Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hellmann's Turkey Challenge-vote for your favorite!

One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is the leftovers! I love figuring out different way sto use them in new exciting recipes. I usually do a turkey noodle soup and a turkey pot pie, but then I am a little stuck on what else to do with the Turkey. So, I was excited when I heard that Hellmann's is holding a Hellmann's® Turkey Challenge!! Check out what it is (as they have described it on their website:
Hellmann's has all kinds of ideas to make turkey dinners more delicious. Each week, we'll spotlight one of our most popular turkey recipes. But are there other recipes you'll like even more?

The Hellmann's Turkey Challenge gives you a chance to tell us. Each week, two Hellmann's® recipes will challenge the spotlighted turkey recipe for your vote. You can even vote as many times as you like.
I love that I can try different spotlighted recipes and try them out! YUM! Go check it out and vote for your favorite!!

By way of disclosure: I was entered for a chance to win a Hellmann's® prize package in exchange for this post. No monetary exchange took place.


Coming to you live from Chicago!

Well, here I am in Chicago...

Wes is at his conference and Chicago is living up to its name...it is a WINDY city today!

So, I am chilling inside for a bit and thought I would write a quick post or two. What to know something really funny? Look:

Ignore the mess, but notice that they gave us 2 double beds rather than the King size bed we were supposed to have...funny...they say they will move us to a King room today. Here's to hoping they really will!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

CeraVe Review and #Giveaway!! GREAT prize you could #win

A couple weeks ago I asked whether you were CeraVe's biggest fan. (If you did not read that post you should go check it out and read all about their contest...videos for the contest will go up on December 1st for you to vote on-that is next week!!)

Since posting about that contest to find CeraVe's biggest fan, I was sent their entire line to try out myself.

What is it?

I was sent:
  • CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
  • CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser
  • CeraVe Facial Moisturizing AM with SPF
  • CeraVe Facial Moisturizing PM
  • CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion
  • CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
According to their website:
The CeraVe Skincare line includes six elegant, yet affordable formulations, making it an ideal choice for your daily skincare regimen.
All CeraVe Skincare products provide the benefits of unique, patented MVE® delivery technology and are formulated with essential ceramides and other skin-nurturing and protective ingredients—including vital humectants and emollients—to replenish and retain needed moisture.
MVE is a registered trademark of Healthpoint, Ltd., and used under license
What did I think?

Well, as mentioned recently on this blog, I am not a fan of face washing as I always feel like there crap all over my face after I am done washing it. Sometimes it feels greasy, or filmy, or just like I have some sort of thick foundation on my face. Also, I have pretty sensitive skin, so I often break out more with facial cleaners (break out into zits sometimes, but usually into rashes-ugly rashes).
For the purpose of this review, I wanted to make sure to give these products a good test so I have been using them for the past week.
The first time I opened the products up I noticed they were not full of overwhelming scents. In fact they are basically scent free. Sometimes I like scented lotions, but sometimes they really just distract from the lotion for me. Especially if they are scented and the scent conflicts with my perfume or my shampoo or whatever other scented items I have on. These products could be worn without any scent conflicts.
I first tried the Moisturizing Lotion first. I Loved how they both felt on my hands. I felt like my dry hands were soaking it in. I have nasty scar on my left hand caused many years ago by a steam burn between my thumb and my pointer finger:

It is an ugly little imperfection that I can usually ignore, but as the weather turns and my skin gets dry, that scar really grates on my nerves. It gets more and more dry, and most lotions don't really help the scar. It remains dry and nasty. However, this lotion made my scar feel soft over about 90% of it (There is still a stubborn part that just always feels rough). I was amazed how well it worked on that. The Moisturizing Cream works equally well.
That being said, lets talk about the part that was a real test for me-the facial cleansers. As I mentioned, I am not usually a fan of facial cleansers or lotions at all. I first tried the Foaming Facial Cleanser on my face. If I am going to us a cleanser, I am a big fan of foaming ones, I feel like I can see them working. When I put it on my face, it felt...well just good. Not greasy, or slimy, or filmy, just good. In fact it felt really high quality. I felt like I was using top of the line skin care that would make my skin heal...it almost felt medical grade (in a very great way). I really felt like I could feel it healing and cleaning my skin.

The best part for me was that after I washed it off, it did not leave any kind of a thick, filmy feeling. My face simply felt clean! When I used the Hydrating Cleanser it had a similar effect.

I was worried that the Facial Moisturizing Lotions (AM & PM) might feel weird on my face since I don't out much lotion on my face, but found them to feel, like the other products, just good! My skin felt like it was being pampered and healed and I really liked it.

Often when I find a product I like, the cost of it makes me think twice about whether I can afford to use it. That is not the case here! The entire line of CeraVe products retails for a suggested price of $79 and is available in many drugstores (You can find locations near you by checking the store locater on the left side of the CeraVe website) That is a great price for this whole line!

What can you win?

One Lucky Beckee's Deals winner will win the same thing I was send to review-that's right, the ENTIRE line of CeraVe products (Suggested Retail Price $79):
  • CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
  • CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser
  • CeraVe Facial Moisturizing AM with SPF
  • CeraVe Facial Moisturizing PM
  • CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion
  • CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
Please enter to win using the Rafflecopter form below (If you are having trouble seeing the rafflecopter form or are seeing the wrong form, refresh this post by clicking on the POST title and it should refresh and show the correct form).

As it says in the Rafflecopter form "Please note that the giveaway will end on 12/9 at 12:01 AM EASTERN time. That means you have until 11:01 PM on 12/8 Central time to get in entries. Please note that winner will be picked at random by Rafflecopter after the giveaway ends! Also, Facebook is not affiliated with this giveaway and cannot be held responsible for it in any way."

**By Way of disclosure, I did receive CeraVe® products to review as well as a set of products to give away to a reader in exchange for my upcoming review and for sharing this information. No other compensation was given and all opinions I share are always my own!**


Tomorrow is LAST DAY to enter #Carmex #Giveaway

Have you seen my newest giveaway? I am giving away a pack of Carmex lotions and creams!! Check out my review and enter the giveaway here! Giveaway ends tomorrow night so enter quick!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My #Chex "Mix-Change" Party!! Thanks #MyGetTogether

Thanks to Chex and MyGetTogether, I was able to have a Chex "Mix-change" party last Saturday! It was a twist up on the usual holiday cookie exchange parties!

Though I invited a lot of people, few were able to make it (darn holiday season is so busy)! Those of us there had a great time though and tried LOTS of different kinds of Chex Mix. Let me share some of the pictures from the party with you, but first may I recommend that you go check out the Chex Mix recipes here. I tried all 5 of the ones listed there for my party (plus a few more), and I liked all of them! See the pictures of them below!!

Here are a few pictures of the party (Please note that for some reason when I uploaded them they all went out of order and will not work right...sorry):

Ready for guests to decorate and fill with their favorite Chex Mix!
 The "Mix-Change" box starting to fill up!!
 Taste Test
 Loading up the bowl!!
 Boxes packed and ready to go with recipes and all at the end.
 Ready to go!
 Original Chex Mix (I love it!)
 Caramel Chocolate Drizzle
 Chex Pumpkin Pie Crunch
Hot Buttered Yum Chex Mix (This one has lots of Rum flavoring-it's good) 
 Chex PB And Chocolate Blast
 It was hard to keep the kids out of the bowls...
 Choosing favorites! From Left to right: E Dawg loves the Hot Buttered Yum best, Cat likes the Original best, Sugar Pup & Salsa like the Caramel Chocolate Drizzle best.

I loved this party and it gave me the opportunity to tell lots of friends about all the options for Chex Mix you can use through this holiday season! I LOVE that Chex Mix ix so versatile! You really can do so much with it! Do you have a favorite Chex Mix recipe you could share? PLEASE leave it as a comment if you do! I would love, LOVE to try your recipes!!

Thanks to Chex and MyGetTogether for allowing me to host such a fun party!

Monday, November 21, 2011

"Visit Omaha" #FREE Holiday Events: Thanksgiving edition!

Many of you know that my husband is in his last year of residency (no, we aren't done. We still have a year of fellowship after resodency). We have been married for 10 years. During that time, we both graduated from college in Utah (GO UTES), he went to medical school in Omaha, internship in Spokane, BACK to Omaha for Residency, and soon we will be off to Scottsdale for fellowship. That is an awful lot of cross country moves in 10 years, but we are happy to go on new adventures. AND one of my favorite things about moving is discovering all the new things unique to the places we live. And as we have actually lived 7 of our 10 years married here in Omaha so far, we have had lots of time to discover great hidden gems around our city.
As with all cities, the holiday season brings lots of fun activities. and I am a SUCKER for a free family event! (I am also a fan of inexpensive ones!!) Visit Omaha has a great list of activities you can do over the holiday season and in fact has a site it launches just for the Holidays. This site covers events for families, kids, adults, well...for everyone! Free as well as costly and all kinds of options for fun! I was sent a few of the free and inexpensive upcoming activities to share with you (These are just ones coming up this week--near Thanksgiving. There are more I will share in an upcoming post!):

Holiday Lights Festival – The festival lights up Omaha’s downtown and has been an Omaha tradition for over 10 years. The Festival kicks off with a special lighting ceremony on Thanksgiving evening, November 24th at 6 pm. For more information on the Holiday Lights Festival, visit www.holidaylightsfestival.org.

***Cost Information: This event is free.

After the Thanksgiving lighting ceremony, you can go to the Nebraska Wind Symphony Concert at the Holland Center. This free concert – part of the Holiday Lights Festival - features more than 85 local musicians. The concert takes place on November 24th at 7 pm. To learn more, visit www.nebraskawindsymphony.com .

***Cost Information: This event is free.

The Laurizten Gardens Annual Poinsettia Show kicks off on November 23rd. More than 5,600 poinsettia plants are grown in Lauritzen Gardens' greenhouses for this annual holiday show. This exhibit includes a 20-foot-tall poinsettia tree, beautifully decorated holiday trees, antique sleighs and model trains. To learn more, visit: Lauritzen Gardens website.
***Cost Information: This event is free with membership and free to non-members on Sundays. For non-members, admission is $6 for adults, $3 for children between the ages of 3-12, and free to children under 3.

The Tree Lighting Ceremony kicks off Christmas at Union Station (at the Durham Museum). This event takes place on November 25th from 4-7 pm. A highlight of this year’s celebration will be a performance by jazz singer Camille Metoyer Moten, who will perform along with a Christmas carol sing along, cookie decorating, holiday crafts for kids and visits with Santa Claus. To learn more, visit: http://durhammuseum.org/about/whats-new/details.aspx?ID=230 .

***Cost Information: This event is free with museum membership. For non-members, admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $5 for children between the ages of 3 and 12. Children under 3 are free.

Please go check out the Visit Omaha holiday site to see the other fun upcoming events. Oh, and go check out The Visit Omaha Facebook page where you can enter a contest called the “Happier Holiday’s Giftaway.” The winner gets a two night “stay and play” at Midtown Crossing!!! That is awesome!! If I don't win it, one of you should!

Friday, November 18, 2011

#OldNavy PRE Black Friday OUTERWEAR 75% off sale SATURDAY!!! :)

Oh my goodness!! Do you remember my post the other day about all the SWEET Old Navy Coats this season? Well, I hope you are ready for an amazing sale on them because Old Navy is having a PRE Black Friday Sale!!! Check it out:

Can you read what that says? It says that on THIS SATURDAY 11/19 from noon until 5PM Adult Outerwear is 75% off and on SUNDAY 11/20 from noon until 5PM all Adult Sweaters are 75% Off (In store only and clearance items do not count).

In case you need some motivation to go, let me show you the Old Navy coat I got a few weeks ago:

Oh, and I am SOOO in love with this one I tried on that I might just go back to this sale and purchase it:

Seriously, I think I will go get that Red coat...I LOVE it, LOVE! If you want to see some of the other GREAT coats my sister-in-law and I tried on, go check out this post about our Old Navy shopping trip!! Then head over to Old Navy for the in ad sale on SATURDAY 11/19 from noon until 5PM Adult Outerwear is 75% off or on SUNDAY 11/20 from noon until 5PM all Adult Sweaters are 75% Off!!


Black Friday last year: funny day, lessons learned!

As I am preparing for one of my favorite days of the year (Black Friday), I thought I would repost my funny shopping experience from last year. It is a long but (hopefully) fun read! I know I have a lot of new readers over the past year that might get a kick out of this post! If you are a long time reader, you may want to re-read it so you can use my lessons learned to help prepare for the big shopping day! :)

Most years, I do all (or most) of my Christmas Shopping on Black Friday. I am usually one of those very organized shoppers with a list of where I am going, when I am going there and a plan for how to get all the deals I need to make Christmas happen for cheap! Since Walmart price matches, I generally try to do as much of it as I can price matching.

Well, this year, I only needed a few things as I did most of the Christmas Shopping for this year right AFTER Christmas last year. It was a new experience for me. I almost skipped Black Friday altogether this year as I thought Wes (my hubby) had to work Black Friday (he did work but only 1-10pm). So, Wes and I looked through the ads and found that there were a few things we wanted at 3 stores.

The stops would be as follows:

1-Midnight stop at Walmart...hoping to get an art set for one child, PJ's for all 4 kids, a writing toy for another kid, and the super cheap towels.

2-6am Menards stop for: pop up tent & tunnel, "Cuddle Up" (Snuggie imitation-Wes wanted to get me one for Christmas), Wii remote charging station, and "Cuddlee Pets" (imitation Pillow Pets) for all four kids.

3-Stop at Younkers to use $10 coupon and possibly get nicer "Snuggie"-like item.

Obviously with 4 kids at home, one of us shops and the other stays home with the kids-especially when the first stop is at midnight. In years past, Walmart has been my first stop and I have gone in and grabbed the toys I was after and hurried out while everyone else was still fighting over electronics. This year Walmart split up the sale so electronics doorbusters went on at 5 am and the other ones (the ones I needed) went on at midnight. I thought it would make it easier for me to get in, out and get what I wanted without SOOO many shoppers at midnight.

WRONG! Dead wrong! First, when I left my house at 11:40ish, the streets were empty except for a steady stream of minivans making their way toward Walmart-no joke! I walked in to the store and could hardly walk in it was so crowded. I was lucky enough to have a nice manager hand me a cart (they were basically gone) as I walked in (that is one benefit to pregnancy-people want to help you out generally). So I fought my way through the people back to the PJ's and grabbed the 4 pair I needed-surprisingly the exact ones I wanted for each kid. ALL towels were long gone by the time I made it to them, so I made my way to toys. The art supplies I wanted were all gone, but I DID get the writing toy. So, I was ready to make my way to a line.

There was one employee on that side of the store that was herding people into a HUGE long line that went from the last check stand, through the sections of toys, health and beauty, pets, Christmas and all the way into the garden area. It was insane. It would have been a fine idea if that was the ONE store line and it fed into all the checkout stands, but no. It fed into only ONE checkout lane-ONE! I realized this and told the employee I was not done shopping when he tried to convince me I HAD to get in that line to check out, and I made my way back over to the grocery side of the store where I got in another long line. (Not even CLOSE to as long as that other line.)

While waiting in line I had the guy behind me pinch my butt, then an older guy rammed into my cart with his cart and tried to cut in front of me in line. When I said "Really?! You think so?!" to te old guy and told him to go to the back of the line, the butt pincher behind me did and said nothing. Then tried to act like he was ready to defend my honor AFTER the older guy was gone (it was pretty funny).

There was a woman in front of me that had lots of heavy stuff and no cart and I had a cart and hardly anything in it, so I moved my stuff to the front part of the cart and offered her the back of my cart for her to rest her stuff in while we waited in line. She took me up on it and we started to talk. As we were getting closer to the front, I realized I had gotten the WRONG size for one of the PJ's, Thank goodness I had made this friend, so she watched our cart as I ran back and (luckily) found the correct size.

After over an hour in line, I made it to the front finally! I made it home from Walmart at about 2:30am, and thought I would throw in a nap.

When the alarm went off at 5 am, I turned it off and went back to bed. I woke up around 6:30/7 and ran over to Menards in my PJs. There I was able to score the Cuddle pets (all 4) and the tents. The Wii chargers were sold out, and the snuggie things were made of really coarse feeling felt so I opted to leave without one!!

Waiting in that long line was quite amusing as the lady in front of me was very funny, and the lady in front of her was even funnier. The one 2 up from me kept having people ram into her cart, and she never even flinched or got upset at them. We told her how impressed we were that she was so patient, and she said "Honey, I work at the casino! This is nothin!"

Then the 2 guys behind me in line ( who were both a little gangster looking) were telling me the funniest stories about the other places they had already been. I heard tales of Toys R Us, Walmart and Target. The funniest of which was the one guy telling me he saw a lady with 2 HUGE carts full of stuff at Walmart at 1am struggling through the parking lot, so he started to rush toward her to help, and she yelped and started running through the parking lot trying to push one cart and pull the other! He said to me "I guess I look pretty scary running over to help at 1am." He thought it was hilarious. The other guy saw a fight break out and a man escorted from Walmart at about midnight (I had seen the escort out and wondered what had happened so it was interesting to hear from someone that was back there). FYI the fight was over a pricematch for $99 Wii's.

After I went home, content with my shopping and feeling done for the day, Wes wanted to go get the nicer looking Snuggies from Younkers for my present. We went over and got them (as I stood in line for over an hour he took the kids to see Santa in the mall-with NO line BTW). I have to admit-I learned I am NOT a pet person...a mom and daughter in front of me in line were saying "I just don't know which one he will like better, he is so picky...maybe I should grab the other one?" I assumed they were talking about the pillow pets they were holding for the grandkids (they had been talking about them a lot). Then the daughter said "Let's look at them together" then she walked over and grabbed a second pet bed and set it next to the one they had and they proceeded to discuss the DOG's color and pattern preferences...I was baffled-I thought dogs were colorblind, but then again, I have never had a dog. Do they really have preferences?! Seriously pet owners, do they?!

All in all I had a successful day and got most of my goal products, but I also had a few things I learned that I want to share:

1-We are all in this together-we are all stuck in this crazy crowd trying to get the best deals, so let's try not to make it so miserable on each other-no need to be mean. Remember the things your mom and dad taught you and don't pick on other kids, don't push and shove, and be nice! (That does NOT mean you need to be so nice as to give up the things you want to someone else that wants it too-go get what you need, but don't trample others to get it).

2-No sir, there is no cutting in line no matter how old, how frustrated or how aggressive you are-that young little weak looking pregnant lady WILL stand up for herself! I will NEVER start a confrontation, and in fact I will always try to be pleasant and kind to others, but so help me, if you get in my face I WILL defend myself and as my father-in-law says, "If it is a matter of who can pitch the biggest fit, I can if necessary."

3-Black Friday is stressful-the economy is bad, and we ALL want/need that deal to make Christmas happen, so it is probably a good time to be patient and to help out a stranger and do some service for others-like the lady without a cart. It did not hurt me at all to share mine with her, but it sure made it easier on her!

4-Patience, Patience, Patience!! Would I on any other day wait in the Disneyland length lines at a store? No, no I would not. Would I have the patience for it? No, but on Black Friday I put on my most patient face and head out the door!

5-Black Friday shopping is NOT nearly as fun alone! Thank you for all my friends and family who have gone with me in the past and made it an FUN experience! Those of you that can share with me the cart crashing and we can laugh at it together! Those who have waited in those eternal lines and talked to me and helped further develop our relationships as we tried to make a stressful situation fun! Thanks Wes, Mom, Andrea, Melanie, Spence, Lindsey, Lisa, Laurie and all the others that have joined me in my madness over the years!!

6-If you can, bring a buddy with you to Black Friday-it really is better that way (see lesson 5).

So, readers-do you do Black Friday?! Any funny stories you can share?! I would LOVE to hear about it!!!


Don't forget to enter the #Carmex #giveaway!!

Have you seen my newest giveaway? I am giving away a pack of Carmex lotions and creams!! Check out my review and enter the giveaway here!


Get your SWAG on!! GREAT day to join Swagbucks!!!

It has been a while since I posted about one of my favorite things, Swagbucks. So, new readers might wonder what it is. Basically it is a search engine. Why, you ask am I Searching on Swagbucks rather than somewhere else?! Well, it is because you can earn points, or "Swag bucks" which you can put toward prizes or gift cards. AND today, as with EVERY Friday, is Mega Swag Bucks day! That means more chances to earn more Swag Bucks (which will earn you gift cards or prizes faster!!)! So, make sure to use Swag Bucks for all your searching needs today! I know I will be using Swagbucks all day!

If you have not joined yet, click on my referral link here and start earning Swag Bucks with me! This is a GREAT time to join-with Mega Swag Bucks going on today AND if you join by 11/23 and use the code SBPAYSFORME you get 110 SB to start (versus the usual 30)!! As an FYI, I have made $180 in Amazon Gift cards so far and I have 341 Swagbucks which is almost enough to get another $5 Amazon Gift card. (450=$5 Amazon card).

If you are new to Swag Bucks, please read my explanation of Swag Bucks here. And my explanation of the changes to Swagbucks here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

#Swagbucks Pays for the Holidays-time to join if you haven't!!

I know I have told you often how much I love Swagbucks, and this Holiday season there is even more to love!! If you have not signed up yet, you will really want to now!! It is the perfect time to do so because if you sign up through my referral link between now and November 23, and use the Registration code SBPAYSFORME, you will start your account with 110 Swagbucks (usually you start with 30)!!! WOW-it is only 450 Swagbucks so get a $5 Amazon Gift card! You are about a fourth of the way there already just by signing up!

That is not the only exciting thing they have going on right now though! They are also in the midst of their "Swagbucks Pays for your Holidays" promotion! Through this promotion one person will have the opportunity to have Swagbucks pay for your holidays! Until Monday, November 28th you’ll have opportunities every day to earn entries for their grand prize drawing – a grand prize of $2500 in Amazon Gift Cards!! NICE! All you have to do is fill out a qualifying wish list and you have your first entry! (All the details can be found on this Swagbucks Blog post)


Pepperidge Farms Thank you to Fresh Ideas Panel members...check email!

If you are a part of the Pepperidge Farms Fresh Ideas Panel make sure to check your email today! There is a special Thank you in the email (FREE coupon offer). Make sure you click on it and fill out the info so you can get your thank you present! I just filled out mine! :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

slice™ Safety Cutter - Great for couponers (A couponers #Review!)

Who here has heard of slice™ Safety Cutter - Great for couponers?! I just recently heard of it and I need to tell you my story about it!

I have been a bad girl lately and have been ignoring my coupons. Seriously. It has been a hassle for me to sit there and cut them out when I have been busy and as a result, my coupon binder was a mess. However, I was sent a sweet little item to review that motivated me to do something about it!

I was sent The Slice™ Safety Cutter (which is said to be Great for Couponers) to review. As mentioned, my coupon binder was a wreck so I seized the opportunity and decided to clean out and update the binder. That means I got rid of lots of expired coupons then had a lot of new unclipped coupon inserts to cut out. There were so many coupons to cut this morning!!! Usually when I do this, it takes a good hour and my hands are sore from the scissors when I get done!

This time however, I used The Slice™ Safety Cutter and it was SOOO quick and easy. I did make the mistake of putting the cutter directly on my wood tray table at first which means I cut into it a bit. Oops...after that I used my noggin and grabbed my clean cutting board and cut the remaining coupons on the cutting board with The Slice™ Safety Cutter. It cut my coupons out quickly and easily and "cut" my coupon clipping time in half! Best part: my hand was NOT sore at the end! Frankly I think this is a MUST HAVE for couponers! Really!

Now I know you moms out there are wondering how this blade could cut so well and NOT be a danger to the children around. Well, it has a "Finger Friendly Design" that makes it safe for kids-in fact my kids will be using this for future school projects instead of scissors! Look at my finger pressed against mine:

In that picture you can probably see that it is a small item as well, so you can easily keep it with you in a purse or wallet. Mine is tucked nicely into my newly cleaned up coupon binder:

I Love this product for so many reasons! It is safe for the kids, perfect for coupons and small so I can carry it with me. I imagine it would make scrapbookers as happy as it has made this couponer...in fact there are SOOO many things that would be easier with this sweet little product!

You should go check out the slice™ Safety Cutter! It is a worthwhile investment in my book! Highly recommend!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Beckees Thanksgiving Menu and Price Matches!!

Thanksgiving has snuck up on me this year!! Is it really next week?! I thought I would bring back this post from last year adn let you know what the best price matches are that I found for my Thanksgiving menu. Some of the items I make are standard Thanksgiving items that many of you are likely looking for as well so I thought I would share my list of price matches with you!

  • Our Family Premium Turkey Frozen 10 lband Up $.49/lb (Limit 1 with additional $25 purchase) (BnS)
  • Butterball Turkeys 10 lb and up limit 2 $.98/lb (BnS)
  • Festive (brand) FrozenTurkey $.99/lb (limit 2) (NFF)
  • Jennie-O Fresh Turkey $.59 (limit 2 with card and additional $25 purchase) (B)
  • Fastco Basted Turkey $.68/lb (F)
  • Super Saver claims to have "Turkey Insurance" and that their Turkey price will be at least $.02 per pound less than the lowest advertised price of their competitors (SS)
  • Farmland Half Spiral Sliced Hams $1.99/lb (NFF)
  • Shank Portion Ham $1.49/lb (BnS)
  • Cook's Spiral Sliced Hams half or Whole $1.77/lb (SS)
Mashed Potatoes
  • Russet Potatoes 15 lb bag $2.99 (NFF)
  • Russet Potatoes 10 lb $1.79 (A)
  • Green Giant 5 lb Russet Potatoes $.88 (ONLY on Fareways 2 day Sale Fri 11/18-Sat 11/19)
  • Our Family Butter $2.49 (BnS)
  • Meadow Gold Butter 1 lb $1.88 (SS)
  • Land O Lakes Milk Gallon (whole, 2%, 1%, or Skim) $2.48 (limit 2) (SS)
  • Campbells Gravy 10.25-10.5 oz $.59 (NFF)
  • McCormicks Brown Gravy mix $.59 (NFF)
  • Heinz Gravy 12 oz $.97 (F)
  • Swanson Broth 14 oz beef, chicken or Natural Goodness Chicken $.38 (SS)
Sage "American" Stuffing/dressing
  • Dole Celery $.49 each (HV)
  • Yellow Onion 3 lb bag $1.49 (BnS)
  • Stove Top Stuffing Mix 6 oz $.88 (SS)
Orange-Cranberry Relish/Sauce
  • Cranberries12 oz bag $.99/bag (A)
  • Ocean Spray 14 oz Jellied or Whole Cranberry $.88 (SS)
XiaXia's Rolls (Below are some options in case you don't want to make from sratch!)
  • Pillsbury Crescent or Rolls 12.3-13.9 oz 3/$5 (NFF & F)
  • Pan O Gold Brown N Serve Rolls 12 ct $.88 (BnS)
  • Rhodes Frozen Dinner Rolls 36 ct 48 oz $3.74 (W)
Yams/Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows
  • Bruce's Cut Yam 40 oz $1.99 (BnS)
  • Our Family Butter $2.49 (BnS)
  • Meadow Gold Butter 1 lb $1.88 (SS)
  • Fresh Yams $.27/lb (SS)
  • Fresh Sweet Potatoes $.38/lb (W)
  • Kraft Jet Puffed Marshmallows 10 oz regular or 10.5 oz mini $.99 (NFF)
Jello Salad
  • There were not any prices I was really impressed with...
Olive/Pickle/cheese appetizer tray
  • Vlasic Pickles 16-32 oz $1.98 (NFF)
  • Lindsey Black Pitted ( 6 oz) or Green Olives (5.75 oz) $.97 (F)
Cheese Ball with crackers
  • Ritz Crackers 9.5-25.5 oz or Nabisco Snack Crackers 5.5-10oz $1.38 (with in ad coupon) (NFF)
Cranberry Cookies
  • Hershey's Baking Chips 8-12 oz $1.88 (HV)
  • Nestle Morsels $1.88 (10-12 oz) (NFF)
  • Cranberries12 oz bag $.99/bag (A)
  • Hy Vee Natural Pumpkin 15 oz can $.69 (HV)
  • Pillsbury Pie Crusts $1.99 (14.1 oz box) (F)
  • Pillsbury Pet Ritz Frozen Pie Crust 2 packs $1.99 (F)
  • Mrs Smith Pies $3.48 (NFF)
  • Marie Callendar's Pies $4.98 (NFF)
  • Wilderness Pie Filling 20-21 oz Cherry or Apple 2/$5 (NFF)
  • Bakery Cooked Pumpkin or Apple Pie 8 inch $2.99 each (NFF)
  • Kraft Cool Whip 8 oz $.78 (SS)
Ham/pickle/cream cheese roll ups
  • Philidelphia Cream Cheese $.98 (SS)
  • Vlasic Pickles 16-32 oz $1.98 (NFF)
Green Bean Casserole
  • Our Family canned Vegetables (14.5-15.25 oz) 3/$.99 (NFF)
  • Libby Canned Vegetable 4 Pack 58-60 oz $2 (W)
  • French's French Fried Onions 6 oz $2.78 (NFF)
  • Campbells Cream of Mushroom and Cream of Chicken Soups 10.75 oz $.58 (SS)
Note the key for the stores to match: Hyvee (HV), Bag N Save (BnS), No Frills Fresh (NFF),  Baker's (B), Aldi's (A), Super Saver (SS), Fareway (F), Walmart (W).

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    How #Walmart and the Internet have ruined my Black Friday traditions!

    Oh Black Friday! How I love thee...ye...you?! Seriously. I do a lot of shopping through the year, but I FINISH (well mostly) on Black Friday. It is my big triumphant shopping day of the year...usually...or at least it was before Walmart and the Internet (darn you Cyber Monday!) ruined it for me.

    Let me explain by first talking a little bit about "Black Friday" shopping the Beckee's Deals way. (Some of this explanation is reposted from one of my Black Friday posts from last year!)

    I have, for YEARS, been a huge Black Friday Shopper and usually have done all my shopping for Christmas on Black Friday (well I do end up getting a stocking stuffer or 2 after). During my husband's residency the last 5 years, he has often been working on Black Friday (Which really was the first thing to ruin Black Friday before Walmart or the Internet stepped up to the plate). In spite of his work schedule, most years I still managed to get in a few REALLY early morning (and late night Thanksgiving) deals before he left for work. I love it...Love my Black Friday Adventures.

    Here is my take on how to do Black Friday! When my newspaper comes on Thanksgiving morning, I am like a kid in a candy store! I sit down on my bed with the Macy's parade playing and the food already cooking in the kitchen and I whip out the ads. I go through and circle the GREAT deals I would LOVE to get in each ad-taking special note of the door busters. I write a list of each store, what door busters I would love to have and what time that store opens for their door buster sales. (BEFORE Thanksgiving, I sit down with my husband and we write up a list of who we need to buy for and what we think we might want to get them.)

    Before I go on, I must note that already in my plan, the Internet and Walmart have interfered. First, the Internet now posts the Black Friday ads early so I lose that excitement and the anticipation of waiting for and devouring the Thanksgiving day ads. Oh I know it means I can plan ahead, but frankly I think that is overrated! :)   AND that is not all...Walmart you dirty beast! Now you open up for your Black Friday ads on Thursday night?! Really? On the Holiday? Oh and don't think I am forgetting all of Walmart's friends (competitors...) that ALSO open up during the evening/middle of the night hours. Sure, that gives me the chance to shop before my husband (that trouble maker) has to go in to work, but come on! When do I get to hang out with the family, and when do I sleep (I can answer that one-I sleep on Black Friday afternoon!)

    Moving on with my Black Friday plan. Next, I compare the 2 lists I have made (the one with who we need to buy for and the one with the best prices and the times the stores open) and prioritize-are there specific items from my list of gifts I am looking for that are great deals somewhere on sale? What Door busters do I really want and are they at a place that usually has a ton of the items (like Walmart usually does here) or a place that limits the number to the first 25 (like Nebraska Furniture Mart)? Basically I look at what my odds are of getting what I want at the stores and PRIORITIZE.

    Once I have prioritized and listed which items I actually want to get and at which store they will be sold, then I look at the times the stores open in the morning and write up a plan of action as to where to go first, second, etc.
    Here is another place Walmart has stepped in and ruined my traditions. How? Two words: Price Matching. Oh Price Matching how I love and loathe you! Sure you save me more money and make it more convenient to get everything is one place, but really-those are some INSANE crowds and lines!! Wow...

    Growing up in Utah, my mom and I would Black Friday shop each year and I LOVED it! We had adventures planning and carrying out the plan. We would do things like drag my teen sister along so we could get enough door busters and we would go store to store dropping off family members to try to get the best stuff at each store (BEFORE we all had cell phones). We would socialize in the long lines, make new friends and fight for the items we wanted! I LOVED our adventures, and I seek after them year to year still...

    However, a lovely little thing on the Internet (adventure ruiner!) has arrived in force over the past years that makes it almost too convenient for me to get the same or better deals without leaving my laptop! That would be "Cyber Monday." More and more places have their weekend sales ONLINE (door busters and all) and "Cyber Monday" just seems to grow exponentially from year to year.

    To quote Belle (from Disney's Beauty and the Beast), "I want adventure in the great wide somewhere, I want it more than I can tell" And friends, I want that adventure OUT of my House on Black Friday! Curse you Walmart and the Internet for making my adventures harder to come by, and Walmart's Price matching policy this year with Retroactive Price matching is stepping it up again! It will make it even more convenient to do all shopping there!

    Sigh...I guess if Walmart and the Internet keep making the shopping so easy and convenient I will have to seek adventure elsewhere...maybe I should try bungee jumping?!


    #Carmex lotions #Giveaway and Review ends 11/27

    I know I have mentioned before how much I love Carmex. And I am so happy to be a member of the Carmex Blog Squad because it means I get to try out and giveaway a lot of different Carmex products!

    One product I have been DYING to try is their lotion, and as part of the Carmex Blog Squad I finally got to try it recently! YEAH! I was sent a package with the following products to try:
    • 1 Carmex Healing Lotion
    • 1 Carmex Healing Cream
    • 1 Travel size Carmex Healing Lotion
    • 1 Travel size Carmex Healing Cream
    What did I think?

    I like it! My skin is SOOO dry this time of year with the seasone changing, so I am always needing to put on lotion. My hands are the worst! I am always looking to have soft hands without a greasy filmy feeling. I was worried that the lotion would be really greasy but the package says "Non-Greasy, Pleasant Scent" So I tried it out andmy first impression was that I agreewith the pleasant scent. It smells like Carmex lip products but a bit more of a faint scent. I am, as you probably know, a HUGE Carmex fan so the smell was familiar and lovely to me.

    When I put the lotion on, it made my hands feel soft and moisturized. I felt like my dehydrated hands were taking a huge gallon of water in. It was awesome! The only downfall for me was that it does, leave a little bit of a filmy feeling on my hands. It is not too much, but enough that I notice it. But even with that I would recommend trying it out for yourself!

    Oh and did I mentionhow awedsome it is that this product comes in a cream and a lotion? The cream is a thicker product and meant to repair the toughest skin, the lotion is thinner and meant for everyday use. Oh and the BEST thing is that these come in travel sizes!! I have flown out of town multiple times over the last month or so, and these travel size tubes are SOOO awesome to travel with!

    What Can You win?

    One Lucky Beckee's Deals reader will win the same product package I was sent for this review:
    • 1 Carmex Healing Lotion
    • 1 Carmex Healing Cream
    • 1 Travel size Carmex Healing Lotion
    • 1 Travel size Carmex Healing Cream

    Enter below on the Rafflecopter form (if it does not appear or it appears incorrectly, please click on the title of this post and it should reload and show up correctly!)

    Make sure you enter on the Rafflecopter form above! As the form says:
    Please note that the giveaway will end on 11/28 at 12:01 AM EASTERN time. That means you have until 11:01 PM on 11/27 (My baby sisters birthday!!) Central time to get in entries. Please note that winner will be picked at random by Rafflecopter after the giveaway ends! Also, Facebook is not affiliated with this giveaway and cannot be help responsible for it in any way. Sorry, but this one is for US only.

    Good luck!