Tobins' Tastes: March 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Weekly Totals Link Up & Saved 63% At Publix Today 3/29

Not that clear/sharp because my camera's battery died so I used my phone...

How has your week been? Mine was a little hectic but it's good to be back in the swing of things after the craziness of Spring Break and then the following week catching up from Spring Break. I actually was able to do some real couponing in today's trip and I am finally feeling like I am back on track with coupon organization and grocery planning.

I wanted to make it to Target this week to see our newly renovated "Fresh Grocery" store but it didn't happen and I am hoping to go this weekend. Today's Publix trip was my only shopping this week and it was a pretty big trip.

This week's Publix ad lasts until Easter Monday so I broke up what I wanted out of the sale and bought some this week and will buy some next week to spread it out with our weekly shopping budget. I didn't find any good deals on fresh veggies this week so we will either eat what we have in the freezer (which is a ton) or swing by the local produce stand.

Today I finally was able to stack one of my $5/$50 Publix coupons with a $5/$30 Winn Dixie coupon from Enjoy the City because for the first time in a long time I hit $80 before coupons. That really helped with today's total since even after coupons and sales I ended up spending a little more than our targeted $50 a week and saving about 63%.

Don't forget to link up your weekly totals/shopping trip posts below and if you have a food blog come back on Monday for my first Mealtime Monday recipe link up!

Breakdown of today's trip:
Total retail value: $140.29
Total spent: $52.21
Total saved: $88.08
Percent saved: 63%

Here is what I bought with sale/coupon match ups:
  • 2 bottles of Ocean Spray Juice, retails for $3.99 each
    • On sale BOGO
    • Stacked with a BOGO manufacturer coupon from 
    • Made them both FREE
  • 2 tubs of Sabra Hummus, retails for $3.99 each
    • On sale BOGO, made them $1.99 each
  • 2 tubs of Cool Whip, retails for $2.09 each, on sale BOGO ($1.05 each)
    • Used a .50/2 from the 3/25 SS
    • Made them .80 cents each
  •  4 bags of Alexia frozen bread, retails for $3.69 each, on sale BOGO ($1.84 each)
    • Used four $1 off printables from manufactuer's website and Facebook
    • Made them .84 cents each
  • 2 bags of Dove Easter Eggs, retails for $4.29 each, on sale BOGO ($2.14 each)
  •  2 jars of Hellman's Mayo, retails for $5.53 each, on sale BOGO ($2.76 each)
    • Used two $1 off printables from Unilever's website
    • Made them $1.76 each
  •  2 bottles of Wesson Vegetable Oil, retails for $4.59
    • On sale BOGO, made them $2.30 each
  •  2 boxes of Duncan Hines cake mix, retails for $2.05 each, on sale BOGO
    • Couldn't find the coupon....
    • Made them $1.03 each
  • 2 Cornish Game Hens, retails for$3.79 each
    • On sale, $3.00 each
  •  4 packages of Phildelphia cream cheese, retails for $2.67 each, on sale $1.25 each
    • Used two .75/2 coupons from the Kraft 2012 Recipe Booklet
    • Made them .87 cents each
  • 2 packages of Publix Butter, retails for $4.05, on sale for $2.00 each
    • I can never have enough butter and this is a great price, I just stick it in the freezer till we need it.
  • 1 package Sorrento Mozzarella Cheese,  retails for $4.69, on sale for $3.00
    • Used a $1.00 off coupon from the 2/12 SS
    • Made it $2.00
  • Boar's Head Ovengold Turkey Deli meat, $4.70
  • Boar's Head White American Cheese, on sale $1.50
  •  Six pack of Publix bakery mini croissants, on sale $2.24
  • 8 Publix yogurts, retails for .50 cents each
    • On sale for .25 cents each
  • 2 boxes of Velveeta Mac & Cheese, retails for $3.03
    • On sale BOGO, made them $1.52 each 
  •  2 bags of Lifesaver Jelly Beans (the only kind of jelly beans we like), retails for $2.19 each, on sale for $2.00 each
    • Used a $1/2 coupon from the 3/18 RP
    • Stacked with a $1/2 coupon from 
    • Made them $1.00 each
  •  1 carton of Friendship Light Buttermilk (to make these next week), retails for $2.19, on sale for $1.79
    • Used a .55 cents off coupon from the Publix Yellow Advantage Flyer
    • Made it $1.24
  • 2 packages of Reynold's Wrap tin foil, retails for $4.59 each, on sale for $2.99
  • 1 five pound bag of Domino sugar, retails for $4.17, on sale for $2.99
    • Used a .40 cents off coupon from the 3/18 RP
    • Made it $2.59
  • 1 dozen Eggland's Best eggs, retails for $2.69 on sale for $2.29
    • Used a .35 cents off coupon from the 3/18 SS
    • Made them $1.86
Whew. Told you that was a large trip/long list. How did you do this week? Inspire me (and everyone else) with your amazing savings and deals this week. Please link up directly to your specific post. No main pages, giveaways, or etsy shops please. I would love it if you would link back to this post or grab my button from the sidebar : )

  Click below to link up to your weekly totals or shopping trip posts!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Super Easy Whole Chicken In The Crock Pot

Let me start by giving credit where credit is due. My husband Justin did most of the prep work for this dish. I was at work and I left him instructions on how to prep the chicken and put it in the crock pot.

Knowing this was going to be used for a blog post he even took pictures for me of the process. His shot of the ingredients shows me he actually does read some of my past blog posts : )

As I have mentioned before, I am just getting the hang of using out crock pot and have been pinning and trying tons of new crock pot recipes recently. (Check out my post on crock pot mashed potatoes too!) When I saw the idea to roast a whole chicken in the crock pot from 100 Days of Real Food I knew I had to try it. 

See, I love the idea of roast chicken but every time we make it I feel like it is just short of being good. Maybe it's a little dry or a little bland. This chicken was perfect. It was moist and so flavorful. And with the weather getting warmer by the day here in South Florida, I loved that we didn't have to have our oven on too.

We paired this with a big salad and baked potatoes and it made them perfect meal. I used a 3.5 pound chicken and we had plenty of left overs for lunch the next day.

Updated: Based on lots of questions I have received through comments, emails and Facebook, I just wanted to edit this to say that we usually cook it on the high setting of our crock pot and then once it is done we often leave it on low or "keep warm" until we are ready to eat. I also always make sure that I check it with a meat thermometer to make sure it is completely cooked before we turn off the crock pot. Hope that helps!

Whole Chicken In The Crock Pot
  • 1 large chicken, we used about a 3.5 pound one but you can use whatever size you like that fits in your crock pot
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 onion (we used a red onion because it's what we had on hand)
1.) Loosely chop the onion and layer it on the bottom of the crock pot.

2.) Combine the spices in a small bowl.

Love that Justin thought to take this picture!

 3.) If need be clean the insides out of the chicken and then rub the spice mixture all over the chicken (and in the inside too if you like).

4.) Place the chicken on top of the onion in the crock pot and put on the lid. No need to add any kind of liquid.

 5.) Cook for 4-5 hours or until chicken is fully done.

6.) Serve and enjoy!

Make sure you stop by this week's Mealtime Monday and link up to some of our own amazing recipes.

***Depending on the day this post may be linked up to any of these fabulous linky parties.***

What Will You Pay Full Price For?

I don't know about you but I love a good deal. There are very few purchases in my life that I can think of off the top of my head that I didn't get some kind of deal on.

Whether it has been through couponing, deal sites, TJMaxx/Home Goods, our house (which was a forclosure, our honeymoon (which was during the off season), by getting a "cash" discount or by shopping sales and clearance racks almost everything I own I bought on sale. That may sound cheap of me, but really it has allowed us to be able to have and do things we might not have been able to afford otherwise.

That being said, there are something I would happily pay full price for (and often times do).

For me that includes:

  • Our healthcare (although getting a deal doesn't hurt)
  • Diet Coke 
    • I try to stock up when there are sales or drugstore deals but I would buy it even if it never went on sale again. Yes, I know Diet Coke is "bad" for me. But, I don't smoke, I don't do drugs, I don't eat red meat, and I always wear my seat belt. If Diet Coke is what kills me than it was part of God's plan : ) 
  • Quality meat products
  • A really nice dinner out every once and awhile at our favorite restaurant which never has deals, coupons or promotions
  • Bare Minerals Make Up
    • Again, I try to buy it on sale or with a discount but I love it so much I would and do pay full price for it.
What are you willing to pay full price for? Do you have a favorite brand or item you would buy even if it never went on sale again? I saw this question on I Heart Publix a while ago and it really got me thinking about my answers. I would love to hear what you all think! Comment with your answers : ) 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Five Enjoy The City Books For $29 Shipped

You can get 5  Enjoy the City coupon books for a total $29  plus free shipping. Use the code SPRING at check out to get the deal. 

You have to put all 5 books into your cart for the deal to show/work. If this is anything like the last 5/$29 deal they did you can also mix and match books from different areas to get your five. It will show your discount at the bottom of your order and you might have to click all the way through the checkout process to right before you pay to see the deal reflected. 

I have bought a couple of these books through fundraisers and the best part about them is the four $5/$30 Winn Dixie coupons which my Publix also accepts. (note: not all books have the Winn Dixie coupons in them) That in itself pays for the book at more. My area's version also has tons of great coupons for restaurants, entertainment, and shopping. 

You can actually preview you area's entire book to make sure you like the coupons before you buy. I am not sure how long this promotion lasts so you may want to take advantage of it now if you are interested. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

No Bake Peanut Butter Nests

In case you haven't noticed I have a small obsession with bite sized, holiday themed treats made with M&M's. It is something I actually just realized and I have even started a new Pinterest board based on that obsession. Perhaps my Rolo Pretzel Bites, Valentines' Day Cakies, or Mint Chocolate Shamrocks gave it away? I automatically pin any dessert made with M&M's for future reference.

These delicious looking peanut butter based treats were no exception. These originally come from Averie Cooks and her's are probably a little prettier than mine which may be due to my accidental adaptation of her recipe.

 I was attempting to double her recipe (because 12-14 of something wouldn't last a minute in our house) and I doubled up on the brown sugar. I only used half the flour she did and by the time I realized it all, they were already made and tasted amazing none the less. So I am sticking with my new version.

She used candy coated almonds which I didn't have on hand and don't really like so I went with my tried and true favorite, holiday themed M&M's. You can use anything in their place and I am hoping to try these again with new and fun things in the centers.

No Bake Peanut Butter Nests (double batch)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • M&M's or anything you like to use as the centers
I used these Easter egg shaped M&M's from Target

  1.) Whip together butter and peanut butter.

2.) Add the sugars and whip until smooth.

3.) Stir in the cinnamon, salt, and vanilla. And then slowly stir in the flour. You may need to use more or less flour in order to get the right consistancy.

Mine was a little grainy until I got in there and mixed it with my hands.
Once I mixed it by hand it firmed up.
 4.) Form into small round balls. (I used a 1/2 tablespoon to help measure mine out.)

5.) Place balls onto wax paper and gently press in M&M's. I used my hands to help form the dough around the M&M's to look more like a nest.

Store in the fridge or freezer and then let them warm up before eating. If you try to eat them right out of the freezer your teeth may regret it. Frozen M&M's are pretty hard : )

Make sure you stop  by this week's Mealtime Monday and link up some of your amazing recipes!

***Depending on the day this post may be linked up to any of these fabulous linky parties.***

Plan My Menu Monday With Blog Hop/Blog Mingle

Happy Monday! It looks like we are back to our first "normal week" in a long time. Last week I didn't really get to any of my meal plan because Justin ended up working two double shifts in a row meaning he was only home for dinner one week night out of five. That one night was his birthday so we went over to dinner at his mom's meaning I pretty much did almost no cooking last week. Not that I am complaining : )

That means lots of our meals are going to be this week instead. Basically I am moving last week's menu to this week and just changing up a few things based on what we have fresh on hand.

What I am really excited about is the weekly link up party I am hoping to start next week. While there are so many great link up parties out there is the blogosphere, I am hoping to do one just for food items and recipes. As I plan our menus, I love using Pinterest for inspiration but I would love to see what all you amazing food bloggers are making. So make sure to stop back next Monday morning (or maybe late Sunday night) and link up some of your delicious recipe post at Mealtime Monday!

In preparation for that, I would love to "meet" all you bloggers out there who stop by Couponing & Cooking. So I am hosting a one time only "Mingle Monday". Please link up to your blog's main page so I can stop on by and visit. I will make sure to follow all the blogs who link up and I love looking around new blogs for fun ideas to "pin" for future reference.

A would love it if:
  1. You would link back to this post/blog. You can do so by grabbing my button (upper right hand corner) or by adding this blog to your list of places you link up to/party at on your Link Parties page. Make sure you check out my Link Ups page for lots more fun places to link up at. 
  2. Please follow this blog through GFC or Blog Lovin
  3. Please only post your blog's main page. No giveaways, etsy shops or anything not family friendly. 
  4. Visit at least two new blogs and show them some love.
  5. Come back next Monday and link up!

Friday, March 23, 2012

$20 Voucher To For $10

Head on over to to get a $20 voucher to for $10. Overstock already has all kinds of great discounts and deals and this will make it even better! Looks like this deal will be on sale for almost another 2 weeks so you can take advantage of it.

You will have through July 5th to take advantage of your voucher.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Weekly Totals Link Up & Today's Publix Trip 3/22

Happy almost Friday! It's been nice (and hectic) to be back to a regular work schedule this week and for the first time in awhile I was able to do my weekly Publix shopping on my normal day of Thursday. 

Nothing crazy this week for me at Publix. The sales were good but we are just so well stocked on so many things that I don't feel the need to spend the extra money taking advantage of some of the deals right now. Also, as I mentioned last week, I haven't been on my couponing game lately and I am attempting to get back into things now that life has settled down a bit. I had very few coupons this week and my recipet below is a perfect example of how you can save money by shopping smartly even without coupons. 

Today I bought meat at Publix (just a chicken) for the first time since my overage stock up trip. We actually still have some meat in the freezer (a pack of the chicken and one pack of the ground beef and the pork loin from overage trip and a whole chicken left from a sale awhile ago) but I want to keep our meat supply stocked when there are sales since I found that there were really no good deals on meat this past summer. 

I wanted to use my $5/$50 Alberston's coupon from this week's flyer but my total before coupons didn't hit $50 so I had to use one of my precious $5/$30 Enjoy The City coupons. Oh well... I stayed right around 50% this week which is ok with me since I got cheap butter, BOGO peanut butter and some veggies. 

Make sure to link up below and show me how you did this week!

Here is the breakdown of today's Publix trip:
Total retail value: $75.61
Total spent: $34.81
Total saved: $40.80
Percent saved: 54%

Most of my savings came from store sales not coupons this week : )
Here is what I bought with sale/coupon match ups:
  • 2 boxes of Eggo Waffles, retails for $2.95 each on sale BOGO ($1.48 each)
    • Used a .75/2 coupon from the 3/11 RP
    • Made them $1.10 each
  • 2 bags of Fresh Express Salad, retails for $4.09 each
    • On sale BOGO, made them $2.05 each
  • 1 packages of Ole corn tortillas, retails for $2.19
    • On sale for $1.95
  • 2 bags of Kraft shredded cheese, retails for $3.69
    • On sale BOGO, made them $1.85 each and of course my coupons expired yesterday
  • 4 one pound boxes of Land O Lakes butter, retails for $4.43 a box, on sale for $2.50 each
    • Used four .75 off printables from 
    • Made them $1.75 each (great price for butter if you ask me!)
  • 1 three pound Publix Greenwise organic chicken, on sale for $1.99 a pound
  • 2 Friendship Sour Creams, retails for $2.35 each
    • Used two .55 cents off Publix coupons from the Yellow Adv. Flyer
    • Stacked with a $1/2 coupon from a past in store blinkie
    • Made them $1.30 each
  • 1 half gallon of Almond Breeze milk, retails for $3.49 
    • Used a .55 cents of coupon from 3/18 SS
    • Made it $2.94
  • Organic baby carrots (Publix brand), on sale for $1.69 
  • 2 packages of Pepperidge  Farms Buns, retails for $3.29 each
    • On sale BOGO, made them $1.65 each
  • 2 Haas Avocados, retail for $1.50 each
    • On sale $1 each
  • 2 jars of Peter Pan Peanut Butter, retails for $3.49 a jar, on sale BOGO ($1.74 each)
    • Used two .50 cents off coupons from the EatWell newsletter
    • Made them $1.24 each
How did you do this week? Inspire me (and everyone else) with your amazing savings and deals this week. Please link up directly to your specific post. No main pages, giveaways, or etsy shops please. I would love it if you would link back to this post or grab my button from the sidebar : )

My Favorite Deals At Publix This Week

It's a pretty sale ad this week at Publix. We don't need many of the sale items so I am going to try and use our weekly grocery money for some staples and fresh things for our weekly meals (and into next week's meals). I am really excited to see what will be in the upcoming week's of Easter ads so I will probably try to save some of our monthly spending for those : )

Here are my favorite deals going on at Publix right now:

  • Kashi Steam Meals on sale for $2.50
  • Land O Lakes Butter on sale for $2.50
  • Peter Pan Peanut Butter (my favorite brand) on sale BOGO at $3.29 ($1.65 each)
    • Use two .50 off coupons from the Eat Well e-newletter
    • Makes them $1.05 each, even if you don't have the coupon BOGO peanut butter is a deal in my book
  • Kettle Brand Chips on sale BOGO at $3.69 ($1.85 each)
    • Use two $1 off coupons from the 3/18 RP
    • Makes them .85 cents each
  • Hass Avocados on sale for $1
  • Buy any half or whole Boar's Head Sub and get a free medium drink and chips
    • Not a crazy deal but a fun treat if you like Publix subs!
Remember you can check Publix's website for the full weekly ad if you don't get it in the paper and you can also check out here and here to see my favorite ads with coupon match ups 

Don't forget to check back later today for my Weekly Totals post and to link up to your great savings!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Publix Buy Theirs, Get Ours Free Promo 3/22

Looks like Publix has a new Buy Theirs, Get Ours Free promotion starting with this week's new sale cycle. It appears to be Spring Cleaning themed. 

The way these promotions work is you buy the specific name brand item and you get the Publix version for free. My Publix's have started doing a display table/area with the specific products. You can use coupons on the brand name items to make the deals even better. 

Also, make sure to check your papers, my Albertson's flyer had a $5/$50 coupon in it this morning and our local Publix's consider it to be a competitor. 

Hope you're having a great week!

Free $5 Credit To New Eversave Users

If you haven't signed up for Eversave yet, now is the time to do it! Eversave is giving a $5 credit to all new users who sign up in the next two days.

You can use that $5 credit to make their daily deals even cheaper.

4 AMC Movie Tickets For $24

Right now you can get four AMC movie tickets for $24 from Half Off Depot. At $6 a ticket, I use deals like this so we can enjoy going to a movie on a weekend and not pay the crazy weekend ticket prices : )

You just buy the tickets through the daily deal and then they will give you instructions on how to redeem them online. Once you redeem them you get the tickets by mail. I have done this a few times and it has worked pretty well.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Request Your $7 Coupon Booklet From Crest & Oral B

Head on over to Vocalpoint to request your $7 coupon booklet from Crest and Oral B. There are only limited quantities available so make sure you sign up and request yours soon.

I love saving these types of coupons for BOGO sales, drugstore promotions or clearance deals : )

$30 To ELF Cosmetics For $15

Right now you can get $30 worth of make up from ELF Cosmetics for $15 from Groupon. With prices ranging from $1-$15 you should be able to get some fun stuff for $30 from their website.

The $30 credit does not include shipping but ELF does run Free Shipping promotions, or free magazine subscriptions with your orders pretty often. Normal shipping is around $5-$6.

$10 Gift Card To Amazon For $5

Head on over to Amazon Local  and sign up to buy a $10 gift card to Amazon for $5.

I don't know how long it will last since there are limited quantities but you may want to check it out if you use Amazon alot.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cheesy Potatoes

I finally got a good pictures of them before they got destroyed. It only took 5 tries...

Get excited, the recipe for cheesy potatoes is finally up on the blog! People have been asking me to post this forever and even though I am still not overly thrilled with the photos I have I am posting it now in hopes that I can update the pics in the future.

As weird as this may sound, this is quite possibly my favorite recipe that my family has. It is insanely easy, really bad for you and completely delicious. I make it for every party that Justin and I have. I always think I should try something different but I believe our friends would riot if they showed up and this wasn't on the menu : )

So for all my friends who said they want to make it over the holidays, here is the recipe!

Collins Family Cheesy Potatoes
  • 1 two pound bag of frozen hash browns (cubed style)
  • 1 small can of cream of chicken soup
  • 16oz. sour cream
  • 3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (you will divide this)
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (this is optional, I don't include it but my mom does)
  1. Mix hash browns, onion (optional), 2 cups of Cheddar and a little salt and pepper together. Pour it evenly into a 9 x 13 baking pan.

2. Combine the melted butter, cream of chicken soup and sour cream. It won't look pretty but it is going to be delicious.

3. Spread that mixture over the potatoes.

4. Top with the remaining cup of shredded cheese.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until cheese is turning golden brown on top and the sides are bubbling.

6. Let it cool for at least 10-15 minutes before serving. It is nuclear hot right out of the oven and it needs a few minutes to set up to the perfect consistency. 


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Plan My Menu Monday & Recipe Link Up Party 3/19

Well it's back to reality for me. After an amazing and very relaxing Spring Break I am back at work/school today. We are going to try and get back to normal routine this week and that means attempting to stick to a dinner/menu plan. I am going to attempt to make it on the healthier side since there was no shortage of delicious food on our cruise. 
Here are a few of the meals we are making this week:
And for dessert this week I am going to try Deep Dish Thin Mint Cookies from Crazy For Crust. These were my favorite recipe from last week's link up and I can't wait to try them!

To keep my inspiration going, I would love it if you would link up to what you have been making/baking/cooking this past week. I am especially looking for recipes for healthy treats and fun Easter treat projects. Last week's recipes looked amazing.

I would really love it if you would link back to this post or even better grab my button from the upper right hand corner. Please link directly to your blog post. No giveaways, etsy shops or anything that is not family friendly : )

Let me see what you've got!

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