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Print Your Coupons
The end of the month is just two days away. Print your coupons before they're gone. New coupons will be listed on November 1, 2010. I've printed some favorites and will hold them in hopes of a sale. Print this one out for some cheap sugar: Smartsource: Dixie Crystals Sugar $0.75/1 This will double to $1.50 at both Lowes Foods and Harris Teeter. The last time I had this coupon, ...
Kraft Shredded Cheese for $0.88 a Bag
I've told you before and I'll tell you again- I LOVE cheese! I don't think I go a day without eating some type of cheese. And usually I have 6-8 different types in my fridge at a time. Cheese is pretty pricey so anytime I can get a good deal on it, I stock up. This week there's a great deal going on at Lowe's Food stores. So here's the steal: All bags of shredded Kraft Cheese are on sal...
Harris Teeter Super Doubles!!
It's happening again! Harris Teeter is doing “Super Doubles” from November 3-9. With plenty of advanced notice, now's the time to gather all your high value coupons so that you are prepared next Wednesday. For those of you that are new to couponing, “Super Doubles” means that they will double any coupon up to $1.98. However, the upc barcode on the coupon must begin with a number ...
LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle
So my little "Harriet Potter" has been having a BLAST with the PS3 Lego Harry Potter game and as if that wasn't enough, my In-Laws got her the coolest Lego set around. It's the Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle! This isn't the ordinary "Lego" set that I grew up with. This Lego set has hinges and doors, flames on torches, stairs that swivel, and much, much more. It's AMAZING! My In-Laws had as...
Happy 5th Birthday, Emma!!!
My baby is turning 5 today. She is SOOO excited about this age, and the fact that the dentist told her 2 days ago that her two bottom teeth were loose. I keep telling her she's going to look like a jack-o-lantern but she doesn't seem to mind:) I received the Picaboo book in the mail yesterday and it's all wrapped up and ready for Emma to open up. It came out REALLY nice. Can't believe I...
Free Picaboo Photobook!
I just found out from My Baton Rouge Mommy that Picaboo is offering new customers a FREE large Classic book from October 15 to 25th by using code FALLBK. I'm a little behind on my photobooks these days, so I spent the day today working on Emma's birthday party from last year. I've always loved scrapbooking but can't seem to find the time lately. Making a photobook is similar to scrapbook...
How to Get 5 Packages of Cheese for $3.38
I LOVE cheese! I should have probably been born a mouse:) It's one of those foods that I can eat every single day and I never get tired of it. I was thrilled to get 5 packages of it at Harris Teeter for only $3.38 today. I picked up 4 bags of shredded cheese and 1 package of Cracker Barrel Cheddar slices. All of them were on sale. The shredded cheeses were on sale 2 for $4 and the...
Groupon: Top Deals for September 3
I LOVE Groupon! I purchased 3 different ones this year.  The first was for a 90-minute massage from Massage Envy for only $49 (Retails for $114).  The second one was for a Gap store certificate for $25 (Retails for $50) and the most recent one was for Papa Murphy's Pizza.  This one was only $8 and it retails for $20.  Someone's having pizza in the next couple days! Here's the list of th...
Vita Mix Blender – The Kitchen Appliance No Home Should Be Without
I've got to be honest with you. I hate infomercials. I also don't care much for sales Kiosks where fast-talking snake oil salesmen wearing headset microphones attempt to mesmerize you with their clever words and trivial knowledge. In fact, the Vita Mix blender Kiosk at our local Costco had been up and running for several months before we finally approached it during one of our latest visits. Prior...
Today Only: Get $50 Worth of Gap Apparel for ONLY $25
Groupon is having a wonderful deal today. You can get $50 worth of Gap Apparel (including sale items) for ONLY $25. This deal is valid at all the Gap Stores. Don't miss out- you can use this for back-to-school shopping or even for holiday gifts. The certificate is valid for use through November 19, 2010.

5 Ways to Stretch Your Food Dollar

Posted By: Elena on April 7, 2010 in Coupons, Savings Opportunity, Savings Tips - Comments: No Comments »

Here are 5 great ways to stretch your food dollar by Rayven Perkins.  She has spent 9 years finding and implementing unique cost-cutting tips that allow her family to live comfortably as a one-income family.

The cost of food is going up, but you don’t have to spend more of your hard earned money on less food to feed your family. There are many grocery saving tips that all moms can utilize to stretch that grocery dollar as far as it can go.

Get a Game Plan
The most important grocery saving tip is all about planning. Before you go to the store, have a list written out with exactly what you need on it. Organize your list by store category, and do not shop when you are hungry!

If you can manage it, leave the kids with the husband or a friend and shop alone. Try to stick to the perimeter of the store for the best foods and prices, and when you do find a good deal, stock up!

Owning a freezer can be a good investment for times when you find deals too good to pass up. Buy as much as you can afford and store.

Use Coupons; Get Refunds
Don’t assume that there is so little money to be saved by using coupons that it is not worth your time. These days you aren’t saving a quarter on a tube of toothpaste by using a coupon, you’re getting 10 tubes of toothpaste for free.

There is a hidden art to successfully using coupons and refunds to your advantage. The main points to think about: use a coupon in conjunction with a sale. Often, this makes the item free, or pennies on the dollar. Buy as many items as you have coupons for.

Discount Food Providers
There are plenty of places to get food for frugal meals, you just sometimes have to think outside the box. In many communities across the country, a program called Angel Food Ministries is providing low cost boxes of food, designed to feed a family of four for a week, for around $30, no income qualifications needed.

And you can even get food – organic food- for free or at a heavy discount in many areas. Try volunteering at your local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) or organic food co-op. Often, an organizer or someone willing to help harvest vegetables will get a discounted or totally free box of food.

Recipe Stretching Techniques
Want some frugal meals? Here are some great cheap meal ideas. Stretch your grocery dollar by stretching your food purchases. Instead of buying chicken breasts, go for the whole bird. It’s usually less expensive than the breasts alone, and can provide you with 2-3 meals.

Try using half the amount of ground beef called for in a recipe, and fill in the space with other quality foods. For instance, if you are making tacos, use half the meat and add in a cup of cooked rice and a can of diced tomatoes. Now you have Taco Rice, a filling and delicious meal!

Add a couple extra cans of beans to chili and half the meat. Or try slicing up onions, green peppers, zucchini, and even carrots to add into spaghetti.

Making sandwiches? Try adding more lettuce and tomato and less turkey. It tastes better, costs less, and you are getting even more nutrients.

Grow Your Own Food
Probably the best cheap meal ideas come from one’s willingness to grow their own food. Stop playing farming games on the computer and put that time into actually growing something at your own home!

It doesn’t matter if you live in the suburbs, the country, or even an apartment, it is possible to grow some, if not a good chunk, of your own food if you are willing to invest the time into it. It also makes a great family project.

Utilizing bio intensive farming methods, or square foot gardening, most people are able to grow at least their salad needs from a 4×4 foot square garden bed. The more room you have, the more vegetables you can grow.

And for the truly adventurous, why not try raising backyard chickens, or meat rabbits? A half dozen hens will bring you a good supply of fresh eggs (no rooster needed) and one female rabbit can produce 600% of her body weight in edible meat per year.

Plus, they take up very little space. Rabbits can be raised on a balcony, and their droppings make excellent fertilizer for your garden.

Though not all these methods will work for every family, there are certainly more frugal meal ideas that you can be implementing to save money on groceries. Examine your spending habits, and see what grocery saving tips you can try.

Find out more about how to stretch your grocery dollar on her website http://www.stay-a-stay-at-home-mom.com/tightwad-living.html

Special thanks to Rayven and Food Review!

Ebates- Another Great Way to Save Money

Posted By: Elena on January 21, 2010 in Ebates, Savings Tips - Comments: 1 Comment »

If you are going to shop online, you might as well make some money while your shopping.

Ebates is the pioneer and leader of online Cash Back Shopping. The company was founded in 1998 by two Deputy District Attorneys in Silicon Valley who used to prosecute online fraud & identity theft before starting Ebates (so you can be sure they are very into secure online transactions!).

Joining Ebates is always free – you’ll never pay them anything. And four times a year or more, they’ll mail you a Big Fat Check, or transfer the money to your PayPal account if you’d prefer. All 100% free.

So go ahead, sign up and start shopping now.

I Just Saved $49.38 in Less Than 8 Minutes!

Posted By: Elena on January 19, 2010 in Savings Opportunity, Savings Tips - Comments: No Comments »

Photobucket

There are savings opportunities everywhere, you just need to find them. Yesterday I received a hospital bill from a recent surgical procedure that Mark had. The letter had a very important sentence that caught my attention.

“This account may qualify for a prompt payment incentive.”

I LOVE incentives so I called to inquire about it. If I paid my hospital bill over the phone within 10 days of the bill date, I would get 15% off the total bill. This is a bill I had to pay for anyhow, so why not save almost $50 by paying it over the phone? It took me 7 minutes and 49 seconds from the time I made the call until I had my payment confirmation.

Talk about EASY savings!!!

BOGO Sales

Posted By: Elena on January 14, 2010 in BOGO, Savings Tips - Comments: No Comments »

BoGo Pictures, Images and Photos

When I took the “coupon class” a few months back, our teacher used the term “BOGO” often.  I learned that term many years ago and figured most people knew what it meant too but was surprised to learn that one lady in the class did not.  When the teacher spoke about a particular “BOGO” sale going on and then said “Buy One Get One free” the lady said, “Oh, thats what that means!”.  So, as I write this entry, I want to make sure everyone knows what “BOGO” means.

At Lowes and Harris Teeter, a “BOGO” sale is a huge way to save 50% of that items’ regular price.  Why?  Because they charge you half price for the item and you can purchase just ONE if you’d like.  When I lived in FL, I shopped at Publix.  I LOVE Publix but it doesn’t exist here in NC.  However, Publix handled BOGO sales differently.  They would charge you full price for the first item and give you the second one for free.

I happen to like the way Lowes and Harris Teeter do it better.  Here is a deal I got at Lowes the other day.

  • Oscar Mayer Bacon- Regular price per package $5
  • Only purchased 1 package to get it at ½ price (BOGO) making the new price $2.50
  • Used .75 coupon that doubles= $1.50 making the new price $1.00
  • Paid $1….saved $4 (80%)

Lessons learned:  Shop BOGO sales when possible.  Use coupons to lower the price of your item even more.  Try to shop at stores that double coupons for even more savings!

Wonderful Grocery Store Savings Tips

Posted By: Elena on January 13, 2010 in Savings Tips - Comments: 1 Comment »

Today, Julia from The Frugal Find, shared her Top 10 Grocery Store Savings tips with her readers.  I thought these tips were wonderful, so I wanted to pass them onto you.  Thanks, Julia!

save money Pictures, Images and Photos

10. Don’t drink away your budget. Beverages are costly and it’s just silly to pay for bottled water.  Plus you’ll be going green if you drink from the tap at home.  Sodas, juices, and yes alcohol have little to no nutritional value and the cost can easily make up 50% of your grocery budget.

9.  Plan for leftovers. In my meal planning I schedule in leftover nights.  I’ll make a larger batch of a particular dinner the night before and either have the same meal again or modify it a bit.  This is a great way to stretch the cost of meal while also saving you time.

8.  Check your receipt. I always double check my receipt before I leave.  You’d be surprised how often the prices are wrong or an item was scanned twice.  I highly suggest you do this BEFORE you go home, it’s much easier to deal with right away. I wrote about not getting my catalina coupons, it’s possible to get it after the fact – but not easy.

7.  Calculate & Review. Bring a calculator to the store with you and add as you go.  Being conscious of what you’re spending as you put items in the cart will help you to cut back.  Then once you get to the checkout lane, review your purchases…is there anything you should put back?  This is your last chance to cut out any unnecessary items.

6.  Shop the perimeter. The perimeters are where you’ll find the fresh produce, bread, milk, eggs, yogurt, cheese, etc. – what I call the “real” food.  This should be the main focus of your meal plan and grocerybudget.  If you start in the middle your money will be spent before you get to the items your family really needs.  Of course check the 99 Cents Store too!

5.  Stock up. With that said, I want you to be aware and carefully check the price per ounce, bulk isn’t always cheaper.  Often times, when I stock up it’s on an item that isn’t in bulk packaging.  If you’ve read my articles or taken one of my coupon classes, you’ll know that I don’t shop at Costco, and this is one of the main reasons.  Bulk isn’t always cheaper, know your prices and shop around.  You can see my fully stocked pantry to see what I mean!

4.  Leave the kids at home. Unless it’s an emergency, I never bring my kids to the grocery store.  I’ve tried it, I just can’t focus.  Any plan or list I’ve made goes out the window.  If at all possible, go alone.  You’ll be quicker and you’ll spend less.  Your family and your grocery budget will thank you.

3.  Use Cash. We use the Envelope Budget, you can read more about how that works on The Frugal Find, but the concept has been around forever.  It’s much easier to swipe a card, even a debit card, than it is to use cash.

2.  Clip Coupons. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it.  Clip those coupons!  I never walk out of Safeway or Lucky having saved any less than 60% on my groceries.  On average I save 75% and spend $45 a week for a family of 6, it is possible!  There are over 150 printable coupons available right now on coupons.com!

1.  Meal Plan. Planning for anything will save you time and money, especially when it comes to the grocery budget.  If you have a plan and stick to it, mysterious products won’t end up in your grocery cart and they won’t have a chance to eat away at your grocery budget.

I’m following all of Julia’s tips.  One that has made a major difference for me is #4.  I love shopping with my daughter, Emma, but have realized that when I am trying to read coupons, check off my grocery list, compare unit prices, and keep track of my shopping total, it is just too difficult to do with her.  In the past I did it all the time but would get frustrated and at times I would forget to use my coupons.  It was a big mess.  Now I have started my weekly shopping trip when I drop her off at preschool and I come home A LOT happier.  This doesn’t mean Emma won’t ever see the inside of a grocery store again…after all, she loves to shop.  I will just keep my “big” weekly shopping trip to myself.

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