Sam’s Club Membership Deal (1 day only)

OK, have to post this. I have a Costco membership, but miss some of the things I get at Sam’s. No way would I spend the full amount for a membership, but this Living Social deal makes it pretty sweet (nearly free):

  • $45 ($79.84 value) for a one-year Membership package (new members only)
  • Includes a $20 Sam’s Club gift card and $19.84 in food-service vouchers (Food vouchers valid for an Artisan Fresh Rotisserie Chicken, a 16″ Artisan Fresh Take-and-Bake Pizza, and two boxes of 6-, 12-, or 24-count Artisan Fresh Cookies)

If three of your friends sign up, you get it for FREE! Living Social Sam’s Club Deal. (Full disclosure: if you sign up through the link I’m posting, that counts as 1 friend for me – I signed up from a friend’s Facebook link… glad she posted it.)

Stay Out Of The Store – Save Yourself Money

Even though buying bulk (Costco, Sam’s Club) may not always render you the lowest price, it will keep you stocked and away from the stores. The less time you spend in the stores each month/week, the better chance you have at keeping to budget.

I purchased a ridiculous amount of sponges at Costco last year. I could have waited for sales (Costco did have an in-house coupon on them) and purchase them in smaller amounts, but since we have no dishwasher and use sponges constantly, it seemed like the best idea. Maybe not the best bargain price, but having them in bulk means that I don’t have to worry about having to make a special run to Walmart (the closest store to us) because we’re out a sponge.

Like I said back in this post (Using Scissors to Save Money), I cut each sponge in half, which also maximizes my dollar.

The smaller size makes it easier for little hands to hold (dishes are one of the kid’s rotating chores). I’ve been doing this for so long that a full-sized sponges feels foreign in my hands. I prefer the smaller size.

Other items I try to stock: toilet paper, laundry detergent (I wait for sales on this), toothpaste, toothbrushes (can get for almost free), deodorant and other toiletries (sales and coupons)

Substitute For Pizza

I’m trying to eat better. Recent wait gain has me in an undeniable position (can feel it in my clothing). But, also, the fact that our paychecks are less than they were – well, no, more is being taken out of the paychecks of State workers here in Wisconsin. The take-home pay is less. Anyway, I’m trying to eat better and save money.

Hence, the new coupon page up there, and my increased use of them. But that’s a whole ‘nother post.

Today, we talk pizza.

Frank’s working an overtime today. Unfortunately, it is a Friday. I’d much rather have him at home, out back with me by the fire. But I’d also like to be able to pay bills. Trade off. I’ve been very good lately, relying less on McDonald’s coffee in a pinch, and more on my handy insulated coffee mug (filling it at home first). I didn’t stop for coffee ONCE this week. Pretty good, if you ask me! Even when I was running late, even when I was tired. I. Held. Strong.

Tonight though when thinking of dinner, I immediately imagined pizza. Ordered. Delivered. Easy. Effortless. Thankfully, though, I have a stack of frozen pizzas (thanks to couponing and sales). I also have hungry children who popped one in the oven before I could even get my fingers on the phone to order anything. With two kids at home sharing a frozen pizza and two kids at a friend’s house hanging out, it seemed like an enormous waste and lack of effort for me to order a pizza.

Instead, I went for a walk. I chugged a glass of water and took Wheezy for a walk.

Then I came home and made my own “pizza” without spending an extra dime. Cheese and tomatoes from Costco, “Italian” bread on sale.

Lonely bread.

Not so lonely anymore. A wipe of butter, dash of garlic pepper and basil. Topped with cheese…

…and tomatoes.

Broiled and toasted in the toaster oven.

A sprinkle of salt and Parmesan, glass of wine (OK, coffee mug of wine). Yum. No, it wasn’t take-out. But it was good. And easy. And yummy. And I’m happy that I didn’t spend $30 on pizza – I can pocket that for another time!

5 Freebies (7/30)

Lists of Five

Five Free Samples (Not sure if any of these have a referral code in them, like Garnier – but if they do, it’s not mine. I don’t get anything from passing these on.)

  1. Kashi Cinnamon Harvest Ceral OR Kashi TLC Peanutty Dark Chocolate Granola Bar [LINK]
  2. Tampax Pearl (via Costco) [LINK] (looks like you have to have a member ID though)
  3. Kotex U [LINK]
  4. Frizz-Ease Smooth Start Serum [LINK]
  5. Garnier Fructis Anti-Dandruff Shampoo [LINK]

Weekend Wrap-Up (Pancakes)

It is still, technically Monday. Not too late for a weekend wrap-up.

We did a lot this weekend. Friday night we went out with my brother, Frank’s cousin and a couple friends. It was a long night, but a nice time. We covered lots of ground, had plenty of fun, and finished the night off at a favorite Mexican restaurant with a delicious platter of shared food.

Saturday I woke up and made pancakes. Mmm. Later, we bummed around and then stopped at an anniversary celebration (parents of a boy on Dante’s soccer team). Got to catch up a bit with folks we don’t always see. Then it was home to watch some television with the family.

The next day we went to an impromptu soccer tournament, local festival where we played BINGO and the kids played some cheap games to win cheap toys. Oh, and I made waffles Sunday morning (they didn’t turn out so well).

Nice weekend. But back to the pancake-making. My mom’s been making buttermilk pancakes for the boys for lunch the past few weeks on occasion. She’d watch them (actually, she’d entertain them) for a few hours while I went in to work, and they would delight in some of her “famous,”  “best-ever” pancakes. I’ve been requested to make them at home, but keep forgetting to get the recipe. So I had to improvise. A try at it last week left me with some not-so-good ‘cakes. But this recipe for Buttermilk Pancakes was a keeper (not only is it a keeper, but it introduced me to Google’s Knol, which is pretty darn cool).

My favorite eggs.

What happens when you get too cocky…

What happens when you pay attention… (this is Lootie’s batch, he has a syrup-love)

For Franny and Dante, who love chocolate chips.

It was a yummy recipe, with great instructions (read the instructions, if you like making pancakes… I like his way of mixing in 1/2 of the dry to wet, and then mixing in the rest of the dry). I tried using it for waffles and it was a bummer; didn’t work. But that’s OK. It makes delicious pancakes. Will have to make a point of getting my mother’s Famous, Best-Ever Buttermilk Pancakes recipe to compare.


GIVEAWAY – Good-As-Money

I have 2 coupons to give away, courtesy of Eggland’s Best Eggs (they sent me some for me and some to share).

(1) for a  Free carton of Eggland’s Best Eggs
(2)  50¢ off coupons for Eggland’s Best Eggs

Simply leave a comment here telling me what you’d use the eggs in and I’ll pick a random winner on Friday. Make sure you use an email address I can contact you with. 🙂 Yup, that’s it. You don’t have to follow me, you don’t have to blog about it. Just leave a comment so I have a way to contact you.

Free Storage and Grocery Bag

I like free stuff, as long as it is useful and not clutter. Here’s a couple freebies from the week.

1.) Boxes from work. Immediately upon receiving my paper ream orders at work, I knew the boxes should come home with me. They’re nice, sturdy and roomy, and best of all – they’re free. I unpacked all of the paper and set the boxes aside, not really sure what to use them for, but figuring it would be put to use in the boy’s room.

(Actually in the picture you see 2 freebies. The boxes, and then the dresser. My parents picked up the dresser at a garage sale, stained it, and gave it to us. Muy cool!!)

Football uniform storage. I need 1 more box, but I’m happy to at least have the twin’s stuff put away. The boxes will go downstairs with the rest of the sports equipment.

2.) A freebie received. My Earthbound Farm tote. Love it. Used it a couple days ago to lug in my groceries.