 OOP. Earn $2 and $2.99 RR.

    Transaction #4
    1 - Colgate TP
    1 - Nestle Bar

    -$.75 Colgate Mfg coupon

    Total $2.73, pay with $2 RR and $.73 OOP. Earn $2 RR.

    Total OOP for the transactions $10.70 with $2 and $2.99 RR remaining. A "net" of $5.71 for over $41.44 in product (not sure of actual price of the Scrubbing Bubbles refill) ~ 77% savings.

    For more deals and scenarios, check out Money Saving Mom and Deal Seeking Mom.

    Walgreens $5 Challenge

    Transaction #1
    1 - Colgate TP

    -$.75 Colgate Mfg coupon

    Total $2.24 OOP, earn $2 RR.

    Transaction #2
    1 - Goody Ouchless

    Total $2.99, pay with $2 RR and $.99 OOP. Earn $2.99 RR.

    Transaction #4
    2 - Pantene Shampoo/Conditioner
    1 - Hunt's Tomato Sauce

    -$1 Pantene Mfg coupon
    -$1 Pantene Mfg coupon

    Total $5.24, pay with $2.99 RR and $2.25 OOP. Earn $2 RR.

    Total OOP of $5.48 with $2 RR remaining.

    For more $5 Scenarios, check out the Walgreens $5 Challenge.

    CVS Scenarios - week of 5/23

    There are a number of interesting things this week at CVS. I must say, I'm a little curious about the move to 4pk of cans of Pepsi. Is this a price point thing? With only four cans, they can get it under $1. Still, at that cost a case would be $6. Remember when a 6pk of cans was under $1. I don't drink much soda, but my husband does. Costs are getting ridiculous on soda. Regular price for 2L seems to be almost $2 at the grocery store, of course they are on sale this week for $.99 at CVS. The rising prices certainly encourage me to stock up on deals and avoid buying it at other times.

    Transaction #1
    2 Old Spice Body wash
    CVS Cotton Swabs 50ct
    2 CVS Tissues travel pack
    1 Bandaid

    -$4 BOGO Old Spice Body wash mfg coupon
    -$1 CVS Cosmetic Accessory CRT
    -$1 $1/2 CVS Paper Product CRT
    -$1 Bandaid CRT
    -$.50 Bandaid Mfg coupon

    Total $4.79, earn $8 ECBs. I have seen posts that suggest that you can also combine the BOGO coupon for the Old Spice Body Wash and Old Spice Deoderant. I'm not so sure about this - I am curious, has anyone tried this? did it work? I feel like I have already used a coupon for the one that I bought.

    Transaction #2
    1 Crest 3D White
    6 Ragu Pasta Sauce

    -$1 Crest 3D White mfg coupon (came with a sample)
    -$1.25 $1.25/3 Ragu Pasta Sauce mfg coupon (some areas got $1/2 which is a better deal)
    -$1.25 $1.25/3 Ragu Pasta Sauce mfg coupon

    Total $9.49, pay with $8 ECBs from Transaction #1 and $1.49 OOP. Earn $1 and $3 ECBs.

    Transaction #3
    2 Pantene Shampoo/Conditioner

    -$1 Pantene Mfg coupon (Parade magazine)
    -$1 Pantene Mfg coupon (Parade magazine)

    Total $4.97, pay with $4 ECBs from Transaction #2 and $.97 OOP. Earn $2 ECBs.

    Total OOP for these transactions is $7.25 with $2 ECBs left to roll for a total of $32.24 merchandise at sale prices, a 79% savings.

    For more deals and scenarios, check out Money Saving Mom, Deal Seeking Mom and the "Cent"sible Sawyer.

    CVS $5 Challenge
    Transaction #1
    2 Old Spice Body Wash

    -$4 BOGO Old Spice Body Wash mfg coupon

    Total $4 OOP, earn $8 ECBs.

    Transaction #2
    1 CVS Cotton Swabs 50ct
    2 CVS Tissues travel pack
    1 Crest 3D White
    2 Pantene Shampoo/Conditioner
    1 Bandaid
    1 Pepsi 2L (or other filler)

    -$1 CVS Cosmetic Accessory CRT
    -$1 $1/2 CVS Paper Product CRT
    -$1 Crest 3D White Mfg coupon
    -$1 Pantene Mfg coupon
    -$1 Pantene Mfg coupon
    -$1 Bandaid CRT
    -$.50 Bandaid Mfg coupon

    Total $8.74, pay with $8 ECBs from transaction #1 and $.74 OOP. Earn $1 and $2 ECBs.

    Total OOP $4.74 with $3 ECBs left to roll for $23.23 in merchandise at sale prices, a savings of 82%.

    For more $5 Scenarios, check out the CVS $5 Challenge.

    Saturday, May 22, 2010

    Target Deals - 5/22

    Thankfully, I happened to read FishMama's latest post on Life As Mom before heading out to do my shopping today. As a result, I remembered that there was a Kashi deal that I wanted to take advantage of at Target, so instead of heading to Walmart to pick up treats to take to my son's baseball game, I headed to Target. Unfortunately, I only had my coupon organizer and not my grocery coupons, so I didn't have as many Kashi coupons as I had planned to. I still did good though.

    Transaction #1

    5 - Kashi Honey Sunshine
    5 - Kashi Granola/Cereal Bars

    -$1.50 Kashi Cereal coupon
    -$1.50 Kashi Cereal coupon
    -$1 Kashi cereal coupon (from a peelie)
    -$1 Kashi cereal coupon (from a peelie)
    -$1 Kashi cereal coupon (from a peelie)
    -$1 Kashi granola bar coupon (from a peelie)
    -$1 Kashi granola bar coupon (from a peelie)
    -$1 Kashi granola bar coupon (from a peelie)
    -$1 Kashi granola bar coupon (from a peelie)

    Total $18.30 OOP, received 2x $5 Target gift card.

    Transaction #2

    2 - Nabisco 100 calorie packs
    1 - 12pk Oreo Mini snack packs
    1 - KoolAid pre-sweetened mix
    1 - Teddy Grahams Honey

    -$3.99 BOGO Nabisco 100 calorie snack IP
    -$1 $1/2 Nabisco crackers/cookies

    Total $8.07. Paid with gift cards from Transaction #1.

    So, I got everything above for $18.30 and have $1.93 remaining on a gift card, for a net effective price of $16.37 for 5 boxes of cereal, 30 granola/cereal bars, 24 snack packs, 8qts of KoolAid mix and a bag of Teddy Grahams.

    For more deals, check out Super Saving Saturday and Shopping Superstars.

    One eskimO

    My husband was a college radio DJ. He loves music. He knows all music (at least it feels that way to me - I can sing along with a song and still not know the artist or the title).

    I met my husband at the restaurant/bar where he was DJ-ing, he was a friend of an acquaintance. My roommate and I spent a few hours that evening talking to him and his friend. Of course, one of our topics was music. I had a favorite local-trying-to go-national band from Pittsburgh, the Gathering Field. I mentioned it to him that night. He hadn't heard of them. He went and checked out the music and liked it. I think that played a role in his interest in me and eventually led to us dating, marrying, having a family, and all.

    As a music lover, he always seems to know about new music. He frequently listens to MP3s in his car and yet, he somehow knows all sorts of new music. I relish the opportunity to introduce new music to him, unfortunately, since the days of the Gathering Field, I haven't had luck in introducing him to music that he really likes.

    When I was given the opportunity to check out the self-titled debut from One eskimO (that's right, the e is little, the O is capital), I thought maybe this was finally my chance. One eskimO is a critically-acclaimed English band fronted by singer-songwriter Kristian Leontiou and includes musicians Pete Rinaldi (guitar), Jamie Sefton (bass, horns) and Adam Falkner (drums). They currently have the #1 adult alternative song called Kandi. I hadn't heard it, but it has been the most played song on all adult rock radio 4 weeks and counting. I listen to more of a pop channel, so that is likely why I hadn't hear it.

    Simple Day
    Givin Up
    All Balloons
    Chosen One

    The album is now available in stores and the group is currently on tour supporting the new album. They are touring with Michael Franit and also doing some festivals and headlining shows. Their album release comes in tandem with a full length animated film. “Hometime”, one of the tracks that an animated short was first done with proved to be quite a sensation. It received numerous honors at film festivals around the world, as well as a 2008 British Animation Award.

    You can catch them on tour at the following locations:

    May 14 Miami, FL Fillmore
    May 15 Jacksonville, FL Free Bird Live
    May 18 Orlando, FL House of Blues
    May 19 Tampa, FL The Ritz Ybor

    May 22 Raleigh, NC Lincoln Theatre
    May 24 Asheville, NC The Orange Peel
    May 25 Charleston, SC The Music Farm
    Jun 01 Toronto, ON The Guvernment
    Jun 03 New York, NY The Beach at Governor’s Island
    Jun 04 Boston, MA House of Blues
    Jun 05 Essex Junction, VT Camplain Valley Expo
    Jun 06 Hunter, NY Mountain Jam Festival
    Jun 08 Royal Oak, MI Royal Oak Music Thtr
    Jun 09 Grand Rapids, MI Orbit Room
    Jun 12 Memphis, TN Minglewood Hall
    Jun 13 Kansas City, MO Crossroads
    Aug 14 Denver, CO Mile High Festival

    The album starts out great (although the intro to the first song felt a little random to me). Unfortunately, as with many albums, the strength of the song quality seemed to decline as the tracks progressed. Their sound is sort of airy. I felt like there was a bit of a Jack Johnson and a bit of James Blunt. I think Hometime, Kandi, and Givin Up were amongst my favorites. Kandi has a very catchy sound to it, I found myself singing along after only a few listens. Overall, it is an album I can listen too, but I have to say it's not likely to make it into my regular rotation. It is a nice sound and could work well as a backdrop during a dinner party or an evening of entertaining. And, well, my husband wasn't terribly impressed with them - he felt that there was nothing that stood out in their music and that are plenty of other groups of a similar niche/genre that are better.

    Want to see/hear more for yourself? You can check out the video for their #1 hit "Kandi" or download a free copy of "Astronauts". You can also find the band on Facebook and their You Tube Channel. You can purchase the Deluxe Edition of One eskimO on iTunes.


    Courtesy of One2One and One eskimO, I have the opportunity to giveaway a copy of the self-titled debut album and a T-shirt to one lucky A Busy Mom of Two reader.

    To enter: Leave a comment sharing your favorite band and how you first heard their music.

    Giveaway will remain open until June 1st at 6 am. The winner will be selected using and contacted by e-mail (please be sure you leave a way for me to contact you) and will have 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected.

    No compensation was received for this post. One2One and One eskimO provided a preview copy of the One eskimO album for me to listen to and share my opinions. They also provided a copy of the album and a t-shirt for me to use as a giveaway for my readers.

    Sunshine Award

    I received a really nice award last weekend from Susan at Susan Heim on Parenting. Thank you so much for the Sunshine Award! It's my first blog award.

    Here are the rules for the Sunshine Award:

    * Nominate 12 other bloggers
    * List the award in either a post or on your sidebar
    * Link your nominees within your post
    * Let the nominees know you have passed this on to them by commenting on their blog

    So, here are 12 of the bloggers that I love to read (in no particular order):
    Rocks In My Dryer
    2 Wired 2 Tired
    Moms Need to Know
    Life As Mom
    Mommin' It Up
    Saving In Akron
    Working Moms Against Guilt
    Money Saving Mom
    Deal Seeking Mom
    Mommy Snacks
    Keeping the Kingdom First

    I actually struggled to narrow my list to just 12, but these are some that I visit most regularly.

    CVS Deals - 5/17

    This week, I tried something new, I went to CVS at the beginning of the week. They actually had in the items that were on deal that I wanted this week, as well as some rain check items that I had been waiting to be back in stock so I could pick up. I did pretty good.

    Here is what I got:
    1 - Aussie Mousse
    1 - Aussie Shampoo
    1 - Lady's Speed Stick Staingaurd
    1 - Gillette Venus Embrace Razor (rain check)
    2 - Rightgaurd Total Defense 5 (rain check)
    1 - Benefiber Flavor Stick pack

    -$2 $2/2 Aussie mfg coupon
    -$.75 Speed Stick Stainguard IP
    -$2 Venus Embrace mfg coupon
    -$3 $3/2Rightguard Total Defense IP (
    -$1 Benefiber Mfg coupon
    -$3 Benefiber CRT

    Paid with $16.49 in ECBs and $3.30 OOP ($1.89 + $1.41 tax). Earned $4, $2, $6 and $4 ECBs. So my net cost was $.49 in ECBs and $3.30 OOP, or a total cost of $3.79. I was out of drink sticks and most of this cost was the Benefiber - I hope they have one of their spend $20 get $10 deals again soon.

    For more deals, check out Super Saving Saturday and Shopping Superstars.

    Kmart Deals - 5/16

    In reviewing my ads last week, I noticed that Kmart was having a deal on Jennie-O Turkey again, so I new it was a good opportunity for me to pick up some more turkey (as part of my year's supply of Jennie-O Turkey prize).

    I combined the trip to Super Kmart with a trip to Portrait Innovations to get 3 1/2 year old pictures of my daughter. She had a lot of fun and even pulled me into a few pictures. Of course, we got more pictures than we intended - I think that's why they take so many. It's difficult to not choose more than just the one for the portrait package special. We got the package of her, a set of sheets with her and I and an extra special picture for her. She had to have the one of her with the big fake flower. It's one of those pictures that always turns out cute, but never the one that I want to get a full set of pictures of. She had her heart set on it, so I got one sheet and will put it in her room.

    But, I digress...

    I asked in the meat department about the unseasoned breast meat and the oven ready line. They told me to call back during the week and talk to the manager to see if it is in their catalog. Evidently, if it is, they might be willing to order it for me. I sure hope so, I would like some additional variety. It seems that we are mostly eating the ground turkey and turkey burgers these days. Of course, I had every intention of calling this week, but it just never happened - so it is on my list for next week now.

    Here's what I got: (normally there would be a picture here, but it got deleted)

    3 pkg 20oz 93% Lean Ground Turkey
    2 pkg 4 Seasoned Turkey Burgers
    1 So Easy Turkey Meatloaf
    1 So Easy Turkey Salisbury
    1 So Easy Turkey Southwest Style
    1# Turkey Bacon
    1 Turkey Sausage Patties
    1 pkg of 12 1/4# Turkey Burgers
    1/2# Turkey Breast from the deli
    1 Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce
    1 Taco Bell Taco Seasoning
    1 Old El Paso Taco Seasoning

    -$5 $5/$25 Kmart register receipt coupon
    -$.60 $.60 on two Old El Paso products
    -$36 12 x $3 Jennie O Turkey Mfg coupon

    Total $1.93 OOP. Not bad for 15 meals worth of turkey!

    For more deals, check out Super Savings Saturday and Shopping Superstars.

    Friday, May 21, 2010

    Samples and Freebies


    Kotex Sample Pack

    Kraft Sample Pack - 3 pouches Wheat Thins Sundried Tomato, 3 Vanilla Caramel Latte pouches, 1 coupon for Free Kraft Homestyle Deluxe Mac and Cheese and 1 coupon for Free Kraft Deli Deluxe

    Free Ice Cream Sundaes

    Tomorrow, you can head to your local Walmart to celebrate with a free Ice Cream Sundae.

      Joy of Ice Cream
      Dates: 5/22/2010 - 5/22/2010
      Cool Off With Ice Cream
      Get a free ice cream sundae at a Walmart near you.

      Saturday, May 22, 2010
      11:00AM - 4:00PM

      Come have a free ice cream sundae with Breyers new and exclusive flavors, and Blue Bunny Premium Ice Cream and new All Natural Frozen Yogurt topped with Hershey's Chocolate Syrup, Reddi-wip, and Fresh Strawberries.

    The offer is while supplies last. As always, I recommend confirming that your local store is participating. You can head here for more information and to find your closest participating location.

    Thursday, May 20, 2010

    Grill Daddy

    Grill Daddy

    I recently had the chance to try out the Grill Daddy. I wasn't familiar with the product, so I checked out the website and was intrigued by what I read.

    from Grill Daddy:
      "The Grill Daddy ( is a steam powered grill-cleaning tool that sanitizes grills and eliminates the burnt on food, grease and dirt. Cleaning grills can be a difficult and time-consuming task but the alternative is far worse. Unwashed racks can house bacteria that could contaminate food and leave an unsanitary and bad taste.

      Utilizing specially designed stainless-steel brushes, the Grill Daddy releases water as users brush, hitting the grill and turning to steam while rinsing away unsanitary debris.

      Other features:

      · Steam-powered

      · No rancid greasy residue builds up on the brush (liquefies and melts it away)

      · Safe for porcelain, steel and iron grills (hot or cold)

      · Ergonomic handle keeps hands away from heat and provides maximum leverage"

    When it arrived, I was surprised by the size of the Grill Daddy.

    Grill Daddy

    We had a span of some not so warm, not so dry days, so it sat on my counter for a while after I received it, just waiting to be used. This weekend, it warmed up and I decided to try grilling the turkey tenderloin we had for dinner, instead of baking it. I always clean my grill at the end of usage, but I figured I would try the Grill Daddy both before and after. I turned on my grill and allowed it to preheat, as is recommended in the directions. I then filled the handle with water. I started by using the one set of bristles on the end to loosen anything that was still on the grates. Then, I turned the brush to use the big brush side and turned on the water valve. When I wanted to get water, I simply tilted the back end up and some would spray out through the openings in the brush area. The water, when hitting the hot grates turned to steam. As it did, I continued to scrub the grates with the brush. It seemed to do a pretty good job removing any remaining food residue from the grates. After I grilled, I removed the meat and brought it in to the house to rest before cutting. While I brought it in, I left the grill on and then returned outside to once again use the Grill Daddy. All in all, I was pleased with the cleaning that I got. It seemed to do a better job of removing the food and greasy residue than a standard grill brush does. When too much water released, it would sometimes cause a brief flare, but for the most part the water was a small enough flow that it vaporized upon hitting the grates.

    The Grill Daddy is rather large though. There are handles which give a good leverage when cleaning, but because of the size, I found that sometimes I had to tilt it pretty far to get more water out of the handle. The length did allow me to not have my hands as close to the heat of the grill as my regular brush, but also made it a little awkward to use. I'm not sure where to store it either. I am a fan of hanging my grill brushes under my grill, where they are easily accessible for cleaning. This one has a hook for hanging, but it is much too large to fit in the area under my grill where the gas tank is unless I lay it down. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but don't see many options for storing it.

    I like the idea of cleaning with steam to remove more build-up. I typically pull my grates in to clean in the sink every few months to get that inevitable build-up that the brush doesn't fully clean, off of the grates. I'm wondering if I use the Grill Daddy regularly after doing that, if I can keep the grates generally cleaner overall and reduce the frequency with which I feel the need to bring them in and wash them in the sink.

    With Father's Day coming up, this could be a great option for the Dad(s) in your life that have it all. You can purchase the Grill Daddy for only $19.95 plus shipping and handling through


    Courtesy of Grill Daddy and MamaBzz, I also have the opportunity to give away a Grill Daddy to one A Busy Mom of Two reader.

    To enter: Leave a comment sharing your favorite meal to cook on the grill.

    Bonus entries:
  • Sign up to received daily updates from A Busy Mom of Two. Leave a comment letting me know that you subscribed or already do.

  • Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway. Leave a comment with a link to your tweet.

  • This giveaway will remain open until June 1st at 6 pm. Winner will be selected using The winner will be contacted by e-mail (be sure to leave one!) and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected.

    No compensation was received for this post. I did receive a Grill Daddy courtesy of MamaBzz and Grill Daddy, so that I could use the Grill Daddy and share about my experience. In addition, they provided the opportunity for me to host a giveaway for one reader to win a Grill Daddy.

    Wednesday, May 19, 2010

    Finding Time to Exercise

    As a working mom with two young kids, the one thing that I seem to lack most is time. There are so many things that I need to do for me and for my family and I never feel like I have time to fit it all in. One of the things that I have always struggled with is finding time to exercise. Which unfortunately, makes it easy for me to skip.

    I've tried taking classes, figuring if I can schedule a specific time that I will be able to attend because it was planned and scheduled. The community center offers aerobics classes in the evenings, but between my husband's class schedule and trying to have family meals, it just never seemed to be something that I could consistently commit too. Sure, I will start the year, the month, the season, with good intentions, choosing a class that works around our current schedule, but it never fails that within a few weeks I will have an obstacle that will cause me to miss a class and suddenly, I can't seem to make them at all anymore.

    So, I decided that I needed something I could do at home. We purchased an elliptical a few years back. When we first got it, I used it very regularly, but then again, I found it hard to find the time to consistently use it. I tried the evenings, but it always wound up getting too late and I didn't want to be kept awake by exercising too close to bed time. I tried the mornings, which I did very well for a long time, but invariably an early morning meeting or a late night or a cold or something would interrupt my routine of getting up to exercise and it would take me months to get back on track only to have another interruptions derail me again. I still do use it occasionally, but this was clearly not the answer for me.

    When I was pregnant with my daughter, I started walking semi-regularly on my lunch hour with some co-workers. At the time, we walked only a short distance and time. It felt good to get out and there was accountability. There was someone that I was meeting and someone that I didn't want to let down by not walking. Overtime, our walking group evolved. The old group, through life changes and more wasn't walking regularly anymore. Recently, I started to walk with another co-worker who works with my friend. She is an avid walker and walks not only a good distance, but a good pace. The new path that we walk at lunch is 2.75 miles long and we spend 40 minutes doing the walk. It is a much more intense walk and I feel better when I'm done. Because our schedules don't always jive, I've also started to include other friends and co-workers on the walk. I walk with different people everyday some weeks, but I walk. It is an intense enough walk that in the summer, I feel the need to change at least my shirt before I walk. I still can't make it every day, because of lunch meetings and the occasional work through lunch, but most days I do, and it really works for me. I have time to get in exercise and it doesn't interfere with anything that I need to do at home.

    In addition, to my regular lunchtime walk, I also have been doing P90X for a while now. I am almost done with round 2. For some reason, P90X is different than other DVDs I have tried. I actually get up every morning and do the workout. Even yesterday, when I had to be to the airport by 7 am, I fit in a P90X workout before my shower. When I do oversleep for some reason, I still get up and do as much of the workout as I can. This makes a big difference for me, it was always that break in my routine that caused me to let the morning workout fall to the side, so by still doing the workout, even when I can't do the full thing, I never have a break in my routine - I am still up and exercising five days a week. I'm not sure if it is seeing results or the way I feel after working out, but something about P90X keeps me motivated to work out.

    When it comes to finding time to exercise, getting up in the morning for P90X and using my lunch hour to walk works for me!

    This post shared at Works For Me Wednesday.

    Wonder Hanger Winner!

    Congratulations to Joseph! He is the winner of the Wonder Hanger giveaway hosted by A Busy Mom of Two.

    An e-mail has been sent to the e-mail Joseph provided.

    Thanks everyone for entering and be sure to check out the Silk PureAlmond Milk giveaway.

    Random Integer Generator
    Here are your random numbers:

    Timestamp: 2010-05-19 09:28:16 UTC

    Tuesday, May 18, 2010

    Athenos Hummus

    Become a Fan of Athenos Hummus on Facebook and you'll be able to print a BOGO coupon for Athenos Hummus.

    I'm a fan of the Roasted Red Pepper and Spicy Three Pepper, but I might use this coupon to try another variety - perhaps Cucumber Dill?

    What's your favorite variety?

    Uncle Ben's Rice

    I like rice. I guess I've always liked rice. When I was a kid, my friend and I created a recipe that we called Rice Delight - it was leftover rice and jam and sugar (how could it not be good?). It is something that I include in our menu plan regularly. I like it as a side, but also as a main meal.

    When I am out, I like to get brown rice, because I've always heard that it was better for me, in the same fashion that whole wheat bread is better than white. As with bread (and pasta for that matter), I have a hard time convincing the family to eat the brown rice. So, when I heard that Uncle Ben's offers a whole grain white rice that has "twice the fiber of Brown Rice", I was excited to give it a try.

    When we tried it, I was happy to discover that there really wasn't much of a difference in taste or texture. It would be very easy to include this product with 45g of Whole Grains per serving and chance are the family wouldn't notice the difference.

    I am planning to try some of the flavored varieties of the Whole Grain White Rice as well. I think the Taco style one would be a great side to serve with our favorite Mexican dishes. In addition, I could see us trying the Chicken flavor or the Sweet Tomato as a side with grilled chicken. My husband doesn't like Broccoli, otherwise the Broccoli Cheddar flavor sounds good as well.

    Want to try it yourself, visit the Uncle Ben’s website for a coupon!

    I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour for Mom Central. I received samples through Mom Central on behalf of Uncle Ben’s in order that I could share my opinion. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate. I also received some additional samples and aprons that I shared with friends.

    Sunday, May 16, 2010

    Menu Plan Monday

    It was a beautiful weekend here - not super warm, but sunny for sure. I headed out on Saturday for a quick trip to the grocery store. Doing my regular weekly shopping at Giant Eagle, I saved 47%. Not too bad, considering the trip included produce and milk. While there, I sampled Kashi Go Lean Crisp Toasted Berry Crumble. It was great - I had to buy a box.

    This week, as you can guess, there is once again turkey in our menu plan. Ground turkey for the tacos, turkey tenderloin leftovers in the fried rice, turkey burgers and ground turkey for the meat sauce.


    Leftovers - Turkey Fried Rice


    Chicken Patty

    Breakfast for dinner

    Pasta with Meat Sauce

    Hot Dogs at the ballgame

    Weekdays breakfast is at daycare for my daughter, the rest of us eat cold cereal, frozen waffles, oatmeal, toast or whatever strikes our fancy. Lunch we pack, usually leftovers for me.

    Check out other menu plans for the week at Menu Plan Monday at I'm An Organizing Junkie.

    Walgreens Scenarios - week of 5/16

    If you are in need of body wash for men, this is the week to stock up on it at Walgreens. They have a free after RR offer that can be couple with some coupons to get lots of free body wash.

    Transaction #1
    2 - Old Spice Body Wash

    -$4.49 BOGO Old Spice Body Wash mfg coupon

    Total $4.49 OOP, earn $4.49 RR.

    Transaction #2
    2 - Tylenol Cold/Sinus products

    -$5/2 Tylenol Cold Mfg coupon

    Total $4.98. Pay with $4.49 RR and $.49 OOP. Earn $3 RR.

    Transaction #3
    2 - Gillette Body Wash
    1 - Royal Gelatin

    -$4.49 BOGO Gillette Body Wash mfg coupon

    Total $4.68. Pay with $3 RR and $1.68 OOP. Earn $4.49 RR.

    Transaction #4
    2 - Children's Tylenol

    -$3/2 Children's Tylenol mfg coupon

    Total $6.98. Pay with $4.49 RR and $2.49 OOP. Earn $3 RR.

    Transaction #5
    2 - Old Spice Body Wash
    2 - Stride Shift Gum (-$1/2 IVC)

    -$4.49 BOGO Old Spice Body Wash Mfg coupon
    -$1 BOGO Stride Gum

    Total $4.49. Pay with $3 RR and $1.49 OOP. Earn $4.49 RR.

    Transaction #6
    2 - Kotex Pads
    2 - Post Cereals

    -$2/2 Kotex Mfg coupon
    -$1/2 Post Mfg coupon

    Total $6.50. Pay with $4.49 RR and $2.01 OOP. Earn $2 RR.

    Transaction #7
    2 - Gillette Body Wash
    1 - Royal Gelatin

    -$4.49 BOGO Gillette Body Wash

    Total $4.68. Pay with $2 RR and $2.68 OOP. Earn $4.49 RR.

    Transaction #8
    1 - Nabisco Honey Maid Graham Cracker
    1 - Hershey Milk Chocolate Bars 6 pk
    1 - Jet Puffed Marshmallows (free with purchase)

    -$1 wyb Nabisco Graham Crackers, Hershey Milk Chocolate and Jet Puffed Marshmallows mfg coupon

    Total $5. Pay with $4.49 RR and $.51 OOP.

    Total OOP for the eight transactions is $15.84 for $68.27 worth of product at sale price, a savings of 77%.

    You might elect to split these transactions across several visits, or do them all at once. If I do them all at once, I always offer to move to the end of the line after each transaction if there is a wait. I hate to upset others that might be in just to pick up one item.

    For more deals and scenarios, check out Deal Seeking Mom and Money Saving Mom.

    Walgreens $5 Challenge

    Transaction #1
    2 - Gillette Body Wash

    -$4.49 BOGO Gillette Body Wash mfg coupon

    Total $4.49 OOP, earn $4.49 RR.

    Transaction #2
    2 - Tylenol Cold/Sinus products
    2 - Stride Shift Gum

    -$5/2 Tylenol Cold Mfg coupon
    -$1 BOGO Stride Gum mfg coupon

    Total $4.98. Pay with $4.49 RR and $.49 OOP. Earn $3 RR.

    Total OOP is $4.98 with $3 RR remaining, for $21.96 in product at sale prices.

    For more $5 Scenarios, check out the Walgreens $5 Challenge.

    CVS Scenarios - week of 5/16

    The deals this week at CVS aren't too bad, there are a few things that I will plan to get. There are a couple of items that you can get for free after ECBs and coupons.

    Transaction #1
    1 - Aussie Shampoo
    1 - Aussie Styler
    2 - Covergirl Wetslicks AmazeMint
    1 - Speedstick Stainguard

    -$2 $2/2 Aussie Shampoo and stlyer mfg coupon
    -$5.99 Covergirl face product BOGO mfg coupon
    -$.75 Speedstick IP

    Total $6.22 OOP, earn $4 and $2 ECBs.

    Transaction #2
    1 - Blade 5 Razor

    Total $6.99. Pay with $6 in ECBs from Transaction #1 and $.99 OOP. Earn $6.99 ECBs.

    Transaction #3
    1 - Dial multibar pack
    2 - Orville Redenbacher Popcorn
    4 - Chef Boyardee cans

    -$.35 Dial Mfg coupon
    -$1 $1/2 Orville Redenbacher mfg coupon
    -$1.50 Chef Boyardee IP

    Total $9.03. Pay with $6.99 ECBs and $2.04 OOP. Earn $3 and $1 ECBs.

    The other two deals that I would like to take advantage of, but am not sure of the prices are the following:

    Revlon Color Cosmetics Spend $10 earn $3 ECBs.
    -$3 $3/$15 Revlon CRT
    -$2 Revlon Color Cosmetic Mfg coupon
    -$2 Revlon Color Cosmetic Mfg coupon

    Band-Aid Neosporin Spend $7 earn $3
    -$1 BandAid CRT
    -$.50 BandAid Mfg coupon
    -$.50 Neosporin Mfg coupon

    I might also pick up the 4 12-packs of Pepsi for $9 after ECBs.

    For more CVS deals and scenarios, check out the "Cent"sible Sawyer, Deal Seeking Mom and Money Saving Mom.

    CVS $5 Challenge
    Transaction #1
    2 - Covergirl AmazeMints
    1 - Speedstick Stainguard

    -$5.99 Covergirl face product BOGO mfg coupon
    -$.75 Speedstick IP

    Total $2.24 OOP, earn $2 ECBs.

    Transaction #2
    1 - Aussie Shampoo
    1 - Aussie Styler

    -$2 $2/2 Aussie Mfg coupon

    Total $3.98. Pay with $2 ECBs and $1.98 OOP, earn $4 ECBs.

    Total OOP $4.22, with $4 ECBs left to roll.

    For more $5 Scenarios, check out the CVS $5 Challenge.

    Saturday, May 15, 2010

    CVS Deals - 5/14

    Since I didn't have much luck finding this week's deals at CVS on Thursday, I headed back out on Friday at lunch time to see if I could find some of the items at another store. Luckily, they were mostly stocked and I used one rain check, got one more rain check.

    Transaction #1
    2 - Lindt Chocolate Bars
    1 - Kotex U
    1 - Carefree Liners 56ct
    1 - CVS Liners 22ct
    1 - Nature's Bounty Multi
    1 - Nature's Bounty Vitamin C

    -$1 $1/2 Lindt Mfg coupon
    -$1 Kotex Mfg coupon
    -$1 Kotex CVS coupon
    -$4 Carefree CRT
    -$.99 CVS liner CRT
    -$5 Nature's Bounty coupon
    -$5 Nature's Bounty coupon

    Paid with $6 and $1 ECB and $.87 OOP. Earned $1, $4.99, and $2 ECBs.

    Transaction #2
    1 - Bag Dove Promises Caramel
    1 - Crest ProHealth Rinse
    2 - Nivea BodyWash for Women
    2 - Nivea BodyWash for Men

    -$2 Dove CRT
    -$.75 Crest Rinse mfg coupon
    -$2 $2/2 Bodywash CRT
    -$2 $2/2 Bodywash CRT
    -$4 Nivea Women Bodywash mfg coupon
    -$4 Nivea Women Bodywash mfg coupon
    -$3 Nivea Men Bodywash mfg coupon
    -$3 Nivea Men Bodywash mfg coupon
    -$4.88 Nivea Women BOGO mfg coupon

    Total $1.83 OOP, earned $5 and $3.50 ECBs. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with the transaction at the store, I was supposed to owe about $4 (+tax) by my calculation and yet I owed under $2 with tax. As I sit here typing it, I realize that I inadvertently handed the cashier one too many bodywash coupons. She didn't have to push anything through, so it didn't occur to me at the time. I think that I will have to go back and purchase one without a coupon, to make it right. I used my rain check for the Nivea deal to get last week's sale price. The cashier suggested since it was still on deal that I save the rain check, I told her I really just wanted the sale price from last week and if she could use that part of the rain check, I would prefer to do that. She wasn't sure if the ECB would print if she did price override, but I mentioned that if it didn't print, she could always use the ECB portion of the rain check to print one.

    For the day, I started with $7 ECBs. I spent them plus $2.70 OOP and earned $16.49 in ECBs. A "profit" of $6.80 in ECBs, or about flat when I purchase the bodywash. I can't believe I did that. I was a little flustered I guess trying to fit it all in on my lunch hour. I had to go back in after I walked out to get my rain check.

    This post shared at Shopping Superstars and Super Savings Saturday.

    Friday, May 14, 2010

    CVS Deals - 5/13

    On my way to a banquet, I thought, I have a few extra minutes, I'm going to stop at CVS. I got some great coupons from the coupon machine, but when I went up and down the aisles, I learned that they were pretty much out of everything and what they did have wasn't enough for me to use any ECBs. I put back a few things and then checked out. I had two items and two coupons, but the cashier pulled the peelie off of the bottle and pushed it through(?!?) even though I pointed out that I had a coupon for each item. As a result, my total was negative and I had to purchase a filler. Luckily they had some clearance gummy bears, because I didn't see any chocolate on sale. As I look at my receipt now, my subtotal was still negative, the tax offset it to make my total positive.

    1 - Nature's Bounty Omega
    1 - Nature's Bounty Vitamin C chewable
    1 - Gold Emblem Gummy Bear

    -$5 Nature's Bounty IP (rewards program)
    -$5 Nature's Bounty IP (rewards program)
    -$1 Nature's Bounty Peelie

    Total $.55 cash OOP. Earned no ECBs.

    For more deals, check out Super Savings Saturday and Shopping Superstars.

    Samples and Freebies


    Old Spice Body Wash
    Dove Deodorant
    Secret Clinical Strength
    Cooking Light Magazine
    Coupon for free box of Kraft Cheesy Explosion Macaroni and Cheese
    Playtex Gentle Glide


    Aveeno Nourish+ Shampoo and Conditioner sample and coupon
    Enfagrow Premium Vanilla - drink sticks, like formula for toddlers?
    Coupon for free Uncle Ben's Ready Whole Grain Medley
    U by Kotex sample and coupon

    Free Ice Cream from Haagen Dazs

    FREE Ice Cream, On May 18th at Haagen Dazs!

    The Haagen-Dazs® brand is celebrating a milestone birthday − and you’re invited to share in the fun as we all sing for ice cream. On Tuesday, May 18, 2010, Haagen-Dazs will celebrate 50 years as the first super premium ice cream with its annual Free Flavor Day. From 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in any participating Haagen-Dazs Shop across the country, ice cream lovers can wish the brand a “Happy Birthday” and enjoy a free scoop of one of three original all-natural ice cream flavors: Haagen-Dazs Chocolate, Coffee or Vanilla.

    Of course, I won't get to participate, as there aren't any shops near me. You can (hopefully) find a location near you here! As always, I recommend calling ahead to confirm your location is participating.

    Thursday, May 13, 2010

    Cheese Puffs and Shortbread Cookies

    This week the theme for the Ultimate Recipe Swap at Life As Mom is fats. Butter is a very versatile fat for cooking/baking. You can make something sweet or savory with butter. It can make something melt in your mouth and make something rich. I thought I would share two recipes today, one savory and one sweet.

    The cheese puffs I first had at a friend's local reception (she got married in Italy, so when they got home, they had a reception locally). They are very flavorful. The cheesy dough sort of melts in your mouth courtesy of the butter and the saltiness of the olive is a perfect accent to the cheesy dough.

    Cheese Puffs
    2 c grated sharp cheddar cheese
    1 cup flour
    1 tbsp milk
    1 stick butter, softened
    48 pimento stuffed olives

    Put cheese and butter in a mixing bowl and mix until smooth. Add milk and mix. Add flour and mix. Place the dough on a floured surface and roll out until 1/4" thick. Cut into small squares and wrap around an olive. Bake on cookie sheet for about 15min, until crisp.

    I also like to make simple shortbread cookies. There is something to me that is so irresistible about a cookie that just melts in your mouth.

    Shortbread Cookies
    1 c butter, softened
    1/2 c brown sugar, packed
    1 tsp vanilla
    2 1/4 c flour

    Combine butter, sugar and vanilla in bowl. Beat at medium speed. Add flour, beat at low speed (lest you splatter flour everywhere!) until incorporated.

    Divide dough in two. Roll into a log, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

    Once dough is firm (about 2 hours), remove dough from refrigerator and unwrap. Slice in 1/4" slices and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Cook at 375 for 7 to 9 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes on cookie sheet before removing to cooling rack.

    To finish cookies, you can either leave them plain or dip them in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar or dip them in melted chocolate.

    For more recipes using butter and other fats, check out the Ultimate Recipe Swap.

    This post also shared at:
    the Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap
    Foodie Friday
    Friday Food
    Food on Fridays

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    Giant Eagle Mystery Shopping

    Giant Eagle is looking for Mystery Shoppers for their pharmacies. In exchange for shopping and completing a survey, they will send you a $15 gift card.

    You can learn more about the opportunity and how to apply here.

    the children are growing...

    ...and we are making way for a new play system.

    This post shared at Wordless Wednesday.

    Decision Making

    Part of being frugal is using your money wisely and getting a good value for your money - regardless of the size of the purchase. Purchases can range from small to big in cost, whether you are buying something for a few bucks or a few thousand bucks, it is still important to use your money wisely. By getting the best value, I might spend more than I have to in the short term, but in the end I am getting something that works for me. Some people probably feel that frugal is synonymous with cheap, but I totally disagree. The way I see it, by being frugal and getting good deals on things, it frees up money that I can save or use for other things that I need or want.

    Currently, one of those things that we want is a new play system for the kids. When my son wasn't quite a year, we got a Little Tikes Swing and Slide play set for the backyard as a gift. It has been wonderful for them. I can remember the first few months of my son playing on it, where I would practically stand guard at the edge of the "tall" platform out of concern that with his balance he might fall off. I had the same worries when my daughter was a toddler.

    My husband and I had talked about when we thought they would outgrow the Little Tikes set and whether we would replace it and with what. We had thought that we would get one more year out of it for my daughter, but as she was sliding down the slide a few weeks ago, she showed me how when she sat at the top of the slide, her feet were at the bottom. Now, it was the smaller of the two slides, but either way, it was clear that she was starting to outgrow the set and my son already had.

    I started looking into play sets. There are about 3 or 4 different lots that sell a variety of brands, styles and levels of play sets just a few miles from home. In addition, there are the sets available through the toy store and the hardware stores. With all of these options and such a range of prices, how do you find the best value?

    Since I'm certain we are not the only ones that have faced this question (or really any, since this steps are pretty standard for most decisions), I thought I would share our approach in hopes that it would help someone else. I must say that I am a thorough person and that I don't make decisions without looking into things.

    1. Identify what you need and want.

    We knew that whatever option that we selected, it was going to be an investment for the family. As such, it was important to us to know that we would get years of use out of the play set. It needed to be something that they could play with now, but wouldn't lose interest in any time soon. We also needed to know that they could continue to play on it as they got bigger. We wanted a set that had both swings and slides. One slide would work, but two would be better.

    2. Explore your options.

    We started by exploring some websites for different brands of play sets. Then, we decided it would be best to visit each of the lots with play systems to get a better perspective. When we went to the lots, we allowed the kids to run and play, while we explored the sets and learned more about the features and getting feedback from the employees on the benefits and features of each play set. Allowing them to play, helped us see what features they were attracted to and played on over and over again. We asked a lot of questions. We explored questions around how to maintain the sets (staining, etc), weathering, how many kids (and of what size) could play on it at a time, what the warranties are, and more. We wanted to make sure that we were armed with the information that would help us make the decision that was right for us. To make sure our information was complete, we also looked at the sets offered through the toy store, warehouse club and hardware store.

    3. Evaluate your options.

    We evaluated two aspects for the play sets - the cost and the perceived value. The cost was pretty straightforward. We had price list information from most locations and even had the option of requesting quotes online for some of the systems that we were considering. To help us with the value piece, we wanted to learn more about others experiences and quality over time. We know a lot of people that have play sets. We talked to our friends, learning what brand or where they purchased their play set and finding out what they liked about their play set. We tried to do some exploration online of some of the major brands to get even more opinions. We were a little disappointed in that most of what we were finding in terms of reviews were all located on the manufacturer sites.

    4. Determine which option is the best for you.

    Because there was such a range of products (and a correlating range of cost), we compared on the simple play set that consisted of one tower with a slide and a swing set. This way, we knew from a starting point, which system was the best value. Anything we added, if we chose a modular system, would be an added cost, but it would have been unfair to compare sets of different sizes. Ultimately, the set that we decided on was an Ultra Built Play System. The cost was a premium to many sets, but so was the system from our perspective. We liked the modularity of the system, we could not only choose the components that worked for us, but we could also decide to add to the play system in the future or change out components. We liked that the swing beam had three swings and can support 1000#. That means that my husband and I could swing with one of the kids now and that long-term, the kids wouldn't get too big to swing and play on this play system. We liked that the product is designed and built in the USA. We liked that the lumber was pressure treated and "exceeds industry standards with environmentally friendly, non-toxic lumber, triple strength construction, glass smooth finishes and rounded corners."

    Once we made our decision, we went back to the lot to make our purchase. We were still not 100% certain on exactly which system we would order. We knew we had some ideas of what we wanted but were concerned about the total cost. To help make some of our decisions, I climbed onto the Play System to check it out to see what it would be like for the kids as they got taller. We thought that we had wanted the tube slide, but after I went down the slide, we decided that it was a tight fit for me and that as the kids got taller it would be a tight fit for them and as a result, probably something that they might not use as often as they got older. We talked through it and decided that we would go for the second tower now, rather than plan to come back the next year. We watched the kids climb on the rock climber and rock wall. My daughter struggled with the rock wall (she is only 3), but we noticed that with the rock climber that she didn't use the "rocks" to climb, but rather used the slats in between as a ladder. That wasn't what we were looking for. We learned that there are multiple ways to lay out the panels of the rock wall to make it easier or harder to navigate, giving us the option to adjust it as the kid get older. We decided that adding a deck to the lowest level would be a help in maintaining the yard around the system and would give the kids an additional play surface.

    After some playing and exploration, we went inside and priced out the system. The system that we first priced out was beyond what we were comfortable spending, so we started stepping back through some of the features to get to a unit that had a price that we were comfortable with.

    Once we made the purchase decision, we decided it was time to get rid of the Little Tikes Play set. We weren't sure whether there would be a market for a 6 year old, sun-faded play set, so we listed it on Craigslist early in hopes that it would sell before the new play set came in. I must say, we were surprised at not only how quickly the responses started coming in, but how many we got. We even got replies offering more than we listed it for in hopes that they could jump ahead of the pack. We went with the first offer and it made me feel good to allow someone else to get enjoyment out of the play set that had served us so well.

    Our new play system is coming this weekend and the kids are excited. My daughter keeps asking when it will be Sunday, in anticipation of the arrival of the new play system.

    This post shared at Works for Me Wednesday and Frugal Friday.

    Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    Silk Pure Almond Milk Review & Giveaway

    I've always been a big drinker of milk. To me there is nothing like a tall glass of cold milk. It is refreshing and thirst quenching. I can't imagine life with milk. That is not the case for all though. I have friends that are lactose intolerant and those that are allergic to milk. For them, they have to find alternatives to milk if they want to enjoy things as simple as a bowl of cereal (there is something about the crunch of cereal against the back drop of milk - especially if you have a good chocolate cereal that flavors your milk as you go).

    I recently had the chance to try one such alternative - Silk PureAlmond. It is available in both original and vanilla. When I was contacted about trying it, I must say that I was intrigued by the concept - how do you get milk from an almond? Is it from the nut itself or from the plant? I did a little research and learned that it is actually made using ground almonds and water. It is dairy free and has no soy (although you likely are familiar with Silk's Soy Milk line).

    We decided to try the Vanilla Almond Milk. It sounded sort of like a treat, compared to plain white milk. There was no denying the taste of almonds in the milk - I must say, I'm not a big nut eater so I might be more sensitive to the flavor than others. I thought it was smooth and creamy, sweet but not too sweet. Definitely a drink I could enjoy, occasionally. I did not use it on cereal or in coffee, but I have to guess that the original and the vanilla would likely be very good over a bowl of cereal or used as a creamer in coffee.

    The kids though, thought it was a real treat. They couldn't get enough of it and requested it at mealtime. We had opened the almond milk before we visited my family for the weekend and my kids asked Grandma if she had any almond milk and told her that she should get some - clearly they were enjoying it. At the time we were trying the Silk PureAlmond, I happened to have some chocolate milk in the refrigerator as well and they were choosing the almond milk over the chocolate milk. As a mom, I was quite okay with this. The Silk PureAlmond product only has 60 calories per serving for the original and 90 calories per serving for the vanilla (better than the chocolate milk that we had).

    You can learn more about Silk PureAlmond here. You can also find them on Facebook.

    Register here to print at .75 off coupon and then find a local retailer to try Silk PureAlmond for yourself.

    Would you like to Silk PureAlmond? Courtesy of Silk, I have the opportunity to give away a coupon for a free half gallon of Silk PureAlmond to three A Busy Mom of Two readers. In addition, one of those winners will also receive a Silk PureAlmond branded ChicoBag.

    How to enter: Leave a comment sharing your favorite way to enjoy milk (or a milk alternative).

    Additional Entries - Please leave a separate comment for each addition entry!:
    1. Subscribe to A Busy Mom of Two via RSS or email.
    2. Follow me on Twitter AND tweet about this giveaway. Leave a comment with a link to your tweet. This entry can be done daily.
    3. Blog about this giveaway. Leave a comment with a link to your post.
    4. Promote this giveaway another way, like Facebook. Leave a comment letting me know how you promoted this giveaway.
    5. Add my button to your blog. (It’s on my sidebar to the right.) Leave a comment letting me know that you added it (or that it was already there!)

    This giveaway will remain open until May 24th at 6 pm. Winners will be selected using and will be limited to one per person. The winners will be contacted by e-mail (be sure to leave one!) and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected. Giveaway is open to US residents only and no PO Boxes.

    No compensation was received for this post. I did receive coupons to try the Silk PureAlmond product for the purposes of sharing my experience. The opinions expressed are all my own and those of my family.

    Cascadian Farms Live Green Together Winner

    Congratulations to Tamara! She is the winner of the Cascadian Farms Live Green Together Prize pack.

    An e-mail will be sent to Tamara.

    Thanks everyone for participating.

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    Timestamp: 2010-05-11 09:28:00 UTC

    Sunday, May 9, 2010

    Menu Plan Monday

    It was a really nice weekend. On Saturday, I made a trip to the grocery store and saved 52% on my weekly groceries. Saturday night, we had a couples night out with some friends. It was nice to get away as adults. Sunday of course, was Mother's Day. We didn't do anything special for Mother's Day, but I spent it with the kids, which really is what it's all about. I did make myself a special dessert because I wanted to.

    Last week, I didn't get a chance to menu plan or shop, because I was unexpectedly traveling over the weekend. It really made dinner difficult last week. For the most part, we wound up winging it, deciding what to have for dinner in the middle of the afternoon. By Friday, I planned dinner before I left for work and made up my Chicken Enchiladas recipe using leftover turkey tenderloin I had frozen the other week. They were pretty good - it really makes me wish I could actually find the turkey breast tenders - I think I could substitute them in a lot of chicken recipes.

    This week, as you can guess, there is once again turkey in our menu plan. I used some ground turkey, along with beef, to make the Skyline Chili recipe. I am using some turkey sausage as part of our breakfast for dinner meal and we are trying another flavor of the Turkey Tenderloin for dinner on Saturday. My husband, being the funny guy, is asking at every meal - so how did you use the turkey tonight. I think that next weekend, I will run out to the Super K-mart to get some additional product and see if they could get in the turkey breast tenders (maybe I should call ahead on that one).

    Skyline Chili and Mango Blueberry Crisp


    Chicken Gravy over biscuits

    Breakfast for Dinner - turkey sausage and hash browns



    Turkey Tenderloin - Lemon Pepper

    Weekdays breakfast is at daycare for my daughter, the rest of us eat cold cereal, frozen waffles, oatmeal, toast or whatever strikes our fancy. Lunch we pack, usually leftovers for me.

    Check out other menu plans for the week at Menu Plan Monday at I'm An Organizing Junkie.