Friday, January 29, 2010

CVS Shopping Trip

Remember that $10 in ECBs I got last week? I was able to roll that with zero money out of my pocket this week. I had a raincheck from a few months ago when Electrosol tabs were on sale, plus extra bucks. They did not have any in stock at the time. The deal was buy at least $20 of Electrosol, get $10 ECBs. The tabs were also on sale for 4.50/box.

So, here's my deal: buy 5 boxes 22.50, used (5) 2.50/1 Electrosol mfr coupons and 10.00 ECBs = FREE! I also earned another 10.00 ECBs, which I will be rolling on Sunday to buy some Pull-ups. Here's the receipt for proof:)

You may be asking, how do I get so many coupons? Sometimes I buy multiple copies of the Sunday paper. For a while now, the coupons haven't been that great, so I've only been buying one or two. I also have two neighbors who don't use coupons and pass their inserts along to me. At my Acme, there is a free local paper that includes the Smart Source insert. If the coupons are good that week, I'll grab a few while I'm there. The Red Plum insert now comes in the mail, so there's another for free. With a minimal investment and a little time, I make couponing work for me!

Giant Shopping Trip

I don't normally shop at Giant because there's not one close by. But, if there's a super great deal I will pop in. I ran in to get two free (with coupon) items, and ended up finding another great deal.

The Oikos and Chobani Greek yogurts are on sale for 1.00 each. I had 1.00/1 coupons = FREE! There is also a deal on several items--if you buy seven of the items in the group, you get a $3.00 instant discount. So I got four Polaner, one I Can't Believe It's Not Butter baking sticks, and two ICINB tubs.

My final cost for all of the above = $3.43!

Giant's ad runs from Sunday to Saturday, so you still have time to make some deals.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Things I Love: Contigo Travel Mugs

I have been searching for a good travel coffee mug for about, oh, forever. There has always been something wrong with each one: too big for my cup holder, too small for my cup holder (falls over), doesn't keep coffee warm very long, drink opening too small/too big/too weird, and the deal breaker--it leaks.

So, I was walking through the aisles in Costco a few weeks before Christmas and saw the Contigo travel mugs. I looked at them and thought, hey, why not? To be honest, I didn't really believe the claim that that they are leak-proof and keep liquids hot for 4 hours. And, then I ate my hat.

It really works. It doesn't leak. I'm serious. Not even if you turn it upside down and shake it a bunch. I had to try it, ok? I wouldn't say that it keeps my coffee hot for four hours, more like two, and then very warm for another two hours.

It did take me a few days to get used to having to push the button to release the seal to take a drink. But, now it's second nature. Just like my coffee-filled mug is a third appendage.

I got a two-pack at Costco for about $20. If you do not have a Costco nearby, here is a list of U.S. retailers.

Unfortunately, Mr. Incredible does not like the mugs. He says they give his coffee a metallic taste. I don't agree, but just throwing it out there if you are sensitive to things like that.

Also, MamaJoss shares my love of Contigo--you should check out her review of the water bottles!

This post is linked to Things I Love Thursday at The Diaper Diaries.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Weekend Menu Update

I made three of the four things I had on the menu this weekend--success!

I ended up using this recipe for the Broccoli Potato Soup. Very similar to Jo-Lynne's, but I needed the actual measurements:) This soup is delicous, I found a keeper! I skipped the celery because I didn't have it on hand. I also used whole milk instead of skim. The recipe calls for 4 cups of potatos, but really should be cut down to 2 1/2 cups. You could also increase the broccoli for a better balance. I thought it was the perfect consistency, which is always hard for me to achieve. And, FYI, I used some homemade chicken stock from the freezer from when I made this Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot a few weeks ago (patting self on back).

The Sun-Dried Tomato and Feta Pot Roast was just ok. I wasn't totally in love with it, but I'm glad I tried it!

The donuts were interesting. I'm pretty proud of myself for trying them (patting self on back again) anyway. The dough did not produce the consistency I am used to. They were ok, but not great. I'm sure as Kate says, you need to try it a few times to get the perfect (to you) result. But, I think I'm better off buying one donut at a time every once in a while. Because, really, my favorite is Boston Cream and I don't see myself getting THAT motivated anytime soon!

I did not get a chance to make the ribs, so I put them in the freezer. I may save them for our Super Bowl party.

Are you hosting/going to a Super Bowl party? Whatcha making?

Friday, January 22, 2010

On the Menu

This weekend, I'm hoping to try a few new recipes. I have some fresh broccoli that I really need to use up. I also have a few potatoes that need to go, so I may try this Broccoli Potato Cheddar Soup. Jo-Lynne is participating in the Tastemaker Challenge at Blissdom this year and this is one of her entries. Jo-Lynne is sweet as pie and you should really go check out her video and give it five stars:)

Also on deck is this crockpot Sun-dried Tomato and Feta Roast as recommended by Gina. I also bought ribs for the very first time and plan to try them out in the crockpot as well. A friend insists that you just put them in the crockpot and dump BBQ sauce on them. I hope they fit!

I really shouldn't, but I would like to try my hand at Kate's Homemade Donuts. Because sometimes you just need a donut. Please don't tell me it's just me.

What's on the menu at your house?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

CVS = FreeVS

This week's CVS score:

6 12-pack Pepsi products 3.33 each
3 3-pack Ivory soap .99 each (raincheck price)
1 Tums 3.29
1 CVS brand travel face cloths 1.49
= $27.75

- 4.00/20.00 purchase CVS coupon emailed to me (sign up for a CVS card and then register the card online so you get these emails too!)
- 2.97 3 x 1.00/1 Ivory soap coupons (register adjusted down to actual cost)
- 4.00/1 Tums CVS coupon (check the bottom of your receipt AND scan your card at the price scanner/coupon printer to get CVS coupons) This did not adjust down, so I did get .71 overage.
- 1.50/1 CVS brand skin care product

Total out of pocket (oop) cost, including tax: $16.08 + 10.00 back in ECBs

The Pepsi was part of an ECBs promotion, buy $20 worth and get $10 ECBs. So, I earned 10.00 in ECBs to use on whatever I want at CVS! (Excludes gift cards, prescriptions and a few other things.) I will try to roll that into another purchase with ECBs again next week.

About a year and a half ago, I started couponing. Hard core. Many of you tuned out right there, right? It takes a little while to figure it all out, but I haven't paid for shampoo or toothpaste in over a year!

How? CVS + Coupons + CVS Extra Care Bucks (ECBs).

So many bloggers explain it better than me, so click below if you would like to learn more.

Tara has a great CVS 101 post. It covers the basics, plus a little more.

I always check for the weekly CVS posts from Mindi and Shannon.

When I was getting started, the CVS forums at Hot Coupon World were a huge help.

All of this is just to prove that I am not a nut job. And if I am, there are hundreds of others like me!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Movie Night(s)

Mr. Incredible and I had a chance to sit down and watch a grown-up movie together. A rarity due to 1) We don't agree on movies that often 2) I tend to hit a wall at 9:00 p.m. and fall asleep about half-way through the movie, and 3) We always seem to get stuck watching kids movies.

Recently we hit a Blockbuster that is going out of business and bought a bunch of movies. I can't remember everything we picked up, but Live Free or Die Hard was one of them. I could have sworn that we'd see this in the theater, but I was wrong. It is an awesome action movie, and Bruce Willis and Justin Long are hilarious!

My mom came over and we had all intentions of also watching a grown up movie, but instead watched Mr. Magorium's Wonder Imporium with Dash. It was actually a very cute movie and appropriately rated G. Dash was not so much into it and lost interest every time there wasn't a kid on the screen. I thought it was good and reminded me a little bit of the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. One of my favorites. I was just happy to find a good family movie that's not a cartoon. I love animated films and all, but sometimes Mommy needs a break.

I also finally got a chance to watch Slumdog Millionaire. (This really was not a normal weekend--I don't usually get to watch so many movies.) I had put this on my wishlist at Swap A DVD some time ago and recently got it in the mail. Such a good movie, but many heart-breaking moments. I would definitely recommend it!

On deck are Mamma Mia!, Seven Pounds, and Disturbia. I'm also waiting for Adventureland to arrive!

Have any good movies I should add to my wishlist?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

24 Recap: Season 8, Episodes 3 & 4

Um, wow, Renee. I love you and all, but why did you have to have a mental breakdown and become a psycho? But, wait, I'm getting way ahead of myself.

The 6:00 p.m. hour begins with Jack finding the house where Davros was dropped off. He looks in the window and poor Jim and his wife are dead. He goes in to take a look around. While inside, the cops show up. Jack tells the one officer that he's working with CTU and the couple was dead when he got there. The other cop comes up from behind and tases Jack, yelling "cop killer." Here, we waste a big bunch of time watching the bad cop beat the crap out of Jack and the good cop hem and haw about what to do. Finally, the good cop calls it in and everything gets straightened out. Good cop drives Jack to the UN.

Meanwhile back at CTU, Hastings is told that Reed had a key card to Hassan's private residence. That girl can barely hold it together. She spills the beans of their affair almost immediately. So, Hastings decides that he HAS to get Hassan on the phone. In the middle of peace negotiations. Dumb. He gets through to Hassan and Hassan confirms the affair. Farhad has a hissy fit and Reed is cleared.

Dana's stinkin' sub-plot gets some airtime. The trashy, scary guy (Kevin) shows up at CTU and asks for Dana. She appeases him by agreeing to let him stay in her apartment overnight. Gives him the key and everything. She must be really stupid or he really has the goods on her. Hurry up and tell us what it is--I'm annoyed already!

Arlo finds files on Reed's computer showing floor plans of the UN. And, plans to plant a bomb. Hastings orders an immediate evacuation of the UN. This, of couse, was a false lead and causes Hassan to be delivered right into Davros' little trap. (A bomb planted under a manhole on the street.)

Jack figures out what's going on and gets through to Cole, who is leading the UN security detail. Cole races ahead of the motorcade to cut off Hassan's car. There is a big explosion and we're not sure who made it.

Next hour... Cole and Hassan are both alive. Cole gets Hassan in another car and back to CTU. Cole then spots Davros and pursues him back into the buildng. By himself. Duh. Davros finds Cole first and puts a gun to his head. He wants Cole to help him escape the building. Cole calls it in, but says that Davros is with him. Just as Davros is about to shoot Cole in the head, Jack shoots Davros, killing him. Jack rips off Davros' shirt (weird) and sends photos of Davros' tattoos back to CTU.

Farhad learns that his brother is still alive and he will likely be connected to the plot shortly. He jumps out of the car, stabs a guard in the neck, and escapes into the night. This was all in front of Hassan's wife and daughter. So, yeah, everyone knows you're guilty now, idiot.

Dana tells Hastings that Davros' tattoos indicate he is part of an elite Russian mob. There was an undercover FBI agent that got in with them several years ago. Guess who it was? Renee Walker. Boo-yah. Renee is back.

Despite everything, Farhad makes his way to meet with the Russian mobsters to buy his nukes. Farhad asks for proof of the weapons and mob guy takes him to see his son who "got too close to the nukes". The poor guy is probably dying of radiation poisoning and dear old dad has him locked in the kitchen pantry. That is one cold dude.

Hastings has Renee brought in to discuss what she knows about the Russian mobsters. He then asks her to go back undercover to find out their plans. Jack tries to gently stop her, reminding her of her little breakdown. Everything Jack says she just takes as an insult and insists on going undercover. So, instead of going to the airport (again!), Jack decides to go undercover with Renee. Can I get an AWWWW here?

So, Renee is slipping back into her old role and Jack is going to play the nuke buyer. They head to an auto parts store where one of Renee's old contacts works. Ziya is out on parole and has a parole bracelet, so he can't take her to Vladimir (the head of everything). She tells him she can take care of that and puts his arm in a vice. Grabs a saw. And cuts his thumb off. Holy crap.

Monday, January 18, 2010

24 Recap: Season 8, Episodes 1 & 2

Jack is back! Let the torturing fun begin.

Where did we leave everyone at the end of Season 7? Well, Tony almost kills Wilson (the person responsible for Michelle's death and the mastermind behind the whole bio-weapon plot), but Jack and Renee get there in time to stop him. Tony is shot, but I don't think he dies. So, maybe he will make an appearance this season? Renee takes Wilson in to "make him talk". She even handcuffs poor Janis (not really, I can't STAND Janeane Garofalo) to a pipe so she can take the gloves off on this guy. President Taylor learns the truth about her dear Livvy and ships her off to the slammer. Henry is devastated. Jack is in the hospital ready to bite it, when Kim rushes in and says she wants to do the treatment regardless of the risk to herself.

Season 8 starts off with a blaze of gunfire--of course! The "good" guy manages to get away with just a shot in the shoulder. Then, cut to a cute scene where Jack is babysitting his granddaughter, Teri (named after her grandmother, awww). Jack has been living in New York City, and Kim and the fam are visiting. Kim wants Jack to move back to LA with them to settle down and have the life they've always wanted. Jack agrees and is set to fly out with them later that day.

But, trouble always follows Jack. An old pal, Victor, from his Salazar days shows up on his doorstep asking for his help in getting a deal with CTU (now, apparently based in NYC). Victor claims to have information on a hit on President Hassan. Hassan and President Taylor are in the middle of historic peace negotiations at the UN. Jack agrees to get him to CTU and then he's out. Yeah, right.

Then, we get to know the new CTU. I'm not a fan, but I'll give them a shot. I have a major problem with them giving my girl Chloe a hard time! Main characters are Brian Hastings (director), Cole Ortiz (Latino (??) New Yorker, lead agent) Dana Walsh (sordid past, engaged to Cole), and Arlo (techie guy). Jack convinces Hastings to send a CTU unit to bring Victor in. Cole and team are dispatched. Jack barely get Victor to the helicoptor when a rocket/bomb hits the helicoptor and there is a huge explosion. Victor is not going to make it and Jack begs him to give him the info on the assassin. Victor only says that "it's someone very close to Hassan."

Meanwhile, there is a little backstory with President Hassan and a blond bimbo-type reporter, Meridith Reed. Hassan's brother warns him to cut off all contact with her, but he refuses. She is doing a big article on him. And, oh yeah, they're also shagging. The real bad guy, Davros, frames Reed by using her computer and making it look like she hacked UN security files. Reed gets taken down on her way to meet Hassan.

Jack keeps trying to leave CTU (he really does make an effort this time), and get on that plane to LA. But, Chloe doesn't believe that Reed is the real killer, and askes Jack to stay and help her. He says no, but then Kim guilts (my opinion) him into staying. Hellooooo? This is what you've both always wanted. Hang it up and walk away! But, then, we wouldn't really have a season 8.

We find out that Hassan's brother, Farhad, is the traitor when he makes a call to Davros. Hastings interrogates Reed. She says that it was strictly professional and it registers on the lie detector as a lie.

Davros walks up to a house and asks the woman if her husband Jim is home. He comes in and waits a few moments. It seems Jim and Mike/Davros are cops assigned to UN detail. Mike asks Jim to switch shifts with him. Jim says no and Mike goes postal. He slips into his accent and whips out a gun. Jim hesitates on something Davros says and Davros shoots the wife in the leg.

Some predictions, without reading any spoilers... Hastings is not going to last. I don't know how he'll exit, but I just have a feeling. The Cole/Dana subplot will probably be annoying, as they are already kind of annoying themselves. Chloe is going to kick everyone's ass because they doubted her and made her feel like dung over not knowing the new computer systems.

Episode 3 is on tonight and the preview showed that Renee is involved somehow (YES! love her).

Do you have any 24 predictions? What do you think of the new season?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Things I Love:

Sometimes it takes me a little while to catch on to things. Everyone was talking about Swagbucks, I took my good old time signing up. And, Twitter? Let's not even talk about how long it took me to figure out Twitter. When the chatter started, to be honest, I kind of ignored it for a while. Then, my ears started to perk up and I went to see what it was all about. I had earned enough Swagbucks for an gift card, so I gave it a try.

I can get many products for free/cheap at CVS or the grocery store with my couponing skillz. But, there are some things that rarely go on sale or have coupons. And, Alice is just plain competitive with certain items (like my beloved Starbucks coffee).

I. Love. Alice. And, here are some reasons why.

1. Free shipping. You do have to order a minimum of six items to qualify for free shipping, but it's not hard to do.

2. Low prices and automatic coupons. The automatic coupons are more of a "sale price" to me, but a discount off the regular price nonetheless.

3. Bulky products shipped right to your door. This would have come in very handy when I was pregnant. Alice offers cat litter, toilet paper, diapers and paper towels. And, probably several other things I haven't discovered yet!

4. Stamps. Anywhere I can buy stamps and avoid going to the post office, is definitely on the top of my list!

5. Get $10.00 off $50.00! If you sign up through this link you get $10.00 off once you buy $50.00 worth at Alice. It doesn't have to be all in one order, it's cumulative.

Believe it or not, I'm not getting paid for this review--I just love this website. And, guess who else loves Alice? Dash has been playing with this box since I got my order a few days ago.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


So, I was feeling a little left out. Why hello, 7th grade insecurities? I want to sit at the cool bloggers lunch table! I didn't have a blog like everyone else and their dog, so I here it is. Please welcome me with open arms, or I will be forced to eat my lunch in the phone booth. While pretending I'm on the phone. You know you remember that Full House episode.

I don't have a particular niche, and frankly I think they are all filled. The web is so saturated with deal blogs, mommy blogs, food blogs, etc. I don't feel the need to do any of that. This is just for me, just for fun. Like the title says, my posts here will be a little bit of everything.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love a good deal. So, I will probably post some of my particularly special hauls.

I also love to read and would love to share some book reviews here. If only to help me remember what I read. Although, I'm loving GoodReads for that.

I love my family, so you'll get to know them too. Although, my husband (aka Mr. Incredible) would probably prefer a hot poker to the eye than seeing anything about him on this blog. We'll see. We have one great kid (aka Dash) and two cats, Sammy and Cheli (named after this guy). I guess I can use their real names, since they do not have SSNs to hack.

I'm also slightly obsessed with the general blogosphere and Twitter. I have made some good friends via these outlets, and I'm sure I will be linking up to several.

So, welcome--I'm glad you're here!