Monday, March 12, 2012

First Trip to Menards (A Case Study)

So I finally made my first real trip to Menards over the weekend, and boy was it fun! As I mentioned on our Facebook Fan Page I'm going to do a 2 - 3 month case study of shopping at Menards. I'm doing this over a longer time because with the rebates taking 4-6 weeks to come in the mail I wanted enough time for us to all really see if Menards is worth it. My goal by the end of that 2-3 months is to have enough rebates that I can begin shopping "free" with them, and just keep rolling them over. Like what you see other's doing at CVS, and Walgreens. For anyone who's not familiar with Menards go HERE to read about their coupon and shopping policies.


  • The very first impression I got walking in was...... this place is HUGE! If you can, I would suggest a quick walk through before you shop there, just to get the lay of land (so to speak;).
  • There were a lot of workers though, so when I needed a little direction to find something it wasn't that hard to find someone. Plus, they were all nice!
  • I took my mother in law with me to help watch my son, and boy am I glad I did! Between the size of the place, and the "wonderful" things for him to get into I would've lost my mind if I hadn't. So if you have kids, leave with a babysitter or take someone to help you watch them!
  • I also noticed that most of their items were good quality pieces. 
  • Their grocery section of the store was decent (considering it's a home improvement store) they even had a couple freezers with pizzas and such.
  • Last, but the one I'm most excited to share, they have UNADVERTISED deals!!! Including rebate deals, just like a grocery store! So if you don't do a walk through before you shop there leave some wiggle room in the budget. You just might need it :)

What I Got

  • Kids ball - $1.93 (no rebate)
  • HUGE bag of cheese popcorn - $1.99 (no rebate but on sale)
  • Purple de-ice windshield washing fluid - clearance $1.89
  • 16 oz Dasani water - $1.48
  • 100 ct. box Koolaid popsicles (2) - sale $2 each
  • Dessert mints - $2.99 (no rebate, no sale)
  • Gummi bears - $1.99 (no rebate, no sale)
  • 2 80 ct Bounce dryer sheets - sale $2.99 each 
  • 2 boxes Mr. Clean Magic Erasers - $1.74 each
  • 4 Hand clamps - $3.99 each ($3.49 rebate) 
  • 10 bottles Softsoap hand washes UNADVERTISED DEAL - $1.99 each ($1.49 rebate)
  • 3 boxes Cat Pan liners - $3.50 each ($3.50 rebate)
  • 4 boxes Comfort kids vapor patches - $5 each ($5 rebate)
  • 4 jars Marinara pasta sauce - $1.99 each (1.49 rebate)
  • 1 tube Small project adhesive - $3.49 ($3 rebate)
  • 2 Menards t-shirts - $6.99 each ($6.99 rebate)
  • 2 Paintbrushes - $5 each ($5 rebate)
  • 2 14 MP GM digital camaras - $59.99 each ($30 rebate each)
So, let's breakdown the numbers here. My receipt told me that I already saved $43.81 with sale prices. I spent out of pocket $269.36, and $20.41 of that was tax :( I should receive $151.43 back in store rebate checks. That means that after rebates I will have spend $117.93! If you add what I spent with what I saved ($269.36 + 43.81) it would equal $313.17. Divide that by what I'll get back in rebates + money I saved in sales ( $195.24) and divide that by my previous total ( $313.17) and that equal 62% savings! I am not a math whiz, so if you think I did that wrong let me know. 

Now, you're probably wondering about how the rebate thing works. First, let me tell you, SAVE YOUR RECEIPT!!! I stress this because at the bottom of your receipt a rebate receipt for EACH rebate item (by group) will print off. So I got one for all my softsoaps, one for all my t-shirts, etc, and you HAVE to have these to claim your rebate. I will do another post when I redeem my rebate slips to take a closer look at that process as well. It looks like you have two options: go online and redeem it, or do it in-store. I will do both, and let you know how each goes. Here's a picture of what the rebate slips look like.

I would've saved more if I hadn't bought a few items that were not rebate items, but hey, I'm not a perfect shopper :) In case you're wondering what I'm going to do with some of the items that I bought I'll tell you. 

  1. I have a handy-woman type mom, and some tools I will be saving for her for Mother's Day, birthday, and Christmas baskets. I will also be doing the same for my Dad.
  2. I have a special occasion coming up this year that requires a nice gift. Since Menards has many household items come up for rebate offers I'm going to save some items for an awesome gift basket for that. Sorry I can't give details because some of my fans are family and friends and I don't want them to know what they are getting. When it's over though I will do a post to show what I've done!!
  3. The food and household items are fairly obvious additions to my stockpile, and for donations.
  4. I like buying cheap older furniture and fixing it up (when I have the time ;) so some of these tools and items are for me!
Okay, so that's the end of our first look into shopping at Menards. I would love to hear any thoughts you have so far, and any experiences/trips you've had there as well!! Remember, they have 2 stores in Wichita, 1 store in Salina, and another one in Manhattan. Happy bargain hunting everyone!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

PrairieLand Food Menu for March

It's that time again, time for to think about ordering your Prairie Land Food Paks for the month of March. If you don't know what PLF is, what they are, or just want more info, you can read my review on them HERE. Looks like orders will be due by March 12th, but if your payday won't come that soon, be sure to send one of the wonderful ladies that works there and email and they will work with you. They also accept: cash, check, debit/credit card, and SNAP payments. Order online @ So here it is:

Prairie Pak - $25.00

Ground Turkey Breast - 1 lb
Pork Tenderloin – 10 oz
Breaded Chicken Breast Strips - 20 oz
Breaded Flounder - 1 lb
Chicken Thighs - 2 lbs

*assortment of seasonal fresh fruits and veggies
Due to market conditions and to maintain quality items are subject to change

Meat Only - $14.00

Ground Turkey Breast - 1 lb
Pork Tenderloin – 10 oz
Breaded Chicken Breast Strips - 20 oz
Breaded Flounder - 1 lb
Chicken Thighs - 2 lbs

Fruit & Veggie - $12.00

*assortment of seasonal fresh fruits and veggies


Special #1: "VARIETY BOX" - $21.00 

1 lb fully cooked Chicken Breast Strips
(2) - 20 oz bags ready to cook Breaded Chicken Breast Filets
2 lbs Chicken Thighs
(8) - 4 oz individually quick frozen Chicken Breast Filets

all items included in one box for your convenience

Special #2: "PIZZA PARTY" - $19.00

(24) Deep Dish Tony's Pepperoni Pizzas
each individually wrapped
suggested retail priced - $36.00

Back by Popular demand!
Special #3: "EASTER HAM" - $19.00 

4 lb Black Forest Ham

Special #4: "MEXICAN FIESTA SPECIAL" - $22.00 

1 lb Beef Taco Meat
(2) - 1 lb Chicken Strips (perfect for Fajitas)
(2) - 1 lb bags Red Peppers, Green Peppers, Yellow Peppers & Onions
(2) - 12 ct / 8" Flour Tortillas

Requires purchase of any one of the March pkgs, listed above~ ADD the Choice in any quantity to your March order.


6 inch / 32 oz Key Lime Cheese Cake
a perfect desert for Easter! 

*requires purchase of any one of the March pkgs., add Choice in any quantity
All looks pretty yummy to me :P Let me add, that I've have gotten the different cheesecakes before through them, and they are D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!!! Haven't tried the Key Lime (yet) but I'm going too!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Great Sales @ Kmart This Week!!

First off it's that great time of year when winter clothes start to go on clearance!!! I love buying my clothes out of season, one of THE best ways to save on your clothes budget. Kmart's kicking it off with Up to 70% off Winter clearance for the Family 2/5-2/11!!!! They are also going to have a Baby Days! Buy 1, Get 1 50% off ALL Fisher-Price, Playskool or Sesame Street Infant Toys 2/5-2/11 sale :) I'll have to check that one out and see if I can get my son any good stuff. Also they are having a huge Valentines Day sale including Valentine's Day Gifts! 50% off Women's Sleepwear & 30% off Men's Valentine's-themed Boxers 2/5-2/11. That includes buying online and picking up at the store! I have to say that Kmart has really been working on improving their stores. Plus I love that they offer "reward points" to card members (which is FREE to sign up), and they seem to be really pushing a coupon friendly attitude :)

Happy Bargain Hunting Everyone!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Parents Magazine for only $3.99 A Year!!

Today only you can get Thu, Feb 2, Subscribe to Parents Magazine for just $3.99/year from! Use Promo Code: 1899!!!! This is a pretty cool magazine. They've usually got some fun activities/crafts you can do with the kids, recipes, parenting tips and articles. This is a steal! I think the cover price is more than this.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Prairie Land Food Menu for February

Hopefully you've read my review on Prairie Land Food, and now you want to know what they are offering this month. Also I didn't include this in my review, but I found out that many of the PLF sites offer food swap tables. Meaning if there is a meat item you don't want you could go swap with someone for a different meat item, or veggie for veggie, etc. Not all sites offer these, but many do so don't be afraid to ask! Alright so here's the menu (I'm excited we're getting cheese this month too!):

Prairie Land Food – February 2012
Order date by ~  February 15

Prairie Pak - $25.00
Gortons Fish Sticks – 1 lb
Lean Ground Beef (chub) – 1 lb
Premium Ham Steak  -1 lb
Smithfield Bacon (#1 grade) – 1 lb
Chicken Thighs – 1.5 lbs
(Cheddar or Monterey Jack) – 1 (8 oz) block
a variety of seasonal fresh fruits and veggies included
Due to market conditions and to maintain quality items are subject to change

Meat Only - $14.00

Gortons Fish Sticks – 1 lb
Lean Ground Beef (chub) – 1 lb
Premium Ham Steak  -1 lb
Smithfield Bacon (#1 grade) – 1 lb
Chicken Thighs – 1.5 lbs

Fruit & Veggie - $12.00

(Cheddar or Monterey Jack) – 1 (8 oz) block
a variety of seasonal fresh fruits and veggies

Special #1:  “VARIETY BOX“ - $26.00 2 – Premium Ham Steaks – 1 lb ea
Turkey Medallions – 12 oz
Ground Beef – 1 lb
Tyson Chicken Breast Tenderloins – 1.6 lbs
Pork Roast – 1.5 lbs
California Blend Vegetables – 1 lb bag
Whole Strawberries – 1 lb bag
*all items included in one box for your convenience

Special #2:  “LENTON SPECIAL” - $22.00
Popcorn Shrimp – 1 lb
  Breaded Lemon Pepper Tilapia – 17.6 oz
Haddock Fillets – 1 lb
  Herb Stuffed Tilapia – four / 4 oz
Pollock Fillets – 1 lb

Special #3:  "PIZZA SPECIAL" - $19.00 Back by Popular Demand! 10 (13 oz) Mama Rosas Pizza Grillers
On the Grill or in the Oven  ………….each individually wrapped

Special #4:  "CHOP HOUSE SPECIAL" - $21.00 6 lbs Boneless .Center Cut Pork Chops
approximately 16 (6 oz) chops per box
CHOICE  *requires purchase of any one of the February pkgs. listed above,
add the CHOICE in any quantity to your February order

CHOICE #1:  "Boneless Turkey Breast" - $9.00
Ready to Cook Boneless Turkey Breast - 2.5 lbs

CHOICE #2:  "Marble Cupcakes" - $5.00
4 ~ Marble Cupcakes by our favorite sweet toothfactory …

February Distribution Dates :
Friday ~ February 24
Saturday ~ February 25

Prairie Land Food Review

I'm excited to do this review for all my frugal fans! Prairie Land Food is a great community service that I found awhile back. I had a light bulb moment at the beginning of the month to do a review of it so that I could share this with you guys. They help people in Kansas, and some locations in Nebraska and Oklahoma, get quality food for discount prices. Income doesn't matter, they just want to promote people helping others, and reward them for their good deeds.

I heard about them when I was pregnant with my son; my husband had just been layed off, and things were scary at that time. A lady I worked with told me about this group in Kansas that offered monthly food packages, for a deeply discounted price and a few hours of volunteering. My first two thoughts were: it's a scam, and I don't have time (or energy) to volunteer. She kept talking to me about, and told me to check out their website for myself. I did later that week, and boy am I glad I did.

Now that I've piqued your interest we'll start talking about Prairie Land Food, what they do, and what they believe in. They are a non profit food program for Kansas residents that has been around since 2006. As I mentioned earlier there are NO income guidelines. All they ask is that you do a couple hours volunteer work every month. In return they offer you different food packages (called Prairie Paks) at deeply discounted prices. You can order online, or pay in person. They accept cash, check, debit/credit card payments, and SNAP! If your payday comes after their order by date, talk to one of the great ladies who manage this program, and they will work with you. Generally you order in the first part of the month, and a week or two later they distribute the food. For a full list of their order by, and distribution dates go HERE. You will then go to your local "host site" on distribution day and pick up your order. Simple as that.

I know it sounds a little too good to be true, but it's not. I have personally used this service myself a few times over the last couple years, and I've never been unhappy with it! I've shared this with other friends I know who are struggling, or have friends and family that are struggling, and they've all loved it. The co-worker who shared it with me has been using them for quite awhile.

They are absolutely legit, and you don't need to worry about the food quality. They do not purchase out of date, or, well, shady food :) They have simply worked out deals with local companies to buy bulk food at a discount. Which they then pass on to you!

Next we'll talk about the volunteer service, which I'll admit scared me at first when I heard about it. You don't need a signed statement by your local hospital, or devote hours upon hours to qualify. It's done one the honor system, all they ask is that on your order receipt with something you, or a family member, has done to help out. That's it! If you go HERE and scroll down to the bottom of the page you can find a list of things they consider volunteer. A few examples are: carpooling with coworkers, mowing a neighbors yard, calling to check on someone, being a caregiver, babysitting grandchildren, share Prairie Land Food with others (say with Facebook), helping someone move (if you have a truck like me you've probably done that one a few times;) and the list goes on. They just want to promote people helping people, and really I think most of us already do this without realizing it.

Next we'll talk about their Prairie Paks. Every month they will come out with a list of 13 - 14 items, it depends on the market. This includes 5 meat items, and a package of fresh fruits and vegetables. If there is a downside to them, it's that you don't know know what they will offer until they put out their "menu" for the month. Although, I've never been disappointed with their selection. Sometimes they may be offering things that we don't really eat in my house (like fish, yuck!) but they always have other Paks available that I like.

First they offer their main Prairie Pak that includes the 5 meat items, and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables (usually around 4 different kinds of each) for $25. You'd usually pay $25 for the meat alone! This is a great way to save on meat and produce, which we rarely see coupons for, and I know I'm always looking for ways to save on these items. If you're afraid the produce will go bad, cut it up, cook it, or can it. There are a lot of great ways to make fresh produce last longer, and you still get that great taste and nutrition. On top of that they offer you the option to purchase "meat only" or "fruit & vegetable only" paks. The meat only one is $14, and the fruit and veggie pak is $12. Again, great value. As if that wasn't enough they then offer "Special Paks" every month.

Again, these vary from month to month, but they're usually great freezer items. I've purchased some of these specials and have been happy. Some examples are themed sets for the time, like the holidays, or superbowl, desserts, individually wrapped freezer items (think little pizzas and breakfast burritos) and more. Many times if something is very popular, and people request it again, they will work to get that item again. Prices on these vary, but as with their other paks they are a good value.

Okay, so I realize this was a long post (honest guys I'm working on not being so long winded) but I wanted to do a thorough job of introducing you all to Prairie Land Food. Check out their website HERE, and take a look around for yourself. I will be posting their Menu for February soon after this one. From this month forward I will also start posting their menus for everyone when they come out. I really believe that this is a great service for us, and I'm going to ask everyone a favor. Please share this programs with others after you try it. I know you'll love it like I do, and they want people to order. If you know someone who could benefit from this right now share this post, or give them this link to check it out for themselves. They also have a facebook page go to to "like" them.

Happy Bargain Hunting everyone!

Discount Popchips ~ Amazon Deal of The Day

Amazon's Deal of the Day is on Popchips: Deal of the Day! If you like these you should check this page out. I see some pretty good prices on their 24 packs, and 12 packs. I personally haven't tried these, I'm not of a chip person, so let me know if these are good!

Happy Bargain Hunting