Saturday, May 21, 2011 Deals on Workman Educational Books

If you are planning a trip this summer with kids, these Workman books and toys would be handy to have for the long car or airplane ride!

It's completely free to sign up for, and the site offers deep discounts on many children's items.

This is what caught my eye -- a book of 400 stickers for $4. My kids would love it!

Also on Totsy today:
Disney Blankets
Hartstrings NB-Infant
BUTCH & Harold Reusable Wall Stickers
Trumpfit Infant Moccasins

Amy's Organic Bowls Coupons


Hurry! These Amy's coupons are really rare, and must be printed by 6/12/11.

Printables HERE.  You are allowed 2 prints per computer.

Wegmans Deal Idea: Buy 1 Amy's Bowl for $3.39, use $.75 coupon (doubled to $1.50)
Total Cost: $1.89

Also in this post is $.75 off 1 MultiGrain Cheerios. If you buy the 12.8 oz box, you will get it for $2.39 once the coupon doubles, which is an ok (although NOT rock bottom ) price.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Borders: 50% off 1 item


Click here to get a printable coupon to use in Borders' stores until 5/23. 

Also good online.

Natural & Organic Coupons

Here are a few good printable coupons for this week:

$.50 off 1 Organic Valley Half and Half
$1 off 1 Seventh Generation Laundry Product
$1 off 1 Morningstar Farms Veggie Product
$1 off 1 So Delicious Coconut Milk
$1 off 7 Earth's Best Baby Food Jars
$1 off 2 Earth's Best Sesame Street Snacks
$.75 off 1 Newman-Os
$1 off 1 Simply Organic Vanilla
$1 off 1 Simply Organic Baking Mix
$.50 off 1 Simply Organic Extract
$.50 off Stonyfield Farms YoKids 6-pack

(Thanks to The Thrifty Mama & My Memphis Mommy for help in compiling this list)


$5 Fridays

We had another hectic week, so my $5 Friday dinner this week is something I came up with on the fly. My whole family ate every bite, though, so it couldn’t be too bad.  I was originally going to make Parmesan Pasta with Greens and Beans, but for some reason I just felt like something more homey. This is what I came up with.
Cheesy Spinach and Macaroni (AKA Mac & Cheese w/ some frozen veg thrown in)
1 lb elbow macaroni ($.79)
1 tbsp butter (maybe a little more if you’re like me and love butter) ($.08)
1 tbsp flour ($.01)
2 cups milk  ($.16 at Aldi’s)
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese ($1 at Aldi’s)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese ($.50)
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed  ($.50)
1/4 tsp nutmeg ($.10)
salt & pepper to taste

1.  Boil a pot of water and toss the elbows in when it’s boiling.
2.  While the macaroni is cooking, put the butter in a large saute pan on medium heat.
Add the flour to the butter, and whisk briskly, creating a roux.
3. Still stirring, slowly add the milk to the butter and flour mixture. Stir constantly for about 5 minutes
4. Add the cheese and stir until it is all incorporated into the sauce.  Ladle out about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water and add it to the sauce. This starchy water will thicken the sauce and add a bit more body to it.
5. Add the spinach, nutmeg, salt, and pepper to the sauce.
6. Add drained macaroni to the sauce and mix thoroughly. Serve with a green salad or alone for a quick, easy meal.
Total Cost? $3.14 
Have a dollar or two extra to spend? Chop up some sweet Italian sausage and add to the sauce.
Need to make it even cheaper? This meal costs $.78 a person, which is less than a school lunch.  I'm not sure it gets much cheaper.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

All about Swagbucks

There have been several deals lately that I have gotten free by using my Swagbucks, but I haven’t posted them because I wanted to take a second to explain what Swagbucks is.  If you’re not using Swagbucks, you are not taking advantage of FREE money, mostly in the form of Amazon gift cards.

Search & Win

What is Swagbucks?
Swagbucks is a search engine, powered by Google, that you use just like any other search engine -- except, sometimes, when you search, you earn swagbucks.  I generally earn an average of 7-13 swagbucks on a search. Do you win every search? No, but if you use it as your daily search engine, the points will definitely rack up. I generally earn about 20-40 swagbucks a day just by using the search function. Swagbucks are like points that you can trade in for prizes. There are a ton of different prizes to be had, but by far the most popular are the gift cards. For 450 swagbucks, you can get a $5 Amazon gift card. By combining that with some of Amazon’s subscribe & save offers, it can make for some amazing deals.  Other gift cards available are for iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Starbucks, and even Paypal.
How do I sign up for Swagbucks?
It’s super-easy. Just fill out the form here, and start searching.
Can I really earn “free” money?
Absolutely. I routinely earn at least one free gift card per month.  There are several different ways to earn, and they have a great referral program as well.  
In future posts, I will detail a few ways to earn more swagbucks in ways other than searching (did you know you can earn swagbucks for using coupons?? That’s the kind of deal I like!).

Amazon: Bob's Red Mill Oat Bran for $9.01 shipped!

I love Bob's Red Mill products, and this 4-pack of Organic Oat Bran hot cereal is great as is, or baked into muffins or waffles.

Make sure you click on the Subscribe & Save option to get optimum savings: 72 oz of cereal for only $9.01.

(Thanks, The Thrifty Mama!)

Extreme Couponing LITE: First in a Series

My goal in this series is to help you learn use coupons to maximize your savings on groceries, household products, personal care items, and clothing.  Not one idea will involve surfing through a dumpster in search of discarded coupon inserts.

Where do I find coupons?  
First, and probably easiest, is to grab the coupon inserts from the Sunday paper. You will easily make back the cost of the paper by using just 2 or 3 of the coupons inside. Will you use all or even most of these coupons? Maybe not. But you don’t know what may be on sale next week or the week after, or what will be nearly free.  I personally save about 3 months of inserts at a time in my coupon binder (more info about that later). 
For example, even though it’s the middle of May, I just used a coupon from the 3/20 SS insert this week. What does SS mean? It’s just the type of insert. In an average Sunday paper, there will be a SmartSource (SS) insert and a RedPlum (RP) insert. The Proctor & Gamble (P&G) insert comes out once per month, on the first weekend, and those coupons expire the last day of the month. 

 I keep my inserts organized chronologically by type of insert. All my RedPlum inserts are together with the newest one on top and the oldest ones on the bottom. Just make sure every week or so you check the expiration date on the oldest ones to make sure those coupons are still valid. 

Next, the internet is an amazing resource for coupons, both on coupon websites like, and through social media like Facebook.  Often, “liking” a company on Facebook will net you a coupon for that product.  The insert companies also have different coupons available online -- try and  Also, it’s worth checking your store’s website; often retailers like Target will post special deals, coupons, and savings on

What about you? What are your favorite coupon tips? Are there any topics you’d like to see me cover, or questions you have?

Next time I will talk about how to use coupons from different sources to maximize your savings.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011 20% off All Green & Natural Items

From now until Friday, everything in the Green & Natural department of automatically comes up as 20% off when you add it to your cart. Everything from household cleaners to natural make-up is included.  You can combine this discount with specials they are running on these products as well. For example, I added California Baby brand Sunscreen, Calendula Cream, and Bug Spray to my cart, because when you buy 3 California Baby items, you get $3 off. So for a total of $35.37, you will get 3 products that would cost $47.97 if purchased separately.

What's for Dinner Wednesday: $6 Coupon-Free Dinner

No time to coupon this week? Here is an easy, cheap, and healthy recipe that cost under $6 without coupons! (All prices are regular retail price at Wegmans )

Moroccan Chicken with Couscous & Spinach
Serves 4
4 chicken breasts (about 1 lb), cut and pounded into cutlets ($1.99)
1 tbsp. vegetable oil ($.20)
1 pkg  pine nut couscous ($2.39) 
1 box frozen spinach ($.99)
1 tsp cumin  ($.05)
1/2 tsp sea salt ($.05)
1/4 tsp cinnamon ($.05)
pinch smoked paprika  (negligible)
Use the cumin, salt, cinnamon, & paprika as a dry rub on the chicken.  Cook in 1 tbsp oil 8-12 min until done, turning once.
Prepare couscous according to package directions
Remove chicken from skillet. Add spinach and cook until it wilts. Add couscous.
Serve chicken on a bed of spinach couscous

Total Cost= $5.72 or $1.43 per person.
Have an extra dollar or two to spend? Use fresh baby spinach and add roasted red peppers.
Need to make it even cheaper? Substitute white or brown rice for the couscous and you have a $3 meal.

Mamapedia:$10 for $20 worth of Natural and Organic Products logo

I'm definitely taking advantage of this Mamapedia deal today.  Basically, you spend $10, and get $20 to spend at I checked Vitacost out, and I found greatly reduced prices on a lot of the natural products that cost a lot of money at the grocery store. For example, I found Aubrey Organics Baby Sensitive Skin Sunscreen for only $13. They also have a good selection of organic baby food for 50% less than I've seen at the grocery store. They also have vitamin supplements, personal care products, and natural cleaning products.

Don't forget, you get 10% off your first Mamapedia purchase with coupon code: MAY10.

The fine print:

  • Free shipping on orders over $49
  • Not valid on $4.99 shipping fee on orders below $49
  • Exp. 7/31/11
(Note: The links in this post are my affiliate links).

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday's Grocery Round-Up

This week’s grocery total exceeds my normal budget of $80/week. I ended up spending $128.35 between 4 stores after coupons.  Before you mentally chastise me for falling off the coupon wagon, did I mention that that number includes 40 pounds of chicken?

When I was perusing the Sunday paper trying to see what was on special and matching up deals with coupons, I noticed Palmer's had a special on boneless, skinless chicken breast for $1.49/lb.  Of course, that “rock bottom price” could only be had when buying 40 pounds of chicken. 
That’s a lot of chicken. 
I realized this when I got there and the man behind the counter asked me if I had a special order. Um, no? Since I had Emma with me, I also needed help getting to my car. A 40 lb box of chicken is heavy!
Anyway, it was worth it to go out of my way.  Since the low price at my normal grocery store is $1.99/lb, the extra trip out to Palmer's would net me $20 for 40 pounds. In addition, if I use 2 pounds of chicken for 3 meals a week, I will not have to buy chicken again until October 4.  Nice.
When I was at Palmer’s, I popped across the street to the Freihofer’s outlet, where I got 3 loaves of bread for $3, and 2 bags of wraps for $1.29 each. Many cities have bakery outlets -- I highly recommend trying to find one in your area for great deals on bread, rolls, and bagels.  Just make sure to read the label -- many of these products are made with high fructose corn syrup. 
The only other purchase of note this week is that for $24.94, I obtained ingredients with which I intend to make a year’s supply of laundry detergent and hair conditioner. 
How? Stay tuned. 

40 lbs of chicken before. . . 
and after!

Mamapedia: As low as $9 for Kids' Animal Magazines

From today until May 20, you can get Animal Baby, Ranger Rick, or Your Big Backyard Magazine for $9 a year when you order through Mamapedia and use coupon code KIDSMAG10 at checkout. Mason received Your Big Backyard as a gift for his third birthday and he loves it!

Also, when you check out, don't forget to direct your 5% donation to the school of your choice.

The fine print:

  • Good on new subscriptions only
  • May be used for gifts
  • Limit 1 per household

Monday, May 16, 2011

Wegmans Deals for the week of 5/15-5/21

Wegman’s has recently been touting their “consistently low prices,” which is great if you simply don’t have time to shop around.  However, I have shaved easily $30 off my grocery bill weekly by shopping multiple stores. In coming weeks, I will be sharing my deals from Aldi’s, BJ’s Wholesale Club, and Walgreens.
There are always a few really good coupon match-ups to be found at Wegmans. Here are a few for this week:
Ivory Soap -- $.99 
Use $1 off 1 from the 5/1 P&G insert
Final Price= Free
Reach Toothbrush 2-pack -- $.99
Use $1 off 1 from 4/17 SS insert
Final Price=Free
Colgate Toothpaste -- $1.99
Use $1 off 1 from the 4/3 SS insert
Final Price= $.99
Organic Bagged Apples -- $3.99 for a 3 lb bag
(all varieties)
Final Price= $3.99
Driscoll’s Raspberries or Strawberries -- $2.99-$3.00
Use this coupon for $.50 off doubled to $1
Final Price= $1.99 - $2.99
Wegman’s Just Picked frozen fruit (my kids love the mixed berries)
Use $1 off 1 from Wegmans Winter Menu Magazine OR from prescription insert ( Wegmans has recently been sticking coupons in the bag when you get prescriptions filled at their pharmacy)
Final Price= $2.79
Uncle Ben's Ready Rice (8 oz.) - $1.59
Use $.75/1 from 3/20 RP insert, doubled to $1.50
Final Price= $.09 each

Thanks to MoneySavingMom and the coupon database for help in compiling this list.

What deals did you find at Wegmans this week?

Free Sea Turtle Preschool Program at PBK

If you live near a Pottery Barn Kids, this Saturday, May 21st,  you can bring your preschooler and learn all about sea turtles.  This program is completely free, and includes activities, songs, and games.

Make it Yourself Monday: Italian Dressing

Italian dressing is one of those pantry staples that has a zillion uses: as a marinade for chicken or fish, as an alternative to mayonnaise in a pasta or potato salad, as a mix-in for canned tuna or chicken, or, of course, to season raw or cooked veggies. 
I always like to have some on hand, and I usually can find a good coupon for dressing.
(In fact there are ones HERE, HERE, and HERE.)
Sometimes, though, you just run out, or you want to create a mixture that you can be sure is free of additives, preservatives, or the nefariously omnipresent high fructose corn syrup.
That’s why I generally make my own Italian dressing/marinade. Here’s the recipe I use:
2/3 cup olive or canola oil
1/4 cup vinegar 
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp oregano
1 1/2 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp basil
1 tbsp parsley
pinch of thyme
Mix the dry ingredients together, then mix thoroughly with the liquid ingredients. Store in an air-tight container.
If you are lucky enough to have fresh herbs, by all means, use them, just make sure to chop them really finely.  You might not need to use as much but I would use the same amounts because I like a nice herb-y flavor.
Also, to decrease your cost, if you are using this as a marinade, use cheaper vegetable oil and plain white vinegar. If I’m dressing a salad I’ll use balsamic or red wine vinegar, but if I’m seasoning meat, I usually use the cheaper ingredients.

What pantry items do you like to make from scratch?