Target: Up To 50% Off Clearance On Summer Pool Gear & Dorm Essentials



I made a quick run to Target this morning to see if I could score a few of the great deals going on this week, and noticed a ton of clearance on housewares and summer supplies! Here’s what I found . . .


Mesh Laundry Bags $1.38


Mesh Lingerie Bags $1.04


 Dorm Essential Twin Sheet Sets $13.98


Clearance picture Frames $4.98


Large Laundry Hampers (these were pretty big) $11.38



 Goggles $9.98


Max Water Guns $4.98


Speedo Float for Kids $8.98


Super Soakers $2.98


Boogie Board $14.98


Pool Floats $13.98


Don’t miss all the great deals at Target this week!

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Menu Plan: Week of 9/22/14


Here’s this week’s menu plan and grocery shopping list! After trying out a few different recipes last week I decided this week to stick with some of our family’s favorites and just add two new ones to try out. Hopefully it makes getting dinner on your table a wee bit easier this week ~ I know sticking to a menu plan has helped our family eat at home and stick to our grocery budget so much these last few weeks!


If you’re hoping to get on track too, check out my Fall Menu Planning board on Pinterest where I’ve got all the links to the recipes we’re eating each week. Head on over HERE to check that out, and I’d love for you to join all the PPP boards on Pinterest too.


Shopping List
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 more large chicken breast (for pizza Friday night)
  • 3 lb beef shoulder roast
  • 4 bone in pork chops
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 6 oz package dressing or stuffing mix
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 15 oz. can black beans
  • 1 jar peperoncini peppers
  • rice (whatever your favorite type of rice is – to go with Black Beans & Pork Chops
  • 1 package AuJus seasoning mix (in the gravy aisle)
  • slider buns or hoagie rolls for Italian Beef (our local Kroger has Kroger brand slider buns for $1 – lowest price I’ve seen)
  • barbecue sauce (for homemade barbecue pizza – Cleverly Simple has a homemade barbecue sauce version but I know Friday’s are too busy at our house to make it from scratch!)
  • store bought pizza dough (you could also make your own)
  • red onion
  • fresh cilantro
  • sliced jalapenos (optional – for pizza)
  • extra sharp & monterey jack cheeses
  • salad
  • carrot sticks
  • green beans
  • corn on the cob


Pantry Staples

  • garlic powder
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Do you have anything yummy on your menu plan this week?  I’d love to hear what you’re having, and if you have any great recipe ideas please leave a comment to share!  Here are a few previous menu plans that you can also try out:



Check out my recipes to try board on Pinterest, and see more penny-pinched recipe ideas.  This post is linked up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday where you can find lots more menu planning ideas! 


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Dollar Tree Fall Treats: Fall Decor, Halloween Party Supplies & More



I’m in love with the little deals at the Dollar Tree!


(Don’t believe me? See how we decorated an entire Christmas Tree two years ago with Dollar Tree Christmas decorations ~ I love that store!) 


I made a quick run in yesterday, and goodness, if you need anything for a party or even an inexpensive costume this Halloween, you should definitely check out your local Dollar Tree before spending too much.


Here’s a peek at what I found (all for just a dollar, of course.) ;)













And don’t miss all the deals with coupons going on this week at the Dollar Tree!

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15 Days of Pinching Pennies at the Drug Stores Day 7: Rite Aid Coupon Stacking & Exclusions


Hopefully you’ve been able to make some sense of shopping Rite Aid so far this week, but I have a few more tips for you before we walk through a Rite Aid scenario.  Rite Aid has a lot of extra savings available each week, but you’ve got to be able to do a little work to get the best of all the deals.
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1. Rite Aid offers Rite Aid Video Value coupons.

If you really want to start saving big at Rite Aid, you’ll want to check out their Rite Aid Video Value coupons.  Watch a short video commercial for the item that’s offering a coupon, and after watching the video you’ll be offered a printable coupon. These videos re-set each month, and don’t expire until the middle of the following month they’re offered in.

To make sure you don’t miss any great deals, watch all the videos for any items you might possibly purchase, and then use them before the 15th of the following month with Rite Aid offers the beset sale on that item. Each coupon can be used one time, and will include the code RC48 in the bar code.

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2. Rite Aid also has in-ad coupons available each week.

Rite Aid offers in-ad coupons to be used in additional to manufacturer coupons each week.  Watch for the code RC49 in the bar code underneath the in-ad coupon to verify that it’s a Rite Aid store coupon.

3.  You can “stack” your Rite Aid store coupons and manufacturer coupons.

You can stack one manufacturer coupon and one Rite Aid coupon (with code RC49) on the same item at Rite Aid. AND to make it even more fun to shop Rite Aid, you can also stack those with a Rite Aid Video Value coupon (ending in RC48), so that you can potentially use three coupons on one item!


4. Rite Aid’s weekly ad varies some by area.

This is probably the one thing about shopping at Rite Aid that bothers me more than anything else, as the deals aren’t the same in all areas! Most of us will see a “long ad” each week at Rite Aid, including around 12 pages. However, some cities (I haven’t figured out exactly which ones) are given a “shortened” ad, which includes only 8 pages.


To find out which ad is in your area, go HERE and enter your zip code. If you have the shortened ad you won’t be offered al the deals that are included on our Rite Aid weekly lists (which I know is frustrating!), so if you have a certain item that you find on the Rite Aid weekly list that you really want, you may want to verify that it’s also on your local list. (You should be able to tell just by entering your zip code here which list you have – here in Columbus, Ohio my ad has 12 pages, but in Huntsville Alabama it was only 8 pages long.)



Stop back tomorrow night for a few Rite Aid shopping scenarios, and let me know what questions and suggestions you have as well! If you’re new to drug store shopping, you’ll want to also read through these posts to get started:



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The Smartest Financial Decision We {Accidentally} Made

Goodness, I have been so hesitant to share this but feel like there might be someone out there who needs to read it. Please know that I grew up in a single-parent home and I COMPLETELY know that for many of you this is not an option (I don’t know how you single mommas do it all!), but I felt like it was something worth sharing. And I know that we ALL come from different financial places, but this is something that’s changed our finances and might help you out too!


My husband and I had a long drive back this weekend with three sleeping kiddos in the car after visiting Cedar Point for a conference, and started talking about our finances (and really, how we got from HERE to HERE.)


A long time ago (way back in 1996 to be exact), we decided as a young married couple that we wanted me to be able to stay at home with our kids. So, when we bought our very first little-fixer-upper house (even though I was working), we based every financial decision we made on my husband’s income alone. (I never made much more than minimum wage, so it wasn’t all that difficult a decision in some ways!)


In fact, when I sat down to interview for a better paying position in my first job, the interviewers asked, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”


Naively stupidly (at age twenty-one), I replied, “Um, I really just want to be a mom.” ;)


Yup, moving up the ladder to success with that position clearly wasn’t going to happen.
That very clueless comment was the truth though, and shaped the way we looked at every financial decision we were faced with. It made us purchase homes that we could afford on just one income (even while we both worked outside the home), and forced us to stay frugal when our children were small as we were determined to stick it out.


That’s when we learned to just live a frugal life. And how to clip coupons. And how to watch our grocery prices. And it’s when we decided that we wouldn’t live in debt other than our home.


Fast forward 18 (really?) years.


All those things I learned in those early days apparently paid off, and I’m lucky enough to write about them for a few several hundred thousand readers each month. (Can I just tell y’all that’s crazy?????) And while this blog does now earn an income (learn more about how to make money blogging HERE and HERE), we’ve chosen not to spend any of the money we make from it.


(We have spent a little of the income on a few specific splurges, but the bulk of it goes towards saving for our kid’s college and for giving.)


I wish I could give you just a taste of what it feels like to have that financial freedom after years of working towards it. It’s still so weird to know that if something unexpected comes up our finances are in decent shape (which was an incredible blessing during our recent move!), and  I wish I could just let you feel for a moment the peace that comes with that.


Do you know what’s the coolest thing about our decision? That one choice has given me so much freedom as a business owner. (I really don’t think of myself as a business owner, more a crazy-momma-who’s-too-excited-not-to-share-a-deal-with-you all day long? Ahem.) Our choices early on gave me the opportunity to learn this crazy blogging thing; it gave me wisdom in an area that some folks don’t really understand; and it gave me the ability not to worry about making an income while I was learning the ropes of blogging and running a business.


We didn’t make the decision to live on one income purposefully because we wanted an extra savings account or extra cash flow or anything. We simply decided that it’s what we wanted for our own family (and don’t feel like it’s bad at all for moms to work – it was just what we hoped for when we looked at our future!) However, in a crazy turn of life, it’s turned out to be the best financial decision we could ever make.


I have no idea where your family’s finances are at. I do know that we are incredibly blessed to be in this position after many years of hard work, and I know that it simply won’t work for some folks.


But, maybe you’re a young couple just looking at your future and trying to determine where you really want to go. Maybe you’re a mom thinking about re-entering the workforce now that your children are a wee bit older. Or maybe you’re a family that does have two incomes, and have never considered trying to live on one and allowing the second to go towards savings.


I encourage you to maybe consider what life would look like with just one income (if that’s even a possibility – I know it absolutely won’t work for everyone!)  Even if you have two incomes (which is fantastic if both of you love your jobs – I’m not at all against mommas working here!), consider what would happen if you continued those jobs and chose to live on just one income to allow the excess to bulk up your savings account?


I firmly believe that the only way we did it in those early lean years was by clipping coupons and shopping the sales ads.  Even today our grocery budget rarely exceeds $300 a month, and I talk to so  many folks who are spending two to three times that on groceries alone (almost enough to be a second income alone!)  Please understand that I know this won’t work for everyone, but as we’ve watched the peace that’s come from years of penny pinching, I guess I don’t want to miss this opportunity to tell you something that we (truly accidentally) learned along the way.


Your turn now? I’ll be honest, I’ve been a little afraid to share this post as I hate the thought of offending anyone, but I’m so thankful (truly, overwhelmingly thankful) for the peace that we’re finally feeling after so many years of penny pinching.  I just wanted to mention it as a possibility to consider, and would love to hear your thoughts too.


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Walmart Clearance?

At our local Walmart this morning and noticed a ton of clearance! Mostly odds and ends, but it might be worth checking out. Also grapes for $.88 per pound – woo hoo!








Watch for more penny pinched deals in a bit!

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15 Days of Pinching Pennies at the Drug Stores (Day 6): How To Save At Rite Aid


How to Save a Rite Aid

Any Rite Aid Shoppers out there?  I know so many folks just love CVS (and sometimes Walgreens too. . .) but my penny pinching friend Shannon and I always discuss that Rite Aid just might be the unsung hero of the drug store game.


For whatever reason, Rite Aid never seems to get quite the publicity that CVS and Walgreens do (possibly because they started their rewards program after CVS and Walgreens I think?) but there are deals to be had there. I’ve found that most of the deals at the drug stores go around to each store (i.e., that P&G sale that’s going on one week at CVS may be pretty similar a few weeks later at Rite Aid, and then on sale the next week at Walgreens), so my recommendation is to pick one store (to make things easy maybe the one nearest your home), and learn to shop just that one store really, really well.


So, how do you start shopping at Rite Aid? Let’s get started . . .


The Basics of Rite Aid Shopping

1. Request a Wellness+ Card

Sign up for a Wellness+ Card at your local Rite Aid or request one online.

2. Also register your Wellness+ Card online.

Just like using your card at CVS, you’ll want to register your Wellness+ card online at Rite Aid to get additional savings added to your Wellness+ account. 

3.  Rite Aid offers UP Rewards (+UPs) as their rewards program.

Again, similar to CVS, Rite AId offers UP Rewards (+UPs) when you purchase participating items in the sale ad each week. Purchasing items that earn +UPs is the best way to save at Rite Aid, and these rewards are tied to your Wellness account, so be sure to use your Wellness account when you shop Rite Aid.

4.  Rite Aid offers two kinds of sales each week.

When shopping Rite Aid, watch for traditional store sales updated each Sunday, as well as +UPs offers.  Typically your very best buys of the week at Rite Aid will be the +UP offers, but take a few minutes to also scan the weekly ad for any extra deals. Rite Aid does offer Buy One Get One products occasionally as well as clearance sales, which really can help add to your savings.

 5. If you forget your Wellness card when shopping at Rite Aid, you can use the phone number associated with your card to still get those savings.



You can find all the Rite Aid deals this week HERE to work on before you shop ~ and I’ll update soon with a Rite Aid scenario as well to get you started!




Stop back tomorrow night for more tips on Rite Aid shopping, and let me know what questions and suggestions you have as well! If you’re new to drug store shopping, you’ll want to also read through these posts to get started:


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Laurie’s Kroger Trip: Spent $7.68 For $36 In Groceries


Just a reminder that the Kroger Mega Sale ends TOMORROW in most areas – don’t miss all the great deals! I was just able to print another $1/1 coupon after taking a few minutes to fill out the form HERE -YAY for more $.69 Babybel. ;)



I know I’m inundating you all with Kroger deals & shopping trips this week, but I think after not having any really fun grocery trips in quite some time I’m just a wee bit excited! I bought everything in the picture above for $7.68 ~ not too shabby. ;)


{These were the coupon matchups I used for today’s trip.}


Note that your Kroger pricing will vary some by area – in our store here in Columbus, Ohio the Babybel was $.99 for a smaller size (compared to $2.49 that my friend Staci found for the larger packs in Huntsville, Alabama), and our Laughing Cow Cheese was $.69 after coupon instead of $.49. But, you should be just a few cents off, and hopefully this will help you save big this week!



Here are all the links so you can easily save big at Kroger this week too:




Find more Kroger Deals this week.

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Do You Have The Right Insurance For Your Home?


Goodness, gracious ~ can I just tell you when it rains, it pours?  


(You knew that already though, didn’t you?)


Two weeks ago after waiting all summer (ahem), we finally got grass in our new home. As silly as it sounds, we were so happy. (I had no idea living without grass would be so difficult!)


Then, exactly four days later (as we were saturating our yard with water to keep our beautiful grass oh-so-happy), our basement flooded due to a faulty sump pump.




But it gets better (doesn’t it always?)


The next morning, after spending hours pulling items off the ground in the basement and getting a crew out to help with the basement mess, I noticed a small wet spot in the corner of my son’s bedroom.  As luck would have it, there’s been a leak in the wall between his shower and hallway, that’s been leaking since we moved in.


Not. good.


Thankfully (so thankfully), all of these things can be fixed, and in the grand scheme of life it really is small stuff. (Mind you, it hasn’t felt like small stuff at all as we’ve gone through it!)  Because of the way everything happened, we thought we may need to go through our insurance to handle coverage for the basement portion of the issue, but it looks like our builder will be handing it. (Thank heavens!) Along the way though we’ve muddled through insurance adjustors, contractors and a slew of handymen, and I’ve learned a few things that may help you out too when looking at your homeowners insurance policy.


Did you know that you can save on the cost of your insurance if you have a smaller claims history, and larger deductible?

We’ve always stuck with having a larger deductible for our homeowner’s and auto insurance, which helps keep our premiums low. Because we have money already set aside in an emergency fund, if we need to file for insurance we have that money sitting in a separate account prepared for (literally) a rainy day. (This makes us less likely to file a claim unless we absolutely need to, keeping our claims history low as well.)


Did you know that if damage is caused by a sump pump failure, regular insurance won’t likely cover the cost of the damage to the carpets, baseboards and walls in your basement?


(We learned that one this week~ yikes.) You can get an additional rider to cover the cost of additional damages, but you don’t want to wait until it’s too late to be sure you have the right policy in place.


Did you know that if a storm causes the drains or sewers around your home to back up, any damage to your basement in the event of extra water won’t be covered?


As I’ve been reading up on insurance it turns out that typically damage caused by water coming from the sky is covered, however damage due to ground water may not be covered, so it’s important to have an additional rider on your home for this as well.


{In case you’re curious, the term “rider” in the insurance world is a provision for your insurance purchased separately from your basic policy, which gives you extra benefits for an additional fee.}


As much as I hate that we’ve gone through this craziness over the last few weeks, we’ve learned so much in the process.


Because we have a finished basement, we’ve learned that adding a rider to our policy will be well worth it as the cost of replacing the carpeting and furniture in our basement in the event of another issue could cost us thousands of dollars, and even more if the water soaks into the dry wall.  We’ve learned exactly what things are and aren’t covered on our home, and determined what coverage we need for the future.

So, how can you know that you have the right home insurance coverage for your home?

Contact a local insurance ELP who can discuss exactly what insurance coverage you currently have, and see what discounts they can offer you. Dave Ramsey’s Endorsed Local Provider program is also a great place to find tax help, a local realtor, or even investing advice.



To get more information, click HERE and make sure that you have the very best coverage for your home.  You don’t want to ever be in a situation where you could potentially lose tens of thousands of dollars due to a policy you just didn’t understand, so do your homework and find exactly the plan that works for you!



This is a sponsored by Dave Ramsey’s Endorsed Local Providers, however all opinions are my own.



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15 Days of Pinching Pennies at the Drug Stores (Day 5): Extra CVS Tips


Ready to finish up learning how to shop CVS using coupons? (You can do this!) First you’ll want to read through these posts if you haven’t already:


I got a great question last night asking about whether or not it’s really worth using shopping CVS for their ECB deals, and thought it was so worth discussing, so here goes:

“I’m still trying to figure out how I’ll know what to buy. It seems that you have to buy things you don’t necessarily need to get the ECB’s. Is that what you post with your deals at CVS weekly posts? So a newbie like me should just follow those scenarios and buy what you say until I pick it up on my own? Sorry. I really want to do this, but I don’t want to spend money on items I don’t need. I understand donation items too, but is it worth it for what I’m actually going to need and use?”


Here was my response:

I (completely!) understand! The thing that I’ve figured out over the years is that there’s a basic cycle to shopping at the drug stores, so if I can get on their sales cycle to purchase things (deodorant, shampoo, paper products, toothpaste, etc), I end up with everything I need for just a few dollars over the course of several months. It is easier in the beginning to follow the scenarios (I think?) and then once you get the hang of out to roll your ECBs you can venture out for different items. BUT the trick to the drug stores is to really snag the deals that are next to nothing with ECBs, so some weeks you get things you may not use (I only get those if they’re free or just way too good a deal not to donate), and then roll those into more deals the following week. 


As with all stores, the drug stores have a certain cycle to their sales, and if you can change your shopping so that you the ads based on their sales cycles, you will save a ton of money. Drug store shopping isn’t for everyone, but if you’ve got a little energy to put into it, I promise you can save hundreds, of not thousands of dollars!


Okie dokie ~ here are a few more tips to help you make sure you’ve learned just about everything about how to shop at CVS with coupons:


1. Watch for additional monthly CVS ECB offers.

Just like weekly Extra Care Bucks offers, CVS offers monthly ECB offers that work exactly the same way as weekly ECB sales, however they’re available for an entire month.


2.  CVS will give you Quarterly ECBs depending on how often you shop CVS.

CVS Quarterly ECBs are earned each quarter, including approximately 2% cash back on most CVS purchases. To qualify for these savings, you must spend at least $25 at CVS in a given quarter, and your CVS Quarterly ECBs will printout once each quarter while shopping.


3.  CVS offers additional ECBs when you fill a prescription.

In addition to Quarterly ECBs based on your purchases in a given quarter, you’ll also earn ECBs every time you fill a prescription at CVS.  For every 2 prescriptions filled at CVS, you’ll get $1 in ECBs.


4.  CVS gives Beauty Club Points when you purchase participating products.

In addition to CVS ECBs and Quarterly Rewards, earn CVS beauty Club points when you shop. To get those savings, sign up for the CVS Beauty Club and link your CVS Extra Care Card to your Beauty Club account. For every $50 you spend on beauty products at CVS, you’ll get $5 in ECBs! Items included are things like hair care and accessories, skin care, cosmetics, etc.


5. CVS offers Rain Checks.

If you get to CVS and they’re out of a product (including ECB offers), request a rain check. Then purchase the item when it’s back in stock and your cashier will manually print the ECB savings when the item is back in stock. Rain checks do not expire at CVS.



So there you have it ~ just about everything you can learn about CVS’ing, hopefully covered for you! Next week will start working on Rite Aid (they have some incredible deals there too!), which hopefully will help you pinch a few more pennies out of your grocery budget.  Let me know what other tips, suggestions, or questions you have in the comments section – I love hearing from you!

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