Saturday, September 6, 2014

My Shopping Trip: Rite Aid

I never pay for oral care items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, and mouthwash. The reason is, at least one drugstore every week has one or more of these items on sale and matched with a coupon, you can usually get it for free or sometimes even make money after the reward. Check out a recent trip to Rite Aid where I got all different kinds of oral care products for free:

Bought 2 Crest Pro-Health Oral Rinse (1 L) @ $3.99
Promotion: Buy 1 Crest Oral Rinse (Pro-Health 1 Liter Clinical or 3D White 473 ml) @ $3.99, get $3.00 +UP reward (limit 2)
Used - $2/2 Crest ProHealth Pinses 500 ml or larger (
Paid $5.98, got two $3 +UP reward

Bought 1 Oral-B Complete or 3D White Battery Powered Toothbrush (1 ct) @ $6
Promotion: Buy 1 Oral-B Complete or 3D White Battery Powered Toothbrush (1 ct) @ $6.00, get $4 +UP (limit 1)
Used - $2/1 Oral-B Adult Battery Toothbrush
Paid $4, got $4 +UP reward

Bought 1 Glide Floss (38-54 yds) @ $3
Promotion: Buy 1 Crest Toothpaste (3D White 4 oz, Pro-Health 4.2 oz, or Complete 4-6.2 oz), Oral-B Manual Toothbrush (3D White, Pro-Health or Complete (excludes ProFlex or Clinical), or Glide (Floss 38.2-54.6 yd or Floss Picks 75 ct) @ $3.00, get a $2.50 +UP reward (limit 2)
Used - $1/1 Oral-B Glide Floss 35M or larger or Oral-B Flide Floss Picks 30 ct or higher (RP 6/29)
Paid $2, got $2.50 +UP reward

Bought 1 Crest 3D White, Pro-Health, or Complete Toothpaste (4-6 oz) @ $3
Promotion: Buy 1 Crest 3D White Brilliance Toothpaste (4.1 oz), 3D White Oral Rinse (946 ml), or Oral-B Pulsar Toothbrush (single) @ $5.99, get $2.00 +UP reward (limit 2)
Used - $0.75/1 Crest Toothpaste 3.0 oz or more OR Liquid Gel (excludes Crest Cavity, Baking Soda, Tartar Control) (RP 7/13)
Paid $2.25, got $2.50 +UP reward

(I had some +UP rewards saved from previous purchases that I applied to my total)

- $3 +UP from previous purchases
- $3 +UP from previous purchases
- $6 +UP from previous purchases
OOP $2.23 before tax
Saved $27.82
Received $15 +UP rewards total

So really, I made $0.77 on this trip to Rite Aid ($15 reward - $12 reward - $2.23). This is why I coupon!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My Shopping Trip: Meijer

It's been a while since I have shared a shopping trip. Here is my trip to Meijer this week!

(1) Meijer Half Gallon Milk @ $2.09
(1) Gerber Cereal (16 oz) @ $3.39
(1) Meijer Fresh Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts @ $8.52
(1) Lettuce @ $0.88
(4) Kraft Salad Dressing (16 oz) @ $1.98
(2) Crystal Light Drink Mix Canisters @ $1.99
(2) Philadelphia Cream Cheese (8 oz) @ $2.29
(2) I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! (12 oz) @ $2.00
(2) Baskin Robbins Ice Cream (14 oz) @ $4.29
(2) Kraft Fresh Take Cheese Breadcrumb Mix (6 oz) @ $2.50
(1) Meijer Split Top Bread (20 oz) @ $1.25

Instant Savings:
-$1.25 for Buy TWO I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! (8-16 oz sticks, spray or tub) get ONE Meijer Split Top Bread (20 oz wheat or white) FREE
-$2.00 for Buy TWO Kraft Fresh Take Cheese Breadcrumb Mixes (6 oz), get $2 off one package of Meijer Fresh Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Thighs or Tenders
-$4.29 for Buy One Baskin Robbins Ice Cream (14 oz) Get One Free
-$8.00 for Buy EIGHT products included in promotion, get $8 off instantly mix or match (the items I bought that were included were the salad dressing, cream cheese, and drink mix canisters)

 Coupons Used:
-$0.25/1 Gerber Cereal (mPerk store coupon)
(2) -$0.75/2 Kraft Dressing Bottles, 15.8-16 oz (SS 4/13)
-$0.75/2 Kraft Dressing (mPerk coupon)
-$1.00/2 Crystal Light Drink Mixes (SS 4/27)
(2) -$0.75/1 Philadelphia Soft Cream Cheese Spread (
-$0.75/2 I Can't Believe It's Not Butter (RP 4/13)
-$1.00/1 Baskin Robbins Ice Cream (mPerk coupon)
-$1.00/1 Kraft Fresh Take, 6 oz When You Buy Fresh Chicken (

OOP $26.90
Saved $28.33

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Zaycon Foods Chicken Event

We recently purchased 40 pounds of fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts from Zaycon Foods. We were able to purchase the chicken for $1.89/lb. The lowest price I typically see boneless skinless chicken breasts at Meijer is $1.85/lb, so this was a stock up price for us.

(I'm not going to go into a lot of detail about Zaycon Foods, but you can visit their website here for more information on the company and how it works.)

Here is step-by-step how this worked for us:

1) I went to the Zaycon Foods website and created an account. Based on my city, I chose an event I wanted to participate in, in this case, the chicken event. I chose how many cases of chicken I wanted (the chicken was sold in 40 pound cases). I paid for the chicken online.

2) A few months later, the Zaycon Foods truck came to our city and I drove to it to pick up the chicken. I gave the driver my name, he checked me off his list, and loaded the case of chicken into my truck (on top of a plastic bag, in case the juices leaked!) Here is our case of chicken:

3) When I got home, I began to prep to freeze the chicken. The chicken came in 4 bags inside the box. If I froze it like that, I would end up with a big block of chicken frozen together. I needed to separate them into freezer ziploc bags. Here is my set up for freezer prep:

4) I separated the butterflied chicken breasts and trimmed the fat:

5) Once the chicken breasts were prepped to my liking, I put them into gallon Ziploc freezer bags. I chose to put 4 in each bag because I don't typically ever need more than 4 for a single meal. I ended up with 9 bags of full chicken breasts, plus 1 bag of smaller pieces that I trimmed off.

I chose to freeze all 40 pounds of our chicken, however I have heard people that freeze some, cook some right away, or prep it for other meals, like shredding.

I would definitely do this again! Let me know if you have any questions about Zaycon Foods or our experience.

Monday, January 20, 2014

What's Cooking: Braided Pizza Bread

We are a pizza-loving household and this meal did not disappoint! This recipe does use a bread machine. The braiding part is a little tricky without seeing it, so enjoy my illustrations! :)

- 1 1/2 cups water
-  3 Tablespoons canola oil
- 4 cups flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- pizza ingredients/toppings (we used  for ours)

Cooking Directions:
1. Add all ingredients to bread machine and set to the "dough" setting. I have a Betty Crocker Bake-It-Easy Bread Maker and the dough setting takes an hour and a half, so plan ahead.
2. After it is done, take the dough out and divide it in two. Flour the surface you are working on (the dough is rather sticky). Roll each half into a rectangle, keeping it about 1/2 inch thick.
3. Add your pizza toppings in the middle of the dough. We used pepperoni, sauce, and mozzarella cheese.
4. Create 1 inch wide strips on the top and bottom of the rectangle around the toppings.

5. Braid the dough. Start at one end and lay the end strip diagonally over the toppings. Then take the opposite one and lay it diagonally. Keep going until all the strips are layered. When you get to the end, just tuck the dough strips underneath.
6. Place the loaves on a baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Allow the loaves to cool a little bit before cutting into slices.

We plan to try this recipe again but with ham and cheese instead of pizza toppings.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Money Saving Apps: GasBuddy

I really hate it when I get gas and then drive a mile down the road past another gas station and see the price is 10 cents cheaper! I realize that if I got 10 gallons of gas, I only would have saved $1.00, but over time it adds up. By using the GasBuddy app, we can find the cheapest gas prices in town!

Steps to Use GasBuddy:
1. Download the app to your device. It is available for Apple, Google, Windows, and Blackberry phones. The app may ask you to create an account, but you do not need one to use the app.
2. In the app, you can either search for gas stations by city, state, or ZIP, or have the app use your location to find the stations closest to you using GPS.

3. Once it has the closest gas stations pulled up, you can sort them by distance or price, or even fuel grade. You can also view the gas stations on a map.

4. Select a gas station and view more information such as the address, phone number, and features (such as if they have restrooms, a convenience store, or an air hose). You can also get directions to the gas station through your phone.

Why I Love this App:
- Even if you are in an unfamiliar city, you can find the cheapest gas stations.
- I like being able to search on the map to see where along my route is the cheapest gas, even if it is over 100 miles away.
- If you have notifications set up, you get an alert notifying you that prices are going up in your area.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Money Saving Apps: Amazon Price Check

I give the Amazon Price Check App a good workout in the weeks before Christmas. It allows me to compare prices I find in the store with prices on Amazon.

Steps to Use Amazon Price Check:
1. Download the app to your device. It is available for iPhone, iPod touch, and Android.
2. Either type the name, scan the barcode, take a picture, or say the name of the product you want to find.

3. Compare prices on Amazon with the price in the store.

Why I Love this App:
- Helpful during holiday season to make sure I am getting the best price on gifts.
- You can share information on a product via e-mail, text, Facebook, or Twitter.
- You can connect the app to your Amazon account and add items to your cart.
- If you have an account, you can buy items right from the app.
- I have seen people use this app at garage sales...usually to see if they can resell the item for more.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Money Saving Apps: Target Cartwheel

I already love Target enough as it is, but they recently launched an app through Facebook that made me love it even more! It is called Target Cartwheel.

Steps to Use Target Cartwheel:
1. You will need a Facebook account to use Target Cartwheel. If you don't already have one...get one, even if you only use it for Target Cartwheel.
2. Go to the Target Cartwheel website and log in through your Facebook account. A box will pop up telling you that "Cartwheel by Target would like to post to Facebook for you." Unless you want your Facebook filling up with offers you select, I suggest you choose "Skip." (You could also change it so only you see your posts from Target Cartwheel by selecting "Only Me")
3. Find coupons you want to add by searching or browsing. Click on the offer you want (called an offer card) and it will flip over. Select add. A little red check mark will appear in the upper right corner.
4. You can add 10 offers at a time, but you can earn more spots by unlocking badges. Badges to unlock include using Cartwheel for the first time at Target and saving $10 with Cartwheel and more.
5. At checkout, have the cashier scan your Cartwheel bar code. Either show them your mobile device with the bar code from the Target Cartwheel app (available through the Apple Store or Google Play), or print your Target Cartwheel offers from home and your bar code will be at the top of the print out. Your bar code never changes, so in theory, you could print out your bar code one time and reuse it...almost like a store loyalty card.

Why I Love this App:
- You can redeem all the offers you have loaded at the time of your transaction. So if you have 10 offers loaded, you will save on all 10 items that correspond with those offers.
- You can use each offer up to 4 items in a single transaction.
- Offers do not disappear until they expire...meaning you can use them over and over.
- You can use Target Cartwheel 6 times per day.
- You can use a manufacturer coupon, a Target coupon (mobile texts or printable), and one Cartwheel offer on a single item.
- You can also still use your Target REDcard on top of all those other coupons.

If I am roaming through Target (which I usually do), and I find something that I wasn't planning on buying before I saw it in the store, I will hop on the Target Cartwheel mobile app and see if there is a corresponding offer available. It can really maximize your savings!