Saturday, September 29, 2012

HyVee Deals Through October 2

There are lots of good HyVee deals this week. Including:

HyVee eggs for 99 cents each
Roberts Orange Juice for 99 cents each
Roberts chocolate milk for $2 each (minus 50 cent coupon doubled)
Dawn detergent for $1.39 each (minus 50 cent coupons doubled)
HyVee cat litter (not pictured, 25 pounds) $4.18
HyVee sugar for $1.88
Ocean Spray Juice $1.88
Wonder bread for 99 cents
Campbell's soup 4 for $3.00 (store coupon for buy four, get one free stacked with manufacturer 40 cent coupon which doubled--final cost 44 cents a can)
Crest for 99 cents (minus 50 cent coupon which doubled - final cost free)
Johnsville Sausage for $1.98 (minus manufacturer coupons doubled)
Bananas for 29 cents a pound ($1.51 for all the bananas pictured)
Cilantro for 69 cents a bunch

$22.32 before tax
Some of these items were only on sale Thursday and Friday (bread, juice and eggs). Also, there are limits on some items though it is unclear whether it is per transaction or customer. The advertisements do not state limits but there are signs in the store by some items stating a limit of 2. To be fair, if there are limits I believe they should state this in the printed advertisement.

In my mind, the best deals were the sausage, soup and bananas. This trip I saved $8.78 in store and manufacturer coupons. By and far, the bigger savings was on the sale items.

A friend recently told me about HyVee's facebook deal of the day. I now check the deal of the day before every visit to HyVee. Some of the deals have been quite good though I must admit it is sometimes very hard to find the deal of the day on their webpage which is somewhat crowded and unorganized. I looked for today's deal of the day and couldn't find it.

Here is a link to HyVee's Topeka Facebook Page:

I believe you then have to tell the cashier you want the deal of the day price. Maddening! I'm sure the point is to get you in the store more often and buy a lot of impulse items while there.

"I'll just run in  HyVee for some .88 half gallon milk", you think.

If the store is smart, they will have strategically placed some oreos or Graham crackers near the milk. You get a couple of .88 cent gallons of milk, some oreos and oh yeah you need dryer sheets and pimple cream. You know dryer sheets and pimple cream are less expensive somewhere else but hey, you're here and who wants to be linty or zitty? And while in line you start reading how you can lose 8 pounds in 10 days which you would really like to do so you throw in the magazine. Don't be surprised if your .88 half gallon of milk ends up costing you $20. Take advantage of deals but don't fall for traps. I'm sure the last thought of many a mouse has been, "Wow! What a great deal on chee....".

Topeka Apple Market Deals Through October 2

Apple Market Purchases
Just a few items to tell you about at Apple Market this week. Apple Market is holding one of its 98 cent sales. Five pound bags ofpotatoes are 98 cents so I purchased two bags or 10 pounds for $1.96. 

Rotel tomatoes are also 98 cents a can. There was a recent coupon in the paper for 50 cents off two cans. When doubled, this makes Rotel tomatoes just 48 cents a can. This is one of those examples where something is cheaper with doubled coupons than the regular price at Wal-Mart with undoubled coupon. Two cans at Wal-Mart would cost  $1.88 - 50 cent coupon = $1.38 (or 69 cents a can). If you buy two cans at Apple Market or Dillon's at 98 cents a can it will cost $1.96 - $1.00 doubled coupon = 96 cents (or 48 cents a can). I buy extra of items I use frequently when they are at least half the normal price.

Lettuce at Apple Market is always $1.29 as opposed to everyone else's $1.88-$2.00 a head. Hard squash is on sale for 69 cents a pound. I bought both Butternut and Acorn Squash (see 

I hope to post a recipe for Butternut Squash soup soon which is absouletly delicious. Both Acorn and Butternut Squash store fairly well. Store at 50 degrees. Acorn squash will last for 5-8 weeks s and Butternut will store well for 2-3 months.

I bought hamburger (80% lean) for $3.39 a pound. Suddenly hamburger is for rich people. In many stores I notice hamburger is now selling for over $4 a pound while you can frequently buy chicken on sale for uner $2 a pound.

I messed up and bought toilet tissue for $3.48 a package (after coupon). I had a headache and didn't figure correctly. You can usually find toilet tissue much cheaper.

How to Make a Cute Inexpensive Headboard

I had been wanting a headboard for my guest bedroom for a long time. I had envisioned one of those leather looking headboards but they were quite expensive. I even considered buying plywood, batting and leather looking vinyl to make my own headboard. Even that would have cost more than I wanted to spend.
My Guest Bedroom
So I finally decided to re-purpose a picture I bought from my sister's garage sale. These type of pictures are easy to find and much less expensive than an actual headboard. I simply hung the picture low on the wall where the headboard would normally go. Ta da! Instant beautiful, bright headboard without the work or expense of making one. You see these type of pictures at garage sales, Craigslist and thrift stores quite frequently.

Repurposed Picture

This idea may be to unconventional for some but I really enjoy it. First, it always reminds me of my sister. When she had this picture it hung over a bright red couch in her soft yellow living room next to a wall of large windows with plants. I loved her living room because it was so vibrant and cheery.

My Headboard

I hate the tern "think outside the box" so let's just say "think outside the headboard". Instead of a headboard why not hang a picture? If not a large picture, maybe even a series of three or four smaller pictures. I even considered painting a "headboard" picture on the wall. What neat headboard ideas have you come up with? Please share!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling

One box spice cake mix and one can pumpkin

A friend recently asked me, "Where do you get your recipes?" Well, this recipe came from a small, white  haired lady I met at the grocery store. We literally bumped into each other as we were both reaching for Spice Cake Mix.

She said, "I need this to make my famous Pumpkin Spice Cake Muffins. My family loves them!" 

"That sounds delicious," I responded. "I wish I had your recipe."

"I'll give it to you," she smiled.

Right there in the aisle of Dillon's, I wrote her recipe on the box.

"Take one box spice mix and add a can of pumpkin and half a cup of water. Mix and bake," she confided.

"Really!" I said surprised. "No oil or eggs?"

"No. Just cake mix, pumpkin and water," she stressed.

She was so convincing, I purchased three boxes of Spice Cake mix because she said they are hard to find and only sold in the fall.

Ad one half cup water
Mix pumpkin, cake mix and water together
If you have a three year old handy wearing an Iron Man costume, it is acceptable to allow him to mix the three ingredients. If you do not have a three year old available, you may mix the ingredients yourself, though it may be difficult to find an Iron Man costume in your size.

It's OK to lick the beater because there is no egg
For the cream cheese filling you will need one package cream cheese,
one egg and half a cup of powdered sugar. Mix together.
It has been my experience that if a three year old says,
"But Nana, I really do know how to crack eggs,"
you should not necessarily believe them. Three year olds
often over-estimate their cooking abilities.

Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and egg together
Keep the three year old busy putting paper cups in muffin tins

Fill cups about third full with cake batter/pumpkin mix. Put about a teaspoon
of cream cheese filling on top of cake mixture.

It will look something like this...
Now put some cake mixture on top of the filling.

To make struesel, put half cup of flour, quarter cup of brown sugar,
half a stick of butter and half a teaspoon of cinnamon in a bowl

Mix together with a fork until crumbly

Place struesel on top of muffins and bake at 350 degrees for
about 20 minutes.
 I have to admit I was worried. The cupcake/muffin batter seemed exceptionally thick. I kept imagining the little old lady driving home and saying, "Oh, My! I forgot to tell that young lady to add half a cup of milk!"

They ended up being quite delicious. Without the cream cheese filling, I think they would have been pretty dense but you can try it and decide what you think.
Pretty muffins on cake stand

A friend made me this cake stand

Simply take an inexpensive glass candle holder (like you find at the
dollar store) andsuper glue it to an old fashioned, attractive plate
(the kind you see everywhere including the thrift store, garage
sales or probably your cupboard)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

How to Make Easy Spicy Red Jambalaya

I like mine spicy! I'm talking about Jambalaya, of course. Jambalaya is so easy to make and there are a million different varieties. Cajun Jambalaya does not contain tomatoes and is also referred to as "Brown Jambalaya". Creole Jambalaya does contain tomatoes and so is aptly named "Red Jambalaya".  Jambalaya originated in the Caribbean Islands and was a mish mash of Spanish and native foods.  Jambalaya is primarily a rice dish or a pilaf (rice cooked in a seasoned broth). Gumbo on the other hand is a soup usually thickened with okra with rice cooked separately. I don't trust people who eat Gumbo or slimy okra.

A trinity of flavor...peppers, onion and celery
Start with a large dutch oven or very heavy cooking pot. Throw a couple of tablespoons of oil in the bottom of the pot and heat. Next, add one chopped up onion, half a chopped up green pepper, half a chopped up red pepper and about three stalks chopped up celery. Saute.

Pre-cooked chicken
My husband loves Jambalaya because it has so much meat in it. He said he felt tingly all over today just thinking about Jambalaya for supper.

I purchase chicken on sale, then bake it all at once. I cut up the baked chicken, freeze it on a flat surface for a couple of hours and then put the chicken chunks in a zip lock baggie.  This way, I only have to use my oven once and have a good supply of cooked chicken on hand to make a variety of meals. It really speeds up the cooking process if you don't have to bake the chicken. But if you don't already have some baked chicken, bake a couple of breasts, chop and add to the saute vegetables. Of course, you can cheat and buy pre-cooked chicken strips but they are not as good.

Pre-Peppered Hamburger
The best cooks just know how to cover their mistakes. The other night I was making tacos. As I was browning the hamburger, I went to add pepper. The lid fell off the pepper and about a third of a cup of pepper dumped into the skillet. It was inedible to all but people who make their livings as Fire Eaters. I froze the very peppery hamburger and have slowly been adding it to other dishes. So tonight, about a third of a pound of hamburger and a tablespoon of pepper went into the pot.

Instead of hamburger, you could use shrimp or ham. Personally, I hate anything that comes from the sea. I tell people I am allergic to fish. I am not, I just hate it. I have found if you tell people you hate fish, they will try to convince you fish is good and even go so far as to bring fish they have prepared  in a campaign to sway you to the fish side. However, if you say you are allergic, people tend to leave you alone.

Vegetables, hamburger and pepper
On to the best part, Andouille sausage. Trust me, you don't want to know a lot about sausage or what it is made of. Andouille is a heavily smoked, spicy sausage and exceptionally delicious if you don't over think it.

Andouille Sausage

Cut the sausage into little round bites of heaven and add to the pot. Continue cooking the mixture over medium heat.

Gettin' there
A dish without garlic is just naked. I added about five cloves of garlic. If you microwave the cloves for about 10 seconds, the outer covering will just slip off, making it very easy to put through a garlic press. If you don't own a garlic press, for goodness sakes go out and buy one.

Garlic about to be pressured
Next, add a couple of cans of tomatoes. And though I forgot to take a picture, also add a couple of cans of chicken broth.

Progress so far
 Now, add about one and half cups of uncooked rice. Do not use that horrible instant stuff. Use real rice.

Mr. French
I can't look at French's Worchestershire sauce without thinking about Mr. French, the butler on Family Affair. I really wish I had a butler. Or any staff at all. I've obviously been watching way too much Masterpiece Theatre.  Add about a tablespoon of Worchershire.

Creole Seasoning

Last ingredient, add one tablespoon Creole seasoning. Now if you really want to be authentic, add a teaspoon of file' powder. File' powder is ground sassafras leaves. If you are fresh out of sassafras leaves, just leave it out. I did.

Red Jambalaya
Now, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is fully cooked. I forgot to take a final picture but believe me, it looked just like this but thicker.

It cost about $12 to make this dish because of all the meat. I considered it about 8 servings and my husband said four. So, between $1.50-$3.00 a serving depending on how gluttonous you are feeling.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cheap Outdoor Decorating or How to Stencil Steps

 Years ago I had the idea to stencil the steps leading to my front door. I choose to use the fruitages of the spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23:

"On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law."

I didn't have enough steps for long-suffering, mildness or self-control which are probably the qualities I need to work the most upon.

Over the years, the words have faded into a nice patina. I like the worn look.

This is a really easy and cheap project.  Buy stenciled letters, found at any craft store. (This project should cost around $20 because you may need more than one stencil set plus spray paint). The letters will be individual and you simply tape the letters together to make the words you would like to stencil. Next, tape the stencil to the step. Make sure it is on good and tight. Then spray paint lightly. I have found one or two light coats is best to prevent dripping. And believe me, if they handed out degrees in spray painting. I would have my masters.

Depending on your family and number of steps, it would be very cute to stencil the names of all your family members. Or something like, "Hogan House" on one step and "Est. 1982" on another. Or your address. Oh, the possibilities are endless!

How to Organize Costume Jewelry Necklaces

Former desk area converted into make-up area
When our three kids were in high school, it became imperative that they all have their own bedrooms.  We lived in a three bedroom house. We ended up converting our family room into a master suite and have never reclaimed the former master bedroom. It is now a guest bedroom.

I converted this former desk area into my make-up table. I purchased a cheap (around $10) curtain rod and hung it on the wall.  I hang all my costume necklaces and bracelets on the curtain rod. 

Bracelets on end

Gone are the days of untangling necklaces. There is nothing worse than starting your day by attempting to take a the knot out of a fine chain. Well OK, I have had a lot of days that started worse than that but I think you get my drift.

Choose a curtain rod that "sits" in the bracket and lifts up easily to make it simple to remove bracelets on the end. Necklaces can go anywhere since they typically clasp or unclasp.

I love being a girl

I sort my necklaces by color and style to make it easiest to find matching accessories. 

One time when I was still working, a former supervisor had everyone write down something nice about everyone else in the department on index cards and give it to each co-worker. It was kinda like being in high school and having to write in people's yearbooks.  There were a lot of comments like, "I really enjoy working with you. You are so sweet!" 

Well, nobody actually said I was sweet but I think you get the general idea of the exercise--force yourself to say something nice. There were a lot of nice comments and it was a good little team building exercise. The comments were suppossed to be anonymous but after working with 23 people for some time, you know each other's handwriting plus most people signed their cards. I got 22 index cards with very flattering comments and one that said, "Your clothes always match."

Can you imagine not liking someone and having to work to write down something positive about that person?  I guess the best this lady could come up with that I do have the ability to match my tops to my bottoms. And looking around Wal-Mart each time I venture out, I have come to realize this is a skill.

It's always a little disconcerting to find out someone doesn't care for you, especially if you do not have strong feelings one way or the other about them. She was one of those people who when you passed them in the hall loudly commanded, "Smile!" as she marched by without stopping.

I'm one of those people who when lost in thought or in a hurry, may not even be beware I have just passed you. Once awoken by someone's bright and cheery and irritating demand to act a certain way, I have to quelch the impulse to respond, "I will when you leave". Sometimes, I am not nice on the inside but try not to let it show on the outside. I am successful about 77% of the time.

Funny thing is, it was the only index card I kept.
Easy Peasy

Practical and pretty. This is one of the most commented on items when people visit my home and it was cheap. Simplify your life by making it easy to find things. What cool things have you done to organize your life? What are your cute inexpensive decorating ideas? Please share!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Topeka Grocery Deals through September 18

Last week's Dillon's shopping trip

I didn't blog about my purchases last week because I didn't feel I did very well. Dillon's was having another of their "Buy 10, Save $5" events and I had decided I wanted to combine those items with a Kraft Foods promotion.  Through September 15th, a coupon will print at check-out at Dillon's if you purchase  a certain number of participating Kraft products.  Buy 3-5 products, get $2 off future shopping order, buy 6-9 products, get $5 off, buy 10 or more and get $10 off future shopping trip. This same event continues this week.

The trick is not all Kraft products are included. For example, Kraft cream cheese is not included. I decided to buy 10 packages of cheese. The expiration date is not until the end of December and I knew I would not have any problems using that much cheese before the end of the year. The cheese was part of the buy 10, get $5 off promotion so after the store discount it was $2.49 a package.  Minus the $10 off future order that printed at check-out, it made the final cost of the cheese $1.49 a package. I thought this was a decent deal until this morning. 

Today's Hy-Vee ad indicates they are having a sale of Hy-Vee cheese for $1.18 a package.  I believe some of these packages are only 6 ounces as opposed to 8 ounces.  Still, I was irritated. I felt like I had overpaid for a staple. You may want to stock up on cheese this week because you rarely see cheese this inexpensive.

I also ended up purchasing 10 other items included in the promotion: Puffs, Pringles, Pace and Parmesan plus a couple of items I needed but that would have been cheaper elsewhere. Altogether, I spent $39.13 pre-tax minus coupons and store savings and received a coupon for $10 off future order, making this trip $29.13. In other words, about $1 an item.

Dillon's always includes a store savings percentage on the receipt and mine was 37%. Honestly, this is about average for me. When I shop at Dillon's, their calculation usually indicates savings in the 30-50% range.

Stockpile for winter

Everyone on the Internet advises different ways to save...use coupons, don't use coupons; stockpile, don't stockpile; shop multiple store, shop only at Wal-Mart.  I am still seeking the answer to the best way to save. I feel I leave money on the table every week but am still probably doing better than most.

I don't have entire rooms devoted to food storage but I do have one closet in my garage I have devoted to items I have purchased very cheaply and which store well.  Since my husband is an electrician and work often slows down in the winter, I try to have some staples on hand to help lighten our grocery bill during the winter months. 

There are several good sales this week.  Some good items to stock-up on this week, are as follows:


Hy-Vee Cheese-$1.18
Hy-Vee canned vegetables-$ .39
Hy-Vee butter-$1.88
Hy-Vee large eggs-$1.18
Hy-Vee popcorn-$1.18
Country Fare sugar 4 lbs-$1.88

Apple Market

Farmland Sausage-$ .98 (very good deal)
Best Choice eggs, medium-$ .98
Chicken breast-$1.88 pound
Pork chops-$2.98 pound
Rump roast-$2.88 pound


Kroger chicken breast-$1.89 pound

These are some of the items I noticed but will likely blog more later in the week. What deals are you finding? Please post any comments about sales or deals you have noticed in the Topeka area.  I am sure I missing many. I would like this to be an interactive blog will all of us helping each other!

You Get More Coupons with Sugar than Vinegar

Turkey Hill Coupons
I am often asked, "Where do you get your coupons?"  Obtaining coupons is easy.  The easiest way is to simply ask for them.  Ask your friends, co-workers, relatives and neighbors to save them for you.  Lots of people will clip one or two coupons out of the Sunday coupons and then toss the rest away.  Ask them to start passing along any coupons they are not interested in using. 

Another way to obtain coupons is to email the manufacturer and request them.  I believe there is an art to requesting coupons.  For example, I emailed Turkey Hill and told them how much I love their "Blackberry Diet Tea". This is very true.  Then I politely asked if they ever had coupons for their product.  I received the above packet of coupons by mail a few days later.  A two minute email netted me several coupons which when doubled will make the products free or severely discounted. The trick will be to combine the coupons with sales of these products.

The point is I didn't complain about the product. I told the company how much I enjoyed the product. I recently read a quote that said, "When in doubt about what to say, be kind." 

Free Cream
I was attempting to print a couple of coupons from the International Delight website and had difficulty getting the coupons to print.  I emailed the company and asked why I was having problems. Once again, I didn't go on a rant or complain.  I am of the opinion that people who throw fits in stores or write nasty letters are simply making fools of themselves. Think of the last time you lost your cool, did it make you feel good about yourself? I have decided allowing myself to occasionally be wronged is a major step forward in simplifying my life.

I was able to eventually print the International Delight coupons online and the nice cream people sent me this free coupon. 

Most manufacturers will send you coupons once or twice a year if requested. Try it. What do you have to lose?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Organization is the Key to Simplification

My spice cabinet

I wish I had taken a "before" picture.  You cannot appreciate this cabinet unless you experienced it in all its previous messiness. 

When I started my journey, I thought simplification would primarily entail saving money.  I am finding it is so much more than squeezing a dollar until it screams and begs for mercy. And I'm not even saying my dollars are screaming for mercy, just that they are starting to feel a pinch. 

I started thinking, "What makes me craziest that I can fix?"  Two things came to mind:  my silverware and my spice cabinet.

I had about 50 butter knives and 2 spoons.  The two spoons didn't even match any of the fifty knives.  I'm not surprised, being aware of cows propensity to jump over lunar objects and spoons to run away with the china. The forks were in the middle, around 20, each with a bent tine or two.  I could live with 50 mismatched knives and 20 bent tines but not with two spoons, each of which had taken numerous spins down the garbage disposal...a kind of wild, silverware amusement ride which had left each with numerous sharp nicks. It had gotten to the point you had to eat your cereal very gingerly.

So I bought new silverware.  It's kind of ugly but it was on the clearance rack for $18. It all matches and for the first time in a long time, we eat without fear. 

I took the old silverware and sold it in a friend's garage sale for $5. The lady who bought it seemed thrilled. Perhaps she was spoon heavy and knife light.

For $13, I have drastically improved my life, at least until the next time I turn on the garbage disposal and am met with the unmistakable death song of a metallic object. There is no worse noise because when you first hear it, you don't know what's down there.  Is it just a beer cap?  Or is it your wedding ring? Then you have to reach inside and fish around some slime until you find the body. The last victim was the cap to my favorite salt shaker. It's the equivalent of Kitchen CSI.

Happy Spices

The other major annoyance in my kitchen was a cabinet where I kept all my spices.  I had a thirty year accumulation of spice bottles in a variety of shapes and sizes.  I'm pretty sure the Cardamon (OK, I know for sure) was bought for a recipe I made right after I got married. I remember it specifically because I was trying to impress my new husband's family with a fancy fruit dish covered in an exotic spice.  They were not impressed. On the plus side, I was rarely asked to bring dishes to family events again.

Spices were stacked two and three bottles high based on a particular bottles ability to balance on top of another, kind of a spice cirque du soleil, if you will.  Without fail, each time I opened this cabinet, a bottle would leap from the shelf onto the counter, spewing it's contents far and wide in a kind of spice suicide.

"But nutmeg," I would cry. "I didn't even know you were depressed! How did I miss the signs?"

My mother always said I was a little dramatic.

So, I bought a couple of over-priced spice organizers at Bed, Bath & Beyond. My frustration level has drastically dropped now that I am not cleaning up expensive spice guts everyday.  What little changes can you make to simplify your life?

Cheapest Mums in Topeka, Kansas

I love fall!

Who can resist Chrysanthemums?  I love these daisy-like flowers.  They are not only delightful, but durable. Mums are also a perennial. You should cut back the flowers (cut off the dead flowers) by about 3-4 inches by mid-July, then the mums should bloom again in the fall. 

Mums are native to Asia and northeastern Europe.  Yet the name "Chrysanthemum" is Greek for "gold flower".  The greeks were apparently not known for their flower-naming originality. And of course, you can now find mums in various hybrid shades of red, purple, orange and white.

In China, mums are considered the flower of royalty.  Japan thinks so highly of the bloom it has named September 9th as National Chrysanthemum Day. However. in certain European countries, they are only used at funerals or to put on graves.

The flower portion of the mum contains Pyrethrins, a natural organic compound which repels insects. Pyrethrins are neurotoxins which attack the nerous systems of all insects.  According to you can make your own bug repellant from pulverized dried blooms:

"Buy plants of Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium; this is the only species that contains pyrethrum. Grind several dried flower heads to a fine powder. You can use this dust as is to sprinkle on the garden, or mix it with water to make a spray.

Add enough powder to 1 cup of water to make a paste. Keep adding water until it measures 3 quarts. Filter this solution into the sprayer through several layers of cheesecloth. Don't use either the dust or spray within 3 to 7 days of harvest".

Better yet, just plant a bunch of mums and hopefully irritate the mosquitos right out of your yard.  The best deal I have found in Topeka on mums is at Sutherland's this week.  You can purchase a quart container for $2.00 (see picture above) and a gallon container for $4.99.  I was a little peaved because I had already purchased some mums at about double that price. Don't you hate when you buy something, then it goes on sale somewhere else? 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Which is cheaper, Wal-Mart or Dillon's?

Test Shopping Trip

I had several things I needed to buy this week and decided to use these items as a random sample to compare prices between Wal-Mart and Dillons.  Price comparisons are between store brands unless otherwise stated. Prices were compared in Topeka, Kansas on September 4, 2012.

                                                          Wal-Mart                      Coupon                         Dillons

Nine lives cat food, pack of 24 cans        $9.48                                                              $9.75
Greek Yogurt, 3 large containers            $9.76 (Oikos)                                                  $6.58 (store)
1/2 gallon milk                                        $1.96                                                               $2.19
1/2 gallon cream                                     $3.98                                                               $3.79
Vegetable Oil Spray                               $1.50                                                               $1.67
48 large Tea Bags                                  $2.88                                                               $2.09
Coffee                                                   $6.28 (33.9 oz)                                                $5.28 (34.5 oz)
Raisins                                                  $1.98                                                                $1.79
Suave Deodorant                                   $1.67                                                               $1.79
Axe Cologne, 2                                      $7.47                                                               $8.52
Onion (3 pounds)                                   $2.34   (.78 pound)                                          $2.67 (.88 pound)
Palmolive Dish Detergent, 10 oz             $1.46                                                               $ .89
Quilted Northern Bath Tissue                  $3.04   (.76 roll)                                              $1.89 (.47 roll)
Butter                                                     $2.48                            $.40 (Dillons in store)  $2.29
Ramon Noodles                                      $ .78                             $.50                           $ .85

                                                               $57.06                                                            $52.04
Minus coupons including store issued
 coupons good only at Dillons and
doubled at Dillons
                                                               $   .75                                                              $ 1.90
Total after coupons (before tax)              $ 56.31                                                             $ 50.14

The answer is each store has items that cost less than the other store.  The trick is to try and buy as many items as possible at the store with the lowest price.  If you purchased all of the above items where they were cheapest after coupon,  you would pay $48.12 before tax.  This is about an $8 difference. If you saved $8 every week, you would save $416 in a year.

The prices above include Dillon's sale prices for the week purchased.  I have found many grocery store sale prices are less expensive than the regular price at Wal-Mart, especially when you factor in double coupons. You can price match at Wal-Mart but they do not double coupons. This is why it is good to keep a price book to compare prices (see previous post).