Saturday, September 17, 2011

$5 Albums at Amazon

I'm really digging these $5 album downloads Amazon has been offering.  It's even better that the albums offered are not current hits -- I like feeling the nostalgia as I browse the titles. 
Some highlights for September:
The Singles Collection -- No Doubt
Speed of Darkness -- Flogging Molly
Greatest Hits -- Ramones
The Lion King, Special Edition
Tapestry -- Carole King
Films about Ghosts -- Counting Crows
Legacy, The Greatest Hits Collection -- Boyz II Men
Sixteen Stone -- Bush
Some Hearts -- Carrie Underwood
American Gangster -- Jay-Z
Sheer Heart Attack -- Queen


**NEW** Natural and Organic Coupons!

I love seeing all these new coupons! Here's a round-up of all the ones that appeared this week. Many of the high value coupons will reach their print limit quickly, so make sure you print what you want!

$.75 off Santa Cruz Organics Juice
$.75 off Stonyfield Farms YoBaby or YoToddler 4-pack
$1/1 Clif Kid Z-Bar
$1 off Wallaby Organic Yogurt

$.75/1 Kashi Frozen Entree or Pizza (It's back!)
$1/1 The Natural Dentist product
$1 off Real Simple Magazine
$1/1 Barbara's Bakery Cereal (Use Zip 06101)

Free Sample of Emergen-C Kids -- Facebook Offer

$1 off 2 Select Kashi TLC Items
$1 off Burt's Bees Skin Care Lotion or Cream
$1/3 Kashi TLC Granola Bars
$5 off 1 Evenflo Single Pump
$1/3 Kashi Cold Cereals
$1/3 Green Giant Fresh Vegetable Items

Find More Coupons for Natural Items on the Natural & Organic Coupon Page.

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50% off Halloween Costumes and Clothes at thredUp!

If you order through BitsyBug today, you will get a Halloween thredUp box for only $8. Normal price is $15.99, making today's deal a 50% savings. $8 for a Halloween costume? Yes, please!
This deal is live until Sunday. You cannot use BitsyBug credit on this deal.

Interested in an $8 thredUp costume box? Head over here to check out this deal.

New to thredUp?  I wrote about my experiences using thredUP here.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Robeez: None over $19.99 on Zulily!

These are only $14.99! LOVE them!
Love Robeez? I know both my kids had several pairs that I bought secondhand. They're so cute -- and useful for those kids who just love to take off their socks in the middle of winter -- not that I know anything about that. :)

Zulily is offering Robeez for the very first time today! This deal is going on until Sunday night (9/18), but they are going to sell out FAST! I recommend heading over there and checking these adorable shoes out now if you're interested. 


Clean Eating Magazine: $7.98

Best Deal Magazines' Deal of the Day is  Clean Eating Magazine.

Each issue of Clean Eating features great-tasting recipes, easy-to-understand menu plans, food charts and tips on cleaning up your diet.

Regular Price  is $12.95. Today's price is $9.39, but enter code PXCJ918 to get an additional 15% off, making today's subscription to Clean Eating only $7.98 per year.


Frugal Friday: I’m doing the Slow Food USA $5 Challenge for the Natural Network Blog Hop!

This Saturday, September 17, Slow Food USA is inviting you to be a part of their $5 Challenge, and the Natural Network Blog Hop wants to kick it off and invite you to join us!

The challenge is to take back the 'value meal' by getting together with family, friends or neighbors to enjoy a meal that costs no more than $5 per person (the cost of the average fast food meal). Slow Food USA says that slow food shouldn't have to cost more than fast food, and they're right!

If you want to join in, you can sign up for the challenge over at
Slow Food USA. If you're a blogger, join us by sharing your favorite slow food meal ideas and linking up with to our Natural Network Blog Hop at the bottom of this post!

When I first read about this challenge here, I thought, ok, $5 for a healthy, whole foods,  family meal, it will take some finagling but I can do it -- after all, I’ve done it before! 
Then I read further and realized -- the challenge is $5 per person.  Really? That’s a piece of cake. That’s $20 whole dollars for my family of four. The point is, taking back the “value meal” isn’t as hard as it sounds. It does take some planning, and sometimes, even some ingenuity.
The recipe I’ve chosen to share today requires neither! It is easy, healthy, and filling. I do use organic canned tomatoes, which technically aren’t a whole food. However, you could easily use fresh tomatoes from the garden and achieve the same results.
Simple Natural Goulash (For a family of 4, with leftovers)
1 lb 93% lean Organic, Grass-Fed Beef -- $4.19 using a coupon
1 pound organic pasta elbows -- $2.79
1 28-oz can, Muir Glen Crushed Tomatoes -- $2.99
1 organic onion -- $1
1 organic bell pepper -- $1
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp Italian Seasoning
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
Brown the meat in a large stock pot. Add the onions and saute 5 minutes
Add 2 1/2 cups water, the tomatoes, and all spices. Put the lid on and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the elbow macaroni, stir, return lid, and simmer on med-low for 20 minutes
Turn off heat, and let goulash sit for 15-30 minutes before serving. 
Final Cost= $11.97 per recipe, or $2.99 per person 
(I didn’t include the seasonings in the cost analysis because they are assumed to be pantry ingredients)

Mindfully Frugal Mom

Join the Natural Network Blog Hop:
Follow the first five blogs in the Linky, these are your hosts. Be sure to leave us a comment so we can follow you back!

Leave a link to your Blog Post so we can follow you!

Feel free to grab the linky code and post it on your blog post!

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

BOGO: Clif Mojo Bars

I just noticed this coupon for BOGO FREE Clif Mojo Bars.

You can print it out twice, for up to 2 free bars.

These are priced at $.99 each at Wegmans, so they're only $.50 with the coupon.


FREE Sample of Green Mountain K-Cups

Don't wait because this will "sell" out quickly!  Get a free sample of Green Mountain K-Cups for your Keurig coffee-maker. All you have to do is "Like" them on Facebook.

Go here to get your FREE K-Cups.


Amazon Deals! Lots of Pantry Items at LOW prices!

Amazon is currently having a warehouse sale, which is when they try to liquidate their warehouse of items that are nearing their sell-by date. I found a number of items that are at very low prices! All the items below also qualify for FREE Super Saver Shipping!

Arrowhead Mills Long Grain Brown Rice, 28-Ounce Packages (Pack of 6)

Imagine Free Range Chicken Broth, 32-Ounce (Pack of 6) -- $16.99

Horizon Organic Low Fat Milk, Vanilla, 8-Ounce Aseptic Cartons (Pack of 18) -- $10.99

Coffee People, Tree Hugger, K-Cups for Keurig Brewers (Pack of 50) -- $21.99

Green Mountain Coffee Our Blend, 24-Count K-Cups for Keurig Brewers (Pack of 2) -- $15.99 (only $.33 per cup!)

Find more Amazon Warehouse Deals Here.


Wegmans' Thursday Coupon: $1 off Sushi

I don't usually get that excited when Wegmans offers coupons for specialty items that I wouldn't normally buy. However, I'm thrilled that there is another Sushi coupon out! This is a favorite splurge item in my house, and I only buy it if there is a coupon or a deal to be had.

Today's Wegmans coupon is for $1 off a $5 Sushi purchase. You can print this coupon twice, and it expires October 1.

Don't forget, the $1 off a $5 produce coupon is still good until Saturday 9/17, and you can print that one off twice as well!

Update: Hardcover Photo Book for Only $8.50!

**Update:  Use Promo Code FALL2FAB to get an extra 15% off this deal, making the hardcover photo book only $8.50. That really is a fabulous deal! Go here to order your book and don't forget to use the promo code!**

Today at Plum District, you can get an 8 1/2 x 11" personalized photo book from PhotoBin for only $10 $8.50.  Since the voucher doesn't expire until 3/12/12, you could hang onto it to make a beautiful, yet inexpensive, holiday present for grandparents. 

Go here to get your $10  $8.50 photo book.

You may purchase up to 3 per person at this rate, and shipping is a flat $5.

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Getting The Most out of your Local Consignment Sales, Part II: Shopping

If you are new to shopping for kids’ clothing, furniture, and toys at consignment sale, you’ll find all the information you need to get the best quality items at the best prices. Even if you’re a veteran consignment sale shopper, you might learn some new tricks of the trade!
If you didn’t see Part I of this series: Being a Seller, read it here.
I buy almost none of my children’s clothing new. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I actually walked into a retail store and plunked down money for a new item.  Oh, wait, yes I can -- it was at the Jillian’s Drawers Sidewalk sale and I got these See Kai Run Mary Janes for my daughter at 50% off. That deal was too good to pass up. 
Back to consignment sales. :)
If you know how to shop consignment sales, there is almost no reason to have to pay retail prices for children’s items. I outfit my children completely using a combination of garage sale and consignment sale items, and I’ve compiled a list of my best tips for getting the most out of your consignment sale trip.

1. Be Prepared -- For the most popular sales there are long lines to get in to the sale, and long lines at checkout.  Dress casually in comfortable shoes. Bring a bottle of water and a piece of fruit or a granola bar. You might be there a while!  If you are a serious shopper, you’ll want to bring something to carry your items in. You don’t want to lug around a handful of clothes in one hand while trying to pick out items with the other hand. I bring my kids’ red wagon to haul stuff in, plus several reusable shopping bags for small items and for checkout. If you don’t have a wagon, I’ve seen moms dragging a laundry basket with a belt attached. Whatever works!

2. Leave the kids at home -- If you can help it at all, leave the children at home. It’s hard to concentrate on finding what you need and determining low prices when there is a whiny, bored, tired person(s) hanging on to you. (Trust me, I’ve done it!). The exception might be a very small baby that you could have in a hands-free carrier like the Ergo or the Moby.  Many small babies will sleep the whole time in that situation (I’ve done that too!).

3. Have a Game Plan -- The absolute worst thing you can do when shopping at a big consignment event is to go in without having any idea of what you are looking for. There will be literally thousands of items, and hundreds of crazed moms frantically trying to get their hands on what they need. Going just to browse is not an option. Frankly, you’ll probably get trampled. Before the sale, look through your children’s closets and make a list of what they will need in the next 6 months or so. Then, prioritize the list in order of the most needed items. That way, when you get into the sale, you can go directly to the section that has the items you really want. 
Last year, I needed clothes for my preschool boy and infant girl. I went to the boy section first, thinking (rightfully) that there would be a smaller selection.  I found almost nothing that I needed, and by the time I made it to the infant girls’ section, it was pretty picked over. Lesson: go to the section of highest need first, regardless of perceived availability. 

4. Know your Prices -- If you are trying to save money by shopping consignment, it is crucial to know how much things cost.  I have bought jeans for both children at Target for under $4 each; don’t purchase a pair of Circo (Target brand) jeans for $5 or $6. In general, my rule for mall brands (Gymboree, The Children’s Place, Gap, JC Penney) is under $5 an outfit.  Discount store brands (Target, Walmart) should cost a little less, while specialty brands (Hanna Andersson, MiniBoden) could cost a little more. 
I once agonized over spending $12 on this  Gymboree dress for my daughter at a consignment sale, because, at over $10, I think it really was overpriced. But I loved it, and I bought it anyway, and she has received a ton of compliments every time she wears it. It was a deliberate splurge, and I put 3 other items back before I checked out when I decided to buy it. (I just found the same dress on eBay for $8.50, but at least I didn’t pay for shipping!) Lesson: Splurging is ok, just make sure it doesn’t put you over budget and you do it sparingly.
5. Go to the Half Price Day -- Often, consignment sales will designate the last day of the sale to be 50% off or 75% off (if you’re lucky!). I have found awesome bargains on toys and books at the half price sale.  If you have an item that you really need, don’t wait for the half off sale, but if you’re looking for stocking stuffer items or things to put in your gift closet, the half off sale is the way to go. 
6. Take a Cleansing Breath -- These sales can be extremely overwhelming.  You wait in line, sometimes for hours, with other moms.  Even when you do get in, there is a huge space to navigate and hundreds of people on a mission around you, all in a bargain-hunting frenzy. If you feel like you’re about to lose it, take a break, find a quiet corner, and have a drink of water. Refocus, refuel, and regroup. You can’t make smart decisions about your family’s needs when you’re in a tizzy (I’ve been there, too!).
When you’re curled up in the corner regrouping, take a minute to inspect all the items you’ve chosen before you checkout.  Make sure everything is free of rips, stains, marks, or holes. It’s not a good deal if it’s broken.
7. Finally, have fun! I have a few girlfriends that I go consignment sale shopping with every year, and it’s great to get out of the house in the morning and help each other find bargains. 
What have I missed? I’d love to hear more suggestions from all you veteran consignment shoppers out there!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

We Have a Giveaway Winner!

Lucky Number 2!  CeltiCutie, you have won a cloth pad from Party In My Pants!  I have contacted you letting you know how to redeem your prize.  Please respond within 48 hours or I will have to choose another winner.

A huge, giant, tremendous thank you to all who entered!  If you didn't win,  but are still interested in cloth pads, please take a look around the Party in my Pants website. If you're a new customer, you can choose a free liner to try out -- just pay for shipping.  How great is that??


Wegmans Trip: Much Ado about Not Much

This week's shopping trip to Wegmans was a trifecta of foibles: I went right at dinner time, I had both kids with me, and we were all hungry and cranky.  Not a good combo!  Plus, when I got there, I realized I didn't bring my coupons for some of the items I had planned on getting.  

This seemed like a disaster of epic proportions.  It meant that I would have to bring both children back to the grocery store at some point this week. Vowing not to do that, I got just what I needed, and got out of there. I wish I could say that I did it without being short with my children, but I can't.  Lesson learned: next time, I'll either find time to go by myself, or I'll just roll with the punches a little better!  Because frankly, I don't think I was adding to the situation much -- my tense and annoyed energy wasn't helping M and E behave better, that's for sure.

I wasn't paying as much attention as I usually do to prices during my trip -- I was just trying to grab and go -- but I was happily surprised at the register when my final total was only $61.80. Here's the breakdown:
Organic Nectarines -- $2.49/lb, Paid $5.45
Final Price: $4.45 for about 2 lbs.

Wegmans Naan Bread (for make your own pizza night), 2 @ $2.99 each
Used $1/2 coupon from Fall Menu Magazine
Final Price= $2.50/each

YoBaby 4-pack -- $2.49
Final Price= $.99

YoToddler 4-pack -- $2.49
Used $1/1 (obtained in a coupon trade)
Final Price = $1.49

Top Care Children's Acetaminophen -- $2.49 on Shopper's Club
Final Price = $.49

Total Before Coupons = $75.17
Total Coupons and Shopper's Club Discounts = $13.37
Final Out of Pocket = $61.80
Percentage Saved= 18%

This was a pretty low out of pocket trip, but I also spent $12 at Aldi this week, mostly on cheese. :) That still brings my spending to about $74. With the $6 I have left over from last week, I now have $12 saved to put towards a trip to the health food store later this month. 

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BOGO: Del Monte Fruit Naturals

Del Monte Fruit Naturals is offering a Buy One, Get One free coupon.

Go here to print out the coupon and try these out.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How to Get the Most out of your Local Consignment Sale, Part I: Selling

It’s getting chilly outside. There’s a certain smell in the air. Starbucks is releasing their limited-time-only Pumpkin Spice Latte.  All signs of the upcoming season.
I’m talking about Autumn, right?
Consignment Sale Season. The time of year when normally responsible mothers wait in ridiculous lines that make black Friday look like a leisurely stroll in the park. 
This year, you’ll be ready. I’ve compiled a list of tips and hints that should help you save money and your sanity.  First we’ll discuss selling items at consignment sales.
Selling your outgrown and un-played with items is a great way to make money while de-cluttering the house.  But it’s not exactly “easy” money.  Here are a few tips to help you maximize your earnings while minimizing stress and effort. 
1. Pay attention to the Rules
Most sales have stringent rules and restrictions for sellers regarding what can be sold and how it needs to be presented.  Be sure to carefully read the particular requirements that govern the sale in which you are participating.   Failing to follow the rules can result in your items being rejected, which means that the effort you put into tagging them is wasted, and you have to bring them back home with you. 
2. Volunteer
Many times, if you choose to work a volunteer shift (anywhere from 3 to 8 hours), you will get an increased commission rate. It is generally pretty easy work, and if you get 10% more in commissions, it may be worth it. I always do this at the sale I participate in, and I like to volunteer the day before the sale.  That way, I get a free preview of what is in store!
3. Pricing
Know your prices, know your customers.  The general rule for clothing is to price it between 20% - 50% off retail price, depending on condition. Larger items such as strollers or a co-sleeper might go for closer to 50-60% off retail. For each item you sell, keep in mind the retail price, sale price, consignment price, and garage sale price.  I know I can purchase nice t-shirts for my children at garage sales for $.50-$1, so there is no way I would purchase a shirt priced $5 at a consignment sale.  

Think about NEW discount store prices. If you can buy a pair of jeans at Target for $3.60, don’t price those same jeans at a consignment sale for $4.  It’s sort of like when you buy a brand new car. The minute you drive it off the lot, it loses value. Don’t insult the customers. You are selling a USED item.  You presumably would rather get cash than bring the items home with you. Price to sell.
4. Reduce
Unless you can do better on an item on eBay or Craigslist, it is smart to let the item go for half price on the last day, if your sale offers that. It’s better to make some money than none plus have to store the item indefinitely.
5. Merchandising
Even though consignment sale customers know they are purchasing used items, everyone loves getting a deal. Make your items shine.  Paying $10 for a like new pair of Stride Rite toddler shoes (with the scuffs buffed off with a soft cloth) is much more palatable for a customer than $10 for a scuffed pair of Stride Rites. 
For furniture and toys, a combination of vinegar, hot water, and a tbsp of Dr. Bronner’s can work wonders. If that doesn’t work, I haven’t seen many scuffs that the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser can’t get rid of. 
For clothes, make sure your items are ironed, clean, pet-hair free, and hanging neatly.  I’ve had good luck with OxiClean for removing stains.
Retail companies spend MILLIONS of dollars showcasing their items attractively. If your item is on a rack with several other similar items, make yours look the best.
6. Sell as a Set
You can charge $5 for a cute onesie and cotton pants, but it would be much more difficult to get $2.50 per item if you priced the items separately.  Also, if an outfit has a matching hat or socks, add those extras. 
Finally, keep in mind the Golden Rule: Don’t attempt to sell anything you wouldn’t buy yourself!
This is by no means a comprehensive list. I’d love to hear ideas from my readers about your successes with consignment sale selling!


$10 for $20 Credit at Whole Foods!

I'm pretty sure these will sell out quickly so make sure to snap one up if you live near a Whole Foods. 
Today's Living Social Deal is pay $10 and receive a $20 voucher good at Whole Foods. 
If you don't see this deal immediately when you go to Living Social, go to search other cities and look for San Diego -North County.

(Thanks, I am That Lady!)


15% off your Order This Week Only Brand Banner
I recently checked out and was pleased to see that they carry a good variety of eco-friendly cleaners and products. They carry brands like Ecover, Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyers, Dr. Bronners, Tom's of Maine, Burt's Bees, Weleda, Kashi, and Luna, among many others.

Take advantage of this week's deal: 15% off your entire order, plus free shipping for all orders over $25.  Limit $20. Use code SOAPAFF to get this deal. 


Monday, September 12, 2011

Bambino Mio Cloth Diapers 40% off

My favorite Zulily deal today is on these Bambino Mio cloth diaper covers. They come in a range of sizes, are soft cotton, and they're pretty adorable.  The two covers seen above retail for $30, but with this deal they will only be $19.99 for 2. 

Check out this deal and others at Zulily.

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Fitness Magazine: $3.73/year

Today's daily deal at Best Deal Magazines is Fitness Magazine for $4.39.

Use the code PXCJ918 at checkout to get an additional 15% off, making today's deal only $3.64/year.

Go here to take advantage of this deal.


Make it Yourself Monday: Homemade Applesauce

I’ll be the first to admit that making your own applesauce is not the least bit difficult.  Filling my freezer with jars and jars of homemade applesauce is one of my favorite fall activities. And the best part is how it makes the house smell. One whiff of that cinnamon-y apple goodness, and you know it’s fall. 
The early crop of Burgundy apples I used for this batch of applesauce literally just appeared at my door. Well, to be accurate, they were delivered by my brother from my parents’ house.  My mother’s friend has an apple orchard and was practically giving apples away.  I got an entire bushel for only $5!! That is less than the price of 2 jars of Santa Cruz Organic Applesauce at Wegmans. 
These apples were a little time-sensitive, since they had been at my mom’s house for a few days before I got them and it was swelteringly hot out, so I had to make the applesauce right away. 
There are as many applesauce making methods as there are varieties of apples, but what follows is the method that works the best for me.  Keep in mind that this is my bulk recipe, but it’s pretty foolproof to adjust to whatever quantity of apples you have on hand. 
Homemade Applesauce
Step One: Wash your apples. I just fill the sink with cold water and agitate them gently for a few minutes.

Step Two: Cut the apples into quarters. I don’t peel, de-stem, or de-anything to my apples. I generally use organic apples, so I worry less about the pesticide residue. If I know I’m using conventional apples that have been sprayed, I will use my apple peeler to peel them first.

Step Three: Fill a stock pot no more than 2/3 full of apples. Fill halfway with water, but don’t cover the apples with the water. Some people will disagree with me here, but I really prefer a thick applesauce to a watery one.

Step Four: Simmer on Medium Heat uncovered for about 20-30 minutes. Keep an eye on the apples and stir a few times. You’ll know the apples are done when the skins are falling off and they are fairly mushy. They don’t have to be sauce consistency yet, though.
Step Five: Here’s where the magic happens. Break out the Foley Food Mill, pour in apples, and grind away. All the savory apple yumminess will be strained through, while all the solid seeds and peels will be left in the food mill. Oh, you’re going to need a big bowl to mill the sauce into. I’ve used the Tupperware bowl pictured forever.

Step Six: Add sugar and cinnamon. For the quantity of apples used here (one bushel), I used a cup of sugar and 3 tbsp cinnamon. You could also add some nutmeg or ginger for a more savory bite. I tend to keep mine kind of bland because I also use the applesauce as an oil substitute in my baking, and I can always add more spices into individual servings. 
Step Seven: Let cool in the large bowl for a few hours, then carefully ladle into mason jars.  When the applesauce is completely cool, screw on the tops and freeze!  Applesauce will stay good in deep freeze for up to a year.
There are so many uses for homemade applesauce: it’s an easy snack for kids, a good add-in to waffles, a substitute for oil in baking recipes, swirled into oatmeal, or made into a glaze for pork dishes.  It’s easy to make, delicious, healthy, and inexpensive. What could be better?

This recipe is part of Live Renewed's Your Green Resource Link-Up!

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$25 for a $50 Voucher to Zoolu

Today at Eversave get a $50 voucher to for only $25.

If you are a new customer to Eversave, you'll get a $3 credit, making today's deal only $22.

I have ordered from Zoolu before for birthday presents for my children and had a great experience -- they have a wonderful selection and shipping is fast.

Shipping is not included and starts at $5.95. Shipping is free for orders over $75.

Go here to grab this Save.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Have You Entered for Party in My Pants Yet?

If you haven't entered yet for a medium cloth pad by Party in My Pants yet, what are you waiting for?

Go here to check out my review and to enter the giveaway!  Hurry, because you only have until Tuesday to enter!


Mambo Sprouts Organic Coupons Restocked! Get 'em Now!

I just happened to check Mambo Sprouts this morning to see if the $.75/1 Stonyfield Farm 4-pack coupon is still available (it is!), and realized that they must have restocked overnight! Some of these will reach their print limits quickly, so make sure you print them out as soon as you can!

All the following coupons can be found at this link.

$1/1 Wallaby Organic Yogurt
$1/1 Crunchmasters Crackers
$.75/1 Organic Valley Creamer
$1/1 XClear Nasal Spray
$1/1 Clif Kid Z-Bar
$1/1 Stonyfield Farm Activia 4-pack
$1/1 Box of Clif Crunch Granola Bars
$1/1 Ecover Hard Surface Cleaner
$1.50/2 Nature's Path Granola Bars or Waffles
$.75/1 Santa Cruz Organic Juice
$.50/1 Luna Protein Bar
$2/1 Rice Selects Item
$1/3 Kashi GoLean Bars
$1/1 Arrowhead Mills Baking Products
$1/1 Green & Black's Organic Chocolate Bar

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