Monthly Archives: December 2007

Swedish Pepparkakor

A Swedish Christmas celebration requires pepparkakor, or Swedish ginger snaps. Paper thin, crispy, and spicy, the perfect go-together with any hot beverage. I tried a new recipe today. They were easy to roll to that desired paper thinness, and they baked quickly. But, after cutting out nearly 300 hearts, and breaking my heart cookie cutter, I must give myself a break. I still have a largish lump of dough left for another day. I know these will disappear fast; they are so easy to pop in the mouth.

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Crafted Gifts

My studio has been in an uproar over Christmas gift crafting for the past few weeks. The end is in sight now, at least of this particular mess. Here I am finishing up work on album pages that I do every year for part of my family. The pages tell the ongoing story of our lives.

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Christmas Saver

The end of the month is fast approaching, and I have expiring coupons to use. Some of my best deals today were:

Walmart: “Pom” brand fresh pomegranate, on sale for $1.29, used $1 coupon. Should have been .29 net, but the register wouldn’t accept my coupon. The young cashier entered a few wrong things and got flustered. A manager helped but also didn’t enter things correctly, and ended up giving it to us free. I didn’t realize until we had left.

2 pr No Nonsense pantyhose, $1.87 each, used $1 coup on each, net .87 each
L’eggs pantyhose, $1, used $1 coupon, net: FREE!

I had to look carefully for these pantyhose. Most L’eggs hose are over $3 a pair. But I found “Today’s Girl” on an end cap. In smaller type the package says, “by L’eggs”. So I figured I could win an argument if the cashier wouldn’t take the coupon. I’m wondering why L’eggs issues a coupon for $1 off, if they sell a product for $1?

I also looked at, but didn’t buy, some Hanes underwear (2-pk) on clearance for $4, with my $1 off coupon, the 2 pair would be $3. I might go back and buy it.

Publix: I did my regular weekly grocery shopping here because there were many good BOGO items this week. Most of what I bought was on sale, and many of those items I had coupons for also. Thus, I was able to get free sour cream, free Chex Party Mix, tissues for .66 a box, frosting for .24, pan spray for $1 each can, canola oil for .80, 5 lb flour for .59, frozen boxed vegs for .50 a box, Ziploc containers for .50 each package, and Ritz crackers for $1.32 a box. But my best deal was on bath tissue. Scott 12 mega roll, regularly $9.59, was mine for just $4.25. ($5 minus .75 coupon.) It turns out that this particular store doesn’t carry the advertised product, so the manager substituted this much larger package for it. I certainly didn’t complain. I spent $68.82 but I saved $61.29.

CVS: It is so fun to take the Professor along to CVS because he walks out astonished over how little cold cash leaves my wallet. I “bought” the Schick razor and the Tylenol vial for .81 after sale prices, coupons, and ECB’s, and then used my store gift card (from a previous return) to pay that .81. So, no money left my wallet and my husband loved it. Both items will show up in Christmas stockings.

Kroger: I wanted to get the yeast deal that Crystal tells about on her blog, but mine came out differently. The yeast was indeed on sale for $1/strip. And I had the .45 coupon, doubled. But I was given a Catalina for .50 off any purchase, not .50 off more yeast. So it won’t be doubled as far as I can tell. That means that my yeast deal ends when my coupons run out. So sad.

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Saving Pennies Again

I found fewer deals this week at CVS and Walgreens. I wonder, are the deals catching on with too many shoppers? Are the stores cutting back on the “good stuff”? Even mfr coupons seem to be for fewer cents off. A .25 or .30 coupon is a throwback to 30 years ago, when I first started grocery shopping. It hardly puts a dent in the price of a grocery item today, even if doubled. But, like other couponers, I’ll take anything I can get, as long as I can use the item.I did most of my bargain-hunting late in the week after spending most of the week with daughter and new baby.

At CVS, store #1:
Small J&J Baby Shampoo, $1.99, used $2 coup, .01 overage
3 pks Energizer batteries, $5.29 each, used $5 printable coup, 3 $1 mfr peelies, earned $5 xbucks
2 Robitussin, $4.99 each, used (2) .50 coups, earned $5 xbucks
Dove body wash, $5.29, used $1 coup, earned $1 xbuck
L’Oreal eye shadow, $6.99, used $2 coup, earned $2 xbucks
Stacked $3/$15, $2/$10 coups, used $15 xbucks
OOP $6.13, earned $13 xbucks
I tried to use two more $2/$10 coups, but the cashier at the photo counter wouldn’t let me, nor would he let me use the other $1 mfr Energizer coup I had. Also, I later regretted buying the Dove body wash. I spent too many xbucks on it, with not enough gained in return. My oop could have been $1.84.
This store was out of stock on free CVS tissues

On to CVS store #2:
CVS tissues, .99 sale, coup for item free
5 pkgs CVS cough drops, .99 each, earn .99 xbuck on each
12-pk CVS disposable razors, $4.49
Total about $10.50, used $2.50/$10 coup, free tissues coup, and $5 xbucks
OOP: $1.89 and earned $4.95 xbucks

Walgreens:
I raced through the store while helping out my daughter. Her state tax is over 9%! I bought:
3 Celestial Seasonings tea, $1.50 each, used $1/3 coup
2 Arrid XX deo BOGO, $2.99, used .55 coup on each (net .95 each)
Splenda packets, $1.99, used $1 coup
Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, $1.99, used $1 coup
2 boxes envelopes, .59 each
2 bottles spices, .50 each
4 rolls Scotch Magic Tape, .50 each
2 bags Hershey’s kisses, $1.50 each, used $1.50/2 coup, net .75 each
Ajax detergent, .99, used .20 coup
Curel lotion, clearance $3.59, used $1 coup
Nivea Firming lotion, clearance $3.59, used $2 coup
Purell Foam Sanitizer rain check from a few weeks ago, net .49, used $1.50 coup, $1.01 overage

Rite-Aid:
I don’t often shop here, but I saw several deals, so daughter and I stopped. They were reasonably well stocked on what we wanted.
2 pkgs O-Cell-O Sponges, .99 each, used $1/2 coup, net .50 pkg. I had one more coupon, but the store didn’t have enough sponges left for me to use it.
2 tubes Crest Toothpaste, .99 each
2 bags Russell Stover International chocolates, $2 each, used $2/2 coup, net $1 a bag
Whitman’s Sugar Free chocolates, sale $4.99, used $2 coup

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A Little More Christmas Decorating

Some additions to my Christmas decorating:

The mantel decorations change from year to year; this year I decided on red candles with greenery.

Tempting the sweet tooth; red-striped candy canes spill over a vintage glass pitcher in the kitchen.

A small portion of my angel collection brightens the dining room.

Swedish handcrafts in celebration of the “old country”, the Professor’s place of ancestry. I still need to purchase red tapers for the candelabras.

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Christmas is Coming

I began our Christmas decorating in the dining room. A cheerful corner, white baby chair with silver and white satin pillow…

My Christmas plate collection came out of hiding in the china cabinet, to be used daily for the entire season. I have 21 plates, each a unique design. Here are three.

Stealing an idea from Maryanne, I made this branch tree. Mine isn’t appropriate for the dining room table because we use our table constantly, but it is a perfect fit for the bedroom dresser. A little bit of Christmas sparkle in a room I don’t usually decorate at Christmas. Quick, simple, and free. What could be better?

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