Saving Big with Drugstore Rebates & Rewards

CVS savings

What’s the surest way to pay full price?  Wait until you run out of something.  It’s so easy to stock up on toothpaste when it’s on a deep discount or free than to have to pay $3 for a tube because I’ve run out.   As you might guess I keep a cabinet stocked with shampoo, razors, toothpaste, deodorant, soap and other items.  Drugstore deals make great donations. Charities that serve homeless individuals, families in crisis or rescue situations, and elderly often request personal care items, since they can be fairly expensive to buy at full retail price. Saving then sharing, makes especially good use of strategic shopping.  Here are a few ways I save at drugstores.

  • Scan weekly sales circulars – many store circulars include store coupons, wich can be combined with manufactured coupons and other offers.  I visit Coupon Mom for my Grocey Store and Drugstore savings.  She does all the work for me by listing all of the weekly and monthly deals.  There are many other sites that provide different scenarios, and I’ve found it helpful to read them and find senarios that best match what my own needs (and coupons) are.  These sites also link to available printable coupons in case you don’t have one from the newspaper.
  • Combine “Buy one, Get one” offers with coupons.
  • learn how to take full advantage of Drugstore rebate and rewards programs.  They are a way to not only SAVE BIG, but to actually make money!

CVS savings 2

Here is a deal senerio I found awhile back at CVS.  Pampers diapers were on sale for 9.99.  I had a $2.00 off coupon and recieved a $4.00 off extrabucks rewards which made my diaper purchase only $4.65.  That’s .7 cents per diaper!

Good luck! May you become a frugal savings champion:)

Recipe Substitutions

Do you ever get started on a recipe and then realize that you are missing an ingredient?


Here is a chart of common ingredients and substitutions you can use in a pinch:

For a printable version click here.




Allspice 1 teaspoon 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon cloves
Baking powder 1 teaspoon 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartarOR 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 cup buttermilk (decrease liquid in recipe by 1/2 cup)
Bread crumbs 1 cup 1 cup cracker crumbsOR 1 cup matzo meal OR 1 cup ground oats
Broth: beef or chicken 1 cup 1 bouillon cube plus 1 cup boiling waterOR 1 tablespoon soy sauce plus enough water to make 1 cupOR 1 cup vegetable broth
Brown sugar 1 cup, packed 1 cup white sugar plus 1/4 cup molasses and decrease the liquid in recipe by 1/4 cupOR 1 cup white sugarOR 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
Butter (salted) 1 cup 1 cup margarineOR 1 cup shortening plus 1/2 teaspoon saltOR 7/8 cup vegetable oil plus 1/2 teaspoon salt

OR 7/8 cup lard plus 1/2 teaspoon salt

Butter (unsalted) 1 cup 1 cup shorteningOR 7/8 cup vegetable oilOR 7/8 cup lard
Buttermilk 1 cup 1 cup yogurtOR 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar plus enough milk to make 1 cup
Corn syrup 1 cup 1 1/4 cup white sugar plus 1/3 cup waterOR 1 cup honeyOR 1 cup light treacle syrup
Cottage cheese 1 cup 1 cup ricotta cheese
Cracker crumbs 1 cup 1 cup bread crumbs                                                          OR  1 cup ground oats
½ and ½ 1 cup 7/8 cup milk plus 1 tablespoon butter
Heavy Cream 1 cup 1 cup evaporated milkOR 3/4 cup milk plus 1/3 cup butter
Cream cheese 1 cup 1 cup pureed cottage cheese
Cream of tartar 1 teaspoon 2 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar
Egg 1 whole (3 tablespoons or 1.7 oz) 3 tablespoons mayonnaiseOR half a banana mashed with 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Evaporated milk 1 cup 1 cup light cream
Flour–Bread 1 cup 1 cup all-purpose flour plus 1 teaspoon wheat gluten
Flour–Cake 1 cup 1 cup all-purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons
Flour–Self-Rising 1 cup 7/8 cup all-purpose flour plus 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt
Ginger–dry 1 teaspoon 2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
Herbs–fresh 1 tablespoon chopped fresh 1 teaspoon (chopped or whole leaf) dried herbs
Honey 1 cup 1 1/4 cup white sugar plus 1/3 cup waterOR 1 cup corn syrupOR 1 cup light treacle syrup
Ketchup 1 cup 1 cup tomato sauce plus 1 teaspoon vinegar plus 1 tablespoon sugar
Lard 1 cup 1 cup shorteningOR 7/8 cup vegetable oilOR 1 cup butter
Lemon juice 1 teaspoon 1/2 teaspoon vinegarOR 1 teaspoon white wineOR 1 teaspoon lime juice
Lemon zest 1 teaspoon 1/2 teaspoon lemon extractOR 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Lime juice 1 teaspoon 1 teaspoon vinegarOR 1 teaspoon white wineOR 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Margarine 1 cup 1 cup shortening plus 1/2 teaspoon saltOR 1 cup butterOR 7/8 cup vegetable oil plus 1/2 teaspoon salt

OR 7/8 cup lard plus 1/2 teaspoon salt

Mayonnaise 1 cup 1 cup sour creamOR 1 cup plain yogurt
Milk–whole 1 cup 1/4 cup dry milk powder plus 1 cup waterOR 2/3 cup evaporated milk plus 1/3 cup water
Molasses 1 cup Mix 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Orange juice 1 tablespoon 1 tablespoon other citrus juice
Ricotta 1 cup 1 cup dry cottage cheeseOR 1 cup silken tofu
Rum 1 tablespoon 1/2 teaspoon rum extract, plus enough water to make 1 tablespoon
Shortening 1 cup 1 cup butterOR 1 cup margarine minus 1/2 teaspoon salt from recipe
Sour cream 1 cup 1 cup plain yogurtOR 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar plus enough cream to make 1 cupOR 3/4 cup buttermilk mixed with 1/3 cup butter
Soy sauce 1/2 cup 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce mixed with 1 tablespoon water
Stock–beef or chicken 1 cup 1 cube beef or chicken bouillon dissolved in 1 cup water
Sweetened condensed milk 1 (14-ounce) can 3/4 cup white sugar mixed with 1/2 cup water and 1 1/8 cups dry powdered milk: Bring to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 20 minutes
Vegetable oil–for baking 1 cup 1 cup applesauceOR 1 cup fruit puree
Vinegar 1 teaspoon 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juiceOR 2 teaspoons white wine
White sugar 1 cup 1 cup brown sugarOR 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugarOR 3/4 cup honey

OR 3/4 cup corn syrup

Wine 1 cup 1 cup chicken or beef brothOR 1 cup fruit juice mixed with 2 teaspoons vinegarOR 1 cup water
Yogurt 1 cup 1 cup sour creamOR 1 cup buttermilkOR 1 cup sour milk

Bread Machine Pumpkin Spice

I just got hooked into getting a bread machine!  After learning from my frugal gal Christy about making your own sandwich bread recipe I decided to give pumpkin spice bread a try.  It turned out DELICIOUS!

pumpkin spice


1 cup sugar

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

pumpkin spice 2

Grease bread machine pan and kneading blade.  Measure carefully, placing all ingredients in bread machine in pan.  Select quick bread cycle only.  After 3 minutes into cycle, open lid and carefully scrape down the sides of pan.  Close lid to continue with cycle. I cooked for an additional 10 minutes.

pumpkin spice 4



If you have a Kroger store in your area, you are in LUCK!  While they no longer double any coupons, they do have mega events periodically where you can save BIG!  A mega event is a time when they give you $5 off your bill for every 10 participating items that you buy.  These items are marked in the store with tags.

krog tag

For all you game players out there, this is the time to STOCK UP!!!

Here are some tips for saving some serious cash during these sales:

1.  Make sure to purchase the exact number of items.  You get $5 off for every 10 items.  If you buy 14, you won’t get the discount on the last four items.  I normally put all my participating items in one section of my cart and then place them together on the belt when I check out to make sure!

2.  STOCK UP!  This is the time to buy lots of the items that you will use!  If it can be frozen or will stay fresh, buy extra to get you through until the next mega event.

3.  Don’t buy it if you won’t use it! (Unless you want to donate it!)  It may be a great deal, but it is a waste of money if you will not use it.

4.  Keep an eye out for items that are cheap and don’t need a coupon for maximum savings.  These are great fillers when you are an item or two short of an even 10.

Keep in mind, that every time they do this they are different.  There are some items that seem to show up often, and others only every now and then.  Here are some examples of a few of the items that I will be stocking up on this week to give you an idea of how you can save BIG!

photo(17)I have a $2/1 coupon for this detergent making it only $0.75


Hefty bags coupons $1.50/2 makes each box only $0.25


Goldfish, these are a favorite around my house and $0.79 is a fantastic price.  I will be STOCKING UP!!!

photo(25)Barbecue sauce….my kids will eat many things as long as they have it!  You can’t go wrong with $0.50.  This is also a great filler if you have 8 items and need a couple to get you to the magic 10.

photo(26)I have a coupon for $0.55/2 making these $1.22.  That makes for some FRUGALICIOUS sandwiches!


Spreading the love

Food Pantry

Expired coupons

I LOVE meeting the needs of others like most of us right?  I’ve seen first hand what giving can do and I find comfort in knowing from my savings I am able to help those in need.  The picture above are items we donated to our local food pantry.  Any small thing will help cut out hunger.  Also, overseas military members can use expired coupons up to six months past their expiration date. Military families stationed overseas are often living on one income and money can be scarce. Let’s support our military by showing them some coupon love!  For more information on spreading the coupon love check out this link!

Do you have any tips on sharing in your savings?

Sandwich Bread Recipe



When you have 5 kids, making sandwiches for lunch takes an entire loaf of bread.  In an effort to be healthier, I like to buy whole-wheat bread.  But….I could easily spend $10/week just on loaves of bread.  So when I found my lost bread machine last year, one of my first projects was to learn to make sandwich bread.

The first thing I discovered was that a traditional loaf pan made my bread too big, so I got online and bought this one on Amazon.  It makes a more traditional size loaf of bread.

Here is what you need:


3 cups of flour (I use whole wheat, but you can use any combination of white and wheat as long as it adds up to 3 cups)

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup oil

2 TBS sugar

1 tsp salt

2 1/4 tsp instant yeast

photo(11)Dump everything in the bread machine and start the dough cycle.  (If you don’t have one just mix and knead by hand for about 8 minutes. Place in a large covered bowl and let sit for an hour.)

photo(13)When the dough cycle in complete, this is how it should look. (If you are doing this by hand after punch it down and knead for about 3 minutes)

photo(14)Grease your bread pan, and form the dough to your loaf.  Cover and let rise for about 45 minutes. (I use shower caps to cover, they work GREAT!!)

photo(15)About 30 minutes in, preheat the oven to 350.  Once the bread has about doubled, it is ready to be baked.

photo(16)Bake for 25 minutes!  While still hot, run a butter knife around the edges to keep from sticking.  Slice and ENJOY!

When I calculate the cost of this bread, a loaf is about $0.68/ loaf.  That is about 70% cheaper than buying a loaf of bread……..FRUGALICIOUS!

Homemade Glitter Playdough

I’m always looking for new, creative and frugal ways to entertain my little munchkins.  Today I decided to pull out a few basic ingredients and give it a shot at making some homeade glitter playdough.  They say life begins at the end of your comfort zone right?  In this case, I can mark this in my book as a victory in my mothering adventure!


What you need:

1 cup of flour

1/3 cup salt

1 Tablespoon Cream of Tartar (in the spice aisle of your grocery store)

1 Tablespoon oil

1 cup of near boiling water

1-2 teaspoon silver glitter


Get your extremely cute little one and place all the ingredients in a saucepan.  Mix.  Then heat until the dough thickens.  It’s that EASY!

playdough4And just in case you were wondering, no children were harmed in making this playdough:)  Enjoy!

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