Using CVS Offers to Your Advantage! How I Paid $5.47 for Over $50 in products!

I have posted about it before, and I am a huge fan of CVS. They have their CarePass, which is pretty inexpensive ($5-ish a month or $48/year if you pay for it all at once).  One of the perks is you get a $10 ExtraCare Bucks each month, for a total of $120 per year. I posted about it before but I got more information here, and overall I think it’s a pretty great deal.

You probably also remember one of the reasons that I love CVS is they have Pharmacy and Health Rewards. When you fill 10 prescriptions at their pharmacy you receive a $5.00 ExtraCare Bucks that you can spend any place in the store.

With the number of prescriptions my family has, we earn a $5.00 ExtraCare Bucks every two months. Which is pretty decent. Between the CarePass, and Pharmacy and Health Rewards, we usually have between 10 and $15 in “free“ money to spend at CVS at any given time.

I went in this morning to go pick up a prescription and noticed that they had a lot of snacks on sale/marked down, and with ExtraCare Bucks rewards. I quickly scrolled through my CVS app and noticed I had six dollars off any purchase of $30 or more and my $10 CarePass ExtraCare Bucks, and a $5.00 Pharmacy ExtraCare Bucks Reward.

Knowing that we needed both cereal and snacks and I walked up and down the snack/cereal aisle and quickly set upon a plan.

  • Chips Ahoy and Oreo cookies are 2/$7 or 2/$8 (depending on the product) this week. When you buy two select, you’ll receive a $2 ExtraCare Bucks (limit one per person/account). My kids loved both Oreos and Chips Ahoy, so I picked two of each.
  • We were also out of Motts fruit snacks, and they are buy one get one free so I snagged two boxes as well.
  • Rice crispy treats are buy one get one free, so I grabbed two of those.
  • Cereal was on sale buy one box get one free with select Kellogg’s varieties, so I grabbed two boxes as well.

Now, this may look like a lot of junk food, but this is about three weeks’ worth of stuff to go in lunches (and about 2 weeks worth of cereal for me). The cereal is for me, but the rest is going to go in kid’s lunches or be available for snacks- I portion out the snacks and put them into the snack box in the cupboard. I will be hiding about half of it so that they don’t know we have tons of it and just mow through it.

As you can see by looking at the video about and all the stuff I got, it’s a pretty substantial amount. I ended up paying $9.47 out of pocket, and I received $4.00 back in ExtraCare Bucks.

$2.00 for purchasing to select Nabisco Oreo cookies, and a second $2 ExtraCare Bucks for purchasing two chocolate bars, cookies, select chips ahoy, or premium crackers.

Making my grand total after ExtraCare Bucks $5.47. That is one heck of a deal. I’ve also submitted my receipt to Fetch Rewards for points, and to Receipt Hog for points!

And I was in and out of the store in less than 20 minutes (including time to wait in line to pay). Doing drug store deals doesn’t have to be long and tedious. And sometimes it’s a small deal.

It’s worth the time to download the CVS app, join the ExtraCare club to save money, and join CarePass. You’ll find deals weekly (or monthly in my case when I go in). You’ll be saving money in no time!

9/13/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgI’m so tired of it being so humid. Last week we were inside a lot between the heat/humidity and the rain from Tropical Storm Kay. We ate a lot of fruit last week, and the CSA box came yesterday, so we’re going to do it again!

I hit up the grocery store on Sunday. Again this week but we’re eating out of the pantry and our  Yasukochi Family Farms CSA box, which was delivered yesterday afternoon. With the increased cost of groceries, I’m really leaning on cooking meals from our pantry stables and using fresh produce.

I did a bunch of meal prep yesterday afternoon to cut down on cooking time:

  • Marinated Salad (I’ve been using pre-made vinaigrette dressings instead of making my own)
  • Mixed Veggies to roast (I’ll do that later this week)
  • Sliced watermelon
  • Sliced strawberries

I’ll make a fruit salad later in the week when the stone fruit (peaches, plums, nectarines) ripen.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods. I picked up 5 new products to try this week at Sprouts last night using my Social Nature coupons!

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. These snacks make up most of the kid’s lunches during the school week. School lunches are still free, but on most days, they prefer to bring their lunches from home.

Dinner: Now that school is in session and our weekday schedule is cemented, I’m using one weekend morning to do some baking/side dish meal prep, and Monday afternoons after school/work to prep the CSA box goodies.  As the price of groceries goes up, I find myself buying less meat, relying more on sale/clearance prices, and repurposing leftovers.

  • Monday: Home-Made Pizza, Fruit

  • Tuesday:  Mac n’ Cheese, Roasted Veggies

  • Wednesday: Loaded Smashed Potatoes (Recipe coming this week), Salad

  • Thursday:   Grilled Cheese or Quesadillas, Soup, & Salad

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday: Fruit Salad, Funeral Potatoes, Toast

9/5/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgThis past weekend was hot. And humid. We spent most of the weekend indoors, playing games, watching videos, and eating strawberries.

I hit up the grocery store Friday to pick up a few things, but we’re mostly living off the pantry and our  Yasukochi Family Farms CSA box, which was delivered this afternoon.

I did a bunch of meal prep this evening:

  • Green Salad
  • Marinated Salad
  • Mixed Veggies to roast (I’ll do that tomorrow afternoon)
  • Cauliflower to roast
  • Sliced watermelon
  • Sliced strawberries

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods. I received a few more coupons over the weekend, so I’ll visit Sprouts sometime this week to pick up the new foods. I’m focusing on snacks and treats from Social Nature.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. This is really helpful for the summer when for some reason, kids are starving all the time.

Dinner: I’ve got a couple casseroles/freezer meals this week, and other than that we’re eating easy and quick stuff so I can spend time playing, coloring, building legos, and swimming, which is the plan for the week.

  • Monday: Fruit Salad, Protein Shakes

  • Tuesday:  Chef Salad (Using the green salad I made, plus bacon crumbles, hardboiled eggs, and cheese)

  • Wednesday: Crockpot Chili, cheese toast, fruit

  • Thursday:  Spaghetti with red sauce and hot Italian sausage, roasted veggies

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday:  Tamales, Beans, Rice, Salad

NEW Rubio’s Rewards

Introducing the NEW Rubio’s Rewards program, where you can earn points with every purchase and redeem them for free food.

  • $5 off your first order
  • 10 points for every $1 spent in the restaurant, in the app or online
  • Earn bonus points throughout the year
  • Special birthday surprises
  • Insider access to new products
  • Fast grab-and-go ordering

Recipe: Lemon Herb Chicken

This recipe has been fine-tuned and constantly evolving for a while.  It originally started as a copycat of the Greek Chicken restaurant near me. This chicken is now a million times better.

Lemon Herb Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken (I use breasts or thighs)
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (I like sweet onions)
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons Oil of your choice (I like olive or avocado)
  • 2 Tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Prepare the marinade:

  1. Pat chicken dry and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl juice the lemons, set the lemons aside.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and whisk together.
  4. Chop up juiced lemons, add to marinade.
  5. In a large ziploc bag, pour marinade and add chicken.
  6. Allow chicken to marinate for at minimum 2 hours- I usually let it marinate overnight.

Cooking the chicken:

  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 T. oil or spray pan with spray release.
  2. Cook chicken on each side until brown and internal temp is at minimum 165.

This chicken is also great grilled! I love serving this chicken with a crisp cool green salad, hummus, and pita.

 

8/29/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgThe first week of school was great! The kids are glad to be back on schedule, and seeing their friends has made the beginning of the school year easier.

I went to the grocery store yesterday and got everything for this week plus a few extra things that were on sale for the pantry.

No CSA boxes until the weather cools down and I can be home when the boxes are delivered. With the heat and the lack of shade on my patio, if we aren’t home when it’s delivered, some of the more delicate foods can spoil.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods. I received a few more coupons over the weekend, so I’ll visit Sprouts sometime this week to pick up the new foods. I’m focusing on snacks and treats from Social Nature.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. This is really helpful for the summer when for some reason, kids are starving all the time.

Dinner: I’ve got a couple casseroles/freezer meals this week, and other than that we’re eating easy and quick stuff so I can spend time playing, coloring, building legos, and swimming, which is the plan for the week.

  • Monday: Chicken nuggets, Buttered noodles, fruit, cheese & crackers

  • Tuesday:  Marinated Salad, Rice-a-roni, crescent rolls

  • Wednesday: Lemon herbed chicken, salad, pita, hummus

  • Thursday:  Ravioli with pesto sauce, roasted vegetables

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday:  Omelets, sourdough toast, fruit

8/23/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgYesterday was pretty busy, I didn’t get around to posting our meal plan for the week. We went to the beach and had in-home therapy.

I hit the grocery store last night but I forgot bagels, so I’ll be going back this morning.

No CSA boxes until the weather cools down and I can be home when the boxes are delivered. With the heat and the lack of shade on my patio, if we aren’t home when it’s delivered, some of the more delicate foods can spoil.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. This is really helpful for the summer when for some reason, kids are starving all the time.

Dinner: I’ve got a couple casseroles/freezer meals this week, and other than that we’re eating easy and quick stuff so I can spend time playing, coloring, building legos, and swimming, which is the plan for the week.

  • Monday: Pancakes and fruit

  • Tuesday: Chef Salad (It was popular last week!)

  • Wednesday:  Frittata, toast, fruit

  • Thursday:  Baked pasta, roasted veggies

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday:  Bean, rice, and cheese bowls

Recipe: Meaty Baked Pasta!

We eat a lot of veggies in this house, but recently I picked up a few pounds of bulk hot Italian sausage and I was jonesing for a meaty baked pasta dish. We don’t eat a lot of meat, so 1 pound for this recipe is a lot for us. If you are a big meat eater, you can add up to an extra pound of sausage to make it extra meaty.

This recipe makes a lot, but, it keeps well for leftovers and you can freeze leftovers as well.

Meaty Baked Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 box pasta (whatever variety you like best), cooked per package directions
  • 1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
  • 2 T. butter or oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium-sized zucchini, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 32 oz of your favorite red pasta sauce
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups mozzarella, divided
  • 1 cup parmesan/romano blend cheese, divided

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cook pasta per directions, drain off the water, reserving 2-3 Tablespoons.
  3. In a large pan, cook and crumble Italian sausage. After it is cooked, drain it on a paper towel.
  4. Using the same pan, saute onion and pepper for 10-15 minutes, until the onions are clear and have started to caramelize.
  5. Add in garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.
  6. Add in zucchini, sauce, and tomato paste- cook until sauce comes to a simmer.
  7. Add meat back in, and stir to combine.
  8. Add reserved pasta water to the sauce and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  9. In a baking dish layer sauce, pasta, cheese, and sauce. Repeat until the baking dish is full and top with the remaining cheese.
  10. Cover the baking dish with a lid or tented foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  11. Remove the lid/foil and cook another 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  12. Serve with a green salad and garlic bread!

This recipe made a 9×13 baking dish, which will serve 6-8 people a hearty portion.

If you need more veggies in your life, add carrots, drained diced petite tomatoes, more peppers, and even a few handfuls of spinach!

This meal was so satisfying. I’ve had leftovers for lunch twice now.

I ended up with extra sauce, and I plan on making calzones with it.

8/15/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgThis is our last full week of Summer Break. We have zoo, beach, swimming with friends, and a few other things to do before we start school.

I went to the grocery store on Saturday and picked up milk and bread, other than that we should be good. I re-organized the freezer and found a few things I forgot we had (and were not on the freezer inventory).

No CSA boxes until the weather cools down and I can be home when the boxes are delivered. With the heat and the lack of shade on my patio, if we aren’t home when it’s delivered, some of the more delicate foods can spoil.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods. I received a few more coupons over the weekend, so I’ll visit Sprouts sometime this week to pick up the new foods. I’m focusing on snacks and treats from Social Nature.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. This is really helpful for the summer when for some reason, kids are starving all the time.

Dinner: I’ve got a couple casseroles/freezer meals this week, and other than that we’re eating easy and quick stuff so I can spend time playing, coloring, building legos, and swimming, which is the plan for the week.

  • Monday: Chicken nuggets, Buttered noodles, fruit, cheese & crackers

  • Tuesday: pollo asada tacos, grilled veggies, rice, refried beans

  • Wednesday: Chef Salad, quesadillas

  • Thursday: Protein shakes and bagels

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday: Breakfast for dinner (eggs, hashbrowns, crescent rolls, fruit)

8/8/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgThis week is going to be a hot one. We’ve been super cooling the house, and running fans as much as we can. In addition to the heat, it’s been humid- overall I’m not a fan of this weather.

As a result of this weather forecast, we’ll be eating a lot of food that doesn’t require the oven.

Summer break is wrapping up, however, we’ve got all sorts of adventures planned, you can check out some of our adventures here.

I didn’t do much meal prep for this week, just some grocery shopping for produce ($25 worth of salad kits, and fruit), and cutting up fruit yesterday. When it’s hot, the kids don’t eat much beyond popsicles and snacks during the day.

No CSA boxes until the weather cools down and I can be home when the boxes are delivered. With the heat and the lack of shade on my patio, if we aren’t home when it’s delivered, some of the more delicate foods can spoil.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. This is really helpful for the summer when for some reason, kids are starving all the time.

Dinner: I’m planning for a week of cool foods, with very little being cooked in the oven. I may use the toaster oven as needed.

  • Monday: Chicken nuggets, Buttered noodles, fruit, cheese & crackers

  • Tuesday: Salad, hummus & flatbread, fruit

  • Wednesday: Corn dogs, fruit, salad

  • Thursday: Protein Shakes, fruit

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday: Salad, quesadillas, fruit