Sunday, December 13, 2009

Win an HP TouchSmart Computer!

McMamma is giving away an HP TouchSmart 600 Computer! Head over to her blog to enter!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Here's what will be on our plates this week!

Mexican Lasagna

Lentil Stew

Pizza (we're using cheese this week, woo!)

We've saved up all our eating out budget this month so we can go to the Melting Pot!! I love this place! It is defiantly NOT part of the migraine diet, but Hubbie says he wants to cheat for it. Hopefully he won't get a headache, or at least won't get a very bad one.

Grilled Tofu with garlic smashed potatoes and mixed veggies

Curried Bulgar with Garbanzo beans

I'm looking forward to a nice 3 day week followed by 5 days of spring break. I hope everyone has a wonderful week!


Walgreens, Walmart, and Kroger

I've been absent from blogging forever, it feels like. I'm a teacher, and one of the occupational hazards is illness. I've been sick for practically the last 3 weeks. First I had the flu, then I came down with some kind of congestion cold, then I moved on to severe sinus problems accompanied by headaches for 6 days straight. I'm finally starting to feel better, and its about time I got back to blogging. :-)

Here's my shopping trips for this week. I stopped at Kroger, Walgreens, and Walmart.

Walgreens Transaction #1
2 Crest toothpaste, clearance at $.95 each
2 Crest Healthy Radiance toothpaste and whitening strips, clearance at $2.79 each
3 Listerine Mouthwash, $3.00 each
3 Kleenex 110 Ct tissues, $.89 each
2 packages pencils, $.99 each

Coupons Used
$1.00/1 Crest toothpaste
$.75/1 Crest toothpaste
$5.00/1 Crest Whitening Strips (I bought 2 of the Heatlhy Radiance because I was afraid the register would beep at me for having an overage)
$3.00/3 Listerine
$.50/3 Kleenex Tissues
$10.00 Walgreens Register Reward (RR)

Total Before Coupons: $24.28
Total After: $2.83
I also received a $6 RR for buying three Listerine mouthwashes. I also received a $1 RR, but I'm not sure what I bought that made the RR print out.

Walgreens Transaction #2
Listerine Whitening Rinse, clearance at $2.19
2 Crest toothpaste, clearance at $.95 each
3 Crest Healthy Radiance toothpaste and whitening strips, clearance at $2.79 each
3 Reach Toothbrushes, $3.00 each
2 Oral B Stages Toothbrushes, $3.49 each
1 Colgate Total Care Toothpaste, $3.49

Coupons Used
$.50/1 Listerine Mouthwash
2 $1.00/1 Crest Toothpaste
$.75/1 Crest Toothpaste
$5.00/1 Crest Whitening Strips
$3.00/3 Reach Products
BOGO Oral B Stages Toothbrushes
$.75/1 Colgate Toothpaste
$2.50 Colgate Easy Saver Coupon
$10.00 RR
$1 .00 RR

Total Before Coupons: $32.82
Total After Coupons: $3.88
I also received a $6 RR for buying 3 Reach Toothbrushes

Kroger Colombian Coffee, $2.99
Kroger Butter, $1.93
Country Crock margarine, $1.49
Kroger Tortilla Chips, $1.00
Kroger Comfort Baby Oil, $2.99 (I use this for eye makeup remover)
.58 lb Roma Tomatoes, $.57
Wholly Guacamole, $2.00
Celery, $1.99
Bell Pepper, $.89
2.19 lb Grapes, $3.61
Kroger Chocolate Chips, $1.28

Coupons Used
$1.00/1 Kroger Comfort Baby Item
$1.00/1 Wholly Guacomole

Total Before Coupons:$22.32
Total After Coupons: $20.32

2 Huggies Gentle Care Changing Pads, $2.82 each
1 Huggies Travel Wipes, $1.00
6 Johnson's Buddies, $.97
2 Glucerna Cereals, $3.94 each
Whoppers Strawberry Candy, $1.50

Coupons Used
$5.00/1 Gentle Care product ( I bought two items to avoid register beeps)
$1.00/1 Huggies bath and body product
3 $2.00/2 Johnson's Buddies product
$10.00/2 Glucerna Cereals (I wish my Walgreens carried this cereal because I would have received a RR for it)

Total Before Coupons: $22.24
Total After Coupons: $1.74

Total Before Coupons For All Transactions: $99.86
Total After Coupons: $28.77
Total Saved: $71.09

We didn't have to buy much food this week because I have a lot stockpiled. We are now pretty well stocked up on dental care items after this great week at Walgreens, and I also made $12.00 in RR!! This was a good week. I didn't really see anything that great at Rite Aid, but I might stop by this weekend if they have another $5/25 coupon. Come back tomorrow to see my menu plan for the week!


Monday, March 2, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I'm feeling so much better after my little flu episode. My doctor gave me some very helpful medicine, and I was able to go back to work today! While I was sick, I menu planned all of March! It was a challenge to not repeat the same things, but I think I only ended up putting one meal on their twice. Here's what we're eating this week!

BBQ Lentils (Thanks to $5 Dinners for this one!)

Tofu Stir Fry

Spaghetti and garlic bread
Home made pizza

Fried Tofu and baked potatoes

Left overs/ on our own

I'm going to be making some banana muffins this week, but I'll be skipping any cookies. Hubbie and I have been having just a little too much fun with the cookies, and we need to be careful with our weight :-) Hope everyone had a happy Menu Plan Monday!
For more Menu Plans, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Flu and Huggies Coupons

Sorry for my blogging absence, I have been sick with the flu.  Getting sick is an occupational hazard,  I suppose.  I am still trying to get over it and have been living on a very "healthy" diet of grape juice, saltine crackers, and Ramen noodles :-).  

I did want to point out 2 new coupons that you can print from my side bar. has 2 new Huggies coupons. One is for $3.00 off 1 Huggies Natural Fit diapers, the other is $5.00 off 1 Huggies Gentle Care diapers.  These are great, high value coupons.  Even if you don't have children in diapers, I would print them off and give them to someone.  I'll be using these coupons to purchase baby shower gifts or to give away to friends.  Make sure to get them quickly, they will go fast!  

Hopefully I'll be more up to blogging next week!


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I love cookies, but I don't love the fat and calories you get from eating cookies. I like to try to make cookies that are deceptively healthy and still very tasty. This oatmeal cookie recipe is just that: healthy and very tasty!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
1 cup white flour ( DO NOT use self rising flour)
1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp nutmeg ( you may sub cinnamon or allspice)
2/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Stir together flour, baking soda, and nutmeg. Set aside.
3. Combine sugar, applesauce and vanilla extract. Mix until sugar is well incorporated.
4. Add the flour mixture, stirring until all ingredients combine to form a stiff dough.
5. Fold in the raisins.
6. Put rounded teaspoons of batter onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and let cool.

Nutritional Information for 1 cookie: 57 calories, 1g protein, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 13g carbohydrates, 27 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol

These cookies are so good, especially considering they have NO fat and only 57 calories!! I take mine out a little before 12 minutes because I like a slightly chewy oatmeal cookie. Be careful when making this recipe that you use baking soda. I used baking powder last time on accident, and the cookies turned out very, em, interesting. Still edible, but not really yummy cookie goodness. I sometimes use less sugar when I'm in an extra healthy mood. The sweetness of the applesauce lets you decrease the sugar if you want. When I'm in a not-so-healthy mood, I may be inclined to add some chocolate chips to the batter.

Hope you enjoy!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Kroger, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Save a Lot

I had a fun day shopping today, and I got some pretty good deals.

20 assorted Hunts Tomatoes $.95 each, used 10 $.40/2 coupons, doubled to $.80
2 Hunt's Tomato Pastes $1.00 each, used $.40/2 coupons, doubled to $.80
3 Cottonelle 4 pack toilette paper used 3 $.50/1 coupon, doubled to $.99
2 Kroger Tortilla chips $1.00 each
1 Kroger Dried Black Beans $1.29
1 Kroger Dried Garbanzo Beans $1.25
1 Cucumber $.82
1 Roma Tomato $.42
2 Johnson's & Johnson's Buddies Bars, $1.09 each, used $2.00/2 coupons
2.05lb bananas, $.38/lb
2 Aquafresh Whitening Toothpaste, $1.00 each, used 2 $.75 coupons
I also had a $1.00 off Kroger Coupon
Total Before Coupons: $40.15
Total After: $20.79

Rite Aid
1 Huggies Jumbo Pack $12.49, used $1.50/1 coupon, and will receive $2.00 in Single Check Rebate (SCR)
1 Always 18ct, used 1 Free Infinity coupon
1 Fructis Wonder Waves shampoo $2.99, used $1.00/1 coupon and will receive $2.99 in SCR
10 Soy Joy bars $5.00, used $3.00/10 and will receive $5.00 SCR
I also used a $5/$25 Rite Aid Coupon
Total Before Coupons and SCR: $34.94
Total After: $2.38

Transaction #1
1 Fusion Gamer Razor $8.99, used $4.00/1 coupon and received $6.00 RR
Transaction #2
2 Oust Air Sanitizer $2.99 each, used BOGO coupon and will receive $2.00 ESR
1 Orajel Toothpaste $1.99 each, used $1.00/1
2 Reynolds Wrap $1.59 each, used 2 $1.00/1 and Walgreens coupon
Total for Both Transactions Before Coupons and ESR: $27.65
Total After: $4.44

Save a Lot
8 lb Potatoes $3.49
1 lb Kidney Beans $.99
1 lb Great Northern Beans $.99
Total: 5.89
Hubbie also bought some expensive spices from Cash and Carry. He bought 1 giant garlic powder and 1 giant onion powder. His total was $16.76

Total Before Coupons for Everything: $125.39
Total After: $50.26
One quick note about my purchases. I bought several items for free or cheap that were baby related. No, I do not have any children, and I am not expecting. I buy some of these items when they are free or cheap because I know plenty of people that are pregnant that need baby items, or that need baby presents :-). I just wanted to clear that up for all the people I know who read this blog.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

New Week-New Deals

I always love the start of a new week.  I love seeing what new sales and deals are out for the week.  I like to use Sundays as my days to work on my grocery list, drugstore lists, and coupon matches.  After church on Sunday, I stop by Walgeens to pick up the paper, then I head home to make lunch.  After Hubbie and I have enjoyed our lunch (Spicy black bean, tomato, and corn soup today) I lounge around and start searching for coupon matches.  I don't do all the matching myself though.  I'm a teacher, so I like to stick to the principle of "think smarter, not harder".  Instead of matching all the coupons myself and pouring over the ads, I use several different websites and blogs to help me find the best deals and coupon matches.  Some of my favorite blogs for coupon matches are:

These sites all offer coupon matches for the stores I frequent the most.  I'll be heading to Rite Aid and Kroger tomorrow, so stop back by to see what deals I found!

Menu Plan Monday

I have a really bad habit of cooking the same 7-10 things over and over.  I'll be trying a few new recipes this week, so hopefully they'll turn out okay!
Here is my menu plan for the week:

Day 1
Chickpea and Potato Dahl

Day 2
Hummus Sandwich with veggies

Day 3

Day 4
Fried tofu with potatoes and veggies

Day 5
Stir Fry

Day 6
BBQ Lentils and Rice

Day 7 
Left Overs

We're going to have tortilla chips with black bean dip (Hubbies only food request this week) and oatmeal cookies for snacks!  Head over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for more Menu Plan Monday fun!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Free Photo Prints!

Get 20 free 4 x 6 prints today only! Simply go here, upload your photos, and enter the code ONEDAY at checkout. Select pick up at store to avoid a shipping charge! This is a great chance to get free pictures!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mexican Lasagna

We had Mexican Lasagna for dinner last night, but I was not able to post because someone was playing video games on the laptop all night :-). Here's the recipe, one day late.

Mexican Lasagna
1 garlic clove (guestimate $.10)
1 medium onion, chopped ($.40)
1 can diced tomatoes with juice ($.49)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (guestimate $.10)
2 teaspoons cumin (guestimate $.10)
8 oz can tomato sauce ($.35)
16 oz can black beans, if they are not low sodium rinse and drain ($.79)
1/2 cup frozen corn ($.15)
1/2 cup Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) ($.17) You may substitute .5 lb ground beef or turkey if you wish!
12 soft corn tortillas ($.40)
4 ounces low fat or vegan cheddar cheese($1.00ish, I can't remember how much our vegan cheese is; I just know it's expensive!)

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray.
3. Add garlic, onions, tomato, cumin, and chili powder.
4. Cook on medium heat until onion is tender.
5. Add tomato sauce and cook 5 minutes more.
6. Stir in beans, TVP, and corn. Cook until TVP has rehydrated and resembles ground beef.
7. Spray a 9 inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
8. Cut tortillas in half so you can lay flat edges against the baking dish. Layer 4 tortillas, 1/3 cheese, and 1/3 of the bean mixture; repeat 2 more times.
9. Top with reserved 2 tablespoons of cheese.
10. Bake 20 minutes, covered, then 10 minutes uncovered or until bubbly. Vegan cheese will not get bubbly. It becomes more crunchy as it cooks.
11. Top with sour cream if desired.

Total Cost: $4.05-This will feed us dinner and two-three lunches

Nutritional Information
Calories 344, Total Fat 6.8g, Saturated Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 700mg, Total Carbohydrates 55.3g, Dietary Fiber 12.8g, Sugars 9.0g, Protein 20.8g

The nutritional breakdown of the meal I prepared is a little different than that listed. The source I use to calculate the information doesn't let me selected low sodium. If you use low sodium veggies, your sodium will be cut in half at least.

One of the great things about this meal is all the substituting you can do. Don't have meat or TVP, or corn, just leave it out. Only a little cheese left? Put cheese only on the top; it still tastes great! I found out last week that you can leave the tomato sauce out and it still tastes okay. I forgot it when I was cooking this meal for my in-laws! This would also be a good meal to make ahead of time to heat up and eat on a busy day. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Grilled Tofu Sandwhich

We had a good dinner tonight. I love, LOVE grilled Italian sandwiches with gooey cheese and oh so bad for you meat. We obviously don't eat these anymore, but I have come up with an alternative to the Italian grilled sandwich. We use cooked barbecue tofu on sour dough bread with a veggie cheese slice.

4 slices sour dough bread ($.83)-You may use any bread, but the only bread we can eat is sour dough because of Hubbies yeast sensitivity.
1/2 block tofu ($. 60)
2 slices mozzarella flavored veggie cheese slice ($.80)
2/3 cup BBQ sauce ($.40)
1 T butter or olive oil spray ($.10- I'm guestimating on this one!)
1 package Green Giant Veggies (Free! on sale for $1.00, used $.50 coupon that was doubled
Panini press or electric grill press

1. Drain tofu and place in a large skillet. Crumble tofu in the pan.
2. Cook on medium high heat until much of the moisture is gone.
3. Add BBQ sauce and continue to cook another 5 minutes.
4. Butter one side of each slice or bread, or spray with olive oil spray.
5. Put a scoop of tofu and cheese on unbuttered side of the bread. Place sandwich on the grill press. Cook for 5 minutes or until sandwich is crispy.
6. Serve with veggies of your choice.

Dinner for 2 for the low price of $2.73! There is enough tofu in a block to make about 4 sandwiches. We only eat 1 sandwich each, so we will save the rest for another meal.

Nutritional Information
Sandwich: 317 calories, 6.7g fat, 650mg sodium (ick, high salt on this one), 33.4g carbohydrates, 2.5g fiber, 13g protein.

Green Giant Broccoli and Carrots: 60 calories, 260 mg sodium, 8g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 2g protein.

mmm, comfort food for less than 400 calories. I love grilled sandwiches! I had a picture to post for you, but the website isn't letting me post pictures. I'll try tomorrow so you can drool over my yummy dinner!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Since we spent so many days this week with my in laws, we didn't cook many of the meals I planned for last week. This week's meal plan will have quite a few repeats from last week's.
Day 1
Mexican Lasagna

Day 2
Red Beans and Rice

Day 3
Tofu and Spinach Lasagna

Day 4
Lentil Burritos

Day 5
Grilled BBQ Tofu Sandwiches with veggies

Day 6
Soup Day!

Day 7
left overs

I will be making no bake granola bars and popcorn for snacking this week. I might make banana muffins if bananas are still on sale.

Walgreens Deals 2/15-2/21

Here are some of the best advertised deals I see this week. You have the chance to MAKE MONEY on many of the Free After Rebate Deals! Make sure to check your Walgreens clearance items to match with coupons. I find some of my best deals from matching last chance items with coupons! Remember you don't have to buy everydeal, and only buy the deals you'll use or can give away--unless you can make money. I always buy things, even if I don't normally use them, if I will make money off of it.

Skippy Peanut Butter, 16.3 oz: $1.67
$1.00/2 from 1/18 Red Plum insert
Final Price: $1.17 each when you buy 2

Quaker Oats, 18 oz: buy 1 at #3.29, get 1 free with in ad coupon
$1.00/2 from 1/16 or 2/8 Red Plum insert
Final Price: 2/$2.29

Airwick Freshmatic Kit: $8.99
Use $4.00 printable coupon here
There is a $3.00 rebate (#34, limit 1)
Final Price: $1.99

Walgreens Pantyhose: $.69 with in ad coupon

Garnier 100% Color Hair Color: buy 1 at $7.49, get 1 free
Use 2 $3.00 coupons from 11/9 Red Plum insert. Some times it won't let you use two coupons on a buy 1 get 1 sale, so be prepared if the register beeps at you.
Final Price: 2/$1.49

Bic Soleil Disposable Razors, 4 pack: $4.99
Use $1.00 Easy Saver Coupon
Use $2.00 coupon from 1/18 Smart Source insert
Final Price: $1.99

Twizzlers: 2/$3.00, Hershey's Kisses: 2/$4.00
Purchase $10.00 in Hershey's or Twizzler's bagged candy, receive a $5.00 rebate (#35, limit 1)
Use 2 $2.00/2 Hershey's coupons from 1/25 Smart Source insert
Final Price: 7/$5.50 for Twizzlers or 5/$1.00 for Hershey's Kiss

Aquafresh Toothpaste: $1.99 with in ad coupon
Use 1 $.75/1 Aquafresh toothpaste coupon from 1/04 Smart Source insert

Revlon Creme Lipgloss: $9.99, buy one, get one free!
There is a $9.99 rebate (#4, limit 1)
Use 2 $1.00 coupons from 11/16 or 12/7 Smart Source or 2 $2.00 coupons from 1/11 Smart Source or 2/8 Smart Source
Final Price: OVERAGE of up to $4.00!!!!!

February Free After Rebate Items
(My Walgreens is completely sold out of the free after rebate items. I normally try to get my free rebate items the first week to ensure I get them)

Zucol Cold Care Lozenges, 18 pack. $7.99, limit 1
Use $2.00 printable coupon, or $2.00/1 from the 2/01 Smart Source insert

Revlon Age Defying Spa Concealer or Spa Foundation up to $10.00, limit 1
Use $2.00 off coupon from 1/11 Smart Source or $1.00 coupon from 10/12 or 11/16 Smart Source. I bought 20 $2.00 Revlon coupons this month. I made $4.00 from the Walgreens free after rebate deals, and I scored 16 free eye shadows when the Revlon Matte went on sale for $1.99!

Garnier Fructis Wonder Waves Shampoo, Conditioner or Styler up to $4.29, limit 1
Use $1.00 coupon from 11/9 or 11/4 Red Plum

Revlon Creme Lip Gloss up to $10.00
Use $2.00 coupon from 1/11 or 2/8 Smart Source or $1.00 coupon from 11/16 or 12/7 Smart Source

Walgreens Multi-Purpose No Rub Contact Solution, 4 oz up to $1.99, limit 1

Thermacare Trial Size Neck, Shoulder, and Wrist Heat Wrap up to $2.49, limit 1

Saturday, February 14, 2009


I know I promised my Walgreens post almost a week ago, but our schedule has been so different because of our family emergency I just haven't had time. I'll share it with you now, although I feel badly that I'm posting it right as the sales are over.

I did my Walgreens trip in 4 transactions. Thankfully Hubbie went with me to help me out. He did half of the transactions for me, so the checkers didn't look at me like I was crazy :-)

Transaction #1
1 Gillette Fusion Gamer Razor $8.99
used 1 $4.00/1 coupon
Total: $5.82
received $6.00 register rewards

Transaction #2
1 Multigrain Cheerios $2.34
2 Cheerios $4.66
1 Gillette Fusion Gamer Razor $8.99
Coupons Used
$4.00/1 Gillete razor coupon
$1.00/2 Cheerios coupon
$.50/1 Cheerios coupon
Total: 11.86
received $7.00 Register Rewards

Transaction #3
2 Scrubbing Bubbles Wipes $5.00
2 Windex Wipes $5.00
1 Fructis Wonder Waves Shampoo $3.99
1 Walgreens contact solution $1.99
1 Joy Dish Detergent $1.59
6 Revlon Matte Eyeshadows $11.94
1 Schick Quatro disposable razor $4.99
1 Revlon Creme Gloss $9.99
1 Revlon Foundation $9.99

Coupons Used
1 $.60/1 Joy Walgreens coupon
1 $2.00/1 Schick Walgreens coupon
8 $2.00/1 Revlon coupon
1 $.30/1 Joy coupon
1 $1.00/1 Fructis Shampoo coupon
1 $3.00/2 Scrubbing Bubbles coupons
1 $2.00/1 Schick coupon
1 $1.50 Windex coupon
2 $6.00 Register Rewards
1 $1.00 Register Rewards
Total: $20.11

Transaction 4
10 Revlon Matte Eyeshadows $19.99

Used 10 $2.00/1
Total: $1.90

Total Before Coupons: $81.50
Total Spent for All Transactions: $39.69
Total Easy Saver Rebates: $32.99
Total Spent After Rebates: $6.70

My math might be slightly off because it has been a few days since I did the transactions. It's hard to remember which coupon is which on the receipt when there are so many!

Rite Aid
1 Fructis Hairspray $2.99
1 Finesse Conditioner $2.99
3 Bayer Aspirin, 36 ct $1.99 each
3 Tag Invisible Solid Deodorant $1.24 each
2 Gillette 3x Deodorant $1.12 each
2 Lady Speed Stick Deodorant $.87 each
1 Petites clear nail polish $1.79
2 Oral B Advanced Tooth Brush $.87 each
2 Lindor Truffles 3-packs $1.49 each
1 Gillette Fusion Razor $8.99
1 Gillette Fusion Shave Gel $4.49

Coupons and Deals
$5/$20 Rite Aid Coupon (valid 2/13 and 2/14 only)
1 buy one get one free Lindor Truffles
$1.00 off Fructis Stylers
2 $1.00 off Tag Deodoroant
1 Buy 2 get one free Tag Deodorant
1 $.75 off Finesse
3 $1.00 off Bayer Aspirin 24 ct. or larger
1 $4.00 off Gillette Razor
1 $1.00 off Gillette Fusion Shave Gel
2 $.75 off Lady Speed Stick
1 $1.00/2 Oral B Indicator Manual Toothbrush
1 $2.00/2 Gillette Deodorant
Rite Aid Sale- Buy 1 Gillette Razor, get 1 shave gel free
Fructis $2.99
Finesse $2.99
Buy 3 Bayer Aspirin, get $10.00 Rite Aid Gift Card
Total Before Coupons: $43.31(I should have calculated before I checked out. I almost had enough to do 2 separate transactions with 2 $5/$20 coupons. Silly me)
Total Spent: $17.32
Total Spent After Rebates: $1.34

I stopped by CVS with my Mother-in-Law to pick up a prescription. I picked up a few 75% clearance items, but I didn't have any coupons. :-(
2 Kashi Crunch Bars $1.47 each
5 Snickers Marathon Protein Bars (20g protein each!) $.50 each
Total Spent: $5.89
These are great, cheap, filling snacks that Hubbie can take with him when he has to stay late at school!
Come back tomorrow to see some of the deals this week at Rite Aid and Walgreens!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Vegan Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

My Father-in-Law went into the hospital two days ago with blockage in his heart, so we had to rush away from home rather quickly. He ended up having to get a stent put in his heart. He is doing fine now, and he gets to come home from the hospital today. We are still away from home, so I haven't been able to make or blog about any yummy food recently. I thought I would share with you my new favorite cookie recipe. This cookie is vegan and follows the migraine diet; however, it is NOT light. It has a lot of sugar, peanut butter, and best of all, chocolate. I found this recipe here.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped
2 tablespoons oil-you may substitute applesauce to lower the fat in this recipe
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup soy milk (regular or vanilla flavored) dairy, rice, or oat milks would work just as well
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole-wheat flour, Use half white, half wheat if you aren't used to whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips — use non-dairy chips to keep it vegan

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together first five ingredients.
3. In a small bowl, thoroughly stir together flour, soda and salt. Stir into batter.
4. Stir in oats and chocolate chips.
5. Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto parchment lined baking sheet. It is important to use parchment paper, or the cookies will stick to the baking sheet.
6. Bake for 10 minutes. Do not over cook. They may not look completely done at ten minutes, take them out any way and let them rest for a minute.
7. Remove cookies from the cookie sheet. Place on wire rack to cool.

The recipe makes about 18 cookies depending on cookie size.

If you cook the cookies for too long, they become very crunchy. I like my cookies better if they are a little chewy. I tend to modify recipes as I make them. I ended up adding probably a tablespoon of brown sugar and 1-2 tablespoons of cocoa powder. I'm not sure if this addition changed the taste dramatically. I might add more cocoa powder next time to make double chocolate oatmeal cookies! yum!

Nutritional Information
One cookie made with oil: 175 calories, 7.2g fat, 130 mg sodium, 24.8g carbohydrates 1.3g fiber, 3.7g protein, 15.1g sugar

One cookie made with apple sauce: 162 calories, 5.7g fat, 130mg sodium, 25g carbohydrates, 1.4g fiber, 3.7g protein, 15.3g sugar

These cookies have a decent amount of protein, so if you are going to eat a cookie anyway, this one will at least provide energy and some satiation.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Family Emergency

I promised a post about my great Walgreens deals, but we had a family emergency that required us to rush out of town. I'll be back later in the week to post about my deals!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Here's what will be on our plates this week!

Day 1
Tofu and Spinach Lasagna

Day 2
Lentil Burritos

Day 3
Red Beans and Rice

Day 4
Mexican Lasagna

Day 5
Eating out :-)

Day 6
Left Overs

Since I got all my grocery shopping done last week for two weeks worth, I will only need to go back to the grocery for more fruit.  I'll be making some more banana muffins and oatmeal raisin cookies for snacks this week. 

I had an awesome Walgreens trip today!  Stop back tomorrow to read about the great deals I found!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Migraine Diet-Part 2

Yesterday I filled you in on our decision to choose alternate methods of treatment-the traditional methods weren't working.  Today I'm going to share with you exactly what our migraine diet is.

Basically, everyone has a threshold for headaches or migraines, and everyone has a different threshold.  The reason we get headaches is because of a trigger.  The trigger can be a food, scent, stress, or other environmental cause.   Getting a headache is kind of like filling a glass of water.  Your headache threshold is the top of the glass, and your trigger is the water.  When you add enough triggers in, the glass will over flow and you will have a headache or migraine.  People that are prone to migraines just have a smaller glass, and it takes fewer triggers to produce a migraine.  To stop migraines from happening, you have to find your triggers and eliminate them.  

The beginning stage of the migraine diet is very restrictive.   You eliminate foods that are known triggers for migraine sufferers.  We eliminated all animal products (milk, butter, cheese, meat, eggs), yeast, nuts, caffeine, artificial preservatives and colors, fermented things, pickled things,  and chocolate.  Basically, it is a whole foods vegan diet. During the restrictive phase of the diet, we also worked at getting Hubbie off of all his medicines.  We did this gradually so as not to shock his system. By eliminating so many things, we were able to determine that diet was the trigger for Hubbie's migraines.  One week after starting the diet, the migraines were gone.  

After you have been on the diet for a while, you can start to introduce foods back into your menu.  I suggest only doing one food at a time so you can see if it is a trigger.  So far we have introduced dairy products, chocolate and yeast.  We found our first trigger when we started eating yeast again.  Every time he ate anything with yeast in it, he got a headache.  Items with yeast are now on our no eat list.  We have not introduced many other things because we are pretty happy with our diet.  It helps us to be creative with menu planning, and we both feel very healthy.  Its a good feeling to know that you aren't putting processed chemicals and preservatives into your body.  We do fudge sometimes on preservatives because it is difficult to eat completely whole, preservative free food all the time.

If you have any other questions about the migraine diet, please leave a comment!  I would love to be able to help anyone else that was in the situation we were in.  I know suffering from migraines or having a loved one that suffers from migraines can be a very difficult situation, and I would love to help anyone that I can. 

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Migraine Diet

"What exactly is the migraine diet?"

After Hubbie had suffered from migraines for well over 6 months with failed medical help, we decided to take it into our own hands. We had been to regular doctors, neurologists, allergists, and massage therapist. None of the different medicines or treatments he tried worked, and the doctors could give us no alternative except "lets try this other drug, it might make it so you can't remember anything, but at least your head won't hurt *as* much".

We didn't like all the medicines he was having to take that weren't working, and we knew something had to be causing the headaches. It just isn't normal for someone to get a migraine everyday with no explanation. He wasn't stressed, unhappy, or discontent with his life. He has a good job that he loves, and a supportive wife :-). There weren't any every day stresses that should cause migraines. We actually had the neurologist jokingly tell us that Hubbie should quit his job and leave his wife. He said that got rid of migraines for a lot of people. Even though it was said in joke, that statement made me not trust the doctor very much.

We decided to start researching other methods of migraine treatment and prevention that didn't involve being on medicines for the rest of Hubbies life. The first resource we found was a book called "Eat to Live" by Dr. Fuhrman. His book mainly focuses on weight loss through a vegan, reduced calorie diet, but it also contains information for migraine sufferers. His approach is an all in approach. You have to be committed for his diet to work.

Another book that we found useful was "Heal Your Headache" by Dr. David Buchinolz. This book is very informative, and tells you what a migraine is, explains why some people get migraines and others don't, and how to work at preventing migraines.

We found both books very informative and very helpful. We ended up combining a lot of different resources and pulling information for many different sources.

Stop by tomorrow for the second instalment of "The Migraine Diet" where I will go into detail about what exactly we can and can't eat!

More information about Dr. Fuhrman and his book "Eat to Live" can be found at his website.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

"Grilled" Tofu

Since starting the migraine diet, meals at my house have drastically changed. Before the migraines, we would eat a meat and two meal almost every night consisting of chicken or fish with a veggie and rice or potatoes. We would have soup or spaghetti every once in a while as well.

Now, we eat more one pot meals: lots of casserole dishes, lasagna type dishes, soups, or stews. We'd been completely without the "meat and 2" meals until we discovered tofu. In our pre migraine diet days, I had always been afraid of preparing tofu. I just never knew what to do with it.

After some experimenting, I have found several ways to make tasty tofu. My favorite way to prepare tofu is to fry it. This way is VERY yummy, but unfortunately not very healthy. I've recently started experimenting with grilled tofu. Since the temperature outside is just too cold for me to heat the grill up, I've been using indoor methods. Tonight I tried to pan "grill" the tofu. Pan grilling tofu is pretty much the same as pan grilling chicken or fish, but there are several steps to take to prepare your tofu for grilling.

Grilled Tofu with Veggies and Rice
-1 block firm or extra firm tofu ($1.20) The blocks can come in different sizes. For 2 people, we can eat a 12 oz block by ourselves. Buy as many blocks as you need for your family.
-marinade of choice ($.40) We used a garlic herb dressing. Barbecue sauce works very well.
-Green Giant Sugar Snap Peas (Free! On sale for $1.00, used $.50 coupon that was doubled)
-1/2 cup brown rice ($.20)
-1 cup water
-sprinkle of garlic powder and salt
Preparing Your Tofu to Grill
1. The night before you are going to grill your tofu, put it into the freezer. This will change the texture and make it easier to work with.
2. In the morning, take your tofu out and put it in the refrigerator.
3. When tofu is completely thawed, remove from package and drain. You can defrost your tofu in
the microwave, but this will change the texture even more. You may like it more, you may not.
4. Press your tofu to get much of the excess liquid out. To press the tofu, wrap it in paper towels or a clean dish towel and place between two kitchen plates.

Next, place a weight on top of the plate. I use 2 cans of tomatoes because they are heavy, but not heavy enough to crush the tofu. Let the tofu set for at leat 15 minutes.

5. Next, slice tofu in half so you have two pieces that are half the thickness. This makes it easier cook the tofu all the way through.

Grilling Tofu

1. Place tofu in marinade of choice. Make sure each side is covered. I place my tofu in a plastic baggie because I find I use less marinade this way. The longer you marinade the tofu, the better it will taste. Tofu is like a sponge and will soak up lots of flavor from the marinade.

2. While your tofu is marinading, combine 1 cup water with 1/2 cup brown rice. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes or until rice is done. When rice is done, add garlic powder and salt to taste.

3. Preheat a large frying pan. If you have a grill pan, this will work even better. Spray your pan with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray.

4. Place your tofu in the pan, and cook on medium heat for 4-6 minutes. Don't flip your tofu around or check on it too often. You want it to set so it won't crumble apart when you flip it.

5. Flip your tofu, and cook for another 4-6 minutes.

6. Remove from pan and enjoy! Serve with garlic rice and steamed sugar snap peas

Total Cost: $1.80! This meal left us with no leftovers, but you can't get much cheaper than that!

Overall, this meal was pretty good. I thought the texture of the tofu was good; it reminded me of fish. However, I was not a big fan of the marinade I used. It would have been much better with barbecue sauce or italian dressing. I still prefer fried tofu, but who doesn't like fried things over healthy grilled food? Hubbie really enjoyed it, so I'll be making it again. Tofu can be tricky, so if it doesn't come out for you the first time, try again! Once you learn how to prepare it, tofu is a healthy, tasty, affordable alternative to meat.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Walgreens and CVS

We had a wonderful snow day today, so I used my time off to get some of my drugstore stuff done. I did my Walgreens trip in two transactions.

Transaction #1
1 Right Guard Clinical Strength deodorant $5.99
Total OOP was $6.54, but I got back $5.00 in Register Rewards

Transaction #2
1 Pert Plus Men's 3 in 1 Conditioner, Shampoo, and Body Wash $3.49
2 Theraflu Warming medicines $10.00
1 Thermacare trial size heat wrap $2.49
1 Zucol Coldcare $7.99
2 Johnson and Johnson First Aid kits $2.98
Tax: $2.49

Coupons Used
$5.oo RR from Transaction #1
2 $2 Theraflu coupons found here
1 $2 Zucol coupon found here
1 $1.00 Pert Plus coupon from 1/25 Smart Source insert
1 $1.50 Pert Plus Easy Saver Walgreens coupon
1 $3/2 Johnson and Johnson First Aid product

Total for Both Transactions: $35.98
Total Coupons used: $16.50

The Theraflu, Zucol, and Thermacare wrap are eligible for Easy Saver rebates. My total rebates back for this transaction will be $18.83 (7.99 + 2.49 + 6 + 10% of total because I load it onto a Walgreens gift card).

The Pert Plus is eligible for a manufacterer's rebate found here.

My total after ESR and manufacteres rebates is -$3.34! I got paid for my purchases again! I love it when the deals all work out so that you get paid to buy things. The only downfall is that you have to let Walgreens hold your rebate money for a month. I'm okay with it because it means I get free stuff!! I'll be making another trip to Walgreens when I get my batch of coupons in from ebay. I bought some $2.00 off 1 Revlon item to use on this months free Revlon items. It'll work out so that I'm getting paid $4.00 to buy Revlon from Walgreens.

I went to CVS today as well. I normally don't go to CVS because we don't have one where I live, but since we were in a town with CVS, I decided to give it a try. I only ended up buying 2 things.

2 Stayfree 18 CT
-used Buy One Get One Free coupon from 1/04 RP insert

Total OOP: $4.77
I got back $4 Extra Care Bucks, and I was planning on using them to get some free candles, but the store was a little short staffed. I had a doctor's appointment to get to, so I decided to just take the ECB's and send Hubbie back another time.

All in all, I was happy with the CVS deals. I think CVS is a good resource if you have one in your town, but since I'm not very familiar with CVS I wasn't as comfortable with the deals I was getting. I worry that I won't get back to CVS before the ECB's expire. I'll probably just stick with Rite Aid and Walgreens unless I spot a CVS deal that can't be passed up.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Kroger and Rite Aid Trips

One of my first steps to being more frugal was to implement menu planning. I started off by just thinking about what I wanted to eat and planning that meal for the week. This method made grocery shopping easier, but it didn't really save me any money.

My next step in my quest for frugality was to do a quick sweep of my cabinets and freezer, checking to see what ingredients I already had and planning my meals around those items. This was really a money saver! Before I started checking my cabinets and freezer, I would come home with items that I already had! My freezer was like a bottomless pit of frozen veggies. Now, I know what I have, and I only buy things that I need. When I do buy things, I try to only buy them when they are on sale, or I have a coupon.

I have also started to stockpile foods that I use most often. We eat lots of canned tomatoes. Almost every meal we eat has a can of tomatoes in it. I know I will always use tomatoes, so when I find a good deal, I stock up. This saves me money because I am only buying tomatoes when they are on sale, instead of getting a few cans every week at a crazy expensive price.

This week Hubbie had the idea to do 2 weeks of shopping. Normally we only do 1 week of shopping because I'm just not prepared enough to plan two weeks worth of meals. This week, to my delight, Hubbie sat down with me and helped me do 2 weeks worth of menu plans! I'll probably have to go back to the store to get more bananas for snacks and baking, but I'm excited about the time it will save to only go grocery shopping once every two weeks!


4 Half Gallons Kroger Milk $6.00 (These went on sale the day after we went shopping, I was so bummed)
1 Kroger Sour Cream $1.05
1 cut veggie tray $3.94
1 Bird’s Eye Broccoli $2.35 -used $0.35 coupon, doubled to $0.70
.34 lb garlic $0.91
1.85 lb bananas $1.09
1 Barilla Spaghetti $1.39 - We only eat whole wheat pasta, so our pasta prices tend to be a little expensive. Since we don't eat meat, whole wheat items are a good way to get extra protein.
1 Ronzoni Lasagna noodles $2.49
1 Imagine Vegetable Broth $3.29 -used $0.55 coupon
1 Ole Corn Tortilla Shells $1.69
1 Dish scrub pads $ 1.39
1 Kroger Old Fashioned Oats $2.39
5 cans Red Gold Tomatoes $4.00
2 Kroger Tortilla Chips $2.00
2 Ragu Pasta Sauce $3.40 -used $0.75/2, $0.50 Kroger Card ecoupon
1 Kroger Vegetable Oil $2.97
1 Kroger Tomato Sauce $0.34
5 Johnson’s Buddies Soaps -used $2.00/2, $1.00/1, $1.00/1 coupons

used $1.00 off any Kroger purchase coupon
I also had another $1.00 credit on my receipt. I can’t remember what this was from.

Total Before Coupons: $46.14
Total Saved: $8.50
Total OOP: $41.58 for two weeks of groceries

Rite Aid: Week of 1/25-1/31
I also did my Rite Aid shopping on the same day. I got some pretty good deals this week that I was very excited about.

Rite Aid Transaction #1
1 Listerine Total Care $4.99-used $2.00 Rite Aid coupon
1 Always Infinity 18 ct $5.99 -used Free Infinity 18 ct coupon
1 One Touch Ultra 2 Meter $19.99 -used $19.99 off of one coupon
used $5 off $25 Rite Aid coupon

Total Before Coupons: $30.97
Total Saved: $32.99
Total OOP: $0.52

Rite Aid Transaction #2
1 Listerine Citrus $ 4.99 -used $2.00 Rite Aid coupon
1 Dove Body Wash $2.89 -used $1.00 of any Dove body wash coupon
1 One Touch Ultra 2 Meter $19.99 -used $19.99 off of one coupon
used $5 off $25 Rite Aid coupon

Total Before Coupons: 27.87
Total Saved: $28.00
Total OOP: $2.25

Rite Aid Transaction #3
2 Listerine Total Care $ 9.98 -used two $2.00 Rite Aid coupon
1 One Touch Ultra 2 Meter $19.99 -used $19.99 off of one coupon
used $5 off $25 Rite Aid coupon

Total Before Coupons: $29.97
Total Saved: $29.00
Total OOP: $3.74

The Listerine is part of an ESR for February, and I will get back $10.00 for buying 4 Listerine.

Value of Items: $88.81
Coupons Value: $89.99
Total Spent: Rite Aid: $6.51
Profit this week after ESR: $5.49

I'm not too crazy about the Rite Aid deals this week, so I'll probably just skip it all together. Check back later this week to see how my Walgreens trip went!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Veggie Pizza

Hubbie and I just love pizza. One of the challenges we face on the migraine diet is being able to continue eating the foods we love. We used to make homemade pizza all the time, but the pizza we made included cheese, meat, and yeast-all foods that are now off limits. We have played around with dough recipes, and this one is our favorite!

Pizza Sauce
-6 oz tomato paste ($0.25)
-14 oz tomato sauce ($0.50)
-Garlic powder
-Italian seasonings mix

Seasoning price is negligable, probably about $0.05-$0.10.
1. Combine all ingredients in a small size pan. Add garlic powder, salt, and Italian seasonings to taste.
2. Cook until well combined, adding more seasonings as needed.

Toppings ($3.94)
You may use any toppings you wish. We do not use cheese or meat on our pizza, so our ingredients are a little different than the normal pizza toppings. This time we put shredded carrots, mushrooms, red pepper, zucchini, squash, and red onions. We normally chop the ingredients up and sauté for a few minutes before adding them to the pizza. You can skip this step if you like your veggies more crispy.

Crust-This is a double recipe for the dough. We used it to make two pizzas, one for today, and one for lunches later this week. You can cut all the ingredients in half and have enough dough for one pizza.
-3 cups flour ($1.20) (You can use any variety of whole wheat/white. I used half wheat and half white flour.)
-4 tablespoons olive oil ($0.40)
-1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
-½ tablespoon baking soda
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp sugar
-1 cup water
Guestimate price for baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar are about $0.25.

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, and mix well to combine. I use my Kitchen Aid Mixer.
3. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for several minutes. I let my mixer knead the dough for me.
4. Roll dough into desired shape for your baking pan. I use a round and a rectangular baking stone. A cookie sheet would also work fine.
5. Transfer dough to the baking pan, and pre-bake for 3-5 minutes. Dough should just start to cook before you take it out of the oven.
6. Spoon pizza sauce onto pizza.
7. Top with your favorite toppings and bake. Bake for about 15 minutes. If you choose to use cheese on your pizza, bake until the cheese is bubbly and just starts to brown.

Cost Breakdown
Toppings- $3.94- a little pricey for us, but we splurged and bought a special veggie tray to try.
Pizza sauce- $.85
Pizza dough-$1.85

Total cost for two yummy, healthy pizzas is $6.64. If you break it down, that's only $3.32 for each pizza. Each pizza is at least one meal for us, sometimes two. If you used less expensive ingredients, like just carrots and onions, the price would be even less!

For more frugal meals and to be a part of the $5 Dinner Challenge, visit

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Here's what I have planned for us to eat this week! I normally eat oatmeal for breakfast, and Hubbie will have a rice protein shake, cereal, or homemade muffins. Our lunches are normally leftovers from dinner.

Veggie Pizza

BBQ Lentils and baked sweet potatoes


Grilled Tofu and veggies

Spaghetti with spinach and chickpeas


Red Lentil Curry and Rice


Welcome to Living Light for Less. This blog is dedicated to living a healthy, fulfilled life on a budget.

A Little About Me
I am a 23 year old first grade teacher who is married to my best friend. My husband is also a teacher. We first started dating when I was a freshman in high school. We got married when I was 19, and have been married for 4 years. Each day is better than the last, and I often can't believe how blessed I am. We have always been somewhat frugal. We like to save money and believe in paying cash for things.

My lifestyle changed drastically when my husband started suffering from migraines. For a year, he had a migraine almost every day, all day long. He was placed on several different medicines that had NO affect on his headaches. Finally, after research of our own, we decided to drastically change our diets to try to overcome the migraines. The migraine diet we started is completely vegan. We also avoid caffeine, nuts, artificial preservatives and colors, yeast, chocolate, pickled things, and fermented things.

Amazingly, one week after we changed our diet, the headaches were gone. Completely. We have been following this diet for 5 months and have been almost headache free. We have started to reintroduce foods each week and are learning triggers to my husbands headaches. One of his triggers is yeast. Thankfully, this isn't very difficult to avoid. We don't eat sandwiches often, and yeast isn't found in many other things that we eat. Each week is a new challenge to try to keep our meals interesting, healthy, AND frugal.

About Our Frugal Lifestyle
I have always wanted to stay at home with our children, for at least a little bit. I've never thought this would be a possibility on a teacher's salary. Through budgeting and couponing, I am starting to see that my dream may be able to become a reality. Before we start a family, we are practicing our budgeting and saving to prepare for the next stage in our lives!

Join me on my journey as I plan, budget, save, and prepare healthy food for my family!