Monthly Archives: September 2013

Ways to Save $$$ Shopping at Target


Target is probably my favorite store, it’s my one stop shop for almost everything my family needs. I love their Up&Up brand, I love looking through their clearance and I love to find ways I can save money by shopping there. Many people still don’t know the in’s & out’s of successful Target savings. It’s like Target wants to help you save money. I don’t know of another store that offers a debit/credit card that saves you 5% on every purchase AND gives you free shipping online. Not to mention the pharmacy rewards tied into those savings which gives you an additional 5% off once you fill so many prescriptions. Then they have their own store coupons which you can combine with manufacturer’s coupons for additional savings. They also have a new program called Cartwheel which is an app on your phone where you can electronically clip coupons and combine these savings with your Target & Manufacturer’s coupons, and they have a text program that offers additional savings as well. The information about all of these savings can be found on Target’s website, but here are some examples of my favorite savings to give you an idea of how to use these to your advantage!


The ottoman for my daughter’s nursery was regular price $69.99, it went on sale for $55.99. I had a Cartwheel savings of 25% off Threshold ottomans or chairs bringing the price down to $41.99. I also had a Target coupon for $5.00 off any home purchase of $30 or more bringing the price down to $36.99 then I ALWAYS use my Target Red debit card when shopping at Target that saves me 5% off every purchase so my final price was $35.14 + tax. By combining the Cartwheel & coupon savings WITH the sale, I was able to save $34.85 off the regular price of the ottoman.

Here’s another example of savings combining coupons & Cartwheel. Revlon powder is $8.49, I had 25% off cartwheel savings bringing the price down to $6.36, I also had a $2.00 off Target coupon bringing the price down to $4.36 AND I had a manufacturer’s coupon for $2.00 off bringing the price down to $2.36 plus my Red card savings of 5% giving me a final price of $2.24 + tax.

I am not a “crazy” couponer, I don’t buy items just because I can get them cheap or free. I focus only on what my family uses and occasionally I will buy things like extra razors, soap, deodorant, canned food, etc when I see a good sale and have coupons to combine and I donate those items to the local food pantry or send care packages to soldiers overseas. I admit that planning a trip where multiple savings are going to be used is tedious work. Here’s my advice. Make your grocery list of items that you need no matter if they are on sale or if you have coupons. Then look at Target’s weekly ad and decide if they are any items that you need to stock up on because they are a good price. Then go through your coupons and match up savings to your list and your added weekly ad items. I print my coupons from Target’s website and I also use the coupons that come as an insert in the Sunday paper. Then I go on my Target Cartwheel app and add offers specific to my shopping trip and lastly I check my Target text messages to see if there are any additional savings that can be utilized there. The text savings usually are a link to additional coupons or information about a certain sale. Having a list of everything I need to buy and having my coupons ready to go saves me a lot of time when going through the store. When I get to the checkout I have them scan my Cartwheel app first, then any text savings and then I hand over my coupons. Lastly I swipe my Target Red debit card and that takes 5% off my entire purchase. What inspired this post was at checkout of my last Target trip the lady behind me watched my total go from $44 down to $5 after all of my savings and she asked me how I saved so much off my initial total. I told her that I used coupons and about the Cartwheel savings app and that my Red card saves me 5% off every purchase. She signed up for a Red card that day and that got me thinking that even regular Target shoppers don’t know about all the possible savings they could be missing out on.

My advice if you are starting out using coupons is to print out coupons for items you already buy or would like to try, just start using coupons regularly to get in the habit of printing, clipping and bring them along with you shopping. Then after you feel comfortable using coupons start matching them with the weekly ad to maximize your savings. Then once you are comfortable with that, to really maximize your savings, use the Cartwheel app and sign up for the text savings and combine all of those savings together to get the most bang for your buck! Also, next time you are at Target sign up for the Red Card which can be a debit card linked to your checking account or a credit card. I use the debit card in store and online and when using it online it gives me free shipping on every purchase!

I hope you have found this post helpful, I love saving money & I love shopping at Target and lucky for me those two things go hand in hand 😉

Better Than Anything Pumpkin Cake


I am dead tired, I ran all over God’s creation today and at 33 weeks pregnant a trip to Walmart wears me out so today I am really ready to hit the hay, but before I do, let me share this delicious cake recipe with you before I forget! Also known as “Pumpkin Poke Cake” or “Better Than Sex Pumpkin Cake” this is my version and it’s sooooooo easy too! I just had a piece and it’s getting better as it sits in the fridge I think!

What you need;
1 box of yellow cake mix
1 can of pumpkin (reg. size – remember I’m tired)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
14oz can of sweetened condensed milk (hey I remembered that one)
1 container of whipped topping (cool whip)
Chocolate syrup
Caramel sauce

How to make;
Mix the cake mix, can of pumpkin and spices together until incorporated. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan and bake according to the directions on the cake box. After baking let the cake cool completely. Once cooled take the round end of a wooden spoon and poke holes all over the cake (hence poke cake). Pour the entire can of sweetened condensed milk over the cake. Frost the top with whipped topping & drizzle with caramel and chocolate sauce. Other optional toppings are chopped nuts and toffee bits. Serve immediately or refrigerate. This cake is so moist & full of flavor….Enjoy & Goodnight 😉


Marinated Zucchini Salad


Sadly, this is probably my last zucchini recipe of the year. Our garden has quit producing and I used our last zucchini in this recipe. I’m so proud of our first garden, it produced a lot of veggies and we know what to do better next year. Since it’s the last day of summer I thought a nod to a summer salad would be appropriate. This is a low carb “pasta” salad but with no pasta. You won’t miss it, trust me! It’s loaded with veggies, a great place to use up bits and pieces of veggies from the fridge!

Here’s the lineup


What you need:
Medium zucchini
Artichoke salad (mine had artichokes, green olives & roasted red peppers)
Black olives
Red onion
Orange pepper
Parmesan cheese
Balsamic salad dressing

How to make;
Slice the zucchini in half and then in half again making 4 long pieces. Dice those pieces into about 1 inch chunks. Put the zucchini in a microwave safe dish and cook for 1 minute, stir, cook another 1 minute and 30 seconds. You want them to be slightly soft but not fully cooked. Drain and set aside to cool. Dice about 1/2 cup of each of these; tomatoes, black olives, red onion and orange pepper. Drain the artichoke salad and cut into bite sized pieces. Mix all the veggies together and pour 1/2 a cup of balsamic dressing over the veggies, stir. Cover and refrigerate a few hours or overnight. Before serving sprinkle with parmesan cheese.


I promise you won’t miss the pasta, but you could add some cooked pasta to make this go a little further or make it a cold summer meal. You can leave out anything you don’t have on hand or you don’t like and add anything you want to use up or think would make this dish even better. Fresh herbs would add a bright fresh taste to this salad too! Enjoy!

Take Out Remake – General Tso’s Chicken


General chicken as we call it in my house is my hubby’s favorite take out dish from our local Chinese Restaurant. It’s battered and fried chicken pieces smothered in a sweet and spicy sauce. It’s very good, but not very healthy. A few years ago I came across a Weight Watcher’s Recipe for General Tso Chicken and I made it for the hubs, he thought it was ok and I was determined to make it better. After a few tries I came up with this recipe and it’s been a hit in our house ever since. I often get asked for the recipe when I make it for family & friends and since I made it recently I thought it was about time I blogged the recipe so more of you can enjoy this take out remake.

General Tso’s Chicken

What you need;
1 can of reduced sodium chicken broth
3 tbls cornstarch
3 tbls sugar
3 tbls soy sauce
2 tbls white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (we like it spicy so I use 1 tsp but if you are weary of spicy start with 1/4 tsp and taste the sauce after it’s simmered. You can always add more)
1 tsp honey
1 pound of chicken breast cut into 1 inch pieces (the sauce can easily accommodate up to 1.5 pounds of chicken)
Chopped scallions for garnish
2 tbls vegetable oil

How to make;
Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet, add the chicken pieces and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. While the chicken is cooking whisk together the broth, cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce, white wine vinegar, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes and honey. Once the chicken is browned add the sauce and reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring often until the sauce thickens. At this time I always taste the sauce, add more red pepper flakes if you like it spicy or add more honey if you like it sweeter.

Garnish with scallions, serve over rice and enjoy! I served it with Crab & Cream Cheese Crescents. Find out what I thought about them on my Pinterest board “Things I’ve Tried”.


Follow Me On Pinterest!


If you’re wondering where my inspiration comes from then you should follow me on Pinterest! I do come up with a lot of my own idea’s, but Pinterest really fuels my creativity fire. I don’t blog about everything I cook, craft or try but I do put a lot of that on my Pinterest board “Things I’ve Tried”. Only the really blog worthy things make the blog, but there are other good recipes, tips and crafty ideas on my Pinterest boards.

Follow me here……..

Then find out what I thought about our dinner from last night that came straight from Pinterest on my “Things I’ve Tried” board.

Weeknight Crockpot Ravioli……hit or miss?!