Monday, February 28, 2011

Cart Buster Savings Event Winner

The winner is:

Sunflower Sue said...
I love your site. The recipes are great and the give-a-ways are fun. Keep up the good work!

February 25, 2011 12:34 PM

Congratulations Sunflower Sue! Please e-mail your contact information to so I can send you the gift card. Be sure to visit my blog again and let us all know how you used the gift card at Kroger!

My thanks to everyone that entered the contest. Be sure to visit to participate in their "Deal of the Day" promotion! During each day of Kroger´s Cart Buster Savings Event, be one of the first 1000 people to click on the deal link and receive a free load-to-card coupon for the featured daily item.
The gift card, information, and giveaway were provided by the Kroger Family of Stores and General Mills / Nestle / Proctor & Gamble through MyBlogSpark.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Cart Buster Savings Event & $25 Gift Card Giveway!

It's no secret to my friends that I love shopping at Kroger. Combining sales and coupons make for some great bargains. In addition, I almost always find new products at my local Kroger before I can find them at other stores. And, I'm not the only one. I was at the hair salon the other day and the customer in the chair next to me was talking about trying to find a new product. The stylist suggested she try Kroger, because if anyone has it, Kroger would!
I was extremely excited to hear about the Cart Buster Savings Event exclusively at Kroger and the Kroger Family of Stores. From February 27th through March 12th, shop Kroger´s biggest-ever promotion and find the hottest prices around on more than 35 brands, across more than 60 categories from General Mills, P&G, Nestle, Pepsi and Kroger Banner Brands. During the Cart Buster Savings Event, you´ll find great savings in almost every department at the Kroger Family of Stores. You are sure to find bargains near you because the Kroger Family of Stores includes Kroger, Ralph´s, King Soopers, City Market, Dillons, Smith´s, Fry´s, QFC, Baker´s, Owen´s, Jay C Food Stores, Hilander, Gerbes, Food4Less, Pay Less Super Markets and Scott´s Food & Pharmacy.
I want you to be able to enjoy this great savings event. I have a $25 Kroger Family of Stores gift card that you can use on the great savings available during the Cart Buster Savings Event! Entering is easy:
1)Leave a comment below & tell me how you love to save money on groceries
2)If you are a follower of this blog, you will automatically receive an additional entry.
3)Link to this blog post from your blog or website for an extra entry
The gift card, information, and giveaway were provided by the Kroger Family of Stores and General Mills / Nestle / Proctor & Gamble through MyBlogSpark. The giveaway will end at midnight, February 27th and I'll post the winner on February 28th.

Here's a short list of the brands included in the Cart Buster Savings Event:

Multigrain Cheerios
Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Betty Crocker
Hamburger Helper
Green Giant
Cascadian Farm
Old Spice
Nestle Toll House
Juicy Juice
Lean Cuisine
Hot Pockets
Nestle Candy
and many more!
Looking for even more ways to add money to your pocket? Visit to participate in their "Deal of the Day" promotion! During each day of Kroger´s Cart Buster Savings Event, be one of the first 1000 people to click on the deal link and receive a free load-to-card coupon for the featured daily item.
This contest has ended. The winner is:

Sunflower Sue said...
I love your site. The recipes are great and the give-a-ways are fun. Keep up the good work!

February 25, 2011 12:34 PM

Congratulations Sunflower Sue! Please e-mail your contact information to so I can send you the gift card. Be sure to stop back my my blog and let us all know how you used the gift card at Kroger!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Foodie News - Free Stuff

Just a couple of offers for Cat and Dog lovers!

Overby Farm is offering a sample of their Dog or Cat Treats. Click here to order.

Natural Nutrition is offering a sample of their gourmet cat food. Click here to order.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fried Brown Rice


Uncle Ben's is my favorite rice brand.  They have some wonderful versions that cook right in the microwave.  I especially like that those versions include plain white and plain brown rice that doesn’t have any flavor added.  It helps cut down on sodium and you can control your own added flavors.

For this dish, I used the boxed kind cooked on the stove-top rather than the microwave pouch.  You could use either though.

I served this with Beef & Broccoli Stir-Fry.  If you wanted to make this a meal on it’s own, you could add some cooked chicken, beef, pork or shrimp with a little soy sauce.

Fried Brown Rice

1 box (12 oz) Uncle Ben's Instant Brown Rice

3 cups low sodium Chicken Broth

1/2 cup onion, chopped fine

1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped fine

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

1/4 cup carrot, finely chopped

1/4 cup Shiitake Mushrooms , chopped fine

1 tablespoon Canola Oil

1 tablespoon Toasted Sesame Seeds

Cook rice according to package directions using chicken broth instead of water.  (Note:  you’re reducing the amount of liquid by 1/4 cup to make a firmer rice).  Once rice is cooked, cool to room temperature and refrigerate at least 2 hours (or overnight).  When ready to cook, heat oil in large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion, pepper, garlic, carrot, mushrooms, and ginger.  Sauté about 3 minutes or until onions just start to get tender.  Add rice, and continue to cook until rice is re-heated.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Beef & Broccoli Stir-Fry


I’m all about easy.  Recently I tried one of those frozen dinner kits meant to taste like Chinese take-out.  To say I was disappointed is putting it mildly.  First, I felt like saying ‘Where’s the Beef?”.  Second, there really weren’t a lot of veggies either.  The kit included meat, vegetables, rice and a sauce packet.  The cost was $5.99 (on sale) and I had a $1 off coupon.  So, I thought the $4.99 cost for a meal kit meant for 2 servings wasn’t a bad deal.  Even if I was happy with the portion size, I definitely wasn’t happy with the taste – too salty and the beef tasted really ‘off’ – like it had been, well, frozen.  The whole experience made me determined to try again with my own version. 

Like I said, I’m all about easy.  First, I chose Kikkoman Stir-Fry Sauce. Second, I chose Bird’s Eye Steamers – the plain veggies you steam right in the bag.  With all kinds to choose from, I decided on 2 bags of broccoli flowerets and one bag of stir-fry vegetables (sugar snap peas, carrots, water chestnuts, and broccoli).  The beef?  Top sirloin steak that was on sale.  The rice?  Uncle Ben's Instant Brown Rice.  All in all, the total cost was around $13, but this made approximately 5-6 good sized servings.  The time involved?  About 20 minutes which wasn’t much longer than the meal kit.  The taste?  So, so wonderful!  Even if I did cook it myself, I have to say it was as good as what you’d get in a Chinese restaurant. 

The next time you’re tempted to buy one of those kits, think about trying this version instead.  You won’t be disappointed.  Check out my next post for the Fried Brown Rice recipe I served with this meal.

Beef & Broccoli Stir-Fry

2 sirloin steaks (totaling approx. 1 lb)

1/4 cup Kikkoman Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 bottle Kikkoman Stir-Fry Sauce, 11.75 fl oz

2 packages Bird’s Eye Steamers – Broccoli (12 oz bag)or 3 cups

1 package Bird’s Eye Steamers – Stir-Fry Veggies (12 oz bag)or 1 & 1/2 cups

1 can Baby Corn (drained)

1 tablespoon Canola Oil

Cut steak into thin strips.  (Place in freezer for about 20 minutes before slicing & meat will be easier to slice thinly).  Combine steak, garlic, ginger, and teriyaki sauce in bowl.  Stir well to make sure steak is coated well.  Store in refrigerator until ready to cook or about 20 minutes.  Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in large, non-stick skillet over medium high heat.  Remove steak from bowl & place in skillet.  (Discard remaining marinade).  Cook, stirring well, until browned on both sides, and remove from heat.  In the meantime, cook frozen vegetables in microwave according to package directions.  Return skillet to heat and add bottle of stir-fry sauce and canned baby corn.  Heat until bubbly.  Add vegetables and stir well.  Serve over rice.

Check out more great recipes at The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Kitchen Mishaps

I've been fortunate in the kitchen and only had a couple of grease fires. Nothing serious enough for a fire department, but enough to spread a foul smell throughout the house and to consider carpet and furniture cleaning. But, the other day, I left a non-stick pan on the burner to heat up. The phone rang, and I thought I had turned it off. Instead, I left it on high. After the phone call, I didn't go back in the kitchen. It wasn't too long before I smelled the fumes. Thankfully, nothing caught on fire and the pan was not ruined. But, the smell in the house, oh my. I had to open all the windows and doors and the temp outside was well below freezing. It made me wish I had Fridge-It Naturally Activated Charcoal Odor Absorber on hand. Of course, the central heat kicked on as soon as I opened the windows which had me wondering about air duct cleaning process. Have you ever looked in your air conditioning ducts? Think of your dirtiest filter and multiply that by ten. Then add my kitchen fumes on top of it!
We have so many modern conveniences these days, but sometimes just expect them to work all the time with no human error. Leaving a burner on too long or burning something in the oven can really change the air quality in your house for days. Even those scented candles we love can leave candle soot damage. So, be careful and take care!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Teriyaki Steak

I love this recipe - so simple, yet so tasty. You can also substitute chicken breasts for the steak. Hope you enjoy it!
Teriyaki Steak
3 lbs. steak cut 1 inch thick (round steak works well)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
Mix all ingredients well (except steak). Put steak in a large, shallow dish. Pour mixture over meat. Marinate 30 minutes, turning meat once or twice. You could also use a gallon size ziploc bag.
Set oven temperature to Broil. Remove steak from marinade and place on the broiler rack. Put into broiler with top of steak 3 inches from heating element. Broil 9-12 minutes depending on whether you want your steak rare or well-done. Turn and broil second side 9-12 minutes.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011



What do you think I paid for these products?  The total before coupons was $37.20 (including sales tax).  Total after?   Only $14.84!  Plus, I received an $8 coupon for my next purchase which brings the net down to $6.84.  The eye drops alone cost more than that!  And, the Reynolds Wrap  is a 75 sq. ft. roll!  Here’s a breakdown of each product and the original cost.

  • Russel Stover’s Chocolate Heart 2/$1
  • Blink Tears $7.99
  • M&M’s Plain (12.6 oz bag) $2.50
  • M&M’s Peanut (12.6 oz bag) $2.50
  • Reynolds Wrap (75 sq.ft.) $3.79
  • AXE Body Spray $5.79
  • AXE Body Spray $5.79
  • Nature Made Vitamin D $4.99

After watching extreme couponing shows and visiting various websites, I decided to give it a try.  I’ve always used coupons, but never could figure out how these extreme couponers were able to buy so much for so little.  The secret?  Combining store coupons with manufacturer’s coupons.  I purchased all of these items at Walgreen's.  I combined Walgreen's store coupons with manufacturers coupons.  The easiest example of this is the AXE Body Spray. 

Walgreen's had AXE products on sale.  You could buy one and get one at 50% off.  I had a manufacturer’s coupon that was buy one, get one free up to $5.99.   The two products I chose were $5.79 each.  But, with the Walgreen’s sale, one was 50% off, so it only cost $2.90.  Then, I received an additional $5.79 off with my manufacturer’s coupon.  The net cost for both products was $2.90.  I’m not sure what this product retails for at some of the super discount stores, but I’m willing to bet it’s more than $2.90. 

Maybe I was naive, but I had no idea that you could combine these coupons.  The first time I tried it, I was sure the clerk would laugh at me.  Combining coupons, I picked up Stayfree sanitary napkins (28 count) for .49 cents!  In that same shopping trip, I received a $5 Walgreen's coupon for my next purchase and two coupons for additional ‘free’ products to try that were worth $7.99 each.  It was like they gave me $21!

Since then, it’s become a game to see how much I can save while stocking up on products that I use on a regular basis.  I want you to be able to do this too.  Once you try, you’ll see it really doesn’t take that much extra time.  And, just think of the fun you can have figuring out how to spend your savings.  So, here are a few tips.


  • Watch their weekly ad for coupons and sales.  You can also check out their website for these ads if you don’t subscribe to the newspaper.  When you first go into the store, they have stacks of their weekly ads next to the shopping cart. 
  • Read the Walgreen's coupons carefully.  Most of the time you can use the same coupon for more than one product.  Let’s say you have a Walgreen’s coupon for Dawn dish washing liquid for .99 cents a bottle with a limit of 3.  That means you can buy 3 for .99 cents each using the Walgreen's coupon.  Then, you combine it with your 3 manufacturer’s coupons which are .50 cents each.  So, each bottle actually costs you .49 cents.
  • Read the ads carefully and look for products that will give you cash back for the next Walgreen's purchase.  This can range from $1 to $10 depending on the product.  You probably already have a manufacturer’s coupon for these products.  It’s like being paid to shop!
  • Your total coupons cannot exceed the total products.  Let’s say you only buying those 3 bottles of dish washing liquid.  Well, you have 3 products, but 4 coupons (1 Walgreen's and 3 manufacturer’s).  So, you need to buy one more product – like a candy bar.  I did that recently.  I had a candy bar coupon that was buy one get one free.  That brought the total coupon count to 5 and product count to 5 so all was good.  Did I mention I like chocolate?  I really don’t need a reason to buy it, but a coupon always helps!
  • Watch the ads for sales on grocery items like soup and tuna.  Walgreen's usually has good sales and prices on these.
  • Watch the expiration dates on your manufacturer’s coupons.  Wait to combine them with the sales at Walgreen's.  I haven’t been doing this long, but have read that grocery and discount stores usually do their sales in cycles.  So, after about 3 months we should have a good idea of when certain products go on sale to take advantage of the most savings.
  • Remember, just because a product is cheap, on sale, or has a coupon doesn’t mean it’s a good deal.  I only buy something that I will use or a product that I want to try. 

I’ve tried the same strategy at Kroger with groceries.  But, that’s a blog post for another day.  I hope you find this helpful and start saving soon!  Let me know how you do. 

Wild Rice

I’ve always liked wild rice, but I’ve only had it mixed in with other types of rice.  This recipe was a nice and simple variation for this pantry staple.

Wild Rice

1/2 cup onion, chopped fine

1 cup chopped parsley

1 &1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/3 cup canola oil

3 cups cooked wild rice

1 cup milk

2 eggs

Salt & Paprika to taste

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.  Beat eggs and add canola oil.  Add onion, parsley and 1 cup of cheese.  Add rice, milk and salt to taste. Pour mixture into casserole dish.  Spread balance of cheese on top and sprinkle with paprika.  Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.

Onion & Mushroom Gravy

Sure you can buy the packaged kind, but the homemade version is so much better.  And, you can control the sodium content if you make your own broth instead of using canned.  Try this gravy recipe the next time you’re looking for a rich gravy.  If you’re thinking of using this as a topping for steak, slice the onions and mushrooms rather than chopping them.  I’d even double the amount of onions and mushrooms for a steak topper.

Onion & Mushroom Gravy

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/4 cup cold water

Sauté onion and mushrooms in oil for about 5 minutes.  Add beef broth.  Remove from heat.  Mix cornstarch and water until cornstarch is completely dissolved.  Stir into pan.  Return to heat and, stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat.  Boil 2 minutes.

Check out more great recipes at The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap.