Archive for the ‘Look what I bought!’ Category

I cannot be trusted around certain things. These things include, but are not limited to: guacamole, hummus, French onion dip, sour cream, cream cheese, ranch dressing, etc, etc… Put me, a bag of pretzels and a container of hummus in a room together and you’ve got yourself a recipe for…an empty container of hummus. Did you know the average serving size of most dips is 2 tablespoons? Let’s be serious – 2 tablespoons is a light warm up round for me. I can zip through 2 tablespoons of dip with just 2 pretzels. What I’m trying to tell you is, hi, I’m Katie, and I can’t figure out portion control.

Sometimes I get fancy, and I’ll try to measure out my dips, or really get serious about eyeballing 2 tablespoons. Typically exercises in futility, the dip clings to the measuring spoon, or my eyeballs allow for extremely generous tablespoons. Nothing works, I’m stuck.

…then I stumbled upon these cute little Lock Up containers I found at The Container Store. They come in various sizes, but the smallest one is totally perfect for measuring out 2 tablespoons of the things you can’t be trusted around. I’d read somewhere about the OXO Good Grips Mini Measuring Cup for Sticky Stuff, which helps you measure out stuff that usually sticks to the spoon, so I ordered one from Amazon (<3 Prime).

Between the Lock Ups (only one complaint – they lock together, which is handy and quite convenient, unless you put them in the dishwasher, in which case they lose their ability to stack. They are top rack safe, but their shape does change…beware) and the mini measuring cup, I can perfectly and quickly portion out dips to throw into the fridge. Portion control becomes as easy as throwing some carrot sticks in a snack bag and grabbing one of the mini dip containers to take to work or eat on the couch watching TV.

Portion Control Perfected

Guacamole & Hummus – Perfectly Portioned


I’m really proud of myself on this one – portion control just got hacked!

Watch how easy portion control can be (it’s 10 seconds, you can handle it):


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All of this...for 47 cents

For all of you kiddies that live close to a Jewel, I suggest you scamper over there before October 14. You see, they’re having a “Buy $25 worth of select Con-Agra products, get a $10 coupon at the register sale” and it goes through October 14. In the crazy world of couponers, this is code for “get a ton of free/cheap food, and where are we on filling out that application to be on an episode of Hoarders?” Let’s break this down.

At Jewel, the “buy $25” is based on the SALE price of the item (NOT shelf price, not PREFERRED CARD price – SALE price…check at the self-scanner what the sale price may be). For instance, the sale price of a can of Healthy Choice soup is currently $2.89. So…you’d need 9 to hit the magic $25 mark. Now, here comes the exciting part…although the $25 is based on the SALE price, when you scan your Jewel-Osco Preferred Card, all of a sudden the prices you actually pay become much, much lower. This is the Preferred Card price. For instance, remember that Healthy Choice soup that was $2.89/can sale price? Well, after you’ve scanned your Preferred card, it’s suddenly only 88 cents. $2.89 x 9 = $26.01, scanning your Preferred card will then give you $2.01 off every can (88 cents/each), so suddenly you’re down to $7.92 WITH a $10 coupon off your next order printing out after you pay (coupon is called a Catalina). In essence, ConAgra just paid you to eat their soup. Note, the $25 must be hit BEFORE taxes. So if you’re at $25.50 and taxes are .60 of that, you’re .10 short an NO coupon would print.

Now, if you’re smart (and trust me, couponers are v. smart), you’ll look at that $10 coupon that printed and say, “hey, if I repeat that transaction, and use this $10 coupon to pay, I’ll get another $10 coupon!” And you’d be absolutely right. If you’re doing just soup ($7.92), you’d need to add a couple more items to be able to use that $10 coupon to pay, so why not throw in at least $2.08 worth of regular groceries and get those for free? That’s how I bought that plastic silverware, bread and hot dog buns for free above.

The play-by-play goes something like this:

  1. Go to the self-checkout lane. DO NOT SCAN YOUR PREFERRED CARD YET!
  2. Scan $25 worth of ConAgra products (must hit $25 before taxes). Stop as soon as you’ve got over $25 (or just over).
  3. NOW scan your Preferred card. Watch total price go down!
  4. Pay. Collect $10 coupon.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4. Remember, you CAN use manufacturer coupons to further your profits. Just be sure to have at least $10 in your order so that you can use the $10 coupon that prints at the register.
  6. Enjoy your very cheap or free groceries.

For examples, in total, I paid $10.47 out of pocket (this total amount was broken up into 6 different transactions) for the groceries above. Of course, a $10 coupon still printed on my last transaction, so I really only paid 47 cents for all the groceries above. I bought 31 cans of soup, 2 eight-roll packs of paper towels, 10 frozen meals, Crunch n’ Munch, napkins, bread, buns, cake mix & frosting, plastic silverware and ketchup for 47 cents! Now you see why couponing can be addicting – it’s like a game where you can absolutely “get paid” to shop.

If you’re new to couponing, I highly suggest you visit Mashup Mom for a more thorough breakdown of Catalina couponing at Jewel. Additionally, find out what products are included in the Buy $25, get $10 sale and some scenarios of how to maximize your efforts at Mashup Mom’s site.

Happy Couponing!

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