Thursday, December 16, 2010

BLOCKBUSTER By Mail Special Offer - 3 Months for $9.99

BLOCKBUSTER is selling gift cards in stores for $9.99 that are good for a 3-month subscription to their BLOCKBUSTER by Mail service.  If you aren't familiar with their new service, it is similar to Netflix, but also includes video games like GameFly.  Once the three month trial is up, the normal price is $11.99 a month.

I picked up one two days ago and expect to get my first game tomorrow.  This is a great deal for gaming enthusiasts.  The only downside is that many of the gaming titles aren't available until three months after their release.  I assume this is because the in-store rentals of the newer games is very lucrative and they don't want to hurt their stores.

For more details on BLOCKBUSTER By Mail, head over here.


Amazon Daily Deal (12/16/2010) - "Seinfeld - The Complete Series"

Amazon is offering Seinfeld - The Complete Series on DVD for $84.49.  This set includes:
  • Features 32 DVDs with all 180 episodes
  • More than 104 hours of amazing extras
  • The Official Coffee Table Book: a 226-page bound anthology filled with photos, quotes, and trivia from every episode
  • Bonus disc featuring the reunion of the cast plus Larry David on the ninth anniversary of the series finale
  • Packaged in a handy collector's case that will look great on your shelf
  • Documentaries for all nine seasons
  • Inside looks
  • Not That There's Anything Wrong With That (bloopers)
  • In the vault (deleted scenes)
  • Yada Yada Yada (commentaries)
  • "Sein-Imation"
  • Notes about nothing

This is an incredible collection for the Seinfeld fan.  Pick one up and have your own marathon over the Holiday break.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Amazon Daily Deal (12/14/2010) - "24: The Complete Series"

Amazon is offering "24: The Complete Series" for only $139.99.  This is a 56 disk set that includes all 8 seasons, the feature length "24: Redemption" and a bonus DVD.  Get your 8 Days of Jack Bauer today.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Kroger v. Martins, Week of 12/12/2010

Not much to inspire this week, but I will head to Kroger to pick up some more chicken.  The $1.79 chicken from Martins from a couple of weeks ago had a lot of hidden "stuff you'll want to cut off" on the underside of the breasts, so it wasn't that great of a deal after all.


Boneless/Skinless Breasts @ 1.99/lb
Whole Roaster @1.19/lb

Boneless/Skinless Breasts @ 2.44/lb


Value pack @2.49/lb (probably 75-80% lean)

If I run across anything good when I am in the stores I will update the post.


Redbox / Groupon Deal - 3 Movie rentals for $1 - EXTENDED

They've sold over 280,000 groupons for Redbox and have decided to extend the deadline to buy until midnight tomorrow.  So, if you haven't purchased your groupon yet, hop over to my original post and check it out.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Starbucks 12 Days of Sharing - Day 12 - 12 Oz Boxed Mug $6.99

Starbucks' 12th (and last) Day of Sharing features a 12 oz Christmas Mug for $6.99. Swing by your local Starbucks and pick one up.  I hope you were able to enjoy some of the savings Starbucks had to offer this season.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Redbox / Groupon Deal - 3 Movie rentals for $1

Hopefully you've heard of both Redbox and Groupon by now.  Normally Redbox movies are $1 a night, which makes this a great bargain.  Buy one for yourself or as a gift (stocking stuffer?).  Head on over to Groupon to sign up and then click here to get to the Redbox offer.  Hurry, quantities are limited.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Coinstar Promo - Cash in $40 and get $50 UPDATE

As I mentioned a few days ago, today is the day that has been added to the $40 gets you $50 promotion. Here are the specific details:

Exchange $40 worth of change at a participating Coinstar location between 12/9/2010 and 12/22/2010 for an giftcard, and you will get a bonus $10 gift card for use on Toys and Games at Full details are here.


Starbucks 12 Days of Sharing - Day 9 - Free $5 Gift Card with VIA purchase

Today's deal at Starbucks is a $5 gift card with the purchase of a 12-pack of VIA coffee.  If you drink VIA already, this seems well worth the swing by Starbucks on the way to work.  And let's face it, if you are an avid Starbucks fan, you were probably going to stop on the way to work anyhow!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Save 80% on $25 Gift Certificates through 12/12/2010

Save 80% off $25 Gift Certificates! Use code JOY at checkout now through 12/12/10.

In case you've never used them before, for many of the restaurants that participate, you can pick up a $25 gift certificate for $10.  The restaurants often have a minimum requirement on the amount you purchase when you use the certificate, typically $35 for the $25 certificate.  With this discount, you can get a $25 gift certificate for $2, so in essence, you are getting $35 of food for $12.  Not too shabby.

We have a certificate for Melitos that we plan to use soon, and I may pick up a couple more.


Starbucks 12 Days of Sharing - Day 8 - Discounted Tumbler and Mug

Today Starbucks is featuring their Red Cup Tumbler for $6.99 (reg. $10.95) and their Red Cup Mug for $3.99 (reg. $7.95).  As always, quantities are limited, so get there early.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

No-Knead Bread - Finally

I know I am a little late on the No-Knead bread craze, but I finally gave it a shot.  I followed the recipe from (No Knead Bread: so easy a 4-yr old can make it!) with just a few changes.

The dough seemed firm enough after folding it with a spatula so I actually did pick it up and worked the dough in my hands for a bit, stretching the top and tucking it under to get a nice smooth surface.  I then placed it on parchment paper and set it back into the bowl for the last 2 hours.

While I have a sufficiently large dutch oven, I have my doubts about the handle on the lid standing up to the temperature in the oven.  Instead, I placed the dough on a pre-heated pizza stone (hence the parchment paper above) and poured a cup of water into a pan in the bottom of the oven to create steam.

The result?  The best bread I've had in a long time.  I could have left it in for a bit longer, and will next time, but the crust was looking so good I didn't want to mess it up!


Starbucks free VIA coffee with purchase of tumbler. Today only.

It's Day 7 in Starbucks' 12 Days of Sharing and today they are giving away a pack of VIA when you buy a tumbler. Check it out here.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Coinstar Promo - Cash in $40 and get $50

Coinstar is running a promotion until the end of the year: convert $40 dollars in change to a gift certificate to one of several stores and get a bonus $10 gift card.  Currently, the following stores are participating:  iTunes, Lowes, Borders, Regal Entertainment, and Rixty.  Starting December 9th, will also be participating.  There are no other fees associated with converting your change to these giftcards.

The $40 gets you $50 promotion ends December 31.

For more information, check out their website or find a Coinstar location.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Starbucks 12 Days of Sharing - Day 5

Today, Starbucks is offering their Frosted Starbucks Tumbler for $6.99 (regularly $10.95).  Pick one of these up for your office gift exchange.  Check it out here.


Kroger v. Martins, Week of 12/05/2010


Boneless/Skinless Breasts @ 2.49/lb
Split Chicken Breasts @.99/lb

Whole Roaster @.99/lb

I put the Split Chicken Breast price there because I plan on going old school this week and picking up a pack of them to see what it takes to remove the skin and bones.  The costs of the Boneless/Skinless is 2.5 times the cost of the Split, so I'm certain the price per pound of meat is better.  I'll be checking that as well, weighing everything once I am done.  Hopefully I won't have to factor in the cost of getting stitches....  Of course, I'll have to do it when Erin and the kids are out of the house, or they might never eat chicken again.


Both have ground chuck for 1.99/lb


Pork Loin Filet @ 1.99/lb
Pork Loin Chops @3.99/lb

Hatfield Pork Loin Filet BOGO (not sure of price/lb)
GIANT Pork Loin Whole @2.49/lb
Center Cut Chops (boneless) @3.49/lb
Center Cut Chops (bone-in) @1.99/lb
GIANT Bacon (Oscar Meyer too) @2.99/package

Some interesting choices this week.  For example, at Kroger wouldn't the pork loin chops simply be cut (or maybe chopped) versions of the Filet?  Why would it cost twice as much, and can't you get the butcher to cut it for you for free so that the Filet becomes chops?  At Martins, we have the BOGO on the Filet, which is likely a good deal.  The GIANT loin is marked down 1.50/lb.  For the GIANT Pork Loin, they specifically say the butcher would be happy to cut it for you.


Egglands Best Eggs, 18ct, BOGO

Egglands Best Eggs, 18ct, @2.89


Fuji Apples & others (local grown) @0.99/lb

Bananas @0.39/lb


Martins had a lot of baking items on sale, trying to take advantage of the season I guess.  Kroger has some of the same, but the most appealing deal was Gold Medal flour @2/3.00.  It only shows the bleached all-purpose, but I suspect other varieties are on sale too.


Kellogg's Cereal, Nutri Grain bars @50% off  (Sunday - Wednesday only)

General Mills Cereals - Buy 4 select cereals and get 4.50 off your next milk purchase


Pepsi 2 liter bottles @0.79 (part of the buy 10 items sale)
Ocean Spray Cranberry Drinks  @1.98

A&W, Sunkist, Canada Dry, 7-up @0.79

Friday, December 3, 2010

Starbucks 12 Days of Sharing - Day 3

Starbucks is having another BOGO offer today, December 3rd.  If you buy one 12-pack of VIA Instant Coffee, you get another for free.  I haven't tried VIA yet, has anyone else?  For more details, head on over here.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Starbucks 12 Days of Sharing BOGO Offer

Starbucks is celebrating the 12 days of Christmas by offering a new special each day for the first 12 days of December.  Today's offer is a BOGO (Buy one get one) on a pound of their Christmas Blend.  Pick up one and get one for free to share (or not!).

Check it out here.


$10 off $10+ Purchase at JCPenny

I just purchased a shirt from JCPenney that was originally $45.00 and is currently discounted to $11.99 for a measly $2.00.  Just use the code GIVEJOY at checkout and you can save $10.00.  Select in-store pickup and you won't have to worry about shipping costs either.

Thanks to for pointing this out.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Free Music from Amazon

Amazon is giving away 25 songs over the next 25 days.  Pop over here and check them out: 25 Days of Free Music  They also have several Christmas Albums / Samplers available for free:

There are more, but that should get you started.


Cheap DVD "rentals"

Movie tickets are expensive!  It's hard for me to justify taking the family of four to a movie these days.  It doesn't help that there is a short list of movies both my kids want to watch.  So, we generally just watch DVDs.  We've used Netflix in the past, and love the streaming feature, but found we were keeping movies on the coffee table for longer and longer without watching them.

One great source for inexpensive DVDs is Redbox.  I'm sure you've seen them outside your local Walgreens, Kroger, Martins, etc.  Movies from the kiosks are only $1.00 a day and there are ample opportunities for free rentals.  For example, at Kroger I received several free rental codes from the coupon printing machine.  You can also score free rentals by registering at  You can also sign up for monthly free codes by giving them your cell number.

My new favorite source for free DVDs is the Henrico County Library.  Twenty years ago when we were just married we tried to get DVDs (OK, VHS tapes) from the library and they had maybe 20 movies.  That's certainly changed now, and with the ability to request movies from other libraries and have them delivered to your closest library for pickup, they've made it easy to get what you want.  Do they have every movie?  Nope, but they have enough to make it worth your time.  They have many movies for kids (we've just run through 10+ Bill Nye the Science Guy DVDs) and quite a few for adults (I have Iron Man 2 on my desk right now).  All you have to do is search their online catalog and put holds on the movies you want to see.  (BTW, Doing a search of DVDs shows over 12,000 titles.)  It will take some time to get most popular movies, but the cost more than makes up for the delay.  Oh, and they have Blue-Ray versions too!


Preparing meals ahead

With all the chicken I picked up at Martins I wanted to take a crack at preparing meals ahead.  I'm a big fan of the slow-cooker and have had success with quite a few recipes, but I'm always eager to try new ones.  So, combining the two, I decided to pre-make several slow-cooker recipes.

I know, I know, slow-cooker meals are already prepared hours ahead.  That's not important now, I still wanted to try it this way!

First of all, I chopped about 6 cups of onions.  They're good for you and when cooked in the slow cooker they take on the tastes of the rest of the ingredients and stop being so onion (for this kids, of course).  I only teared up a little bit.

Next, I grabbed a handful of recipes from for "Dump Chicken".  Thanks, AnnapolisLari!  I decided to try the Honey Glazed, Creole and Sticky Chicky variants.  I placed each recipe in it's own little freezer bag along with the chicken breasts per the instructions.  Mostly per the instructions, that is, I'm not good at strictly following recipes.

Finally, I sealed them and squished them satisfyingly to mix everything up. They are now patiently waiting in my freezer for their shot at glory.  I'm most interested in the Sticky Chicky.  I'll let you know how it comes out.


Apparently I'm having some success...

I made my weekly trip for groceries yesterday (Martins got the nod) with my stack of coupons that were expiring November 30th.  I don't like being forced to use coupons, but we will eventually use all that toothpaste, right?

Anyhow, after the cashier completed running all my coupons she said, "Don't take this the wrong way, but you did very well for a man."  I couldn't have been more proud -- and I'm eager to do even better next week.


Kroger v. Martins, Week of 11/28/2010

Not much to talk about this week.


Tyson Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts @ 1.99/lb

GIANT Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts @ 1.79/lb
Whole Roaster @ .99/lb

Ground Beef:

Both have Value Packs of 75-80% lean @ 1.99/lb.  It's worth noting that I have seen unadvertised specials on Martins 93% lean ground beef in multiple stores.  I was able to pick up a couple pounds for 1.99/lb.  Worth checking out.


Pepsi 2-liter bottles for .79 when you but 10.

I hope you had a nice turkey day.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Kroger v. Martins, Week of 11/22/2010

Overall, it looks like Martins gets the nod this week with winners in most categories.  Kroger barely put out a flyer this week.


Honeysuckle @ 0.37/lb w/$25 purchase
Shadybrook @ 1.39/lb
Butterball @ 1.69/lb

GIANT Young Turkeys @ 0.99/lb
GIANT Premium Grade A Turkeys @ 0.29/lb (limit 1 with $25 purchase)
Butterball @ 1.29/lb

Spiral Sliced Ham:

Gwaltney @ 2.49/lb

Hillshire Farms @2.99/lb
GIANT Spiral Sliced Half ham @ 1.99/lb


Tyson Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Strips or Tenders @ 7.99/pack (approx 3.00-3.55/lb)
Whole Roaster @.99/lb

GIANT Chicken Breast Boneless Skinless, Value Pack @2.99/lb
Whole Fryer @ 1.29/lb

Did you know the difference between a whole "Roaster" and a whole "Fryer?"  Probably, but just in case:

As a food, chickens are classified by the age of the bird.
Fryer chickens are 7 to 13 weeks old, while roaster chickens are 3 to 5 months old.
Fryer chickens weigh between 1 1/2 and 4 lbs. Roasters are larger and weigh between 3 1/2 and 7 lbs.
A whole fryer chicken is typically enough food to serve three to four people, and a roaster chicken serves between five and seven people.
The meat of a roaster chicken is typically more flavorful than a fryer.
While roaster meat is tender as well, the meat of the fryer chicken is especially tender.

Ground Beef:

Both have Value Packs of 80% lean @ 1.99/lb.  


Asparagus @ 1.99/lb
Green Beans @ 1.69/lb

Ice Cream:

Kroger Deluxe @ 2/5.00
Turkey Hill @ 2.79

Turkey Hill @ 1.99

Monday, November 15, 2010

Kroger v. Martins, Week of 11/14/2010

This week looks a little better than last, with our standard Boneless/skinless Chicken Breasts on sale again.  Here's the breakdown for the week.

Kroger @ 1.99/lb  (Tyson)

Ground Beef:
Martins @ 1.99/lb (80% lean)

Apparently there are all kinds of Turkey out there.

Kroger has two offerings
  Butterball @ 1.39/lb
  Honeysuckle @ 0.37/lb w/$25 purchase

Really?  Is Butterball that much better?

Martins has three
  Butterball @ 1.29/lb
  GIANT Young Turkeys @ 0.99/lb
  GIANT Premium Grade A Turkeys @ 0.29/lb  (They are listing this as 1.00 in savings)

It's hard to beat 0.29/lb for any meat, despite the bones and innards being thrown in there.

Pork Chops (boneless):
Martins @ 2.99/lb  (Kroger is at 3.99/lb -- maybe they are Butterball Pork Chops)

Ice Cream:
Martins has Breyers @ 2/5.00
Kroger has Edy's @ 2.99 and Kroger Brand @ 2/5.00