Monday, March 30, 2009


Aldi Foods is growing all over the country and they have great prices. I have been stopping at Aldi to pick up the majority of my groceries and then stopping at Wal-mart or Kroger to get anything that Aldi doesn't carry. Aldi stores do not accept coupons and I know many of you all use coupons regularly. The deals at Aldi Foods stores are generally good enough that they are still better than a regular grocery store even with a coupon. Most of the prices at Aldi are the same week after week, so it's easy to know if I should pick an item up at Aldi or if I can get a better deal at another store. I have found that the prices at Aldi are generally very low and the quality is very good (most of their items are made by the same companies as the name-brand items). I still shop Kroger a lot and get great deals there, but I have found that I can save a lot of time every week by doing the bulk of my shopping at Aldi and then stopping at Kroger to get anything else. I was spending hours every week checking out several different couponing sites and blogs, organizing coupons, and doing my shopping. Now I'm able to do all my shopping and planning in about an hour a week. I've been doing the deals long enough now that I've got a pretty good stoockpile and I can generally work off that. For those of you who are still building a stockpile, I recommend grabbing staples at Aldi and stopping at the other stores in your area only for deals for items you actually need or will need.

Monday, March 23, 2009


This year I am making my first real attempt at gardening. Last year, I thought about it and even planted some tomatoes (a little late in the year) and was even able to eat a few before the first frost. This year, however, I am making a much more serious attempt. I have already started a little greenhouse in my laundry room. The plants (plum tomatoes, large tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, lettuce, and peppers) should be ready to put in the garden around early May at which time, I will also be planting corn, carrots, onions, and potatoes directly into the garden. Between now and then, I need to find or rent a rototiller (I believe that's the type I need) because our yard is very compacted and I'm basically starting from scratch. Although, this will be my first garden, I am lucky to have a father, who maintained a vegetable garden throughout a substantial part of my childhood, and a grandfather, who at 85 is still an active gardener, to help answer any questions I may have. I consider this kind of an adventure. I am sure that I will end up with more vegetables than our small family will eat, but I have lots of friends and family in the area who will enjoy the extra and this should save us a lot of money on vegetables. So far I've spent $42.66 on tools, seeds, plant food, etc. I probably spend about that much or more in a couple months on vegetables, and don't get nearly as much for my money. I'm looking forward to seeing how this all works out. I am hoping to have enough food to keep our family as well as several of our family members and a few friends well-stocked this summer!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Zoo Membership

The Nashville Zoo has a promotion going to get $10 off your Zoo membership for 2009. Use the code "WILD09" and save $10.

The family membership is a great deal. Not only are there lots of animals and programs at the zoo, there's also a huge play area for kids. Access to the play area itself is worth the family membership.

Instant Breakfast for a toddler!

Last week I got some free Carnation Instant Breakfast at CVS. This morning I realized we were out of milk and it's icy out so I made a yogurt shake for my daughter.

1 packet of Carnation instant breakfast
1/2 cup milk (I substituted water)
2/3 cup of yogurt

I stirred it up and served it as a yogurt drink. My daughter loved this!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Kroger, CVS, Walgreens 3/05/09

My first stop this morning was Kroger. I had a short list for this week, just about 12 items, but I thought I'd grab a couple of the items that were on sale in addition to my usual items, simply because they were such a good deal. This week at Kroger, I was able to pick up the following items for $53.83, not great but a savings of 46% on some of my staples:
- 6 Freschetta Pizzas $3.49 each after coupons
- 2 Boxes of Toaster Strudels $1.29 each after coupons
- 2 Bags of Amour Meatballs $1.99 each
- 2 Boxes of Barilla Whole Wheat Pasta $.39 each (used 2 FREE pasta coupons up to $1 coupon from Armour)
- 3 packs of Baby wipes $1.99 each - $5 off 3 coupon = $.98 for all three packages
- 1 package of Kroger Comforts diapers $6.49 - $3 coupon = $3.49
I also picked up some fruit, soup, milk, half and half, chips/salsa, popcorn and a few other items on my list.

My next stop was to Walgreens. I grabbed 4 packs of Diapers 2/$9. I paid 19.67 after tax and will get 1.80 back on my W card.

My last stop for the day was CVS. I picked up all this for $11.26 oop and was able to get $6.99 back in ECBs to use at a later date:
- 2/$1 Skor bars (we love these)
- 1 box of the Carnation shakes 10 pack $4.99 with $4.99 ECB
- 2 Bags of Gold Emblem Chocolate Macadamia Nuts reg. $3.99, marked down to $2 each and used a $2 off two Gold Emblem purchase
- 2 True North Peanut Cluster bags, regularly $3.49 each, marked down to $1.75 - $1 coupon = $.75 each
- 2 True North Almond Cluster bags $.75 each after coupon
- Magnetic Dry Erase Board/Calendar for my fridge -- marked 50% off @ $5
- 1 ream of high-quality printer paper (I was almost out!) $3.75
- Humidifer protection cartridge (it's supposed to kill the bacteria that can build up in a humidifier) $1.82
- 1 pack CVS sentsitive baby wipes $2.99 - $2 CVS skincare coupon = $.99

My total savings for the day was $109.22 and my spending was $84.76, a saving of 56.3% -- not too bad considering that I did it all on-the-go.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Honeymoon/Anniversary Getaway

For those of you looking for the less expensive options for celebrating your Honeymoon or Anniversary, I highly recommend checking out your state parks. In Tennessee, we have great parks with several of them offering getaway packages for couples. My husband and I did this last year and we're doing it again this year. We're going to a different park, but still within a reasonable drive. At our parks, they offer a meal with your room package and great lake/river views. Check out Tennessee State Parks or your local state parks for options close to you.