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Saving Money By Using Rain Barrels

It's time for me to start planning my gardens. I will be planting a larger vegetable garden this year and then adding to my flower beds. One thing I learned last year was watering everything during a dry season out here can become expensive.

Although I had one rain barrel by my vegetable garden I plan to have a couple of more to water my flower gardens.

Adding a rain barrel is an inexpensive and effortless way to capture mineral- and chlorine-free water for watering lawns, yards, and gardens, as well as washing cars or rinsing windows. By harnessing what's literally raining from the sky, you'll not only notice a marked dip in water costs, but also a reduction in stormwater runoff, which in turn helps prevent erosion and flooding. Pop a screen on top of your barrel to keep out insects, debris, and bird missiles, and make frequent use of your water supply to keep it moving and aerated.

Rain barrels can collect water from roof gutters and downspouts, and some come with hose attachments for low-pressure watering in the yard and gardens. More and more counties and watershed districts are encouraging homeowners to use rain barrels because they collect roof runoff and store it for later use in lawn and garden watering, thus preventing stormwater runoff and reducing the amount of ground water used for lawn care.

How does it work? You can purchase a rain barrel at many major lawn and garden centers; many on-line retailers also carry a variety of rain barrels. You can expect to pay $80-150 for a 50-75 gallon barrel and accessories. Not very frugal in my opinion. Or you can build your own rain barrel out of a 55 gallon drum or trashcan much cheaper. You can also link rain barrels in series to store even more rainwater.

How much rain does it take to fill my rain barrel? Not as much as you think. It is easy to calculate how much rainwater your roof generates. The constant to remember is: 1" of rain will produce 625 gallons of runoff from a 1000 square foot roof, or 625 gallons per 1000 square feet.

Say you want to install a rain barrel to catch runoff from half the roof of your double garage. Let's say that eave and downspout catches runoff from 250 square feet of roof. Multiply 250 square feet by 625 gallons and divide by 1000 = 156.25 gallons produced from a 1" rain. A 1/2" rain will fill up your 75 gallon rain barrel.

That is 75 gallons of FREE water in one barrel after a moderate rain fall. I'm now on the hunt for some free barrels. I will call a couple of restaurants and schools and see if I can score 2 free barrels.

Do any of you utilize rain barrels? I would love to hear from you.


My CVS Deals for the week

Yahoo for CVS! Had the old bat cashier today. I call her old bat cause she never smiles, very dry humor, but otherwise I've known her for years and she goes by the book while at work and never gives me trouble about my deals.
1st Order
2 Fructis shampoo $10 minus 2 mfg coupons -$2= $8 plus earned $5 ecb
2 twizzlers $3.54 plus earned $1 ecb
7 soyjoy bars $7 minus 7 mfg coupons -$7= $0 plus earned $4 ecb
1 fructis hair gel $3.99 minus 1 mfg coupon $1=$2.99
1 stride gum $1.19
1 Tampax pearl $7.49 (where the hec did my coupon go????)
There was no Cottonelle to be found. I asked my favorite checker and she said they were sold out.
CVS coupon $4 off $20 order printed off internet
Total oop $20.90
Total ECB earned $10

Now here's the order that ROCKS!
I walked over to the clearance end cap and what did I find? More of my FAVORITE shampoos clearanced and I have COUPONS for them!
1 Aussie Shine shampoo $2.00
1 Aussie Smooth shampoo $2.00 mfg coupon $2 off 2 bottles
1 Infusion 23 Frizz control Shampoo $3.50 mfg coupon $3 off
1 Colgate double pack toothpaste $5.49 mfg coupon $1.00 off earned $2 ecb
2 Rain gum $2.98
1 Trim Nail Clipper .99
1 CVS coupon printed off internet $2 off $10 order
$7.98 ECB
total OOP $1.38

I now have enough shampoo and toothpaste to last 6 months! Still lacking on the toilet paper department, but I'll get caught up. There are several boxes of kleenex, probably two months worth. And I have all of you to thank for showing me how to work the sales, with a coupon and then add a cvs coupon. I was so happy I was doing the grocery hound dog dance!

My Pantry is filling up fast with toiletries and food. I have enough dishsoap and dishwasher soap to last approximately 6 months.

I'm good for probably 3 months on peanut butter and a couple of months on Ragu and pasta. My freezer has quite a bit in it and we are no longer living paycheck to paycheck on groceries. The only thing I still run out of is perishables such as bread and milk. Need to get those today. It is a good feeling to go to the pantry and it's not empty.




Have you ever wondered why your favorite spaghetti sauce is $2.99 one week and then
the very next week you see it's "on sale" for $2.49?

Do you buy it at that price? I USE to. But… Hold on there! That's the phantom sales price. (Years ago, most sales prices always ended in 5's and 9's, but in the '90s, most store buyers went to another price structure--multiples--which will be explained later). When you see the price drop that 50 cents that is the phantom sales price. But the store knows that a certain # of people will fall for that ploy and buy it because they think they are saving money. Patience is the name of the grocery game and you can save big bucks IF you get to know the flow of sales cycles.

Come in another time, (a few weeks later) and that $2.99 jar of spaghetti sauce is no longer $2.49, but is now at $1.99. That is the new lower phantom sales price… but it's not time to buy yet. Wait longer (usually in the 10th-12th week) and it will probably hit the rock-bottom price of 2/$3 or even 10/$10 or .99. That rock-bottom price is the one you want to wait for.

When it hits that rock-bottom price, IF you have a mfr. coupon, that is the time to use that coupon. Manufacturer coupons are the best thing going. It's free money! Usually the expiration dates have a window of 8-12 weeks and that gives you plenty of time to wait out the sales cycle. When the price hits rock-bottom, add the coupons (if possible) and stock up. If your store doubles or triples coupons (mine don't), so much the better. But you will understand by using the sales cycle, adding coupons when rock-bottoms hit, you can slash your grocery budget. You can start slow, but every time you reach for an item you have stockpiled at home you save money by not hopping in your car (less gas) and buying that item at the regular price or phantom price the store is hoping you will buy it at.

I use to go to one store twice/week and buy ONLY what was on my list. I thought that was the way to save money. It wasn't. My pantry, 'fridge and freezer were near empty at the end of every week. Then I would go back to the store and shop again, but my cycle of no food by week's end continued. It was like living paycheck-to-paycheck in groocery land.

When I realized how much I was spending, and was hearing how others were feeding families larger than mine on half as much, I knew I had to change and I've became groceryhound ever since. I’m still learning the cycles. It really helps to create a price book to refer back to. Have you started yours yet?


Weekly Menu Plan 1/28-2/3

Monday Macaroni Cheese & Tuna Casserole
Tuesday Baked Ziti
Wednesday Left Overs
Thursday Baked Pork Chops, Baked Potato
Friday Chicken Breast, Mashed Potato, Buttered Corn
Saturday Grilled Sandwiches
Sunday Smoked Pork Roast, Grilled Potatos, Baked BBQ Beans


Kids In The Kitchen

Being a working mother of two sons I have always allowed my boys to prepare age appropriate recipes. Now my oldest son is 21 and is not a bad cook at all. I know he wont starve or live on Taco Bell! My youngest son (10 yrs old) has taken much more interest in cooking as his older brother. It was just this past week I taught him how to fix my Baked Ziti and Chili. Come the next time I cook these two things I will see how much he retained. I will let him prepare them while I observe/coach him. He's always under foot when I'm cooking supper and will take over the kitchen if allowed. My husband also has a love for grilling/smoking and he helps his dad all the time. He likes to come up with his own "concoctions" and 95% of the time they are really good.

Tomorow I have a surprise for him. I found an easy recipe for apple turnovers I am going to let him prepare. Here's the recipe:

Apple Pocket Pies
2 Golden Delicious Apples (my store had gala apples on sale, hope they work)
2 Tbs. Sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Flour for dusting
1 can of refrigerated biscuits

1. Heat oven to 350. Peel apples, then grate them into a medium bowl. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Stir half of cinnamon sugar into grated apples.
2. Roll each biscuit to about 5" circle. Spoon apple mixture onto circles. Fold circles over and pinch edges to make half moons. Place on baking sheet.
3. Brush pies with water and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar. Bake 20 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream for an extra treat.
Makes 8-10 mini pies.

I'm wondering if you couldnt use applesauce instead of prepared apples. I think I will experiment tomorow and make one with a tablespoon or so of applesauce and see how it turns out. That would make it easier for smaller children, say 5-7 years old.

He will have fun on a cold Saturday afternoon and it will be quality time spent with my son.

Nothing could make a mother prouder than her boys knowing their way around the kitchen other than knowing how to work the washing machine and dryer........
and both my boys know how to do that too!

Shopping Deals From Yesterday

Realized this am we were down to one roll of toilet paper and getting low on shampoo. I'm waiting for the CVS sale either next week or week after for the shampoo sale. Gotta look at deals for toilet paper, but in the meantime I HAD to get t-paper. Plus I had a few coupons that are about to expire and I need to use. Decided to go shopping after work.

Wolly World
2 Dawn Orig Dishsoap .97 each 1 mfg coupon $1/2
2 Peter Pan Pnut Butter $1.78 each 2 mfg coupon $1/2 This was only $1 a jar last week, wish they hadnt ran out!
1 Dawn Dishsoap Foam $2.48 1 mfg coupon $1/1
5 Electrasol $2.88 each 5 mfg coupons $2.25/1 My boxes are only 20 count, wish they had been 26 and on clearance for $2.50 like wvugirl
3 Tomato Sauce .40 each no coupon
Subtotal before coupons $24 and some change
Total OOP after coupons $9.83

1 V05 Honey Shampoo 15oz .50
1 Puffs .99
2 Mennen 24/7 deo $7.98
1 Charmin 4 Big roll 2.99
2 trial curel 1.98
1 starburst FOR ME! .69
Subtotal $15.13
cvs $3/15
ecb $7
OOP $5.13
EARNED $7.98 BACK in ECB's

IN my mailbox today: Free samples of dove shampoo & conditioner and a 6oz bag of Purina Friskies Indoor Delights food for one of my 5 cats.


Easy Spicy Oven Roasted Frugal Chicken Legs

It seems chicken is always on sale. I have a hard time figuring out what to do with chicken legs that are on sale all the time around here. I hate to fry chicken! It is so messy and my breading never stays on and, well I could go on and on, but the point is I dont fry chicken. This week they are on for .99 a pound.

I found this Spicy Oven Roasted Chicken Leg recipe over on Pioneer Woman Cooks. To me its easy, quick, and frugal. Tomorrow I will be picking up a bag of those chicken legs. I already have everything else including that Hot Salt I need to use up.


My Frugal May Not Be The Same As Yours

A lot of you know there are different reasons for being frugal. Some of us have to be, others don’t necessarily have to be but do so by choice, maybe because at one time they had to be, maybe because they enjoy it, whatever the reason is.

At this point in my life, I have to be. Although there have been times where I really didn’t have to be, but did so, because I don’t like shelling out top dollar when I can use different strategies to purchase things/food much cheaper.

Which brings me to one area in particular. Clothing. I am pretty good at shopping frugally in all areas but clothing. My mother is much better at finding clothing at thrift stores than I. I continue to try.

I had mentioned to a co-worker that I would like to have a couple pairs of lined pants/jeans. I also mentioned it to my mother. Mother told me she had a pair my aunt had sent to her for me, to stop by and get them. The pants fit good enough for where I work, at a trash facility. They were a little big, not bad, and a little shorter than what I normally where my pants, but like I said, I work at a trash facility and it’s cold in the office. We rarely come in contact with the public, so it’s me and my co-workers. I wore the pants to work today.

My co-worker that I mentioned that I would like to have some of these pants came in this morning and laid a catalog on my desk. She stated it had the jeans I wanted in it for $25. I told her my aunt had sent me a pair. Her response was “They’re not long enough or heavy are they? Those in the catalog are a really good buy, they are half off.”

Her statement irritated me.

True, the pants are a good price out of the catalog, but they still are not within my budget. She also considers herself a frugal person and does shop thrift stores and such.

But, not everyone’s idea of frugal is the same. Hers is since the pants are half off, that’s frugal enough for her. But they are not frugal enough for me.


Party Cheese Ball

1 8oz cream cheese
1 jar Kraft Bacon Flavored cheese spread
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp worchershire sauce
1/8 tsp onion salt
1 tsp parsley
1 small can chopped black olives (optional)

Mix all ingredients well, form into a ball and roll in chopped walnuts.

I have made this without rolling in walnuts, without the cheese spread, without the olives and it still tastes great!

Serve with crackers, fresh vegetables, or fruit.


Weekly Menu Plan 1/21/08-1/27/08

Monday Burritos
Tuesday Chili
Wednesday Goulash
Thursday Oven Roasted Chicken Breasts, Baked Potatoes
Friday Crock Pot Beef Roast
Saturday Oven Roasted Spicy Chicken Legs
Sunday Grilled Ham & Cheese Sandwiches


Overseas Coupon Program for Our Military

You can send our military overseas your unwanted/expired manufacturer coupons. The best way for everyone is to adopt a base yourself. That way you dont pay postage to send to the volunteer station here in the states, then they have to pay postage to forward on and find the volunteers to do this. The coupons will get to the base quicker also.

The Adoption process is now self-service. Their home page is Overseas Coupon Program

The bases in need the most is Giessen, Yokoham, Yokota, Naples and Vilseck. I have chosen Yokohama Japan, a US Navy Base.

Once there you can click on the link on the left that says Overseas Base List. That will take you to a list of bases that participate.

Click on the Base Location (the base name in the list) to obtain the address where your coupons should be sent (a box will open with the address). At the same time, please email the following information to adoptions@ocpnet.org :
Name (To avoid confusion please check the lists of donors to insure the name you choose is unique)
Mailing Address
Email Address
Phone Number
Any organization you may represent
The name of the base being adopted

BE SURE TO READ the How To Partcipate link on the left. It will inform you on how to sort and package the coupons. The military has guidelines on this just like anything else.


10 Tips to Becoming a Grocery Hound

Know what you spend the most on. Keep a list of the items you buy regularly and track the prices over a three-month period. Then you can buy when they reach the bottom of the range.

Be flexible with brands. If you want to save hundreds of dollars a year on an item, buy the brand that's on sale (or has a coupon or both.)

Don't assume the bigger package is a better deal. Consider the unit price on the shelf tag and buy what goes on sale. Often, a smaller size costs pennies or is free with a coupon.

Plan your meals around what's on sale. Make your shopping list with each week's circular nearby, and stick to your plan.

Buy enough of a good thing to last several months. Since many deals don't come around again for two or three months, buy enough when it's on sale to last that long.

Conversely, don't feel compelled to buy four of something just because it is on a four-for-$5 special. That's just a grocery trick to get you to buy more. If you think you'll only use one or two packages, don't buy any more than that. You'll still get the same price.

You can often use manufacturers' ads from one store at another. Many times grocery chains will accept coupons from another store, or that mention other stores on their face, as long as the manufacturer reimburses them. (They should say "manufacturer's coupon" at the top.)

Don't think that you can buy it cheaper at a warehouse club. Most only goes there to buy eggs, butter and non-grocery items. Diapers are often a great buy there. But most other name-brand merchandise can be had even cheaper on sale at a major grocery chain.

Consider investing in a couple of copies of the paper if you've got a big family. You'll want more copies of the Sunday coupon supplements, which is where 82% of all coupons are located.

Know your store's coupon policies and rebate programs. Does your store double coupon? If so, up to how much? Is a nearby rival cheaper? Also, check out the rebate programs your chain has on its Web site. Can you accrue frequent-flier miles, free bottles of wine or money toward your kid's education with your spending?


My home town grocery store

This is my home town grocery store. It's like taking a step back into time 75 years ago. Once inside the doors you can see three concrete steps you have to take to get into the store.

Not a real good place to find any deals and they do not accept coupons. I utilize this store on an emergency basis only!


Weekly Menu Plan 1/14/08-1/20/08

Monday Baked Ziti
Tuesday 3 Cheese Hamburger Helper
Wednesday Ham Steak, Baked Potato
Thursday Meatloaf, Garlic Mashed Potato, Buttered Corn
Friday Store Bought Chicken Strips, Potato Wedges
Saturday Frozen Pizzas
Sunday Baked Ziti

Price Chopper Coupon Book

When I was shopping at my Price Chopper today I picked up one of the Price Chopper Coupon book. Over $50 worth of coupons for $1. Cant beat that. The last coupon is a price chopper coupon, save $5 off your $50 or more purchase.

Other coupons in the book are:

Tidy Cat Litter $1
Williams Spicy Wing Seasoning $1 off 3
Totinos Pizza Rolls $1
Wheaties Cereal $1
Kc Masterpiece BBQ Sauce $1 off 2
Kraft Natural Cheese $1 off 3
Oscar Meyer Deli Creation Hot Melt $1
Martha Gooch Products $1 off 2 16oz or larger
Borden Naturals or Singles $1 off 2
Lipton Tea $1 off any
Electrasol $1 off 2 gelpacs
Imperial Margarine Sticks $1 off 2
Arm & Hammer Detergent $1 off any 2
Breyers Ice Cream $1 off 2
Plus many more.


Playing The CVS Game

People wonder how those of us playing the CVS shopping game save money. Typically when you walk into a CVS store to shop you look at the prices and say "This store's prices are high, I can buy generic at another store for cheaper."

BUT does those generic items ever go on sale? Rarely. Do you ever find coupons for those generic items? Rarely. The results of this... Do you ever get to purchase the items for pennies, for free, or even have the store PAY YOU TO TAKE IT OUT THE DOOR? NEVER!

The object of the game is to save on your budget by being able to wait until the deals roll around to where you can use manufacturer coupons on the items that are on sale AND when they offer their Extra Care Bucks on the item, often getting them FREE.

CVS also offers online printable store coupons that can be used WITH manufacturer coupons.

It does take time to plan your shopping trips and to get the best deal, but there are a couple of websites that are just for this. Other people have more time than us to figure them out, then they post them, making it so easy for us, and saves us time. Hot Coupon World is one of those cites.

Stocking up with 6 month's worth of household items when you can get them free is the name of the game.

Are you saying, "I don't see anything we need,"? Everyone can find something they use at CVS. Shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, feminine products (tampons, pads), medicine, make-up, Soap, Body wash, Lotion, Batteries, Hand sanitizer, tissues, mouthwash, Baby wipes, razors and shaving cream, dish detergent?

Do you eat cereal, crackers, chips, bottled water, energy drinks, or flavored water?

If you never paid anything for any of those things, wouldn't it help save money on your grocery budget? In just the last two months of shopping at CVS I have gotten dishsoap for 24 cents a bottle, free batteries and toothpaste, free makeup, free over the counter drugs.

The secret is that you start stocking up on items you need or will need in advance - while you can get them for free or more than free. That way, when you need them, you won't have to add them to your grocery list, you'll just pull from your storage closet or pantry.

Instead of thinking that you shouldn't buy shampoo until you've used up the entire bottle and then buying the generic brand at full price, plan ahead a little bit try to always keep at least a few extra bottles on hand that you've bought either free or for little out of pocket. Think about the savings to be had by a little planning ahead. It adds up very fast, especially since health and beauty items are one of the biggest budget busters!

Visit Hot Coupon World and learn how to play and not pay!


More Printable Coupons-Penny Pincher Gazette

A good website to print coupons from is the Penny Pincher Gazette. To sign up is fairly painless. You enter your name, email address, home address and create a password. Then there will be one full page of "OTHER" offers, but at the bottom click on SKIP.

It will take you to their home page. There click on the COUPON button at top. It will then take you to Coupons Inc Coupons. Here there are about 70 printable coupons. Right under the 5 buttons you will see "select a group" You can then click on Smart Source and it will take you to another place of close to another hundred coupons from Smart Source.

BEWARE... if you select to print ALL coupons it will take about 20 minutes and it will be about 30 pages!


Venison Green Bean Casserole

Dear hubby's parents gave us some deer meat as a Christmas gift. 4 roasts and about 20 packages of hamburger. Hubby is not real fond of anything with a wild taste. (city boy! hehe)

Last night I made an oven casserole "concoction". Well there was not enough left for my lunch today, so I'm going to assume they liked it.

Venison Green Bean Casserole

One pound of deer burger (fried)
one onion fried with burger
2 cans of green beans (undrained)
one can of cream of celery
one package of brown gravy mix
1/2 can of water

All mixed well in pan, topped with frozen french fries, baked for 40 minutes @ 375 until hot and fries were done.

Next time I will use one can of green beans, one can of corn, and one can of mushrooms.


Faux Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix

We use a lot of Ranch Dressing around my house. My 10yr old son eats it on everything. It gets expensive to buy prepared. I'm going to try this mix and see if he likes it as well.

Have any of you tried a recipe like this? If so, did your family like it?

Faux Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix

2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
3 Tablespoons onion flakes
2 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
2 and 1/2 teaspoons paprika
2 and 1/2 teaspoons parsley flakes

Mix and store in a small Ziplock bag.

For recipes calling for a packet of Ranch Dressing: Two Tablespoons = one seasoning packet

To make dressing, combine 1 tablespoon mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup buttermilk. Blend well. Best if refrigerated for at least an hour before serving.

To make dip, combine 1 tablespoon mix with 1 cup sour cream. Blend well. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving with vegetables.


Meat- Determining which cut is a better buy

I've learned today that you cannot buy meat based on the price per pound. Different cuts of meats yield more servings per pound than others.

A smart shopper will use cost per serving rather than price per pound in making meat selection decisions. Price per pound can be misleading because all cuts will not yield the same number of servings per pound.

Although some boneless cuts may cost more on a per pound basis, they may be more economical due to less waste. The amount of bone and waste fat determines the number of servings of cooked meat a cut will yield.

Don't you agree the cost of the EDIBLE portion is really the MOST important factor in choosing what to buy from the consumer's standpoint? The VENDOR is on the other side of the coin. Knowing the majority of people buy based on price per pound not cost per serving is how they make money.

So how do you know which cut of meat is the better buy this week?

Use these wonderful charts...


And keep your hard earned money!

I want to give a big thanks to Annie of Real Life Living for finding this web site and information that will prove to be a BIG saver.


Colgate FREE Offer in Sunday Paper Coupons

Living frugally means saving money any way you can.

One way I like to save money is by buying groceries and paper products that are on sale and using a coupon at the same time. That way you really save.

Coupon inserts come in ALL METRO Sunday papers in all states. My newspaper is the Kansas City Star.

Today is the BIGGIE of the year. If you have not got your Sunday paper yet, and you use coupons, stop reading this and leave to go get your paper now. hehe

In the SmartSource insert with the Lean Cuisine on the front they have a Colgate offer for a FREE Travel Bag filled with travel size samples and $9 worth of coupons. A $25 value. Here's the link also: Colgate Free Travel Bag Offer


6 Great OTHER Uses For Hairspray

I'm not one to use hairspray on a daily basis but do keep a can on hand for my hair when I am going to something really important or having family photos taken.

I have found some other uses for hairspray that I occasionally use.

My favorite is it's a great stain remover! Use it to remove ink stains from clothes and carpet. Just saturate the stain, let it set for about a minute and then wash it away. Hairspray also helps remove marker and I've heard mixed emotions while regarding permanent ink.

You can catch bugs around your home and kill them faster using hairspray. Instead of chasing a fly around the house with a fly swatter, aim and fire with the hairspray. The hair spray seems to stiffen and freeze it's wings rendering it unable to fly, and allowing you to catch or swat at it.

Hairspray will work in your crafts and scrapbooking too. You can use a little hairspray to keep your chalking from smearing all over the place. In addition you can spray a little on a newspaper article to slow down the yellowing process. It is recommended however, that you use it only on articles you don't wish to preserve for long periods of time.

Hairspray will preserve leaves and some flowers. Use it to prolong the life of baby's breath, cattails and broom grass in addition to those beautiful fall leaves.

You can use hairspray when you are sewing. When threading a needle, spray a little hairspray on the end of the thread to stiffen it. It makes it much easier to thread.

Did you know that hairspray is great on pantyhose runs. Just spritz a bit on the run, and it will help to prevent the pantyhose from continuing to run.

Today I want to hear from all you lurkers on here. Do you have a favorite OTHER use for hairspray? Leave me a comment and tell me about it.


Faux Pam Spray

This faux Pam Spray Pan Release is better than Pam Spray, more eco-friendly (no can to dispose of and no fumes), and frugal.

I like the clean up, this will not leave burnt on black residue on the edges of your pans. The shelf life is great, it will keep forever in your cupboard.

When baking recipes using chocolate you may use 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder in place of white flour or 1/4 cup each cocoa powder and flour.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

1/2 cup corn oil or canola oil or vegetable oil
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, room temperature (Crisco shortening is good)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Using an electric mixer beat until mixture has multiplied in volume, and resembles marshmallow cream.

Place in a storage container, and store on the counter, or in a cupboard.
In hot weather, it may be refrigerated, but remember to take it out of the fridge, as it should be room temperature for best results.

The mixture tends to separate slightly upon sitting so mix before using, then brush pans using a pastry brush or a clean paper towel.


Sanctuary is in the Small Things

I have joined Sanctuary is in the Small Things. I'm excited about what's to come. I'm hoping it will help me in many ways in the coming year.

Would you like to join us? Here are a few links to let you in on whats happening!

Home Sanctuary

Small Things

Countdown to Small Things

My Deal on the Gillette Fusion Power Razor

I had to go to Wally World last nite. First time I have been there since around the first of November. Really. I did not go ONE time during the holiday shopping season. I'm so proud of that accomplishment.

I had a $4 off coupon for the Gillette Fusion Power razor. The razor was priced at 9.93, came with one blade and one battery. Threw it in the cart for hubby. Went down the isle and turned the corner and look what I found for $8.93! This included the travel bag, razor, blade, battery, shaving gel, and after shave. With my $4 off coupon that made it $4.93.

This made a much better deal than the price over at CVS.

CVS trip

Am I wrong? Do I have a reason to be po'd?

Scenario: CVS run tonite

Cascade 2/$5 Reg $3.49 ea
Cheerios 2/$5 Reg $4.29 ea
1 Folgers coffee $2.22 $4.39 ea
1 Bounty Basic $4.99 $6.49
2 colgate total toothpaste $5.98 bogo
2 colgate total toothpaste FREE

Sub-TOTAL Charged $23.83 (Regular Price of all $38.40)

1 cvs $4/20 coupon ACCEPTED
1 cvs $5/15 coupon ACCEPTED
1 cvs $2/10 coupon ACCEPTED

Tax $ .64
TOTAL $12.83

1 mfg bounty basic .25 DENIED
1 mfg folgers .25 DENIED
1 mfg cheerios $1.00 DENIED
1 mfg cascade $1.00 DENIED
1 mfg intrnet colgate total toothpaste $1.00 DENIED
1 mfg intrnet colgate total toothpaste $1.50 DENIED

Total DENIED coupons $ 5.00


The clerk took me off guard when I handed her the mfg coupons and I asked her to repeat what she had just said, this is word for word what she said,

clerk: "Ok, that's it, I can't take these. It was pushing it when I took these three cvs. I am only suppose to take one coupon."

me: "What? These are manufacturer coupons."

clerk: "I know that, I already took three coupons, we are supposed to only take one and I'm not taking those coupons."

me: "Since when, this store has always took multiple coupons."

clerk: "It's always been that way. I'm only suppose to take one coupon."

I stood there contemplating what to do. Pay her or tell her to give me back my three cvs coupons and keep merchandise. I looked around for the manager and there was noone around 15 minutes before closing.

I paid her and left the store fuming.

I have never heard of a store that would only accept ONE coupon per order. Kind of defeats the purpose hugh. Maybe next time I will just have her ring up all my merchandise one item at a time, one order at a time if I have a coupon for it.

My Projected Grand Total of trip was to be $7.83.

Happy New Year

Wishing you a Prosperous and Exciting New Year