Monday, June 14, 2010

Amazing Deal from Target

Ok, I promise I won't turn this into a "deal" blog, but I just had to share my exciting purchases from Target. I knew that I was going to get a lot of great deals because I had a lot of coupons that should make things free, but I didn't realize how good until I finished at the register. So, without further ado, here is what I purchased on Saturday.

For these purchases where the original price was $63.27, I was able to pay only $2.93!!!!!! Plus, I walked out with a $5 Target gift card and can do a $5 mail-in rebate for the Scrubbing Bubbles. Total - I will have gained $7.07 from purchasing all of this stuff. How cool is that?

What I purchased:
1 Tropicana orange juice
2 Scrubbing Bubbles power spray shower cleaners
1 Scrubbing Bubbles shower cleaner refill
1 Kraft Homestyle Mac 'n Cheese
1 Kraft Mac 'n Cheese
A polo shirt for Saul
1 Olay body wash
5 whole wheat Sandwich thin packages
1 deli meat
1 package of beef franks
1 package of Soliel razors (I bought these at Walgreens for $.83, but threw them in the picture anyway)
1 package of Orbitz gum

The only reason I had to buy the gum was because all of my coupons took my total below $0, so I grabbed this off the wrack and it made my total go to $2.93.

Oh, and I have to add that I picked up the polo shirt thinking I would have to pay a little bit out of pocket for it. But, the overage from my coupons made it pretty much free! That made for a happy husband! = )

A teenage guy was ringing up my purchases and kept saying, "This is crazy, I can't believe this."

Needless to say, I walked out with a HUGE smile on my face.

Any great deals for you this last week?


Friday, June 11, 2010

My Frugal Finds

I have been couponing and doing deals for a little while now, but this week was the first week I really feel like it paid off. I am so excited about all of the great deals that I got and I will tell just about anyone who is willing to listen! = )

First of all, when I checked my mailbox on Monday, I was delighted! I sign up for various freebies and on that particular day, my mailbox was overflowing with them!!! Here is what I got - just in the mail - on Monday!

Secret deodorant sample
2 pads, 2 liners, 3 tampons
Dishwasher cleaner
Special K protein bar
Coupon for a FREE 18 pack of Always pads
$2 off coupon for a box of tampons
Coupon for FREE Tropicana orange juice
High value coupons for Special K cereal or protein bars

I took advantage of the Medco deal that Money Saving Mom posted about last week ($10 off a $10 purchase with $.99 shipping). So, when the UPS man came on Monday, I added the following to my stash:

For around $2.50, I purchased:
2 Men's Old Spice Body wash
2 Men's Gillette deodorant
1 ELF blush
1 ELF mascara

It doesn't stop there either! On Tuesday evening, my friend Alysia and I got together and figured out our CVS scenarios. We didn't end up going shopping until later in the week, but we did all of the planning to get these products:

9 rolls of Charmin toilet paper
Cascade dishwasher soap
4 bottles of Windex multi-purpose spray
1  Dawn soap
1 Aussie shampoo
2 Pantene Pro-V shampoos
2 packs of Always pads
3 Skinny Cow ice cream cups
1 Gillette Fusion razor
6 Dove deodorants
2 Colgate toothpastes

I got all of it for right around $14 out-of-pocket - PLUS I have $7 left toward my CVS purchases next week and a $5 cash rebate coming in the mail. If you even that all out, I will have spent around $1 for all of that stuff - things that I will put to great to use!! 

I have a few more Medco orders still coming, but I won't bore you with all of those details. It has definitely taken some time to do this, but I feel like it is SO worth it because of the money we are saving - big time. 

So, do you get into doing coupons and deals? Do you sign up for freebies? Why or why not? I'd love to hear!


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Homemade Tortillas

My husband has Mexican heritage and grew up on authentic Mexican food. Me - not so much. I have learned some tricks and tips, but I am still a long way from authentic. One thing I try to do though is to keep tortillas in the house. Saul has converted me - and we can eat them with breakfast, lunch, or dinner. = )

BUT. . .I was SHOCKED when I saw that one little tortilla had 190 calories in it!! What!! It seems so healthy - you can make wraps with them - and I could easily eat three in one sitting!! Once I saw this, I knew that I could not keep up the tortilla addiction. 

Saul kept talking about how yummy homemade tortillas were though, so a few months after we were married, I tried my hand at it. They didn't turn out too badly and they weren't too hard to make. No, they weren't quite round on my first try either, but they were close enough.

I finally found a recipe that I really like - and that doesn't have nearly the calorie count that store bought ones do. In fact, this recipe only has 90  calories per tortilla - less than half of store bought. Plus, they are super cost effective. Yeah!!

Here is the recipe I use:

Homemade Tortillas
Yield: 8 tortillas
Time from start to finish: 30 minutes

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbs. lard/shortening
3/4 cups water

  1. Mix flour, salt, and baking powder.
  2. Add shortening and mix with hands until the mixture is crumbly.
  3. Slowly add water and mix until a dough forms.
  4. Kneed dough for a minute or two or until dough becomes smooth and elastic.
  5. Roll dough out into a log and cut into 8 semi-equal pieces.

  6. Roll each piece into a ball.

  7. Turn skillet on high.
  8. Dust the counter with flour. Using a floured rolling pin, flatten dough into tortilla shape. You'll want them to be thin and as large as possible - they usually shrink and puff up when you put them on the skillet. Also, you probably won't end up with a perfect circle - just do your best. Practice makes perfect. = )

  9. Place tortilla on skillet - approximately 20 seconds on first side, 10 seconds on the second side.

  10. Place finished tortillas in a tortilla warmer or wrapped in a clean towel until it is time to eat.
  11. Enjoy!
These tortillas can last awhile in the fridge. You can also flash freeze the dough (either in balls or flattened) then defrost and cook when you want them.

I feel so much better about eating these tortillas - I know exactly what is in them, they taste great, and they have less calories than the store bought ones. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Empty Spaces

Now that we have finally painted and gotten the curtains hung in our bedroom, I am looking to fill a few of the "empty spaces." The main two spaces I want to fill are the little corner by our closet and above our bed.

I think that this little corner would be perfect for a little chair or a table and lamp - or something, but I just haven't found the right thing. It is going to have to be on the small side. Eventually we would like to install a collapsible door so that we can put something a little bigger here. I am keeping my eyes open for things at garage sales and on craigslist. I have some coordinating fabric that would be great for upholstering a chair. Any thoughts or suggestions?

The second area I need help with is our bed.

Right now we don't have a headboard. There wasn't one with our bedroom set when we got it (long story), and it has worked out great for us so far. My husband is 6'3" and just barely fits on our king size bed. So, we've moved the bed a little bit away from the wall and putting his pillow a little bit over the edge gives a few extra inches.

Anyway, we definitely need something here. Would a picture look funny without a headboard? Any ideas for making a headboard that would coordinate with our shiny black furniture? I am thinking of something that could be mounted on the wall so that Saul could still take advantage of a few extra inches.

I plan on making some pillows with leftover fabric from the curtains, but above the bed definitely needs some work.

I am so not a decorator, so if you have any suggestions, please let me know!!!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A few interesting incidents

It was another busy weekend with lots going on. Just thought I would write about a few of the more interesting incidents from the weekend.

On Saturday we went to another wedding. This was a little different because the bride has a Jewish heritage. She and her family have accepted Christ as Messiah and Savior, but wanted to honor their heritage and incorporate Jewish traditions into the wedding ceremony. They were married under a canopy, the bride circled the groom seven times, they read a wedding covenant, and had a few other Jewish traditions. It was so interesting to see the various items that take place in a Jewish wedding ceremony. The program detailed what the different traditions meant and the man conducting the wedding ceremony explained things as well. It was so fascinating.

The reception brought a few more fun traditions - our favorite being traditional "bottle dancers" just like Fiddler on the Roof. They were amazing and so fun! This pictures wasn't the real thing, but it looked very much like this. Cool, huh?

We had a meeting for our church right after the wedding, but we had forgotten a few things at home. We hurried home and Saul dashed inside to get the stuff. I was driving and in my hurry, I backed out - a little too quickly. Someone was coming down our little lane and I didn't see them until it was too late. I didn't realize what happened until I heard the little crunch. Thankfully both cars were going less than ten miles per hour (the other car was turning into the driveway across from ours), but I was still pretty shaken. I've never been in an accident before and was so frustrated with myself. Everything worked out ok and there was barely any damage. The police took their time coming, so we were majorly late to our meeting. We are just so thankful that no one was hurt and that there was barely any damage at all. Praise the Lord!

After our church meeting, we headed over to my parents. My brother was the best man in the wedding and he and my sister-in-law stayed around until Sunday We all watched the Chicago Blackhawks game together, then played a rousing game of spoons. It was fun to be with family, as always.

On Memorial Day we relaxed at home for the first part of the day. Since Saturday had been so busy, it was nice to just relax at home. I did a little bit of couponing and deal searching (a few deals, but nothing major to report - yet!). We went over to my parents for dinner and had a feast - stuffed hamburgers, brats, corn on the cob, deviled  eggs, fruit salad, chips, veggies, baked beans, etc. It was wonderful. For dessert, my brother's girlfriend made a strawberry pie and a chocolate pie. My sister's friend also brought yummy brownies. So much for a healthy meal plan this weekend!

Wish I had pictures to share, but this was when my camera was still having issues. Bummer! Hope you all had a great weekend and Memorial Day. I am so thankful for all of those who have served our country - and for the sacrifices of their family and friends!


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Our "New" Bedroom

At the end of last week, I posted about our bedroom decorating fail. It was pretty bad, if I do say so myself. I am so embarrassed that it stay so bad for so long, especially since we had the paint and curtains ready to go.

We finally broke up the painting into small chunks and did the two larger walls on separate days and the two smaller walls on the same day. Doing it this way made us not abhor painting by the time we were done and we didn't have to have an entire day set aside to do it. We would definitely recommend painting this way. We actually enjoyed painting. = )

My grandparents were all coming into town after my brother Christopher's wedding and were planning a visit to our place and that ended up "encouraging" us into getting it all done and put together.

One night we worked on getting the valance stapled onto the board and the other night we hung everything. We love how it turned out. What do you think??

We still aren't completely done, but we are so much closer than we were before. We love the beautiful but relaxing feel to our room. The paint still changes colors on us a bit (tan during the day and light green at night). Thankfully we like both colors. = )

I'll post later this week asking for suggestions for the "bare" spots that still occupy our room.


P.S. Sorry to any of you who may have checked back yesterday for pictures. Our camera was having major issues, which is the reason for so few pictures and  the late update.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Curtain Fail

This is embarrassing to admit, but we just now decorated our bedroom after moving in back in December. It has been a long process and it is embarrassing to admit how terrible it was for so long. I had good intentions, but decorating really isn't my thing and it ended up being really bad - for a really long time.

Here's the story.

I had good intentions. It took me awhile to find fabric that I liked, but finally Saul and I found this fabric that we loved and we thought would be so "rich" looking in our bedroom. We were going to wait for a good sale at the fabric store before buying it, but figured we could paint the room in the meantime. So, we purchased the paint and painted the room right around Christmas. The paint was supposed to be this warm caramel color that would compliment our rich red comforter and black furniture. The curtains were a dark sage green color with the caramel and reds weaved in. I had it all pictured in my mind.

Like a lot of home projects, things just didn't quite go as planned. A day or two after painting the fabric went on sale. But, when I got to the store, I found out that the fabric we liked was just a left over piece from a special order. The leftovers weren't even half of what I needed. After talking with several store employees, I found out that they couldn't even find the material in their special order section. I was also told by one employee that the fabric would be too thick to make draperies out of. I was SO discouraged and frustrated, especially because we had just painted our room to coordinate with that material. I was actually successful at finding the same fabric online - only to find out that it was more than triple the price that I wanted to pay. Ugh!! We felt like we hit a dead end.

Also, the paint had thoroughly dried by this time and was looking more and more like mustard and baby diaper filling rather than a nice warm caramel. Not at all like I had pictured. I am SO not a decorator!

Thankfully, a friend's mom does a lot of designing and she came over to offer some suggestions. We had a different fabric picked out for the living room and she actually suggested that we use the living room fabric in the bedroom and just repaint the bedroom. She also suggested that we keep the same basic color scheme throughout the house so that it would make our smaller place seem bigger. So, that is what we decided to do. But, we were too far in on a few other home projects to start in on repainting the bedroom at this point.

So, my Friday Fail is that our bedroom window was covered with this for five months!! Eeeek!

 If this isn't an 80's style sheet, I don't know what is!! We were given this used set of sheets to help keep our mattress clean when moving it. The fitted corners made it work "perfectly" for a window covering. I NEVER would have though that it would stay there for five months though! Ick!

This past week we finally got the room repainted and the curtains hung (hand sewn by my sweet mom!). Stop back by the blog on Monday I'll have new pictures up then!


P.S. This post is linked to Myra's Friday Fail meme. Stop by her blog to read about other fails.