Sunday, March 28, 2010

3-Day ads, just in time for Easter

Sunday, March 28, 2010

3 coupon inserts today

SmartSourceEyemasters: (3/28)

SmartSourceSouper!Salad!: (3/28)

RedplumJC Penney Optical: (3/28)

Other Coupons You Shouldn't Miss:

Kmart: FREE $10 gift card with NEW Rx.

Kmart: FREE $100 gift when you TRANSFER FOUR (4) Rx.

Basha's 3-day sale
thru Tuesday
(back of Sports Section)

Spiral Cut Ham - 97c/lb. Limit 1.
  • Even if you're not serving ham, spiral cut is easily separated and stored in 1-lb packages for lunch meat. Makes GREAT sandwiches.
Whole Beef Tenderloin - $4.97/lb. Limit 1.
  • This is boneless. Excellent price. Have butcher slice into Filet Mignon steaks and roasts
Strawberries, 99c/lb. Limit 4.
  • Make preserves.
Potatoes, 79c/5 lb bag. - cheaper at Fry's.

In-Ad shocker coupons to use with above purchases. $15 minimum purchase required:
  • Dreyers Ice Cream, $1.88, limit 1
  • 18 ct, Extra Large Eggs, $1.29. Limit 1
  • Food Club Butter, 1 lb., $1.29. Limit 1

Albertson's 3-day sale
thru Tuesday
(back of Business Section)

Spiral Cut Ham - $1.17/lb. Bone In.
  • See notes above. Cheaper at Basha's. No limit on quantity, though.
Albertson's Milk, gallon, $1.88. Limit 2.

Betty Crocker Potatoes, $1. Use coupon from TODAY's Smartsource (Eyemasters) - 25c/1. Final FREE
Green Giant Steamers, $1. Use coupon from TODAY's Smartsource (Eyemasters) - 40c/1. Final FREE

Fry's 3-day sale
thru Tuesday
(Wrap Around Front Section)

Spiral Slice Ham, $1.27/lb
Potatoes, 5-lb bag, 58c
Fry's Potato Chips, 11-11.5 oz. $1
Kroger Valu Bread, 88c/loaf
Sockeye Salmon, WILD CAUGHT. Aqua Star, Frozen. $4.97/lb.

  • I'm still eating these from the last time they wet on sale. They are WONDERFUL, nicely packaged, vacuum-sealed. Beautiful fish. Do not miss this.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Remember the Maruchan Ramen Lunch Cups I told you to buy a month ago?

I take it back. Don't buy it. My son made some for a midnight snack, dropped it on the carpet, tried to shampoo it out and called me into his room.

"This stuff will kill you, Mom," he says and points to the carpet where a bright yellow patch remained. "It won't come out."

Just imagine what it's doing to our insides.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spring Break - Am away

We're in a place with a kitchen. We brought some non-perishables from home - pantry items, but I'm pretty much shopping like the rest of the world...

which means I'm $135 poorer. That's even with using a $10 catalina from the Safeway Frozen Food Promo.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cheap Lunch

I'm embarrassed about this week's stockpile post because I'm going to recommend getting a bunch of something that really isn't good for you.

Okay, it's horrible for you.

But if your kids love it and they're bugging you about an afterschool snack, or you're grabbing a lunch for them as you're running out the door...

El Rancho Market at 19th Ave and Dunlap, and also in Chandler, is selling the Maruchan Instant Ramen CUPS for 20c/each. I think there's a limit on these of 10. If not, I'd stockpile a pallet. Or send each of your kids through another line with 10 cups and 2 bucks.

There, I did it. And during Lent. Yikes.

Which is why you should balance that karma with a nice can of tuna. Or three. Everybody has it on sale this week. It's cheapest at Fry's for 44c/can.

Hmmm...I wonder what a Ramen-Tuna Casserole would taste like?

Gosh. Tuna and Ramen. Is that all I have for you this week?

No. I also have Long Grain Brown Rice for 59c/lb in the bulk bins at Sprouts. Think Tuna/Rice casserole.

Also, Aim or Pepsodent toothpaste, 50c/tube at Albertsons. But not in the casserole.

Remember, my stockpiling mind thinks different. I look for basics (like the Maruchan Lunch Cups...) to buy at rock bottom so I can forget about them otherwise. I should be surprised to find myself running low on items like this. Who wants to be dashing to the store at 10 p.m. to pay four bucks for a tube of toothpaste so everybody can brush their teeth in the morning?

EDITED TO ADD: And for the coupon-minded among you...FREE PAPER TOWELS AT ALBERTSONS!!

The Marcal Small Steps Paper Towels are $1 for the single roll. Use the $1 off 1 (try if for free) coupon from the Smartsource 1/31 insert to get it for FREE.

(This is an unadvertised sale, but I've taken advantage of it at several Albertsons, so have fun. One coupon per person per transactions. Send your kids through their own checkouts if you have extra coupons.)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Think Different

Every once in a while, my son will open the refrigerator, open the freezers, open the pantry and announce, 'We have no food.'

Is he kidding? Most of the time I can't fit one more box of anything into my walk-in pantry without a shoehorn. Often we eat what I bought that day because there's no way I'll wedge it into the freezer. Leftovers become a race against time, a game to see if we can eat them before they become science projects.

My son doesn't actually mean we have no food. He means nothing obvious comes to mind to do with what's there. It's the same old cereal and bread and potatoes and fruit and crackers - edible, but not new.

So do something different. Anything. Scoop yesterday's homemade rice pudding (preferably brown rice) into a bowl. Slice a banana over it, add some milk. Poof! Breakfast.

Slice an avocado between two slices of homemade whole-wheat bread. Top with some leftover salsa. Voila! Lunch.

Mash up those chickpeas you pressure cooked over the weekend. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Top with a sliced up hardboiled egg. Serve over a bed of spinach, sprinkle with garlic guessed it! Dinner!

Couple of things to note with this menu - There's no meat, yet it's high in protein (the milk in the rice pudding, the egg, the chickpeas, and even the whole-wheat bread). Plenty of whole grains. Good fats (avocado, egg, olive oil), vegetables and fruit. Total fat and calorie count is low and it's cheap. Dirt cheap. Yet tasty.

Very tasty.

So tasty I don't care that there aren't any super-screaming sale deals this week. Fry's has a Daytona promo, buy 10 get $3 off. The Purex laundry detergent and softener is a good price ($2.19 WYB10). If you have coupons, it's even sweeter and I've heard rumors that it also spits out catalinas for money off your next order. (I never count on the catalinas. I never seem to get any). Also, Basha's has toothpaste, deodorant and shampoo for $1 or less this week and milk is $1.88/gallon at Fry's and Albertson's. Food City has avocados 3/$1.

It's a good week to check out El Rancho Market, or stop by Pro's Ranch and see what's doing in the produce department. It's a good week to shake out the pantry, burrow through the freezer, or get creative with all the plastic containers clogging your fridge with a cup of broccoli, two slices of roast, those 3 uneaten biscuits. Clean out the vegetable drawer. Do something with the fruit and produce. Feed it to your family before you feed it to the garbage disposal.

It's easy to eat cheap. You just have to buy it at rock bottom, then eat what you have.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What I did yesterday

I went to Fresh and Easy. They had 18-packs of eggs for $1.57.
Don't go looking for your car keys, the sale ended yesterday. (HEY! It was in my newsletter. See previous post.) I TAKE IT BACK!!! THOSE EGGS ARE STILL ON SALE AT FRESH AND EASY!!!! Don't have a $5 off $20? There's a $3 off $30 in the Wednesday ad for Fresh and Easy.
And I bought 13 cartons of them.
I already did the math for you. That's 234 large eggs for a total of $20.41.
Fresh and Easy had mailed me a $5 off $20 coupon, so I actually paid $15.41 for the lot.
That works out to about $1.20 for 18 or 79c/dozen. (I'll finish the math. 13 18-packs is equal to 19.5 dozen eggs.)
How come I did that?

Um...I like egg nog?

No, because eggs haven't been super cheap in a pretty long time and I expect they won't be super cheap until Easter and eggs last a really, really long time. Seriously, I've eaten eggs four, five, six weeks past their 'sell by' date and haven't died yet. (Sell-by on these eggs is 2/22).
I'll deny that if ever pressed by the media, by the way.
Besides, I couldn't use the 5 off 20 until I'd spent 20 and I'm not a Fresh and Easy shopper because I'm a better cook than they are.

So say these eggs are good until the end of March, or 8 wks from now. 234 divided by 8 is about 29, or almost 2.5 dozen eggs/week.
Ha! Not so overwhelming anymore, is it? Don't worry, I'll probably freeze a lot of them.
Now that I'm into the numbers, 29 eggs a week works out to a little more than one egg per day for each of my four family members. Those numbers look a lot less overwhelming. So let's call it a 4-week supply, give everybody in my family two eggs a day at breakfast, and serve it to them over fresh homemade whole wheat bread.
(use the search box on the side of my blog here to find out about the bread)
I just provided my family a healthy
(I poached the eggs)
high protein breakfast for the entire month for under 20 bucks.
I'm allowing for electricity and ingredients for the bread baking.
See, now I'm not a nut-case with 234 eggs in my garage refrigerator. I'm a provident provider ensuring frugal brain-enhancing choline and eye-protecting lutein for my family.

Mama always said, 'It's all a matter of how you look at things, honey.'

Since that sale is over, I'll catch ya back tomorrow on what to stockpile this week. Mama also told me, 'Best you get all the beauty rest you can, baby.'



If you have to use a $3 off $30 coupon, you will have to buy 20 18-packs. That will give you 360 eggs or 30 dozen at 94.6c/dozen. That makes you only 126 eggs nuttier than me. I say...

Maybe you could go in on them with a friend?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

So what's good this week?

This is a portion of the typical newsletter I end my CouponSense subscribers when the new ads come out. My recommendations for stockpiling follows, but the information is pretty much the same as what I include in my newsletter.


Fry's is having their Mega-Event. Buy 10 of the participating items, get $5 off. Much of the following is part of the deal. With coupons, you can save even more on these items and there are items I included in the list for my subscribers, which are only good deals when combined with coupons.

Hunt's or Rotel Tomatoes *49¢ ea.
Purina Cat Chow *3.99 ea. coupon for $1 on Purina Cat Chow makes this a good deal.
Electrasol Dishwasher Detergent *2.99 ea.
Mustard Potato Salad 10 for $10 My kids take one of these for lunch.
Bill Johnson's BBQ Sauce 10 for $10

Notable at Safeway

Product Rancher's Reserve® Boneless Beef Round Steak
1.57 lb Grind some for hamburger
Product O Organics(TM) Salads
5 to 9-oz. Selected varieties. Low Prices on Fresh Produce
1.98 ea
Product Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent
55 to 68.75-oz. 2x Liquid. Selected varieties. (ON SATURDAY AND SUNDAY ONLY)
final $2.49
for $1 off 2 coupon
Product 3-lb. Bag California Clementines
Low Prices on Fresh Produce
2.47 ea
Product Lucerne® Creamery Fresh or Safeway SELECT® Ice Cream
1.5 to 1.75-qt. Selected varieties.
Product Lucerne® Shredded or Chunk Cheese
32-oz. Selected varieties.
Product Post Honey Bunches of Oats
14.5-oz. or General Mills Lucky Charms 11.5-oz. Cereal.
1.88 coupons for the Lucky Charms
Product Pepsi® and Tostitos Tortilla Chips
Buy 3 participating Pepsi® (12-pk., 12-oz. cans. 6-pk., 16.9-oz. or 24-oz. bottles. Selected varieties.) and 1 bag of Tostitos Tortilla Chips (9 to 13-oz. Selected varieties.)
Product Signature Cafe® Pizza
16" Family Size Authentic self-rising crust. Your choice of Five Cheese blend or Pepperoni. Serves 4 to 5.
Product Anthony's Pasta
12 to 16-oz. Selected varieties.
Product 5-lb. Bag Idaho Russet Potatoes
5-lb. Bag
68¢ ea

Doritos 99c with In-Ad coupon and add'l $10 purchase.

At Albertson's

Mix or Match- Check Ad. I have my eye on the Sun Dishwashing Liquid. I can't tell on the computer, so I'm hoping it's a larger size.
10 FOR $10
Jan 27 - Feb 2
Select Varieties & Sizes

Albertsons Cereal
10 FOR $10
Good price. Good cereal.
12.25-18 oz. or Fruit Snacks 5.4 oz., Select Varieties

Land O Lakes Spreadable Butter
10 FOR $10
Whenever you can get butter for less than $2/lb, it's a good day.
8 oz., Select Varieties

Albertsons Half & Half
Good price. Buy it.
32 oz., Select Varieties

Flock & Feast Bird Seed
In honor of Bird Feeding Month. Or week. Or whatever.
20 lb.

Albertsons Pasta and Pasta Sauce
10 FOR $10
Never pay more than a buck for pasta nor more than a buck for jarred sauce. NEVER.
16 oz., Pasta Sauce 24 oz. or Garlic Bread 10 oz., Select Varieties

Chicken Breast
$1.57 lb.
If you didn't go to El Rancho Market a few weeks ago and snag them at $1.37/lb, now you gotta shell out 20c/lb more.
Boneless, Skinless

Hershey’s Single Bars
2 for $1

1.3-2.25 oz.





The stuff's not fancy, but if you need tea...

Selected varieties, 22 to 100 ct
Breakfast & Cereal

$1.88 ea.

Figure it this way, the FREE MILK is worth 50c/box ($1.99/4).
FREE Gallon of Bashas’ MILK Whole, 2%, 1% or fat free ($1.99 value with Thank You Card) Limit 2 free milks per customer, Selected varieties and sizes as shown, When you purchase four Kellogg's Cereals at $1.88 ea. in a single transaction


Selected varieties, vegetables 13.5 to 15.25 oz, ketchup 24 oz, bbq sauce 18 oz
General Merchandise

2 for $5

Does not come in HE that I know of, but I've used this brand before and it's pretty good. No real deals on fabric softener, so this is what I'll be buying because I'm almost out.
Selected varieties, Sun Burst 2X liquid 62.5 oz, Sun Ultra 49 oz, Sun Classic powder 77 oz, Sun Cuddle Softener liquid 65 load, sheets 100 c t
Meat & Poultry

$4.99 ea

In case you don't feel like cooking...
Family size chipotle, savory or malibu $6.99 ea, Original Size Guaranteed In-Stock & Fresh Between 4pm –7pm or IT’S FREE!

First 1 please

39¢ lb

You have to buy these one bag at a time, but at this price, it's worth the extra trips.
Sold in a 10 lb bag

$1.49 lb

Spring is coming!
New crop
Soups & Canned Goods

Bumblebee Tuna


This is an excellent price for tuna. Stock up price.

Selected varieties, tuna in water or oil 5 oz, beans 15 to 15.5 oz

Phoenix Ranch Market

  • Wednesday is Produce Special Day
  • Thursday is Meat Special Day
  • Friday is a grab bag of deals


  • Best price on eggs - $1.59, 18 ct at Fresh and Easy
  • Best price on sandwich loaf bread - 99c for Food City Sandwich Loaf, 24 oz at Food City

Okay, Great. Very pretty newsletter, Mindy. Beautiful columns. So what are you stockpiling?

The bags of chicken at Basha's. For 50 bucks, you can buy 120 pounds - enough to feed a big chicken dinner to a family of four once a week for the next year.

Pretty good, huh?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Take a can of tube biscuits...

Roll out on a cookie sheet.

Top with the last of the Ragu (tomato-based or the cheesy stuff or both, it doesn't matter), the last shreds of cheese, those last pieces of lunchmeat and those few pieces of leftover steamed broccoli.

Fold over like you're wrapping a present. Or roll it up a little.

Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

Slice and serve to family (tell them you slaved for hours and it's a homemade pseudo-quiche, pizza, calzone, pot pie. Whatever works.)

Be a hero.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Here's what I'm stocking up on this week

The sales have not been as exciting as in months past. To be expected, this stuff goes in cycles. So I look for one item that'd I think is worth buying in bulk. Last week, it was peanut butter. This week, it would have to be the boneless, skinless chicken breasts at Basha's ($1.37/lb) and the 7-bone chuck roasts at Safeway.

(P.S. It's Wednesday and brown onions are 7 lbs/99c at Pro's Ranch Market today only.)

I thought of the onions because I was thinking about the roasts, mostly about the bones in the roasts which can be, well...roasted. For beef stock.

(roast bones in oven with some onions and carrots and celery and whatnot, deglaze pan when finished, put in stockpot and simmer for a really long time.)

Beef Stock and onions sound like soup to me. Sound like French onion soup, and with the stock basically for free and the onions near free and all that cold, rainy weather coming in...

/end free association

If you can't get to Pro's Ranch today and you don't mind braving the rain tomorrow, Food City has onions 5 lbs/99c Thursday only. And Roma tomatoes for 50c/lb. Mmmm...I picked up some Avocados and cilantro at Pros Ranch. Now I'm thinking about arranging it on a plate and topping with a poached egg...

/end second free association

Kroger brand OJ is $1.99/gallon at Fry's this week. Milk is cheapest at Fry's, $1.59/gallon and Albertson's has some generics on sale, check their ad, that are worth a stop-in.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Peanut Butter

The Kroger brand is $1 for an 18 ounce jar (EDITED TO ADD: AT FRY'S!!! sheesh). I just bought 20 jars, about a year's supply for our family. Sometimes, with coupons, peanut butter is cheaper, but that's rare, like last week and I hadn't seen it cheap with or without coupons for quite a while before that. Think of all those cheap lunches for the kids...And PB and J on homemade whole wheat bread (see several posts ago) is a pretty healthy lunch.

Orange Juice is 88c/half gallon at Fry's (so long as you are there).

Basha's has value packs of chuck steak (bone-in) for $1.27/lb. We had this the other night for dinner. It was good. My son made it. He tenderizes with lemon juice first. Makes all the difference. Otherwise, I've been picking up toilet paper from Marcal, 1 4-pack at a time. It's free with coupons, but you have to already have the coupon to take advantage. If you want lots of free toilet paper, check out CouponSense, put my name in as your instructor (Mindy C*****) and I'll show you how.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The GINORMOUS shopping trip

Yesterday, I spent $120 at Fry's.

I'll let that sink in a moment.

My kids eyes grew wide to see the total climb and climb. "Gosh, Mom," my daughter said, "I can't remember when you've spent that much."

Neither can I. So I went to the handy dandy savings spreadsheet on the CouponSense website, sorted by out-of-pocket amounts on my list of savings and...

Since joining CouponSense, the most I spent on groceries in a single trip was about $81. On March 31 of last year and again on October 11.

Most of my shopping trips are in the $0 to $40 range. Cool.

Yesterday, I went hog wild, so to speak, on salmon. Fry's has Wild Caught Sockeye for $4.88/lb. I get a senior discount (no, it's not mine, it's the husband's), so I took advantage of an additional 10% savings on everything.

The Sockeye is well worth it. The fillets are boneless, flash frozen (as in, frozen on the boat shortly after being caught) and are shrinkwrapped in about 2 to 2.5 lb packages. I purchased 8 packages or about 19 pounds total. That's good for 8 to 15 meals with plenty of leftovers. We're having some tonight, in a maple/orange/soy glaze. Super easy.

If you're going to eat fish, eat wild-caught. Farm raised is fed corn and doesn't have near the nutrients, nor those healthy Omega-3s as wild. Wild-caught has a lot more flavor, also.

Here's what else I bought at Fry's:

Tuna - 50c/can
Whole peeled Italian style canned tomatoes - 59c/can
Ice Cream, Kroger Deluxe - $1.99 (I'd have bought more, but there just isn't room is any of my freezers...just as well, I suppose) and...

...other stuff.

I need that salmon. My memory is going. Anyway 74 items, including those 8 salmons for $120 total. All good stockpile items.

I also bought 7 4-roll packs of toilet paper for free. Plus tax.

I had a coupon. I have a bunch more of the same coupon. I'm going to buy more today.

Off to google salmon recipes.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Make soup.

Yeah, this is kindergarten stuff. I'm one of those people who'd be better off remembering more of what I learned in kindergarten. Soup is good food. Mmm...mmmm...good.

And all that stuff.

My family are not big eaters. That means lots of leftovers. However, they also don't like leftovers. So I have to disguise 'em.

That's where soup comes in. I tend to pressure or slow cook. That means everytime I cook, I make broth. Chicken, beef, vegetable. It always ends up in a plastic container in the fridge along with whatever onion or garlic and spices I used for seasonings.

Do you know what this stuff is? It's gold. Along with the leftover steamed corn, lima beans, boiled potatoes and that little bit of pasta. Here's how you make homemade soup:

1) Put a big pot on the stove.
2) Pull all the little plastic containers from the fridge - veggie, bits of meat, juices for the meats you made last week.
3) empty them into the pot.
4) heat, stir, serve.

Top with cubes of day old bread. Yum.