QFC: 75% off pharmaceuticals + Susan’s shopping trip

by Kate from Frugal Living NW on September 21, 2014


Some QFC’s are reportedly having a 75% off clearance sale on pharmaceuticals. Susan hit up her local store and scored. Here’s how her trip breaks down.

4 – Cortisone 10 – large 2 oz. on sale $2.47
Used 4 $1/1 coupons 8/3 RP insert
$1.47 after coupon

1- Kroger Naproxen Sodium 24 ct. on sale $.80
2- Viactiv 72-ct Calcium Chews on sale $2.20
1- Ecotrin Low Dose aspirin 150 ct on sale $2.20

1- One-A-Day Women’s Pro Edge 50 ct. on sale $4.99
Used a $3/1 coupon from 7/27 SS insert
$1.99 after coupon

2- Gold Bond lotions on sale $2.50 each
Used 2 $1/1 coupons
$1.50 after coupon

1-Colgate 360 Toothbrush on sale  $1.99
Used $2/1 coupon
FREE after coupon

1- Colgate Sensitive toothpaste on sale $1.94
Used a $2/1 coupon
FREE after coupon

2- Brawny Paper Towels on sale for $1
Used 2 $.55/1 coupons
$.45 after coupon

SPENT: $22.10 (including $2.80 tax) SAVED: $86.45!!

There are other items on sale as well here are just a few:

Flintstone’s Vitamins on sale $1.74
Use $1/1 or $3/2 coupon from 8/7 SS insert
As low as $.24 vitamins

Many Kroger brand pain relievers on sale too (aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprophren) also 75% off

New to couponing?  Check out the Ultimate Guide to Couponing here.

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Fred Meyer Deals for September 21-27

by Kate from Frugal Living NW on September 21, 2014

Here are the best deals at Fred Meyer this week. The Fred Meyer ad runs Sunday-Saturday in the Pacific Northwest.  Make sure to load any Fred Meyer eCoupons or Cellfire coupons you need to your Rewards Card. Find the full list of this week’s Fred Meyer deals, including a printable list feature, here.

Fresh Foster Farms Whole Fryer on sale $.99/lb

Grapes on sale $1.68/lb

Bartlett Pears on sale $.99/lb

Organic Green Onions or Radishes on sale $.78 each

Green Mountain Coffee K-Cup or K-Carafe Multi-Packs on sale Buy 3, get 1 FREE with weekly ad coupon – limit 2

Private Selection Spice 50% off

Fred Meyer Milk or Orange Juice (1/2 gallon) on sale $1.25 with weekly ad coupon – limit 4

Nancy’s Yogurt (64 oz) on sale $.3.99
*This makes the 32 oz tubs just $2 each. Stock up price!

Red Tomatoes on the Vine on sale $.99/lb
*I’m sure this is a good deal but I’m up to my eyeballs in tomatoes right now.

Mission Flour Tortillas on sale $1
*These freeze very well.

Kraft Mac & Cheese on sale B2G2 FREE with weekly ad coupon — limit 4 FREE

Fred Meyer Peanut Butter on sale $1.50
*Best peanut butter. I get the stir kind with just peanuts.

Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Milk on sale $2.50
Use $1/1 coupon from 9/14 SS insert
$1.50 after coupon 

Chobani or Tillmook Greek Yogurt on sale $.79 with weekly ad coupon — limit 8
Buy 3 Tillamook
Use B2G1 FREE coupon from 9/14 SS insert
$.53 each after coupon when you buy 3

Betty Crocker Cake Mix or Frosting on sale $1 with weekly ad coupon — limit 4
Buy 2
Use $1/2 coupon
$.50 each after coupon when you buy 2

Green Mountain Coffee K-Cup or K-Carafe Multi-Packs on sale Buy 3, get 1 FREE with weekly ad coupon – limit 2

Cottonelle Toilet Paper on sale $4.99 with weekly ad coupon – limit 2
Use $1/1 coupon from 9/14 SS insert
$3.99 after coupon
*Great price!

Kandoo Wipes on sale $1
Use $.50/1 coupon
$.50 after coupon 


Proctor-Silex Griddle on sale $19.99
*I haven’t seen this price since last year on Cyber Monday or Black Friday and those items sold out quick. Amazon’s current price is between $29-$35. I use my griddle almost everyday. Love it.

New to couponing?  Check out the Ultimate Guide to Couponing here.

This post may contain affiliate links. See the disclosure policy for more information.


Canning Tomatoes: Step-by-Step Guide

by Emily from Frugal Living NW on September 21, 2014

How to Can Tomatoes: A step-by-step guide

How to Can Tomatoes

Tomato season is winding down, but you still have time to jump in on the canning action. Late tomato varieties are still rolling in from the fields. Simply call different farms or produce markets in your area. For the past two years, I have paid around 50¢ per pound for larger orders of canning tomatoes. One quart jar will hold around 2.5 pounds.

I love canning tomatoes for two simple reasons:

  1. They require no finesse. Using this method, you can cram the tomatoes into the jars whole, creating juice from the tomatoes themselves.
  2. They are so versatile. Canned tomatoes are the foundation for a hundred different winter meals. The quarts can be used as a base for chili, soup, or spaghetti sauce. The pints are great for salsa, soups, stews, or sauces. You can use a food processor or blender to get the desired consistency or simply cook the tomatoes down until they break apart.

Below is an illustrated guide to canning whole, peeled tomatoes using the cold pack method. Everybody has their own little quirks or variations, but this is a basic guide to get you started:

How to Can Tomatoes

These are the ingredients/equipment you will need:

  • Water bath canner & jar lifter: Canners can be picked up for under $20 and jar lifters for a couple bucks at your local Bi-Mart or Fred Meyer. Both tools are great investments that can be re-used year after year. (The large pot in this picture is actually a pressure canner, but I have been using it loose-lidded for water bath canning.)
  • Quart or pint-sized jars. Jars are probably the biggest investment if you are interested in getting serious about canning. However, once you have a good collection built up, you are good to go. Check with your grandma or Craigslist for used jars.
  • Lids & rings/bands. Lids are only good for one use (unless you use these), but are relatively inexpensive. Look for coupons at the beginning of the summer and discounts at the end of fall. Rings can be re-used.
  • Sharp paring knife
  • Vinegar or lemon juice, salt (optional), and of course, tomatoes
  • Shallow pot for blanching

Canning Jars

Clean, check, and sanitize your jars and lids. Check the rims of your jars for nicks that will prevent sealing. Then run the jars through the dishwasher. If you don’t have a dishwasher, you could also submerge the jars in a canner full of water and bring to a boil for 10 minutes.

Place the lids in simmering water for 10 minutes. I don’t bother sanitizing the rings as they don’t come into contact with food; simply wash as needed.

How to Can Tomatoes

Next, prep the canner and the jars.

Fill the canner about halfway full of water, place the lid on, and turn on low. Don’t let the water get too hot; you just want to get a jump start on bringing it to a simmer.

Measure 4 T of bottled vinegar or 2 T bottled lemon juice (preferred) and 1 t. of salt (optional) into each quart-sized jar (halve the amounts for pints). The lemon juice helps you achieve a safe amount of acid; the salt enhances/preserves the flavor.

Canning Tomatoes

Okay, enough stalling. Now, it’s time to deal with the tomatoes. Actually, they are really easy to work with.

Using a sharp paring knife, core each tomato by removing the stem section.

If you are canning with someone else (which I highly recommend, both for speed and sanity), you can get a coring-blanching assembly line going. If you are on your own, core all of your tomatoes first. It makes the next step much easier and faster. If you accidentally core too many tomatoes, just toss them in a pan and make Roasted Marinara Sauce.

Removing tomato skins

Next, place the cored tomatoes in a shallow pot of simmering water. Blanch for 30-60 seconds and remove with a slotted spoon. You can stick the blanched tomatoes in a bowl of ice water to shock them. I usually just pile them up in a couple of big bowls to cool off.

By the way, some people also advocate slicing a quick “x” on the bottom of each tomato before blanching. As long as you are working with ripe tomatoes, you really don’t need this step. The skins will slip off easily. If your tomatoes are a tad on the green side, go for the x. It will make peeling easier.

Canning Tomatoes

Now for the fun part; you are ready to fill the jars with the peeled tomatoes.

If your tomatoes are small, you can leave them whole. If your tomatoes are large, cut them in halves or fourths, whatever size is manageable. You don’t need to be timid with them. As you fill the jars, gently press the tomatoes down, creating juice in the process. When the jar is full and finished, the tomatoes should come to the bottom of the jar threads, leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace at the top of the jar.

Run a plastic utensil between the jar and the tomatoes, pressing into the tomatoes to release any trapped air bubbles.

How to Can Tomatoes

Using a clean towel, wipe the rims of each jar. Place a lid on top and screw on the rings finger-tight.

Check the water in the canner. It should be warm but not scalding hot. Placing cool jars into a hot canner is a bad combination. Gently lower the jars into the warm water using your fingers or jar lifter. Once all of your jars are in, make sure the tops are covered with 1-2 inches of water. Place the lid back on the canner.

Bring to a gentle rolling boil. Maintain a constant boil and process both pints & quarts for 85 minutes.

Canning Tomatoes

When the timer rings, remove the hot jars with the jar lifter and place on a towel or rack to cool. As the jars cool, the lids will suck in and seal. You can check the seals by running your fingertips lightly over the lids. Any jars that do not seal can be dumped in a new jar with a new lid to process again or placed in the refrigerator for use in the near future.

Don’t worry if your tomatoes rise to the top and separate slightly from the juice. It may look funny, but they will taste just fine.

After 8-12 hours, remove the rings, rinse off the jars, and store them in a cool, dry place.

We have several canning posts here on the blog. Check them out!

Canning for Beginners FAQ’s

Canning Applesauce

Canning Peach Vanilla Bean Jam

Canning Peaches

Canning Sweet Cherries

Canning Tomatoes

Water Bath Canning Guide

Water Bath Canning Equipment

Plus follow our Pinterest {Preserve} board for more great canning and preserving recipes:

Follow Angela Davis at Frugal Living NW’s board PRESERVE on Pinterest.

For more information on canning tomatoes, check out these great resources:

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LEGO Creator Fierce Flyer for $10.99

by Kate from Frugal Living NW on September 21, 2014


Amazon has the LEGO Creator Fierce Flyer for $10.99 right now. Sears also has this for $10.99 but it’s better when you don’t have to leave the house. I love these 3-in-1 sets, more bang for your buck.

Shipping is FREE with Amazon Prime or a qualifying order of $35 on eligible items. Prices are subject to change at any time and without notice.

More ways to save at Amazon:

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*Not Good in PDX* FREE $5 Starbucks star code with qualifying purchase

by Kate from Frugal Living NW on September 21, 2014


The offer is not valid in PDX. Sorry.

Sarbucks is offering a $5 Starbucks star code when you buy 2 qualifying products in a single transaction before September 30. Once you uy your product you’ll submit your form here (enter bar code UPCs). The Starbucks star code will be emailed to you within 2-3 weeks.

Qualifying products:

  • Starbucks whole bean or ground packaged coffee (9-11 oz or 20 oz)
  • Starbucks-branded K-Cup packs (10-Count or larger)
  • Starbucks-branded liquid beverages (multi-serve units or multi-packs)
  • Tazo-branded products(multi-serve packages)

This offer is not valid in Starbucks stores so you’ll need to purchase these products at the grocery store. Limit one per household. More information here.

This post may contain affiliate links. See the disclosure policy for more information.


Deal of the Day: Coleman Montana 8 Tent for $99 shipped (BEST price!)

by Kate from Frugal Living NW on September 21, 2014


Amazon has the Coleman Montana 8 Tent for $99 shipped right now (reg. $218).  Smokin’ deal for a large tent and it has great reviews. This deal is good today only until it’s sold out or 11:59 pm.

  • 8 person/1 room tent , 16 x 7-Feet footprint, 74-Inch center height,11-millimeter fiberglass poles
  • Modified dome structure, simple to set up, electrical access port and reverse angle windows
  • Great for family car campers, scout leaders, extended camping trips and easy to transport
  • 75-denier polyester taffeta fly, 68-denier polyester mesh inner tent, 1000-denier polyethylene floor

More ways to save at Amazon:

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HOBO Cross-Body Handbags as low as $31.99

by Kate from Frugal Living NW on September 20, 2014


I’m finding HOBO deals left and right. Amazon has the HOBO Darcy Convertible Cross-Body Handbag for $52.15 shipped right now (reg. $97!). You’ll need to change the color to get this price. I love HOBO products. They are built to last for a very long time and when you find a deal you swoop it up quickly.

And here’s another great deal:


HOBO Vintage Perforated Liza Cross-Body Handbag,Black on sale $41.79 (reg. $128!) in stock on September 27th.


HOBO Vintage Perforated Luna Cross-Body Handbag (pink) on sale $31.99 (reg. 98!)


HOBO Vintage Sierra Cross-Body Handbag (yellow) on sale $41.40 (reg. $138!)

More ways to save at Amazon:

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