How to Have More While Spending Less

Friday, April 29, 2011

Sunday Coupon Preview -5/1/11

Wow!  It's gonna be an awesome week!

According to the Sunday Coupon Preview, we're looking at receiving 2 SmartSources, a RedPlum and this month's Proctor & Gamble insert!  It's much more than the 2011 Coupon Insert Schedule predicted.

To see the complete list of coupons, click here.  It will show you what specific coupons you can expect to see in each of these inserts.  It really helps me plan my weekly shopping trip.  Enjoy!


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Weekly Grocery List -4/27/11

Alright, you guys...there are definitely some grocery deals out there this week!  A lot of the good ones are on chicken, fresh produce & tequila thanks to Cinco de Mayo being just around the corner.

OK, Las Vegas, here's what I'd buy this week because it's at a great price:

Pork chops, loin, bone-in                $1.70/lb          Cardenas
Chicken leg qtrs. frozen                  $0.59/lb.         Albertsons
Chicken drumsticks                        $0.59/lb          Cardenas
hot dogs, FosterFarms 16 oz         $0.98              Food4Less

Mangos                                          $0.33 ea        Alb & Vons
White Corn                                     $0.20 ea       Cardenas
Bell peppers                                  $0.25 ea          Food4Less
Bananas                                        $0.34/lb         Marketon
Kiwis                                              $0.17 ea        Marketon
Lemons                                         $0.10 ea        Marketon
Cucumbers                                   $0.10 ea         Cardenas
Romaine Lettuce                          $0.57 ea        Liborio

Storebrand Pnut Butter 18oz           $1.00            Smiths/Kroger
Kellogg's cereal 12-20oz sel.var.    $1.98             Smiths
Nissin CupoNoodles 6pk.                $0.98            Food4Less
HamburgerHelper 7.2oz                  $0.98             Food4Less
Crest 4.6oz                                     $1.00            Smiths
Colgate 6.4 oz                                $1.00            Food4Less

Sauza gold tequila 750ml                $7.98            Food4Less
Cuervo gold tequila 750ml              $9.98             Food4Less

Happy early Cinco de Mayo!  Stock up now for a couple of weeks of good times!  :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mail Call

The blog got its first official pieces of mail!  Two of them!

Stretch Your Savings was on the address label & everything.  :)  I'm such a proud Mama.

First, we got a box from Cover Girl that has $10 in coupons, a tinted lip gloss & a foundation that matches my skin tone.

Next, we got a box from Claritin that has $15 in coupons & a bottle of Children's Claritin.

We got these because I signed up to be a BzzAgent & they connect me with different campaigns based upon what I am interested in.  It's a pretty cool deal.  What's best is that they don't compensate us because they want honest feedback. (So if you hate something, it's safe to tell the truth without any awkward feelings.)  It's free to sign up & all you have to do is tell your friends what you think.

So, if anyone wants to check it out, click here.
And, if anyone wants a $3 Children's Claritin coupon or a $2 Cover Girl coupon, let me know.  I have 4 of each left.  :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

I have been blessed wtih a Mom who is execptionally sentimental about her family.  She's also abnormally easy to please, so she loved the photos we recently gave her for her birthday!

If you have a sentimental Mom who is crazy about her family, take a look at 6 items you can make for her at Vistaprint (...for free!)
Click here to see their latest offers.

I've done the calendars before & absolutely adore them.  I've got my eye on the T-shirt!  I might make one for myself...or for my sweet sister who's about to get married.  Oh, the possibilities!  :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Nivea Coupon

My sister loves this stuff! 

I found a $2/2 coupon for Nivea Lip Care. (Click on that link to print it & don't forget you can print it twice.)

Let us know if you find a good sale.  Last time I saw this it was on sale for $1 at WalMart & Vons which made it free!  Woo-hoo!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sunday Coupon Preview -4/24/11

Happy Easter weekend! 
Feel free to relax, take this Sunday off from couponing & spend it with family. 

Actually, we don't really have a choice...there aren't any coupons scheduled to be in this Sunday's newspaper.  :)

If you really wanna be ahead of the curve, though, you can find free printable coupons here.

Have a great weekend!

Recipe Heaven!

Just when you think I couldn't be more obsessed with food...I am!  :) 

I just downloaded a toolbar that lets me instantly search through thousands of meals from Food Network.  It looks great so far. 

Click here if you want to learn more.  It's free & they didn't even make me register for it.

I hate the feeling of being in a culinary rut & I've been in one recently with chicken.  It's been on sale so much & I can only make it taste a few different ways.  Hopefully, I can browse around & get the ol' creative juices flowing.  Bon Appetit!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Weekly Grocery List -4/20/11

Woo-hoo!  This week is amazing!  The stores are giving us a lot of great options for Easter feasts.  It also looks like the warm weather is bringing us lots of fruits & veggies.


OK, Las Vegas, here's what will save you the most money this week.  Fill those freezers!  :)

Farmer John hot dogs 16oz.                  78 cents       Food4Less
Fresh&Easy Bacon 10-16oz.                $3.00            Fresh&Easy
Smithfield 1/2 ham                                  $0.77/lb        Fresh&Easy
chick breasts, bnless/skinless               $1.79/lb        Marketon -Fri. only
chick breasts, bone-in Fost.Farms       $1.29/lb        Cardenas
Roast, ribeye, boneless                         $4.99/lb        F&Easy/Vons

Limes                                                       $0.25/lb        Marketon
Iceberg Lettuce                                       $0.34 ea.     Marketon
Golden Del. Apples                                $0.33/lb        Cardenas (Th&Fri only)
White corn                                               $0.25 ea.      Marianas
Cucumbers                                             $0.15 ea       Marianas
Seedless watermelon                            $0.20/lb         Marianas
Broccoli                                                   $0.50/lb         Marketon
Braeburn apples                                     $0.34/lb         BuyLow
Celery                                                      $0.34 ea        Buy Low
Strawberries                                           $0.99/lb         F&Easy/Vons
Kiwis                                                        $0.13 ea       Cardenas (Th&Fri only)

Birdseye frozen veg.10-12oz               $0.79              Smiths
Hashbrowns, storebrand 30oz              $1.99             Fresh&Easy
Lay's Kettle Chips 9 oz.                         $1.99             Smiths
Imperial Spread 16 oz.                          $0.58             Food4Less

Sauza Gold Tequila 750ml                    $7.98             Food4Less
E&J Brandy  750 ml                               $7.98             Food4Less
Andre sparkling wine                             $4.48             Food4Less
Shock Top 12 pk.bottles                        $10.99           Fresh&Easy

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What's Up With Food Prices?

The answer is, well...almost everything. 

If you've gone grocery shopping in the past few months, you've probably experienced some "sticker shock".  I have personally been tracking our food prices for the past 50 weeks & almost everything has risen in the past few months.

Why?  Is it due to gas & diesel prices being so high?  Is it because of the unrest in the Mid East or the devastation in Japan?  The United Nations mentions none of those reasons.

By the way, this post isn't meant to alarm or depress you.  Some people watch The Weather Channel before getting dressed for the day or before deciding whether or not to wash their car.  This is the same thing.  I just want an idea of what I can expect.  Personally, I try to avoid getting caught in a rainstorm in stilletos.  I'd much rather have my umbrella & some cute rain boots!

This is just some of the information that can help us know what to expect.
This graph from the U.N. shows the major commodities/staples of the world's diet.

The world supply of corn is up 83% from March of last year. 

Wheat is now 63% higher than it was this time last year. 

The reason they show sugar prices declining last month is based upon the speculation that India will be producing more than usual.  Sure hope they're right.  Fingers crossed!  I do love my gummy bears.

The price for oils & fats is a similar story.  They show them decreasing based upon the recovery of "prospects for palm oil".  Again, fingers crossed because I love me some rich foods!

Overall, commodity prices are just below the all-time high they reached in mid-2008 (when gas prices averaged just over $4.00/gallon).  Hmmm...I don't wanna think that there's a correlation, but the numbers certainly show gas prices & food prices fluctuating together.

The graph below tracks what the United Nations calls the Food Price Index.  It's not measured in actual currency;  it's just basically an indication of how the world's food prices are trending. 
Whew!  I'm glad those 2008 gas prices are gone!  But, I'm not too excited about the trend of 2009 or 2010...or what 2011 is looking like so far.  My Mom has always said, "Don't borrow trouble," so  I'm not even going to speculate what might happen if this year's gas & diesel prices keep climbing.

What I am going to do is prepare for the worst, but hope for the best.  What does that look like?  I'll post that soon.  It's possible to feel secure without feeling scared.  It's a nice, calm, content feeling & I like it.  :)  Ahhh.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My Search For a Fun, Inventive Recipe

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I LOOOOVE food...cooking it, eating it, talking about it & even reminiscing about a meal from 14 years ago!

Since I started this blog a couple of months ago, I've been absolutely swamped with recipes (& coupons & freebies & surveys & hundreds of gimmicks), so I try to sort things out before I lay 'em on y'all.

Tonight, I signed up for Recipe Nut because...well, I AM one & I think I found a recipe that's actually semi-original...& should impress the heck out of anyone with young kids.  :) 
Shoot, I expect my parents to try this one just because it sounds so fun!

Click here to learn how to make The Empty Tomb Buns.

To make this entertaining (& supposedly delicious) Easter treat, you're supposed to...
Wrap pieces of bread dough around marshmallows (I am NOT impressed so far), dip them in butter (hello!), roll them in cinnamon-sugar & bake.  

The end-result is 'Empty Tombs' that baffle your kids' minds about how the marshmallow 'disappeared'...& that also happen to taste delicious!

I love Easter, I love Jesus, I love springtime & I love food! **

When you click on the link above, go to the "Occassion" tab & select "Spring".  Should be fun.  I think our teenagers will even be intrigued enough to try it.


**  (Even if you hate Easter, hate Jesus, hate springtime & hate food, I still love ya.)

You Call The Shots!

I'm takin' requests!  The handful of requests I've gotten up until now have been great.  I want to formally extend an invitation/ "free-for-all" to everyone.

Ask any questions you'd like me to (try to) answer. 
Tell me anything you'd like to see...or see more of...or see less of, for that matter.

My whole intention is to be helpful.  Times are tough right now.  Even if they weren't, we'd still be expected to be responsible with what we have.

It's Open Mic Night!  Consider this your stage.  Your wish is my command.  :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sunday Coupon Preview -4/17/11

This week looks amazing!  We've got a RedPlum coming in a few days & this Sunday's newspaper is going to have 2 huge SmartSources!  We're talking massive!

Click here to see the entire list.  You'll need to scroll past an ad to see the RedPlum.  Woo-Hoo!

To see what inserts are scheduled to be in the Sunday newspapers for the rest of 2011, click here.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Freebies

OK.  I've tested these guys out for a couple of weeks & they're worthy of your time.  (If anything looks questionable, I try to dive on the grenade for ya.  I'm here to help, not send you junk.)

I wasn't sure at the beginning because when you sign up, they send you to offers that don't seem very exciting.  Be prepared to say, "No, thanks" to a lot of spammy-looking offers.

Then, you'll end up getting some pretty good emails (in your coupon/junk email account, right?  Right.)  Each email has had 5-7 offers & there's always at least one that I like.

The latest was a coupon for free Arby's curly fries today on "Tax FryDay". haha!  I also joined the Burt's Bees Beehive & some other fun stuff.

Click here if you wanna join in on the freebies & offers. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Whole Foods Coupons

This is an awesome link!  ...if I do say so myself.  :)

At last count, there were 36 great coupons on the Whole Foods site. 

I rarely go there (even though I love it!) due to their prices.  However, I need some essential oils to make my Homemade Cleaning Supplies smell yummy, so I figured I'd print a few of these & head on over.

Click on this link & print to your heart's desire!

Grocery Coupon Match-Ups

I found 3 AWESOME coupon match-ups for this week's Grocery Shopping List!

$0.75/3 Birdseye Steamfresh Vegetables
     They're on sale at Food4Less for 98 cents. 
     With coupon = 73 cents each!
$0.75/1 Cinnamon Burst Cheerios
     Smith's has them 4/$10 AND you get a $5 gift card WYB 4 which brings them to 4/$5
     With coupon = 50 cents/ box!
$0.55/1 Cheerios (yellow box)
     Same gift card deal at Smith's
     With coupon = 70 cents/ box!

Newman's Own Coupon

There's a great $1/1 coupon for Newman's Own Salad Dressing or Thin & Crispy Pizza.

Click here to print it & do it before they're gone! 

Remember:  After the coupon prints, hit your Back button 3 times to print one more copy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Weekly Grocery List -4/13/11

OK, shoppers...here is this week's list of what's at its "stock-up price" (or somewhere close to it).
Note:  This list is for Las Vegas. Those of you who live in other cities...would you like me to attempt to compile a customized list for you?  If so, leave a Comment & I'll see what we can do for the most popular request(s)!

Beef, ground 80/20                                         $1.97/lb.              Vons
Beef, roast, tri tip                                             $1.99/lb.              Vons
Ham, Smithfield ½ ham                                   $0.77/lb.              Fresh&Easy
Lunchmeat, FostFarms >16oz.                         $2.99                     Vons

Apples, Jonagold                                              $0.34/lb.              BuyLow
Apples, Granny Smith                                       $0.25/lb.              BuyLow 4/13 only!
Oranges, Navel                                                $0.13/lb.              Marketon
Lemons                                                            $0.10 each           Marketon 4/14 only!
Kiwi                                                                   $0.13 each           Marketon
Grapes, green seedless                                  $0.77/lb.              Liborio 4/13 only!
Mangos                                                            $0.34 each           Marianas
Asparagus                                                        $0.99/lb.              Liborio 4/13 only!
Bell peppers, RED                                            $0.98/LB!!           Food4Less
Celery, bunch                                                   $0.50                     Marketon
Lettuce, Iceberg head                                     $0.34 ea.              BuyLow

Birdseye frozen veggies 10-16oz.                  $0.98                     Food4Less
Toothpaste, Colgate 6.4 oz.                           $0.99                     BuyLow
Cheese, store brand, 1 lb.                              $2.50                     Food4Less
Coke products, 2 ltr.                                       $0.69                     Albertsons
E&J Brandy 750 mL                                         $7.99                     BuyLow

Cuisinart Giveaway

Recipe Lion is giving away a 15-piece SmartPower Cuisinart.  It looks like one of those "Magic Bullet" things we've seen on the infomercials, but it also includes a 32-ounce blender jar.  Helloooooo, margaritas!

Reminder:  Create a coupon/junk email account with one of the free email providers.  Use that email address to sign up for coupons, giveaways, etc. so your normal email account won't get flooded.

Click here to register.  Good luck!

P.S.- I just entered & it told me I could enter once a day!  Woo-Hoo!  It also took me to some other free stuff like cookbooks & other ebooks.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Household Savings

Become a member of Right@Home and get great offers, time-saving tips and recipes.

Sign up for here for free!   (using your coupon/junk email address, of course!)

I've been getting their newsletter for a while now & I've been pleased.  They tend to offer some good coupons & they don't clutter your inbox nearly as much as others.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Freezer Experiment #2

In a previous post, I mentioned my challenges with & fear of the freezer.  It doesn't sound like Rocket Science, but I always manage to let things get freezer burned or lost until they're expired.

My whole analysis of my freezing abilities began for a reason.  I've been reading a lot of blogs about "Freezer Cooking" which is when brave souls cook for an entire day & freeze everything for later use.  Casseroles, burritos, lasagnas, rice, beans, fruit, chicken, you name it.

It intimidated me, so I decided to start with small freezing experiments & maybe work my way up to Freezer Cooking.  Freezer Experiment #1 was a wild success & we have since added to our frozen stockpile of citrus juices & chicken stock in ice cube-size portions.

This leads us to Freezer Experiment #2...tomato paste.  I read in some magazine, (Sorry, I can't give the proper credit, blame the Momnesia.) that you can freeze Tablespoon sized portions of tomato paste.  What a great idea!  Recipes typically call for 1-2 Tablespoons & the rest of the can sits in the fridge until you finally toss it.

So, I grabbed a cookie sheet & some parchment paper.  The magazine article recommended wax paper, but we didn't have any.  I lined the cookie sheet with parchment paper & sprayed it with non-stick cooking spray (figured it couldn't hurt).  Then, I sprayed my measuring spoon, too & dug in. 

The can gave me 10 tablespoon-sized portions.  Into the freezer they went & 2 days later I threw 'em into a freezer bag. 

I absolutely love finding ways to reduce the amount of food we waste.  It was a serious problem for us for a very long time & I refuse to go there again.  Now, I'm off to make some tostadas for dinner along with black beans & some Spanish Rice...courtesy of a tablespoon of tomato paste!

P.S.- Don't forget to label the bag with a permanent marker & add the date.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sunday Coupon Preview -4/10/11

How about a preview of Sunday's coupons?

Check out the complete list of coupons we should expect to see.  Click here for the list.

So far, it's listing the contents of a nice-looking RedPlum.  Also, the 2011 Coupon Insert Schedule shows a SmartSource in the mix.  :)

Enjoy!

Huevos Rancheros Recipe

Molly O. read the last post about Cooking With Sale Items & a Stockpile & asked for details about how we made our Huevos Rancheros.  We ate this dish at The Cracked Egg & loved it.  I just tried my best to re-create the flavors.  We also make pretty substantial portions since we usually eat this for lunch or dinner, so pile it on!

Tortillas (corn or flour)
Canned beans (refried or black)
Eggs
Shredded Jack cheese (or cheddar, blend, etc.)

Salsa or Pico de Gallo
Jalapeno or Serrano Chiles
Sour Cream
Avocado or Guacamole
Cilantro to garnish (if you have some)

I just top 2 warmed tortillas with a layer of refried beans & a pile of scrambled eggs.  Then I sprinkle with cheese & warm it enough to melt the cheese...can be done in a skillet covered with foil or the microwave (just don't kill the eggs).
Then pile on the cold stuff however you like.

I know the ingredient list looks extensive, but we had all this (minus the sour cream) on-hand or I wouldn't have made it.  :) 

Eggs go on sale & you can occasionally find a coupon.  I got 4 dozen last time.  We have about 200 tortillas right now because we forgot we had some & bought more.  (Grrr!!!)  Jalapenos, avocados & cilantro had been on ridiculous sale & we have massive stockpiles of beans, cheese & salsa.

It's delicious, substantial & you can make it as spicy as you want.  The Cracked Egg serves it mounded up in a ceramic crock, covered with melted cheese with broken tortilla chips mixed in for texture.  Ole'!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Free Printable Coupons

Here are some new free printable coupons.  Just click on the links, select the coupons you want, click Print Coupons & you're set!

(If this is your first time, they might ask you to install their coupon printer.  It only takes a second & will allow you to print tons of valuable coupons.)

Along with the coupons below, you will find some from Pillsbury, Yoplait, Cascadian Farm, Glade & 5 different General Mills cereals (at last count). 

There are almost 200 free printable coupons right now!  If you enter your zip code at the top left, it usually gives you a few extra 'regional' coupons.  Woo-Hoo!

$1.00 off 3 Birds Eye or Birds Eye Steamfresh
50¢ off on any ONE (1) Newman's Own Product
$0.55 off ONE loaf of Wonder Smartwheat™
$0.75 off Kraft 2% Milk Cheese Products
$5.00 Off any Vtech Toy ($19.99 or higher)
$1.00 off any 2 Comet Bathroom Spray or Comet Cream prod
$0.25 off Any Comet Powder product
$1.00 off Totino's Crisp Crust Party Pizzas
$1.00 off (1) Garnier Fructis Shampoo/Conditioner


*Important Reminder: After you print these coupons, you can select & print them another time.  They'll probably be rotated towards the later pages since you've already printed them.  Just select them & hit Print Coupons again & you should get another whole set!  :)

Extreme Couponing Is Easy & Fun

I hope everyone got to see the premier of TLC's Extreme Couponing.  I'm so glad that this stuff is going mainstream!  ...Not that I really mind being "extreme" or "weird" when I'm saving so much money.  :)

I'm just happy that more people will hopefully start saving money & having more food in their pantries than before.  Just the thought of it is literally bringing a tear (of joy) to my eye right now.  Oh, I love it.  My heart is so happy.

So!  If you're new to the whole "couponing thing", don't be scared.  It's really simple.  It can be as quick or as in-depth as you want it to be.  The Basic Method is explained on our Start Here page along with the general strategy we've followed to take our family's finances in a really fun direction. 

The Resources Page is also full of useful information.  It has a price-tracking spreadsheet & will teach you some of the coupon jargon you'll be running into...I affectionately call it my Second Language now.  :)  Plus, you'll be able to find out what coupons will be in which Sunday newspapers & more.

If you're new to this crazy journey, Welcome!  If you're an old pro at this stuff, Congratulations!  Let's take some folks under our wings & help them spend less while having more!  :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Weekly Shopping List -4/6/11

OK, Las Vegas!  This week has some serious potential.  (Finally!)  :)


Chicken breasts (bone-in)                    99 cents/lb     Smiths
Pork chops, loin, center cut                  $1.99/lb          Marketon
Chicken drumsticks (fresh)                  $0.91/lb           Glaziers
Steak, NY Strip (boneless!)                 $4.96/lb           Glaziers

Carrots                                                   33 cents/lb      Food4Less
Bell Peppers, Red                                98 cents/LB!   Food4Less
Mangoes                                                34 cents ea.   Marketon
Green Cabbage                                    20 cents/lb      BuyLow
Apples, Fuji                                            34 cents/lb      BuyLow

Hormel chili 15 oz. canned                  $0.88                Smiths
Cream soup, 10.5oz Kroger               $0.55                Smiths
Cheese, Tillamook 5lb.                        $9.99                Smiths
Gen.Mills Cereal asst.10.7-12.8oz     $1.49                Smart&Final (see ad for details!)

Sauza or Bacardi 750mL                    $8.98                Food4Less

These aren't quite rock-bottom prices, but they're closer than I've seen them in a few weeks.  :)  Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cooking With Sale Items & A Stockpile (Pt.4 & Final?)

Woo-Hoo!  Here it is. The actual menu list!
Here are 11 meals that we have recently eaten by combining our random sale items & the items we have stockpiled.  Our (semi-picky, but not too bad) family of 6 enjoyed them all.  :)

(If you missed post #3 in this series, it lists our "random sale items" for a couple of weeks.  It'll explain why we used which fresh ingredients we used.)

1)  We had Mediterranean Night with grilled chicken thighs marinated in oregano, garlic & lemon juice.  I made a Lebanese cabbage salad using the cabbage & lemon juice. We threw it all together with pita, hummus & tabouleh.  The girls begged to eat that way more often.  We felt full, but healthy.  (Next time, we'll have some couscous from my stockpile.)

2) We cooked a whole chicken in the pressure cooker with the carrots, onions & lemons.  I cooked some rice from my stockpile.  This process also made a ton of delicious chicken stock that I froze into small portions for later use.

3) We used the leftover chicken for my mother-in-law's chicken enchiladas which were mind-blowing! (I'll post the recipe on the Frugal Recipes page. There are some less expensive ones out there, so I'll post those soon, but these were delish!)  It also used the onions, the cheese & some stockpiled cream of chicken soup.

4)We made a roast in the slow cooker with the carrots & onions.  I just added water & whatever seasonings sounded good.

5)The leftovers made Cheesesteak-style sandwiches.  First, sautee' onions & bell peppers. Then split hoagie rolls & pile with shredded beef, peppers, onions & top with any white cheese.  Stick 'em right up under the broiler until they're brown & bubbly!

6) We eat a lot of tuna salad sandwiches (which I used to hate!).  We have a ton of canned tuna stockpiled as well as mayonnaise & some dill pickle relish I got for free.  Do this when Lay's Kettle Chips are on sale for $1.88 & add some stockpiled pickles & it's a pretty enjoyable lunch.

7) My sweet hubby just made us a killer batch of chicken salad which utilized most of our Pressure Cooker chicken.  Just combine the chicken with some green onions, celery & stockpiled mayo & serve on toast with a mound of on-sale Kettle Chips. (Not to brag, but along with making & delivering this plate directly to my computer desk, the hubby also surprised me with a Bloody Mary. *happy sigh*)

8) For breakfasts, we quite often combine some stockpiled cold cereal ($1 or less per box is the rule) with a lot of whatever fruit was on sale that week (oranges, bananas, apples, mangoes this week!, berries, etc.)

9) Speaking of breakfast, Huevos Rancheros is a yummy dinner.  Eggs had been on ridiculous sale, plus I found a coupon. So, the Huevos Rancheros used some stockpiled salsa, stockpiled refried beans, the jalapenos & the cheese. I just added tortillas & sour cream.

10) We also do some dinners of omelets, bacon & toast when I've had a good bacon coupon.

11) Mom was in town & dinnertime snuck up on me one night.  I made a huge pot of WonTon Soup with leftover chicken and chicken stock from the pressure cooker, a bag of frozen potstickers, 2/3 of a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies & a can of water chestnuts.  At the end, stirred in a beaten egg to give it an egg-drop soup consistency. A splash of soy sauce & sesame oil gave it authentic, deep flavor.  It was a big hit & I pulled it out of thin air with stuff we had on-hand. (I always keep a box of Fortune Cookies from the 99Cent Store on-hand to make any Asian meal seem more fun.)

These are just a few examples of what our particular stockpile & sale items created.  Your family might love some recipes or ingredients that our family isn't crazy about...you might be vegetarian...customize your cooking to your heart's desire. 

If you're not feeling creative, Google an ingredient followed by the word "recipes" & see what pops up!  Also, visit allrecipes.com because it allows you to type in your ingredients & it gives you a list of recipes that include them!  Fun.  It even lets you list ingredients you'd like to avoid.  God-send!
Bon Appetit!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Walgreens deals -4/3-4/9

Here are a few Walgreens deals that I found on Southern Savers:

(Remember, if you're not familiar with these abbreviations, you can find their definitions on the Resources Page.)

Revlon Tweezers, $2.49
-- $2 printable Revlon beauty tool coupon
-- $1 off Revlon eye implements in the April Walgreens Coupon booklet
=FREE

Kellogg's cereal, $1.88
-- $1 printable Kellogg's Frosted Flakes
= $0.88

Register Rewards Deals: *
Buy 2 Jergens Ultra Healing Lotion at $4.29
-- Use $3/2 Jergens moisturizer, SS 3/6
Pay- $5.58 & get back $5 Register Rewards = 24 cents each

Buy Colgate MaxFresh, MaxWhite or MaxClean Toothpaste, 6 oz for $2.99
-- Use $0.35/1, SS 4/3
Pay- $2.64 & get back $2.99 Register Rewards = FREE + 35 cents profit
*Register Rewards are Walgreens's own 'funny money'. They're like gift cards/store credit to be used in the store. Their store coupon policy is here, so read up on the full details.

Note: The Revlon printable coupon wasn't there for me this morning.  I'm hoping it's because they know that my IP Address has already printed it twice. Let me know if they've taken it down since yesterday.

Cooking With Sale Items & A Stockpile (Pt.3)

This post is more explanation about how I cook by combining each week's random sale items with our stockpile.

In a previous post we explained how a food stockpile is born (almost accidentally) when you shop the right way. Then, we talked about exactly what a stockpile could contain.  Food prices are continuing to increase at a faster rate than they have in several decades, so our stockpile helps to avoid paying those ludicrous prices later.

Even though our non-perishable stockpile is great, it lacks fresh ingredients.  So, how do we save the most money on those?

The most effective basic method for saving the most money on groceries is posted on the Start Here page.  If you haven't been there yet, check it out, so you'll be saving as much money as possible.  Basically, we end up buying items only when they're at their lowest prices...which usually leaves us with an "interesting" looking shopping cart!

Recently, we've had the best sale prices on...drumroll, please....
---chuck roast, NY steaks, chicken thighs, chicken wings, whole chickens, lemons, carrots, apples, onions, limes, jalapeno peppers, green cabbage, navel oranges, iceberg lettuce & cheese.  Can you say "random"?  :)  So what did my family eat?

I'll post my menu next.  We ate other stuff, but I've composed a list of 11 meals that came to mind quickly.  They used a combination of 39 "random sale items" & stockpile items.  I'll post that menu next & want to hear your creative cooking ideas, too!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Free Chuck E. Cheese Tokens

...and an awesome way to bribe the kids!

The Chuck E. Cheese site has printable calendars where if your kid reaches a daily goal for 2 weeks, they can exchange the chart for 10 free tokens!
(A food purchase is required, but I'd love to sit with a salad & not have the vultures, I mean 'babies', hovering over it.)

Shoot, I'm considering printing some of these for the whole family!  Who wouldn't want a teenager to have a "Homework First" calendar or a husband to have a "Great Listener" calendar?  (haha...I'm mostly joking about that last one.)  I might even print out a "No Nose Picking" calendar for a co-worker!  (I'm totally joking about that one.)

It's a win-win situation.  The kids learn a valuable lesson about setting & achieving goals.  Then, they get to eat & play games while the parents enjoy a cold one. 

Here's the link for the calendars.  They're really cute.  Have fun!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Household Coupons Comin' Your Way!

I just got an email from SC Johnson about their Right @ Home mini-magazine.

The new one is going to contain over $35 in savings & is comin' to us in this Sunday's paper!

PS- I bought the supplies to make my own household cleaners, but I'm still going to grab some coupons...just in case my experiment is a trainwreck. It's also fun to give coupons to other people who'd love to save some money.  Happy Spring Cleaning!

Sunday Coupon Preview-4/3/11

The Coupon Insert Schedule on the Resource Page says we should receive 2 SmartSources this Sunday & a RedPlum (which comes in the mail on Tuesday on the West Coast).

The Sunday Coupon Preview lists a TON of coupons for this week...so, it's either going to be one huge SmartSource or 2 smaller ones.

Either way, the list is awesome!  It might be a good week to buy a few papers.

Click here to see the list.  Have a great weekend!

Some Random Freebies

Here's a list of freefly's newest samples.  Just remember to sign up with your coupon/junk email address.
Here's what's on their newest list:

Free sample of Uncle Bens® Ready Rice
Free sample of Tasters Choice®
Free sample of Carefree® Acti-Fresh Liner
Free sample of Freds® Diapers
Free sample of AVEENO®

Here's the link to their site.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I value honesty. So, I'm about to be really honest with you.  I was just on this site & they want you to sign up for a survey or a free trial of some sort, so only you'll know whether or not you're really interested. :) Enjoy!

Cascadian Farm Coupon

Score!  To fulfill Elizabeth's 'special' request, you may now click here for a $0.75/1 coupon for Cascadian Farm cereal!
Ask & you shall receive...if I can find it.  :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Free Printable Coupons -NEW

It's a new month with a brand-spankin'-new set of free printable coupons!  :)

Tip: When you click on the link, if you enter your zip code in the upper left corner, it usually adds some additional 'local' coupons to the stockpile...mine went from 204 to 209.

Click on THIS LINK to get 200+ free printable coupons.

Remember...you can print the coupon once & after it's finished printing, hit the Back button 3 times & it will automatically print a 2nd time. 
Most coupons allow 2 prints per IP Address...so make friends with whoever's in the cubicle beside you & buy them lunch in exchange for some printing...during lunch hour, of course.  ;-)