How to Have More While Spending Less

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Free Printable Labels

Wow!  I just ran across one of THE best free printables & I had to share them with you.  This lady is a killer designer & offers some pretty vintage labels that you can actually customize. 

Go to her blog & enjoy!  Customize, print & label your hearts out!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Party Ideas for The Big Game

I am a sucker for party food.  If your team is playing in 'The Big Game', I'm sure you're having or attending a party.  If your team isn't playing...let's just use this as an excuse for some killer party snacks! 

Today, I'm sharing two knocked-outta-the-park victories & one epic fail!

Over the years, I've been using Pinterest to find innovative ideas for snacks, drinks, party decor & other things you wouldn't believe if I told you.

One of my biggest party food victories has actually been about party drinks!  I am obsessed with kitchen gadgets & my sodastream is no exception. Even after having (mostly) eliminating soda from my diet, I still put this bad boy to work!

I use it to make sparkling water & just add some mint, lemon, lime, rosemary, cucumber...whatever sounds good.  It's a quick, cheap, healthy alternative to soda & that extra-chemically diet soda.  Sparkling lemonade is also transcendent.  I highly recommend it.  AND can also make soda.  Duh.  The money this thing saved me when I drank soda was mind-boggling!

I bought mine here.  They're offering free shipping right now too.  Score!


My second party food victory was these fantabulous stuffed jalapenos.  Dang, they were good!  I've actually made them for dinner on a normal, non-party night.  I get really excited when I find a healthier version of a sinful food that is actually enjoyable.  This is it!

Now, for the epic fail:

Last year, I tried making these baked mozzarella sticks. I lurve me some fried cheese & was ecstatic that I could indulge with less guilt! I was wrong. It was an utter trainwreck. I ended up with a pizza stone full of melted cheese puddles topped with crumbs. Huge time-waster & even huger disappointment for my tummy.

"String cheese chopped into bite size pieces, dipped in milk and bread crumbs, baked at 425 for 8-10 minutes- serve with marinara sauce!" Sounds reasonable enough, right? Wrong.

Save yourself the trauma.  (Fortunately, the recipe has been yanked from where I pinned it, so I'm not directly embarrassing anyone.)

Happy Snacking!!!  ...and for those of you actually watching the game, may the best team win!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

How To Stretch Your Grocery Dollar (Even After Your Shopping Trip)

A lot of this blog is about stretching your savings.  It's important.  A penny saved is a penny earned!

But another crucially important part of saving money is stretching what you've already bought.  I get SOOOO mad at myself when I find an awesome deal on food, buy a ton of it, bring it home & end up losing most of it.  It's usually my fault & could've been prevented.  Even if I had saved becomes a 100% unnecessary expense with 0% nourishment of my family.  Anger!

Most of us already have our own ways of stretching our grocery dollar at home.  Some people have instituted "Meatless Monday" at their house.  This saves money and helps their cholesterol.  I haven't convinced my husband yet, but I'm working on it.

Some of us have fun, quirky tips & tricks to stretch recipes by substituting less expensive ingredients, switching out cuts of meat, etc.

This morning I ran across a post about how most of our depression-era Grandmas would stretch their pantry ingredients.  This article is different than most I've read.  This article deals with a problem that I face on a regular basis.

We (as couponers, stockpilers, whatever you call us) usually buy a lot of food at once.  We find a spectacular deal on an item & stock up with enough of that item to last us until it goes on sale again.  ...Or we buy as much of it as we can possibly afford that week if it's something we know our family likes.

Enter the problem:

We over-bought & some of it is starting to go bad.  Oops! 

"Maybe I didn't need that entire case of oranges after all."
"I wish I had done a better job rotating my 5 million boxes of cereal so the older ones didn't get stale."

I hope I'm the only one this has happened to, but I imagine that I'm not alone here.  That's why I decided to post a link to the article below.  It shares tips on how to save food that's going bad, how to revive food that's past its prime & how to prevent items from going bad as quickly as they naturally would.

It's a decent list.  Decent enough to make me take time out of my peaceful Sunday morning & post it on a blog I haven't touched in a long time!  Enjoy.

14 Frugal Food Rescuing Tips From Grandma

No, I'm not getting compensated.  But even if I was, I'd still be honest about what I do & don't think you should spend time reading.   Because your Time IS Money & I get that!  :) 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Free Owl Calendar

How fun is this?

I found a free, customizable, printable 2014 Owl Calendar!  You can pick from 50 different owl-themed masterpieces & choose which month you want for each one.

I downloaded it & it's basically a 3-page format with 4 different months per page.  It's going to make a cute, free gift for my daughter's teacher who adores owls.  How fun!  Enjoy!

Click on the precious icon below to start creating your calendar.

Owl Lover 2014 Calendar

Monday, August 12, 2013

Moving Madness

Whew!  If anyone out there is moving into a new home (like I am), you know it's the epitome of exhaustion.  And chaos.  And disappointment that's hopefully at some point counteracted by excitement.

I just heard that is running a couple of unprecedented sales this month.  And, as always, they pick up the tab on shipping AND sales tax (when the government lets 'em).

Click on the cute photo to learn more.  I'm stoked.  And in serious need of a foot rub.  Repeat after me: "A pretty house is worth the agony...".  :)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hey, New Couponers!

Welcome to Stretch Your Savings!

I hope you enjoyed the Stewardship/Couponing Workshop.  Congratulations for taking your first step towards spending less & having more!

With a little hard work, you'll totally change things for your family.  It's awesome.

You can find the link to the grocery price spreadsheet here.  Like I said in the workshop, inflation is a beast!  If you can get anywhere close to these prices, it's probably worth stocking up.

If you have any questions or would just like a little refresher course, you can check out the earliest posts on this blog.  I began by explaining what motivated me to start & then wrote about each step of what I do every week. 

You can find posts on how to organize your coupons, understanding coupon lingo, making your own cleaning supplies & lots of other helpful tips.

Enjoy!  Start slow.  Stay organized.  Don't give up.  :)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Free Stocking Stuffers

Merry Christmas!

I thought I would share some of my newest free stocking stuffers with you.

These things are adorable, free & will create fun memories with your kids.  What more could we ask for?

Click on the link below to be able to save & print your Christmas Coupons.

Follow this link to pinterest & enjoy!  I printed out a set for each kid & I know they'll love them.

Have a very Merry Christmas Eve & God bless!  Love, Janie

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Pinterest: Addicted yet?

This site is ridiculous.  I love it.  I sometimes hate how much I love it.

My sister was in town visiting us in July & sat me down at the computer.  "Now, I need to tell're going to have to set a limit for how much time you spend on here each day."  "OK", I said, unable to imagine what could possibly be so addictive...that wasn't Angry Birds.

And then I saw it.  I was hit with a wall of beauty, creativity & inspiration.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Backpacks for a Penny?

I love this time of year!  Back To School deals are popping up all over the place!

My favorite so far has to be this:

Click here to read a post on!  It gives the details on how to get 2 backpacks at Office Max for just a penny each!

I can't wait!  We love donating as many school supplies as possible each year & this is the perfect way to start.

Walmart has the basics on sale right now & there are some coupons that match.  We've found good deals on crayons, markers, colored pencils & pens so far.  I imagine that the rest will go on sale soon.  Keep your eyes peeled!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Funny Farmers

I am still dreaming of the day I am out of the Las Vegas ant farm.  I feel claustrophobic (and a little creeped out) with my neighbors basically on top of me when I'm in our backyard.

My hubby and I want to grow our own food.  We do the best we can with the tiny yard we have here, but we want acres!  Enough food to feed us, our extended family, friends and whoever's in need.
These Kansas farmers made a parody to "I'm Sexy And I Know It".  They sing, "I'm Farming And I Grow It"!  I'm glad they're proud of what they do.  I'm proud of them.

The average age of a farmer is surprisingly old (with the majority of them being in their 70s!).  We need more young, enthusiastic farmers like these guys.  Enjoy!

Click here for the video!