Oct 28, 2011

Hyvee Trip!

Woohoo for some good deals @ Hyvee this week! I've been looking for some salty snack deals and Campbell's Cream of Mushroom deals and they're starting to come!

Campbell's Tomato Soup - Retail $1.49 (x4)
On sale with Store Coupon for 39cents (limit 4)
40cents/4 MC

Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup - Retail $1.49 (x8)
On sale for 69cents
40cents/4 MC (x2)

Nabisco Wheat Thins - Retail $2.99 (x5)
On sale for $1.77
$1/1 MC (x5)

Old Orchard Cranberry Juice - Retail $2.99 (x2)
On sale for $1.88
$1/1 MC (x2)

Total Retail: $38.81
Total Paid: $11.40
Total Saved: $27.41 or 70%!

Don't ask me how - Because I really don't understand it.. But I'm looking at my receipt and my tax was a NEG 9cents. IDK how I made money with tax, but I did! Odd right? None of the items were taxable, seeing how they were food right? I don't know.. I don't get it.. But I'm not asking questions.. I'm taking the 9 cents and I'm RUNNING!

SO.. I'm not sure what else to put here about couponing.. Please! Ask me questions! Everyone is always asking me to TEACH THEM TEACH THEM! Well here's your chance to ask me anything and I will try my best to awnser!!

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Oh winter weather is here!! Yuck!! lol But one thing I love about cold weather is cuddling up to a warm bowl of homemade soup! I've posted both my French Onion and Potato soups here.. SO it's time for my homemade chicken noodle!

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

1 whole fryer chicken
4-5 ribs celery, finely diced
4-5 carrots, finely diced
1 large onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tb lemon juice

1 whole egg
3 egg yolks
3 c flour
1 Tb salt
1-4 Tb water

Sautee the celery, onions, carrots, and garlic in large stock pot with olive oil on medium heat until translucent. Remove and set aside. Turn up the heat to medium-high and add the chicken. Allow to brown on all sides. Remove the chicken and deglase the stock pot with the lemon juice. Then add the veggies and chicken back to the pot. Fill with enough water to cover the chicken at least 3/4 of the way. Cover with lid and allow to simmer on med-high for at least 1 hour. You may need to flip it over a few times to make sure it is cooking evenly. It's also helpful to skim the fat and foam off the top occasionally that is relased from the chicken while cooking.

Mean while - For the noodles - Beat eggs and 1TB of the water together. Sift flour and salt together. Form a mound of flour on the clean counter and press a well in the center of it. Add egg mixture and slowly incorperate flour into it. May need to add more water to get to a smooth consistancy. Dough should not be too dry, but should not be sticky either. Knead until smooth. Divide into two and wrap in pastic wrap and allow to chill.

Once chicken is fully cooked removed from broth. Pick all the chicken meat from the bone and cut into bite sized chunks. Bring broth back up to a boil. Roll out noodle until 1/8in thick. Use a pizza cutter to cut into strips. Place into boiling stock. Return chicken to pot. Noodles are done once they float!

Oct 20, 2011

Pork Barbacoa.. Sort of..

So while living in Utah I was surrounded by the phenomonon of 'Cafe Rio'. Now.. I never actually ate there... but heard many many good things. At a church function someone made their version of 'Pork Barbacoa'.. Which I later found out was a slow cooked pork with ... COCA-COLA. Now.. If you know anything about me, you know my addiction to Coke.. So I have been wanting to try this recipe for ages. I found a recipe online, but when I found out it had enchilata sauce I was kind of turned off. I'm am NOT a fan of mexican... My ex-husband was Puerto Rican so I learned to LOVE that style of hispanic food - which is more carribean than spanish really. So.. looking at this recipe I tried to figure out how I could adapt it to better suite my taste.. and here's what I came up with:

Pork Barbacoa - Asian Style

Pork Roast
1 can Coke (NOT diet)
1/4 c Brown Sugar
2 Tbs Soy Sauce
2 tsp garlic powser
2 tsp garlic salt

Rub the roast in salt and pepper. In a bowl mix the coke, sugar, and
seasonings. Place pork in large zip lock back and pour marinade in. Allow to sit
over night.

Next day put it all into a slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours, or low
for 8 hours. Once pork is cooked pull apart using 2 fork. Then combine:

1 cup Sweet Chili Sauce
1 cup Coke
1/4 c Brown sugar

Pour into shredded pork and cook for additional 1-2 hours on low.

Now with this I also made a Cilantro Ranch Sauce. The Cafe Rio one has this whole Tomatillo cilantro sauce thing that I just didn't have the time for.. lol

Cilantro Ranch Sauce

1 cup Sour Cream
1 pkg Ranch dip mix
2 Tb minched cilantro
2Tb - 1/4c Milk

Mix all ingredients and gradually add milk until thinned down to your liking

Oct 17, 2011

Target Stockup on Hair Care

So! Pretty proud of today's transactions! Target was haveing a promo - buy 4 dove hair care items and get a $5 gift card, plus they were on sale from $6.99 to $4.99. Also the Pantine products were on sale for $3.50, usually $4.69. It took 5 transactions because most of my coupons had a 'Only 4 like coupons per transaction' limit.. But here we go!

Transaction 1:
8 Dove Shampoo/Conditioners @ $4.99/each ($39.92)
4 Buy One Get One Free Dove Coupons worth $4.99/each ($19.96)
Total +tax = $22.05
Plus got 2 $5 gift cards

Transaction 2:
4 Dove Shampoo/Conditioners @ $4.99/each ($19.96)
2 Buy One Get One Free Dove Coupons woth $4.99/each ($9.98)
Total +tax = $9.98
Plus got 1 $5 gift card

Transaction 3:
8 Pantine Hair Care Products @ 3.50/each ($28)
4 $3/2 Pantine Products ($12)
Total + tax = $17.96 - $10 Gift Card
Paid $7.96

Transaction 4:
8 Pantine Hair Care Products @ 3.50/each ($28)
4 $3/2 Pantine Products ($12)
Total + tax = $17.96 - $5 Gift Card
Paid $12.96
Transaction 5:
4 Pantine Hair Care Products @ 3.50/each ($14)
2 $3/2 Pantine Products ($6)
Total + tax = $8.98
Total Retail: $190.12
Total Paid: $62.98
Saved: $127.14 or 67%!

Oct 13, 2011

Kmart Trip

So! Here I am again! Just had a pretty good Kmart trip - Could have been better, but there was some ill-planning on my part. Also shopping with a grouchy toddler tends to cause more errors on my part.
So there were some GREAT Covergirl coupons in last weeks paper : $8.00/2 Covergirl Face Cosmetics. Right off the bat I went to walmart
Covergirl Blush $3.39
-$8/2 MC
Overage of 61cents/each
W00t! Well today I decided to see if eyeshadow and eyeliner counted as a 'face' cosmetic. I bought:
5 Eye shadows @ 3.39/each
2 Eyeliners @ $5.99/each
1 Eyeliner @ $8.99
Total: $37.92
-$8/2 MC x4
Paid: $5.92! (Averaging 74cents/each)
Now, normally I wouldn't have bought the $8.99 eyeliner. Someone put the wrong one on the peg. I didn't catch it at checkout as I was trying to get a toddler calmed down because I wouldn't buy him a sucker.. lol. But Hey! I'll take it!
Also Kmart had a special on 12pk Coke: 3/10.. or 4/10 with your Shop Your Ways Rewards Card (but one of the coke products had to either be a Fanta or Coke Zero). Now no where did I see the fine print with the limit 1 offer. I bought 6 Coke Classics and 2 Coke Zeros. I ended up paying for the 2nd one. I also had 2 $1/3 MC coupons for Coke.
8 Coke Products Retail $4.25 ($34.00)
Sale Price $3.33 (26.64)
-$1/3 MC x2
-$3.33 Rebate for buying coke zero
Paid: $21.33
My grand totals of the shopping trip was
Retail: $93.88
Paid: $34.30*
Saved: $60.58 or 64.5%
*My total was actually $49.22. I used $4.92 that I had on my rewards card to bring it to $44.30. With the receipt I got a $10 credit for my next visit.

Oct 3, 2011

Doubling Coupons

SO.. I had an EXCELLENT Target trip the other day.. BUT had a snafu @ checkout and ended up not being able to pay for my purchase (credit card limit issues we later found out). BUT my before coupon total was around $250 and after she run in my coupons it was $170. I mean.. not super awesome.. But there were some awesome deals that snuck in there.

Target had their Bayer Advanced Aspirin on sale for $2.99.
I had a $2/1 Manufacturers Coupon (MC)
AND a $1/1 Target Coupon. (TC)

SO, yes! The Aspirin was FREE! Not only FREE but I made a penny off each one! Now I only had enough target coupons to get 3. I had one extra MC so bought one for 99cents. Still not a bad deal for an 80ct bottle of aspirin!

This is an EXCELLENT example of doubling your savings using both a Store Coupon and a Manufacturers Coupon. Out here I have Fareway, Hyvee, and Food Pride for grocery stores. Hyvee usually does a few store coupons, but usually limits 1 per transaction.. which can cause issues. Target is an AWESOME store for store coupons and even has Mobile Coupons. I don't know much about these because, well, I don't have an awesome phone... lol. There's also KMart and on a few occasions Walmart. Most stores allow you to use both, but make sure to get a copy of your stores Coupon policy to make sure they allow!

Another good thing to check is to see if they actually allow 'overage'. That's when your coupon total exceeds the actual cost of the item and you 'make money'. Some stores will allow it to go against your total, and if your total is negative they will give it to you in cash or store gift card. Some will allow it to go to your total, but will zero it out if your total is negative. Other stores will give you no overage and will adjust the price for the item to be free, but this is it.

Now, with my binder, I keep all my 'Specific Store' coupons in their own category. I usually will go thru the store coupons and find match-ups with my MC's and put a post-it note on the sleeve to remind me I have an MC for the same item. That way when I'm making my walks down the aisles I can see right away, without having to flip around and around.

Sep 30, 2011

Couponing 101

SO.. here's the basic email I've been sending to people with questions.. a basic Couponing 101 if you will

So, have you checked out TLC's show 'Extreme Couponing' ? This show is what got my couponing kicked into high gear. I started couponing The Krazy Coupon Lady is a great website. She's also been on the show. On her site she has a section for 'beginners'. There she has a tutorial about the Couponing Binder.

The binder is the heart of it all. My binder currently is a 3in trapper keeper. It has 41 sections and currently weighs 9lbs. I use the baseball sheets to store my coupons. In my binder I also carry the Coupon Store Policy for all of my local stores. I also have a notebook for keeping track of my sales and a calculater to help me find unit prices quicker. KLC also has a nice chart of prices of various items - When you should buy a 3mo supply or 6mo supply. Now I rarely get to some of the prices she has. Many stores no longer double coupon.

SO basically we get as many sets of the coupons on Sunday as we can. Here there is a gas station that will give you a free paper if you buy $20 worth of gas on Sunday. So I usually get $20 on my way to work and on my way home. My mom does the same so that there is 4 sets. I work at a casino that has a hotel so I take the coupons from there 5 Sunday papers. My mom works at a hospital so she does the same thing. We usually end up with 10-15 sets of coupons. I also have a few girls here that 'swap' coupons and a few other people that know that I coupon who will give me their coupons. You can also print coupons on line. Red Plum Coupons.com Smart Source are just a few. We clip every single coupon. Then we divide them up by their catergories and put them in the sleeves. We try to go thru the binder once a week and get all the expired ones out.

Now as I said we clip EVERY coupon. Now right off the bat there are coupon we don't need - Pet supplies, men's hygine, old people stuff, ext. These coupons, along with my expired coupons get sent overseas to the military. Families with military members overseas can use coupons up to 6mo after their expiration date. Coupons For Military Here KCL's info on that. We have actually receieved a thank you letter from a family in Germany for our coupons. It's pretty cool.

OK! So now you have the binder. Now you have to find 'Match-ups'. The trick to couponing is only using your coupons for Sale priced items. This will double your savings. If your store doubles coupons then even better! There are many websites that will find the match-ups for you. Some sites you can even pay and subscribe to like The Coupon Game. I don't use any of the pay-for websites. I usually use, again KCL's matchups. She lives in Southern Utah so some of her match ups don't work for me out here in Iowa. You can always google and find websites as well. I usually just wait for the sale ads to come in the mail then sit down and go thru each item that is on sale and find it in my binder. I make a list in my notebook and compare different stores and make my shopping list. Some people will then remove the coupons from the binder and take only what they will need. I don't.

Each and everytime I go shopping I take my binder. I walk up and down EVERY item and compare every sale or clearence item to my binder. Remember that most items go on sale every 3-6mo so the trick is to stock up on items when you can get them cheap, until they go on sale again. Great things to look for are Buy One Get One Free sales. You can then use 1 coupon for each item, even tho the 2nd item is free. Your now getting double the savings. Also if you have a BOGOF coupon for an item that is on sale BOGOF your now getting 4 items for the price of 1. KCL's info on BOGO savings

SO... that's the basics. Again KCL has an amazing website and there are zillions of other websites to check out. I could sit here and talk all day about coupons.. lol it's sad! I hope that helps and good luck!

A change...

HELLO! Aw.. poor food blog. Well.. Life keeps throwing punches and I'm doing my best to keep up! I no longer have Internet at home so I haven't been blogging!! lol I have been cooking.. but nothing great. Made the french onion soup last night tho.. Yum Yum!!
Well.. I know I said on here long ago that I was no longer doing cooking as my career.. but here I am again. I started cooking at a local casino. It was supposed to be a temp job until I found a new pharmacy job.. Well 8 months later and I'm still there. I was promoted after 3 months to a Food and Beverage Supervisor and have been having a blast. I'm not in the kitchen nearly as much as I used to be.. But it's been great learning how to supervise, schedule, and what not. We're now revamping out buffet to a pasta house and I've gotten to help out a lot there.
Well.. other than that I've started couponing. I watched a few episodes of TLC's Extreme Couponing and decided to kick my little excuses of couponing into high gear. I've been couponing on an extreme level for about 3 months now I think and I average a 50% savings. I usually boast my savings via FB and get many questions on how I'm doing it and what not. I've sent out a 'couponing 101' email out to a few of my friends but have decided to start blogging it. Since this poooooor lil blog hasn't seen much attention I figured I'd just combine the 2.. cooking and couponing! :)
I will TRY to blog more and I'm hoping to get more followers.. so PLEASE! Feel free to follow and ask me questions and what not. And ideas are welcome! Thanks for reading!!