Turning “Need to Gets” into Bigger Savings!

$43 worth of product for only $13! A savings of almost 70%!
$43 worth of product for only $13! A savings of almost 70%!

If you’ve followed the blog for any amount of time or seen my brag photos on Facebook, you’ll know that Sundays at Walgreens are some of my favorite times of the week. It’s the first day of a brand new sale and the shelves are stocked – prime time for savings! It works out great when you have some “need to get” items, because you can pair those with other great deals to come home with free or low-cost items. All it takes is a little planning.

For today, the “need to get” items were: dryer sheets, coffee filters, some type of cereal, and a newspaper. Alone, with only the two $1 Register Rewards from the Starbucks moneymaker last week and a $0.75/1 Golden Grahams coupon I printed, these products would’ve cost around $7.00. For about $6 more, I was able to get ice cream, four children’s multivitamins, and kinesiology tape. I’ve made friends with lots of the checkers at Walgreens and the cosmetics staffer was more than willing to let me do three transactions to get the best deal. Here’s how each transaction was organized:

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Using the Whole Bird: Chicken Tortilla Soup (and more)

Amy's Chicken Tortilla Soup (photo from oh amy, dear!)
Amy’s Chicken Tortilla Soup (photo from Instagram and oh amy, dear!)

A couple days ago I was able to score a great deal on a whole chicken – $1.49/lb + 30% off on clearance, paying around $5.00. My husband had been wanting to learn how to butcher a chicken, and I’m always excited to discover new cooking skills, so away we went! After he cut it apart, we boiled the carcass and some miscellaneous pieces to make chicken stock, then baked all of the pieces. We were left with a selection of cooked chicken and a good amount of stock. We’ve used the chicken for sandwiches and meals with other leftovers, but the stock was what I wanted to get my hands on.

I happen to love chicken tortilla soup, so my decision on what soup to make was made. Until now, I had never made a soup, so I was a tad nervous about the flavor I would be able to get. Would it be too salty? Would it not have enough flavor? Putting those worries aside, I looked up a recipe on Pioneer Woman and revised it to how I wanted to make mine and set forth on my soup adventure!

Though we’re both biased, my husband and I LOVED this soup and can’t wait to eat it for another meal. Change the following steps to fit your needs, but I hope you find it helpful. It really was easier than I thought, and the taste is better than I’ve ever had.

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Tick tock! Today is our Three-Month Mark

This Wednesday marked the final step in completing our new grown-up apartment – we had a washer and dryer installed and have gotten through the mountains of laundry that accumulated since moving in. That definitely took a big stress off our shoulders, but never fear – like energy, the stress never goes away, it just manifests as something else.

When you get engaged, everyone wants to give you advice. They say it will be wonderful and you’ll have a great time – you just need to take care of yourself. While all of those tips are nice to hear, they’re not always realistic. So really listen when someone tells you it will be stressful.  They’re being truthful and potentially more so than you’d ever imagine. And when people (who have never been married, natch) say, “Weddings shouldn’t be stressful! They should be fun and lighthearted and not so involved!” Don’t listen to them. They know nothing. Until you’ve gone through the process, you are not qualified to give honest advice.

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An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

Bought the dress, went to the alterations appointment, got it hemmed, and took it home for the second time today! But of course it wasn’t without a mini heart-attack.

Before I left my alterations appointment four weeks ago, we set up a time for me to come back to try it on to test the alterations and to take it home. The appointment time we set was for today at 6pm. Since I had planned on taking the bus to/from the appointment (save your comments until the bottom of this post), I was going to try to change the appointment to an earlier time so I didn’t get home late. I also thought it would be a good idea to confirm the time since I hadn’t yet received any call (as I had in the past) reminding me of the appointment. It was a good thing I thought of that.

I called and spoke with a very nice girl at the store who said she’d be happy to schedule me a little earlier, since they had a couple of openings. She took my name and went to get the book (apparently they still do pencil and paper) to change my time. When she came back from hold, panic set in – I wasn’t anywhere on the list and she didn’t know where my dress and alterations ticket were. She said she knew it was still there and they hadn’t lost it though, so she wanted to call me back within a few minutes to talk about changing the appointment time – she just needed to find it first. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

Read moreAn Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure