About Me

I'm a Utah mom, just trying to make ends meet. Several years ago, I was introduced to a new way of couponing. I've been addicted ever since. I have a hard time paying full price for anything anymore.

I love couponing so much, I decided to become a teacher for Grocery Smarts.

I teach free classes and show you how to get everything you need at the grocery store and still leave $$$ in your pocket. I'll also teach you the best ways to get and organize your coupons. The best part of the class is when I show you how to match your current coupons up with the current local sales - getting the most bang for your buck!


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December 31, 2008

Some Fun New Freebies

Chick-Fil-A chicken biscuit coupon

What to Expect When Your Expecting - free copy of book

Medium Dr. Pepper with any purchase at Arby's

Coupon for free bottle of Suave on 1/14/09 (this date only)

(Thanks Savvy Shopper!!!)

Total Cranberry Crunch sample

Snapfish - 50 free prints & 4x6 flip book - offer only available to new members

Join Friends of Krispy Kreme and receive a coupon for a free doughnut

6 Free Coupon booklets (Betty Crocker, Club Wild, Del Monte, Home Made Simple, P&G, Pillsbury)

Deepak Chopra 2009 calendar

It's always fun to get a few freebies from time to time. I hope you enjoy them. Happy New Year!!!!

December 29, 2008

A new blog background

I just love my friend Tracie. She is so cute and talented! She surprised me again with a new blog backround. Isn't it so cute? I love it. You should really check out her digital scrapbooking blog. She's done some really cute things and is always creating some new designs.

THANKS TRACIE!!!!! You're my "SNOW" Special friend.

December 27, 2008

Some New Year's Resolutions

It seems like I really didn't post much about shopping and saving throughout the month of December. I hardly remember the month - it was such a blur. Trying to shop with little ones and working around school, pre-school and nap times was definately challenging. I don't even think I wrote a serious grocery shopping list. I just ran to the store for the perishables. It's time to get back on track!

I have to say this because I was really impressed and somewhat surprised this month. Like I stated above, I didn't really go grocery shopping other than for the essentials. I found myself in one day needing more flour, sweetened condensed milk, pie filling, semi-sweet chocolate chips and vanilla. Guess where I found all these things? Yep - in my own pantry.

Coupon shopping really helps and it certainly saved me a ton this month!!! I didn't have to go grocery shopping, it has allowed me to stock up on the items my family uses most and best of all it saves me $$$$ (lots of it).

Within the next few weeks, many of us will get that awful white envelope from our credit card companies. Why not learn to save some money everytime you grocery shop?



You can contact me at callmestacy@yahoo.com. Invite some friends, co-workers, family or neighbors over for a free class. I will show you the easiest ways to save, use coupons and use the free Grocery Smarts website. One hour is certainly worth the $$$ you will save in the long run.

December 22, 2008

My neighbor gifts

I like to involve my kids in the neighbor gifts, so I went with easy this year. They helped me wrap the carmels and they also helped decorate the cookies.

I saw this idea in Family Fun magazine. They are cute Nutter Butter Reindeer. Notice how all the antlers are all different. The pretzels were the hardest part to try and get somewhat even.
I dipped Oreo's in semi sweet chocolate (chips) and then my kids helped to sprinkle candy cane, sugar and sprinkles on them. I also dipped Oreo's into almond bark and did the reverse with another set.


We also dipped fortune cookies (which I called my local Chinese restaurant and got a deal). We did these in both dark chocolate and almond bark.


After letting all the chocolate dry. We put the cookies in some cute Chinese take out boxes I found at Michaels. We added our carmels and some holiday candy to fill the holes. I hope my neighbors like them.


I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

Yummy microwave carmels

Okay - this may not be a potluck recipe, but they are sure good. I lost my recipe so I went to the Pinching Your Pennies blog and ask for a good recipe. It never fails - someone always comes through for me. Here's the recipe and some do's and don'ts.

Carmels

1/2 c sweetened condensed milk
1/2 c butter (not margarine)
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c karo syrup

Put all ingredients in a microwaveable bowl. Cook on high for 2 minutes and then stir (see recommendation on cooking time below). Repeat every 2 minutes for a total of 8 minutes. Pour into a well buttered/greased 8x8 pan and let cool for 3 hours. Cut and wrap in wax paper.

This was my second try. I had to reduce my cooking time to 2 min, 2 min, 1 min 15 sec, 1 min 15 sec. The first time I made them - I had a lovely square rock! I might advise you to try this cooking time first, instead of the one above. I also had to try a few to make sure they tasted okay and were soft.

I think I had about 80 pieces (that is, if I hadn't eaten a few to begin with). You can cut them any size.

These were so easy to make and best of all they are YUMMY!!!! If you're looking for a quick treat for a friend or neighbor or maybe just a treat to share, this is definatley a winner. This was also a great project for kids to help with The wrapping doesn't have to be perfect.

December 18, 2008

Cheesy Queso Dip (crockpot favorite)

This recipe came from my mother-in-law. My husband made sure I knew about this yummy recipe early on in our marriage. It was a tradition to make this every New Years Eve. It has since become a family favorite.











Cheesy Queso Dip

4 cans Campbell's Cheddar Cheese or Fiesta Nacho soup
1 16 oz bottle of Salsa/Picante sauce
2 lbs hamburger

Brown your hamburger until it's almost burnt. Drain the fat and pour into crockpot. Add the salsa, and all 4 cans of cheese soup and mix well. Occasionally stir as it warms up. Serve with corn chips.

Variations:
I've mixed the two flavors of cheese soups and it tastes great.
You can change the "heat" in your dip by making it with a hotter salsa.
You can change the consistency of your dip by adding more or less salsa.
It would also be great served over hot dogs and baked potatoes - be creative.

I love quick easy recipes that can be taken to just about any potluck. Enjoy the holidays and I hope you enjoy some of these recipes.

December 12, 2008

Hot wings (that aren't so hot)


Hands down this has been the most popular potluck dish I've ever made. It is so easy and a crowd pleaser.


Hot Wings


1, 28 oz bag of Tyson Buffalo style boneless wyngs/tenders/strips
1, 16 oz bottle of French or Catalina dressing
1 cup brown sugar

Cook the chicken according to the directions on the bag. Combine the dressing and brown sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.


Variations:
1 - Cut the chicken into bite size pieces - it makes it go a little farther
2 - Serve the sauce and chicken seperately, allowing people to dip their own chicken
3 - Serve with a salad and it tastes like the salads you get at Wingers.
4 - You can buy a larger bag at Sam's/Costco. I just add a little more dressing to coat all the pieces.

Warning: I've tried to serve this recipe in a crock pot before and it still tastes good, but the coating around the chicken gets kind of mushy.

If you try this recipe - I'd love to know what you think and what everyone else thought. I can't wait for the next excuse to make this tasty dish.

December 10, 2008

Treats and potluck dishes

It seems like this is the time of year where wonderful, yummy smells waft through the hallways of work, show up on your doorstep or just warm your oven in your own kitchen.

I hope you don't mind if I post some of my favorite treats this time of year.

I love this recipe! I used to work at a large hospital in Salt Lake and the chef there taught a few classes. This was one that I was lucky enough to attend (Thanks - chef Steve!)

Sweet and Spicy Nuts

3 cups pecans or walnut halves (I personally love almonds and use them)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 TBSP cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions:
1 - Heat oven to 275 degrees. Grease cookie sheet. Spread nuts on prepared cookie sheet; toast for 10 minutes
2 - In medium saucepan, combine sugar, water, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Bring to a boil; continue cooking for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3 - Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and nuts. Using a slotted spoon, remove nuts to foil or waxed paper. Separate with a fork; let dry. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place.

Yields: 4 1/2 cups

Not only do these smell wonderful - they taste delicious! For all you nut fans out there - this is definately a recipe to try. It's sure to win the hearts of many.

December 9, 2008

Kents in Roy is having an early morning sale on 12/13

Here's a pretty good sale for those of you in Weber/Davis county and anyone else who's willing to drive to Roy. It will go from 6am to noon. I didn't get the ad personally, but this is what I was able to gather as far as sale items go (Thanks PYP blog).

  • 20 lb box boneless skinless chicken tenders and breasts $35.80 = to $1.79 a lb
  • 1/2 gallon squares Farr's ice cream, 4 for $10.00
  • 9 ct Maddox Turkey steaks $7.99
  • bananas 2 lbs for 88 cents
  • boneless beef top round rump roast $1.99 lb
  • Don Julio tortilla chips 88 cents
  • family pack boneless beef top round steaks or london broil $1.99
  • lbkretsmar maple ham $2.99 lb, deli item I believe
  • 2 lb western family medium cheddar $4.99
  • 10 lb bag extra extra extra diet lean ground beef $1.99 lb
  • dozen grade aa rogers medium eggs 99 cents
  • 10 lb bag russet potatoes $1.88
  • Grannys old fashion bread 4 for $5
  • Norbest turkeys 79 cents a lb
  • Clover club potato chips 2 for $3
  • family pack boneless center cut pork loin chops or roast $1.89 lb
  • Viva gallon chocolate milk 2 for $5

I've been to these sales before - you can count on almost every parking stall being full, lots of people, and some long lines, but some great savings! If you're willing to deal with these things you could get some pretty good deals. I've even been to these sales where Kents starts lowering prices (below their posted prices) while I'm shopping. I can't promise this will happen this go around, but they do put on a good sale.

December 5, 2008

Free Arbys, Mint Chocolate Swirl Shake

Mmmmmm......aren't mint and chocolate the essence of the season? Click on this link and then sign up with Arby's extras (upper right or bottom right corner) to receive a coupon for this yummy holiday shake. It make take a day or two for it to show up in your email box.

December 4, 2008

Everyday Food Storage

I have been watching this blog for quite sometime now. I love how simple the recipes are and how easy it is to eat and rotate my food storage. I just entered for a giveaway - watch Everyday Food Storage for your chances to win every Friday up until Christmas.

Beer Rebates spotted at the Syracuse Smith's

While I was at the Smith's today (Syracuse), I found for my first time some beer rebates. They were located on the first end cap, a Budweiser beer display. If you spend $150 at any Supermarket (can be one or multiple receipts, not sure if it has to be the same store or not), and you fill out the rebate (tearpad on display), Bud will send you a $20 Supermarket gift card. You are not required to buy beer to send in the rebate. The offer is good through 12/31/08.

Wow! If that's as easy as it is....I'm all over these Beer Rebates. Keep your eyes peeled for some good deals. I could always use free groceries!

Smith's Santa's Night Out

December 4th from 3pm to 11 pm (8 hours - one night only). So after I picked up my daughter from school we (all 4 of us, me and 3 kids) ran to Smith's to see if we could cash in on a few good deals. We didn't need much and it was hurry in, hurry out with 3 kids.



Tostito's Chips $1.77 (each)

Kroger Peanuts $.99 (each)

Kroger Semi Sweet chocolate chips $.50 (each,6 oz bags)

Kroger Salsa (not on the sale) $1.00 (each)

Smith's Rolls (not on the sale) $1.89

Smith's cinnamon bread (not on the sale) $1.29

Total $17.99, savings $15.43. Pretty good for 18 items

Don't forget, you can go to the Shortcuts website, sign up and enter your Smith's Fresh Value's Card number and load coupons onto your card. Not only will this save you at the register, you can also bring manufacturers's coupons with you for additional savings!

I hope you get some of the deals out there! Happy Shopping.

My trip to Kmart (double coupons

I've mis-placed my receipt, so I'm going from memory. I hope this helps someone. Some of the deals were better than others - no freebies this time.

Cereal was 4 for $10 and I had 4, $1.00 coupons - making each box $.50

Reynolds Wrap foil (75 feet) was $2.99, I had 4 coupons for $1.00 off - making each box $.99

Opti-Free was $8.xx and I had 4, $3.50 coupons (I'm not sure if they doubled or not - I'm still trying to find the reciept - my guess is that they didn't though).

Lysol (I can't remember the price, nor the coupons)

Reese's clusters (can't remember the price), but had 2, $1.00 coupons

Hershey's candy (can't remember the price - $7.xx??), but I had a coupon for $1.50 off with the purchase of three.

Kraft crackers (they were a bribe to get my 3 year old to behave for just a few more minutes).

I think my receipt came to a total of $80.xx and I saved $46.xx.

I promise that when I find the receipt I will post an update. Sorry this is so not-helpful. I went a few days ago and am just getting around to posting it.

I wanted to buy more, but I had my 2 boys with me and it made shopping a little difficult (especially when the youngest just had shots). Maybe I'll try again later this week.

$10 in coupons from Betty Crocker

All you need to do is sign up for their email newsletter and they will send you $10 in coupons. Check out this link for the savings.

December 2, 2008

Some things I got in the mail today

The first thing I got was a card from Toys "R" Us, announcing a private sale (not so private anymore) on 12/10/08 from 8pm to 11pm. My card had an additional card inside indicating that I could get 20% off one item. I couldn't find anything that said the Private Sale wasn't open to anyone. I'm not sure what they are doing for the private sale, but I guess everyone's invited now.

The second thing I got was from Kraft and their campaign called First Taste. I recieved two Jello singles (chocolate flavor). I've had these before and they are pretty convenient and a tasty snack. All you do is dump the contents of the bag into a bowl with 1/2 cup of milk and stir. Give it about 5 minutes to set up in the fridge and you have an instant snack. Click on First Taste to join and try out some of Krafts newest products.

November 30, 2008

Kmart is doubling coupons/Shopko's daily surprises

So, everything I'm reading is saying that Kmart is now currently doubling coupons from 11/30/08 to 12/6/08. Go through your coupons and shop, shop, shop!!!! There are some restrictions listed below - so go prepared. This sale really paid off for me last time!!! Even though Kmart doesn't sell a lot of food items, this is a great way to stock up on medicine, shampoo/conditioner, paper products, makeup etc.....
Super Double Manufacturer Coupons up to & Including $2 Value.

Amount of Credit from doubling a coupon cannot exceed the retail price of an item. No cash or in-store purchase credit will be awarded for any amount exceeding the retail price of the item. Limit 1 coupon for each item purchased. Only 1 coupon will be doubled per item. You may only purchase 4 of the same items using double coupons. Coupons do not apply to sales tax. Limit 75 coupons per customer per day. Internet coupons or copies of manufacturer instant coupons are not valid.

Offer excludes products prohibited by law, including but not limited to alcohol, tobacco, and prescription medication. Not valid on Non-merchandise, federal or state regulated items, prior purchases, Lands End. Sears merchandise run on Sears registers within Kmart and Kmart.com. In the event of a return, coupon savings may be deducted from refund. Sears Holdings(Kmart) reserves the right to modify or cancel this program at any time.

Available at participating Kmart and Super Kmart locations. (Thanks PYP, blog).
I also got an email from Shopko today announcing a daily surprise. You need to go to their website everyday to see the announced sale. If you don't have one of their "My Extra Saving's cards," stop by and apply for one (they are similar to Smith's or Albertson's cards). I believe you have to have one of these cards in order to get the deal at the advertised price.

November 28, 2008

The ups and downs of Black Friday

It is no secret - I love to shop and find a good deal. So I actually started shopping on Thursday at Kmart's Thanksgiving sale. I found the one big item I was after - I picked up the last one on the shelf - lucky me. I was very happy on Turkey Day.

Friday (Black Friday) was a bit more tricky. Even though I did not do as well, I did come away with some successes.

My youngest son was having trouble getting to sleep last night (night terrors) so between me and my husband we were up most of the night. I had set my alarm for 4:15 and I was going to hit Walmart first. Well I happened to roll over and look at my clock only to see it was 5:05 am. What, where am I, what's going on - how come my alarm didn't go off????? I raced out of bed threw on my clothes and ran out the door. I set my clock for PM not AM - DUUUUHHHHHH!!!!! Not so good. Well if any of you tried to shop at Walmart it was crazy!!!! I had great luck last year and totally failed at Walmart this year. I walked in - elbowed my way around and decided to leave.

I headed to Target next. When I got there they ushered me into line. I kept walking and walking and walking. Yes, the line went all the way around the store. I was in line by some nice people and we patiently waited for the line to move. I didn't think I would get anything considering my place in line. Surprise, Surprise - I got most of the stuff on my list. This definately put a smile on my face.

I then proceeded to Shopko. I didn't really find a lot of stuff there, but I found a few movies and some stocking stuffers. Because my birthday was this month, Shopko sent me a birthday discount, so I got an additional 10% off my purchase. Yea!!!!! This also made me happy.

I was getting really hungry about this time and decided to go through the Krispy Kreme drive through. When I got to the window the lady handed me my donuts and chocolate milk and would not let me pay for them. Wow!!!! Could this really be???? My day was certainly improving.

I decided to try the mall and went into JC Penney and found a bunch of clothes for the family. I then went to Lane Bryant to check out their selection and to spend my gift certificate I got for my birthday. It was fun - I got some Spanx (have wanted to try them for some time) and some pants.

I rounded out the day with a long afternoon nap. A well deserved nap....I had a good day even without Walmart!

One thing I did notice at most stores is the nice help of so many of the employees. Not only did most of the stores have a full staff checking people out, they also had employees throughout the store helping to locate items, pull things off of upper shelves, shagging carts etc... And to that I was very thankful.

So did any of you go shopping on Black Friday? Anyone want to share their successes or failures? You can celebrate or vent if you'd like.

November 26, 2008

Did you know that Grocery Smarts is in Vegas too?

We're branching out.... If any of you are in the Vegas area - you're in luck. We are now able to teach classes in your area. Check out this video link to a news station in Vegas that did a spotlight on Grocery Smarts. If this kind of savings interests you and you want to schedule a class, contact me at callmestacy@yahoo.com and I can arrange a free class for you. And yes, you really do save that much on your shopping trips!!! Check out some of my older blogs to see.

I'm currently booking for January - these dates fill up fast, so I hope to hear from you soon.

More things I'm thankful for

This list a bit more sillier (is that a word????) than the last - but still I'm greatful!

1- I'm thankful for Black Friday. I am not one of those women who will be racing down the aisle to beat everyone else, nor will I be involved in any crash up derby with my cart. I'm there for a few items and off to the next sale. Wahoo!!!! The anticipation and excitement is building.

2 - I'm thankful that I got assigned 2 pies and a Jello salad this Thanksgiving. Boy, am I glad that someone at Sam's club knows how to make pies - because this is not one of my best talents. I'm just winging it with the Jello salad (can you really ruin one of these???)

3 - I'm glad that we're only traveling an hour each direction for Thanksgiving, rather than the normal 2 1/2 hrs each way.

4 - I'm thankful that my husband has a few days off. Hopefully we'll something fun as a family this weekend.

5 - I'm thankful for Redbox and that the rentals are only $1.00. Gotta love vegging and watching a good movie from time to time.

6 - I love to drive around on Thanksgiving night or the night after and see everyone's handiwork at putting up lights. It's fun to see how your neighborhood transforms overnight.

7 - I'm thankful that my sister finally said yes, to going with me on Black Friday! She loves her sleep.

8 - I'm greatful to have the time to read my friends and family's blogs. They are so fun and it's a great way to keep up with everyone's lives.

9 - I'm greatful for Grocery Smarts and how easy it is to find my grocery list and gather my coupons.

10 - Lastly, I'm greatful for Christmas music. I have to admit, I've been listening to it since the first part of November.

What are you thankful for????

November 25, 2008

Dogwood End of Season Sale



You can go to Dogwood's website for more information. They only sell boys clothes (which are really fun). They are located at 3855 South 500 West Suite F. Salt Lake City, UT 84115.

November 24, 2008

Deseret Book Friends and Family

Check out the Light Refreshments Served blog (A little something for my friends - is the blog title) for a coupon good through 11/30/08. The coupons are good for online purchases as well.

November 23, 2008

My latest shopping trip

It seems like forever since I've posted a shopping trip. What's wrong with me???? So I went to Smiths yesterday and did pretty well. I had a bunch of coupons and an additional coupon for $10 off my next shopping trip from Smiths for buying so many baby products over time.

Here's what I ended up with:

5 (large boxes) Cinnamon Toast crunch

4 (large boxes) Honey Nut Cherrios

2 boxes Wheat Thins

1 box Triscuits

2 boxes of Oven bags

5 jars Gerber baby food

8 (large cans) Dole Mandarin Oranges

1 bag of Kroger hashbrowns

1 bunch of bananas

1 bag of Dole salad mix

1 bag of Sweets candy (I love chocolate covered cinnamon bears)

1 box of Reynolds Parchment

1 Hen turkey (we're going away for Thanksgiving so we don't get any leftovers - I'll cook this bird at a later date)

There was also some chicken and potato wedges (my dinner) that aren't pictured

Total I spent $54.97 and saved $56.01. I purchased 38 items and spent on average $1.45 per item. Smiths is running a promotion that if you spend $25 in their store you can purchase a hen (private selection) turkey for $6, a tom (private selection) for $8 and a Butterball tom for $12. I paid $6 for my turkey - this is definately something to be thankful for.

Wow - what a cute blog - if I do say so myself

Tracie - one of my bestest friends, surprised me today with the cutest blog paper. I love it - it's so fun and festive and just in time for Christmas. Anyone wanting to get into some fun digi scrapping needs to check out her blog at this link. She is so talented! Thanks Tracie!!!!

And What to my Wondering Eyes Should Appear...

But a newly decorated blog, just in time for the Christmas season. Merry Christmas Stacy! I hope you like it!

November 22, 2008

Free Home Made Simple Procter & Gamble coupon book

Follow this link to sign up. They have products like Cascade, Dawn, Swiffer etc.... Savings worth $27.

November 20, 2008

I am thankful for.....

Since this is the time of year we ought to be thankful - I thought I'd post a few things that make me thankful and put a smile on my face.

1 - I think my biggest smile this year comes from finally getting my 3 year old son potty trained (during the day at least). Oh, those agonizing months of trying and trying and trying :(

2 - I am truly thankful for my full food storage and even more thankful as me and my huband loaded several boxes full to take to the food shelter a few days ago.

3 - This list wouldn't be complete if I wasn't thankful for sales and coupons!!!!

4 - I am thankful that I feel rich - not so much from money (we live frugally), but rich with the love of my family (this is very fulfilling).

5 - It's wonderful to be a stay at home mom (SAHM) and I couldn't do it without a wonderful, loving and supporting husband out there working to keep me here.

6 - I love that I live in a free country where I have privileges that others don't.

7 - I am thankful for all those men and women that sacrifice daily for my freedoms.

8 - I love, love, love that the price of gas is starting to go down! Now let's hope to see food prices do the same thing.

9 - I smile the first time it snows enough that we have to shovel. Can't wait for that day this year.

10 - I am thankful for this time of year. I love the food, family, friends, my savior and the magic this season brings.

These are just a few of the things I'm thankful for. If you'd like to add to the list - I would love to hear from you. I'll probably post some more in the coming days.

November 19, 2008

Warning on Christmas gift cards

I've received this email several times and am not sure how to confirm this information other than to offer a fair warning to anyone looking to purchase gift cards as Christmas gifts this year.

As much as I love to give and get gift cards, I'm a little reluctant to do much of that this year. Considering our economic status, many well known stores are having to close their doors or scale back just to survive.

This is a list that I received through an email. Good luck and if you currently have any of these cards it may be worth using them now rather than waiting.....

Mervyns should close their doors at the end of the year.

Linens & Things which is under liquidation and closing all stores by year end.

Ann Taylor closing 117 stores nationwide A company spokeswoman said The company hasn't revealed which stores will be shuttered.. It will let the Stores that will close this fiscal year know over the next month.

Eddie Bauer to close more stores. Eddie Bauer has already Closed 27 shops in the first quarter and plans to close up To two more outlet stores by the end of the year.

Cache closing stores. Women's retailer Cache announced that it is closing 20 to 23 stores This year.

Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, Catherines closing 150 stores nationwide The owner Of retailers Lane Bry ant , Fashion Bug , Catherines Plus Sizes will close About 150 underperforming stores this year. The company hasn't Provided a list of specific store closures and can't say when it will offer That info, spokeswoman Brooke Perry said today.

Talbots, J. Jill closing stores. About a month ago, Talbots announced that it will be shuttering all 78 of its kids and men's stores. Now the company says it will close Another 22 underperforming stores. The 22 stores will be a mix of Talbots women's and J. Jill , another chain it owns. The closures will occur this Fiscal year, according to a company press release.

Gap Inc. Closing 85 stores. In addition to its namesake chain, Gap also owns Old Navy and Banana Republic. The company said the closures - all planned For fiscal 2008 - will be weighted toward the Gap brand.

Foot Locker to close 140 stores. In the company press release and during its Conference call with analysts today, it did not specify where the future store Closures - all planned in fiscal 2008 - will be. The company could not be Immediately reached for comment.

Wickes Furniture is going out of busines s and closing all of its stores. Wickes, a 37-year-old retailer that targets middle-income customers, filed for bankruptcy Protection last month.

Goodbye Levitz / BOMBAY - closed already. The furniture retailer, which is going out Of business. Levitz first announced it was going out of business and closing all 76 of Its stores in December. The retailer dates back to 1910 when Richard Levitz opened his First furniture store in Lebanon , PA. In the 1960s, the warehouse/showroom concept brought Levitz to The forefront of the furniture industry. The local Levitz closures will follow the shutdown of Bombay .


Zales, Piercing Pagoda closing stores. The owner of Zales and Piercing Pagoda previously Said it plans to close 82 stores by July 31. Today, it announced that it is closing Another 23 underperforming stores. The company said it's not providing a list of specific Store closures. Of the 105 locations planned for closure, 50 are kiosks and 55 are Stores.

Disney Store owner has the right to close 98 stores The Walt Disney Company Announced it acquired about 220 Disney Stores from subsidiaries of The Children's Place Retail Stores. The exact number of stores acquired Will depend on negotiations with landlords. Those subsidiaries of Children's Place filed for bankruptcy protection in late March. Walt Disney In the news release said it has also obtained the right to close about 98 Disney Stores in the U.S. . The press release didn't list those stores.

Home Depot store closings (E. Brunswick, Rt 18 just put up their closing sign) ATLANTA - Nearly 7+ months after its chief executive said there were no plans To cut the number of its core retail stores, The Home Depot Inc. announced Thursday that it is shuttering 15 of them amid a slumping U.S. economy and Housing market. The move will affect 1,300 employees. It is the first time The world's largest home improvement store chain has ever closed a flagship Store for performance reasons. Its shares rose almost 5 percent. The Atlanta-based company said the underperforming U.S. stores Being closed represent less than 1 percent of its existing stores. They Will be shuttered within the next two months.

CompUSA (CLOSED) clarifies details on store Closings Any extended warranties purchased for products through CompUSA will be honored by a third-party provider, Assurant Solutions. Gift cards, rain checks, and rebates purchased prior to December 12 can be Redeemed at any time during the final sale. For those who have a gadget Currently in for service with CompUSA, the repair will be completed and the gadget will be returned to owners.

Macy's - 9 stores

Movie Gallery and Hollywood Video- 160 stores as part of reorganization plan to exit bankruptcy. The video rental company plans to close 400 of 3,500 Movie Gallery and Hollywood Video stores in addition to the 520 locations the video rental chain closed last fall.
UPDATE: Since I am not familiar with these stores, please take note of the comments left.

Sprint Nextel - 125 retail locations New Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse appears to have inherited a company bleeding subscribers by the thousands, and will now officially be dropping the ax on 4,000 employees and 125 retail locations. Amid the loss of 639,000 postpaid customers in the fourth quarter, Sprint will be cutting a total of 6.7% of its work force (following the 5,000 layoffs last year) and 8% of company-owned brick-and-mortar stores, while remaining mute on other rumors that it will consolidate its headqu arters in Kansas . Sprint Nextel shares are down $2.89, or nearly 25%, at the time of this writing.

J. C. Penney, Lowe's and Office Depot are scaling back

Ethan Allen Interiors: The company announced plans to close 12 of 300+stores in an effort to cut costs.

Wilsons the Leather Experts - 158 stores

Pacific Sunwear will close its 154 Demo stores after a review of strategic alternatives for the urban-apparel brand. Seventy-four & nbsp; underperforming Demo stores closed last May.
Sharper Image: The company recently filed for bankruptcy protection and announced that 90 of its 184 stores are closing. The retailer will still operate 94 stores to pay off debts, but 90 of these stores have performed poorly and also may close.

KB Toys posted a list of 356 stores that it is closing around the United States as part of its bankruptcy reorganization. To see the list of store closings, go to the KB Toys Information web site, and click on Press Information

Dillard's to Close More Stores. Dillard's Inc. said it will continue to focus on closing under-performing stores, reducing expenses and improving its merchandise in 2008. At the company's annual shareholder meeting, CEO William Dillard II said the company will close another six underperforming stores this year.

November 18, 2008

Grocery ABC's

I find it rather interesting as I pass a fellow shopper in the store to peer into their cart to see what they're buying. Doesn't it always make you wonder why they have some of the things they do in there? Hmmm...maybe those things are part of a really good recipe or I question - are they really going to eat 3, 1/2 gallons of ice cream????

Anywho.... I thought it would be fun to play a little Grocery Store ABC game. These are the things I frequent the store for in ABC form. Some of them were pretty tricky and some of them, I could have written a book on. So here goes>>>>

Apples, Anti-persperiant

Broccoli, bananas, bandaids, butter

Cereal, chicken, chicken nuggets, Coke, Campbell's soup, chips, candy, cream cheese, cheese

Detergent

Eggs

Fruit snacks, fruit

Grandma Sycamore bread, gum, grapes, goldfish

Huggies, hashbrowns

Instant Breakfast

Juice (oj)

Ketchup

Liquid Soap, lightbulbs

Mt. Dew, milk, M&M's

Newspapers (always looking for a few extra coupons!)

Olive oil, Oxy Clean

Popsicles, potatoes, pasta, paper towels

Quaker Oats

Ranch dressing, Ramen Noodles

Skippy peanut butter, scrubbing bubbles, sunflower seeds, Snuggle fabric softner

Tuna, toilet paper, tomatoes

U ????????

Vanilla, veggies

Water (bottled), wipes

X ????????

Yogurt

Ziploc baggies


I'm sure there are many that I missed, but you get the jist. So if you're game and want to play along - come up with the most frequent things you go to the store for. Tag! You're it....

November 13, 2008

Question of the day

Occasionally, I get questions asked that I'd like to address. Today's question is: "I go shopping on Wednesday and by the time I get there, the store is out of the items I wanted. What do you suggest?"

This is actually a good question. I will make several recommendations.

1 - If the sale is a really popular sale (like a General Mills, Campbells Soup, Quaker etc...), my suggestion is to know the dates of your sale (ex: the date the sale starts vs. ends). If you want the best selection you need to be to that store when it opens on the first day of the sale, to get the best selection. With the number of savvy shoppers out there, many people are looking over their ads and shopping for the same great buys you're after.

2 - Knowing that #1 is not possible for everyone the next thing I would suggest is knowing when the store you shop at gets their shipments in. If you know this information, you can try picking up these items after they have re-stocked their shelves.

3 - You can also pick up a raincheck for any missing items you may have wanted and could not pick up. If you have coupons that are associated with the purchase you need to make sure you buy these items with the raincheck and prior to your coupons expiring - otherwise you will only get the store deal and not the discount with the added coupons.

4 - You may also want to check at a 2nd store to see if you can pick up the items at a different location.

5 - Lastly - if you plan to buy a lot of a specific item, you can go to the customer service desk and inquire about ordering the number of items you'd like. This secures that you get these sale items and the number you want. *** Most stores will do a special order for you, but not all will.***

If you have specific questions that you'd like to ask - I'd love to hear them. Many people have good questions and this is a great way to address them. Feel free to email me at callmestacy@yahoo.com or leave a comment with a question.

This steal of a deal will be gone quickly...

Walmart has a couple of girls pajama's sets for $.97 a piece. Sizes are limited (I'm sure quantities are too).

Check out these links: Pink and Green (UPDATE: It looks like these are all gone - these kinds of deals go quickly)

I bought 2 pair for less than $2.00. I chose to have them shipped to my local Walmart, so there was no shipping fee.

These would make great gifts, sub-for-santa items or just to stock up. This was a deal that I just couldn't pass up! Get em quick before they're gone!

November 11, 2008

Ooey Gooey Easy Chocolate Chippers

I don't know what it is about this time of year, but I just want to bake. I guess it's that nostalgia of being at home when I was young and playing outside in the cool weather and then coming in to the smell of something yummy coming from the kitchen. Oh....the memories.

As promised I am posting my recipe for Easy Chocolate Chippers. I got a great deal on chocolate chips on a few weeks ago and decided today was the day for this yummy treat.

Remember these tasty morsels???


Easy Chocolate Chippers

2 1/2 C quick oats (or 2 3/4 old fashioned oats)

1 1/4 C flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp soda

In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together

1 C butter or margarine

3/4 C brown sugar

1/2 C sugar

1 egg

3 Tbsp water

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 bag of chocolate chips (I like a lot of chocolate chips - so I add the whole bag)

In a seperate bowl - cream together all the wet ingredients. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix well. Add the chocolate chips last, and stir with a spoon or spatula. Spoon cookie dough onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes. Makes 3 1/2 - 4 dozen.

They seem to stay moist and chewy longer when I use oatmeal. These are also good with different flavored chips (mint chips are another favorite). A yummy treat anytime. I hope you enjoy them as much as my family does.

November 5, 2008

Spent $91.31, Saved $296.22, bought 113 items

This is my all time best savings ever!!! I didn't even know how much I had spent/saved until I got home. My husband was floored with the savings. This was a great sale at Albertsons. I did 8 different transactions of $30 (give or take) each. I had to take two different pictures in order for you to see it all.


18 boxes of Chex Cereal (my hubby's favorite - I'm dedicating this shopping trip to his favorite cereal)

10 Knorr pasta/rice sides

7 boxes of Progresso Chicken broth

16 jars of Skippy Peanut Butter

15 boxes of Hamburger/Chicken Helper (some of them are pictured below)

5 bottles of Suave Kids 2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner

1 bunch of bananas

1 bag of Breezers cough drops




12 bottles of Wish Bone dressing (Italian & Ranch)

5 boxes of Betty Crocker cake mix

10 Warm Delights

13 boxes of Macaroni Grill boxed dinners


All of this boils down to 113 items - paid $91.31, saved $296.22, each item was an average of $.81 - can't beat that.

I would not normally have bought this much, but my husband's office is competing with another company to donate the most food to the food bank. I think a lot of this and a lot of what is in storage will be donated.

For those of you who are wondering - yes - I did roll out of bed, no - I did not comb my hair or brush my teeth (wish I had though), yes - I'm crazy to do this, but I LOVE IT!!!!!

If you want to learn how I did this - contact me at callmestacy@yahoo.com

November 4, 2008

Did you see the Smith's ad this week?

It looks like both Smith's and Albertson's will be competing for shoppers this week. The Smiths ad is also loaded with lots of products and sales. It will be hard not to shop both of these sales.

Did you know that you can go to Smith's website and load P&G coupons onto your Fresh Values card? This works great because once you've loaded these coupons onto your card you can shop at Smith with or without coupons. If you have a paper coupon for the same item(s) that you've already loaded onto your Fresh Value's card you get double the savings at the register.

You can also visit this link to load more Kroger coupons onto your card for even more savings.

Here's to some great sales this week! Check in and let me know how you did at the grocery store this week.

November 3, 2008

Sizzling Albertsons sale - (probably the best sale of the year)

Well this is the week of the best sale Albertson's will probably have this year. If any of you have any 5% off coupons that you've earned, this may be a good sale to use it on. So here goes....this is a General Mills/Unilever sale starting 11/5/08. Me, along with many of you will be there in our pajamas to get the best selection and deals.

This may be a little confusing so I'll try to make it as simple as I can. The deal is when you buy $30 worth of GM/Unilever products you get a $15 catalina (coupon that prints at the register) off your next purchase. So if you have a cart full of stuff, buy $30 at a time so you will get multiple catalina's. If you buy your whole cart in one transaction - you will only get one $15 catalina. So if you break up your shopping trip you can use the first $15 catalina towards your next purchase and so on and so forth.....make sense?

I've had a sneak peak at the grocery list for this upcoming sale (most of you will get your ad's in tomorrow's mail), but there are quite a few 5 star items (almost every GM/Unilever product is a 5 star item).

Here are a few of the things you can expect to see:

All Laundry Detergent
Betty Crocker (brownie mix, cookie mix, frosting, hamburger helper, muffin mix, potatoes)
Bisquick
Chex Mix
Country Crock (spreads, side dish)
Degree deodorant
Dove (lotion, deodorant, shampoo/conditioner, soap)
General Mills cereal (Trix, Golden Grahams, Cheerios, Total Whole Grain, Chex)
Gold Medal Flour
Green Gian boxed veggies
Klondike
Knorr sides
Lipton (tea, rice/pasta sides, dry soup mix)
Pillsbury (toaster strudel, biscuits, cookies)
Pop Secret popcorn
Progresso (soup, broth)
Qtips
Ragu pasta sauce
Ramano's Macaroni Grill boxed meals
Skippy peanut butter
Slim Fast Optima bars
Suave (deodorant, lotion, shampoo/conditioner)
Totino's pizza rolls
Vaseline intensive care lotion
Wish-bone dressings
Yoplait (gogurt, kids multipack, trix)

Trust me - this is a sale you won't want to miss! You may want to start clipping your coupons tonight!!!! See you there on Wednesday morning - early!

November 2, 2008

Quick and easy nasal saline solution recipe

Hopefully you aren't suffering from the same crud that we have at my house. Now that there are no cold medications for our little ones (4 and under) to take, we're left with toughing in out. Last night we were supposed to gain an hour of sleep (through daylight savings). I think between my three kids - I was up every hour with one or the other of them. There was no extra hour of sleep for me!!! :(

I wanted to post a quick saline solution recipe to help relieve some of the stuffiness that kids get. My littlest hates it when I spray this up his nose, but it sure does clear him up for a little while. Enough that he can get to sleep.

I got this earlier this year when I went to an all night clinic thinking my littlest had an ear infection. I love the idea that it's homemade and it really saves $$ so I don't have to buy it from the store. The doctor gave us this jar and a really small syringe. I really didn't think it would work, but it clears my baby up.

Here's what the label says:

Nasal Saline

.2 (or .3) ml/cc in each nostril every hour as needed while awake. (The amounts .2 or .3 were for when my baby was about 4-6 months old. I still use this same amount - he's now 14 months. It seems to work pretty good. If you have an older child you may want to up the amounts slightly).

Mixture:

1/4 tsp salt in 6 oz of warm water.

Here's to the first cold of the season. Did I mention - I love this time of year, except when my kids get sick?

October 31, 2008

Pumpkin Seed Recipes

Happy Halloween! I've roasted pumpkin seeds in the past, but I haven't done it in a while. I decided I wanted to try it again this year - so my search for tasty recipes began. I haven't done any roasting yet, but wanted to post some recipes that sounded pretty good.

Cinnasweet Pumpkin Seeds (thanks to All Recipes)
4 cups pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dried
1/2 cup margarine, melted
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup white sugar, divided

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Combine the pumpkin seeds, margarine, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl; stir to coat the seeds. Spread the seeds in a single layer in a 10x15 inch jelly roll pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes; stir and return to oven for 15 minutes more; remove from oven and sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over the seeds; stir to coat. Return to oven and bake another 15 minutes before removing again to sprinkle with remaining sugar and stirring. Bake another 15 minutes. Allow to cool before serving. Store leftover seeds in an airtight container.


Pumpkin Seeds with Cinnamon and Salt (thanks to All Recipes)
4 cups pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
vegetable oil cooking spray

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Grease a cookie sheet and spread the seeds out in an even layer. Lightly sprinkle with salt and cinnamon.
Bake for about 5 minutes, then stir the seeds. Season with salt and cinnamon again. Continue baking, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until seeds are toasted.


Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (thanks to All Recipes)
1 1/2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons butter, melted
1 pinch salt

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
Toss seeds in a bowl with the melted butter and salt. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown; stir occasionally.

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds (thanks to All Recipes)
1 1/2 tablespoons margarine, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).
Combine the margarine, salt, garlic salt, Worcestershire sauce and pumpkin seeds. Mix thoroughly and place in shallow baking dish.
Bake for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds (thanks to All Recipes)
2 cups pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dried
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 drops hot pepper sauce

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line a baking pan with aluminum foil.
Stir together the pumpkin seeds and butter in a bowl. Add the salt, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and hot pepper sauce; stir. Spread the seeds in a single layer on the baking pan.
Bake in preheated oven until crispy, about 45 minutes.

October 30, 2008

Free Donuts - Krispy Kreme - Election Day


If you show up at your local Krispy Kreme on November 4th (Election Day) wearing your "I Voted" sticker, they will reward you with a free star shaped donut with sprinkles. There's nothing like a tasty treat after you've voted. For all of you who have done the early voting - hang onto your stickers and stop in (otherwise wait until the red light's on and pick up a free glazed one).

October 29, 2008

Not every grocery trip is worthy of a picture

I'm sure that as you go along you will have these kinds of shopping trips. I went to the store yesterday and it was just one of those trips. You know....the one's where everything you need is NOT on sale. I had one of those trips. I'm just here to say that not all sales are equal. I was a little discouraged yesterday. I spent $102.13 and only saved $53.14. Not one of my best trips to the store - I would have to say. But now that I have a grundle of candy, the chicken, carrots, noodles and celery for the soup I need to make for the trunk or treat, I've put all that behind me. I also picked up some new plastic bowls (for the kids - to match the ones I already have), sunflower seeds (for hubby), bread (just to have a couple of extra loaves)....etc.... I chose to go to Albertson's again and the up side to this trip was that I did earn another 5% off a future grocery trip (I have to use both of mine before the end of November). Let's hope that this upcoming sale at Albertson's (the one the mgr of my local Albertsons' said would be really, really good) is really worth it! I'm ready to cash in.

I just wanted to check in and let you know that even though I coupon well - this was not one of my shining moments and it happens to all of us. :(

October 27, 2008

Yummy Pumpkin Waffles with Caramel Syrup

Have I mentioned that I really like this season? It seems like I kind of take a break during the summer and I don't really cook as much. When you get that crisp chill in the air - it just makes me want to cook and bake. So here's a couple of things I've cooked up lately.

Pumpkin Waffles
(My husband's office had breakfast last week and this was a recipe someone in his office brought in)

Mix together:
2 1/2 C flour
1 T baking pdwr
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves

Mix in a large bowl:
4 large eggs
2 C buttermilk (I added 1 Tbsp of lemon juice to 1 cup of milk to make buttermilk)
1/2 C brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 C pumpkin
1/4 C real melted butter

Add dry ingredients to wet and stir together.
Bake in waffle iron - this batter also works for pancakes.

Caramel Syrup
(I borrowed this recipe from Everyday Food Storage and boy it was delicious!!!)

3/4 C butter
1 1/2 C sugar
2 T light corn syrup
3/4 C buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla

Combine ingredients in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 5 minutes (it will rise and get frothy, use a deeper saucepan to allow for it to get bubbley).
I actually made these for dinner one night and my family inhaled them. They were quite a hit and we had about 4 waffles left over to breakfast the next morning. I hope you enjoy them too. It's a great way to use any extra pumpkin you may have left over from another recipe.

October 26, 2008

An easy creepy treat

I think I saw this idea on Family Fun's website last year. I want to send a treat with my son for his pre-school class and thought this would be a fun treat for my kids to assemble and one that any kid would also really like.
Here's all you need:

1 bag of suckers (Tootsie pops or Blow pops work good)

Googley eyes

Pipe cleaners

scissors

glue gun

Take 4 pipe cleaners and cut them in half. Use the (now shorter) set of 4 pipe cleaners and twist them around the base of the sucker, so you have 4 legs on each side. Next - bend the pipe cleaners into legs and spread them out. Lastly - hot glue the googley eyes onto the pipe cleaner and viola - you have a fun creepy treat to hand out. This was a great project for my kids to help out with. I'm all about fun and easy!

I could only find one bag of black pipe cleaners - so we compromised and used brown too. I think any color would be fun.

I'm always looking for some fun ideas - if you have any to share - let me know! Have fun making you're creepy treats!



October 24, 2008

Free Sample of Haydee Chocolate truffles

I came across this link today and quickly signed up. When you get there, the chocolates look delicious. I don't know how long this link will be good, so hurry and sign up before it's too late! I hope mine come soon - this is a treat that I may not be willing to share!

Rumor has it.....

Albertson's is planning a "really big" sale coming soon. I stopped into the Albertson's near my house and caught the store manager. As we were talking he told me that there is a major sale coming within the next couple of weeks. During our conversation he said that they have to order about 5 weeks in advance and that he had ordered for this big sale a couple of weeks ago. So my guess is within the next 2-3 weeks we should see something big from Albertson's. So hang tight - I know some sales are better than others. He wouldn't tell me what the sale was, but he compared it to the General Mills sale. Everyone ready for an early morning?

Also, I noticed that the store I visited had signs up advertising $.10 off each gallon of gas at their fuel station. So I filled up with gas today and paid $2.83 - best price I've seen in a really long time! Check your local Albertson's to see if they are participating. The sale goes from 10/24 - 10/26.

October 22, 2008

Free Pumpkin Carving patterns

As you may have noticed from previous blogs - I'm not the most creative person, but I sure like to try. I came across a few websites that are offering free pumpkin carving patterns. These are pretty easy to do (I've done them before). A couple of the websites even have some great tips for carving. Pick a good one!

Link 1

Link 2 (scroll to the bottom)

Link 3

Link 4 (scroll to the bottom)

Some of these sites have both free patterns and ones that you can buy. If you're creative enough, you could probably come up with some pretty good patterns of your own. Happy carving.

October 20, 2008

Halloween Wreath

Every now and then, I get this itching to be crafty. I really have no talent when it comes to scrapbooking or other cute crafty things, but once in a blue moon something I put together actually turns out pretty cute. I have to say I'm rather fond of my Halloween Wreath. I got the idea from the October issue of All You magazine (can only be purchased through subscription or at Walmart).

Here's what I started with:
  • 1 styrofoam wreath
  • 1 can black matte crafting spray paint
  • A variety of fall silk flowers (they don't need to be Fall flowers - I bought them more for color - although tulips would look kind of silly in this type of arrangement)
  • A few halloween embellishments
  • 1 package of googly eyes

Take your foam wreath and spray paint it black (it doesn't have to be perfect - the flowers will cover a lot of it up)

Also spray your flowers black (don't spend a lot on flowers - you can get them at the dollar store). Better yet, you might be able to find a wreath that's already been put together at the DI or another 2nd hand store. All you would need to do is spray it black.

I also took and painted the little wooden embellishments and borrowed the kids glitter glue to jazz them up a bit.

Tip # 1: Make sure the area you are working in while spray painting is well ventilated. (I did it in the garage and only opened the garage door part way - I should have opened the whole door. I got a little light headed breathing all those fumes.).


Tip # 2: Use gloves (garden, surgical, yellow kitchen gloves - anything works) while spray painting. I jumped the gun and when out and sprayed away. I've got several finger nails that are still black with spray paint. I sprayed everything almost a week ago.

Tip # 3: Don't forget that hot glue gets really, really hot. I burned the tip of one of my fingers gluing the second flower on. In my mind I was reviewing glue gun safety as I sat down to start. Then all of the sudden there was a bunch of &*$%^#@*&^* being said!!!!


Here's the end result. The flowers don't need to be totally black - they just need to look like they are dying - they look good with muted colors. With a little hot glue and some time - this is what I put together.

Here's another shot of it sitting up. I plan to hang it on my front door. I took a couple of pictures of it out there, but it was too dark outside to pick up any of the detail. So just imagine this cute wreath on a door.


This was very simple to put together and just my caliber. No bow tying, no exactness, simple instructions and pretty inexpensive. If you have any cute or fun Halloween decorations I would love to see them. Send me a comment so I can check out your cute creations!

October 18, 2008

This is what happens when you don't go shopping in a couple of weeks....

Looking at the ads the last couple of weeks did not push me out the door to do any major shopping. Once I cleaned up my cold storage and did a little mental inventory, I was not rushing to the store for a lot of things. So this is what a couple of weeks of no shopping will do to you. You go to the store and you leave with one of everything!


I took my 6 year old daughter with me tonight. She broke both arms a couple of weeks ago (she parachuted out of a swing and landed with both arms straight out)....anywho she wanted to get out of the house because she was going a little stir crazy. So I took her along. You know it's a long shopping trip when you have to stop for a potty break in between!

This list is a little too long to itemize, but you can see that I nearly bought one (sometimes more) of everything at the store. I went to my favorite store - Albertson's this week.

I bought 85 items and paid $143.44 which
makes each item about $1.69. This is certainly not the best shopping trip I've had, but I did find some good buys. I bought a lot of things that I did not have coupons for this time. That's sometimes how shopping goes. Also knowing that I only picked up a few basic items in the last 2 weeks, doesn't make the dollar amount I spent today seem so bad.

I had to take 3 pictures just so you could see everything.


Remember a few weeks ago when Albertson's had a great sale on their Hershey's chocolate chips ($.70 a bag)? Well I cashed in on my rain check tonight as well. I really wanted to try their Cinnamon chips, but they didn't have any. It appears that people are still clearing the shelves because of their rain checks as well. Albertson's was allowing people to buy 40 per rain check. All I got was milk chocolate though. They were out of all the other flavors. Milk chocolate is my favorite anyway! I'm happy.

Yes - that is 20 bags of chocolate chips - I'm going to post my favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe in a blog coming soon. I can't wait to make some!
Don't forget to get a rain check on items the store is sold out of. Don't let the savings slip through your fingers. If it's a store you regularly visit, just plan to pick it up on a future shopping trip. Most stores will even allow you to place a special order if you're looking for a large amount. (I personally, would really like it if people would do this - instead of clearing the shelves - it makes other shoppers pretty frustrated to come into the store and find all the sale items gone).

October 16, 2008

Macaroni Grill dinner mixes in a box

Oh baby! Can I say YUMMY!!!!! I signed up with Pssst.... (it's part of General Mills) and they sent me a free box of Ramono's Macaroni Grill, creamy basil. The Macaroni Grill is one of my favorite restaurants to begin with (I wish I lived near one), but now to have these dinners in a box is great. I tried it out tonight and what a hit! My family loved it. I got about 5 good sized servings out of it. My husband is kind of partial to hamburger helper - but now I think I'll be stocking up on the good stuff. I will definatley be looking for these on sale.

You ought to sign up with Pssst.... to see what they send you in the mail. I would love to know what products you get and if they were good. It's always nice to know if a new product is worth trying or not.

Halloween Bread recipes (Rhodes Bake-n-serve)


I love to use Rhodes bake-n-serve bread/rolls. Maybe some of you caught the segment they did this week on Studio 5. It was pretty fun to watch and there were some mummy - I mean yummy ideas for spooky Halloween dishes.













Check out their site for more delicious recipes and ideas. There are some great ideas on the home page as well as in recipes and under sculpture (yummy mummy, autumn leaf, barn bat, chili handwitch, scaredy cat & spider dip bowl). Under basic they also have some bone chillin' breadsticks. Don't forget to look at the other tabs for more great recipes.
Yum....I can smell the bread cooking now, I love this time of year!

October 13, 2008

Boo'd Poems

I live in a neighborhood where every year we get Boo'd. I came across some fun poems if you wanted to start this in your neighborhood. I can not take credit for these cute poems, they came from other blogs.

The air is cool the season fall
Soon Halloween will come to all
The spooks are after things to do
In fact, a spook brought this to you
"BOO" is a shield from witching hour
Just hang it up and watch its power
On your front door is where it works
It wards off spooks and scary jerks
The treats that came with crypted note
Are yours to keep, enjoy them both
The power comes when friends like you
Will copy this and make it TWO
Then others here among our friends
Will give warm fuzzies that do not end
We'll all have smiles upon our face
No one will know who "BOO"ed whose places
Just one short day to work your spell
Or a big ZAP will strike your tail
And don't forget a nifty treat,
Like something cute or something sweet
Please join fun, let's really hear it
And spread some "BOO"s and Halloween spirit.


The Phantom has been here with a treat just for you,
He crept to your door in a fog misty blue.
This isn't a trick, this treat isn't for free,
Now it's your turn and the Phantom you'll be!
The Phantom loves treats and also loves rhymes.
Take you this paper and copy TWO times.
So he won't strike again, hang this on your window or door.
Take this and a treat and deliver TWO more
To a neighbor or friend in the black of the night.
Pound on their door, and give 'em a fright
Then by Halloween night, there surely should be
Phantoms on all of the doors that we see.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!
BOO!
To our good friends on our street;
Our home's locations made us meet,
You now have been Boo'd, but who could we be?
We'll never tell,it's a secret you see.
We placed these goodies for you and yours
Then we ran fast after knocking the door!
Happy Halloween!
Place this Boo on your front door
And make sure you Boo two neighbors of yours!
You could put this with a cute Halloween picture and surprise neighbors and friends. If not, you could certainly do it to your own house and surprise your kids! (I was having problems with the spacing on this last poem - sorry)

October 12, 2008

Some Halloween Fun

I have to admit, I really love Halloween. I hate to dress up though (unless I could find a really cool Queen of Hearts costume from Alice in Wonderland - I think she's silly and mixed up, kinda like me). But I love that spooky feel, the crisp air, the leaves that change colors and the smell of the bucket of candy that you get when you're finished trick-or-treating (I know - silly huh, but it's true).

Another reason I love this time of year is because there are so many fun things to do. I'll list a few and if you have some ideas or things you'd like to share - I would love to hear from you too.
Note: This is not a complete list, I'm only listing things I am aware of, that's why there's an invitation to share what you know.

Day Farms (2500 W Gentile Rd, Layton 801.546.4316)
Pumpkin Patch Hayrides
Oct 10th - Oct 27th
*depending on pumpkin availability and weather conditions)
Mondays & Fridays 4pm to 7pm
Saturdays 1pm to 7pm
$5 per person (includes hayride & pumpkin)
1 & under are free

Black Island Farms (Syracuse) - Haunted corn maze, slides, food, farmers market and more (click here for coupon).

Cornbellys (Lehi) - pig races, cow train, cornbelly mountain, haunted maze, food and more (look for coupon link on website).

Pumpkin Walk - (Syracuse) - Free

Pumpkin Walk - (North Logan) - Free

Trick-or-Treat Street - Southtowne Expo Center (Salt Lake)

Gardner Village - (Salt Lake) - always fun things planned during the month of October

Watch for some more fun Fall/Halloween/October ideas....

October 10, 2008

Huge Shout Out

I have to send a HUGE THANK YOU to Tracie one of my dearest friends for helping me make my blog cuter than it was before. I still need to go in and add a few things and hopefully I'll be able to play with the backgrounds a bit, but she was a huge help. Tracie, Tonya - thanks for a fun GNO! Lets do it again, I loved the laughs and fun.

Also...... rumor has it that Tracie may even be interested in designing your blog. If you're interested check out her blog and send her a comment ;)

October 7, 2008

A huge load has been lifted

So if you go back and read my blog on August 25th (I'm embarrassed that it took me so long to get my act together), you'll see that my pantry/cold storage was seriously lacking in organization.

When you look at this - I want you to know that I started 1 year ago. I purchased things on sale, with coupons. I added a little bit to each shopping trip and this is where I am today.

Well I'm happy to report that both food and non food items have found a home. Take a look at my food storage. It took my husband and I about 2 1/2 hours to sort all this stuff and it still needs a little work - but I'm happy to have it up off the floor and in a place where I can see how much I have.
This is a picture from the back of my storage room (the door is toward the top right of the picture)
This is in the same spot looking left. I decided to put all my "daily/3-6 month" stuff along the left. Some of these fruit snacks and breakfast bars/granola bars still need a little organization.

This picture and the next are just close ups of my "daily/3-6 month supply" stuff. I'm still trying to label everything and also make sure it's FIFO'd (first in, first out).
This is a shot from the door of my cold storage (I put my soups first - it seems like I'm always going down for some). By the way - I have over 200 boxes/bags of cereal - yeah, I think we're set for a while.
This is all my paper products, bandaids, soap, detergent, shampoo/conditioner, baggies, tin foil, saran wrap, cleaning supplies etc.....
Along the right wall, I have all of my long term food storage. I have wheat, honey, powdered milk, sugar, rice, and cannery stuff.
Some more long term storage.

Lastly - this is my door, my floor (that you can now see) and the water barrels still empty of water. My husband is building some mini pallet things with casters on the bottom so that we can roll them and keep them up off the cement. We have 7 barrels - I guess this needs to be higher on the "honey-do-list."

I would have been a smarter shopper if I had known what my inventory was all along.

I hope I never have to rely on this food storage because of some disaster or layoff or anything like that, but I am very thankful to know that we have these reserves in case we need them. If you continue to plug away and buy things at their lowest prices your storage will build just like mine.

As you watch my future shopping trips, they probably won't be huge truckloads of stuff. What I am focusing on now is filling the holes in my storage.

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