Freebies at Kroger

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I had to go grocery shopping today.  I went to my favorite little neighborhood Kroger,  really early because the maintenance guys were coming in to clean out the ducts in my townhouse.  So I was there and back before 8 am!  For the first time in a long time, I bought only good for you food…lots of fruits and veggies, rye bread, fish, and my guilty indulgence, Laughing Cow cheese.

I also managed to come away with a few freebies today..

The Crest was on sale for $1 a tube…I had coupons for either 50 cents (which double to $1) or $1 off per tube.  So all of the toothpaste was totally free..I’ll keep two and donate two.  The tuna was also on sale for $1 a package…I’ve been printing coupons from Starkist’s facebook page on Fridays, 50 cents off/package which Kroger again doubled, making the tuna free.  I’ll print a couple more tomorrow so I can get a couple more before the sale ends.  The Yoplait Greek yogurt was a Catalina that printed out the last time I bought Yoplait original yogurt…one free carton.  The candle was a coupon that I received in the mail from Glade for one free item from the new spring collection.  I thought the candle smelled nice and I burn a lot of candles, so a free one is extra nice.

I ended up saving 47% on my total purchase which is pretty good considering I bought so much fresh produce (oh, the Dole salad mixes had peelies on some of them for $1 off of two…I like it when I can find produce coupons).  I’m slowly making my way back to eating healthy and exercising daily…one day at a time, one step at a time!

Thunderstorms, tornadoes and yes, a little sunshine

Federal Signal Thunderbolt 1003 Warning / Civi...

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Ahh…spring…when you never know from one minute to the next what kind of weather you’re going to have.  It was cloudy when I woke up.  A little later, I couldn’t believe that I saw the sun peeking through the clouds.  It’s been so long since I’ve seen any sunshine at all, I wasn’t quite sure what it was.

I was able to go outside for a walk today.  I walked on the sidewalks though, no trail walking for me for a while.  I’m afraid it’d be like walking through a swamp.  I’d probably lose my shoes in all the mud.  It seemed like a lot of people were getting outside while they could.  I ended up standing around talking to a neighbor for about an hour after I got back home.  I think everyone is tired of being inside and eagerly awaiting nicer days.

Earlier today, the weather forecasters were calling for tornadoes tonight, but I think they must have revised that.  All I’m hearing now are severe thunderstorm warnings.  Thunderstorms are bad enough at night, but still much less frightening than those blasted tornado sirens going off when you’re in a deep sleep.  I have my tornado/storm preparedness kit ready just in case…battery operated radio, flashlight, blanket and of course, I’d have to grab Spooky.  Hopefully it won’t be called into play tonight.

April showers definitely bring May flowers…

Freebies in my mailbox today

I love getting free stuff!  When the rain let up for a few minutes today, I walked down to the mailbox and was excited to come back to the house with a bundle of  mail…several magazines (okay, technically those aren’t freebies, but I enjoy them), a sample of Curel (with a coupon), a coupon for a free Glade product from their new spring collection, and my favorite goodie of the day…the full-size container of EOS hand lotion that I won on a Facebook contest.

I had never used the EOS hand lotion (and isn’t that just the cutest little container that it comes in?), but I really like it.  I’ll definitely be using those coupons..yeah, yeah, one of them says to share with a friend, but that’s not going to happen!

BzzAgent…first campaign

I signed up with BzzAgent.com to try actual products, share my opinions, and often coupons, with my friends and give honest reviews of the products I try.  I thought it sounded like a fun way to get to try new products and possibly have some influence over what companies produce.

My first campaign is with CoverGirl‘s new NatureLuxe collection.  I received my kit yesterday…

…a full-sized tube of the NatureLuxe Silk Foundation and a full-sized tube of the NatureLuxe Gloss Balm, information about the products and five coupons to share with my friends.

In reading about the foundation, I really like that it’s made with a lot of natural ingredients such as jojoba and rosehip extracts.  I haven’t used a liquid foundation in several years.  When I discovered mineral foundation, I gave up the heavy liquid ones.  I’d always had problems with the heavier liquid foundations causing my skin to be irritated and break out.  Those problems disappeared when I began using mineral makeup.

So I’m a little leery of going back to a liquid foundation, but I’m going to give this a fair trial and report back honestly about whether or not I like it.  With that in mind, I used the new foundation yesterday and was surprised at how lightweight it felt on my skin.  It provided good coverage, actually better coverage than the mineral makeup I’ve been using, that lasted all day.  It was easy to apply with just a little tingle when I first put it on.

The color of the lip balm kind of scared me when I first saw it in the tube.  I’m very fair-skinned and bright lip colors just don’t work for me.  I was pleased with the soft look once I applied it though.  The color was nowhere near as intense on my lips as it was in the tube.  It wasn’t sticky at all and the color lasted for quite a while.  I can see myself using this every day for work.

So far, I’m pleased with the CoverGirl NatureLuxe products.  I’ll have to use the foundation for a couple of weeks to make sure it’s not going to cause problems with my skin, but I’ll definitely keep everyone updated regardless.  Now, which of my friends want those coupons to try these products for themselves?

This week’s CVS shopping trip

A CVS pharmacy in Southside Place, Texas, form...

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I made a hurried stop at CVS this week.  I had to get some pictures printed for our recognition board at work, so decided to pick up a few things for myself while I was there.  This was an unplanned, unprepared for shopping trip, so I know I didn’t do as well as I could have had I actually planned it out.  Oh well, that happens sometimes and I’m not going to spend a lot of time feeling bad about it.

I was able to buy a few items for the Stamp Out Hunger campaign next month.  I bought 3 jars of Skippy peanut butter for $5 (no coupons, darn it), 2 of which I’ll donate.  I also got 3 packages of Reach dental floss…they were on sale for $1 each and I had 3 $1 coupons, so I managed to snag those for free.  Again, I’ll keep one for myself and donate the other two.  I bought two boxes of Natural Instincts hair color, on sale for $5.99 each. I had a $5 off two coupon, so those ended up being right at $3.50 each.  Considering the regular price for those is $7.99 to $8.99 each, I feel pretty good about that deal.  (And no, I’m not planning to donate either box.)  And, being the bad girl that I am, I did buy a bag of Easter pretzel M & Ms for $1.97, not for anyone’s Easter basket, just for me…bad, bad girl!!

I didn’t use any of the ECBs that I had from previous visits and earned no ECBs on this visit.  I did, however, finally get something from the magical red machine that didn’t involve candy.  I got a $2/2 coupon on any deodorant…from what I’ve seen of the ad previews, this just might come in handy next week!

I’ve already written a couple of things on my list for next week.  Palmolive dish soap is on sale for .88 and I have a couple of coupons to lower the price even more.  Also, Kleenex will be on sale for .88. I have a few boxes of Kleenex, but I also know that the box in the downstairs bathroom is almost empty and the one in my bedroom is probably about half gone.  So, I’ll pick up a couple of boxes, using a .50/2 coupon I happen to have in my possession.  Beyond that, I just don’t know what else I’ll add to my list.  I do know there won’t be any coupon inserts in this Sunday’s newspaper, so maybe, just maybe, I can sort through my coupons and refine my filing system a little.

Happy CVS shopping, everyone!

A Quickie

Got ya, didn’t I?  You were thinking a quickie when I only meant a quick to prepare work lunch.  So sorry about that…and if you believe that, well…I don’t know what to tell you.

I didn’t go to the grocery store today even though I’d planned to…how’s that for 100% savings?  But then I realized I needed to come up with something to take to work for lunch for the rest of the week.  And that meant I had to do some kind of cooking.  Goodness knows, I have plenty in my pantry to choose from, so I went for something quick and easy that would be relatively healthy and would use up some of the fresh broccoli in the fridge.  I’m determined not to throw produce out any more, what a waste of money that is.

This comes together quickly and is a tasty cold pasta dish.  You’ll notice I’ve got my handy,dandy secret ingredient…Hendrickson’s Original Sweet Vinegar and Olive Oil…I use this stuff for so many different dishes…vegetable salad dressing, cole slaw dressing, in pasta salad (like today), as a marinade for chicken…I seriously love this product.  If I could only buy one dressing, this would be it.  If you haven’t tried it yet, run, don’t walk, to your nearest store (I buy mine at Kroger) and buy a bottle…you’ll love it!!

Here’s what you’re looking for!!

So, now my lunch is prepared for the rest of the week and I’ve managed to recommend one of my favorite products to my loyal readers…all in all, a good day’s work.

Giveaways

Kirkwood Ave. in Bloomington, IN. http://art.a...

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I love entering giveaways and have had some success with actually winning quite a few (a case of Better Oats, a case of Celestial Seasonings tea, EOS hand lotion, Soft Scrub,  Starbucks gift card, Coffee Mate, Purex Crystals, Avon Anew skin care kit, Mission tortilla chips, Oscar Meyer carving board meat, Clinique mascara, and lots of coupons for free products).  I’m always surprised when I receive the notification that I’ve won something.  It’s such a thrill to get something useful for nothing (except for the little bit of time invested in actually completing the entry process).

Today I want to let everyone know about a giveaway that one of my Bloomington blogging buddies is hosting.  If you haven’t read Back to Her Roots, I highly recommend it…Cassie always has great photos, some of the best recipes around, and now even giveaways!  Check out her latest giveaway as well as her wonderful blog…

http://backtoherroots.com/2011/04/18/ive-got-a-lovely-bunch-of-coconuts-giveaway/#comment-3254

And good luck with the giveaway should you decide to enter…although I have to tell you, I’d really, REALLY like to win this one myself!!

The Royal Wedding

William and Kate shun traditional wedding list...

I was at work today and had an elderly lady come through my line.  She saw a magazine about the royal wedding and was so excited.  She started talking about them (William? and Kate…see, that’s how up to date I am on all of this) like they were part of her family, grandkids or something.  Just because I have very little interest in all of this royal stuff doesn’t mean I didn’t find this lady’s attitude cute…she really was sweet.

I asked her if she was going to watch all of the proceedings.  She acted surprised that I’d even ask such a question.  She said she’d stay up all night to watch it if she had to.  I’m sure I’ll see plenty on the news and online without losing sleep over it.

This got me thinking about Diana and Charles’ wedding.  I did watch that one…back in the day when I still believed in fairy tales, I guess.  The way that all ended serves to remind me that no one really lives a fairy tale existence.  We may go into it thinking we have it all when we marry our prince, move into that castle, and find adoration wherever we go.  But the life we lead away from prying eyes could be devoid of happiness, filled with insecurities and deceit.  We never really know everything about the lives of others…sometimes I don’t even know everything about my own life.

I do know I want to live my life according to my beliefs.  I don’t want to have to worry about what people I don’t even know think about me.  I want to be kind and considerate (and I usually am…hey, I’m human…definitely not a saint), help those who need help, fight for causes in which I believe.  I want to be at peace with myself.  After all, I spend more time with myself than with anyone else.  Being true to myself brings me a measure of contentment.  I may never have everything I want (and really, who does?  The more you get, the more you want, right?), but I do have everything (and more) that I need.  Not a princess, fairy tale kind of life, but all in all, a pretty good life.  I’ll take that!

Stamp Out Hunger

LA: NALC "Stamp out Hunger" Annual F...

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We live in the wealthiest country in the world, and still, there are children who go to bed hungry,  parents who don’t eat so that their children can,  elderly people who can’t afford even the basics.  I know it can be overwhelming to think about this.  The problem of hunger in our country continues to grow while our personal resources diminish. 

 This is part of why I am an avid couponer.  I’ve always donated to the local food pantry, but now I can donate so much more because I’ve learned how to maximize my dollars through couponing.  Am I an “extreme couponer”?  Not even close.  But I do have a sizable donation box ready to donate to the National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger campaign next month…May 14 to be exact.  To find out more, check out this link…

http://www.helpstampouthunger.com/

I hope you’ll consider taking part in this campaign. Remember, every can, every box, every single donation makes a difference in someone’s life.  All you have to do is leave your donation at your mailbox that day.  Your letter carrier will pick it up and everything will go to support the needs of people in your community.  We’re all in this together, and together, we can perform small miracles in our own communities.

Celestial Seasonings tea giveaway

Free Tour of Celestial Seasonings

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I entered a giveaway on Facebook a few weeks ago.  Celestial Seasonings was giving away several cases of tea, and I thought “why not?  I like their gingerbread tea.  What have I got to lose?”  Well, nothing at all to lose and an entire case of tea to win.  And win I did.  I was pretty surprised when I read that I’d won.  I contacted them with my address and let them know what my favorite tea is.  Earlier this week, I answered the door to the FedEx guy and excitedly opened the box.

How fun to be able to get the gingerbread tea out of season (it’s usually only available during the Christmas season).  As much as I love their tea, I think I’m going to put a couple of boxes in my donation box for the Stamp Out Hunger campaign next month….I want to share my good fortune with someone who might not be able to afford a treat.

So, thanks, Celestial Seasonings, for the great gift of tea and for allowing me to bring a smile to someone else!

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