Sunday, June 16, 2013

Publix Stocking Up for Summer Storms Deal

     Every few months Publix will run different rebate opportunities that give you the opportunity to get a Publix gift card after you purchase a certain amount of products. The great thing about these rebates is a lot of times they will include store coupons, and if you are lucky the items will go on sale during the rebate period, letting you get items for cheap and getting a rebate back. This latest rebate is the Publix Stocking Up for Summer Storms. The products included in the rebate are all canned items, or dry foods like granola bars, which can come in handy if you happen to be involved in a hurricane. I also picked up some other items that were on sale this week for great prices. I had the opportunity to check out with a new young cashier, and he was super excited to see the savings I was able to get! Its always so much more fun when a cashier is eager and excited about seeing coupons and the savings!!
The Summer Storms rebate you must spend $25 on select items and you will receive a $10 Publix gift card.
The rebate items will be marked with a (*).

9 Various Coke product 12 packs- 5.79 each on sale for B2G1
    Publix coupon for bogo Seagrams 12 packs
    .55/1 coupon for Seagrams 12 packs
    .50/1 coupon for Fuze 12 packs attached to product
6 Activia yogurt- 3/$5
    1/1 coupons
1 Mayfield Milk
*8 Hunt's Ketchup- BOGO $1.75
      1/2 publix coupon
2 Armour Pepperoni- BOGO 2.99
      1/2 coupon
*1 Hebrew National Hotdogs- $3
      1/1 publix coupon
6Perdue Chicken Nuggets- BOGO $4.39
     1/1 coupons
2 Sorrento Mozzarella Cheese- 2/$7
    1/1 coupons
1 Snuggle Fabric Softener- $2.99
    .50/1 coupon
    .50 ibotta offer
* 8 Chef Boyardee- $1
    1/4 Publix Coupon
* 12 Libby's Vienna Sausages- 2/$1.19
   1/4 Publix coupon
1 carton of Publix eggs

Total before store sales, store coupons, and manufacture coupons: $150.04

Total After: $49.75 and I'll get back a $10 gift card from the rebate!

Double Dipping Money Making CVS Trip!

     Now in any ordinary circumstance double dipping is not pleasant and frowned upon. But in the coupon world, double dipping can be a great thing! Double dipping at CVS means your store's sales for the next week go active in the computer systems the night before the sale. For instance I went to CVS at 7:00 on Saturday night and was able to purchase things for the sale that starts on Sunday! This can work out great for many different reasons. One of the main reasons I wanted to double dip into the sales pot is because I had a $10/$40 CVS coupon that was emailed to me and there wasn't enough stuff on sale for the current week that I needed. Here's what I got and what it cost me.
Saturday's Sales:
2 Colgate Mouthwash 250ml
   2/$5.98 receive $2 ECB
2 Chex Mix
  2/$4.00 receive $2 ECB
Diet Coke

Sunday's Sales:
3 Almay Eyeshadows
  $5.79 each and $3 ecb for each on you buy with a limit of 3
2 Colgate Mouthwash 500ml
  $5.79 each and get $5 ECB when you spend $10

I used my $10/$40 CVS coupon, 4 $2/1 Colgate mouthwash coupons, 2 $.50/1 Chex coupon and 3 $4/1 Almay makeup coupons.

Total before store sales, coupons, and $10 ECB: $51.88

Total After sales, coupons and ECB: -$1.33
   Yes that is a NEGATIVE SIGN!! I got it all free and had my overage go towards my tax!

And I got back $18 in ECB!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Kitchen Tool Tuesday!

     Time again for the kitchen tool of the day. The title may seem a bit misleading, because the items posted in these blog posts won't necessarily be a tool. Well in my mind a tool means some sort of gadget, but its going to be an item that I think every kitchen household should have in their arsenal, from knives to different bakeware and cookware. So for the sake of this weekly blog post a tool will mean anything that you will use in your kitchen.
     Ok now that I got my mindless ramblings out of the way, now onto the Kitchen Tool of the week. This week its a Tramontina Cast Iron Dutch Oven. I've been wanting one of these for a very long time. There was one on sale around Christmas for $35 and my mother in law got it for me for my Christmas gift. This dutch oven is heavy duty and durable. They are great for soups, stews, roasts, braises, and basically anything that you want slow cooked. They are cast iron which means they are great conductors of heat and can also go from stove top to oven without any worries.

     One of my favorite things about this pan is for browning purposes before I make a stew or roast. Since its such a great conductor of heat it gets meat very brown, and if you read my posts on my Beef Tips and gravy, you saw the goodies that are left in the bottom of the pan after you brown stuff. This is a huge flavor bonus. I know a lot of people love their CrockPots but that browning is something you won't get from a Crock Pot! This pan is definitely worth the investment!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Oh My Beef Tips and Gravy!!

       Today's post is a recipe that brings me straight back to my childhood. When I was little my dad always worked as a salesman of some sort, usually working for the Schwan's Frozen Food Company. He would alternate between Schwans, Red Baron and Tony's Pizza, which meant at any given time our freezer was full of pizzas or frozen meals. One of my favorite meals was Schwan's Beef Tips and Gravy. I remember seeing my mom take that little plastic bag of yummy goodness out of the freezer amd throw it into her trusty pot full of boiling water. Once it was ready she'd serve it over rice or mashed potatoes with a veggie on the side. It was one of the best meals.
     As I sat here the other night reminiscing over this delicious, what I deemed decadent at a young age, meal  I decided to look up how much it would cost to order this from Schwans. When I pulled up the webpage I noticed they were having a sale! Woohoo I was overjoyed, until I saw the prices from the items being on sale. $19.99 for a bag of beef tips and gravy!! I was floored but said to myself, "Seriously, this can't be too hard to make!". So I loaded up Google and began my search.
     Well searching through Google didn't seem to be that helpful. All I found was recipe after recipe containing my two most hated ingredients cream of something soup or a flavor packet. Not knocking anyone who uses these, but I have one recipe in my arsenal that calls for a cream of something soup and that's it. So I decided right then and there I was going to create this bad boy off the top of my head. Gravy isn't that hard to make, equal parts fat and flour and liquid, and well beef tips are pretty self explanatory. Off to the store I go!
     Ok, well not exactly off to the store as it was around 11:00 at night when I had this goal in my head, but you get the idea. So the next morning, off to Publix I go. When I got there I was hit smack in the face, not literally, with what choice of meat to pick. Do I get the one that's already chopped or go for a bigger piece and chop it myself. Here's where the numbers come in. Look at the price per pound and get whatever cut of meat is cheapest. That's the good thing about this meal is its relatively cheap because you can use the least tender piece there is at your store. So I grabbed my chunk of meat and headed home! Well I paid first, but you get the drift.
    When I got home, I mapped out my plan of action. I knew exactly what I was going to do and pulled all my ingredients. This is a life saver whether you are cooking or baking. Whenever you go to cook or bake before you even preheat a oven pull out all of your ingredients! So here's mine!

     This recipe is super simple and you probably already have all the stuff to make it. All you need is flour, meat, beef stock, and some seasoning. The seasoning I used was salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. I ended up using a carton and a half of stock, but I also had two pounds of meat. So grab 2 things of stock just to be sure. Next thing you want to do if your meat isn't cut up is go ahead and chop up your meat.

     Next step in this beautiful creation is season your flour. Season it more liberally then you think you probably should. I don't have exact measurements, because when I cook I rarely measure. When you season the flour you are also seasoning your gravy.
      Next thing is cover your beef tips in the flour. This will help the browning of the meat and will help to create your gravy. After your meat has been floured, its time to get your pan ready for browning the meat. For this recipe you are going to need either a stainless steel, enamel, or cast iron pot, nonstick will not work for this. So heat up some oil in your pot, probably about two to three tablespoons, on medium-medium high heat and throw your meat in. 
     You are NOT cooking the meat! You are just wanting to brown the sides of it. So just brown the meat on all sides. Yes it won't be cooked all the way, but it will finish cooking later.
     Once you have your beef tips pretty brown on the sides pull them from the pan and set them on a plate for safe keeping. What you are going to witness next may frighten some, but its what you want. No you didn't burn anything or screw up. This is where the yummies come in.
     These yummies are packed with goodness. Next you are going to want to throw in about 2T of butter, once the butter is melted throw in about 2T of your seasoned flour. Cook for about 3 minutes. This is what it should look like.
     Next you are going to add your beef stock. I also added a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce. After you have your beef stock in scrap the yummy bits off the bottom of the pan. Cook the gravy over medium heat until it starts to boil. Once its boiling you are going to want to throw your meat back in the pot. Add enough beef stock to just cover the meat. If its already covered by the gravy then omit this step. 
     Now you are going to want to cook it, covered, in the oven for about 30-45 minutes at 325 degrees, depending on how much meat you have. Next step is to get your sides ready! I like it with either mashed potatoes or gravy. Here's the finished product!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kitchen Tool Tuesday!!

     As I mentioned in my post yesterday I love kitchen appliances, but I love kitchen tools as well. Quite frankly I love anything dealing with cooking and my kitchen.  With that said, I hate clutter and will not buy very many single use products. Seems like there's a gadget for every little kitchen need or want. It drives me crazy. I try to stick with tools that have more than one purpose, or that I'll use more than once. If you are shopping for new kitchen tools, think to yourself if it will be something you will use constantly or if its something that will be pushed in the back of your kitchen drawer.
     So onto the first tool I think any cook no matter how skilled needs. This tool or I should say tools, is a good knife. Most accidents happen in the kitchen with knives is when you don't have a sharp enough knife or you are using the wrong type! With that said here's my two main knives I use.
These are Paula Deen Santoku knives I received as a Chirstmas gift a year and a half ago. I like the smaller 5 inch knife for a mostly everyday knife. The larger 7 inch knife I use for mostly cutting meats. These knives are very affordable and really good quality.

Monday, February 25, 2013

New Food Saver!

     Anyone that knows me knows I absolutely love kitchen appliances, but I'm also a cheapy and love a good deal on stuff! I will wait and wait to buy something until I can get a good deal on it. I've been wanting a Food Saver, well forever, but wanted to wait on a good deal on one. If I can find what I think is a good deal I don't mind shelling out the money for a brand name appliance. Well as luck would have it I had been talking to my mother in law about wanting one, and she sends me a message a few days later saying she had gotten her BJ's coupon booklet in the mail and it had a coupon for a Food Saver! SCORE!! She was able to purchase them online and I was able to get one for around $99! My only complaint is the bonus extra's we were supposed to receive we didn't receive, we received something else instead. We received the Food Saver, 1 Food Saver Heat Seal Roll- 11inx10ft, 8 Quart Size Heat Seal bags, and 1 2.25 Quart Marinator. She's contacted BJ's about the difference so I'll keep you updated with that.
     Now onto the fun stuff! I was going to wait to use my Food Saver, but then saw an awesome deal in the Kroger ad for Tyson Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts for $1.79 a pound! I was going to order from Zaycon Chicken in March, but I need chicken now. I will probably still end up ordering from Zaycon too. We go through a TON of chicken! We eat it at least 4 times a week, but usually more! I ended up buying 10 packs of chicken breasts, so I ended up with around 20 lbs of chicken breasts, probably a few pounds more. I'll go back towards the end of the week to pick up a few more packs!

 So for starters here's the Food Saver!!
Another thing you will need if you plan on doing something like this is a food scale. I used it to weigh out a pound of the diced chicken breasts to bag up. These bags of prediced chicken save plenty of time and will be used for recipes like fajitas, chicken alfredo, and soups. I got this one at Walmart!

   I decided I was going to use the roll of the Food Saver bags so I could customize the size bags I wanted to use. I made 6 bigger bags for whole chicken breasts and made some smaller ones for the diced chicken. I ended up using the whole roll and had to use some of the one quart bags that came with my food saver. Here's how I made my bags.

Best thing is it has a built in cutter and a built in holder for your roll! So all you have to do is pull out enough of the material and decide how big of a bag you want. Then simply place it under the cutter and cut!

After you have your bags all cut and ready, next you have a seal. The neat thing about this is all you have to do is slide the bag into the machine and it does all the work. For sealing you just press the Stop/Seal button and it will just seal the bag.

Now your bags are ready!

Another helpful tip is make sure you have all your work supplies ready! I suggest a really good chef's knife and a cutting board!

In all it took me maybe 30-40 minutes to cut, weigh, bag, and seal over 20 pounds of chicken! Best thing is I don't have to worry about freezer burn! I'm so excited about this product! It's awesome! I can see how it could save money, and will end up paying for itself in the long run!

Here's the finished product! I was able to freeze 4 packs that had each 3 whole chicken breasts, 2 packs that each had 2 chicken breasts, 5 packs that each had 1 lbs of diced chicken, 4 packs that each had 1 lb of Teriyaki marinated diced chicken, and one pack that held all the leftover pieces of chicken. When I'm bagging up chicken I like to cut off the ends or the pieces that have leftover skin or fat on them and save them up for when I make chicken and dumplings. I usually throw these pieces in the stock before I cook my chicken.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

CVS Trip Sales Ad of 2/10/13

For starters I had $15 in CVS Gift Cards from Viggle that I needed to use up as well a ton of ECB's that were about to expire. Here's the breakdown.

Spend $30 get $10 ECB-
4 Charmin- $5.49
2 Bounty- $5.97

Spend $15 get $5 ECB-
5 Hershey's Simple Pleasures- 2/$6

Buy Conair Styling Tool get $5 ECB-
1 Conair 3/4 Curling Iron- On Clearance for $2.49
1 Conair Compact Hot Curlers- On Clearance for $6.87
            Thanks to Linda over at for the heads up!

Total before store sales and coupons-$104.57
 Used $15 in GC, $23 in ECB and Coupons.
Total Out of Pocket: $12.11 and received $25 back in ECB!