Tobins' Tastes: September 2011

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!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WW Chicken Pot Pie Soup & Honey Cornbread

We had another Pinterest inspired dinner this week; Weightwatchers inspired chicken pot pie soup and my new favorite honey cornbread.

These recipes were so easy and they were both amazing.

Weight Watchers Inspired Chicken Pot Pie Soup (adapted from Pinterest)

  • 1/4 cup flour

  • 2 cups water 

  • 4 cups fat free milk

  • 1 large celery stalk, chopped

  • 1/2 medium chopped onion

  • 2 chicken bouillons cubes or packets

  • fresh ground pepper

  • pinch of thyme

  • 10 oz frozen classic mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, green beans, corn)

  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed small

  • 16 oz cooked chicken breast, diced small

    1. Create a slurry by combining 1/2 cup of the cold water with flour in a medium bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside for later.
    2. Pour remaining water and milk into a large pot and slowly bring to a boil.
    3. Add celery, onion, chicken bullion cubes, thyme, fresh pepper, frozen vegetables and return to a boil.
    4.  Partially cover and simmer on low until vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes.
    5. Remove lid, add potatoes and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
    6. Add chicken, and slowly whisk in slurry, stirring well as you add.
    7. Cook another 2-3 minutes, until soup thickens, adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve. If soup is not thickening up you can add a little corn starch and it should thicken right up.
    Unbelievable Honey Cornbread a'la Pinterest

    • 2/3 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup butter, softened
    • 4 eggs
    • 1/2 cup honey
    • 1 1/3 cups milk
    • 2 1/3 cups flour
    • 1 1/2 Tablespoon baking powder
    • 1/2 cup corn meal
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    2. Cream sugar and butter.
    3. Add in eggs, honey and milk and mix well.
    4. Mix together flour, baking powder, corn meal and salt.
    5. Mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients carefully. Do not overmix. Batter will be lumpy.
    6. The original recipe said to bake this in an 11x13 pan but I have found that this does not bake evenly and the middle always ended up undercooked. I now make an 8x8 pan of the cornbread and then make 12 muffins with the rest of the batter. I freeze these for us to heat up on nights when we have soup and I don't feel like making anything to go with it.
    7. Bake until golden brown, time will vary depending on what size/type of pan you use to bake it in.

    Couponing 101: Part 3- Planning Your Shopping Trips

    Now that you know about sale cycles and where to find coupons, you can put them together and plan a couponing shopping trip.

    All you need to do is check out the weekly sales at your store of choice and then match up the available coupons to each item you plan to purchase.

    The weekly ads can be found on the store's website, in the Sunday paper and on couponing websites. I will be posting links to sale cycle and coupon match ups from Publix, Target and Walmart when I can.

    The first thing I do when I plan a trip is I make my list online. The links I post allow you to create a printable shopping list with coupon match ups. I usually look through the printable list and delete any coupon match ups that I know I don't have or won't use. I then link off my list to print out any printable coupons that I need for the items. Once I do that, I take my list and go through my coupon binder (more on that later) and pull and organize all the coupons I need for the sale items.

    The links I post only contain advertised sales so I also manually add my regular items (ie:eggs, milk, bread) onto my printable list as well. I then go through my binder and see if I have coupons for those items anyways. I also take my binder with me on my shopping trips in case I see a great unadvertised deal or find an in store coupon I can stack with a manufacturer coupon. Target always has amazing, unadvertised clearance sales on everything from shampoo to toothpaste to napkins. Having my binder with me makes sure that I don't miss a deal or feel like I should drive back to the store to take advantage of a sale.

    Coming Up: Couponing 101: Part 4- Organizing Your Coupons

    More Websites for Printable Coupons

    In addition to and, there are a few other websites that regularly have great printable coupons. These websites are usually updated at the beginning of each month. All the coupons are manufacturer coupons and tend to be good for about a month. Here are some of them:

    Campbell's Kitchen
    Betty Crocker

    You can print each coupon twice per printer. Many of these websites will limit the number of each coupon they will issue so you want to print them towards the beginning of the month so they don't disappear.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011

    Printable Coupons

    Don't forget to check and on a regular basis. They have added a few new coupons in the last few days. There are a few good brand names like Pepsi, Tostitos, Propel and Johnson & Johnson.

    These are good websites to check every few days or at least before you plan a shopping trip.
    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...