Week 19 Assignment - Fire Safety in the Kitchen

Friday, July 31, 2009
Your assignment this week is to equip your kitchen with a fire extinguisher. Hopefully you will NEVER have to use it, but it's best to have one, just to be safe.

Fire extinguishers come in various class ratings, depending on their intended use. For kitchen use, you need an extinguisher that is rated Class "B" (for flammable liquids, like grease or oil), or a multi-rated Class A/B/C.

Try to locate your extinguisher as close to your stove as possible, since that is the most likely fire hazard in your kitchen, but do not put it OVER the stove (you may not be able to get to it if there is a fire). We chose to mount ours inside our pantry, which is just to the left of the stove. Ours is a small A/B/C rated model we picked up at Home Depot.

You'll need to check it periodically to make sure it is still charged (most have a built-in gauge) and in working order. And take time to review how to operate it effectively.

Here's a LINK to a great web page on most anything you'd want to know about fire extinguishers and a LINK to kitchen fire safety tips.

Family Home Storage: A New Message

Thursday, July 30, 2009
Now that we've finished putting together the basics for 72-hour or "bug-out" kits, we're going to turn our focus onto food storage.

Recently, the Church revised it's recommendations on food storage and put together a plan which they hope will be more successful in helping members to follow the principle of preparedness.

What does it entail? Take a look HERE - it's an article that came out in the Ensign earlier this year.

The focus of food storage and preparedness has been broken down into four basic objectives:

  1. Three-month supply
  2. Drinking water
  3. Financial reserves
  4. Long-term storage

We've already talked a bit about the drinking water (which I personally think should be number 1 on the list, since you can live for awhile without food, but not so long without potable water). Now it's time to work on the three-month supply.

Cheap Crest Toothpaste at Smiths!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Crest toothpaste (the larger 6oz size) is on sale at Smith's Food & Drug this week for 1.00. If you have the P&G brandSaver coupon insert from July (from 7/5, it's yellow, with little circles of pictures on the front), there is a coupon for .75 off ANY Crest toothpaste 4.6oz or larger. That'll get you a big tube of toothpaste for .25!

(However, please note that the Crest is NOT part of the larger P&G promo they are running, Buy 4 P&G items Get $4 off, so don't count the toothpaste in your sets of 4.)

What I'm Buying - Albertsons Update

So, I just have to say that the coupon karma was NOT on my side today. It seems like nothing went right for me today, and I had problems with every trip for some reason. I hate these kinds of days...

Anyway, I went back to Albertsons right before dinner to see if they would correct the overage on the PopTarts from this morning. While there, I picked up 5 more boxes.

I got up to the check stand, and the extra $2.50 for buying 5 PopTarts didn't come off the total. The cashier figured it was because the Extra Value package has a different UPC code and probably was left off the list to trigger the extra deduction. So she had to manually override it for me. I used (5) .55/1 coupons and (3) doubles coupons.

Total: $.70 (okay, so I can't complain about that total)

BUT, going to customer service to have them credit me back the $2.50 from this morning turned out to be a 15 minute ordeal from the Dark Side! Grr!!!

What I'm Buying - Smiths 7/29

Here's what I picked up at Smith's this evening:

(2) Tide liquid detergent
(1) Cascade dish tabs 20ct
(1) Always pads 14ct
(2) Herbal Essences hair stylers
(2) Aussie hair stylers
(2) Goody headbands
(1) Ace comb [lost mine this morning]
(1) pkg Scunci combs
(1) Crest toothpaste (free after 1.00 coupon)
(3) 3pk Ivory soap [totally not on sale, but I got them so I could do THIS with the kids] :)
(2) bunches green grapes

Total: $33.71

It should have been $3 less because there were 2 e-coupons that didn't come off my total. I will email the company and they usually post a credit within 48 hours, so the next time I shop, I should have the $3 come off automatically from my total.

BTW, here's a LINK to another video that shows more clearly what's happening inside the microwave with the soap (see above link)... I read on a blog a few days ago (and I can't for the life of me remember which one it was, so forgive me for not posting credit) to use this to entertain the kids and then let them take the foam and rub it all over the windows outside (then rinse off with hose when done) - they love playing with the foam and the windows will get cleaned!

What I'm Buying - Albertsons 7/29

I didn't get much this morning:

(5) Kellogg's pop tarts, on sale 1.00 wyb 5 (except they rang up 1.50 each, so I'll be going back later this afternoon to get this corrected)
(2) Smucker's ice cream toppings, on sale 1.50 each
(2) bags red seedless grapes, on sale .88/lb

I used (1) 1.00/1 for blueberry muffin poptarts, (4) .55/1 coupons for remaining poptarts, (1) 1.00/2 coupon for the ice cream topping and (3) doubles coupons.

Total: $8.27

I was not watching very well, because the total should have been more like $5.75.

More Great Deals at Albertsons This Week!

Shelley, from PinchingYourPennies.com, has posted the info on a great deal at Albertsons this week - HERE.

What I'm Buying - Maceys 7/29

Back at Maceys this morning...here's what I got:

(4) 6pks 7-Up soda, on sale .93 each [not pictured]
(10) 6pks A&W rootbeer, on sale .93 each [not pictured]
(4) Ball wide-mouth jar lids, on sale 2.29 each
(8) Oscar Mayer lunchables, on sale .93 each [two eaten before photo taken]
(6) small Fuji apples, on sale .89/lb
(6) pints blackberries, on sale .99 each
(1) cantaloupe, on sale .31/lb
(4) black plums, on sale .99/lb
(4) red plums, on sale .99/lb

No coupons used.

Total: $41.42

Target Toy, Shoe and Clothing Clearance!

Target has toys, shoes and clothes for 50% off! They've been at 30% off for a few weeks, but many have now moved to 50% off - especially the toys. Great time to look through for potential Christmas presents...

At the Target at 68th S. and Redwood, they had almost all of the clearanced toys at 50% off. Some are mixed in on the normal shelves, and some have been moved to a "clearance" aisle, so make sure to look in various places in the toy section.

They had a lot of shoes marked for clearance, anywhere from 30% to 75% off - some nice Merona women's slingbacks for $7! There are 2 full aisles of clearanced shoes.

The infant/toddler clothing section had one round rack at 50% off and one at 30% off, plus some other infant items clearanced nearby.

What I'm Buying - Smiths 7/28

Tuesday, July 28, 2009
While I was out, I conned my chauffeur for the evening into stopping by Smiths so I could grab a few more things before the Mega Event sale ended. :)

Here's what I got:

(3) Sunny Delights, on sale 1.29 (.79 after promo)
(1) Sunny D Smoothies, on sale 1.29 (.79 after promo, .54 after coupon)
(10) Marie Calendars Pasta al Dente meals, on sale 2.17 (1.67 after promo, .92 after coupon) [rest not pictured]
(6) Keebler FudgeShoppe cookies, on sale 1.99 (1.49 after promo, .99 after coupon)
(1) Fuze drink, on sale 1.00

I used (1) .25/1 coupon for the SunnyD Smoothie, (4) .75/1 coupons for the pasta meals, (2) 1.00/2 coupons for the cookies, (2) .55/1 coupons for the cookies, and then got $3.25 taken off because of some e-coupons that hadn't come off previous trips.

Total: $17.39

What I'm Buying - Maceys 7/28

Went on a little trip to Maceys tonight - here's what I picked up:

(2) heads green leaf lettuce, on sale .89 each
(6) roma tomatoes, on sale .89/lb
(1) bunch bananas, on sale .59/lb
(2) loaves Dunford white bread, on sale .99 each

No coupons used.

Total: $7.37

Red Plum Coupon Insert

The Red Plum coupon inserts were in today's mail - bundled with the grocery store weekly ads.

Results of my trip to the Home Storage Center

So, it was way easier than I expected! I got a lot of stuff, plus brought home the portable sealer and cans to do my own sugar, pasta and oats (items I have picked up really cheap on good sales). It took me just over 2 hours from when I left my garage to when I drove back in. The actual canning went really, really fast.

Here's what I got:

(2) black beans
(2) white beans
(5) non-fat dry milk
(10) hard white wheat
(2) apple slices
(1) dry onions
(2) potato flakes
(4) refried beans
(5) white flour
(22) #10 cans for my sugar, oats and pasta that need to be canned here at home [not pictured]
(22) lids [not pictured]
(10) plastic lids [not pictured]
(9) oxygen absorbers (for the oats and pasta - NOT for the sugar) [not pictured]

Total: $148.27 for 33 cans of sealed food + the 22 cans for sealing my own stuff

The prices at the home storage centers have just changed (June 20th), and the prices on many of the items have been reduced! Here's a LINK to the updated price sheet.

"Hope Ya Know, We Had a Hard Time"

A great message from Elder Quentin L. Cook!

LINK to YouTube video on the Mormon Messages channel

Headed to the Cannery

I'm headed to the Magna home storage center this afternoon - wish me luck! I'm a total cannery newbie. :)

I will be bringing home the portable canner with me to can the 80 pounds of sugar sitting in my basement. I will have it through Monday, so if anyone is interested in doing any items while I have the machine, let me know.

What I'm Buying - Albertsons 7/27

Monday, July 27, 2009
Quick trip to Albertsons tonight to pick up a few things:

(3) C&H granulated sugar 5lb
(1) Sparkle paper towel
(2) Playtex disposable vinyl gloves (10ct)
(8) Twix bars
(4) Snickers bars

The gloves and candy bars were all free after coupons. (I did not use doubles coupons - didn't have any since they weren't in the Sunday Preview papers - oh well.)

Total: $5.30

I'm all for being prepared, but...

...there are just some things you really can't prepare for. Like when your 5 1/2 year old son comes downstairs on a bright, sunny Monday morning and announces that two days ago he shoved a Lego piece up his nose and it won't come out and now he can't breathe. I mean, really, how does one prepare for that? It's a good thing our pediatrician's office isn't very far away. :)

Albertsons Doubles Coupons

Sunday, July 26, 2009
There are doubles coupons for Albertsons in this Sunday's paper (not in the Sunday Previews, though):

Salt Lake Tribune, A6
Deseret News, A17
Provo Daily Herald, A4
Logan Herald Journal, A7
Ogden Standard Examiner, A4
St. George Spectrum, D6

If you're interested in the doubles coupons and don't have a newspaper subscription, you can oftentimes find extra copies of the Sunday paper available for purchase on the following Monday morning.

Doubles coupons are only good through Tuesday, July 28th.

Red Plum Coupon Inserts

Saturday, July 25, 2009
There ARE RedPlum coupon inserts in the Sunday and Sunday Preview papers this week. This will suppposedly be the last week (for those in Utah except St. George and Provo).

Coupon Preview for 7/26

Friday, July 24, 2009
Here is a LINK to the coupon preview at TaylorTown Preview for this weekend's paper.

Please note that the coupon preview lists a RedPlum insert, but there is no official word as to whether we will get it in the newspaper here in Utah or whether it will be in the mailbox this week.

Alright, I Need Your Help!

I need you to tell me what kinds of topics you want to learn about regarding gathering a 3-month supply.

Do you have any questions?
Do you want to see a list of suggested items to store in your 3-month supply?
Do you all have methods for gathering a 3-month supply that work for you, and so we should just skip to more long-term storage stuff?

Week 18 Assignment - Free Week!

We're now officially done with the weekly assignments for 72-hour kits! We'll revisit topics now and then, and review items periodically.

This is a free week to catch up on finishing any assignments you still have pending, or maybe just to take a breather before we move on to the next topics. :)

Great Deals at Albertsons!

Thursday, July 23, 2009
Here is a fabulous POST at PinchingYourPennies, with specifics on some great nearly free deals at Albertsons this week. Take a look!

How to Use the Portable Canners

Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I was so happy when I saw this post this morning - what great timing, especially since I just picked up all that sugar at Albertsons and need to can it now!

Here is a LINK to Crystal's post on EverydayFoodStorage.net where she has posted a video showing how to use the home canner.

What I'm Buying - Albertsons 7/22

Here's what I picked up at Albertsons WAY too early in the morning this morning:

(4) A&W 12pks, on sale Buy 2 Get 2 Free (so 9.98 for 4)
(13) C&H granulated sugar 5lb, on sale 2.50 (1.75 after promo, 1.40 after coupons)
(2) WinderFarms whole milk, free after coupons
(2) MinuteMaid lemonades, on sale 1.00
(1) WetOnes wipes canister, on sale 2.00 (1.40 after promo, .40 after coupon)
(1) WetOnes wipes packets, on sale 2.00 (1.40 after promo, .40 after coupon)
(4) Playtex Disposables gloves 10ct, on sale 1.00 (.70 after promo, free after coupon)
(4) Gorton's fish sticks, on sale 5.00 (3.50 after promo)
(2) FreshExpress salads, on sale 1.00

I used (9) .35/1 coupons for the sugar, (2) .65/2 printable coupons for the sugar, (2) free milk Catalinas, (2) 1.00/1 printables for the WetOnes, and (4) 1.00/1 coupons for the gloves.

Total: $45.81

Now, what am I going to do with all that sugar you ask? I'm going to can it...I am hoping to rent a #10 can sealer from the cannery (it's free). I believe you can get the canners for 2-3 days, so if anyone is interested in doing some sugar or other items, let me know and I'll get you details. We can have a canning party in my garage! :)

Have You Tried E-Coupons Yet?

If you shop at Smith's (or a Kroger-affiliated store, for those outside Utah), there are three companies that currently offer e-coupons for you to use. These are coupons that you "load" onto your Smith's FreshValues card.

You can sign up at each of three sites:

Proctor & Gamble eSaver

You will need to have your FreshValues card handy as you'll be asked to enter the number. After you've created your account and entered your card info, you can select the coupons you'd like to "load" onto the card.

Once the coupons are loaded, all you need to do is go to the store and buy the appropriate items. The coupon amount will be automatically deducted at the register.

The coupons are only good for one use, usually on one product only unless otherwise specified. But new coupons are added frequently.

I used (4) e-coupons for last night's shopping trip to Smith's. (1) for the Gogurts, (1) for the FiberOne yogurt, (1) for the ChexMix, and (1) for the Pampers.

What I'm Buying - Smiths 7/21

Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I made a trip to Smith's on Tuesday evening. Here's what I picked up:

(12) boxes Kleenex, on sale 1.49 (.99 after promo, .74 after coupon)
(2) gallons whole milk, on sale 1.67 (.92 after coupon)
(2) Kroger hand sanitizer, on sale 1.00 each
(1) Yoplait FiberOne yogurt 4pk, on sale 2.49 (1.99 after promo, free after coupons)
(2) Yoplait GoGurts, on sale 2.49 (1.99 after promo, 1.19 after coupons)
(11) Marie Calendars frozen entrees, on sale 2.17 (1.67 after promo)
(2) Kroger ice creams, special .59 each with in-ad coupon
(2) ChexMix Selects, on sale 1.99 (1.49 after promo, .99 after coupons)
(2) Keebler FudgeShoppe cookies, on sale 1.99 (1.49 after promo, .49 after coupon)
(1) Pampers Cruisers, clearanced to 4.89 (3.89 after coupon)

After reviewing the receipts, I noticed that they didn't scan in two coupons, one for .75 and one for .50. Oh well.

Total: $45.25 + (3) $1 off your next shopping trip Catalina coupons from the Kleenex

Last Day for Doubles Coupons!

Remember, today is the last day for you to use the Albertsons doubles coupons from the 7/12 RedPlum insert! (And the ones from last week's ad flyer.)

Here is a LINK to the doubles ideas list at PinchingYourPennies.com.

Additional Suggestions for 72-Hour Kits

Here are some additional items you may want to include in your 72-hour kits:

  • emergency candle
  • roll of duct tape and permanent marker (for marking belongings if you're at a shelter)
  • extra keys to house and vehicle(s)
  • heavy duty trash bags
  • disposable camera
  • heavy work gloves
  • extra eyeglasses
  • warm blanket
  • flares
  • shovel
  • axe
  • rope
  • small bottle of bleach and eyedropper (for purifying water)
  • pet food (if you have pets)

These are just a few suggestions. The best kits are the ones that are tailored to your specific needs, so include what YOU feel would be most important for YOU and YOUR family in an emergency.

A Change in Newspaper Coupons

Monday, July 20, 2009
Valassis, the parent company of the RedPlum coupon inserts, has just announced that it will be pulling its coupon inserts from the Sunday papers in Utah (except for the Provo Herald, which still has another few months on their contract).

They intend to send the coupon insert in the mail to each household together with the weekly grocery ads, but you will not be able to get multiples (unless you make arrangments with your relatives, neighbors, etc.).

The change is supposed to go into effect for August, but there is no official word yet. I will let you know if/when more details are available.

Canned Ground Beef

Here are the results of my first full batch of pressure-canned ground beef. I did these last Thursday afternoon while the little one was taking a nap and the bigger one was being entertained by "Phineas and Ferb"...

The ground beef is a little trickier than the chicken because it has to be browned first (whereas you can raw-pack the chicken), and so the timing gets hairy.

For this batch, I browned about 10 pounds of hamburger. I kept one pound out for dinner that night, and put the other 9 in wide-mouth pint jars. After all was said and done, two of the lids did not seal, so I stuck them in the refrigerator and we used one the next night (the other is still in the fridge waiting to be used).

As you can see, they're not especially pretty to look at, but oh well. It's meat, it's shelf-stable and it's not taking up space in my freezer! :)

What You're Not Seeing in What I'm Buying...

Sunday, July 19, 2009
If you've followed some of the postings on what I'm buying each week, you may be wondering why you haven't seen some particular items that households go through on a fairly regular basis.

Here's why:

This was my trip to Albertsons one morning way back in January, during their HUGE Proctor & Gamble/Betty Crocker sale. It was a "Buy $30 get $15 off your next shopping trip" promo, meaning everything was essentially half off, plus any coupons on top of that. There were some amazing deals! I think I paid around $150 total for everything you see there.

I think there were about 24 cans of soup, 8 large bottles of liquid Tide detergent, 8 bottles of Dawn dish soap, some fabric softener, hair conditioner, toothpaste, lots of popcorn, muffin mix, brownie mix, yogurt, toaster struedels, fruit snacks, cookie mix, frosting, some baby cereal, some breakfast cereal, some Bisquik mix, and some FiberOne toaster pastries. Oh, and I think there are Cascade dishwasher tablets sitting behind the Dawn dish soap. Plus, there's that really cute stuffed pink cow I just HAD to pick up for my litte one!

And there were some things I had already started to stock up on before I began taking photos of the weekly shopping trips.

There are certain things I'll pick up at Costco (usually when there is a Costco coupon out for them) if needed, rather than hassle with waiting around trying to find a killer deal on them at another store. I'll pick up Charmin toilet paper, Bounty paper towels, and Pantene shampoo and conditioner at Costco if I'm running low. I know it's not a rock-bottom price, but sometimes I just don't want to deal with the hassle, you know? Oh, and I'll sometimes grab fabric softener there and dishwasher tablets as well.

If I'm running low on cheese or butter, I'll get them at Costco, too. So far, even the really good sales have barely been able to beat Costco's everyday price on those two things.

Coupon Organization

Saturday, July 18, 2009
Here is a LINK to a great video explaining different methods for organizing coupons.

It was put together by one of the great gals at PinchingYourPennies!

A Word of Caution...

NEVER go to Walmart when you are severely sleep deprived. THIS is what can happen:

What should have been a quick 15 minute, $6 trip to grab some newspapers turned into an hour-long excursion costing me $104!!! Egads...I seriously fell off the couponing wagon girls! I didn't use a single coupon - not a one (I am hanging my head in shame).

Well, I'll fess up and we can analyze the damage:

(2) hurricane lanterns, clearanced to 10.00 each
(1) 2pk utility lighters, 5.97
(1) 8ct croissants, clearanced to 1.80
(1) loaf bakery white bread, clearanced to 1.50 [we needed some for lunch]
(2) pkgs bacon, clearanced to 2.50 each
(1) carton soy milk, 2.72
(5) Ronzoni Bistro meals, clearanced to 1.25 each
(1) drywall anchors, clearanced to 1.00 each
(1) AllYou Magazine, 2.24 (left my .50 coupon at home)
(1) Cook's Illustrated, 7.15
(3) Sunday Preview doubles newspapers, 2.00 each
(1) bottle CheezWhiz, clearanced to 1.25
(2) bottles squeezable CheezWhiz, clearanced to 1.50
(1) Velveeta cheese & bacon dip, clearanced to 1.75
(4) Snickers bars, .50 each
(2) Twix, 1.08 each
(2) Leapster games, clearanced to 13.00 each (which is actually a really good deal and I was glad I found these)

Total: $104.09 [EGADS!!!]

It was a tough night last night. I was up ALL night. I have a strong reaction to caffeine, and a little goes a long way on me...so after 1 Coke earlier in the day, and then a rootbeer with dinner that I suspect was not caffeine-free, I sat down and mindlessly had a handful of Dove chocolates while watching TV late last night. WHAT WAS I THINKING?!? Ugh...when I finally got to Walmart at 10am, I was a walking zombie. I swear I don't know how all that stuff got into my cart... :) Moral of the story - don't go shopping when you're not really awake! he he he

Coupon Preview for 7/19

Here is a LINK to the Taylortown Preview of coupons for this weekend. There will be only one insert - a SmartSource.

Week 17 - Activity Materials for 72-Hour Kits

Friday, July 17, 2009
This will be the final assignment for the 72-hour kits.

Your assignment this week is to add the following to your kits:
  1. One set of scriptures.
  2. Reading material (magazine, book, crossword puzzles) for adults and teenagers.
  3. Activity items for younger children (coloring books, a stuffed animal, card game, etc.).
  4. Additional cash.
There are a few others things you might want to include, and I'll post a list to give you some ideas, but I'll let you add them on your own as you see fit.

What I'm Buying - Maceys 7/15

Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Okay, so I wasn't really planning a trip to Maceys today. I got up nice and early (well, early for me anyway) at 6am to do my trip to Smiths without kids, and was going to call it good for the day. But then we went over to the Wild West Jordan park for playgroup this morning, and as we were leaving, I thought - "Well, we're only a few blocks from Maceys - I should probably stop while we're so close rather than have to come back another day." So, that's what we did. Here's what I picked up:

(2) Wonder hot dog buns 8ct, on sale .99
(2) Wonder hamburger buns 8ct, on sale .99
(1) bunch bananas, on sale .39/lb
(1) bag green seedless grapes, on sale .99/lb
(1) bag red seedless grapes, on sale .99/lb
(6) roma tomatoes, on sale .99/lb

No coupons used.

Total: $11.10

What I'm Buying - Smiths 7/15

Fabulous sale at Smith's this week! Here's what I picked up this morning:

(2) bunches bananas, on sale .59/lb
(1) 2lb package blueberries, on sale 3.99
(5) limes, on sale .20 each
(1) 4pk New York steaks, on sale 2.99/lb
(2) gallons whole milk, on sale 1.67 (.92 after coupon)
(2) Oscar Mayer lunch meat, on sale 2.99 (2.49 after promo, 1.99 after coupon)
(2) Keebler FudgeShoppe cookies, on sale 1.99 (1.49 after promo, .49 after coupon)
(2) Kleenex w/ lotion, on sale 1.49 (.99 after promo, .74 after coupon)
(4) Philadelphia cream cheese, on sale 1.49 (.99 after promo, .49 after coupon)
(4) Playtex Handsaver gloves, on sale 1.00 (.50 after promo, free after coupon)
(5) Quaker Quakes, on sale .99 (.49 after promo)
(4) Rolaids 3pk, on sale 1.50 (1.00 after promo, free after coupon)
(4) Welch's squeezable grape jam, on sale 1.99 (1.49 after promo, .99 after coupon)
(1) ChexMix Select, on sale 1.99 (1.49 after promo, .49 after coupons)
(4) SunnyD 64oz, on sale 1.29 (.79 after promo)
(3) 2-liters Sprite, on sale 1.19 (.69 after promo)
(1) 2-liter Barq's rootbeer, on sale 1.19 (.69 after promo)
(1) 3pk Scotch gift wrapping tape, on sale 3.00 (2.49 after promo, 1.49 after coupon)
(3) Kraft 2% Milk Naturals shredded cheese, on sale 1.49 (.99 after promo, .49 after coupon)
(2) bags Tootsie Pops, clearanced to .99 each
(1) bottle crystalized ginger, clearanced to 1.99

I used coupons on everything except: bananas, limes, blueberries, Tootsie Pops, ginger, Quaker Quakes, soda pop, SunnyD and steaks.

I did have a few coupons that are not listed on the GrocerySmarts list: (2) 1.00/2 Philadelphia cream cheese, (3) .50/1 Kraft 2% Milk cheese, and a .50/1 electronic coupon for Shortcuts.com from the ChexMix Select.

Total: $46.65

What I'm Buying - Target 7/14

Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I stopped in at Target this evening to look at prices for the toy, clothing and shoe clearances. They are at 30-50% off right now, and will go to 75% off soon. While I was there, I did pick up a few deals:

(4) Bounty Basic paper towels, .99 each (.24 after coupons)
(2) Target brand antacid tablets, clearanced to 1.14 (50% off)
(1) MoldN'Play bath soap set, clearanced to 3.48 (50% off)
(1) SoftSoap body wash, clearanced to 2.47 (.47 after coupon)
(1) toddler shorts, clearanced to .75 (75% off)
(1) toddler shirt, clearanced to 2.00 (50% off)

I used (1) 2.00/1 printable coupon for the body wash and (4) .50/1 Target coupons for the paper towels along with (4) .25/1 manufacturer coupons, for a total of .75 off each roll.

Total: $10.83

You'll notice that I used two coupons for each roll of paper towels - you can only use one manufacturer coupon per item, but you can combine a manufacture coupon AND a store coupon on one item if you have them (which just happens to be the case with the paper towels).

The Target Store coupons for the paper towels are the in SmartSource from 6/21. The manufacturer coupon for the paper towels is in the P&G insert from June (or there might be one in the July insert, too).

The Target at 6900 S and Redwood had only the Coconut Butter of the SoftSoap left, but there were about a dozen as of this evening. You can find the printable coupon for SoftSoap body wash HERE (GroupA coupons from GrocerySmarts or PinchingYourPennies).

What I'm Buying - Albertsons 7/14

One more trip to Albertsons before the current sale ends. Here's what I picked up:

(1) Mission Tortilla chips, on sale 2.00
(1) Rubbermaid EasyFind 1.25cup size, on sale 1.24
(1) Rubbermaid EasyFind 3pk (2 1.25cup and 1 2cup sizes), on sale 2.54

I used (1) 1.00/1 coupon for the chips and (2) 1.00/1 printable coupons for the Rubbermaid. I also used (3) doubles coupons, (2) for 1.00 each and (1) for .24 (the remaining price of the small Rubbermaid container.

Total: $.80

LED Solar Flashlight

This week, General Army Navy Outdoor has a 5-LED Solar flashlight on sale for $5.99. The flashlight also has a built-in compass. The ad states that batteries are included, so I believe they are the rechargeable kind, recharged via the solar panel.

Here is a LINK to the full ad for this week.

Recap of 72-hr Kit Assignments

Here's what you should have in your 72-hr kits from the weekly assignments we have been doing so far:

  • storage container (backpack, bag, sack, box, etc.)
  • personal toiletries
  • first-aid and medical items
  • food
  • change of clothing
  • flashlight and extra batteries
  • portable radio and extra batteries
  • waterproof matches and whistle
  • poncho and emergency blanket
  • pocket knife
  • info sheet
  • cash

What I'm Buying - Albertsons 7/13

Monday, July 13, 2009
There are three Albertsons doubles coupons in the RedPlum coupon insert from this Sunday's paper. Here's what I picked up this morning with my doubles:

Transaction #1:

(2) Dial Complete foaming hand wash, on sale 1.25 each
(1) Mission Tortilla chips, on sale 2.00

I used (2) .55/1 coupons for the Dial and (1) 1.00/1 coupon for the tortilla chips. I tried to double all three coupons, but the cashier said they couldn't double the tortilla chips coupon because it said on the front "Do Not Double". I spoke with the store director last week and he said they were okay to double those, but the manager this morning said no.

I've emailed Albertsons so I can get clarification on whether they are or are not allowed to double those coupons. In the meantime, I just abide by whatever the manager says.

Total: $1.50 (still a fabulous deal even without the extra $1.00 off)

Transaction #2:

(2) Baked Lays potato chips, on special 2.79
(4) Dannon Light&Fit yogurt cups, on sale .39

I used (2) 1.00/1 coupons for the potato chips and (1) .75/4 coupon for the yogurts, and then doubled all three.

Total: $1.77

Transaction #3:

(2) Ritz crackers, on sale 2.89 (2.39 after promo, 1.39 after coupon, free after doubles)
(2) Spray N Wash bleach alternative, on sale 3.99 (3.49 after promo, 1.99 after coupon)
(2) Wheat Thins crackers, on sale 2.99 (free after coupon)
(4) Tillamook 8oz cheese slices, on sale 1.69 (1.19 after promo, .69 each after coupon and doubles)
(2) JetPuff marshmallows, on sale .99 (.49 after promo)

I used (2) 1.00/1 coupons for the Ritz crackers, (2) 1.50/1 printable coupons for the SprayNWash, (2) free coupons for the Wheat Thins (free when you buy Ritz crackers), (1) 1.00 off 2lbs cheese, and three doubles coupons for $1 each. Plus, everything but the Wheat Thins was part of the Epic Savings promo, so I got an additional $5 off.

Total: $9.25

Food Storage Brownies!

Sunday, July 12, 2009
I found this great recipe for "food storage" brownies on another site and just had to try them out this afternoon! They're brownies, with sneaky protein and fiber added in (and about 6g of fat removed per serving).

Here's what you need:

(1) box brownie mix (any kind, but not the "family" size)
(1) 15oz can black beans

Open can of black beans and pour into strainer; rinse and drain. Spoon beans back into can and fill with fresh water. Pour water and beans into blender or food processor and puree until smooth. In bowl, stir mix and pureed beans until contents are well blended. Pour into prepared pan and bake as directed.

I used an 8x8 glass dish, and they turned out very thick (tall). Next time I will try them in a 13x9 - I need the brownies to be thin and wide to provide a nice stable base for all the ice cream and fudge topping that will be added... Ha ha ha! :)

Actually, sans ice cream or other such 'accoutrements', these rate at 3 pts a serving (cut your brownies into 20 servings per pan) on the WeightWatchers scale. Not too shabby...

When to Throw Out Old Coupon Inserts

Here is a LINK to a great post on PinchingYourPennies.com that lists when to throw out coupon inserts (because the coupons have all expired).

We're Almost Done...

Saturday, July 11, 2009
...with the 72-hr kits! There will be one more weekly assignment next week for them, and then we will move on to assignments for 3-month supply.

So, as we transition to the next section here, I would love it if you would send me all of your food storage or preparedness questions, and we can feature those (anonymously, of course) in posts over the next month or so. You can email me at ducklette @ gmail.com (remove the spaces when you type in the address).

I will not post who asked what question, so please feel free to send in lots of questions or suggestions or whatever, even if you're not a member of the Cimarron ward. :) Or post them in the comments section if that's easier (you should be able to post anonymously as well - just check the anonymous box below where you type in your comment text).

Albertsons Doubles Coupons 7/12

There are three Albertsons doubles coupons IN THIS SUNDAY'S RED PLUM COUPON INSERT!

Valid 7/12 to 7/21.

Counsel from Bishop McMullin

"Encourage our members to regularly put into their home storage a few wholesome, basic food items and some water that is safe to drink. They should save some money, if only a few coins each week. This modest approach will soon enable them to have several months’ reserve. Over time they can expand these modest efforts into a longer-term supply by adding such essentials as grains, legumes, and other staples that will keep them alive in case they do not have anything else to eat.

"As we do our very best, we can be confident that 'the barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail' (1 Kings 17:14). We shall enjoy greater wisdom, security, peace of mind, and personal well-being. We shall be prepared, and because we are prepared, we 'shall not fear' (D&C 38:30)."

(Keith B. McMullin, "Lay Up in Store", Ensign, May 2007, p. 51-53)

Week 16 Assignment - Important Info Sheet for 72-hr Kits

Friday, July 10, 2009

This week, your assignment is to put together an Important Information sheet for your 72-hour kits. If you are forced to leave your home, this is information that you'll want to have with you.

Keep a 1-page document in your 72-hr kits with this important information, and keep the document sealed in a ziptop bag or other waterproof container. You don't need copies of the actual documents, just the relavant information (account numbers, phone numbers, etc.) [Keep the originals of important family records in a fireproof safe or safety deposit box.]

Information could include:

  • Contact info
    • in-state family contact name and phone number
    • out-of-state family contact name and phone number
    • local police and fire department phone numbers (other than 911)
    • local hospital address and phone number
    • names and phone numbers for ward bishop and home teachers
    • local Red Cross chapter phone number
  • Personal identification
    • social security numbers for each family member
    • drivers license numbers
    • passport numbers
    • recent photos of each family member (to help locate if separated or missing)
  • Medical info
    • blood types for each family member
    • current medications and dosage (may want to include prescription number(s) and pharmacy contact info)
    • known allergies
    • names of primary family doctor(s) and phone numbers
  • Insurance info (include policy numbers and company contact info)
    • homeowners or renters insurance
    • health and dental insurance
    • car insurance (may also want to include vehicle make/model/year, license plate and VIN numbers)
    • life insurance
    • disability insurance
  • Financial info
    • bank account numbers and contact info
    • credit card numbers and company contact info
    • mortgage information and contact numbers
  • Any other information you feel might be needed during an emergency

We will expand this info for a version that can be kept at home in a binder, but for now we just want the very basics in a small, compact version that can be included in our 72-hour kits. We will also work on putting together a more comprehensive family emergency plan at a later date.

Please note: Due to the VERY sensitive nature of the information that will be kept in this document, you'll want to keep it in as secure a spot in your kit as possible, so as not to lose it and also, to keep it from falling into the wrong hands.

Oral Rehydration Solution

Thursday, July 9, 2009
I mentioned in the previous Smiths shopping trip post that I'm starting to add a few bottles of sports drink to our food storage to serve as rehydration solutions when someone in the family is sick with intestinal woes. I also keep a couple bottles of Pedialyte (or generic equivalent) around for when the kids are sick.

Here is another option to make your own oral rehydration solution. It wouldn't be a bad idea to have a couple doses mixed up (without the water) in small ziptop baggies to be included with your family first aid items.

Oral Rehydraton Solution
(from the LDS Church's publication, Basic Self-Reliance, copyright 1989)

  • 1 liter purified water
  • 2 Tablespoons (20 grams) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3.5 grams) salt
Mix together. Give small sips every five minutes. Can be mixed with fruit juice as flavoring.

Dry ingredients can be mixed and stored in ziptop baggie.

Coupon Preview 7/12

Here is a LINK to the Taylortown Preview of the coupon inserts scheduled for this weekend's paper.

Why all the fuss about couponing on a food storage/preparedness blog?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Church leaders have suggested that we can start our food storage by simply buying a little extra of the stuff that we regularly buy and use and eat each week. Like buying 2 cans of green beans instead of the 1 you need for a meal this week, or buying 2 tubes of toothpaste next time you're out, instead of just one to replace the one you just finished, and then putting the extra can or tube or what-have-you in our "food storage". Then keep doing that until you have built a 3-month supply of commonly used/commonly eaten items. And while a 3-month supply isn't a full year's supply, it's still WAY, WAY, WAY better than no food storage at all...

The premise behind the GrocerySmarts and PinchingYourPennies websites and couponing "system" is based on a similar principle - you buy the stuff that you normally need/eat/use, but you buy it when it goes on sale for rock-bottom prices. And you buy enough at that time to last you until the next great rock-bottom sale comes around. Since sales cycles are typically 12-weeks, when you buy your items, you're trying to buy enough to last you through the next 12 weeks (that's 3 months) until another good sale comes along - and guess what?!? Do that for enough of your everyday items over time, and you've got your 3-month supply right there!!!

[I just want to note, however, that this is not the only way to put together a 3-month supply. And you should not feel bad - EVER - if couponing just isn't for you. PLEASE don't ever feel like you have to use coupons in order to follow the assignments on this blog, or that you'll never be able to get food storage if you don't use coupons, nor feel bad that by not using coupons you're somehow not being a good steward over your money - none of those things are true! And if I ever give you the impression otherwise, in any post, you call me on it and let me know (because it certainly won't have been my intent).]

What I'm Buying - Albertsons 7/8

Here's what I picked up at Albertsons today:

(4) Trix cereal, on sale 2.49 (1.99 after promo, 1.49 after coupon)
(2) Reese's Puffs cereal, on sale 2.49 (1.99 after promo, 1.44 after coupon)
(1) Kraft pasta salad, on sale .99 (.49 after promo)
(2) Kraft BBQ sauce, on sale .99 (.49 after promo, free after coupon)
(6) Michelina's Budget Gourmet entrees, on sale .50 each
(6) Dannon Light&Fit yogurt, on sale .39 each (.29 after coupon)
(1) Reser's Cafe Baja salsa, on sale 1.99 (1.49 after promo, .49 after coupon)
(2) Dial Complete liquid soap, on sale 1.25 (.70 after coupon)
(1) bag red cherries, on sale 1.69/lb [would have skipped these had I seen the ones on sale at Sunflower first]

I used (2) 1.00/2 printable coupons for the Trix, (2) .55/1 printable coupons for the Reese's, (2) .50/1 coupons for the BBQ sauce, (1) .60/6 coupon for the yogurt, (1) 1.00/1 printable coupon for the salsa and (2) .55/1 printable coupons for the soap. I also had the two doubles coupons from the weekly ad flyer, entered for $1 each.

Total: $18.60 + got Catalina coupons for 2 free gallons of milk on my next trip!

What I'm Buying - Sunflower Market 7/8

Here's what I picked up at Sunflower Market today:

(12) lbs 85% lean ground beef, on sale 1.77/lb [to be canned]
(1) head green leaf lettuce, on sale .88
(8) Roma tomatoes, on sale .99/lb
(2) yellow squash, on sale .88/lb
(2) bags green grapes, on sale .77/lb
(2) bags red grapes, on sale .77/lb
(1) bag Bing cherries, on sale .99/lb
(1) bunch bananas, on sale .59/lb

I did not use any coupons.

Total: $36.55

What I'm Buying - Smiths 7/8

Here's what I picked up at Smiths today:

(1) Bounty paper towel, on sale 1.00 (.75 after coupon)
(2) gallons whole milk, on sale 1.67 (.92 each after coupon)
(1) gallon Kroger orange juice, on sale 1.99 [not pictured]
(8) Powerade 32oz, on sale .69 each
(2) Old Spice deodorants, on sale 2.33 each (.83 each after coupon)
(1) Aussie deep conditioner, on sale 3.00 (1.00 after coupon)
(1) Herbal Essences gel, on sale 3.00 (1.00 after coupon)
(1) dozen eggs, on sale .99

I used (1) .25/1 e-saver coupon for the paper towels, (2) .75/1 printable coupons for the milk, (2) 1.50/1 coupons for the deodorant, (1) 2.00/1 e-saver coupon for the Aussie conditioner and (1) 2.00/1 coupon for the hair gel.

Total: $15.66

A side note: We're not big sports drink people at our house, so I don't usually buy this stuff very often. However, after reading the Salt Lake Valley Health Department's post about preparing for what might be a stronger strain of swine flu this fall, I noticed that electrolyte drinks are on their list of items to keep on hand, so I'll be adding this to our food storage. I also have a recipe for making an oral electrolyte solution should the need ever arise - I will try to find it so I can post.

Easy Whole Wheat Bread

Tuesday, July 7, 2009
I love this wheat bread recipe! It tastes great and I can actually make it without screwing it up! :) I made 4 loaves yesterday. I gave two away and figured that two at home would be plenty for us for the next week (since there are no preservatives, it doesn't last as long as store-bought bread). Less than 24 hours later there is only 1/3 of one loaf left... There's not even enough left to take a picture of!

To make 2 loaves (4x8 pans):

3 1/2 c. whole wheat flour (grind your own if you have a wheat grinder)
1/3 c. vital wheat gluten
1 1/4 T. SAF instant yeast

2 1/2 c. hot water (120F-130F)

1 T. salt
1/3 c. oil
1/3 c. honey (or 1/2 c. sugar)
1 1/4 T. bottled lemon juice

2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour

Combine the first three ingredients in stand mixer. Add water; mix for 1 minute until all ingredients are wet. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

Add the salt, oil, honey or sugar, and lemon juice, and mix for 1 minute until combined. Add the remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, until incorporated. Knead for 6-10 minutes (dough will begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl). Dough will be very soft.

Turn dough out onto an oiled counter top. Divide in half and shape into loaves. Place in oiled loaf pans. Pre-heat oven for 1 minute on lowest temperature setting and then turn off. Place loaf pans in oven and allow dough to rise for 10-20 minutes (until dough reaches the top of the pans). Do not remove bread from oven, but turn oven on to 350F and bake for 30 minutes. When done, remove bread from pans and cool on racks.

You can double this recipe to make 4 loaves, but I would recommend only doing this if you have a 6-qt stand mixer. I have a 5-qt heavy duty KitchenAid, and the double batch caused the motor to overheat slightly. It is right at the cut-off of what a 5-qt can safely handle, so if you do double it, be careful and watch closely for any strain or overheating on your mixer's motor.

[Note: SAF is the brand name of the yeast. So far, I've only been able to find it at Maceys in 1lb. vacuum-sealed blocks. You can also find the vital wheat gluten at Maceys in their food storage or baking sections. I've also seen vital wheat gluten at Harmons in the health/organic food section.]

The recipe assumes you will be using a stand mixer or similar. I *think* you could do it by hand, but I'm not entirely sure [I'm truly an amateur when it comes to baking bread]. It makes a fairly sticky, soft dough, so I don't know how well it would knead by hand without requiring too much extra flour. [And extra flour on the counter or in the dough to prevent sticking will make the dough tougher and may interfere with rising.] If you'd like to try it, I'd suggest oiling your counter and your hands, before kneading, in lieu of adding any extra flour, to prevent sticking.

Deals to Meals

There are various ways to save money on groceries. For those who may not like the couponing method, here's another "system" you might want to look into. Deals to Meals is a paid service. They send you a list each week with items on sale at various grocery stores in the area, and they rank those sale prices to let you know what is a good deal or not. They also have a weekly meal plan with a shopping list and recipes, and a food storage suggestion list for items that week that you might want to include in your food storage. And they don't use coupons!

For the next few days, you can try Deals to Meals for free HERE. Login email is: free@dealstomeals.com
Password is: freetrial

I don't personally use this service, but I just want to make you aware of some of the various options out there, especially if couponing maybe isn't your thing. I do follow the blogs from this site, though, because the author has some great food storage ideas.

Deals to Meals has lists for Utah, California and Nevada.

Great S'mores Deal at Albertsons!

Albertsons is running a great s'mores promotion. Good through 7/7.

Buy (1) Hershey's Chocolate Bars - 6pk, (1) Honey Maid graham crackers, and (1) Jet-Puffed marshmallows for $3 + $3 + $1 and get an instant discount for -$3. That makes it $4 for all.

THEN - use the coupon for the Honey Maid graham crackers from the front of the May 17th SmartSource coupon insert to save another $1. That will give you all three items for $3!

Want an even better deal? Buy 2 of each item, and then you can also use the Hershey's chocolate coupon from the June 28th SmartSource coupon insert, $1.00 off 2. $14 - (2) $3 discounts - (3) $1 coupons = $5 for all 6 items!

If you have doubles coupons, you can use them on the deal and get all 6 for $2.

Why Be Prepared?

Friday, July 3, 2009
Here's what the Salt Lake County Health Department has to say...LINK

Coupon Preview 7/5

Here is a LINK to the preview of the possible Proctor & Gamble coupon insert in this Sunday's or Sunday Preview paper.

UPDATE: There is indeed a Proctor & Gamble coupon insert in the paper this weekend. So far, I have not seen any Albertsons doubles coupons in the Sunday Preview. That means they may be printed in the actual Sunday paper tomorrow...If that happens, there are several stores here in town that sell Sunday papers on Monday (Albertsons, Smiths, Walmart and Walgreens are all places I've seen them).

Grocery Lists for Arizona

For those of you who have friends/relatives in Arizona who are interested in using coupons, PinchingYourPennies now has grocery lists for Arizona area stores. You can access them from THIS page.

Choose your store and the date range from the drop-down list at the top of the page.

They also have a very active forum page for Arizona HERE.

Week 15 Assignment - Utility/Pocket Knife

Your assignment this week is to include a utility knife (hunting or large pocket knife) in each adult 72-hour kit. These range from a few dollars to well over $100, depending on materials and workmanship. These are an incredibly useful tool to have for emergencies.

I've seen some small, folding-blade types at Cabela's for about $8. I've also had my eye on a Leatherman set that was at Costco recently - it has a multi-tool and a utility/hunting knife for $49, each with it's own sheath. There's actually a very similar set online at Costco right now, and with a $10 discount it is now $39.99 HERE. [Discount price will only be good through July 5.]

I have to tell you, I am not a knife expert. I don't know what the better brands are, nor do I know the pros and cons of the different blade types and sizes. If any of you have suggestions, please feel free to comment.

Newspaper Subscription Information

Thursday, July 2, 2009
Now that some of you have been working with coupons for several weeks, you might have a better idea as to whether this is something you want to keep doing or not.

If you do, and are tired of going to pick up papers every weekend, you might want to look into getting a subscription to the newspaper(s). The best deal I have seen is a F-Su paper (Trib or DesNews) at $39 for 52 weeks. About a month ago, it was advertised that you could get this price for either (or both) of the papers - 2 papers each (so up to 2 Tribs and 2 DesNews per household). I don't know whether they'll still apply it to either paper, or just the Tribune - but if you're interested, definitely ask.

Here's the info for the Tribune:

You can get 26 weeks of Fri-Sun paper and Mon-Thurs online edition for $26 or 52 weeks of Fri-Sun paper and Mon -Thurs online edition for $39.

The code for 26 weeks is 26/26J
The code for 52 weeks is 52/39J

The phone# to call is 801-204-6100

Coupons for This Weekend

There is a possibility we will get a Proctor & Gamble coupon insert in this weekend's paper. Also rumored to be coming are more Albertsons doubles coupons.

But according to the schedule, there will not be a RedPlum or SmartSource insert.

So, you may or may not want to skip getting the paper this weekend.

What I'm Buying - Albertsons 7/1

Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Here's what I picked up at Albertsons today. It wasn't exactly what I had on my list because two of the items I needed for the Epic Savings promo were out, so I had to improvise with the pasta salad and Easy Mac cup to make up my 10 items.

(1) flower arrangement, 4.99
(4) Kraft pasta salad, on sale 1.00 (.50 after promo)
(6) Sylvania soft white light bulbs 4pks, on sale .79 each
(1) Kraft Easy Mac cup, on sale 1.00 (.50 after promo)
(5) Hershey syrups, on sale 1.99 (1.49 after promo)
(2) Bush's Baked Beans 28oz, on sale 1.67 each
(2) pkgs Stockman & Dakota Beef london broil, on sale Buy 1 Get 1 Free (2.5lbs total for 6.63 after coupon)

I only used 1 coupon this trip - that was so weird! I used a 2.00 off coupon on the meat that the store director gave me last week. I should have also used a 1.00/2 printable coupon on the baked beans, but I couldn't find it in my mountain of unfiled coupons this morning...I'll probably go back early next week and use the coupon (with doubles that are rumored to be coming in Sunday's paper) to get more beans.

Total: $30.98

What I'm Buying - Maceys 7/1

Here's what I picked up at Maceys today:

(4) Don Julio tortilla chips, on sale .88 each
(8) Western Family pancake syrup, on sale .99 each
(3) Wonder hot dog buns 8ct, on sale .88 each
(2) Wonder hamburger buns 8ct, on sale .88 each
(2) bunches bananas, .67/lb
(2) mini peeled carrots, on sale .99 each
(2) Dole classic iceburg mix, on sale .99 each
(2) bags green seedless grapes, 1.69/lb

I did not use any coupons.

Total: $31.65

No Coupon Inserts This Weekend

CORRECTION: There is a possibility that we will get a Proctor & Gamble coupon insert in this weekend's paper. There are also rumors of more Albertsons doubles coupons. But there will not be a RedPlum or SmartSource insert.