If you are brand new to couponing and just visiting this blog you can start at the Coupons 101 - Overview to get a start on the how to's of couponing.

Always, feel free to contact me at thriftymomincolorado@gmail.com

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Another thrifty/"green" thing we do...

About a year ago I made the decision to try to get rid of some of the paper waste we create in our home. Now I'm not brave enough to switch to "family cloth" meaning cloth toilet paper and I'm not sure why as I cloth diapered both of my little ones and it didn't bother me a bit. Oh wait, I do know why - because my husband already thinks I've lost my mind, if I tried to do that I think he might have me committed!

Now onto the real reason for this post. I have gotten rid of paper napkins and paper towels in our house. It was easy and relatively inexpensive to do. I didn't get fancy cloth napkins and paper towels. I simply purchased a couple of those packages of 10 washcloths that you see at Wal-Mart or Target. I knew that if I didn't keep them handy, I wouldn't use them so I found a basket and replaced our paper towel dispenser on the kitchen counter with the basket of washcloths.

I do have a roll or two of paper towels that I keep around for those messes that are so gross I don't want to have to wash them, you know the ones, like when pets get sick!

I was motivated to do this more as an earth friendly thing to do, but it was also happened to be a very thrifty move as I haven't purchased napkins or paper towels in a long time. It cost me about $10 to purchase 2 packs of washcloths and they've lasted a while and are holding up pretty well. I do wash them with my other towel laundry and make sure to sanitize them to keep them safe from bacteria.

I challenge you to make this small move and save yourself some money in the long run and help decrease the amount of trash your household produces!

Great Pillsbury Catalina Deal!

King Soopers has a catalina deal with refrigerated dough products. It includes the following refrigerated Pillsbury items:

Sweet Rolls
Grands! Biscuits
Grands! Cinnamon Rolls
Pie Crusts
Dinner Rolls
Pizza Crusts

The deal is if you buy 4 you get a $2 catalina, buy 5 and you get a $3 catalina, and if you buy 6 you get a $4 catalina.

The large cans of Grands! biscuits are on sale for $.98 through Tuesday. You can use $.30/2 coupons from the 3/7 SS or printables here, here (you must log in or create an account to access this one), and here. You can print each coupon twice, so even if you don't have any coupons from the newspaper, you can still do this deal a couple of times.

Here's a scenario:
Buy 6 Grands! Biscuits = $5.88
Use 3, $.30/2 coupons(each one will double) = -$1.80
Cost = $4.08 + tax, get $4 catalina

Another transaction:
Buy 6 more Grands! Biscuits = $5.88
Use 3, $.30/2 coupons = -$1.80
Use $4 catalina from previous transaction
Cost = $.08 + tax, get $4 catalina

You will now have a total of 12 cans of biscuits for $4.16 + tax and still have a $4 catalina to use on another transaction of biscuits if you want or on another purchase.

Repeat as many times as you have coupons for! The catalina deal is good through 4/18 but I believe the sale price on the Grands! ends on Tuesday.

This is a great deal and is definitely a great time to stock up. I don't believe these cans freeze well but I am thinking about opening the cans up and placing biscuits on a cookie sheet to freeze individually. Once they are frozen, you can toss them into a freezer bag or container and now you have individual frozen biscuits to pull out and cook as needed!

3 Coupon Inserts Tomorrow!

It looks like we will be getting 2 Smart Source inserts and 1 Red Plum insert. I love weeks where we get more than 2 inserts - it is like winning a mini jackpot!

Just wanted to give a heads up so you can make sure to pick up a copy or two or three of the paper!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tomorrow is the last day...

to get in on the Toy Story deal where you can get Toy Story 1 & 2 both on Blu-ray with credits inside for 2 tickets to the Toy Story 3 movies for less than $16 + tax. Go here for details on this deal.

Store Coupon Policies

I just wanted to do a quick overview post of several stores coupon policies. Sometimes they vary from location to location (like from one King Soopers to the next) so it doesn't hurt to call and ask.

King Soopers - They double manufacturer coupons up to $1, so if you have a $.30 coupon it will be worth $.60. If you have a $.75 coupon, they will double it up to $1 in value. Each store seems to have their own policy on how many like coupons they will take or double per transaction. I have never had any issues at King Soopers with printable coupons. King Soopers offers store coupons that can be "stacked" with manufacturer coupons to save even more!

Safeway - They also double manufacturer coupons up to $1. Safeway also accepts internet printable coupons and has store coupons that can be "stacked" with manufacturer coupons.

Sprouts - They do not double coupons but do accept internet printed coupons.

Whole Foods - The do not double coupons but do accept internet printed coupons. They offer tons of store coupons that you can access from their website or from the Whole Deals newsletter in store that can be "stacked" with manufacturer coupons.

Target - Target does not double coupons. They offer tons of Target store coupons that can be stacked with manufacturer coupons. They accept internet printed coupons and will price match. They usually will not price match and accept a store coupon, but will price match and accept a manufacturer coupon. You need to have the store ad from which you want to price match to show them. They require price matching be done at the service desk, not at the regular check out lanes.

Wal-Mart - They do not double coupons. Wal-Mart's official coupon policy states that they take internet printed coupons but I have been denied several times when trying to use them. Wal-Mart will price match and you can do it at the regular check out lanes. Make sure you have the store ad that you want to price match from.

Walgreens - They do not double coupons but offer tons of store coupons that can be "stacked" with manufacturer coupons. They offer a great catalina program called Register Rewards (RRs) that is a great way to get free or low cost items with.

If you want more information on general couponing stuff go here for ideas on how to organize them, go here for questions you may want to ask your store before you get started, go here for information on where to get coupons, go here for an overview to get started couponing.

There are also a coupon of helpful links here and here about Walgreens and their Register Reward program.

Let me know what questions you have, I'd love to help you out!

Toys R Us - 2 Say Easter Sale

Today and tomorrow Toys R Us is having a 2 day Easter sale. The most exciting part of the deal, at least for me, is that all DVDs are buy one get one free! This sale excludes Blu-ray but includes all other regular DVDs. This would be a great time to stock up on some movies for Easter baskets or just shop ahead for upcoming birthdays and other holidays.

You can go here to see the ad.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Another link for free pasta coupons

Here is a link for another $.75/1 coupon that will equal FREE Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta. If you haven't already printed the other ones I posted about, go here to get and print them as well. With all 3 of these links you should be able to get a total of 6 boxes free!

Barnes & Noble - Melissa & Doug Toys 45% Off!

I love Melissa & Doug toys. The quality is great and they have some really fun stuff. They are usually pretty expensive, but right now Barnes & Noble has a bunch of Melissa & Doug toys on sale 45% off. These toys are rarely discounted! The cute dinosaur stamp set pictured above is only $5.47. Go here to see the list of all the items they have on sale. You can get free shipping on orders of $25 or more and may be able to select in-store pick up on some of the items. I think this sale is good only today, so shop soon if you want to get in on this deal!

Shop through Cashbaq to get an additional 3% back! Just log into or create your account. Then search Barnes and Noble and then you can find the Melissa & Doug toys on their website.

Safeway Weekly Deals 3/24 - 3/30

There are some good deals at Safeway this week, including a weekend breakfast sale and some mix and match sales too!

Weekend Breakfast Sale (valid Saturday & Sunday):

Starbucks Coffee (12 oz.) $4.99
Use $1/1 from the 3/21 SS
Cost = $3.99

Safeway Hickory Smoked Thick Sliced Bacon (3 lb.) $4.99
Lucerne Large Eggs (12 count) $.99
Safeway Raisin Bread $1.50
Bananas $.44/lb.
Minute Maid or Florida's Natural Orange Juice (64 oz.) $1.99

There is also a Buy 3 Save $3 mix and match sale on select health & beauty products. Some products included are (there are other participating products too):
Herbal Essences Use $1/1 from the 3/14 RP
Dove/Degree Deodorant
Colgate Toothpaste Use $1/1 from the 3/7 SS (for Total)
Axe Deodorant
Irish Spring Large Bar/Body Wash
Benadryl Use $1/1 from the 3/14 RP
Listerine Mouthwash Use $.50/1 from the 3/7 RP or $1/1 printable here
John Freida Use $3/1 or $2/1 from the 3/7 SS
Always Infinity Use $2/1 from the 3/7 PG
Tampax Pearl Tampons Use $2/1 from the 3/7 PG
5 Hour Energy Shot

Other Weekly Deals:
Nestle Toll House Morsels $2
Use $1/2 from the 3/21 RP or $.75/2 printable here, you must buy 2 to use these coupons
Cost = $1.50 each when you buy 2!

Celestial Seasonings Tea $2
Use $1/1 from the 1/10 or 2/21 SS
Cost = $1!

Dole Fruit Bowls $2
Use $.75/2 from the 1/10SS, you must buy 2 to use this coupon
Cost = $1.50 each when you buy 2!

Betty Crocker Cookie Pouches $1.69
Use $.40/1 from the 2/7 GM or printable here and here
Cost = $.89!

Hormel Chili $.75 each, when you buy 4
Use $1.50/3 from the 3/7 SS
Cost = $1.50 for four or $.38 each!

Betty Crocker Cake Mix or Traditional Brownies $.69 each, when you buy 4

Pepsi/7-Up 12 packs Buy 2, Get 3 Free

Rice or Pasta Roni $.75 each, when you buy 4

Bob Evans Roll Sausage $2.99
Use $1/2 from the 3/21 SS, you must buy 2 to use this coupon
Cost = $2.49 each when you buy 2!

Oscar Mayer Beef Bologna BOGO
Use $1/2 from the 3/7 SS
Cost = $3.39 for 2!

Rancher's Reserve Boneless Beef London Broil $1.99/lb.
Pork Shoulder Country Style Ribs $1.49/lb.
80% Lean Ground Beef $1.99/lb.
Fresh Express Garden Salads (9-12 oz.) $1
Farmland Sliced Bacon (16 oz.) BOGO 2 for $5.49

On the Vine Cluster Tomatoes $1.48/lb.
Raspberries BOGO $4.99 for 2
Sweet Jumbo Navel Oranges $1/lb.
Large Hass Avocados $1
Braeburn Apples $1/lb.
Green, Red or Romaine Leaf Lettuce $1
1 lb. Baby Carrots $1
Minneola Tangelos $1/lb.
D'Anjou Pears $1/lb.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Don't forget to play...

Just a friendly reminder to play King Soopers "Hit the Hoops" instant win game. There are two weeks left to play this game and you can play it everyday. There is a limit of 2 prizes per account. I won Kraft cheese and a King Size Reese's Cup! There are lots and lots of winners so make sure to play daily until you get your 2 prizes. Your prizes are automatically loaded to your shoppers card, so you don't have to do anything but purchase what you won and then swipe your card and you will automatically receive it for free.

Thanks for the reminder Carmen!

Toy Story 1 & 2 Blu-ray Movie Deal

UPDATE: I went and did this deal at Target and it worked beautifully! Now I have 2 movies and credits for 2 tickets to see Toy Story 3 in theaters and I spent less than $20 after tax!

Did you see that Disney re-released the Toy Story 1 & Toy Story 2 movies this week on Special Edition Blu-ray?

This week only, Target has them each on sale for $22.99 and if you purchase them both, you will save $10 instantly.

You can sign up for or log into your existing account with Disney Movie Rewards here.

Once you have created your account and logged in...
In the enter code box, enter code: 786936294507 and you will get access to print a $10 off Toy Story 1 Special Edition Blu-ray coupon
Then again, in the enter code box, enter code: 786936294521 and you will get access to print a $10 off Toy Story 2 Special Edition Blu-ray coupon

These coupons are good through April 11th, but the deal at Target to buy both get $10 off is only good through Saturday!

The scenario at Target looks like this:
Buy Toy Story 1 Special Edition Blu-ray $22.99
Buy Toy Story 2 Special Edition Blu-ray $22.99
Total = $45.98
Get $10 off instantly for buying both
Use $10 off Toy Story 1
Use $10 off Toy Story 2
Cost = $15.98 for both Blu-ray special editions

The best part of all is that some of these Special Edition packs have codes to get a free movie ticket to see the new Toy Story 3 when it is released (up to an $8.50 value each)! Look for special tags on the front that say that they contain the code for the ticket inside. That makes this deal like getting these Blu-ray movies free!

Other stores have similar deals going on as well, but I seem to have my best luck with high value printable coupons at Target. These movies would make great Easter Basket stuffers or just a fun present for the little ones in your lives!

(Thanks, SD!)

King Soopers Weekly Deals 3/24 - 3/30

Woo Hoo - the March to Savings buy 8 participating products get $4 off instantly at check out continues this week. See here for participating items and here for the free pasta deals that go along with this sale.

Here are a few other good deals for this sale...
Smart Balance Spreads or Blends $1.99
Use $1/1 (sticks) or $1/2 (spreads) from the 3/21 RP
Cost = as low as $.99 each or $.49 when you buy in increments of 8!

Dial Hand Soap $1.50
Use $.35/1 from the 3/7 RP
Cost = $.80 or $.30 when you buy in increments of 8!

Listerine Mouthwash $3.00
Use $.50/1 from the 3/7 RP or $1/1 printable here
Cost = $2 or $1.50 when you buy in increments of 8!

3 Day Bake Sale (valid Friday - Sunday):
Land O Lakes Butter $1.99
Use $.50/2 from the 3/14 SS, you must buy 2 to use this coupon
Cost = $1.49 each when you buy 2!

Nestle Toll House Morsels $1.88
Use $1/2 from the 3/21 RP or $.75/2 printable here, you must buy 2 to use these coupons
Cost = $1.38 each when you buy 2!

King Soopers Large Eggs $.88
PAAS Medium Egg Dye $.88
Kroger Value Sugar (4 lb.) $1.88
Kroger Brown or Powdered Sugar (2 lb.) $1.25
Gold Medal Flour $1.49 - pair it with the previously available printable to score some cheap flour.

Other Deals:
Dole Mandarin Oranges $1
Use $.55/2 from the 3/21 SS, you must buy 2 to use this coupon
Cost = $.50 each when you buy 2!

Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits (refrigerated) $.98
Use $.30/2 from the 3/7 SS or printable here, you must buy 2 to use either of these coupons
Cost = $.68 each when you buy 2!

Izze Sparkling Beverage $1
Use $.75/1 printable here
Cost = FREE!

Old Spice Deodorant $1.88
Use $1/1 from the 2/7 PG
Cost = $.88!

Betty Crocker Cake Mix $1

Oscar Mayer Deli Shaved Meats $2.79
Use $1/2 from the 3/7 SS, you must buy 2 to use this coupon
Cost = $2.29 each when you buy 2!

Bob Evans Roll Sausage $2.99
Use $1/2 from the 3/21 SS, you must buy 2 to use this coupon
Cost = $2.49 each when you buy 2!

Boneless Chicken Breasts $1.88/lb.
USDA Choice Bone In New York Strip $4.99/lb.
Foster Farms Chicken Drumsticks or Thighs $.99/lb.
93% Lean Ground Beef or Patties $2.99/lb.

Seedless Navel Oranges $.25 each
Braeburn Apples $.88/lb.
Large Avocados $1
Flavorina Tomatoes BOGO $3.99 for 2, 12 oz. bags
Brussel Sprouts $.97/lb.
ORGANIC Green Pears $.99/lb.
ORGANIC Lemons (2 lb. bag) $2.99

Did I miss anything great? If so, let me know and I'll add it to the list!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I have to admit...

I am no longer using the binder method that I was using to store all of my coupons. It became too time consuming to keep up on and I didn't want to "burn out" on couponing since I'm getting such great deals, so I abandoned this system of organization.

I have recently been filing my inserts whole and only clipping coupons I know I will use before each shopping trip. I no longer have all of my coupons at hand to use them when I find a great deal I wasn't planning on, but I also don't spend very much time clipping and organizing my coupons any more.

There are definitely pros and cons to each system and right now since I seem to be short on time, I'm using the most time friendly way to organize mine. Don't get stuck thinking that you have to stick with your system of organization if it isn't working for you - if you need to change it, do so and make your life easier!

How do you store/organize your coupons?

See my post here for ideas on different ways that you can organize your coupons

4 - 11 x 14" prints for $3.99 shipped!

Artscow is another online photo processing site and they are offering 4 - 11 x 14" prints shipped to you for only $3.99. What a great deal to get your favorite pictures blown up into poster size. Go here to log in or create your account. Upload and choose the photos you want to use and then use code 11PRINTS14 to get them for the $3.99 price. This offer is good through 3/30, so you've got a few days to hunt down the pictures you want to use.

I can't wait to get a few more pictures to hang on my walls, I'm sure they'll be of my kiddos!

(Thanks, SD!)

Walgreens Weekly Deals 3/21 - 3/27

It looks like you can get some cheap toothpaste, better than free trail mix and cheap Huggies diapers at Walgreens this week. Here's the deals...

Register Reward Deals:
Oscar Mayer Bacon 2/$6, buy 2 get $1 RR
Use $1.50/1 printable that I posted about earlier and in no longer available or $.75/1 from the 3/21 SS
Cost = as low as $1.50 each, get $1 RR if you buy 2, like spending $1 each after RR!

Colgate Maxfresh or Maxwhite Toothpaste or Toothbrush $2.99, get $2RR
Use$.75/1 Maxfresh toothpaste coupon found here
Cost = $2.24, get $2 RR, like spending $.24 after RR!

Select Zicam Products $7.99, get $2RR
Use the $2/1 coupon from the 10/25 SS or found here (you must join the “I Can” club)
Final Cost $3.99!

Pledge Fabric Sweeper, Wipes or Spray or Drano 2/$7, get $1RR
Buy 2 Pledge products = $7
Use 2, $1/1 coupons from the 2/28 SS or found here
Cost = $5 , get $1 RR, like spending $4 after RR or only $2 each!

Pantene Restoratives or Expressions/Head & Shoulders Shampoo or Conditioner $3.99, get $1RR
Use the $1/1 coupon from the 2/14 RP (Pantene) or the $1/1 coupon from the 3/7 PG (Head & Shoulders)
Cost = $2.99. get $1 RR, like spending $1.99 after RR!

Crest 3D White Dental Care 3/$9, get $3RR
Buy 4 Oral-B 3D White Advantage Toothbrushes
Use 2, BOGO Free coupons from the 3/7 PG
Use 2 $0.75/1 coupons from the 2/7 PG or 2/21 PG
Cost = $4.50, get back $3 RR, like spending $1.50 on all 4 after RR or ONLY $.38 each!

Always Maxi-pads (20-44 ct.), Pantiliners (72 or 120 pack), Tampax (40 pack) 2/$11, get $2RR

Use 2 $1/1 coupons from the 3/7 PG
Cost = $9, get $2 RR, like spending $7 after RR or $3.50 each!

Huggies Jumbo Pack Diapers, Pull-Ups, or GoodNites $8.99, buy 3 get $5 RR
Buy 3 Huggies Diapers = $26.97
Use 3 $3/1 printables here, or here
Cost =$17.97, get $5 RR, like spending $12.97 or ONLY $4.32 per pack after RR!

Kotex Feminine Care (14-24 pack pads, 48 or 64 pack pantiliners, or 18 pack tampons) $2.99 each, buy 3 get $5 RR
No coupons to use just buy 3 participating items
Cost = $8.97, get $5 RR, like spending $3.97 or ONLY $1.32 each after RR!

Buy $20 of participating Vicks products, get $10 RR; Buy $15, get $5 RR.
Buy 5 Vicks Nyquil or Dayquil that are on sale $4.49 each
Buy 2 Puffs Tissue (FREE with coupon below)
Use 5 $1.50/1 Vicks coupons from the 2/21 PG or 3/7 PG
Use the Buy 2 Vicks products and Get Puffs Free coupon from the 2/7 PG
Cost = $14.95
Get back a $10RR
Final Cost $4.95 for 5 DayQuils or NyQuils and 2 boxes of Puffs!

Other Deals:
Planters Trail Mix 2/$3
Use 2, $1.50/1 coupons found here (you must become a fan of Mr. Peanut on Facebook to access this coupon) AND
Use the $1/2 from the Walgreens March Coupon Book available in-store and looks like this...
Cost = FREE + $1 Money maker! Make sure you purchase other items as they will not give you money back.

Schick Disposable Razors (Quattro 3 pack,Xtreme3 4 pack,Slim Twin 12 pack) $6.99
Use the $4/1 coupon from the 3/21 SS good for Quattro 3 pack or $3/1 good on any Schick Dispoable Razor AND
Use $2/1 from the March Walgreens Coupon Book that I posted about above.
Cost = as low as $.99!

Revlon Nail Color or Care $2.99, with in-ad coupon
Use in-ad coupon and the $1/1 coupon from the 3/7 SS
Final Cost $1.99!

CoverGirl Eye Cosmetics BOGO 50% Off
Various coupons available in the 2/7 or 3/7 PG
Cost = will vary

All Detergent $3.99
Use $1/1 from the 2/7 RP
Cost = $2.99

Hershey’s or Cadbury Easter Candy (8-10 oz.) 2/$5
Buy 6 bags of Easter candy
Use 2, $2/3 coupons from the 3/14 SS or printable here AND
Use $1/2 from the March Walgreens Coupon Book I posted about above (you only need 1 coupon, it will deduct $3 automatically)
Cost = $8, or ONLY $1.33 each!

Easter Candy (Hershey’s Reeses Eggs 6 pack, Cadbury Mini Eggs 12 pack, Mars Minis 9.5-11.5 oz) 2/$6

Buy 6 bags of Easter candy
Use 2, $2/3 coupons from the 3/14 SS or printable here
Cost = $14 or $2.33 each!

Mars Candy (select varieties) $.49 - no coupon needed, limit 6.
Buy 2 Snickers = $.98
Use $.50/1 from the 2/21 RP
Cost = $.48 or $.24 each!

If I missed any great deals, let me know and I'll add them to the list!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Free Ice Cream Tomorrow!

Need I say more?

Tomorrow from 12-8 participating Ben & Jerry's location will be giving out free single scoop ice cream cones, no purchase necessary. You may want to call your closest location to see if they are participating. Go here to find them.

I know where I'm hauling the kids to tomorrow - YUMMY!

Hooked on Phonics Sale!

Hooked on Phonics is having another great sale on some of their products. Go here and here to see their overstock and sale items. Use code SLICK50 to get an additional 50% off of these prices. This code doesn't take off the shipping and handling charges which can be kind of high though, so make sure you are ordering enough to get your moneys worth. You may want to consider ordering with a friend to get even more bang for your buck. The products on sale usually aren't this years product, but are still excellent!

I bought the learn to read Kindergarten - Second Grade for my kids when it was on sale before (I paid more than this for it on sale) and have been very happy with it. These are also items that are in high demand so if you want to resell it when you are done with it, you may be able to make your money back!

I got mine...

I got my $5 Target gift card for completing the 10 reviews for Lila Guide, that I posted about here. It is a totally legitimate offer and super quick and easy to do. Did you get yours?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Homemade Laundry Detergent...

After the response I got from my post about Homemade Cleaners I promised to do a post about homemade laundry detergent. I made my first batch of it and have to say it was super easy and so far I am loving the results! I made a liquid version but there are recipes out there for powdered detergent as well. I choose to do the liquid version because we have a front loading washer and I wash almost everything on cold and powder has a hard time completely dissolving in my machine in cold water.

The first step was getting all of the necessary ingredients/supplies together. A box of borax which I was able to find almost everywhere in the laundry section (Target, King Soopers, Wal-Mart). A box of washing soda, which is soda ash and is not the same as baking soda, though it is distributed by Arm & Hammer, which I was only able to find at King Soopers. It was on the top shelf. A bar of soap - I chose to use Dr. Bronner's Peppermint soap because I got a killer deal on it and I LOVE castile soap. 5 gallon bucket with lid - I found one a Lowe's but I know these are pretty readily available.

Once you have everything the first step to actually making this is to heat 4-6 cups of water in a pan on the stove. You don't want to bring it to a boil, but need it warm enough to dissolve the soap you will be adding to it. While the water is heating up, you need to finely grate the bar of soap. This was the most dangerous and time consuming part of the whole process! Bars of soap are much harder to grate than cheese - yep I know you are shocked to hear that. After several cut knuckles and about 10 minutes of grating on my cheap grater - I had completed this part.

Add the grated soap to the pan and stir frequently until soap dissolves completely.

Next, add hot water to your bucket until it is about half way full and add the soap mixture to it. You will then want to add 1 cup of Washing Soda and 1/2 c. of Borax to it and mix well until you think everything is dissolved. I used a spatula for this so that I could scrape the bottom of the bucket to mix it really well.

Now top the bucket off with hot water until almost full. I covered mine with the lid but didn't seal it completely so that it could "breathe" and then let it sit overnight.

(I took this picture after I had already poured the detergent into the dispenser below and that is why it isn't filled to the top!)

After it has sat overnight the mixture should have gelled/firmed up a bit. Because I used castile soap, my detergent didn't come out a uniform consistency - I like to call it "egg drop soup-like". It definitely firmed up but as you can see in the picture above, it is not the same consistency throughout.

I then used a big funnel to put it into an old laundry detergent dispenser so I don't have to keep a 5 gallon bucket in the laundry room. I store the bucket in the basement away from kiddos and dogs.

I have been using this detergent for a couple of weeks and put it to good test as to how good of a job it does actually cleaning our clothes. The first big test was my daughter's t-shirt that was covered in spilled chocolate milk. It took 2 washes with no pretreatment of the stain but the shirt is completely clean!

I was a little bit hesitant to do this because my son has super sensitive skin but we haven't had any problems with it causing him any issues.

Here's the cost breakdown for those of you interested. I'm going to list whole costs since it was my first batch and I had to get everything and then I'll break it down as to how much it costs to only make the batch (meaning I won't include bucket cost or entire box cost, just cost for how much of each ingredient I used).

Bucket - $3.62
Borax - $3.20
Washing Soda - $4.32
Dr. Bronner's Soap - $1.04 - on super clearance!
Total start up cost = $12.18

Cost of actual ingredients used to make one batch of detergent:
Borax - $.14
Washing Soda - $.71
Dr. Bronner's Soap - $1.04
Water - $.10 (just a high estimate for the 4 1/2 gallons I used)
Total Cost = $1.99 for 4 1/2 gallons of detergent (I estimate this much since I didn't fill the bucket completely to the top)

I use about 1/2 cup (4 oz.) per load and since I made 4 1/2 gallons (576 oz.) I will get about 144 loads per batch at a cost of ONLY $.014 per load, less than $.02 each! How is that for thrifty?

And now a couple of side notes. This whole process from start to finish took me 22 minutes and that includes taking the pictures along the way, so it is a quick process. If you are a better soap grater than I am, you should be able to do this easily in 15 minutes or less. I know people use regular bar soap like Ivory for making their detergent and have success with it as well. Be careful and make sure to store the ingredients out of reach of little ones or pets - these ingredients are natural but can be dangerous for kids and pets if ingested.

Whew...that ended up being a novel! Are you inspired to make your own detergent now? It is just another way to save even more money on things we need and use!

Annie's Mac & Cheese - ONLY $.49/box!

I mentioned this deal in the King Soopers weekly deals post, but thought it deserved a post all by itself in case you overlooked it or didn't make it that far in the post! Annie's Macaroni & Cheese is on sale at King Soopers this week for $.99 per box. If you buy it in increments of 8, you'll get an additional $4 off your order (or $.50/box off) making the final cost only $.49 each! There is no limit as to how many $4 rewards you can get per transaction. Also, remember you can mix and match with the other products that are part of this promotion, you don't have to buy all 8 of Annie's mac & cheese.

I know I'll be stopping by to stock up before the sale ends on Tuesday. My kids love this stuff and it usually goes on sale for $.99 a box. This is the lowest price I've ever seen (even compared to Costco) and you don't even need to use coupons! What a great deal on a great product - who said you can only get good deals on processed and unhealthy food?