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Archive for May, 2008

Wii Fit

I tried the Wii Fit last night.  It told me my weight/BMI, helped me set weight loss goals, and gave me several exercise options (yoga, strength training, aerobic exercises, and balance exercises).  It was a lot of fun (I loved the soccer and hula hoop games!).  It was also easy, because the Wii walked you through everything.

This morning, I am quite sore.  I did some exercises that my body was not used to!

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May 28

I went to CVS to purchase deodorant and shampoo.  I had $1.50 in coupons.  After seeing the $5.49 price for deodorant, I left, thinking that I would try HEB for lower prices.  At the library, I realized that I had $6 in Extra Bucks from my previous shopping trip ($3 was if you spent $15).  

I went back to CVS, got 2 deodorants, 2 shampoo bottles (the $1.50 was $1 off of 2 deodorants and $.50 off of 2 shampoo bottles), and some travel toothbrush covers (pack of 4 for $2).  I only needed one, but the package had four.

After using my $7.50 in combined coupons (clipped coupons and Extra Bucks), I paid $9.  It wasn’t the best savings I’ve done, but it was still less than paying full price.

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I have a decent menu this week!  I pulled out every April/May and June/July Light and Tasty magazine that I have.  I opened one up and found a few recipes that looked promising.

Menu for the week of May 27:

  • lemon herb chicken with parmesan zucchini spears
  • peking shrimp with brown rice
  • turkey pasta soup with salad
  • spaghetti with turkey sausage and salad

For more menu ideas, see orgjunkie.com.

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I had a fun time with the Drugstore Game this morning.

A quick explanation of the Drugstore Game:

  • CVS (with free store card) and Walgreens
  • Search their ads for sales that involve Extra Bucks (CVS) or Register Rewards (Walg)
  • When you purchase certain items, you get store credit/coupons (however you want to call them) for the next week (they usually expire within 1-3 weeks)
  • The next week, you buy another set of items that have rewards at checkout, but you use clipped coupons and your reward dollars. Thus, you pay less and get rewards for the following week.
  • I want to add that CVS has a separate flyer in the store each month for specific Extra Bucks deals, and they also have a few in each week’s ad. Walgreens has a montly rebate flyer in the store, as well as their weekly ad with a few register rewards in it.
  • CVS and Walgreens ads can be found in the stores, online, and also in most Sunday papers. Deals start every Sunday (HEB and Randall’s start every Wednesday).

Here’s how I did today:

  • I selected Glide Floss at 3 for $9 with $3 in register rewards (printed at checkout), thus really getting 2 for $6 (because the register rewards were $3, which I would use the following week).
  • Before paying, I handed the cashier a $1 clipped coupon (from the newspaper) and $6 of register rewards that I had saved from the previous week’s trip to Walgreens. DO NOT LET THE CASHIER TELL YOU THAT YOU CAN’T USE REGISTER REWARDS OR COUPONS! They’ll try, because they haven’t experienced the joys of the Drugstore Game, and therefore don’t realized the fun that you can have combining manufacturers coupons with store credit (register rewards). My lovely cashier tried to discourage me, but I persisted that I would like to try all of my coupons/rewards anyways. It all worked perfectly according to plan. The coupon and rewards added up to $7, so my cash total went from $9.17 down to $2.17, which I paid in cash (I use a variation of the cash & money envelope system instead of credit cards).
  • When I received my receipt, I was also given my $3 register rewards (because I bought 3 floss for $9), which I will use next week.
  • If you add in my new rewards, which I will use next week, Walgreens actually paid me $.83 (or you can call it $1) to purchase floss. Fun!

I have to say that when I first read up on people’s successes with the game and how to play, I didn’t think that I could do it. I read that it was a good idea to start with one deal in the ads and go from there.

My advice for Drugstore Game beginners is to search the ads each week until you find an item that you have been needing to purchase (or an item that you regularly buy). Make sure that it has register rewards/Extra Bucks. Go out and buy it. Save your register rewards/Bucks. The next week, search the ads again. If you don’t see anything you need, don’t worry! Bucks are usually good for at least 2 weeks. Wait another week. If you still can’t find something, go ahead and use the bucks to purchase a non-register rewards item (milk, toothbrush, etc.). Think of it like a clipped coupon. I often used mine for non-Rx prescriptions that I combine with clipped coupons. Eventually, a deal will come along that is right up your alley. You’ll do great! Just remember to bring your clipped coupons with you!

What successes have you had with the Drugstore Game?

See more Frugal Friday ideas at http://www.biblicalwomanhoodonline.com/blog.htm.

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Thursday, May 22

I went swimming today.  My motivation was a chance to wear my new swim cover up!  It was the first time that I’ve exercised since my race on Sunday.  Let’s just say that I wasn’t sore, but I couldn’t swim very fast!

I got home and made a batch of brownies (with chocolate chips).  I heated up leftover hamburger helper (with added veggies) and sliced a tomato.  I also managed to start a load of dishes, which is absolutely fabulous!

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Swimsuit Cover Up

Over the winter, I wore a blue sweatsuit and blue flip flops after I swam.  Now that it is in the nineties every day, I’ve been coming home wrapped in a hot pink (not in a pretty way) beach towel.  Last week (or the week before?), I wanted to go into the grocery store after my swim.  At a stoplight and in the grocery store parking lot, I had to put my nice work clothes over my swimsuit.  Not fun.

After that, I went to Ross and purchased a knee-length dress to use as a coverup.  I never took the tags off, and I’m glad I didn’t.

Today, I went to Academy and used a gift card to purchase an actual swimsuit coverup dress.  It’s black and made of a gauzy (not see through) fabric.  It also fits a bit looser than the Ross dress.  Also using my gift card, I purchased a $3 pair of black flip flops.  One, they matched the coverup.  Two, they seemed like my heels wouldn’t slip off of them as much when they were wet.  My old, blue pair (Old Navy) were quite slippery when wet.

After that, I returned the Ross dress and now have more cash in my wallet!

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This has been a fun evening.

Last night, my husband and I played a board game.

Tonight, we played another!  (I won, too!)  It was also extra fun, because we each had a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream with a homemade brownie (that had chocolate chips baked inside).

When I got home from work today, I immediately got started cooking my potato soup (because I was going to use the crock pot, and I knew that it would take several hours).  Normally, I cook potato soup on the stove, using chicken and a recipe from Light and Tasty Magazine (creamy chicken potato soup?).  Today, I was determined to try beans in it (and hide them, too).  My friend had recently used Northern beans in mac & cheese (Sneaky Chef cookbook) and I hadn’t been able to find a trace of them.  I was also using a slice of bacon (and omitting butter) to try and add some extra flavor.  I don’t normally use bacon, so I had gotten one slice of it from the deli counter (35 cents)!

Slow Cooker Potato Soup with Beans:

  • Chop an onion and cut up 1 slice of raw bacon.  Saute both in a pan.
  • Open a can of Northern beans, drain them in a sifter/colander, rinse them, and put them in the crockpot.  Add 3 cups of low-sodium chicken broth.  Use an immersion blender (lovely tool!) to puree the beans until the liquid is smooth.
  • Add the cooked onions/bacon to the crockpot.
  • Peel and chop (1/2 inch cubes) 2-3 potatoes (1 pound).  Add them to the crockpot.
  • Add salt and pepper (1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper, although I just eye-balled it).
  • Put the slow cooker on high for 4 hours (or you can do low for 10 hours, I suppose).

Four hours later…

  • Mix 1 cup milk (skim recommended) and 1/4 cup flour (I shake them in a jar or tupperware container).
  • Add 1 cup evaporated milk (nonfat) to the milk mix and shake again.
  • Add the milk mixture to the crockpot.  Also add 1 tsp each of parsley and chives.  At this point, I tasted it to make sure that the potatoes were cooked.  I added more salt and pepper (remember that I eye-balled the amounts earlier).  Let the soup continue to cook on high until it thickens.  I’m doing this right now (as I write this), but I bet it’ll just be for 10-20 minutes or so.

I also made hamburger helper tonight.  I added chopped onion, sliced mushrooms, chopped garlic, and sliced carrots when I browned the meat.  Yum!

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