Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Yoplait Trix Yogurt - a giveaway

When I was growing up, I don't remember eating much yogurt until high school. Even then, I think I probably started to eat it because the 'cool kids' were all packing a lemon yogurt wrapped in foil for lunch everyday. At the time, it was a taste that took me a while to acquire. Now, well, I rather enjoy yogurt and typically take one for lunch everyday. As seems to be the case with most anything that I am eating, my kids want it to (now if that isn't incentive to eat right, I don't know what is!).

In order to encourage them to eat yogurt, and make sure it is the right size for them, I typically try to stick with the multipacks of 'regular' yogurt or pick up a kids' yogurt pack. The kid's yogurts seem to come in some seriously fun flavors - perhaps if when I was growing up Cotton Candy was an option for a yogurt flavor, maybe I would have eaten it more often.

"Everyone knows that “Trix are for kids,” and now Yoplait Trix yogurt is giving moms even more reasons to love it! Yoplait Trix yogurt has been reformulated to remove artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and high fructose corn syrup, but only you will know the difference! Whether it’s for an afterschool snack or the highlight of your kid’s lunch box, now you can feel even better about giving your kids the snack that has the same great taste with two bright natural colors in every cup that they can enjoy every day.

  • With the same great taste that kids love and the wholesome goodness of real Yoplait® yogurt that moms appreciate, Yoplait Trix yogurt packs a good source of Calcium and Vitamin D
  • Available in 4-cup packs, with two bright, natural color combinations that can be swirled or eaten at once in every cup, kids can choose from five flavors: Strawberry Punch, Strawberry Banana Bash, Raspberry Rainbow, Triple Cherry, and Cotton Candy
  • Throughout the month of January, look for Bonus Box Tops for Education on each package of Yoplait Trix yogurt to help earn cash for your child’s school!"

You can learn more and connect with Trix Yoplait Yogurt, by checking out their Products Website, Like them on Facebook, and/or follow them on Twitter.

Courtesy of Yoplait, through My Blog Spark, one A Busy Mom of Two reader will win a Trix Yogurt prize pack, which contains:
(1) VIP coupon for a free 4-pack of Yoplait Trix yogurt for kids
Yoplait branded items including an insulated lunch tote, ice pack, backpack, folder, zippered pencil pouch, pencils, erasers, and pencil sharpener.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will remain open through March 15th. Giveaway is open to residents of the US only. One winner will be selected through Rafflecopter. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected.

No compensation was received for this post. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. The Yoplait Trix Yogurt prize pack, information and coupon have been provided by Yoplait through MyBlogSpark.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Free Cookie - Subway Leap Day Offer

To celebrate Leap Day, Subway is serving a Free Cookie with any purchase.

Offer valid 2/29 only, while supplies last, limit one per person with purchase. As always, I recommend checking with your location to see if they are pariticipating.

Make Your Meals Pop

One of the things that helps me eat healthier meals is ensuring that I am packing a lot of flavor punch in each bite. For whatever reason, I feel like frequently, eating healthy is perceived as bland. But, I think that if you use the right additions to your recipes, you can really bring out a good flavor and pack a flavor punch in each bite. Having tasty bites makes it a meal that the family wants to have.

One product that I have found that can add a lot of flavor to a meal, without adding many calories, is salsa. I use salsa in many family favorites, including Taco Stuffed Shells and Beef Taco Skillet.

Sometimes though, I use it in more simple ways.

To 'spice' up ordinary baked chicken, I simply scoop a little salsa over top of the chicken before baking it. It creates a wonderful flavor for the chicken and paired with some Mexicorn (add some diced red and green bell peppers to corn before preparing), it makes for a tasty meal.

I also like to use salsa in place of salad dressing on my salad. It provides the 'moisture' that I am looking for in a dressing and provides a good flavor as well. Since it is only about 10 calories and 0 g of fat per 30 g (~2 Tbsp) according to my jar, it feels like a healthier alternative to traditional salad dressings.

I love the ChiChi's Salsa Snackers pack. Each cup is just under 1/2 c salsa and is perfect to keep on hand for so many recipes. Plus, since there isn't an open jar of salsa in my refrigerator, I am less tempted to snack on tortilla chips!

How do you spice up your meals?

No compensation was received for this post. All opinions expressed are mine or those of my family. I am completing this post as a participant in the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger program. Hormel Foods provided some of the information for this post.

Mamavation Monday

I had planned to write this post on Monday, but by the time the day settled down, I had no motivation to write. So, here I am, once again sharing my Mamavation Monday thoughts on Tuesday.

Last week was a great week for me. The scale didn't reflect it, but that is okay, because I know that it was a great week anyways.

Last Monday, I couldn't pull myself out of bed early enough to get much done, but starting on Tuesday, I finally got back into the routine of working out again in the mornings. It felt so good! It really made me wonder how a few days of not being able to work out could completely derail me, when I know that I feel so much better when I am working out. I stuck with walking last week, doing an assortment of Leslie Sansone Walk At Home DVDs. I actually think that I did a 5-mile, 4-miles, 3-mile and 2-mile workout over the course of the week. Two of the walks also included the use of the bands and one hand weights.

I would like to start to add back in some of my other workouts as well, but for now the walking feels great and really, I'm just anxious for the sunrise to creep forward so that I can have predawn light at an hour that works for me to walk outside. Once that happens, I am going to start to work back up to running. I love being able to run in the morning, it really makes me feel energized.

Eating was better for the most part, up until Saturday night. I resumed tracking mid-week, so I had 'extra' Weekly Points and seemed to forget that as I enjoyed a night out with friends on Saturday night. I shared an appetizer of boneless hot wings with my husband and then, I should have skipped it, had a bowl of soup. For my meal, I had a Greek Chicken Salad. Incredibly tasty, but even with the dressing on the side, it seemed to pack a wallop with all of that Feta Cheese.

This week is off to a good start. Lunch out on Sunday was a bit of a challenge - I asked for the nutritional data before I ordered and the best meal option on the menu was 11 Points. I was only able to eat about 1/2, which was good. I did however, enjoy some bread - but the whole loaf was only 150 calories, so I don't feel too bad about that (4 Points), except the butter I put on the bread was another 3 Points. So, lunch worked out to be about 15 Points. Dinner was just a yogurt, as we had lunch in early afternoon, so I think it balanced out in the end.

I'm hopeful that with a continued week of morning work outs and continued better eating, that the scale will respond favorably this week.

This post shared at Mamavation Monday, where the question of the week is "What steps have you made so far this year to improve your quality of life?". My answer would be that I have put a renewed focus on trying to eat right and stay active.

No compensation was received for this post. I was provided with a trial subscription to Weight Watchers. All opinions expressed are my own. This post is sponsored by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway.

Breakfast, anyone?

If you are in the mood for pancakes and have an IHOP nearby, be sure to stop out for National Pancake Day, where you can score a free short stack of pancakes and make a donation to support Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

    "Flip for Free Pancakes!
    February 28, 2012
    Since beginning its National Pancake Day celebration in 2006, IHOP has raised nearly $8 million to support charities in the communities in which it operates. On February 28, 2012, guests from around the country are invited to celebrate National Pancake Day at IHOP and enjoy a free short stack of Buttermilk pancakes.* In return for the free pancakes, guests are asked to consider leaving a donation for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals© and other designated local charities."

You can find a IHOP using their locator page.

Offer is good at participating restaurants for dine in only, while supplies last. As always, I recommend calling before you go to make sure that they are participating.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

What a weekend. We had little planned, and as such, I got a lot done. Friday evening was a quiet evening at home. Saturday I spent time getting things done around the kitchen. I clipped the stack of coupons that was sitting on my counter. I turned all the 'leftover' bread in the freezer into homemade bread crumbs. I cleaned the kitchen, including the fronts and sides of my appliances - love Magic Erasers on all those surfaces. I made a snack to take to the Bible Study on Sunday night. Then, we had a date night on Saturday night, where we hung out with several couples and had a great time. Sunday aside from the normal we stopped at Great Clips to take advantage of their $5.99 haircut sale, we did grocery shopping, had lunch with friends, my husband and son watched a magic show, my daughter and I went shopping for my niece's birthday present and finished the day with our Bible Study group.

I am trying out a few new recipes this week. If we like them, I will come back and link up to them.



Baked Penne

Pierogie and Sausage

Chicken Florentine

Tilapia Vera Cruz


If we like the recipes, I will try to share them and will come back and link mid-week. If there is one you want to know about, leave a comment and I will send you an e-mail when I link up.

Breakfast is cereal or oatmeal each morning, although sometimes at school my daughter will have pancakes or french toast. For my son, lunch is either the menu item at school or a packed lunch with some type of sandwich. Lunch for my husband and me is typically sandwiches, frozen meals or leftovers.

This post shared at Menu Plan Monday.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

CVS Scenarios week of 2/26

I wound up skipping CVS last week. The deals just weren't for things that I had to have, so it was easy to make a trip to CVS a non-priority for the week.

Transaction #1
2 - Colgate Senstive Pro Toothpaste

-$.75 Colgate mfg coupon
-$.75 Colgate mfg coupon
-$2 $2/2 Colgate Toothpaste CRT (or use two of the $1 coupons from CVS Reinventing Beauty)

Total $7.48 OOP, earn $8 ECBs.

Transaction #2
3 - BandAids
2 - Mars Easter Singles

-$1 Bandaid mfg coupon
-$1 Bandaid mfg coupon
-$1 Bandaid IP (Facebook)

Total $8.17, pay with $8 ECB and $.17 OOP. Earn $3 ECBs.

Transaction #3
2 - Mars Easter Singles
1 - Sweettarts Easter
1 - Swedish Fish Eggs
2 - Robin Eggs

Total $9, pay with $3 ECBs and $6 OOP. Earn $3 ECBs.

Total OOP of $13.65 OOP, with $3 ECBs to roll, for $31.15 in product at sale prices. A savings of 60%.

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

CVS $5 Challenge

Transaction #1
1 - Colgate Sensitive Pro Toothpaste

-$.75 Colgate mfg coupon
-$1 Colgate coupon, Reinventing Beauty Winter

Total $3.24 OOP, earn $4 ECBs.

Transaction #2
1 - Colgate Sensitive Pro Toothpaste
2 - Mars Easter Singles

-$.75 Colgate mfg coupon
-$1 Colgate coupon, Reinventing Beauty Winter

Total $4.24 OOP, pay with $4 ECBs and $.24 OOP. Earn $4 ECBs.

Transaction #3
1 - Thermacare
1 - Mars Easter Singles

Total $4.29, pay with $4 ECBs and $.29 OOP. Earn $3.79 ECBs.

Total OOP for the day is $3.77, with $3.79 ECBs to roll, for $15.27 in product. A savings of 80%.

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

Friday, February 24, 2012

Samples and Freebies

Tide Pods sample (Facebook)
Simple Moisturizing Facial Wash (CVS)
$1 Coupon for Lipton Tea Superfruit - had thought it was a sample offer, but like coupons too! (Facebook)

$5 CVS Gift Card (Theraflu gift offer a few weeks back)

Free Pretzel Day

Head over to your local Auntie Anne's on Saturday, March 3rd from 10 am - 3 pm to participate in Free Pretzel Day. You can receive one complimentary Original or Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel.

As always, I recommend checking to make sure your store is participating before heading out.

Tax Preparation

I would say that for many, tax preparation is a daunting task. Many people that I know use tax preparers to help them with their tax returns and that is fine for them.

For me, I always remember my dad doing our taxes. When I got older, he would help me do my taxes. To me, this is just the way it was, you did your own taxes.

So, when I grew up, I just assumed that I would do my own taxes and I did. Problem was, as I got older, it seemed that my returns got harder too.

A few years ago, I started using tax preparation software, instead of doing them on paper. I think the first year, we had a try me free or for $5 or $10 through one of my husband's magazine subscriptions - so it was a great way to check it out with minimal risk. That year, I remember doing my return on paper first and then doing it online. I wanted to see how it worked, and since I'm me, make sure it was right. I was surprised both at how easy it was and how complete it was. They ask questions, allow you to select forms from lists, and have 'tips' throughout, all to help you along. (If you want, many even offer, for an added fee, some other services too.) The way that the program steps you through the taxes makes self-preparation that much easier.

I've now migrated to the online version (I use H&R Block, personally - but there are others out there). I love that by doing my taxes on the computer, I can e-file for free (included in the price of the software/access). This means that with direct deposit my refund gets to me within just a couple of weeks.

I actually am fortunate too that I don't have to pay for the state portion of the return on the program, because Ohio allows you to do your taxes online for free through their iFile program. Again, easy-peasy. Answer a few questions, enter a few numbers from your W2/1099s and your Federal Taxes and they put the numbers where they belong. Again, if you are due a refund, with direct deposit, you receive it within a few weeks.

This year, my local taxes started offering online preparation through their site. I tried to complete them, but learned that even though I owed overall, because I had overpaid on one of our work city estimates I was not able to file online. So, back to paper it was. I found it amusing that their software couldn't handle a refund or even making a credit to another portion of the form like next year's estimates.

Doing my own taxes with the help of my computer, works for me. This post shared at Frugal Friday.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Free "Teacher's Delight Kit"

Are you a teacher? You can complete a simple registration form and International Delight will send you a free Teacher's Delight Kit for your teacher's lounge and your school will be automatically entered into a random drawing for a classroom makeover worth up to $500!

I'm not sure of the terms or details, as I'm not a teacher and did not register for this.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Cathy! Her entry was selected as the winner of the Whole Grains First Ingredient Prize Pack Giveaway.

Thanks everyone for entering and be sure to check out the other active giveaways, featured in the right sidebar.

Menu Plan Monday

It was a good weekend. We really didn't have anything planned for much of the weekend and as a result, we were able to get a good amount done. Saturday morning we relaxed and then after lunch, we headed down the street to a vacant parking lot so that the kids could try out the new Ripstick and Scooter that they had received at Christmas. It was good to get out and play and nice that it was dry enough to play with new toys. Saturday afternoon, I ran errands and picked up good deals at CVS and Sav-A-Lot. Saturday late afternoon, we headed to a neighboring community and got to explore the amazing ice sculptures that were part of their Ice Festival and ate at Dan's Dogs. They have great hot dogs, I had a Greek One - it was topped with lettuce, feta, and green onions. Yum! Saturday evening was a movie night in.

Sunday I had a chance to vacuum and to bake this super, yummy Cream Cheese Pound Cake to take to share at the Bible Study.

corn dogs
Pizza Triangles

Italian Beef Sandwiches

Turkey Hot Shots

Penne Arrabiatta


Fish Fillets/Sticks

Chicken Patty Sandwiches

Breakfast is cereal or oatmeal each morning, although sometimes at school my daughter will have pancakes or french toast. For my son, lunch is either the menu item at school or a packed lunch with some type of sandwich. Lunch for my husband and me is typically sandwiches, frozen meals or leftovers.

This post shared at Menu Plan Monday.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Walgreens Scenarios - week of 2/19

I actually have plans that I know will put me near a Walgreens this week, but I must say that I am disappointed in their ad this week. There seem to be more coupons and fewer RR offers. Perhaps if I go online and sign up for text savings, there might be some more offers that make sense for me. Based on the ad, here is what I am thinking I might pick up.

Transaction #1
2 - Tylenol Precise
1 - Goody Ouchless Elastics

-$5 Tylenol Precise mfg coupon
-$5 Tylenol Precise mfg coupon

Total $2.99 OOP, earn $2 RR.

Transaction #2
1 - Dove Deodorant (w/ in ad coupon)
1 - Soft Soap Liquid Hand Soap (w/ in ad coupon)
1 - can Arizona Tea (w/ in ad coupon)

-$1 Dove Deodorant mfg coupon

-$2 RR

Total $.48 OOP.

For the trip, the total OOP is $3.47 for $16.47 in product at sale price. A savings of 79%.

For more deals and scenarios, check out Money Saving Mom and Deal Seeking Mom. For more $5 Scenarios, check out the Walgreens $5 Challenge.

CVS Scenarios - week of 2/19

After my great money saving trip to CVS last week ($217 in product for $30!), I'm not sure that any deal will quite stack up, but there are a few items I am likely to stop in for this week.

Transaction #1
1 - Coldcalm

Total $6.99 OOP, earn $6.99 ECB. I'm wondering if they have the children's ColdCalm and if it is included? I have a coupon, but it is only for the Children's version...will have to check, wouldn't mind saving $1.

Transaction #2
1 - Dial Nutriskin Lotion 4.99
3 - Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm 3.99
1 - Nivea Lotion 6.88
1 - Nivea Body Wash 4.88

-$2.87 10% Beauty Club Anniversary CRT (hoping it comes off before coupons)
-$1 Dial NutriSkin Mfg coupon
-$2 Maybelline Baby Lips mfg coupon
-$2 Maybelline Baby Lips mfg coupon
-$2 Maybelline Baby Lips mfg coupon
-$1.50 Nivea Lotion mfg coupon
-$1.50 Nivea Body Wash mfg coupon

Total $15.85, pay with $6.99 ECB and $8.86 OOP, earn $2, $3 and $3 ECBs.

Transaction #3
3 - Eclipse Gum
1 - Tylenol Precise Patch or Cream

-$5 Tylenol Precise mfg coupon

Total $5.49, pay with $3 and $2 ECB and $.49 OOP. Earn $2 and $2 ECBs.

For the trip, the total OOP is $16.34, with $7 ECBs to roll, for $46.20 in product. A savings of about 69%.

I was thinking about taking advantage of the BOGO Wisk offer, I have the $2 IP, but realized as I was planning that it is for the larger size bottles and I'm not sure if CVS carries them.

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

CVS $5 Challenge
Transaction #1
1 - Tylenol Precise Patch or Cream

-$5 Tylenol Precise mfg coupon

Total $2.49 OOP, earn $2 ECBs.

Transaction #2
3 - Eclipse Gum

Total $3, pay with $2 ECB and $1 OOP. Earn $2 ECBs.

Total OOP for the day is $3, with $2 ECBs to roll and $10.49 in product at sale prices. A savings of 76%.

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

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sav-A-Lot Deals - 2/18

A new Sav-A-Lot opened in town recently and I received a coupon in the mail for $5/$20, so I decided the time was right to check out the store. I have not been to a Sav-A-Lot, unless it was a really long time ago and I just don't remember.

The first thing that I noted is that I need to remember to bring a quarter with me when I shop, if I want to use a cart. I actually don't mind this at all, I think it is a great way to keep the carts from being all over the lot.

The second thing that I noted is that they carry a lot of staples, but not much variety. Much of what they carry appears to be their own line, but they had some brand items as well. Sounds like for some of the items that they don't always carry them.

The store is a nice 'small' size, perfect for picking up a bunch of bananas, a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread. I could see myself stopping in for a deal or to pick up a few essentials on the way home. Since they lack variety, they won't be my weekly stop.

2 1/3# Bananas
1 bag Malt'o Meal Berry Crunch
1 KoolAid Koolers
1 4pk Angel Soft
6 Oncor Chicken Patties
4 Lunchables
1 Arizona Lemon Tea
4 Totinos Pizza Rolls
1 Shrimp Popper
1 Gallon Milk

-$5 coupon

Total $15.87 OOP.

CVS Deals - 2/18

Obviously, there was a reason that when I stopped at CVS on Friday, I picked up only M&Ms. I didn't know it at the time, but it was because there was a high value Nature's Made IP that was going to be available right before I left on Saturday, that I was supposed to use. When I got to CVS and they didn't have exactly what I was hoping for in stock, I got some additional vitamins. When I read the shelf tag wrong, I put some back.

Transaction #1
2 - Nature Made Tripleflex 120ct
2 - UP2U gum

-$3 $3/$15 CVS coupon
-$10 Tripleflex CRT
-$5 Nature Made IP
-$5 Nature Made IP
-$1 $1/2 UP2U CRT
-$1 UP2U mfg coupon
-$1 UP2U mfg coupon

Paid with $9 in ECBs, $5 on a free Gift Card and $5.06 OOP. Earned a $10 CVS Cash Card.

Transaction #2
2 - Nature Made Fish Oil 200 ct
2 - Nature Made Vitamin D 250 ct

-$2 Nature Made Fish Oil IP
-$2 Nature Made Fish Oil IP
-$5 Nature Made IP
-$5 Nature Made IP

Paid with $10 Cash Card and $25.83 OOP. Earned a $10 CVS Cash Card. This was the transaction where the Vitamin D was more than I thought it was. I had thought they were $12 each and they were more. So, my OOP was much higher than I planned.

Transaction #3
2 - Nature Made Chewable Vitamin C
1 - Colgate Total

-$1 Nature Made IP
-$1 Nature Made IP
-$.75 Colgate mfg coupon

Paid $9.76 on Cash Card and $0 OOP. Earned $10 Cash Card.

Transaction #4
4 - Nivea Lip Care

-$4 4x$1 Nivea IP

Paid with $2 ECB and $4.65 on Cash Card. Earned $3 ECBs. There is still $5.59 on the Cash Card.

My total OOP for the day was $30.83 and a decline of $.41 in ECB/Cash Card value.

According to my receipts, with sales and coupons, I saved $157.51. When you consider the savings, plus the $24.41 in cash cards and the $5 Gift Card, means that I got $217.75 in product for a total OOP of $30.83. A savings of 86%. Plus, since I picked up 8 containers of vitamins, now I am stocked and shouldn't need to buy vitamins (other than my multi) for a while.

Crsipy Green

I am not sure when exactly it happened, but I turned into a snacker. In many ways, this is not a bad thing. What it means mostly is that I don't tend to sit down and eat all at once. For breakfast, as example, I will start my day with a banana. Then, a little later in the morning I will prepare myself some oatmeal. Then, I'll have some other fruit a little later in the day. I started packing my lunch so that I could 'save' something from it for the middle of the afternoon. Then, the exception to my day tends to be dinner. I generally will eat my dinner all in one sitting and only very occasionally have a snack in the evening.

When it comes to snacks, I am generally try to keep them healthy - a piece of fruit, a cup of yogurt (or pudding :-0!), some carrot sticks, etc. But sometimes, I find myself craving something crunchy. Yes, you could argue that carrots and apples are both crunchy, but they don't meet that crunchy snack craving that I have. Perhaps they are too 'wet'.

So, a while back, when I came across Crispy Green, I thought this is a snack that I must try. Crispy Green are 100% freeze-dried fruit. Now, when I think of freeze-dried, the first thing that comes to mind is that astronaut ice cream we used to get on field trips to the science museum. The first that I tried was the Crispy Mangoes. The first thing that I noticed on the package is that indeed, the only ingredient is Mangoes. The Crispy Mangoes have just 40 calories in a bag. The sweet and crispy bites of fruit were both sweet and crispy, offering just the right combination of sweet and crunchy to perfectly fit my snack craving.

I soon came to find that there is a whole variety of Crispy Green products. In the crispy fruit product, they offer five tasty fruits - Crispy Apples, Crispy Bananas, Crispy Asian Pears, Crispy Pineapples and Crispy Mangoes. In addition, they also have a line that they is called FruitziO, which is also freeze dried fruit, but with a bit of cane sugar added for a light, sweet and crunchy taste. The FruitziO line offers - FruitziO Apples and Strawberries, FruitziO Apricots, FruitziO Kiwi, FruitziO Peaches and FruitziO Strawberries.

At first, I wondered about the addition of cane sugar, but realized after tasting that it didn't make the product 'sweet' but mostly balanced the tartness of the fruits. The bags, which are resealable, only have 100 calories in them. So, it still makes for a yummy snack without much guilt. In fact, they are labeled as containing 2.5 servings, which based on the bag I took to work seems about right. I found myself enjoying the strawberries a handful at a time. The slightly sweet, crunchy snack was just what I needed mid-afternoon to get me through the rest of the day.

My kids have been very excited to try all of the different flavors and have share many bags. My son's favorite: Crispy Apples. My daughter's favorite: Crispy Bananas. My son says that he likes them because they taste exactly like an apple. My daughter says because they taste like the fruit that she is having. As a mom, having them excited about fruit is a good thing (not that they don't request fresh fruit too, but bags of freeze dried fruit are more portable).

You can find a store near you that carries Crispy Green, by using their product locator. Interestingly, the store that I bought them at, Earth Fare, was not listed. You can purchase online through Crispy Green. They are currently offering free shipping on orders over $75 and if you purchase in bulk, they work out to be less per bag than you would pay at the store.

No compensation was received for this post. I received a variety pack of their products for the purposes of trying and sharing with my family. Images are from the Crispy Green Website. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family.

Swagbucks Birthday Bash!

If you're not using Swagbucks, you are missing out. It's the easiest way to earn a few extra dollars for some thing you do anyway, and it's completely FREE. How? Just use Swagbucks instead of Google when you search online and earn points that you can redeem for prizes. Use printable coupons? You can earn 10 Swag Bucks for every coupon that you print and redeem at your store.

Those Swag Bucks that you earn with your coupon savings will add up quickly. You can get a $5 Amazon gift card for only 450 Swag Bucks.

You can get a great head start when you sign up for Swagbucks today. To celebrate their 4th birthday, they are offering 110 Free Swag Bucks for new sign ups. Simply sign up and then enter the code BIRTHDAYBASH12 in the box below 'Enter your Swag Code'. You will also still get the standard 30 Swag Bucks for signing up.

I love programs like this and come fall (or just before a vacation), I go through and redeem points for gift cards. Great way to stretch a holiday or vacation budget.

This post contains a referral link.

Friday, February 17, 2012

CVS Deals - 2/17

I made a quick stop at CVS to pick up the great deal on M&Ms, with the one day coupon that CVS had offered on Facebook.

1 - M&M Pretzel, 9.9 oz

-$2 CVS M&M coupon
-$1 M&M IP

Total $.49 OOP for M&Ms.

I got a coupon for 10% off my next Beauty Club purchase. Evidently, it is my anniversary of joining the Beauty Club. I will have to see if there is a good deal to pair it with next week.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Cleaning Gas Stove Grates

So, there are many wonderful things that I have found on Pinterest. One thing that I found a few weeks ago and finally took the time to test out this weekend was a method for cleaning gas stove grates (now if I could find one for cleaning the tops and sides of the sealed housings - I would be set).

One of my friends pinned it to her board and I repinned it after checking out the post on Pinching Your Pennies. I know that on more than one occassion, I have tried to clean the grates. Sure, you can get some of the gunk off, but there always seems to be that layer of built on uck, that just won't come clean no matter what you do.

Here is what the burner grates looked like before I started:

To clean a gas stove grate, slide the grate into a 1 gallon zip close bag. Add two or three tablespoons of ammonia and seal the bag.

Let sit, 12 hours or overnight. Remove from the bag (watch out the ammonia vapor is almost enough to knock you over), scrub with a scour pad and rinse.

Voila! Clean grates!

This new method for cleaning the grates on my stove works for me!

Happy Valentine's Day!

May you be surrounded by love.
Today and every day.

Menu Plan Monday

The weekend flew by. I got some stuff that I had intended to done, but left other things untouched.

Saturday was my son's last basketball game for the season. He had a really great time this year and is looking forward to next year. I am happy to be back to a few months (probably until mid-April) where our schedule is not full of sports. We still have two more evenings of soccer foot skills, but that will be over soon. That leaves us with swimming lessons. Both kids take them at the same time, so it keeps things simple.

After basketball, my son wanted to go to lunch to celebrate the season, so he asked to go to Wendy's. We went. I think it has been several months since we ate out fast food. Skyline at Christmas is the last time that came to my mind.

Saturday was cold, snowy and blowy, so playing outside wasn't really an option. My husband stopped on the way home from lunch and picked up Mr. Popper's Penguins and we spent our afternoon enjoying our new Media Room Furniture and watching the cute movie.

Sunday I fit in grocery shopping. I took both kids for the first time in a long time, which was a mistake. They were reasonably well behaved, but I spent almost $100 and I am not sure on what. I could come up with a few of the things that contributed, but mostly it just seemed like normal little stuff - just more of it?

Sunday afternoon we spent hanging out with friends at a Valentine's Day party. The kids enjoyed playing and decorating cookies. My son went way overboard on frosting and toppings and took only a few bites of his cookie. My daughter on the other hand devoured hers.

I have a few new recipes on the menu this week. Now that I have the new Cook'n Software (you can read about it here and enter to win a copy too!), I am anxious to work through the recipe file that is crowding my bin over the computer. As I try a recipe, if I like it, I enter into the software and then can get rid of the paper. Some of these recipes are ones that I hand wrote, so I have no idea when or where I found them.

Taco-filled Pasta shells


Pineapple Salsa Chicken

30-minute Chicken

Roasted Chicken with Caramelized Onions Soup and Salad (use up leftovers from Wednesday)

Baked Coconut Shrimp and Fish Fillets (not coconut)

Pizza Triangles

If we like the recipes, I will try to share them and will come back and link mid-week. If there is one you want to know about, leave a comment and I will send you an e-mail when I link up.

Breakfast is cereal or oatmeal each morning, although sometimes at school my daughter will have pancakes or french toast. For my son, lunch is either the menu item at school or a packed lunch with some type of sandwich. Lunch for my husband and me is typically sandwiches, frozen meals or leftovers.

This post shared at Menu Plan Monday.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Big G Star Wars - Giveaway

    What’s better than watching the epic first episode of the Star Wars Saga? Watching it in 3D with your fellow Jedis, of course! From the thrilling Podraces to the final lightsaber battle, you can enjoy Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace like you never have before. This February, General Mills Big G cereals want to help celebrate the 3D launch by featuring collectable Star Wars pens in-pack of participating cereals.
  • Collect all eight exclusive Star Wars pens that feature iconic Episode I characters including: Anakin Skywalker, Obi Wan Kenobi, Queen Amidala, Yoda, R2D2, C3PO, Jar Jar Binks and Darth Maul
  • Participating Big G cereals include Cinnamon Toast Crunch® (12.8 oz.), Lucky Charms®(11.5 oz.), Reese’s® Puffs (13 oz.), Cheerios® (14 oz.), and Cookie Crisp® (11.25 oz)
  • In theaters February 10, 2012 you can catch all the action and adventure and relive how the saga began in eye-popping 3D
  • You won’t have to go to a galaxy far, far away to bring the force to your breakfast table. Simply purchase any participating Big G cereal and begin your search for all eight collectable pens! Each Big G cereal is made with whole grain and is an excellent source of calcium, so your younglings will have everything they need to start the day off right!

My son is a bag fan of Star Wars. He has seen all of the movies and watches the Clone Wars cartoon on TV as well. I knew when the Big G Star Wars prize pack arrived at the house, he would be very excited. I should have known that my daughter, who has seen none of the Star Wars movies yet, would be equally excited - because anything that her brother likes, she likes too. I'm not sure sometimes why I even bother to ask what she wants, it will most likely be whatever her brother has.

So, the morning after the prize kit arrived, the pens were all sitting on the counter, along with the cereal. We got a box of Cookie Crisp, which is a cereal that I had never before bought, so of course there was a great excitement to try the cereal and to open the pens. The kids each chose one pen that they wanted and opened them. Then, we opened the box of cereal so that my son could have a bowl and my daughter could pack a small snack to eat on the way to school.

The next day, as my daughter was sitting in back of van, out of nowhere she says to me "Mom, you know what?" (she actually says that a lot!). "I really like the R2D2 pen. There is no clicker. So, you don't have to waste time clicking the pen to be able to use it." So, there you have it - they are cute, fun and they save you time!

The cereals are currently available in store, my son was anxious to buy more of the Cookie Crisp today since it was a fun, new cereal to him and because there are still two of the pens that we are missing. I wasn't prepared with coupons to purchase the cereal, so I told him he would have to wait until next time we headed to the store.

You can check out the Star Wars Trailer and visit the General Mills Big G page.


prize pack will contain:
2 Boxes of Big G cereal
4 Star Wars character pens
Star Wars sticker sheet
Star Wars magnets

CVS Scenarios - week of 2/12

I had hoped to make it to CVS this weekend, but as seems to be normal, I didn't get a chance. The good news is the Nivea deal is still out there this week. I just wish I lived in an area that got this wonderful $3/2 Lip Care coupon. I love their lip care and will just have to use my $1/1 coupons, but how much sweeter the deal is with the $3/2 coupon.

Transaction #1
1 - Colgate Total Advanced Toothpaste

-$.75 mfg coupon

Total $2 OOP, earn $2 ECBs.

Transaction #2
4 - Nivea Lip Care

-$3/2 Nivea Lip Care mfg coupon
-$1 Nivea Lip Care IP (Facebook)
-$1 Nivea Lip Care IP (Facebook)

Total $5, pay with $2 ECBs and $3 OOP. Earn $3 ECB.

For this trip, the total OOP is $5, with $3 ECB to roll for $12.75 in product at sale prices. A savings of about 68%.

I also am hoping to find a way to pull together a scenario to pick up the Nature Made Vitamins that are on sale BOGO and are part of the spend $30/get $10 CVS card offer. I am out of Vitamin C and I could stock up on some other vitamins. Need to gather the coupons and see what makes the most sense.

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

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

Sunday, February 12, 2012

JAWS - "Just Add Water System" Cleaners

I recently had the opportunity to try out JAWS cleaners. JAWS - or "Just Add Water System" - comes in the form of a super-concentrated cleaning cartridge and a reusable spray bottle. You fill the spray bottle with water to the line on the bottle, pop in the cartridge, insert the spray wand as you tighten it on, the cleaning solution in the cartridge is dispensed into the water. Give it a little shake you are ready to use the cleaner.

According to the manufacturer - "It’s innovative, easy to use, inexpensive, and reduces plastic in landfills, conserves resources and saves you cash. When you finish your JAWS starter kit and buy the recyclable cartridge refills, you’ll get two full bottles of cleaner for less than $2.00 each.

In addition

· JAWS products work are effective in all types of water, including hard water that can be found in many homes in Northeastern and Central Ohio.

· JAWS was created and is manufactured in Ohio – Toledo to be more specific.

· Purchasing JAWS products is not only helping the planet and helping you cut cleaning costs, it’s also contributing to the betterment of the regional economy through both JAWS International and the more localized retailers they partner with."

Yesterday, when I was doing some of my weekly clean-up, I decided to give it a try. Mixing the product was very easy to do. The spray nozzle seems to be sturdy (meaning I don't think that I will need to have to be repurchasing the starter kit to replace the spray nozzle) and the cleaner seemed to work well. The nozzle comes with a tip that can be turned to On or Off. The nozzle sprays a wide spray, allowing you to cover much of the surface at the same time (watch out if you have paper on the other side of the counter, I got mine wet, not realizing how wide the spray would be). I like how small the refill cartridges are - allowing me to store many in a small space. It makes the under sink area a lot less crowded to have a few active use bottles and a number of refill cartridges, compared to storing unopened full cleaners. I also like the smell (or lack there of) of the cleaners. I have tried cleaning products in the past that overwhelming smells, these have very subtle scents.

I like that there are several varieties of the JAWs cleaners for all the different surfaces and rooms in your house:
Glass & Hard Surface Cleaner
Bathroom Cleaner/Deodorizer
Multi-Purpose Cleaner/Degreaser
Disinfectant Cleaner/Degreaser - "EPA registered and guaranteed to kill 99.9% of germs"


"From February 13-March 11. at Buehler’s Fresh Foods stores, all four JAWS products will be offered at special promotion prices: Starter kits at $4.09, recyclable refill cartridges at $2.99.

That means the Multi-Purpose Cleaner/Degreaser, Bathroom Cleaner/Deodorizer, Disinfectant Cleaner Degreaser, and Disinfectant Cleaner Degreaser will all sell for an average of $2.05/bottle with the starter kit, and just $1.50/bottle with the refill cartridges. That’s really a great deal!"

To introduce you to JAWS, the manufacturer is providing a home cleaning kit as a giveaway to one A Busy Mom of Two reader. The kit comes with one full bottle each of Glass & Hard Surface Cleaner, Multi-Purpose Cleaner/Degreaser, and Bathroom Cleaner/Deodorizer. Each of those come with one refill cartridge. The kit will also include an empty bottle of Disinfectant Cleaner Degreaser. That one comes with two refill cartridges.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cook'n Recipe Organizer Software - Review & Giveaway

I love to cook and bake. As a result, I like to clip recipes from just about anywhere I can find them. I have a manilla folder in my desk caddy that is full of assorted recipes that I have gathered over the years that I plan to try. After I try a recipe, if it is worth keeping, I usually have good intentions of writing it down and sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. In the instances where I fail to write it down, I have been known to have trouble finding it or encountering it again and wondering if I have tried it.

Recently, I had the chance to try a new software called Cook'n Recipe Organizer. Cook'n is called a recipe organizer, but as I have started to explore it, I have found it to be so much more than just a recipe organizer.
Cook'n comes preloaded with a cookbook called the cookbook. This complimentary cookbook features 'a few of the best recipes from each of the Cook'n titles offered at' including several recipes in each of the following categories:
Soups and Stews
Main Dishes
Side Dishes
Sweets and Desserts

It even contains a glossary of cooking terms.

As you explore each recipe, there is a link to the cookbook from which the recipe comes and through this link, you can purchase the electronic cookbook to be added to your Cook'n Recipe Organizer software. In addition, if you try a recipe and find that it's not quite 'right' for you and you want to tweak the ingredients, the software allows you to change up ingredients and save your version of the recipe. I love this feature. I have notes in cookbooks about changes I have made to recipes - whether there is an ingredient I don't like or I am making an ingredient swap, I can make the change and always have 'my version' of the recipe available to use. In addition, you can view the nutritional facts for the recipe.
But to me, the real value is not in their cookbook, it is in having a way to store my recipes. I have a couple of cookbooks that are the write it yourself style and they work great for me, but having it online is even better. Entering a recipe is very easy. First you choose the cookbook and chapter that you want the recipe to be part of. Then, you enter the name of the recipe, a description (I'm thinking this is where I will note - from Grandma, etc), Servings/Yield, Prep time and cook time information. The next section is for entering all of your ingredients. There are separate columns for quantity, units, info and ingredient. In addition, there is a column for the brand (but more about that later). Because there are a number of common ingredients, measures, etc. the software features an auto-complete feature, allowing you to start a word and then choose it from the list that is created. It makes keying a recipe in go a lot quicker than if you had to type out everything. If you are adding ingredients that are not on the ingredient list, you can do a quick add and then go back and build the details for the ingredient later or you can set it up right away. Then, there is a text box for entering the directions for making the recipes. Once you have entered and saved your recipe, you can add a picture. I am still playing with this one, the pictures from my camera are too large to post, so I need to figure out how to scale them down to a size that works.

In addition to entering your own recipes, you can use the software to help you find a recipe on the web and when you do, you can use it to capture the recipe in the software (includes a link back to the source). It does a pretty good job of capturing the description, ingredients and directions, although I will admit that I feel the need to clean them up when I have done this. Once captured, you can save it to the cookbook of your choice. I can totally see myself searching for recipes and building a 'to try' cookbook. Then, when we have tried them, if we like them, they will get added to my main cookbook or deleted, depending on feedback from the family.

There are limitations to the search and capture feature. It only searches a set of sites. I was hoping that it would be such that I could find the recipes that I have already added on my blog and capture them. They are working towards this type of capability, but it is not there. That being said, there is a still a good amount of sites that it does search. So, for my blog, I tend to do a copy and paste of the directions and descriptions portion and then have to 'manually' enter ingredients. At least the auto complete features assist in this process.

You can also very easily scale your recipes. Cooking a recipe for 12 instead of 8, simply go into Settings, check the automatically adjust recipe and then change the number of servings. All of your ingredients will be scaled to the new number of servings.

Setting up ingredients. There is a lot of power in the ingredients. When you set up an ingredient, you give it a name and enter the plural spelling as well. I have found that the, I need to go to View|Brands and open up the Brand tab to create the brand information for my ingredient. You can simply give it a "no name" type brand as you set it up. When you enter the brand, this is where you get to enter the nutritional information for the ingredient. This is important to do, if you want to use the Nutrition Calculator. In addition, you can enter the location/category for the item and the average cost. After the brand is set up, you can go back to your ingredient and enter the brand and if you wish, mark it preferred.

Nutrition Calculator. Once a recipe is saved and brands assigned, you can click on the Nutrition button at the top of the screen and it will open up the nutrition screen for that recipe. It will take the individual ingredient nutrition information (from the database and/or those that you have entered). It will give you a total nutrition for the recipe. You can also select settings and have it divide by the number of servings to see a per serving nutrition data for the recipe. I love this feature! I have been going in and adjusting the ingredient list to make sure it includes the ingredients (brands) that I normally am using, so that I can get the most accurate information. This makes it so much easier for me as I diet.

Menu plan. Once you have a collection of recipes, this software can also become a menu planning and shopping planning tool. Click on Menu at the top of the screen and you get a form for setting up your menu. You can set it up to plan each meal in a day, you can set it up to plan each day of the week, and can even plan out weeks in a month. You can even plan a meal with appetizer, main dish, side dish and dessert - sure to be a help when you are planning a holiday meal and don't want to forget anything. It is very flexible. You add the labels to your menu by dragging or create your own. Once you have the labels in place, you can add the meals. I love to planning a menu with the recipes there. I don't usually pull out the cookbooks and so there are dishes that we go months without eating.

Shopping List. Once you have built your menu plan for the desired period, you can create your shopping list by clicking on List. This will generate a full shopping list for every ingredient in the recipes that are part of your menu plan, organized by category. Based on the pricing information that you entered (or was pre-populated in the software) for the brands, it will even tell you what the cost for your trip will be. Then, you can customize. Already have an ingredient in the pantry/freezer. Mark it as have it and add extra items to your list. When you mark it as have it, the total cost for the list will be updated. This can be a great tool for budgeting and adjusting menu plans if you need to to better meet your budget. I'm thinking this could be especially true if you are entertaining and going outside a normal weekly budget.

You can print your list, your nutrition, your recipe...whatever is up in your active window. Within print, you have options on how to print the page. You can choose different sizes (4x6 for recipe card, as example), different formats (to printer, as pdf, etc), and adjust preferences like printing nutritional data. I would love to have the ability to be able to 'submit' my cookbook to a site that prints photobooks to print my own cookbook (thinking shower gifts, etc.) I think that I could likely work with the pdf print feature and get it onto a nice color print at a office store and have them do a spiral bound. Again, this is a nice to have feature that hopefully will come along some day, but in the meantime, I am sure that I can find other ways to print it.

Know someone else that has the software, there are even tools to allow you to export/import files - so you can share recipes with your friends. I like the idea behind this feature. What a great way to share your favorite recipes with others.

It will take some time to fully customize and to fully populate recipes, but it really seems to be a great tool for managing recipes, the weekly menu plan and dieting.

You can purchase a copy of Cook'n Recipe Organizer from for $79.95. You can download it or request a CD copy. You can interact with them on their Facebook page or check out a video here:

Personally, I am excited to see that they are working on an iPhone App that would sync with the software. What a great way to do my shopping and plan my menu on the go.


One lucky A Busy Mom of Two Reader will win a free copy of Cook'n Recipe Organizer.
(note: you can sign into Rafflecopter with an e-mail, you do not need to use Facebook)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No compensation was received for this post. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. A complimentary review copy of the Cook'n Recipe Organizer was provided by the manufacturer through a Mom Blog Society opportunity.

Giveaway Winners!

Congratulations to the winners of the recently ended giveaways hosted by A Busy Mom of Two.

Jennifer M was selected as the winner of the Advanced Auto Parts Monster Jam family 4-pack of tickets.

Tamara B, Jennifer M (different one!), Sue V and Karin A were all selected as winners of the Ocean Spray Fruit Snacks Prize Packs.

Lori S was selected as the winner of the Sam's Club Back to School $25 Gift Card Giveaway.

Thanks to everyone for entering and be sure to check out the other current giveaways being hosted by A Busy Mom of Two.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Clearly Fresh Bags - discount code!

Recently, I shared about my experience with Clearly Fresh Bags and how effective I had found them to be in extending the life of my produce. This is day 10:

Now, the group at Clearly Fresh Bags is providing a special discount code to A Busy Mom of Two readers. Simply visit their site, place the bags in your cart and then enter the code 'BUSYMOM' to receive a 15% discount on your order.

Hurry though! The coupon code is only good through 2/15/2012.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

What a fun weekend and what a great game to top it off!

Friday evening was my son's school carnival. The kids both had a great time. We at our dinner at the carnival. Earth Fare had donated hot dogs and buns, but there were also nachos, super pretzels, soup, root beer floats, fresh squeezed lemonade and more. The 3rd graders held a bake sale and so there were plenty of cookies, cupcakes and brownies to choose from for dessert. There was a Cake Walk, a Balloon Artist (what do you call the people that make balloons into 'things'?), a Caricature Artist, a Pie Throwing booth and several small homemade games that I'm certain the school has had for about 40 years.

The weekend was spent hanging out with family. My parents came to visit and the kids were super excited. We all went to my son's basketball game in the morning. After the game, the kids spent time outside with Grandpa, building snowmen. There wasn't much snow (and I didn't even know it was going to snow), but they had a great time playing outside anyway. In the afternoon, we played some games and relaxed. We went out to dinner to a Japanese Steak House that night.

On Sunday, we had even more company. Our friend Cindy, who was in town from California, came over for the day. Cindy was a neighbor when I was a child & she and my mom were great friends. Our families spent a lot of time together when I was younger. Even when they moved away, we would go to visit for the weekend. Then, through a coincidental series of moves for me and for her family, we had the opportunity to become friends too when I was an adult. We spent the morning visiting and playing games. We enjoyed lunch out and then everyone headed their separate ways.

Sunday night, of course, was the Super Bowl. My husband, a born and raised Giants fan, was very excited and very happy with the outcome of the game. Since the Giants were in the game and since my son is getting older, we let him stay up to watch the whole game for the first time. Dinner was moments before game time. We had Buffalo Chicken Rolls (even made a few small ones with Wonton Wrappers). Then, we had a small spread of carrots, brownies & fudge and Goldfish crackers to snack on during the game. So different from the days when we threw parties with an expansive spread.

lunch out
Buffalo Chicken Rolls/Wontons


Chicken Sonora Pasta

Beef Taco Skillet

Pierogie and Sausage

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Pork Chops (since we skipped them last week)

Breakfast is cereal or oatmeal each morning, although sometimes at school my daughter will have pancakes or french toast. For my son, lunch is either the menu item at school or a packed lunch with some type of sandwich. Lunch for my husband and me is typically sandwiches, frozen meals or leftovers.

This post shared at Menu Plan Monday.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

CVS Scenarios - week of 2/5

After a successful visit to CVS last week, I am hopeful that I will be able to pick up some deals this week. I see that they brought back a slightly less 'good' deal on the soda. Now it works out to be $2.33/12pk, versus the $2/12pk that it would have been last week. If I'm there, I might pick up the deal since I failed to make it in last week.

Transaction #1
1 - Blistex

-$.35 Blistex mfg coupon

Total $1.65 OOP, earn $1 ECB.

Transaction #2
1 - Zarbee's Children's Cough Syrup

Total $6, pay with $1 ECB and $5 OOP, earn $6 ECBs.

Transaction #3
4 - Nivea Lip Care

-$4 4x$1 Nivea Lip Care IP (need 2 computers and Facebook to get 4 coupons)

Total $6, pay with $6 ECB from transaction #1 and $0 OOP. Earn $3 ECB.

Transaction #4
2 - Vick's Nature Fusion

-$3 Vick's Nature Fusion mfg coupon
-$3 Vick's Nature Fusion mfg coupon

Total $6, pay with $3 ECB and $3 OOP. Earn $3 ECBs.

For the trip, the total OOP is $9.65, with $3 ECBs to roll and $30 in product. A savings of about 71%.

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

CVS $5 Challenge

I was challenged this week, so I allowed myself to go a little over (my 'net' is under $5)....

Transaction #1
1 - Zarbee's Children's Cough Syrup

Total $6 OOP, earn $6 ECBs.

Transaction #2
4 - Nivea Lip Care

-$4 4x$1 Nivea Lip Care IP (need 2 computers and Facebook to get 4 coupons)

Total $6, pay with $6 ECB from transaction #1 and $0 OOP. Earn $3 ECB.

For the trip, the total OOP is $6, with $3 ECBs to roll and $16 in product. A savings of about 68%.

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

CVS Deals - 1/29

I actually made it to CVS early in the week and did really well. I had hoped to make it back before the end of the week, but as my luck (and schedule) would have it, I never got back to pick up the soda deal.

Transaction #1
2 - M&Ms Chocolate Pretzel
3 - Valentines Day Cards

-$1 M&M IP (
-$1 M&M IP (
-$2 $2/3 American Greetings (
-$1 American Greetings CRT

Paid with $3 ECB, adjusted down to $2.97, and $.20 tax OOP. Earned $1 and $3 ECBs.

Transaction #2
3 - Speedstick Deodorant (one was co-branded Irish Spring)
1 - Irish Spring Body Wash
1 - Irish Spring Bar Soap (3pk)
1 - Reese's Egg

-$3.99 BOGO Speedstick mfg coupon
-$1 Irish Spring Deodorant mfg coupon
-$.50 Irish Spring Bar Soap mfg coupon
-$1 Irish Spring Body Wash mfg coupon

Paid with $6 ECBs and $1.13 OOP ($.35 + tax). Earned $6 and $1 ECB. The Reese's didn't print initially and when she printed, it was rounded up to $1.

For the day, I was up $2 ECBs, with $1.33 OOP. So, essentially, it was a free shopping day at CVS.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Samples and Freebies

Purex Triple Action sample
Quaker Oatmeal Squares Honey Nut (Facebook)

Cafe Escapes Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa K-cups, 12 ct (Facebook offer)
GoLean Crunchy! Chocolate Caramel bar and coupons
Crystal Light Energy Drink Mix and coupon