Saturday, January 31, 2009

Clearance at Ingles!

Attention, local readers!

Ingles at Cherrydale Pointe has two shopping carts of (mostly) No Nonsense brand pantyhose, knee-highs, tights, etc. on clearance!

Late Thursday night I got a 4-pair box for $2.51 and another single pair for $0.71!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Recipe for Whole Wheat Butter Rolls

(adapted from a Pillsbury bread machine booklet)

3/4 cup water
2 eggs
2 cups bread flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

Place ingredients in the bread case and insert the bread case into the bread machine. Select the Dough Mode and press Start. When the buzzer sounds, remove the bread case from the bread machine and put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm area. Allow the dough to rise for at least 30 minutes. Pluck egg-sized pieces of dough from the bowl and tuck the rough ends under until you have a smooth ball shape. Put the rolls about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet (or baking stone!) and cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel. Place the pan in a warm, draft-free area until the rolls have doubled in size. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Money Maker at Walgreens!

This is the time to buy the Orajel Overnight Cold Sore Patches or Cold Sore Brush from Walgreens, if you haven't yet done so...

Check out how you can earn over $9.00 by reading this post. (And don't forget to add in the 10% bonus when you get your Walgreens rebate on a gift card!)

Recipe for Homemade Yogurt

Yogurt (especially plain white homemade yogurt!) is one of my Elizabeth's favorite foods!
I use the "recipe" in the Fannie Farmer Cookbook – it's so simple:
2 Tbsp of plain white yogurt in 2 quarts of milk (That's it!)
If something goes wrong (and that has happened to me only twice that I can remember), you'll end up with "sour milk" that can be used in baking waffles, pancakes, etc.
Making Yogurt
(adapted from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook – and edited with notes and confessions that will hopefully keep you from making mistakes I’ve made…)

Heat 2 quarts of milk to the boiling point (for just 1 minute). (I don’t actually let the milk boil; I just let it start to look "bubbly" so I know it's gotten hot enough. I’m not scientific about this – and I definitely don’t stand by the stove with my stopwatch! You know: “A watched pot never boils!”)
Cool to 115 degrees F. (I’ve never used a food thermometer – like I said: I’m not very scientific about this! And Fannie Farmer probably wasn’t either! I just let the milk cool until I can hold my finger in it and count to ten. However! When I let it cool too much, the yogurt didn’t set.)
Gently mix in 2 Tbsp of fresh plain yogurt, i.e. the starter. (Make sure it’s mixed in thoroughly! I usually put the yogurt starter in the glass measuring bowl I used to measure the milk. When the milk in the pan is cool enough, I mix about a half cup with the starter, then another half cup, then the rest of the milk. Otherwise, in my experience, the starter stayed at the bottom of the bowl, and the yogurt didn’t set!)
Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place. Wrap a thick towel over the bowl to prevent drafts. Fannie Farmer says that an ideal temperature of about 110 degrees F will hasten the incubation. (The “warm place” that works best for me in winter is the back of the stove when the oven is on. In the summer, I just place the wrapped bowl on the kitchen counter.)
The yogurt should be ready in five to eight hours. Tilt the bowl (gently!) to see if the yogurt holds together. It should then be chilled for at least three hours, and it will “firm up” even more. (I like to make the yogurt in the late morning, let it incubate in a warm place all day, and put it in the fridge before I go to bed.)
Important notes:
– I am “scientific” in my measuring! As Fannie Farmer says: If the yogurt sets for too long, or if you use too much starter, the yogurt will be watery.
– Because this yogurt does not contain pectin or gelatin, it won’t have the same consistency as “store-bought” yogurt, i.e. it will be “watery” and the whey in it will be obvious after you scoop some out. I either mix the whey back in or drain it off with a spoon (and mix it with Elizabeth’s cereal. She loves it!)
Just today, I saw another recipe for Crock Pot Yogurt. It requires more ingredients, but I'm thinking of trying it.

Baking Day Results

Still left to do:
– Make banana muffins.

We had to run to Krispy Kreme for FREE Inauguration Day Donuts...

The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul...
(Proverbs 13:19)

That's how I felt as I crossed items off my list and then again as I surveyed the results:

– A 2-quart bowl of (whole milk!) yogurt "set" perfectly and is ready to eat!
– The whole-grain rice cooked up beautifully; we had 1 cup for supper and are putting three 2-cup bags in the freezer.
– There are over 2 dozen whole-wheat butter rolls to be enjoyed!
– Including the applesauce made night before last, there are two 5-cup batches for an applesauce-loving little girl who lives at our house!
– The bean and sausage soup was enjoyed at supper. (And there are leftovers for two meals!)

I consulted several cookbooks and then came up with my own modified recipe, based largely on what I had on hand.

My Bean and Chorizo Soup

2 cups dried pinto beans
4 cups water
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp dried onion
1 Tbsp "Roasting Rub" (basically garlic, peppercorns, rosemary, and red pepper – Wow!)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup spaghetti sauce
1/2 chorizo, chopped
(I like the Mild Italian Sausage from Publix because it's the closest to Uruguayan chorizo that I've been able to find here.)

Soak the beans (using the "Quick Soak" method) in a large pan with 6 to 8 cups of water. Bring to a rapid boil on medium-high heat; then boil two more minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand one hour. Drain and rinse beans.

In a large saucepan (or Dutch oven), heat the oil; add onion and spices to the oil and stir together. Add beans, water, and salt. Stir in spaghetti sauce and chopped sausage. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for at least two hours. If desired, mash some of the beans to make soup thicker.

Serving Ideas:
– Garnish with shredded cheese.
– Serve over whole-grain rice.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Baking Day

Inspired by blog posts (here and here), I decided to make today "Baking Day" too!

Here's my list:

– Make yogurt.
– Cook rice. (Freeze some for later.)
– Soak and cook pinto beans.
– Make bean and sausage soup. (Use leftover sausage!)
– Make banana muffins. (Use free bananas!)
– Make rolls. (My maiden, the bread machine, is helping with this!)
– Finish making applesauce. (I made one batch last night.)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Conclusion of the EXTRA Extra Care Bucks Adventure!

(See the rest of the story here and here.)

Well, I did print ten more coupons, and I made five more visits to CVS stores. (Yes, only five more visits – I took my best friend with me! We were, after all, out on a rare date to our favorite restaurant, celebrating the tenth anniversary of our engagement.) Since we were either passing a CVS store or in the neighborhood of other CVS stores, we stopped in and made separate purchases...

This was his first time joining me in my excitement over a good deal. (Can you tell?!)

Together, we spent $4.47 out of pocket and brought all this home (plus one more jar of roasted peanuts that we gave to Aunt Ruth in partial payment for coming over to play with Elizabeth while we were out!) And somehow, a roll of wrapping paper didn't make it for the photo shoot!

Three cheers for CVS!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Update on EXTRA Extra Care Bucks!

(See the original post here.)

Number of CVS stores I frequented today: 5

Number of ECBs earned: $5
(That's in addition to the $5 ECBs earned earlier this week!)

Limit on the Gold Emblem Cheese Crackers deal: 10

Number of cents paid out of pocket: $0.99 (Total for all five trips!)

Number of dollars saved (according to my receipts): $47.53
(Of course, the 90% off on Christmas clearance items helped!)

Rating of CVS stores on a scale of 1 to 10: 10+

Random thoughts...

The tinsel garland will hopefully come in handy for Christmas play costumes...

The wrapping paper alone is worth over $33 according to the price tags! (Our extended family is notorious for recycling wrapping paper, but I'm afraid I'm in danger of changing that tradition, folks – at least for the near future! This picture alone has 11 rolls of the stuff!) And some of it can be used for winter birthday presents, too – snowflakes, snowmen, bears in hats and mittens, etc. are generic enough...

After reaching the limit on the crackers, I decided to start stocking up on spices ($0.99 each for most). The coupon expires tomorrow (01/17/09) , so I'm hoping to get more almost-free spices before the end of the day!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

EXTRA Extra Care Bucks!

Quite by "accident" I stumbled upon a way to get some EXTRA ECBs at CVS!

Thanks to, I found out about the $3 off CVS brand merchandise coupon (expires 01/17/09). Follow her instructions for printing. When you get to page 14 (where the coupon is), click on the page on the left, and it will come up on the right. Then choose the "Print" option (on the top right), and it will print large enough for the barcode to be readable!

Anyway, I stopped at a CVS yesterday, hoping to snag some almost-free deals. (Most CVS stores have Christmas "leftovers" marked down to 90% now.) More tempting than those "leftovers" for me though, were the CVS (Gold Emblem Brand) Cheese Crackers! When I checked out (paying only $0.55 out of pocket), I saw that the Cheese Crackers had earned me $1 ECB!

Of course, I had to make three more trips after that! The short story is that I ended up with $5 ECBs, paying a grand total of $1.88 out of pocket for CVS brand stuff, including Christmas "leftovers" (most wrapping stuff is CVS brand). And you might do better – depending on the "leftovers" at your CVS stores!

By the way, most stores don't have a sticker advertising this deal, and I didn't see it in this week's flier either. I thought the one sticker I did see (I visited four different stores!) stated: Limit 5 – but my receipt doesn't state "Offer Limit Reached" after buying five. So, I've printed more coupons, and hopefully will be making a few more CVS visits tomorrow and Saturday... These crackers are very cheesy (in the most positive sense of that word!) and are great sprinkled on top of veggie casseroles – or as a snack in the car for a patient toddler, who incidentally hasn't yet learned the excitement of a great couponing deal!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Diaper & Wipes Deal at Rite-Aid – till 01/17/09!

Buy two packs of Huggies diapers – $9.99 each.
Use two $1.50/1 coupons (from 01/11 newspaper inserts)
Buy two tubs of Huggies wipes – $4.49 each.
Use two $0.50/1 coupons (from 01/11 newspaper inserts)
Use a $5 off $25 purchase Rite Aid coupon
This coupon has two expiration dates on it (03/13/09 and 03/31/09).

Total after coupons will be $19.96 (before tax).

Submit your receipt online for the following Single Check Rebates:
#29 – $2 back on one Huggies Jumbo, Pull-Ups, or GoodNites
#30 – $2 back on two Huggies wipes
#48 – $10 back for purchasing $25 in Kimberly Clark Items

Total is $5.96 out of pocket (plus tax) after coupons and rebates

Go here to see a variation on this scenario.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Free $25 Value Travel Bag with $15 Colgate-Palmolive Purchase

If you've been taking advantage of the Colgate Total deals at CVS, you'll want to look into this offer (valid on Colgate-Palmolive products purchased 01/01/09 through 01/31/09). Go here for details.

And if you haven't gotten any Colgate since the beginning of the month, there's a deal this week at CVS to help you out!

Colgate Toothpaste – B1G1 for $1.99 to $3.29
(Limit 6)
Use $1.50/1 printable coupon here
FREE (with possible overage) after coupons

Friday, January 9, 2009

CVS deals – 01/04 thru 01/10

All of this (over $40 before coupons and ECBs) for only $1.02 out of pocket! Amazing! (These deals are good through tomorrow!)

Colgate Total Advanced Whitening Toothpaste (6 oz) – 2/$5.00 (Limit 3)
Use two $1.50/1 printable coupon here
Get $2 ECBs
FREE after coupons and ECBs

Cottonelle Moist Wipes Combo Pack (84 count) – $5.98 (Limit 5)
Get $3 ECBs
$2.98 after ECBs

Garnier Fructis Hair Styler – $2.99 (Limit 1)
Get $2 ECBs
$0.99 after ECBs

Ziploc Freezer Bags, Twin Pack – $5.99 (Limit 5)
Get $2 ECBs
$3.99 after ECBs

Johnson's Bath Buddies Soap – $1.19
Buy 2 and use $2/2 printable coupon here
$0.38 for 2 after coupon

I'll admit it... I'm dreadfully behind on coupon clipping... (I found plenty of other activities to keep me busy over the holidays.) But CVS came to the rescue with a $5 off $25 ECBs coupon! So today I spent almost $22 in ECBs, and I left the store with almost $17.50 in ECBs – including the $1.50 in ECBs Rewards that printed today for my Winter Spending! And that's the rest of the story... Until the next chapter...