Tobins' Tastes: October 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

This Week's Publix Trip 10/30

Here is today's (Sunday 10/30) relatively small Publix trip. I still managed to get a few great deals and free or free + overage things. Most of these sales were part of either the weekly sale cycle or Green Advantage Flyer deals.

Considering this trip only cost me $25 and includes $7 worth of fresh chicken, eggs and close to $20 worth of coffee, I would say it was a success! Everything except for the chicken was either on sale, had a coupon, or both.

Here is the breakdown:
Total Retail Value: $91.70
Saved: $66.13
Total Spend: $25.57
Total Saved: 72%

Here are the highlights:
  • 2 bags of Halloween candy: retails for $5.99 each, on sale BOGO ($2.99 each)
    • Used a $1/2 coupon
    • Made them $2.49 each
  • 2 bags of Caribou Coffee: retails for $8.99 each, on sale BOGO ($4.49 each)
    • Used two $2 off coupons from the 10/2 SS
    • Made each bag $2.49
  • 2 boxes of Cheez-its: retails for $4.09 each, on sale BOGO ($2.04 each)
    • Used a $1/2 coupon from the 9/18 RP
    • Made them $1.54 each
  • 2 boxes of Hefty One Zip storage bags, retails for $2.39 a box, on sale BOGO ($1.19 each)
    • Used a $1/2 coupon from the 7/10 RP or the 8/14 RP
    • Made them .69 cents each
  • 4 bottles of Sundown Naturals Vitamin D, retails for $3.49 a bottle, on sale for $2.99 each
    • Used 2 printable manufacturer coupons for $1.50/2 
    • Paired that with a $6/2 coupon from the current Publix Green Advantage Flyer
    • I ended up making .75 cents off of each one, which means I got $3 to put towards the rest of my bill 
  • 1 tube of Crest toothpaste: retails for $3.27, on sale for $2
    • Used a $1 off coupon from the 10/30 P&G
    • Paired that with a $1 off Publix coupon from the Stocking Spree home mailer
    • Made it completely free!
  • 2 tubes of Pillsbury Simply Buttermilk Biscuits: retails for $2.19 each, on sale for $1.25 each
    • Used a printable coupon for $1/2
    • Made them .75 cents each
  • 2 boxes of Skinny Cow candies: $4.29 each box
    • Used two $1 off manufacturer coupons
    • Paired with two $1.75 off coupons
    • Made them $1.57 each, not an amazing deal but these are one of my favorite treats and they rarely go on sale at all, so I took advantage of my double coupons
All of these sales are available through Wednesday or longer. Most coupon match up deals can be found in this week's match up. Comment if you have any questions!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Can You Really Save Money Couponing?

Alot of people comment to me that they try to coupon but they never end up saving any money. All this tells me is that they haven't really committed to it.

When I decided to start couponing, I researched everything that I could. I signed up for all the websites, found every way to get coupons, bought the Sunday paper (sometimes multiple copies) religiously and never went shopping with a prepared list and matched up coupons.

Slowly but surely I have seen our weekly spending drop. I went from saving $20 in one Publix trip to now regularly saving well over $50 while spending $30 or less. I use to get excited to get a tube of toothpaste for $2.00, now I know that it should be free or at least .50 cents or less.

It took me awhile to learn the rock bottom prices for things and it took me over a month to learn to hang on to my coupons until there was a really good sale. These things are now habit.

I never go to the grocery store (or Target or Walmart) without a pre printed list with the current sale prices, sizes and all the possible coupon matches. We only go to Publix once a week or less and Target and Walmart only once every 2 weeks (unless there is an amazing sale on something).

Justin was skeptical of couponing at first. He did not think that the time and effort would result in enough savings. He is now totally convinced and even went on his first solo couponing trip last week. He ended up bring pretty proud of himself : )

If you feel like couponing isn't working for you or you feel like you don't save significant amounts of money, you should commit to it for one full month and see how you feel after that.

Feel free to comment if you have questions!

Monday, October 24, 2011

This Week's Publix Trip

Here is a photo of this week's Publix trip. After being out of town for a long weekend, we really needed a few fresh items. I am happy to say that it has been well over a week since we last grocery shopped which means that we have been spending less than $40 a week on groceries lately. That is a major improvement from what we were spending.

Here is the breakdown of today's trip:

Total Retail Value: $103. 54
Total Spent Out Of Pocket: $30.75
Saved: $72.70

That means I saved about 70% !

Here are some highlights. Remember that you can find all the specific links and detail on this week's coupon match link. Most of the deals are good through the end of Wednesday or longer.

  • 4 bottles of Zepherhills Sparkling Water, retails for $1
    • Used 2 $1 off printable coupons and 2 BOGO coupons from the 10/23 RP
    • Made all 4 bottles FREE
  • 2 bags of Fresh Express Salad, retails for $3.99, on sale BOGO ($1.99 each bag)
    • Used a BOGO manufacturer coupon from
    • Made BOTH bags FREE
  • 6 bottles of Suave 2-1 Men's Professionals Shampoo/Conditioner, retails for $2.19 each
    • Used 3 BOGO free coupons from the 10/2 RP, stacked with two Publix store coupons for $3 off any 3 Suave men's products from the current Publix Green Advantage Flyer
    • Made ALL 6 BOTTLES .57 cents or .09 cents each these are for donating to the Homeless Shelter
  •  2 boxes of Barilla Multigrain Plus Pasta, retails for $2.39 a box, on sale BOGO ($1.19 a box)
    • Used 2 .55 cents off coupons from the 10/23 SS
    • Made it .64 cents a box
  • 2 tubs of Digiorno Grated Cheese, retails for $4.79 each, on sale BOGO ($2.39 each)
    • Used two $2 off any Digiorno product printable (Facebook)
    • Made each tub .39 cents each
  • 4 cans of Hunt's Tomatos, retails for $1.99 each, on sale BOGO (.99 cents each)
    • Used two, .50 cents off 2 cans printable coupons from
    • Made them .74 cents each
  • 2 packs of Nestle Tollhouse Cookie Dough, retails for $3.09 each, on sale BOGO ($1.54 each)
    • Used two $1 off coupons from the 9/11 RP
    • Made them .54 cents each
  • 4 boxes of Pepperidge Farm Garlic Garlic Toast, retails for $2.89 a box, on sale BOGO ($1.44 each)
    • Used two $1/2 coupons from the 10/16 SS
    • Made them .94 cents each
  • 2 tubs of Smart Balance Spread, retails from $3.59 each, on sale BOGO ($1.79 each)
    • Used a $1.25/2 printable coupon
    • Made it $1.17
  • 2 boxes of General Mills Cereal, retails for $3.49 each, on sale BOGO ($1.74 each)
    • Used a $1/2 printable coupon
    • Made them $1.24 each
Everything else was either something else we need/use that was on some kind of sale and that I had a coupon for. Make sure you check out the new Yellow Advantage flyer for Publix store coupons and some new good sales that are not advertised in the weekly sale flyer in the paper.

Comment if you have questions about any of the other items or how to plan a similar shopping trip!

Couponing vs. Warehouse Shopping

Since I started couponing, I have only shopped at Sam's Club once. Before this summer, we were shopping there at least 2 times a month. I would always buy things at Sam's that we could not afford in regular quantities at Publix or Target. However, I have found that with couponing I can now get those items for significantly cheaper per item or per unit than I ever could at Sam's.

Here is an interesting price comparison that one of the couponing blogs I read has on buying items at a regular grocery store with coupons versus buying them in bulk at Sam's or Costco.

Kinda makes you think about what a good deal really is, doesn't it?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Butterscotch Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are a favorite in our family. They are my variation on the recipe found under the lid of Quaker Oatmeal. The original recipe calls for raisins but I think that chocolate and butterscotch chips are a much better option.

Butterscotch Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 1 stick and 6 tablespoons butter softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups Quaker Oats
  • 1 cup EACH of chocolate chips and butterscotch chips

  1. Beat butter and both sugars with an electric mixer until creamy.
  2. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.
  3. Mix in flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt
  4. Stir in oatmeal, butterscotch and chocolate chips.
  5. Drop onto cookie sheet in rounded tablespoons (I use a cookie scoop)

    6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

Friday, October 14, 2011

This Week's Publix Trip

We really did not actually need anything from the grocery store this week. We still had plenty of veggies, meat, eggs, yogurts and milk from my last week's Publix and Walmart trips. I basically went to the store to stock up on a few good deals to add to our stockpile.

Retail Price of Trip: $ 69.35
Spent: $24.58
Saved: $44.77

Here's what I bought with coupon match ups:
  • 2 Stouffer's Family Sized Entrees
    • Normally retails for $7.99 each, on sale for $3.99 each
    • Used a $1.50 printable stacked with a $1.00 off manufacturer coupon from the 9/25 SS
    • Made them $1.49 each
  • 2 bags of Nestle Assorted Fun Size Candy Bars (for Halloween)
    • Normally retails for $4.99 each. On sale BOGO ($2.49 each)
    • Used a printable coupon for $3.00 off 2 bags
    • Made them .99 cents each
  • 4 Bottles of Northland 100% Blended Juices
    • Normally retails for $4.15 a bottle, on sale BOGO ($2.07 each)
    • Used a $1/2 coupon from the 10/9 SS insert for each BOGO set
    • Made them $1.57 a bottle
  • 4 bags of Green Giant Valley Fresh Stemer Vegetables
    • Normally $2.59 each, on sale BOGO ($1.29 each)
    • Used a .50/2 coupon from the 10/2 SS insert for each BOGO
    • Made it $1.04 for each bag
  • 1 pack each of Dixie plates and bowls plus a roll of Brawny Paper Towels
    • Dixie normally $3.25 each, on sale for $2.00 each, Brawy $2.05
    • Used a store coupon from the "One Stop, One Store" Publix coupon booklet for Free Brawny Paper Towels when you buy 2 Dixie items
    • Made it $4 for all 3 items
  • 2 bags of Kraft Carmels (stocking up for holiday baking)
    • Normally $2.59, on sale BOGO making them $1.29 each
  • 2 boxes of Zatarain's Rice (to be donated to the Homeless Family Center)
    • Normally $1.49, on sale for $1
    • Used a $1/2 printable manufactuer coupon
    • Made them .50 cents each (any time I can get something for .50 or less I usually buy it and dontate it)
Most of these deals I found on the weekly sale link with coupon match ups. These sales are all good until Wednesday or longer so check them out if you want to get some deals!

Let me know if you find any unadvertised deals at Publix this week.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies

These are yet another of my pinspired desserts. They are lighter than a chocolate chip cookie yet still rich and delicious. I took 2 dozen of them to Justin's fire station and they were gone in a few hours. So it seems that they are a big hit. They were also very easy to make. Here's how:

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 tablespoons butter (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 12 ounces chocolate chips
  1. Combine dry ingredients (flour through soda) in a bowl and set aside.
  2. In mixer, blend butter, sugar, egg, cream cheese, and vanilla.
  3. Slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing with each addition, until all are incorporated.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips.

5. Drop by tablespoon (or cookie scoop) on to a greased cookie sheet about an inch apart.

6. I flatten them out a little bit to help them bake more evenly.

    7. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or until getting golden brown around the edges.
    8. Enjoy!
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