Friday, December 31, 2010

Book Review: The Portable Patriot edited by Joel J. Miller and Kristen Parrish

The Portable Patriot is a collection of the most important and influential documents, speeches and sermons from the early years of the United States of America. It features 63 different items, including The Mayflower Compact, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, The Constitution, and The First Inaugural Address of George Washington.

I am a middle school Social Studies teacher, so I found this book to be an excellent resource. While teaching American History from the years of the Pilgrims up to the years of our first presidents, all I have to do is go to this book to find all the primary sources I need. All of the content is original and authentic to our nation’s history. The book is organized chronologically into five sections, Beginnings, Pre-Revolution, Revolution, Founding, and Republic, so it is very easy to know where to look to find a specific document. Also included are a Table of Contents and an index, making this perfect for any academic courses.

The Portable Patriot is a very small book, making it indeed portable. It is a sturdy hardback that can easily fit into a handbag and would be a great addition to purchase for American history courses. However, the small size of this book is a disadvantage to me as a teacher. I would not want to make copies for my students because the font is small.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher by participating in the blogger review program from BookSneeze. I did not receive any other compensation. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinion here is my own.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A few goodies

I'm so glad that I've been able to go into Meijer the last month or so without the lighting bothering me. So we've been going about once a week, because I scope out their recycling dumpsters for coupon inserts. Normally I walk away with at least something; some weeks I get a whole bag from the newspaper of extra inserts!

Anyway so today I was able to snag just about 4 inserts with a few from yesterday's paper. Which is good, because I actually bought a paper yesterday, and it only came with a RedPlum insert! What the heck?!

At Meijer I got a few deals.

Frank's Red Hot @ .99 - .50 q doubled up to .49= FREE

Kraft 100 Calorie pack which my DH loves=$2.79

Pampers wipes @ $2.00-$2q=FREE, will give to my sister-in-law

Egg Beaters @ $2.00-$1q=$1.00

4 cans of Dole mandarin oranges @ $1.00 each -(2) .50 off 2 qs doubled=$2.00 for 4 cans or .50 each

2 Coffeemates @ $1.00 each- (2) .75 qs doubled up to .25=FREE, bought these for my mother-in-law, but I may see if I can use these in a dessert recipe.

Total before qs=$13.78

I paid: $5.93

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Coupon Wishlist :)

Since I'm getting into couponing pretty hardcore, I decided I'd compile a pretty detailed wishlist for any partners I get for swaps or for anyone who wants to trade with me. These are the coupons I can always use.

I shop at Giant Eagle (doubles up to .99), Kroger (doubles up to .99), Meijer (doubles up to .99), Wal-Mart, CVS, and Walgreens.

* Weight Watchers ice cream and novelty ice creams
* Skinny Cow ice cream and novelty ice creams
* Cottage cheese
* Breakstone's Cottage Doubles
* string cheese
* Kraft 100 calorie cheese packs
* Kraft singles
* Any shredded cheese
* Babybel cheese

* Arnold Select Sandwich Thins
* Pepperidge Farm Deli Flats
* English muffins
* any Weight Watchers bread products

Meat & Produce
* Any produce
* Fresh Express bagged salad
* any pickles
* any meat
* Oscar Mayer lunch meat
* Oscar Mayer hot dogs
* Hillshire Farms lunch meat
* Johnsonville sausage
* any chicken sausage
* any seafood
* Gorton's products
* Jennie-o turkey products
* any tuna
* Bumblebee tuna salad, seafood salad, and chicken salad kits
* any Lloyd's product
* any Curley's product

* Splenda
* Muffin mixes especially Martha White's
* any cookie, brownie, or cake mixes
* frosting

Condiments, Sauces, and Seasonings
* Manwich
* any ketchup
* Miracle Whip
* any spaghetti sauce
* Tabasco
* any hot sauces
* any brand taco seasoning
* any brand taco sauce
* any spices

* Lean Cuisines
* Smart Ones
* Healthy Choice
* any frozen veggies
* Green Giant Just for One
* Eggos
* Aunt Jemima pancakes
* Lean Pockets
* California Pizza Kitchen
* Newman's Own pizzas

Canned/Dry Mixes/Pastas
* Hamburger Helper
* any spaghetti or pasta
* Wacky Mac
* Crystal Light 2 qt mixes
* Kool-Aid packets
* any Campbell's soups
* any Progresso soups
* any broths
* any brand canned vegetables
* any brand canned fruit
* any cereal

* Fiber One granola bars
* any 100 calorie packs
* Slim Jims
* Quaker granola bars
* Quaker rice cakes and minis
* Jolly Time popcorn
* Mentos gum
* Any gum
* Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats
* Graham crackers

Health & Beauty
* Always pads
* Depends adult underwear
* any toothpaste or toothbrushes
* any body washes
* bar soap
* liquid hand soap
* contact solution
* mouthwash
* any deodorant for women or men
* any shampoo or conditioner
* Axe body spray
* any colognes
* disposable razors
* Gillette razors for men
* Johnson's Buddies
* Bandages

Paper Products & Cleaning Supplies
* toilet paper
* tissues
* trash bags
* any Ziploc style bags
* Sun laundry detergent
* any brands laundry detergent
* Cascade Action pacs
* Dish soap
* Dish detergent
* Spray & Wash

* Snapple
* any diet pops especially Diet Dr. Pepper, Diet Pepsi, Diet Coke, Diet Stewart's
* any tea bags

* Tidy Cats litter
* The World's Best Litter
* any cat treats
* any dry cat food
* wet cat food

* Any restaurant coupons, any FREE items

What I don't want, don't use, or can't use...
* Baby products
* Alcohol or tobacco
* Paper towels or napkins
* Yogurt
* I rarely wear makeup
* Any cleaning supplies that aren't listed above
* Dog items
* Paper plates
* Medicines
* Condoms
* Pregnancy tests

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Today I emailed:
(both regarding their 100 calorie packs)
Fresh Express

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Master List- Emails to Companies

Here is where I will update when I email companies and when I receive feedback from them. All will be complimentary emails unless noted.


Better'n Peanut Butter


Clif bars- nothing


Don Miguel- free item coupon and another coupon
Dr. Pepper


Eggland's Best
- an email saying that if I gave them my address they'd send me some coupons, so I did, but received nothing


Fiber One-nothing


Green Giant-nothing


Horizon Organic


- nothing


McDonald's- complaint- received $10 in gift certificates
Mrs. T's- 2 .55 coupons


PopChips- nothing
Purina Tidy Cats litter- received (2) $2.00 coupons


Skinny Cow- received (2) .50 cent coupons
Smart Ones- received (4) .75 cent coupons; emailed again 5/2011
Snapple- nothing
Splenda- received a nice package with a boatload of recipes, a Kool-Aid stirring spoon (I told them I always use Splenda instead of sugar when making Kool-Aid), and (1) $3.00 coupon
Stewart's Cream Soda- nothing


World's Best Cat Litter

It PAYS to complain....

I had a horrible experience at McDonald's the night we came back from our cruise. I got a 5-piece Chicken Selects that made me violently ill. I emailed them to explain that I thought the food had spoiled, and I got $10 in gift certificates. It was worth the fact that I threw up all my chicken and got a bloody nose, lol.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Coupons from Companies

About a week ago, one of my favorite blogs, Money Saving Mom, had a post about how it pays to email companies. In the past, I have sent snail mail letters to companies to compliment them or to complain, but it never occurred to me that I could have the same success by emailing them. What an inexpensive, convenient way to get coupons that I will use. So I've been emailing companies and I will post about my successes (and hopefully no failures).

I've had one success so far with an extremely quick turn-around. Since DH & I are doing Weight Watchers, I emailed Smart Ones to tell them how we love and rely on their frozen meals. I received an email thanking me and telling me that I'd be receiving some coupons in the mail. Yesterday I received an envelope from Heinz with 4 75-cent off any Smart Ones product coupons. I already used them all :) They doubled at Meijer, making for some cheap lunches. Just in time, because our freezer was getting empty.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

WAGS 6/30

Quick run to Walgreen's today with the intention of picking up free gum... but they were sold out! So I got 2 bottles of Finesse conditioner instead. It was Buy One @ 3.99, Get One Free. I had a $1 coupon. So with tax it came to $3.26. I will submit a mail-in rebate for $3.00. So 26 cents plus a 44 cent stamp= 2 bottles of conditioner for 70 cents.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wally World 6/24

Here's my purchases from Wal*Mart today. I found a great cashier named Deb who was super friendly and good with the coupons. If I do have any readers out there, yes I know that my kitchen is a mess and there's a sock on the floor among other things, and part of the living room is unpainted (plan on finishing it this weekend)... So don't judge the mess, just appreciate the deals :)

Since I'm losing weight and it's been awhile since I got some new jammies and it's been YEARS since I got new bras... I found some adorable items for myself...

2-piece Dr. Pepper pajamas $18.00
Play Doh sleep shirt $9.00
bra $9.00
DH wanted an undershirt $10.00
12-pack of Schick disposable razors $1.97-$2q=they paid me .03
trial size Axe body spray $1.97-$1q=.97
trial size Axe deodorant $0.97-$1q= they paid me .03
Laundry detergent=$1.98
Oxy Clean stain remover spray=$3.50
Quaker granola bars=$2.28
Oscar Mayer Lunch Meat $3.00-FREE item q=FREE
California Pizza Kitchen pizza $4.98-$1q=$3.98
Healthy Choice Steamer=$2.48
100 calorie Twinkies=$3.38
2 Skinny Cow ice cream cups $1.22 each-(2)$1q=.44 for two
And then the cats got super spoiled :)...
Tidy Cats litter $7.44-$1q=$6.44
Iams Premium $6.97-$5q=$1.97
Whiskas dry food $3.57-$2q=$1.57
2 packages Hartz Crunch 'n' Clean cat treats $1.98 each-(2)$1.50q=.96 for two
2 packages Whisker Lickins $.94 each-$1.50 for 2 q=.38 for two
2 Whiskas wet food .50 each-BOGOq=.50 for two

Before q's my total was $101.27, after it was $83.75


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Last Minute Run to Giant Eagle 6/12

So I had a good coupon for Small Steps paper products that expired today, and I was unable to find that brand when we went to Meijer, so DH & I ran over to Giant Eagle for a few last minute items. FYI Giant Eagle is within walking distance (albeit we drove because it's dark and storming) so it wasn't a horrible, maniacal, last minute evil wife thing to do. I think we'll do 10 PM shopping from now on; it's so quiet there!

Here's what we came away with...

Open Pit BBQ sauce found .35q on the bottle doubled= .30 (got 2)
Small Steps tissue -$1.00 q= .34
Dad's Cat Food -$1.00 q= 2.49
WW English Muffins= 4.19
Diet Orange Soda=3.50
Tabasco Sauce -.75q doubled= .09
Green Tabasco Sauce -.75q doubled= *THEY paid ME .09 to take it out of the store!* (So for whatever reason, the coupons evened out so that both Tabasco Sauces were FREE!)

Total: $12.68

I wanted the English muffins since we are doing WW and they are only 1 point, DH wanted the cereal and the soda... Otherwise I think everything else was an okay deal. Biscuit the Kitten apparently thought so too! I think he was admiring his lookalike on the cat food bag.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Meijer 6/9

I'm trying to get back into couponing and finally do it hardcore. Here's what I got today at Meijer.

2 cans of Friskies Indoor cat food-BOGO Free q= 2 for .70
Friskies Party Mix cat treats-$1 q= .42
Kitten Chow-FREE item q= FREE
2 bottles of Old Orchard juice-BOGO Free q= 2 for 1.99
Cottonelle bath tissue -$3 q= 1.69
12 packs of Kool-Aid @ 10 cents each -B10Get2Free q= 12 for 1.00
Jolly Time popcorn -.75q doubled= .99 (got two)
Betty Crocker Warm Delights 2 @ $1.00 each -$1/off 2 q=1.00 for two

Total for everything pictured:$7.79

Still working on getting good at this coupon game!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Money-Making Websites

Since I began college five years ago, I've been looking for ways to make money on the Internet. I've found some excellent websites throughout the years, and still stumble upon new ones. From time to time, I'll share some of my favorites so that you can find some ways to make money online yourself. Each site may seem like a small payout, but when put together, and when you get some referrals to use the sites, the money can begin to add up.

InboxDollars is a great program. The gist of it is that you sign up and they send you paid emails almost daily. You click and open the email and get a few cents. When you reach $30.00, they send you a check. You can also earn cash back bonuses when you buy things online and you can take surveys for cash too. I've gotten paid 3 times from them for a total of $81.04.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Frivilous Spending at Meijer

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE after-holiday clearance? I think I look forward more to the sales then the holidays themselves. Since we just bought our house this past January, each holiday has been an opportunity for me to get some new decorations. We basically have nothing because I had given all our knick knack junk to Goodwill because we had been in apartments with no storage space and I got tired of all the clutter.

As we were walking in to Meijer, a man was walking out with one of those prepackaged Easter baskets. I took that as a good sign! Easter items were 75% off. While I think those baskets are full of overpriced junk, at 75% off they were worth it. I got 4 baskets at $2.50 each. Two contained playground balls & sidewalk chalk, one has a basketball and a frisbee, and one has a hat, purse, and some hair clips. The outdoor toys are going to my school for new items for recess. The last basket's contents will be part of my niece's 4th birthday gifts. She loves dress up stuff so I figure she'll get a kick out of it. The baskets themselves and any eggs and grass will go into storage for next year, as we host Easter and I can make up baskets for our nieces and nephews.

I also got an Easter tablecloth for 99 cents, and four pink flowery placemats at 37 cents each. They're more springtime then Easter, so I'll be able to use them for a few months on our new kitchen table! I also got an egg full of "pink power" stickers which I'll use for pen-palling.

Down one of Meijer's many aisles of clearance items, I found some leftover Valentine's Day goodies. I got four super cute placemats for 19 cents each. They have spinners and you can land on things like "kiss the cook", "prepare dessert", "set the table". Neato.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


A thrift store here called Ohio Thrift has a 50% off day the last Wednesday of each month for clothes and shoes and things of that nature. We hadn't been there in months, but DH & I set out to find a kitchen table set and there is a Show & Sell consignment thrift store right next door to Ohio Thrift, so we ventured out. We found a nice table with 4 chairs for a little over $200 :) It's dark wood, simple, and fairly small, and will fit our kitchen nicely. We needed a table because we're hosting Easter.

I found some spectacular bargains at the thrift store. I was in need of a few more spring and summer outfits for work. Here's what I got:
short sleeve red & navy Tommy Hilfiger turtleneck NWT
tan Sonoma sweater/cover up thing
short sleeve Merona hoodie
orange Liz Claiborne hoodie
gray Delia*s top with some designs
navy Lands' End sweater
fuschia top
fuschia & pink flowery skirt
plaid capris
brown New York & Company top
blue jean Merona skirt

& the kicker.... pink & white Nikes for $2.49!!

Total... $21.88

Awful pic...

Moral of the story... NEVER pay retail!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Ah ha, a loophole! CVS 3/1

I love after-holiday bargains. Yesterday I discovered that the Valentine's goodies at CVS are now marked down to 90% off. While the selection is greatly picked over, I was able to find a few things...

Like... a chocolate Palmer's Double Crisp dog for .29, a heart full of M&Ms for .25, small boxes of chocolate for .09, a bigger XOXO sweethearts gift bag for .25 (will use for DH's anniversary gift- the 5th anniversary of when we started dating is this month), a small Valentine's bag for next year for .09, and some gummy bears for .09. At the last minute I noticed that the gummy bears are a Gold Emblem product, and I had been getting $1.00 off 2 GE products coupons from the ECC scanner... I was not sure if it would still work since it was under $1.00, but I tried it anyway... and it worked!

So today I forced hubby to take me back to CVS after running a few errands and going to dinner... Stupid me I can't find my $7.99 from the EARinse deal, so I had to pay OOP... But today I got:
4 bags of GE gummy bears @ .09 each
Gain detergent @ 5.99
-1.00 GE coupon

Got $2.00 back in ECB for the Gain.

I wish I had the time and energy to get my coupons better organized and hunt for more details, but that will do for now.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

CVS goodies 2/21

Got a few steals at CVS today!

10 cans of Bumble Bee tuna @ .49 each -(2) mfc for 1.00 off 5 cans= 2.90 (29 cents a can!)

EARinse @ 7.99

Air Wick Freshmatic @ 5.99-5.00 mfc=.99

pack of gum for DH=1.49

and then the clearance Valentine's Day goodies!

1 heart necklace @ 75% off=.75

Harry Potter valentines @ 75% off=.75

heart shaped pillow @ 75% off=1.49

rose heart shaped wreath @ 75% off=1.25

I used 10.50 in ECB & paid 8.32 OOP. I got back 7.99 for the EARinse. I will also get reimbursed for the EARinse for our Flex Spending Account.

Tuna for .29 a can was a steal! I'll be making sandwiches for our lunches. The Air Wick will go up in the laundry room where the litter box is. Stinky! The valentines come with bookmarks which I'm excited about because I love Harry Potter. I'll save the valentines for next year's students. The wreath is a start to our house's holiday decor. I'll put it on the front door next year. The pillow & necklace will be my niece's First Communion gifts. I think she'll love the pillow- it's pink, fluffy, and lacy, and she is such a girly girl.

Sorry for the quality of the picture- I used my web cam because I couldn't find my digital camera, and I didn't want to wake hubby from his pre-work nap to ask him where it is.

Meijer Deals 2/20

Not horribly exciting... Sorry no picture as my husband graciously put the food away for me :)

Transaction #1
Ketchup= .77
Frank's Red Hot Sauce .99 -50 mfc doubled= FREE
Green Grapes 1.86 lb= 3.70
Bananas 1.41 lb= .47
Macaroni Grill Dinner Kit 2.99-1.00 Mealbox q-1.00 mfc=.99
Wanchai Ferry Dinner Kit 2.99-1.00 Mealbox q-1.00 mfc=.99
3 Betty Crocker Warm Delights @1.50 each -(3) .50 mfc-1.00 Mealbox q= 2.00
4 Betty Crocker Cookie Mixes @ 1.50 each -(3) .40 mfc=3.30
4 bags of Chex Mix @ 1.00 each -various mfc=2.00

Total: $14.80 & got $1.00 catalina for buying the Warm Delights

Transaction #2
Bag of Animal Crackers=1.19
-1.00 catalina from Warm Delights

Total: $1.25

I followed some couponing websites to get the deals on the Chex Mix and Betty Crocker items, but the coupons I printed were "do not double". The websites had suggested that they double anyway, so I took a shot, but no, they didn't double. Still a good deal, but I will be looking next time to see if perhaps I can find more mfc from the newspaper instead of the Internet and see if those double... I'm just getting back into couponing again so I'm going to go slowly!