Friday, November 30, 2012

50% off Papa Johns

Now through 12/02/12, you can get 50% off any regular price pizza order on by using the code "Pepsi50" or "50pizza"

Great for when you don't want to cook hehe. Too bad we did this last weekend.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Lesson

A saw a Little Blue Heron this morning.

I was driving in to work and suddenly to my right, a creature appears- the color of dark, winter storm clouds- ponderously clawing its way vertically into the air.  It labored for several moments as I turned into the parking lot of my job.  When I turned back to look, it suddenly shot forward, gliding effortlessly along. 

If I hadn't seen it struggle, I would have never known how hard it was to take to the air for the Little Blue Heron.  If I hadn't continued to watch, I wouldn't have seen everything suddenly turn beautiful.

The Little Blue Heron was amazing to watch fly.  Even when things got difficult, he never gave up- a few more strokes and he knew he'd be soaring.  That's just what happened.

It is easy to see someone flying and think "They have it so easy."  It's easy to look at our struggles and think "I'll never claw my way out of this mess, this trouble."  You never know what they went through, only to finally have their moment to ride the wind.

This winter, when I see the storm clouds, I'll remember the Little Blue Heron.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Controlled Shrinkage

I went shopping with my sister-in-law this past weekend.  We were just messing around before we went out for her birthday dinner, so she suggested we stop in to Cato and see what they had that might interest us.

I found a black shirt I really liked for only $6.99, but it was a Large.  I've lost over 30 pounds at this point, so Larges aren't really in my range anymore.  Still, she convinced me to try it on and ultimately convinced me to buy it, saying it didn't look "bad", even though I thought it looked entirely too big.

I get home, get ready to put it on and it's even bigger than I remembered.

I have two choices at this point- donate it, or try something a little risky.

I went with risky.

Tim is the King of shrinking clothing. I can not tell you how many shirts I've lost to his washing "skills" over the years- far too many, believe me.   I was trying to tap those powers of evil for a greater purpose this time.

I tossed the shirt to him and asked him to shrink it for me.  He looked completely confused, obviously trying to figure out if it was a trick.

"What if I shrink it too much?"
"Doesn't matter, I can't wear it now anyway, just go for it."
"Ok, well that won't be hard. You can't get mad at me."

So away I went to work and away he went to do the oh-so-possible...shrink my new shirt.

With trepidation, I tried the shirt on today.  I could tell it had shrunk right around an inch in length (it's black with a lacy front on it over an attached black shirt).  I put it on, he waits, breath held-

It fits!
Tim did the perfect job in his attempt at "controlled shrinkage".  It fits beautifully (well, it still could have gone down a little more and that would have been fine).  I wish you could have seen his face- he beamed and then began telling me his "method" for shrinking the shirt.

Whatever, I'm just happy it fits!

Note to self: Don't believe the sister in law when she says things look fine.  She is lying.


Free Sample of Beneful Tuscan Style Medley

Go to Beneful's Facebook page, like it, and then get your free sample of their new Beneful Tuscan Style Medley food!  Available to the first 100,000 that request it.

I use little special samples like this as "stocking stuffers" for my dogs at Christmas.  Since this one will take 4-6 weeks, it may be their New Years treat.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Decorating for Christmas

It's after Thanksgiving now and a lot of folks are thinking about decorating for Christmas.

Shoot, scratch that- a lot of people have already decorated.  I saw tons of houses that had all their outdoor decorations up before Thanksgiving Day.

I typically wait until December 1st to put up our tree and allow Tim to put his beloved inflatables in the front yard.  It serves a two-fold purpose: 1.) We continue to use less power until all those lights end up getting plugged in and 2.) I can procrastinate.

Maybe I am crazy, I just prefer to wait until December gets here to start worrying about Christmas- the Most Stressful Time of the Year.

My goal this year is to curb any impulse to buy new decorations.  Every year we end up with more and more crap to put out! Perhaps it is time to retire some of the old decorations anyway.


ETA: I came home from work, guess what was greeting me from the front yard?  All three of Tim's inflatables.  "Well it was warm, I thought it would be easier to get them up now."  Bah humbug.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Great Deals!

I wrote this post before the Black Friday sales, but it never ended up getting published:

I'm so excited- I've had some great deals this past weekend (besides the clothing).

We got a $10 "Shop Your Way" Rewards credit (Kmart/Sears) because Hurricane Sandy affected NC a little bit.  Don't ask me why, they emailed it to me, I didn't go looking for it.   I took that $10, combined it with $0.07 I had already earned (heyyy big spender....) and purchased 2 jars of spaghetti sauce and 4 heat-and-eat quick meals, plus a tub of frosting for $1.71 out of pocket! Yay.

This pads our panty a little bit, though believe me when I say it was super tempting to blow it on something fun.

Today, we ran to Target.  I picked up 4 cans of Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup (on sale for $0.75 each), 2 boxes of Betty Crocker's Au Gratin Potatoes ($1.00 each) and a Glade Smelly Good something or other start kit ($5.99), for which I had a free product coupon.   At first, the cashier didn't actually ring up the Glade, so my free product coupon made the whole order free! Yes, I corrected him, because he looked terribly confused.

It ended up, after my $1/4 soup coupon and $0.50/2 potatoes coupon that I paid $1.00 for everything I bought.  Wait what?

We got to the car and I checked the receipt- when he scanned the free Glade coupon, it gave me the "up to $8.99" value, not the cost, which was $5.99. Thank you very much Target, I appreciate the overage!

I also purchased a tube of Colgate MaxFresh toothpaste from CVS and used a $1 ECB.  That means I paid $1.87 and I got a $2 ECB back! Yay for free/money maker toothpaste.



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Appliances for $1 at Kohls!

Go to your ebates account (or sign up, if you haven't!)
Use their search tool to find "Kohls", and click the shop now button.

Once you are at Kohls, search for 3 of these 4 appliances (you can't get duplicates to do this deal because of the rebates- 1 rebate, per item, per household)

  • Bella Rotating Waffle Maker — $19.99
  • Presto Cool Touch 20-in Electric Griddle — $19.99
  • Crock-Pot 4qt Programmable Slowcooker — $19.99
  • Black and Decker 10-Speed Blender — $19.99
Add 3 of the appliances to your cart.

Use the coupon code "BlackFri" when you go to check out- you'll save 15%!  This will put your total at $50.97 before tax.  Shipping is free!

You get $15 Kohls cash for spending over $50.

Fill out 3 rebates found here for $30 back.

You will receive $3.05 back from ebates for shopping through their link.

This means your total is approximately $2.92 for all 3 appliances!


Thanks Couponing to Disney!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Save Money- Eat Soup!

Well, one good thing about late fall and winter is that it is the perfect weather for soup.

Soup is the perfect food for saving money.

I purchased a package of Bear Creek Potato Soup Mix at Walmart the other day.  It cost $3.89, give or take a few cents.

I put the small package in to 8 cups of boiling water and voila- I end up with 8 cups of soup.  Toss in some grated cheddar cheese, put a piece of bread on the side and there we have it- a cheap dinner.   We end up with around 6 bowls of soup.  Over the course of those 6 bowls, we use less than a bag of shredded cheese ($2.00) and the amount of bread is such a negligible price, but let's call it $0.10 per slice.

So the total for 3 meals for myself and Tim is $6.49.  It works out to $1.09 per person, per meal.  You can toss in a little ham (great use for leftover Christmas ham) and it ups the price a little, but still- where else can you go and get a full meal for $1.09?

Now is the time to invest in an excellent soup cookbook or start flipping through old books for new recipes.  It's a great way to find cheap dinner ideas- plus there is the opportunity for leftovers!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Make ahead Cookies

Do you do a lot of baking? What about around the holidays?

Try making your dough ahead of time, or doubling your recipe when you are making cookies.  Take the extra dough and roll it out into a block about an inch thick and the size of the bag you want to store it in.  Score the dough (you can take something as simple as a toothpick to score it), then freeze the dough and simply snap off however many frozen cookie dough blocks you need later on!

You can also put the dough in ice cube trays and flash freeze it.  Then pop the dough out of the trays, put them in a freezer bag or food saver back and stick them in the freezer until needed.  It will save you a lot of time, mess and money later on!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Christmas Advertising

I remember when I was younger- tearing in to my stocking on Christmas Morning.  There it was- that shape, that size- it couldn't be...but no, it had to be!

"OH MY GOSH!" I would jump up and down and scream, the excitement threatening to stop my young hear- "Look! Look what I got! It's a toothbrush!"

Uh no.  I don't think so. 

I was flipping through a magazine and saw an ad for Colgate spinning toothbrushes....advertised as stocking stuffers.
Really? What kid has ever put a toothbrush on top of their list to Santa?

Advertisers are getting more and more odd in their attempts to sell us things.  I'm fairly certain that no 8 year old is going to beg his mom to buy him a $4.00 container of shampoo to put under the tree for Christmas.  Men, if you give your wife pots and pans, a vacuum, teeth-whitening strips or anything vaguely related to cleaning supplies, you're in for a very un-Merry Christmas indeed.

My second favorite commercials are the kind where someone buys someone else a $35,000 car for Christmas, without their knowledge.  Then puts it in the front yard with a big bow on it and again, they have no idea.  You know, because half of all households get a new luxury sedan for Christmas without one party consulting the other in any way.

Ahhh Christmas Advertising.  How I didn't miss you at all, but here you are, early to the party again.


Friday, November 9, 2012


Contrary to popular belief, I do enjoy shopping- if I have a good enough coupon.

I had one of these for Kohls recently- one of my favorite clothing stores.  Not only were they running their "Kohls Cash" promotion (purchase $50 in items, get a $10 coupon back for use the next week, no limit), there was clearance around- and I had received a 30% off coupon in the mail.

Yes.  It was clearly time to go clothes shopping.

Now, to begin with, there is one thing they do not tell you about Kohls cash.  It has to be $50 after coupons. I've always thought that was kind of tacky.  It isn't like other stores where you can stack a manufacturer's coupon with a store coupon and really walk away with a steal- you can only save as much as they let you, because they control the coupons and the wording.

Hmpf.  But anyway-

I found several things I wanted, then headed to checkout.  My total rang up around $75 and I probably whipped out my 30% off coupon.

"Oh, are you going to use your Kohls Charge?"

"Nope!"  I had been planning on using my credit card, which is netting me 5% cashback currently.  Take that Kohls and your tacky policy.

"Oh- to use this coupon you have to use the Kohls Charge."

Eurgh.  I will some day remember to watch the fine print on those stupid coupons they send me.  So fine, I whip out the Kohls Charge, because saving 30% is better than 5% cashback and my total before tax drops to $50.10- just enough to get me that $10 in Kohls Cash.  Buwahaha, couldn't have worked that out any better if I'd been using a calculator.

Much to the annoyance of the cashier, I insisted on turning around and paying off my charge balance right then and there.  See, that's yet another tricky thing about Kohls. You can only pay off your balance with cash or a check.  It takes a magic trick to figure out that the interest rate is 21.9% on that card- 24.9% if you are late making a payment.

Coupons are all well and good, but I don't play the interest game. Because I know I have to look for a separate bill (one I am not used to seeing and wouldn't notice if it was missing) if I use the Kohls charge, I insist on paying the balance off 100% at the time of purchase, even if it takes two transactions to do it.  I'm a pain in the rear that way.  Having been burned once with an unscrupulous credit card company that would hold transactions until right before they came due, charge them to the card, then hit me with 20+% interest, I tread very lightly.

So- moral of the story is always read the fine print.  I guess.  Not really sure what the moral of this post is, other than I got some new clothes on discount! Buwahaha.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Black Friday Ad- Walmart

Walmart has already released their 2012 Black Friday Ad.

Not only that, some of their deals start at 8:00pm on THANKSGIVING DAY.  Target is starting their sales at 9:00pm, from what I've heard.

I think this is a huge shame. It's not enough that Christmas items are being put in stores before Halloween even arrives, but now the sales are starting at 8:00pm on Thanksgiving?  One of the few holidays we have that aren't centered around buy, buy buy?

I'm all about saving the money, but hey- can't we keep the sales to "Black Friday"?  Why rush through one of the (probably) few meals the entire family gets to anymore, to go get some discount DVDs?   Some people will spend all of Thursday and perhaps a good chunk of Wednesday lining up outside of stores to be the first in to the sales.

I get it.  Times are hard for a lot of us.  To give your kids the Christmas you think they want or deserve, you're willing to make a lot of sacrifices and that includes giving Thanks for what you do have and spending time with your family, but c'mon retailers! We'll all get up at the crack of dawn on Friday- don't push this to Thursday.

I feel bad for anyone that works in retail right now.  Think of the people who won't get the choice to spend time with their families because they have to work.

It just makes me sad.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Holiday Bucks are back at Petsmart!

I am so inordinately excited about this deal from PetSmart I just had to write up this blog immediately.

Holiday Bucks are back at PetSmart!  Basically, when you buy any of the products above, you look for a little red ornament shaped logo on the Purina or Science Diet products that mentions $5 Holiday Bucks.

Use your PetSmart PetPerks membership when you buy one or more participating items and a $5 coupon will print on your receipt.  This receipt coupon is good on your next purchase of ANY Science Diet or Purina Purchase.

My recommendation is that you "roll" this $5 forward by only purchasing one eligible item per transaction to get the most "bang for your buck", since you will only get one coupon per Purina and/or Science Diet item purchase, no matter how many items you buy.  The last time this was around, I stocked up on a mountain of cat litter- $5 off each bucket except the first one I bought, plus they are stackable with manufacturer's coupons.

This really is a great time to stock up on cat litter, or buy a few bags of food for your pets as long as you have a good place to store it.  With three dogs and three cats, storage isn't much of a problem around here, as my guys can really put away the food.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Reusing Cat Litter Containers

We have three cats. Believe me when I say we go through a lot of Tidy Cats. So often, we have a ton of large, plastic storage containers sitting around and there is a ton you can do with them.   First though- wash them out with the hose.  Then pour in some vinegar, swish it around, add some water, swish it around, dump it, rinse it, rinse it again, maybe add some bleach, add some water, rinse, rinse, rinse.  It never hurts to be too cautious in making sure these are completely clean.

Not my picture- wish it was!

Planters! Rather than going out and buying large tubs to keep your plants in, why not repurpose something you have already paid for?  Yes, they could be more attractive, but hey, feel free to cover them.

Animal Food Storage.  I keep our rabbit and chicken feed in these containers, but know plenty of people that pour cat and dog food in to them as well.

Garden Harvester.  If you have a large garden, a clean cat litter container (especially the smaller ones), could be excellent to help you bring your harvest in.

Compost buckets.  This one seems self explanatory.

Cat Litter.  Yes, you heard me.  Sometimes there are awesome deals on cat litter, but only the kind that comes in bags.  I hate those.  Why not just pour the bagged cat litter in to the better containers? Simple.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Finding the Beauty in Winter

Why, Hello there November.   Are you here so soon?  It seemed like just a few weeks ago I was seeing the back end of you and your vicious cold weather friends December and January, yet here you are again.

Today is cold.  It's also the first time I've seen most of the sky a color other than gray and it is beautiful- a beautiful "Carolina" blue with wisps of gorgeous white clouds dotted here and there.   The air is crisp, but it's clean.

I'm trying to learn to appreciate winter- to find the beauty in it. 

It's easy to find Spring beautiful.  There is a riot of colors as the flowers bloom and the trees bud.  The weather warms, the grass comes back and of course, the wild animals wake up, the birds come back and everywhere little creatures emerge.

It's easy to find Summer beautiful.  The skies are blue, the grass is soft and green under bare feet and it's the time to play.   Days are long, temperatures are warm and we still have flowers to enjoy, not to mention the beautiful colors of a garden ripening.  We are treated to such beautiful, golden sunsets.

It's easiest to find Autumn beautiful. The temperatures are perfect, the skies are still blue, the gardens are winding down, but they are still producing.  The colors of the trees rival the beautiful range of spring flowers.  The wild animals are everywhere as they prepare for the winter.  The sunsets come earlier, but they are still beautiful- not as golden as those in the Summer, but fiery in their own right.

It's hardest to find Winter beautiful.  A newly fallen snow beautiful- but it is soon melted and muddied, it's pristine beauty ruined by dog tracks and people tracks.  The winds are harsh, the temperatures cold.  The animals are gone, hibernating or in the warmer places they've migrated to. The colors are gone- the only greens the evergreen trees.  The rest of the trees are stark against the cloudy skies, bare of leaves and birds.  It seems like the world is painted in muted tones and gray.

This year, I will find the beauty in winter.