Where's the Honey

If you're following the yogurt deals lately, you probably got some cheap FAGE Greek Yogurt with your $1/1 coupon, and also some of the Yoplait Greek yogurt that was free with the Publix clickcallmail coupon. I am partial to peach and berry flavors, but another blogger bragged on how wonderful the Honey flavor Fage yogurt was, so I tried it. And it was heaven, with the side tray of thick, golden honey to stir into the greek style gelled yogurt, it mixed great and tasted better.
 
Well, today I tried the honey flavored Yoplait and noticed the gelled yogurt, but when I dipped to the bottom of the container I didn't find any honey. Hey. Where's the honey? I tasted a bit and could taste the honey vanilla flavor, but I was still disappointed. Greek yogurt isn't supposed to be premixed. I think I'll let them know that. Their food scientists must have been on vacation when that product was developed. 

Finally Our Kitchen is Done

Finally our kitchen remodel is finished and we are able to enjoy the simple pleasures of eating off a real plate and using a dishwasher to clean the dishes. Our remodeling projects started exactly five months ago when we started removing tile from the walls of the bathrooms using a roto hammer. We did all the demolition of two bathrooms and our kitchen by ourselves, hiring a guy from craigslist to haul away over two tons (4000 lbs) of rubble, lumber, sheetrock and old cabinets and counters.
 
Our goal was to redo the bathrooms for $5000 each, and the kitchen for $10000, for a total of $20,000 for the remodel. We actually were over budget due to having to replumb our 50 year old home's plumbing we busted in the demo. It needed to be done anyway, but we blinded didn't think of it. It is a relief to know we have brand new plumbing behind our walls though. The bathrooms ended costing about $11000 including the replumb job.
 
While we tried to be frugal by using 10% off Home Depot or Lowes coupons for all our purchases, we still got top quality stuff which costs more. At first we thought we would go inexpensive with white appliances, but then we realized that stainless is really what people want, and hopefully it won't be out of style in 20 years when we sell our house. We don't plan to do this again, so we wanted to do it right with good workmanship, quality cabinets, counters and tiling.
 
We were fortunate to have a referral for a great handyman who was able to do everything except the replumb for us. We changed plans last minute several times and he was able to work with the changes. I felt bad at first asking him to incorporate all those 2" accent tiles into the backsplash, but not enough to not do it. It took two days to tile and grout it, and its not even that large of an area. We decided since our refrigerator is only 6 years old, we'll keep it until it dies and then replace with a ss model. We designed extra space into that area to accomodate the larger models when we replace it.

Anyway, we ended up spending about $12,800 on the kitchen. Here is an approximate breakdown
 
$4100 Cherry cabinets (incl free sink base, soft close) Lowes
$2900 Granite counter top (incl free ss sink) Lowes
$3400 Labor over 100 hours for the handyman
$1400 SS Dishwasher, Microwave, Range, Kenmore Sears
$1000 Faucet, blinds, switches, lights, switchplate covers, dimmers, cabinet hardware, tiles, misc
 
Here are the ways we made it more affordable without compromising quality:
1. Saved the money ahead of time so we could take advantage of deals when it was the right time of the year. We saved a lot on the appliances at Sears with stacking deals like price matching, coupons and holiday sales.
2. We picked up our own appliances from Sears when we were ready for them to be installed. We borrowed our neighbors truck and loaded up the 3 boxes and unloaded them on our own, saving delivery and installation fees.
3. We purchased all supplies a 10% off coupon. If our handyman had to run and get something we just paid retail, no markup.
4. We gave our handyman a home depot gift card to use to pay for items he needed so he didn't have to charge them on his own card.
5. We did all demolition and cleanup ourselves by borrowing tools from our neighbor or from the handyman. We hired the handyman on a Saturday to help remove the old cast iron bathtub since it was so large. We also needed to move the shower and toilet drains in the bathroom to accomodate a new shower design which involved jack hammering the terrazzo floor through to the dirt and the buried drain. We rented the jack hammer for just 4 hours and returned it.
6. We installed simple things ourselves to save hours from the handyman - like installing the ceiling lamp, sanding, painting, lightswitch covers, cabinet knobs, installing undermount lights, put up blinds. It actually took us longer than we thought, but when we were done we were glad we didn't have to pay someone to do it.
7. We took advantage of Lowes and Sears delayed payment plans for interest free payments for 6 months (Lowes) or a year (Sears). We have the cash saved but are trying to pay back the credit with income rather than taking it from savings. This is working well and we have over half of our savings left from the budget that we might not have use for the kitchen costs.
8. When we did purchase something it was on the Mastercard or American Express card that earns points, and you guessed it we have redeemed the points for Home Depot gift cards.
9. We returned all unused items soon after to get credit back. We have tons of receipts and we couldn't always find the right one, or the item was purchased with a gift card. The cool thing is they just scan your credit cards you might have used and it shows if you ever purchased that item and they can give you credit back if you did. If you didn't show a purchase history, they give you store credit on a gift card. Either way works for us.

Disney Give A Day Program Has Ended

Hats off to a  million volunteers!
The overwhelming support received for the "Give a Day. Get a Disney Day." program has helped Disney reach their goal of inspiring one million people to volunteer a day of service to their communities. The program has now ended.
 
If you were signed up before they ended registration you are counted as part of the million volunteers and are still eligible to donate your time and get your free Disney Day. It may take up to two weeks to verify your volunteer activity and credit your account with the Disney voucher.
 
I'm still waiting since we completed our community service just this past Sunday.

Epcot(R) International Flower & Garden Festival Grow Your Garden Instant Win Game

Click Here to enter now. Please see Official Rules for more details.

Remember, you can enter the Grow You Garden Instant Win Game daily through April 30, 2010 for a chance to win a pair of Florida Resident 4 Day Dream Passes to enjoy the Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival. Also, Disney is awarding a garden designed by Disney Horticulturists using some plants from the Festival to an eligible community organization. Be sure to nominate an eligible organization.

Visit EpcotGardenContest.com for details. Open only to legal residents of Florida who are 18 or older.
Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival: March 3 - May 16, 2010
For more information on the Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival growing on March 3 - May 16, 2010 click here.

Publix Recalls Seasoning Mixes

Publix Super Markets, which has more than 1,000 stores in five Southern states, has voluntarily recalled four kinds of seasoning mixes that may possibly be contaminated with salmonella.
Publix said it has taken the mixes off of its shelves and says shoppers can return them to the stores for a full refund.
The privately held grocery store operator said late Monday that the mixes were made with hydrolyzed vegetable protein supplied by Basic Food Flavors, which is based in Las Vegas.
Consumers who eat products tainted with salmonella could suffer serious and sometimes fatal infections, particularly young children, frail or elderly persons and others with weakened immune systems.
Spokeswoman Maria Brous said in a statement there have been no reported cases of illness with these products.
The recalled products include all lot codes for 0.75-ounce packs of Publix Mushroom Gravy Mix with the UPC 41415-03308; 1-ounce packages of Publix Meatloaf Seasoning, UPC 41415-03408; 1.45-ounce packets of Publix Beef Flavored Stew Mix, UPC 41415-03608, and 1-ounce packs of Publix Au Jus Gravy Mix with UPC 41415-04208.

Major Food Recall for Salmonella

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is actively investigating findings of Salmonella Tennessee in hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) manufactured by Basic Food Flavors, Inc., in Las Vegas, NV. HVP is a flavor enhancer used in a wide variety of processed food products, such as soups, sauces, chilis, stews, hot dogs, gravies, seasoned snack foods, dips, and dressings. It is often blended with other spices to make seasonings that are used in or on foods.
As a former food scientist who developed low fat food products, I can attest this ingredient is in a lot of products. It may even be in products and not declared because it is a subingredient of "onion flavor" or some other minor component of a food. It is probably okay in products that will be cooked to simmering or boiling, but I would watch out for the dips that are served cold.
A complete searchable listing of the recalled products is listed on the FDA Recall List. At this time, no illnesses associated with this contamination have been reported to the FDA.
One product I recognized and had recently purchased at Publix, is the T Marzetti dips. Here is a partial listing of Marzetti lot codes. Please check the FDA listing for all the brands listed, there are lots of soups and chips listed. If you find some of these products in your pantry or refrigerator, just return them to the store where you purchased them for a full refund.
CategoryBrand NameDescriptionRecalling FirmPack SizeLot NumbersUPC Code
Dip and Dip MixJohnny's Fine FoodsFrench Dip Powdered Au JusJohnny's Fine Foods6oz bottlesExpiration date: 0332
Dip and Dip MixJohnny's Fine FoodsFrench Dip Powdered Au JusJohnny's Fine Foods1.1oz foil packetsExpiration date: 02212
Dip and Dip MixT. MarzettiSouthwest Ranch Veggie DipT. Marzetti15.5 ounce plastic tubs Best By dates: APR2010F, APR2810F, MAY1610F, MAY3110F, JUN0610F, JUN1410F, JUN1910F 70200 52004
Dip and Dip MixT. MarzettiFat Free Southwest Ranch Veggie DipT. Marzetti13 ounce plastic tubs Best By dates: MAY1610F, MAY3010F, JUN0810F, JUN1210F, JUN2510F70200 52033
Dip and Dip MixT. MarzettiSpinach Veggie DipT. Marzetti15 ounce plastic tubs Best By dates: APR1910F, MAY0910F, JUN0710F 70200 52059
Dip and Dip MixT. MarzettiSpinach Veggie Dip, Epinards, Trempette A LegumesT. Marzetti340 gram plastic tubs Best By dates: 10AL11F, 10AL17F, 10AL24F, 10AL30F, 10MA08F, 10JN12F 70200 58843
Dip and Dip MixT. MarzettiSouthwest Ranch Veggie Dip, Ranch style sud-ouest americain Trempette A LegumesT. Marzetti340 gram plastic tubs Best By dates: 10AL17F, 10AL24F, 10AL30F, 10MA08F, 10JN05F, 10JN14F70200 58844

Give A Day

Today we volunteered for the Give a Day, Get a Day Disney promotion. It was the Tour De Cure sponsored by the American Diabetes Association and 500 bicycle riders hit the road for various length bike rides. We signed up to serve lunch, which was delish - Ciccios wraps and satay, plus Pollo Tropical chicken, with rice and beans. It started off chilly but warmed up nicely by the time our stint was up.

Publix Trip - I spent $0.11 today


5-Mar


42


94.4


26.26


67.76


0.38


40


savings -99.60%


Product


qty


price


subtotal


bogo


Q


TOTAL


Q#


Q details


carrot matchsticks


0


1.99


0


0


lettuce, iceburg


1


1.89


1.89


1


0.89


1


$1/1 PQ calendar march


cucumber


1


0.75


0.75


1


-0.25


1


$1 off when you get 2 krft drssing


romaine


0


1.99


0


0


strawberries 16oz


2


1.66


3.32


1


2.32


1


$1 off when you get 2 krft drssing


bananas


0


0.75


0


0


mushrooms


1


1.99


1.99


1


0.99


1


$1 off when you get 2 krft drssing


tomatoes


0


0.6


0


0


Bertolli sauce bogo


4


2.69


10.76


5.38


4.4


0.98


6


$1/2 PQ multiplymeals+0.60/1 2-14RP


Mrs Pauls Fish bogo


2


4.49


8.98


4.49


4.49


knox gelatin


7


1.39


9.73


28


-18.27


7


$4/1


milk


1


3.19


3.19


3.19


Puffs, tissue


2


1.33


2.66


2.66


0


2


B2vicksG1freepuffs 2-7pg


vicks nyquil dayquil, trial


4


1.29


5.16


8


-2.84


4


$2 or 1.5/1 vicks 2-21pg 1-17pg


arm hammer deo bogo


2


2.99


5.98


2.99


2.99


coupon


0


0


5


-5


1


$5 off $50


Baileys creamer


3


2.09


6.27


3


3.27


3


$1/1 2-28ss


steamfresh veggys 50% off


2


1.79


3.58


1.7


1.88


2


$.35/1 PQ Hlthymeals + 0.50/1 2-7ss


country crock side dish bogo


2


3.59


7.18


3.59


2


1.59


2


$1/1 print


krft cheese shredded


2


1.67


3.34


3


0.34


3


$1/2 blinkie+$1/1 TQ


salad dressing Kraft bogo


6


3.27


19.62


9.81


6


3.81


6


$1/2 TQ + $1/2 MQ + $1 off produce

 
Here's my planned shop, but actually they didn't have any strawberries so I had to throw in a couple other fillers (peanuts and carrots), and then DH wanted me to get extra cheese, so I pulled out more cheese Q's, and then found the $2/2 cheese blinkies in the store, so my final total was 0.11 OOP, saving $107.81. Used up all my knox coupons - man am I going to miss those suckers.
 
Thought I'd lay out this amazing shop at Publix on our new counter top and you can see the nice backsplash we had tiled in our new kitchen. What a great backdrop for shop pictures. (click to enlarge photo).
 
Hope you all have a great shopping trip at Publix this week.

Friday Follow 3/5/10

Welcome to the Friday Follow blog hop, get a cup of coffee and browse around. I'd love to get more followers and if you leave me a comment, I'll come visit your blog and follow.  Have a great day!


MckLinky Blog Hop

Sunday Coupons 3/7 & Kmart Doubles Event

It looks like there will be Three (3) inserts in your Sunday newspaper (unless you're getting St Pete Times which doesn't get SS)
 
1- Red Plum
1- SmartSource
1- Proctor & Gamble
 
The P&G probably has some high value coupons that are good to save for the upcoming KMart Doubles event April 4-10. During this event Kmart will let you double the coupon value up to $2.00 for up to 5 items per day per customer (bring your kids and spouses - they count as customers). It doesn't matter if the value of the coupon is greater than the item when doubled. Last year I stocked up on lots of ziplocs, toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, snacks, soda and cleaning products. They accept internet printables and manufacturer coupons.