Thursday, September 25, 2008

Before and After

Here's a little house update for you. This week we finally got a brickmason to our house to do some much-needed and long-awaited repairs. To explain why they were needed, we'll have to start at the beginning. This is what our kitchen looked like when we bought our house a year ago:

It had old cabinets, track lighting, a popcorn ceiling, and -- wait for it -- carpet on the floor. Who puts carpet in a kitchen??? We began slowly tearing things out and fixing them up. We tore out a wall, added new lighting and replaced all the windows. Below is a picture of Chris and my father in law working at the house. (Notice once we pulled the nasty carpet up we found brick-patterned linoleum? Ew.)

Once we opened up a can of worms, we realized we needed to replace the kitchen cabinetry and rearrange some things in the kitchen to do it right. So we tore out our newly-replaced (expensive) window and framed it in for a smaller one to allow for cabinetry against that wall.

Here's a picture of how the kitchen ended up looking. Now, since we took out the big window and replaced it with a smaller one, we had a big window-sized piece of bare plywood on the outside of our house that wasn't brick like the rest of it. Hence, the need for a brickmason.

And finally, a year later, the back of our kitchen window looks just like the rest of the house! (Sorry, no picture of the outside before, darn it!) Once the mortar dries you won't even be able to tell that anything was done right here. He did such a great job!

Blue Light Special on Aisle 3

Kmart is having a coupon-doubling extravaganza this week -- at least in some parts of the country. But any Kmart store should honor the promotion for any customer that requests it (I've got an email from Kmart corporate saying this).

I took the email to my local Kmart last night and got all of my coupons up to a $2.00 value doubled at checkout. It was awesome!

Total before coupons -- $302

Total after coupons -- $17 + tax

You might be wondering what I'm planning on doing with 24 bottles of Pert Plus. Chris was wondering this also. The answer is that I can always find people who will use it - whether it be neighbors, family, friends or the local YWCA. Tax write-off's are a beautiful thing!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Costco or Sam's Club?

I came across an interesting comparison on a message board the other day. A woman was debating whether to get a membership to Costco or Sam's Club so she went to both and compared prices on a random sampling of items that she uses. Below is what she found, with the "winner" indicating the store with the lowest price on each item:

Product Size Price Winner
Mayo, 1 gallon $6.36 - Sam's
Choc. Chips, 72 oz. $8.38
- Sam's
Onions (yellow), 10lb $3.90 - Sam's
Onions (white), 5lb $3.24 - Sam's
Huggies Diapers, 176 ct. $34.66(.22 ea) - Sam's
Dishwasher Soap, 2-125oz $7.85 - Costco
Fresh Strawberries, 4lb $5.99 - Costco
Sour Cream, 3lb $2.79 - Costco
Chicken Broth, 12pk (14oz) $7.84 - Sam's
Silverware(plastic), 390ct. mix $9.52 - Sam's
Peanut Butter, 2pk-48oz $7.28 - Sam's
Olive Oil, 5lt. $25.79 - Costco
Hamburger, 1 lb (10%lean) $2.25 - Sam's
Frozen Chicken Breasts, 6lb $12.88 ($2.14/lb) - Sam's
Tilapia, 3lb $11.88 - Sam's
Salmon, 3lb $15.56 - Sam's
Frozen Mixed Berries, 3lb $7.32 - Sam's
Frozen.Strawberries, 6lb $8.16 - Sam's
Frozen. Blueberries, 3lb $8.79 - Sam's
Frozen OJ, 6-16oz. $8.69 - TIE
Blocked Mozzarella Cheese, 5lb $11.78 ($2.36/lb)
- Sam's
Block Cheddar, 5lb $11.89 ($2.38/lb) - Costco
String Cheese, 48oz. $8.28
- Sam's

The clear winner here is Sam's Club by a mile. Shocking. I guess I'll keep my Sam's card.

Soup Galore

I'm not doing a very good job of posting things other than shopping deals. But some of them are so good I can't help myself! Take this one, for example. All the food you see here for only $9.66.

According to the receipt, I saved a total of $47.68 on this shopping trip. Who pays $55+ for that much soup? Not me!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Target Groceries

Last night I took my friends Sadie and April with me to Target to show them how I get good deals on groceries there. We had a great time laughing and chatting while we shopped. They both got some great hauls (April had 40% savings). Here's what I got:

Four Joint Juices, a TGIF Skillet Meal, 2 lunchables (Chris loves these for some reason!), butter, Glade Fabric & Air refresher, 3 Johnson & Johnson Buddies Bars, a 2.5 lb Chuck Roast and some pre-marinated chicken breasts.

Total before coupons - $38.xx
Total after coupons - $16.50

Friday, September 12, 2008

Creamy White Bean and Apple Chili

So ever since Chris went back to school for the semester, I've made a resolution to be better about having dinner ready for him (when he gets home at 10:30 PM) and having something for him to eat for lunch the next day.

I know what you're thinking...these are duties that every wife should be doing already, right? This is true, and sadly I have been slacking. It's hard to work an 8-hour day and then come home exhausted and STILL have to make dinner -- but that's no excuse.

So last night I made crockpot Creamy White Bean and Apple Chili and it was really yummy! I found the recipe on a woman's blog who made the New Year's Resolution of cooking something in the crockpot every day in 2008. Yes, that means she has over 200 crockpot recipes on her blog, complete with before and after pictures, ingredients, directions and results. Next on my list to try is this!


I promise all of my posts WON'T be about the deals I find!

But here's another one from yesterday. Three boxes of Electrasol dishwashing detergent for $0.25 + tax at Albertsons.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Granola Bars

Here's my daily find post. Yesterday I got 10 boxes of granola bars for $0.79.

They were 10/$10 at Albertsons and after my coupons the total was $5.75. Then I had a $5 catalina from last week's deal so the grand total was... (drum roll, please)... $0.75 + tax!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


There's a snowshack near our house that is absolutely the best of the best as far as snowshack's are concerned. When I was in high school my friend Camie and I would drive way out of our way just to get these shaved-ice-delights.

All summer long Chris and I drive past this snowshack on our way home and the line is always huge! I'm talking like 15-20 people! And we all know snowshacks are a one-man-show which makes them slow. Plus, there's the compounded issue of neither Chris nor I ever carrying cash in our wallets. So needless to say, we haven't stopped to get a snowshack ALL SUMMER LONG. Pathetic, right?

Until last night! Chris and I ate dinner at Five Guys Burgers and Fries (it was a mystery shop -- I love free!) and on our way to dinner we noticed there was no line at the snowshack. So Chris said if there was no line on our way back we could stop and get one (since he happened to have cash). Yay! We ate quick, came back, and sure enough there was no line!

Yay for yummy snowshacks!

Smile Chris!

Okay, no really...I need a real smile!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Yard Progress

This is for Melissa, who wanted to see pictures of our yard progress! So here are some before and after (well....not quite done yet) pictures.

We basically tore out ALL the old landscaping and curbing and put in a new sprinkler system. The old stuff was galvanized and it never worked. The grass is still a bit patchy but it's growing back in. We poured some concrete to make our driveway wider and also a pathway to the front door. Hopefully we'll get a new railing worked out soon.

Once we get a few plants and trees in the flower bed it'll be good as new (I hope)!



The driveway expansion...

Lifetime supply of cleaner and cough syrup!

It was a good day yesterday deal-wise. (For those of you who don't know, I have a sick obsession with "deals" and even made a website about it --

I got 28 bottles of various cleaners, 12 bottles of Robitussen (going to the YWCA next week) plus a few books of stamps and some candy bar fillers. It cost me about $20 out of pocket, plus I've now got $98 in register rewards (Walgreens cash) in my wallet to use on next week's deals!

Like I said, it was a good day yesterday.