Saturday, February 28, 2009

Energy Bars Recipe

I wanted to share with you a recipe that we have loved over the years, and also uses up a lot of those cereals that you get really good deals on. This is one I like to make instead of buying granola bars or for our deer hunters. It is very filling, so the pieces don't need to be sliced very large. My husband cautions that when taking it deer hunting, be sure it doesn't get frozen, as it gets very hard. He still thinks it's worth the effort to get down, though. He said he would just munch on one once & a while and was able to go long periods of time without meals!
Energy Bars
1/2 Cup peanut butter
1/4 Cup margarine
1/2 lb. marshmallows (40 large)
Melt these together.
Mix in large bowl (above):
2 1/2 Cups toasted oat cereal (Oat Flakes - I used Berry Special K this time)
1 1/2 Cups toasted rice cereal (Rice Krispies)
1/2 Cups raisons
1/2 cups peanuts (I used cashews)
Pour marshmallow mixture over, mix all together and pat into 9x9 pan. (I doubled the batch for a 9x13 pan). Cool and slice to serve. (Below! Yumm!)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Piggly Wiggly Deals - February 25 - March 3, 2009

Here's my deals of the week:
  • Dannon Yogurt - $.38 - $1/10 MC = $2.80 or $.28 each
  • Red Seedless Grapes - $.99/lb.
  • Pilsbury Bread sticks, Bread, Dinner Rolls, or Pizza Crust - 4/$7 - 2/$.40 MC -$.40/2 = $5.80 or $1.45 each. (I have coupons for the Pizza Crusts and Breads - I will probably do this twice!
  • 2-lb FC For zen Bread Dough - $1.49
  • General Mills Cereal - 2/$5 - $1 MC - $.70MC = $3.30/2 or $1.65 each.
  • Kellogg's Select or Yogos Fruit Snacks - 2/$4 - $1/2 MC = $3/2 or $1.50 each.
  • Romaine lettuce - $.89/lb.
  • Roma Tomatoes - $.89/lb.
  • Russet Potatoes - $1.99/5lb.
  • Sweet Onions - $.99/lb

There it is. I know they have a whole bunch of Free with purchase items, but it doesn't quite make an awesome deal for me. Unfortunately, PW has higher prices on these items, so it almost doesn't pay to get the free item. You my disagree, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Menu ideas:

  • Pizza!
  • Venison Stew - (we have tons of meat on hand, along with potatoes & onions!)
  • Chef's Salads
  • Snacks for in the car when we go places (a great way to save a run to fast food is to make your own sandwiches & snacks to go! I always stock up when they are on sale!)

Festival Foods - 2/25 - 2/28/09

Festival had a great flyer in today's LaCrosse Tribune Coupons for:

  • $1 off your purchase of any item $1 or more in our Meat Department.

  • $1 off your purchase of any item $1 or more in our Produce Department.

  • $1.88 16 oz. bottles of Pepsi or Mountain Dew

  • $.98 Festival Gallon Milk
There were a few other coupons that you could get from their online site:

Festival does take online coupons and has a coupon printer right in the store for instant savings. I don't check them out unless I see a really good deal in the paper first, and I happen to be heading in that direction. This one, would be worth going for, as you could get produce for around $1 and try to find a small meat for the same! Free food, who doesn't like that? They also had a coupon on the site for $.48 frozen veggies. All of these coupons were with a $5 purchase. They usually post their coupons from the paper on their website soon, so keep looking for these. Otherwise, you can go up to the customer service desk & they offer photo copies of them.

Deal at Wisconsin Dells - Noah's Ark

I wanted to give you a heads up on a great deal for YOUTH DAYS at Noah's Ark in Wisconsin Dells, WI. The dates are May 23-24, May 27-29, June 3-5, June 10-12, June 17-19, 2009. These days are being offered for youths. It costs $17.50 (normally $36) and includes:
  • All-Day Unlimited Use Pass
  • FREE Lunch - hot dog, chips, pickle, and a soda
  • Educational Opportunities Available - learn the science & physics behind rides and more & follow the Noah's Ark wall of history covering the past 31 years.
  • 4-D Dive-In Theater
  • 18-hole Mini Golf
  • 3 arcades
  • New! Curse of the Crypt

You must make advanced group reservation. In addition, your group must have a minimum of 5 people (ages 3 and up). arrive at check-in together and pay in a single transaction. To sign up, call 1-800-222-6624. You must register at least 5 days before.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesday's Talk - Do your Research!

This weeks topic may take a lot of space, but I think that in light of Andi's comment this week, it will be helpful. You need to know what stores take what coupons and their rules for stacking coupons. I will share with you what I know here in Sparta, starting with my favorite, Walgreens. I will just give you my thoughts the store and the rules as I know them. Please comment if you know more.

  1. They take all coupons (except PW) including Internet coupons
  2. You can stack Manufacturer coupons with Walgreens coupons on sales for extra savings.
  3. Register Rewards – check out those first in one transaction and then use them to pay for anything that is not Register Rewards. CANNOT USE RR TO PAY FOR TRANSACTION IN WHICH YOU ARE GETTING RR. Also, RR does have extra rules in the fine print, like it can't be used to pay for dairy, cigarettes, prescriptions, etc. You cannot have more RR and coupons than items. I actually ran into this last week. I try to use coupons for everything, and actually did once, and could not use my RR to pay for them.
  4. EasySaver Catalog - Sales go the entire month, so wait until the item is on sale and stack the coupons with the sale. There are free things every month in the form of Rebates. Enter your rebates on the computer and add the refund to your Gift Card, you will receive an extra 10% refund.
  5. If something is on sale at Walgreens in the Weekly Sales Flyer for Buy One Get One Free, you can double up a BOGO manufacturer coupon when you buy 2 and you will get them both for free! I love these sales! It happens often on Oust recently!
  6. A lot of the coupons you get in the paper, will have them on sale in the next month at Walgreens, so be patient with your coupons.

  1. The best thing about Wal-mart is that they match ad prices. As long as the item you want is the same thing and same size, you just bring the ad in and they match. I don't usually do this for Walgreens or Piggly Wiggly, just because I would have too many, but if there is something from Festival Foods, Woodmans, or Target, I will so I save myself the gas!
  2. They take all coupons including Internet coupons!
  3. Their samples section has a wide selection, so watch them for freebies on coupon items that are $1 or $2 off any size. Sometimes the manufacturer coupons don't specify size, so you can often get things for free this way.

Piggly Wiggly

  1. They do NOT take Internet coupons or match prices!
  2. Only buy the advertised sale items when shopping. Buyer Beware because all other things are much more expensive than the other stores in town!
  3. You should have their Free PW card.
  4. If the sale requires buying $20 to get $5 off, then only buy the $20 worth. The $20 is before coupons are taken off - so stick to items that you need and can get a coupon off in addition to the $5 off. This sale seems to come up about every other week. I always add up exactly how many I need to make the sale.
  5. You can only do one of #4 transactions at a time, but you can do it multiple times by paying in between. Don't be embarrassed by doing several transaction, just have it organized when you get there.
  6. If you bring your own bags, they give you $.05 off your purchase for each of your bags that they use. It doesn't seem like much, but it can add up!
I hope this is a help this week! I hope to add a favorite recipe that I use to not only use up all those cereals you get great deals on, but to also save on buying granola bars! Please comment to let me know what you think!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tuesday's Talk - Never Pay For Something You Won't Use!

This topic does seem a little self explanatory, but sometimes it is easy to get caught up in purchasing something, just because you have a coupon on it or it's on sale. Make sure that what you buy is something you need or will use. I do have a few exceptions for this rule. The first exception to the rule is that if it is Free, you can buy it, so to speak!

Another exception is that if it is a product that you would like to try out, go ahead if you can get a really good deal on it. Now, I get a little crazy sometimes with toothpaste - it's always either free or under $.50 a tube, so I keep getting it. My husband was getting so mad at me for buying. This leads to my next exception to the rule:

If you can donate it and it's either FREE or cheap, go ahead. We have a food pantry basket at church, which we give to needy families in our church as the need arises. This is where my excess toothpaste has been going little by little. That way, I can give something that is new and perfectly good and it may be useful to those in need. I know when money is short for us, the last thing you really want to purchase are the necessities!

I think the main point of this rule is to be sure not to be stocking your shelves with so much overstock that you can't possibly use it up in the next six months. Also, if your food shelves are getting too heavy laden, challenge yourselves to have a shopping free week and use what's on your shelves for menus. Also, you could put together a basket of necessities for a family in need or your pastor's family. They often appreciate the thought! I know a lady who gives all her siblings and their families a basket of soap, toothbrushes, toothpastes, body washes, etc. for Christmas and they all love it because they don't have to get those things for awhile! Be Creative! Let me know of any other ideas you might have!

Piggly Wiggly Shopping Trip - 2/17/2009

I had to show you what I got from Piggly Wiggly this week! My grand total for this entire shopping trip was $30.72! I saved $6.85 in MC and $39.83 in Piggly Wiggly Ad items for a total savings of $46.68! I scored when I went in, because they must have just filled the meat clearance items! Usually it looks like rotten meat and they don't have much. I actually got the Hillshire Farm Polish Sausage for $1.98 - $.35 MC that was attached to the package. They didn't want to give me the coupon, but I insisted in talking to the management. They let me do it, but I have a feeling they won't be leaving coupons on their items in the clearance anytime soon! Here's what I got:

  • 4 Hamburger Helpers
  • 3 Betty Crocker Potatoes
  • Banana Nut Cheerios
  • 2 FC Mixed Veggies
  • Fiber One Shredded Wheat
  • 2 Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal
  • 8 Pilsbury Grand Biscuits - we had to have one already because my daughter broke it open! Yumm!
  • FREE Kemps Gallon of Milk (substitution for PW)
  • 2 Oscar Meyer Turkey Deli meat - $1.38 for 12 oz.
  • 4 Hillshire Farms Polish Sausage
  • 2 Patrick Cudahy 2lb. Sliced Deli Ham - $2.78 each
  • 5 lb. Potatoes

Note for the next PW ad from February 17-24: 15% OFF all meat you can fit in a bag! I just plan on filling up my freezer with all the meat that I think is reasonably priced this week.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Walgreen's Deals for February 15-21, 2009

Be sure to go to at to see the Walgreen's deals. She does an awesome job getting everything together, so I won't repeat it here for you.

Also, worthy of note, because they are better prices than other regular prices in the area:
  • 18 oz. Sunmaid Raisins - $1.99
  • Skippy Peanut Butter & Welch's Jelly - 3/$5
  • Geisha 15-oz. Canned Fruit - $.89
  • Dinty Moore Beef Stew - $2/$3 - $.55 MC = $.95
  • Quaker Oats - BOGO = $3.29 - $1/2 MC - $2.29/2 or $1.15 each
  • Geisha 11-oz. Manderin Oranges - 2/$1

Hope this helps.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Piggly Wiggly Deals - February 11-17, 2009

So, this is the second time I will type this up. I thought I was logged into this blog, and typed the entire sale ad, and then realized that I did it in our other blog, I am trying to separate the two blogs on topics, so didn't want to go ahead with the post.

Here it is:

$5 off $20 General Mills products instantly at register. Here's my plan:

  • 8 Pillsbury Grands Biscuits - $.99 each - (4) $.35/2 MC = $6.52/8 or $.82/each
  • 4 General Mills Cereals - 4/$10 - (2)$.75 MC + $1 MC = $7.50/4 or $1.89 each plus you get a FREE gallon of milk for purchasing 4!
  • 3 Betty Crocker Potatoes - 3/$4 - (3)$.25 MC = $3.25/3 or $1.08 each

GRAND TOTAL = $21.92 before coupons = $17.27 after coupons = $12.27 after instant $5 off plus FREE gallon of milk!

  • Split Chicken Breast - $.99/lb.
  • 5 lb. Russet Potatoes - $1.69
  • Hamburger Helper - $.99
  • FC Liced Bologna - $1.49/lb.
  • Scotties Tissue - $.99 - $1/5 = $3.95/5 = $.78 each
  • Creamette Pasta - $.99
  • FC 16-oz. Veggies - $.99

Not too exciting exept the $20 deal. If you have enough coupons to do another of the $20 deals, I would. I almost had enough Betty Crocker to do another, except that I am trying to be on a diet, so I didn't want to have all the goodies around!

Meal ideas with these groceries:

  • Chicken & Veggie Gravy over Biscuits
  • Baked Potatoes with toppings
  • Baked Chicken, Potatoes, and Veggies

*For a treat, I may make energy bars which will use the cereal and some peanut butter up! Yumm!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tuesday's Talk - Never Pay Full Price For Anything!

I wanted to take each of my Top 10 Money Saving Tips and elaborate further for your information. Please feel free to comment with any of your ideas or tips too.

I make it a rule to never pay full price for anything unless I have to. I just hate to buy necessities that I can't buy on sale or with a coupon, because I am always getting such great discounts! There does tend to be a few things, like bread, milk, and toilet paper, that I may have to purchase, because I just couldn't stock up enough to keep us going.

Milk for instance, was on sale this last week for $2.09 a gallon at Piggly Wiggly, so I bought 4 gallons. Now, my husband and kids take the hint, see all the milk in the extra fridge and they start really drinking a lot of milk. Bottom line, they all love milk and drink a lot of it, so I don't think that I could keep enough in the fridge to feed the needs. I just plain am faced with purchasing it all the time. Same with bread.

For some reason, I have not found many good deals on TP in our area, so I have been forced to purchase it at a much higher price than I'd like to.

You might be asking, how I do it? Well, I actually shop pretty exclusively off the sale ads from Piggly Wiggly and Walgreen's. Occasionally, I will also use really good coupons at Festival Foods if I am going to town for another reason. Anything else, I will have Wal-mart match. When the item is on sale, and I can match up coupons to stack on the purchase, I try to stock-up as much as possible. My stock pile does vary a little with what is there, but there are some usual items I will always stock up on, like canned beans and Cream of Mushroom soup.

The next point I will talk about next Tuesday comes from this point also, I plan my menus according to what is on sale. So, if canned beans are on sale, we may have chili or taco soup for one of our meals that week. More on this next Tuesday. Please feel free to comment or contact me with any questions you may have.

Friday, February 6, 2009

FREE Digital Picture Web Class!

I wanted to let you know about a digital web class on how to sort your digital pictures and then how to get them into a printed album. Check out the link. It is a 4 week class for 1 hour each. You just sign up for the class and be there at the correct time on the Internet site. You will see and hear the class. You just need high speed Internet to use it.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tuesday's Talk - Top 10 Money Saving Tips

I am going to list my TOP 10 list of Money Saving Tips. In further Tuesday's Talks, I will elaborate on some of the points more. Please feel free to comment on this and ask questions, and I will answer them in further posts.
  1. Never pay full price for anything.
  2. Make a list or plan for every shopping trip!
  3. Never pay money for something you won’t use.
  4. Do your research - know what coupons each store takes & their rules for stacking coupons.
  5. Plan your menus around sales.
  6. Know where to find coupons in your area.
  7. Know the good blogs that list weekly sales & deals!
  8. Buy only in season produce.
  9. Consider making things yourself - mixes, breads, clothes, curtains, etc.
  10. Stock up when an item is on sale or free.

So, there it is - my top 10! Hope this helps. Let me know what you want more details on in the future!

Piggly Wiggly Deals - February 4-10, 2009

Finally, some meat on sale!! Now if only lettuce would go back down to go with all the dressing that has been on sale recently! These are just some ideas that think are good deals. Make sure to only buy what's on your list, you will save a ton, by staying away from those emotional, last moment purchases!
  • Ham Shank Portions - $.99/lb for 10-11lb. butt portions!! Not sure it can get much better! There is no limit to for these, so I would stock up!!

  • 3-lb. Bag Red Delicious & McIntosh Apples - $1.49

  • FC 16-oz. Cottage Cheese - $.99

  • Yoplait Yogurt - $5/10 - $1/8 MC = $4/10

  • PW 24-oz. Bread - $.88/ loaf

  • 5-Quart Pail FC Ice Cream - $3.99

  • Cottonelle Bathroom Tissue - $3.99 - $.50MC = $3.49

  • Valu Time Canned Soup - $.39 (For you Aldi lovers - this is cheaper than Aldi's!)

  • 3-lb Bag Tangerines - $2.99

  • Red & Green Leaf Lettuce - $1.29/lb.

Not much from the inside that I can see I would purchase, but the Ham makes up for it this week! I still have some of those Betty Crocker Scalloped Potatoes I got FREE last month along with the Cabbage I got last week for $.49/lb at PW! Here are some menu ideas:

  • Lasagna (made with Cottage Cheese)
  • Ham w/Scalloped Potatoes & Fried Cabbage
  • Grilled Ham & Cheese
  • Egg Bake (made with ham & bread)
  • Chef Salads (made with ham, cheese, & Apples)
  • I might also make a Waldorf Salad