Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I just picked 3 gallons of glorious blueberries!

First, the bad news: I called Falls Blueberry Farm in Maryville yesterday and they said that would be their last day. Say it isn't so?! There were just no more berries on the trees. I went the same time last year and they were dripping with berries; last year they had them well into August; so I was VERY disappointed. Between trips, camps, and VBS, we haven't had a single day to get there til now.

Second, the good news: I had heard the Blueberry Hill Farm in Norris was great. The answering machine said they were open for picking every day, sun up to sun down and they should have berries til the end of August. This farm was actually closer to me; so I piled all three kids in the car and off we went.

I was delighted to see they had PLENTY of blueberries and they were delicious! And I had the added surprise to see a friend had brought her kids there too. So we got to pick and visit at the same time. In an hour and a half, we had filled 3 gallons. I would have kept picking but the kids were done. The berries seemed nice and plump after yesterday's rain, but I did get soaked by the drops falling off the leaves. We all cooled off in the creek near Norris Lake not far away.

I am pleased with my berries, but their pricing is much higher than in Maryville. $16 a gallon--cash only (more than twice what I paid last year). I respect that they work on the honor system. You put your money in an envelope and slip it between two slats in a barn! Despite paying more, it's still much cheaper than any market's sale, they don't spray pesticides on the berries, I'm supporting local agriculture, and I've ensured I should have enough fresh berries to get me through to next summer. Very happy! Sorry I have no good pictures; I was too busy harvesting blueberries! ;-)

Blueberry Hill Farm
Brian & BJ Baxter, owner/operator
101 Reservoir Rd
Norris, TN 37828 (Anderson County)
Phone: (865) 494-7903
E-mail: info@tnblueberries.com
Web: http://www.tnblueberries.com

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Couponing for Charity 7/10 - 16

Maybe it's just a summer thing, maybe we're in the midst of a slow sales cycle slump, or maybe TLC's Extreme Couponing has changed the couponing scene for everyone. Whatever the cause, I'm lamenting that lately there just aren't as many great deals as I'm used to seeing. Fewer deals for my family and fewer deals for the charities I've been supporting.

However, I have found a few deals I'll try to pick up this week.


For all the savings, check out Southern Saver's match-ups.
For a pared down list, check out Coupon Katie.
Here's my plan:
  • 1 Complete Multipurpose solution 12 oz ($7.99, get $7.99 ECB=FREE); limit 1
  • 1 Balance Bar ($1.69, get $1.69 ECB=FREE); limit 1
  • 2 Raison Brans ($2.50 each, $1 ECB wyb 2; use 2 $.70 printables =$1.30 each); limit 1
  • 2 Colgate toothpastes 4oz ($1.66 each, use $1.50/2 CVS kiosk coupon and 2 $.75 MC=$.16 each. If I can find the $1 coupons, they're free.)

Here are all the Southern Saver match-ups.
Here is a pared down list from Coupon Katie.
I doubt I'll go into Walgreen's this week, but if I did, here's what I'd get:

Transaction #1:
  • 1 Hyland's natural teething gel--a great gift for a baby shower ($5, get $5RR, use $1 printable=$1MM)
OOP: $4 + tax
RR earned: $5

Transaction #2:
  • 1 W Womens 6 Blade Razor System ($3.99, get $3.99RR=FREE)
  • 1 GUM 200 yards floss ($2, get $2RR=FREE)
  • Use $5RR from previous transaction
OOP: $.99 + tax
RRs earned: $6

Click here for all the match-ups from Southern Savers.
It's another mega-sale; so lots of deals other than what I've noted here, but these are the freebies I see.
  • Colgate ($.99; use $.75 - $1 MC=Free to nearly free). Tip: If you don't want to deal with ECBs and RRs, this is a great way to get free toothpaste.
  • Pringles ($.85, use $.50 MC, doubled = FREE)
  • Mars & Nestle bars ($.50, use $.50/2 MC or $1.19/2 e-saver=FREE)
What are your favorite deals?

FREE 8.5x11 classic linen photo book 7/9 only!

If you're looking to create a photo book for a special occasion, this looks like a great deal today. But since these aren't done in stores, you will have to pay shipping; not sure how much.

At Walgreen's the 8.5 x 11 classic linen photo book starts at $19.99, but is FREE today only. You upload your pictures and rearrange them from your computer. You can get between 10 and 75 double sided pages. Not sure how many pages are free with this offer. I have discovered that to use a free coupon code for deals like this, you need to get EXACTLY what it's offering. Don't choose another size and don't choose leather. At check-out, use the promo code "CREATEBOOK"

Offer good through Saturday, July 9 only! If you decide to get this deal, let me know what you think.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Couponing for Charity 7/3-9

This post will be short because there aren't many freebies this week that I've found. Normally I would have skipped this week, but my son had an allergic reaction to something and I was out of kids benadryl. What a score that it was on sale too and with my ECBs from previous trips, I only paid tax. Here's what I bought:
  • 2 CVS Kids Benadryl generic (B1G1 50% off: $4.69 and $2.34--cheaper than the Walgreen's version even not on sale)
  • 2 Oral B Cross-Action toothbrushes ($3, get $1ECB for each, Use B1G1 MC and $2 MC=$1MM. Tip: Give them the $2 coupon and then the B1G1 to avoid beeping.) Limit 2
  • Oral B Pulsar toothbrushes are free too but they were out; I got a raincheck for 2. There were still plenty of the manual toothbrushes.
  • 1 Hershey bar (free with a coupon printing at the kiosk; love it!)
  • Used $8 ECB from last week.
Subtotal: $.03
With tax: $.98
ECBs for next time: $2

Walgreen's has a deal on the Oral B toothbrushes too, but the CVS deal is better. Nothing else was enticing enough for a trip. I didn't see any freebies at Kroger or Target either.

Enjoy the rest of your long weekend!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Is it time to pick blueberries? Maybe not!

After our super blueberry picking experience last year at Bob and Maxine Falls Blueberry Farm in Maryville, I've been eagerly planning our return.

So I called them a few days ago and they gave me the scoop. They officially opened this past Thursday, but they hope to have berries in season for 6 weeks (to mid August). But before you rush off to harvest, consider this. They said the berries right now are pretty tart, great for pies, not as good for just eating. They advised waiting 2-4 weeks for the sweetest berries and biggest crops (mid to late July). They get sweeter in the season, they advised.

So head that way now if you must, but I'd suggest waiting. I will be. Here is all the information, which I confirmed:

Maxine and Bob Falls Blueberry Farm
111 Harmon Rd. Maryville, Tn 37804
(865) 982-3457
Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday 6:30am-8:30pm.
1.25/lb when you pick them yourself and 2.50/lb if you just stop in to purchase them. They also have a few baked goods.
They're located about 10 minutes beyond McGhee Tyson Airport.

Will you be going to a different blueberry farm? Have you picked berries yet? How are the berries at the Fruit and Berry Patch?