Thursday, February 14, 2013

Chocolate Cherry Junk Mix Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge

 Sheryl at Lady Behind the Curtain has started a fun monthly challenge for fellow bloggers. She gives us 2 ingredients for the month and we have to create a dessert using both.   This month was Chocolate and Cherries.   For some reason while I was plotting out my recipe my mind kept going back to the leftover potato chips at my house and how my mom used to make chocolate covered Pringles for Christmas. 
Since I love sweet and salty I thought of a yummy snack that can be enjoyed after dinner.. preferably during a movie... :-)
I call it the Chocolate Cherry Junk Mix
So the recipe is simple..  there really isn't one.  Change this to your desired ingredients and amounts.

2 handfuls of crunched up ridged potato chips
1/3 cup pistachios
1/3 cup dried cherries or cran-cherries
1/4 bag semi sweet chocolate chips melted
Add dry ingredients to a bowl & drizzle chocolate over. Mix together until all ingredients have a light coating of chocolate on them.
Have fun with this and use whatever is in your pantry :-)
Oh yeah..  check out the other awesome recipes in the link.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Non extreme couponing

I met a sweet lady (I kick myself for not getting her name) at the grocery store last week. She saw my couponing binder and commented on how organized I was.  I told her not really...  but she told me all of hers were in a drawer and expired.. so I guess I had her beat.  I haven't been very good about couponing since pregnancy and baby. But I still love the idea and sharing the info that I have gathered to help others save money.  I Love saving people money.. It gets me all excited...  I get in trouble at Michael's for handing out coupons...

 People have asked me when I talk about coupons. "So you're like those people on extreme couponing"   no ... not even close..

  1. I do not have 30-60 hours a week to dedicate to clipping, sorting, scouting and shopping.  I've got a   J O B and a  family and a million other things to do.
  2. I only buy ONE newspaper and use coupons that come in the mail and print a few.  No dumpster diving here or purchasing stacks of paper or buying coupons.
  3. I do not have a giant stockpile.  I gather items as I can.  I have a closet that is organized for a few toiletry stockpile items. I don't buy more than my family or my friends can use. I also don't buy items I don't need.
  4. Some weeks I coupon some weeks I don't.  I buy things with no coupons too.  I am not going to force my family to use things they hate just because they were cheap.
  5. I DON'T do more than 3 transactions..  I'm sorry.. they don't feel like ringing up 24 transactions and the people behind you don't feel like waiting... seriously..
Now this is not to say these other couponers are necessarily wrong .. this is what I do and what works for me. 

So the following is a quick.. non planned trip to CVS the other day.  Now I know I could have gotten more stuff maybe even spent less money but honestly.. I got things I wanted or needed for less than I would have paid elsewhere.  I didn't need some of these products right that second but I will. So now I have them ready and I won't have to run out and pay full price to get them.  Are they exactly the brand I would normally gravitate to? Not necessarily but they are good enough.  
So now.. I am going to share my items, how i use coupons and sales together to get them.

The biggest thing is to get circulars from the store.. Compare them to the coupons that you have and purchase when you can get things at a very reduced or even free amount.

I shopped at CVS this day.  It is my favorite drug store to get my toiletries at.  Everyone has their fav.  just find yours.   Because I shop there. I get a weekly coupon and I incur quarterly $ back.

The way that their program works for immediate rebates is called Extra Care Bucks.  If you buy an amount of product they have advertized they will give you x amount of dollars back. This comes in the form of a pull off at the end of your receipt.  You get that dollar amount off on the next transaction you wish to use it on...

So here is how my trip started.   I immediately walked in and scanned my extra care card at the machine..  TWICE.  You can almost always get extra coupons if you scan twice..  so do it...

I got $2.50 from my quarterly rewards.  I also got a coupon for $1 if you purchased 4 Gatorade or Sobe Life Water, $3 off $12 cosmetic purchase, $2.50 off a razor purchase of $15, $2 off 2 Pantene products, $3 off 2 Tresemme products.

I then paired these CVS only coupons with My Manufacturers coupons (the ones from the newspaper)  this is called stacking.  Meaning you use different types of coupons on the same product.

Transaction #1

3 Sobe Life Waters & 1 Gatorade. 
Regular Price $1.77
Sale Price 4 for $ 5 ( $1.25 each)
Used CVS coupon $1 off of 4
Making each $1. 
Total $ 4

1 Gillette Power Pro Fusion Razor $12.99
1 Gillette Power Pro Fusion 4 pack of Cartridges $19.29
Used Buy one Cartridge pack and get $10 off a razor manufacturer coupon (Bringing razor price to $2.99)
Used $2.50 CVS rewards money
Used $2.50 of Razor Purchase CVS coupon
Total 32.28  (after coupons $17.28)

After Tax and CRV my total was $23.94.   BUT, I got $5 Extra Care Bucks for my razor purchase. See transaction #2

Transaction #2
1 Pantene Shampoo  $3.50    2/$7 (Regular Price $4.99)
1 Pantene Conditioner  $3.50
Used $3.00 off Manufactuer Coupon
Used $2.00 off 2 Pantene products CVS coupon
Total $2 

1 Tresemme Shampoo $3.50   2/$7  (Regular Price $5.49)
1 Treseme Conditioner $3.50
Used $3.00 off Manufacture Coupon
Used $3.00 off CVS Coupon
Total $1

1 Blade Howl Body Spray  $1.19clearance price (regularly $4.79)

1 Covergirl Foundation $9.29
1 Covergirl Mascara $4.49  (Regular price $8.99)  Sale was Buy one Covergirl Product get one 50% off
Used $6.00 off 2 covergirl products
Total $7.78

Total $11.97 + tax $2.32

Used $5 Extra Care Bucks rewards

Grand Total $9.29

Once again.  Could I have gotten better deals?  More stuff for free?  Probably..  But I felt satisfied with what I got and I saved a bunch of money.  And I just wanted something to drink... Shopping makes you thirsty.

Feel free to share your non extreme couponing tips!