May 31, 2009

Target Match-ups 5/31-6/6

Go here for Target match-ups for this week. Remember to check your local ad to confirm the prices at your Target store. A few weeks ago, I was really excited about getting some Crystal Light for our church, but when I arrived at the store, I found a much higher price than was on a blog match-up. I can't complain too much, though--I picked up enough free Hello Kitty band-aids that week to make my daughter so happy she giggled all the way home.
Happy Savings!

Free Undies at Victoria's Secret-June 1st

Gals, these are going to go so fast that I would recommend you be at the stores before they open. Go here for more details on how to get some free panties at Victoria's Secret on June 1st.

Food City Match-ups for 5/31-6/6

Check out Coupon Mommie's post here for details on the coupon match-ups for Food City this week. Go here for info on the Kid's Day Celebration at Food City stores. Happy Shopping!

View Town Hall for Hope on Hulu

Check out this link to view Dave Ramsey's Town Hall for Hope. I know that his instructions for money saving are not popular with everyone, but I have found his books and radio show extremely helpful. I hope you'll take the time to check it out. Enjoy!

A Happy Thought

A few months after our daughter was born I hosted a "Friend Appreciation Day". I had a few of my closest friends over for a luncheon to thank them for all they had done to help us in the early days with a new child. I printed this poem and gave it to each of them. I hope it brings a smile to you just as it always does for me.

To A Friend

You entered my life in a casual way,
And saw at a glance what I needed;
There were others who passed me or met me each day,
But never a one of them heeded.
Perhaps you were thinking of other folks more,
Or chance simply seemed to decree it;
I know there were many such chances before,
But the others—well, they didn’t see it.

You said just the thing that I wished you would say,
And you made me believe that you meant it;
I held up my head in the old gallant way,
And resolved you should never repent it.
There are times when encouragement means such a lot,
And a word is enough to convey it;
There were others who could have, as easy as not—
But, just the same, they didn’t say it.

There may have been someone who could have done more
To help me along, though I doubt it;
What I needed was cheering, and always before
They had let me plod onward without it.
You helped to refashion the dream of my heart,
And made me turn eagerly to it;
There were others who might have (I question that part)—
But, after all, they didn’t do it!

--Grace Stricker Dawson

Tip of the day

Make one organic change each month. Don’t throw out all of your non-organic foods, but rather integrate organic options into your pantry slowly. This will be less of a shock to your budget and you will be more likely to stick with the changes.

May 30, 2009

Kroger Match-ups for 5/31-6/6

Kroger logoStop by Coupon Mommie’s site for the match-ups for the Atlanta/Knoxville area Kroger ad for this coming week. Thanks for doing the match-ups Jennifer!

A little light reading for the weekend

Check out this post for ideas on saving money on pet food.

Check out this site for information on next week’s CVS and Walgreens deals.

Check out this post for tips on teaching your children about money management.

Check out this post for ideas for having camp at your own home.


Jack’s Old South BBQ Rub

This is a recipe that my husband’s uncle shared with us a few years ago.  We enjoy it most on chicken and roasted in the oven, but it is pretty versatile.  It is a bit spicy, and if you are sensitive to that, just decrease the cayenne in the recipe.  I like to make ours in a mason jar, put the lid on, and shake it to mix the spices together.  Enjoy!


¼ c brown sugar

¼ c sweet paprika

¼ c kosher salt

3 T black pepper

2 t garlic powder

2 t onion powder

1 t cayenne pepper

1 t dried basil

Directions—mix ingredients together.  Use as a rub prior to grilling or roasting meats and poultry.

Tip of the day

When products are on sale, stock up. If it is in your budget to do so and you have the storage space, buy extras of items that you will use in the next few months. Butter freezes great. Canned foods store for months. Items like garlic and potatoes will keep for weeks, if not months, when stored properly.

Don't forget--Money Saving Workshop Today

Please join me at the Fountain City branch library on Saturday, May 30th from 1-2pm to learn ways to get the most out of your grocery budget. We will begin with a review of money saving strategies for helping to lower household and food expenses. Then, we will explore how coupons and new coupon resources can help you save even more money at the stores. The Fountain City branch phone number is (865) 689-2681. They are located at 5300 Stanton Rd, Knoxville, TN 37918. The library is just down from Litton's Restaurant on the corner of Essary and Stanton Rd. I look forward to seeing you!

May 29, 2009

Buying a tool for Father’s Day?

Go to this link for a 20% off coupon off one item at Harbor Freight Tools. For other Harbor Freight coupons go to this link.  Thanks Southern Savers for the info!

Smoky Mountain Visions

alliance logoThe Arts & Culture Alliance is pleased to present Smoky Mountain Visions, a new exhibition featuring selected artwork from 35 artists in Tennessee, Georgia, and Ohio.  Smoky Mountain Visions was developed to allow national artists to compete and display work created in response to the Great Smoky Mountains experience in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the national park.  The selected art features contemporary two- and three-dimensional artwork focused on the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains and will be exhibited at the Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee, from June 5 – July 30.  A public reception will take place on Fri., June 5, from 5-9 p.m. with a brief awards ceremony at 6 p.m. as part of First Friday activities downtown.  For more information contact the Arts & Culture Alliance at 865-523-7543

Free Shipping Half Off Depot

Do you all know about Half Off Depot yet?  They offer discounted gift certificates to local restaurants and stores.  Check out their website here.  Use the code SUMMERSCHOOL at checkout and you will not have to pay for shipping on all orders placed before midnight on May 31st.

Here is information off of their website on how to use Half Off Depot--

Here's how Half Off Depot works, in two easy steps:

1. You go to, select your city, and pick out gift certificates to your favorite businesses. You then purchase these gift certificates from us for half their face value.

2. Once your certificates arrive in the mail, you take each gift certificate to the business that issued it, and use the full value of your gift certificate (twice what you paid for it) toward your purchase there.

Seriously, that's all there is to it. Whatever you spent at, you will redeem twofold at the businesses you've selected. And you can expect to be treated as a first-class citizen, because the businesses aren't giving you anything for free — the other half of your gift certificate has already been paid for by our publishing partners. All that makes you is a smart shopper!

Summer Online Learning Experience

In what seems like another life now, I tutored 3rd and 5th graders in math.  Math always came pretty easy to me, which I credit to my father who would make us do complicated math problems in our heads while on family road trips.   Fun, right??  What I loved about tutoring was the moment when I would see that the children finally got it—that Aha moment was priceless.

My cousin sent me this information saying:

If you, or anyone you know, might be interested in the Summer Online Learning Experience (SOLE), please take a look at this flyer and pass it on to someone who might be in need. As a former high school teacher, I know that parents and students were looking for tutoring programs at the end of the year. SOLE Math is inexpensive and easy to use.

I hope this information is helpful to you or someone you know! image Is your child having problems with math?
Are word problems a cause for panic in your house?
Could additional practice on math problems help your child?
Does your child LOVE math and crave a greater challenge?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then the
Summer Online Learning Experience (SOLE) MATH may be
just the type of summer experience your child needs.

SOLE MATH links students with ALEKS, an intelligent
tutoring system (ITS). First, ALEKS assesses each student’s
knowledge and skill level, then provides them with an
interactive, individualized, and self-paced tutoring

Who is eligible to participate in SOLE MATH?
Any 3rd through 12th grade student who would like to review old or learn new mathematics skills
during the summer

How much does it cost to participate?
SOLE MATH is $25 for three months. You only need access to a computer with the Internet.
Dr. SOLE says, “If your child comes to love Math, then your child can join SOLE MATH for
*If your child completes 30 on-task hours with the ALEKS system this summer, he/she can join SOLE MATH for FREE next summer.

What does SOLE MATH offer?
ALEKS offers individualized tutoring on a wide range of topics required for 3rd through 12th
graders, including topics required for most state standardized exams. In addition, there are
advanced mathematical concepts and topics for advanced courses, for example Advanced
Placement (AP) Statistics are covered.

How do I register my child for SOLE MATH?
Registration begins May 1st. SOLE MATH registration will take place May 1st through May 31st.
Late fees apply after May 31st. However, seating is limited, so please register soon.
For more information, please visit our website at .

Phone: (901) 313-4422
(901) 678-3608 deal ending soon

feature6a  Go to to see what deals are available in  your city.  The 80% off ends on May 31st.  Use discount code SPECIAL when checking out.

JC Penney Coupon

jcplogo Go to this link for a $10/$25 printable coupon off your next purchase at JC Penney.  The coupon is valid 5/28 through 6/2/09.  Thanks Mercedes for the info!

Don’t forget Free Burt’s Bees

lip-balm-sm If you haven’t been able to get one of these….


Burt’s Bees is celebrating 25 years and are giving away a coupon for a free lip balm to the first 1000 people on their site beginning at 9am for the next 25 days. Thanks Mercedes!

Info below:
What better way to celebrate our 25 Years for The Greater Good TM than by giving you the gift of well-being? Our lip balm helped make us famous, so we're giving away 1,000 of them a day for 25 days--that's 25,000 lip balms for our fans who helped us get here! Register now for your coupon for a free Beeswax Lip Balm, Honey Lip Balm or Replenishing Pomegranate Lip Balm, redeemable at any retailer who carries Burt's Bees and get in on the giveaway.

Go to this link to sign up

What’s new in the garden?

DSC_9894I can’t believe how big the dill is!  It was much later last year when it was this height.  I guess that mushroom compost did the trick!  You see that I have the dill companion planted with some of our tomatoes.  See those little cute toes in the background?? 

DSC_9888The peas are our favorite part of the garden this week.  My daughter and I love going out to the garden for a snack of peas—yummy!  I don’t know if I can bring myself to let some of them dry on the vine to save seeds for next year, but I know I should. 


There were only two carrots that sprouted for us this  year.  Next year I plan to amend the soil with more sand to see if that helps.


The spinach bolted this week.  I’m leaving the seed heads on in hopes of saving seeds for the fall and/or next year.  I managed to freeze a little spinach for later use as part of our food preservation work.  I’m always amazed at how little spinach you end up with once it is blanched. 

DSC_9912We were pleased to see the first of the bell pepper blooms on the plants this week.  Now that I see the blossoms, I can finally allow myself to use the last of the bell peppers from what we froze last year.

DSC_9910 The lettuces are just as pretty to me as a flower would be.  How lovely!


My sweet hubby surprised me when we returned home from our trip to Memphis by having repainted one of our garden benches.  It was once black and hot as all get out to sit on in the heat of the summer.  The white paint makes it look brand new.  Thanks honey!

Bath and Body Works Semi-Annual Sale

Go to this link for more details.

THE BIG semi-annual sale. Sale begins in stores Monday, June 1. Doors open at 9 a.m.

If you get their e-newsletter, there is also a coupon for a free lip item with any purchase.

Free Chocolate Friday—don’t forget

Don’t forget that you can click here starting at 9:00am today and register to get one of 250,000 coupons that Mars is giving out for free chocolate every Friday through September!

Limit 4 coupons per household for the duration of the program. Your coupons should arrive in 6-8 weeks. Yummy!

Tip of the day

Whenever possible use your coupons for items that are already on sale. Patronize grocery stores that double or triple coupons. Organic canned tomatoes sell for about $2 regularly. If on sale for $1.50 and you have a 50 cents off coupon that is doubled, you only end up paying 50 cents a can.

Smooth Shopping

I've added this to the Frugal Friday posts at Life as Mom.

When I talk with people about shopping with coupons, many say that they cannot use them because they take too much time or will make cashiers angry. Here are a few strategies for making shopping go a bit smoother.

  • Know what you plan to buy before going to the store. By reviewing sales papers and coupon match-ups on blogs, you should have a good idea of what you need to buy before you enter the store. Look at your pantry, fridge, and freezer and see what you might need for the week.
  • Have coupons you plan to use stored separately. Since you now have a list ready for the store and know what you aisles you will be going to when you get there, pull the coupons you will be using and put them in a separate part of your coupon binder. You will not have to look through a pile of coupons to find the few you need for that trip.
  • Have your coupons ready for the cashier. Take 30 seconds and make sure that your coupons are neat and ready for the cashier before you get to the check out lane.
  • Shop during off peak hours if possible. Less people in the stores and less distractions mean that it will take you less time to get in and out.
  • If you have multiple transactions, let others go in between. Why should the guy behind you with a drink and bag of chips have to wait while you go through transaction after transaction?
  • Go to a less used register if possible. The cosmetics counter at Walgreens is my preferred counter because I do not feel as rushed or that I'm causing a long line.
  • Be courteous, be direct, be ethical. Smile at your cashier! Get to know the people who work in your stores. If there is a problem, deal with it directly. Remember that you draw a lot more flies with honey than vinegar. Use coupons in the manner in which they are intended. Folks who use them otherwise give the rest of us a bad name.
  • Put any “free with coupon” items together so that prices can be recorded on the coupons. This makes it easier for the cashiers to jot down the pricing.
  • Be a “coupon fairy”. Share coupons with fellow customers in the stores if you have extras. Spread the love.

Shopping with children

  • If at all possible, make sure they are fed and rested.
  • Bring a few snacks and toys along to make the trip more entertaining for them.
  • Let them be your helpers. Our daughter loves helping to pick out vegetables and to help put the items she can reach from the cart to the check out belt. A friend of mine would have her son hold the grocery list for her.
  • Play games. "I Spy" is perhaps our favorite. We also practice colors and letters by looking at the goods in the stores. We almost always go through the floral department to look at and smell the flowers and plants.
  • If at all possible, choose at time of day that is better for them. Morning shopping works better for us.
  • Let children participate in meal planning and execution. This step is most useful for older children, but even younger ones can participate. Older children might plan the entire meal, but a younger child might decide between corn or squash for a side dish.

Please post any other tips or ideas which you find helpful in the comments section. Happy Shopping!

May 28, 2009

Three Rivers Market June Coupon Match-ups

home_main_image Three Rivers Market is a cooperatively-owned natural foods grocery store serving the Knoxville community and all of East Tennessee. They offer many certified organic foods, as well as fresh produce and offerings from our many local growers and producers. You'll find more than 200 herbs and spices, a large bulk buying section, freshly prepared deli foods, as well as refrigerated, frozen, and packaged groceries.

Their sales ad goes out monthly.  These are the coupon match-ups I’ve found thus far, and there may be more as coupons are generated at the beginning of the month on many sites.  Because the Co-op Advantage Coupon Book is about to expire, I thought it best to go on and post the match-ups at this time.  I do not receive the Mambo Sprouts Coupon Book, but it is my understanding that there might be some additional coupons in it that would match with the sales.  Please post any additional deals you find in the comments section.

Note—some coupons are in the Co-op Advantage Coupon Book that was found at the front of the store or mailed to share holders.  They expire on 5/31, but TRM has what they call Double Days.  If you go into the store in the last 3 days of the month, you can not only get the savings from current month’s specials but also the next month’s specials.  If you want to use the coupon for the June specials, be sure to go in during Double Days.

Look at the sales ad for additional information on their bulk deals.  I found the $2.49 organic raisin price a good one, and we’ll probably stock up on them.

Stonyfield Organic Ice Cream $2.99

Go to this link for a 50 cent/1 coupon
Honest Tea 99cts Use 20 cts/1 Co-op Advantage Coupon
Organic Blue Agave Nectar $4.99 Use $1/1  Co-op Advantage Coupon
Nature’s Path Organic Optimum Cereal $2.99 Go to this link for a $2 off coupon (wyb Nature’s Path and Organic Valley) and info on how to get Organic Gardening magazine free

Or use 75ct/1 Co-op Advantage Coupon
R.W. Knudsen Just Black Cherry Juice $3.29 Go to this link for a $1/1 coupon
Rudi’s Organic Bakery Bread $2.99 Go to this link to sign up for a newsletter, which says they will send you coupons
Seventh Generation Diapers $11.99 Go to this link for $2/1 coupon
Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes 2/$3 Go to this link for a $1/1 coupon

Go to this link for $1/1 coupon
Mary’s Gone Crackers $2.99 Use 75ct/1 Co-op Advantage Coupon
Stacy’s Pita Chips $1.99 Use 50 ct/1 Co-op Advantage Coupon
There was also a $1/1 coupon in a recent All You Mag.
Organic Valley Milk $5.99 Use $1/1 coupon from 5/31 inserts

Go to this link for a $2 off coupon (wyb Nature’s Path and Organic Valley) and info on how to get Organic Gardening magazine free

Go to this link for $1/1 coupon
Pacific Naturals Almond Milk $1.99 Use 75ct/1 Co-op Advantage Coupon
Aura Cacia Lavender Oil $6.79 Use $1/1 Co-op Advantage Coupon
Ancient Secrets Neti Pot $11.99 Use $1/1 Co-op Advantage Coupon
Avalon Organics Hair Product $5.99 Use $1/1 Co-op Advantage Coupon
Kiss My Face Ultra Moisturizer $7.99 Use $1/1 Co-op Advantage Coupon
Cascadian Farms Frozen Potatoes 2/$5 Go to this link for $1/1 coupon
Cascadian Farms Frozen Vegetables $1.99 Go to this link for $1/1 coupon
Nature’s Path Waffles 2/$5 Go to this link for a $2 off coupon (wyb Nature’s Path and Organic Valley) and info on how to get Organic Gardening magazine free

Know the Coupon Lingo

One of the most confusing things for people new to couponing is figuring out what all of the words and abbreviations mean. Below is a list of coupon lingo that I hope you will find helpful.

OOP—Out of pocket, the amount you spend once all sales, promotions, and coupons have been deducted from your total

OYNO—on your next order.

Overage—You made money. If you buy a can of tomatoes that is on sale for 85 cents and you have a $1 off coupon, you’ve made 15 cents of overage. Some stores do not allow this.

Catalina—this is a coupon that prints out with your receipt. It is named after the company that makes the machine. Catalinas are often money makers. Example: on the store shelf you see a tag that says, “Buy 2 French’s mustards between dates 3/1/09-3/31/09 and get $1 off your next purchase.” The mustards each cost $1.19, and you have two 50 cent off coupons. These coupons are each doubled. You spend 19 cents OOP (then tax) and get back $1 catalina for your next purchase. These have expiration dates just like coupons, but usually with a much more limited time. If you want to use a catalina, your total BEFORE taxes must be equal to or more than the catalina amount. Example—your total at CVS with your taxes is $10.08 and you have a $10 catalina you cannot use it. Your total before taxes was less than $10.

Printable—a coupon off of the internet, which you can print on your home computer. You are often allowed two prints per printer, unless it specifically says differently. To save time you can hit the go back arrow on your computer and then hit refresh to print two. Photocopying of printables is not allowed. If a coupon is e-mailed to your inbox, it often has a specific code number on it for the manufacturer to keep a tally. If you set your printer to print multiple copies of the same coupon, this is fraud. Not only is it unethical, but your store will be out of money because the company can refuse to pay on more than one.

Loadable—a coupon that can be loaded onto your Kroger Plus Card.

Blinkie—a coupon placed on a store aisle directly beside the product that the coupon is for. Often the machine that doles them out has a small blinking red light on it.

Peelie—a coupon that is attached to an item, usually meant to be used immediately.

RR—Register Reward. A catalina from Walgreens. These cannot be rolled onto the next transaction when you buy the same item. Example: Colgate toothpaste is on sale for $2.99 and you get a $2.99 RR for your next purchase. If you buy one toothpaste in one transaction a $2.99 RR will print. If you do another transaction and try to buy the toothpaste with a that original RR, a second RR will not print out. You can, however, use these on other products that have RR. Transaction 1—buy toothpaste for $2.99 and earn a RR for $2.99. Transaction 2—buy 5 brownie mixes on sale and use the $2.99 RR to pay for part of it. These often expire the following week to two weeks.

ECB—Extra Care Buck. A catalina from CVS. These can be rolled from one transaction to another because you will use your CVS Advantage card which keeps a tally of how many items are bought. CVS deals will often have a limit per customer. These also have a more limited expiration date.

Rolling deals—using money earned from one deal to pay for another so that your OOP is limited. Example: Spend $5 OOP at CVS and earn a $5 ECB. Complete another transaction in which you spend that original $5 ECB and earn a $6 ECB, etc. There are people who claim to have been rolling ECBs for years.

Stacking—using a store coupon and a manufacturer’s coupon at the same time. Stores vary on their policies on doing so. Target, Walgreens, and CVS will allow valid store coupons and manufacturer coupons.

Filler—Walgreens will only allow your total amount of coupons (store and manufacturers) to equal the amount of items you are purchasing. So, if you want to buy 1 candy bar and have a 99cents Walgreens sale ad coupon and a $1 manufacturer’s coupon, you will have to add another small item to your purchase to be able to use both coupons. At Walgreens, your catalina counts as a manufacturer coupon.

Stockpile—the extra items that you buy and accumulate each week. Once you establish a small stockpile of items for your home, start donating extras to food banks, shelters, etc.

Managing your stockpile—this is an extremely important part of being a good steward of what you have. If you let toothpaste go beyond its expiration, and it goes in the trash can, it is a waste of resources whether it was free or not. When you put items in your pantry, put the newest item in the back. Use the item that is closest to expiration first.

Circulars—coupon ads inside of the newspaper or weekly store ads in the newspaper.

Loss Leader—an advertised deal that is sold at a price that is often cheaper than the store bought it at. These are used to get you in the store so that you will purchase other items that you need from your grocery list.

Generics—a house or store brand of a given item. Many of these have a satisfaction guarantee. There are coupons on occasion for these, but it is rare to see them. Many times your savings on a non-generic item when on sale and you have a coupon will beat the generic pricing.

Cost per unit—Most stores have a price per weight or item in small writing on the shelf tag. Due to the recession, many products have shrunk in size, but are still priced the same. A “pint” of ice cream may only be 12 ounces, rather than 16! Knowing the prices of the items isn’t all you need to know, you also need to know what is a good price per unit.

Warehouse store—Sam’s or Costco

Bulk purchase—buying more of an item in order to get a discounted rate per unit. Bulk items can also refer to the section of health foods stores where you can use your own containers or a bag to purchase as much or as little of an item as needed. Example: at Three Rivers Market, you can often purchase bulk spices at a MUCH reduced rate than the jars in a grocery store. Because the turnover rate is high, you are often getting fresher items.

Mark down—an item that is about to expire that is reduced in price for quick sale.

Turnover rate—how fast an item is sold out and restocked.

Brand Loyalty—shopping at only the same stores every week. Buying the same type of a product each time. “I only buy Tide” “I only drink Mayfield’s.” Companies start building on brand loyalty almost at birth—think Disney Princesses on packages of juice or cereal.

Rebate—purchasing an item and receiving something from the company in return (purchase price, part of a purchase price, or a free item such as a toy or book). It is important to complete these as soon as you get home from purchasing the item. Read the fine print of the rebate carefully and make sure you include everything you should. I often make a copy of the rebate so that if there is a problem I will be able to contact the manufacturer.

Walgreens Deals 5/31-6/6

Check out this link for details on the upcoming sale ad for Walgreens.

What will I be buying?
For us—Ecotrin tablets for my father.  I might pick up a jar of nuts for handy snacks--$1.99 is my price limit on snack nuts unless they are organic.  I’ll get a jar of green olives at 99cents.

For the church—We will use 2 coupons to get the Bayer Contour meter deal free and earn $10 RR.  We' will get some of the Chinet paper plates on sale for 2/$3 if the amount in a package is worth working the deal.  If the luncheon plates are available, we’ll use the $2/1; otherwise, we’ll use the $1/1. 

Free Spaghetti at Fazoli’s

fazolis Go to this link and click where it says “new here, click for free spaghetti”.  Register and you will get a coupon for a free spaghetti with drink purchase.  There is also a contest to win free spaghetti for a year.  Yummy!

Sam’s Club and Kraft

head-logoS Sam’s Club and Kraft have partnered together to help you answer the question, “What’s for dinner tonight?”

The two-week dinner plan contains quick, delicious recipes your family will love. With great savings and an incredible selection, Sam's Club is ideal for all your grocery shopping needs! Save extra time with Click 'N Pull to have the ingredients waiting for you on your next visit.

As a bonus Sam’s Club members are also eligible for a personalized cookbook offer from KRAFT, valued at $25.

Go to this link for more details.

Free Root Beer Float

Root Beer Float[6] I just saw on Coupon Mommie’s site that there will be more freebies at restaurants soon!  Here is what she says:

“Swing by Sonic on June 3rd from 8 PM until close and grab a FREE Root Beer Float. 

Every Sonic is supposedly participating so click here to find one near you.

You may want to call yours ahead of time just to check.” 

My husband will like this deal—he loves floats!  Yummy!

Reading Challenge for Adults at Knox Libraries


Summer reading programs aren't just for kids! Read just 4 books and you'll win a roomy tote to carry all your favorite books. It's a great chance to discover a new author, learn more about an interesting subject, or give you a great reason to start (or join) a book club! Pick up a reading log at any library location or download one now to get started.

I look forward to earning one of these free totes!  Happy Reading!

Home Made Simple Coupon Book

hms_footer Here is a link to sign up for the booklets that have all of those good cleaning coupons along with the FREE Cascade Rinse coupon in it.
It usually takes awhile to get it, but worth it.  I have signed up for these in the past, and they are usually worth the effort. 

Thanks to All Things Frugal 4-U and Me!

Don’t forget—Free Burt’s Bees

lip-balm-sm Burt’s Bees is celebrating 25 years and are giving away a coupon for a free lip balm to the first 1000 people on their site beginning at 9am for the next 25 days. Thanks Mercedes!

Info below:
What better way to celebrate our 25 Years for The Greater Good TM than by giving you the gift of well-being? Our lip balm helped make us famous, so we're giving away 1,000 of them a day for 25 days--that's 25,000 lip balms for our fans who helped us get here! Register now for your coupon for a free Beeswax Lip Balm, Honey Lip Balm or Replenishing Pomegranate Lip Balm, redeemable at any retailer who carries Burt's Bees and get in on the giveaway.

Go to this link to sign up

Coupon insert preview for 5/31/09

Go to this site to check out the listing of coupons scheduled for this Sunday.  While some of the coupons may be regional, meaning we might not get all of them, the list usually gives you a good idea of what to expect. 

Coupons I think look like good deals

50 cent/1 Daisy Sour Cream, the small size often goes on sale at Kroger making for cheap sour cream. 

$3 Bausch and Lomb Soothe XP—sometimes these are in the travel section at Target and a money maker.

50 cent/1 Athenos feta cheese—we like feta in our household

$1/2 Dole salad—these are often marked down to 99cents at our Kroger.  While I have salad in our garden and do not need the coupon, it might be a good one to pass on to a friend.

BIGI Soy Joy bars—these are sometimes on a super sale at CVS.

$1/1 Organic Valley—while these are also available as printable coupons, it makes organic milk less expensive.

Tip of the day

Buy less processed foods. Oatmeal for breakfast is much cheaper than boxed cereal, organic or not.

May 27, 2009

A Frugal Baby Shower


I've added this to the Frugal Friday posts at Life as Mom.

My sister is pregnant with her second son, and she is due in mid-June. The entire family is thrilled, and we can't wait to meet that little one as soon as he enters this world. We wanted to celebrate her and this baby by having a baby shower that would coincide with Sunset Symphony in Memphis. The Sunset Symphony is part of the Memphis in May celebrations, and each year the symphony delights the audience with wonderful music. My sister is a music teacher, and she has been going to the Sunset Symphony since she was a teenager.

Luckily my cousin lives in downtown Memphis and very near the river. When I began bouncing around ideas for the shower, she suggested that we hold the shower at her place so that we could go up to the roof and listen to the music that evening.

Tips--plan the baby shower with a friend or relative to make the experience more fun, less work, and less expensive. Hold the shower at a home rather than a restaurant or renting a place. To make things more interesting, plan the shower around some kind of event. I've heard of people hosting cooking parties so that the mother-to-be has a fully stocked freezer when she leaves the shin-dig. In this case, the symphony provided enough entertainment that we never had to worry if guests were bored.

My sister has many food allergies which we needed to plan the food around. Because the Memphis in May celebration is centered around bar-b-que, we decided to go with that as our food theme. Because the symphony plays at sunset, we knew we wanted to feed our guests supper. I began shopping for the food about a month in advance so that I could get bargains to make the expense a little less. My sweet aunt purchased an edible arrangement of fruit she knew my sister had liked at Easter this year. It was also a BIG hit with my 3 year old daughter.

The menu was chips, salsa, and black bean salsa as appetizers. Then we had bar-b-qued chicken breasts, baked beans, salad, and roasted sweet potatoes for supper. For beverages, my cousin made limeade. We also had homemade sodas from my husband and orange tea. For dessert, we had gluten free and regular brownies with dairy free and regular ice cream. My cousin even made a homemade icing for my sister's brownies, which my daughter also loved.

DSC_9691 Tips--if people want to bring some food to help with the celebration, by all means let them. My aunt was thrilled when she heard that my daughter had said her favorite part of the entire weekend was "the fruit, Momma". Start looking for deals and coupon match-ups to lower your expenses. The salsa, rotel for the black bean salsa, and bar-b-que sauce were free with coupons. The chicken was on a super-duper sale, and I froze it until the day before the party. The green onions for the black bean salsa and the salad were from our home garden. The tea, brownies, salad dressings, and baked beans were all very inexpensive with sales and coupons. If you do not want the expense of feeding your guests an entire meal, plan for mid morning or late afternoon. A few light snacks and tea is all you really need in between meals.

0523090807 Because I very much believe in the importance of supporting local farmers, we made a trip to the downtown farmers market in Memphis the morning of the shower. I was thrilled to see over-wintered sweet potatoes, which we bought and roasted for a side dish at the party. There were so many beautiful flowers that it was hard to pick which vendor to buy from. I chose a lady who was making the arrangements while you waited, and she put together a huge bouquet of reds, whites, and blues. We couldn’t' resist some strawberries to snack on through the day.

Tips--see if the city you are visiting has a farmers market. The flower arrangement I bought was $10, and if I had been to a floral shop or grocery there is no way I would have come out with as large or as fresh of a bouquet as I did. I left the bouquet with my cousin as part of her hostess gift for having us over. Make sure that the flowers go to someone who will enjoy them at any function you have. For our wedding, we sent guests home with some of the flower arrangements and made sure that others went to a local nursing home.

DSC_9694Since the menu and theme of the shower was bar-b-que, we decided to decorate in a similar fashion. My cousin already had some white lights up in her loft, and she added some lit candles to add a party feel to the lighting. I had a few yards of bandana fabric, she had a few yards of plain red, and we each had some bandanas. I had some enamelware camp dishes which we used to not only reduce our waste but to round out the bar-b-que theme.

DSC_9707 Tips--use what you have. These were items we already owned and ones that can be used again. This greatly reduced the waste at the party. We bought paper napkins and plastic cups, and those were the only disposable materials used throughout the evening. I place a sharpie next to plastic cups at parties so that guests can write their names on the cups and they won't get mixed up.

DSC_9690 When I am hosting a party, I try and do as much as I can ahead of time. I put out the platters on the buffet in advance. I set the table the night before. Planning and prep work makes for an easy party. Remember, when the hostess is happy and relaxed, her guests will be too.

I planned two games for the party in the event there was a lull and games were needed. We only used one game, and in hindsight I wish we hadn't even bothered with that one. As party gifts for the guests, I had "bought" McCormick grill mates. These were something that the church, the food pantry, and our home did not use, but I hung onto them since they were free with my coupon. The day before I left Knoxville I realized I didn't have any party gifts ready. Voila! The grill mates were the perfect item given the theme of the party. I used raffia to make them look a little more festive.

DSC_9689Tips--guests really do not need a party gift, but it is a nice touch. When considering what to give, go for practical over cutesy. Think of something that they can use rather than give something that would end up in a landfill.


My sister was very pleased with all of the baby gifts she received for her son. My cousin had picked out these cashmere baby outfits for her. They were originally priced $50 and each was $4.99 at Pottery Barn Outlet!

Tips--you usually know at least a few months in advance when a baby is going to be born. I like to shop early because I am able to buy more items with the same amount of money. I picked up a bunch of diapers for my sister when there were good sales and I had coupons. My cousin was able to get this super duper deal just by checking the aisles. She knew that all of the bargain hunters in the family would be thrilled with the discount that she intentionally left the price tag on to show us. As part of supporting local businesses, think about where you can buy baby items in your town. I purchased some homemade shoes for the baby from a friend of mine and a few baby toys from Cutie Tooties in Knoxville.

This is my sister's second child, and therefore, she did not have a gift registry. If a mother does have a registry, stick with it. She knows what she needs and wants. If you are a first time mom and are signing up for a registry, go with another mom who has recently had a child. One of the best gifts a friend of mine gave me was walking me through the store and telling me what I actually needed and what was just fluff.

As the shower was nearing the end, we took the leftover food and sent my sister home with a large bag of leftovers. My cousin told me the next day that she was happy that she didn’t' have to think about what she was eating for any of her meals because there were still so many leftovers in her fridge.

DSC_9709 Tips--I err on the side of having too much food when planning a party. I want my guests to know it is all right to bring someone to the party if they like. I don't want them to go home hungry. One of the bonuses of having extra food is that the hostess doesn't have to cook the next day. Because preparing food is so difficult for my sister due to her allergies, I like to send her home with leftovers whenever I can.

DSC_9684 I hope this information will help you when you are planning your next baby shower! Have fun!

Mark your calendars--Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Yard sale

Bargains! Reduce Reuse Recycle Yard Sale:
Sat., June 6, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Ijams Inside and OutBargains! Reduce Reuse Recycle Yard Sale: Sat., June 6, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bargains galore! The RRR Yard Sale is a signature event for Ijams because it embodies many of its core values. It's a chance to Reduce your impact on the environment by Recycling your unused furniture, toys, dishes, books, tools, etc. It's also an opportunity to Reuse what someone else is Recycling. Call us at 577-4717 ext 14 if you are interested in donating items for the sale.

Nova Naturals Sale

Are you interested in toys for your child that inspires imagination?  Ones that are made with safe materials?  By a company that gives fair money to the makers of its products?  I encourage you to check out Nova Naturals then!  One quick warning though—it is easy to go overboard with your order, as they have so many cool toys.  They are having a sale with 15% off of select items now through 6/5/09.  Use the code SUMMER to apply the discount and visit their site to check out the toys.

Williams Sonoma Technique Classes

Have you ever been to one of Williams-Sonoma’s free technique classes?  I have enjoyed each time I’ve taken one of their classes or seen one of their demonstrations.  Below is a list of some classes which will be coming up soon.  I encourage you to call your local store to make sure they are participating before heading over.  Below is information from an e-mail I received from them today. 

As the leading retail authority on kitchen products and
entertaining, Williams-Sonoma offers a variety of
in-store events:

Technique Classes
We’re pleased to offer hour-long technique classes at your
local Williams-Sonoma store. Presented free of charge, each
class is dedicated to a specific topic and led by one of our
culinary experts. Class size is limited, see below for class
descriptions and reservation information.


All About Ice Cream
Sunday, June 7

Nothing says summer more than a bowl of homemade ice cream. We’ll show you how easy it is to make delicious ice cream at home. You’ll learn some creative combinations that incorporate fresh summer fruits into your frozen treats.

Tool Time for Dad
Sunday, June 14

Just in time for Father’s Day, this class showcases our favorite new tools for summer cooking. We’ll demonstrate how these specialized kitchen gadgets streamline seasonal preparation.

All American Summer
Sunday, June 28

Get ready for your Fourth of July celebration with this class devoted to barbecue favorites. Learn the difference between barbecuing and grilling, and how to create slow-cooked smoky flavor with ease.

Special Event:

Taste the Best of Summer

Saturday, June 27, 2009, 10 am – 4 pm

Join us for a special tasting event to celebrate summer! Enjoy hourly demonstrations of our latest summer products for seasonal cooking and entertaining, and sample our favorite new summer flavors, including cool drinks, zesty barbecue sauces and our exclusive line of specialty foods from chef Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc restaurant.

There is no need to register in advance for this event. Feel free to join us at any time for Taste the Best of Summer.

Amber Ready Child Safety Tour--Middle TN

The 2009 National AMBER Ready Child Safety Tour is coming to Middle Tennessee on June 3, 2009 beginning at 9:30 am. AMBER Ready is inviting parents, caregivers, child safety advocates, local law enforcement and community leaders to attend a FREE Child Safety seminar to learn about new child safety initiatives, strategies, tools and resources available to keep your child safe in the Internet age, and see how the AMBER Ready program works.

Hear from Internet safety and child safety expert Suzanne Stanford, law enforcement, local officials and the AMBER Ready team.

Location: Franklin Marriott – Cool Springs, 700 Cool Springs Blvd.Franklin, TN 37067

When: Wednesday, June 3, 2009
6 p.m. – Registration opens
7 to 9 p.m. – AMBER Ready Child Safety Night
(FREE dinner will be provided.)
Admission is free.

To reserve a space, please R.S.V.P. to (866) 861-5221 by May 29.


Go to this site for free samples from Walmart. There are some for Kotex, Good Nights, Sun Crystals, Playtex, Prilosec, Bodycology, Pull Ups, Crest Whitestrips, and Aveeno Nourish Hair Care.

Go to this site for a BOGO Frosty coupon at Wendy’s.

Go to this site for a BOGO ice cream coupon at Baskin Robbins.

Go to this site for a free Flatbread Sammie with sign up and a cookie on your birthday from Quiznos.

Go to this site to request a free sample of Dunkin Donuts coffee.

Go to this link for a free samples of Beggin Strips or Fancy Feast. Click on the sample banner. You do not have to be a Sam’s member to sign up.

Go to this link to sign up for Mighty Dog Citizenship Kit, which includes a dog tag and other goodies for your dog.

Go to this link for a sample of Rachel Ray’s dog food.

Go to this link to get 50 free MP3s from Pizza Hut. You must sign up for a trial of e-music, which according to the site can be cancelled at any time. You decide if it is worth it.

Don’t forget that you can get a freebie at Arby’s each Wednesday with purchase.

Don't forget--free Arby's today

Check out this blog post for details on free Arby's on Wednesdays. Enjoy!

Free Burt's Bees

Burt’s Bees is celebrating 25 years and are giving away a coupon for a free lip balm to the first 1000 people on their site beginning at 9am for the next 25 days. Thanks Mercedes!
Info below:
What better way to celebrate our 25 Years for The Greater GoodTM than by giving you the gift of well-being? Our lip balm helped make us famous, so we're giving away 1,000 of them a day for 25 days--that's 25,000 lip balms for our fans who helped us get here! Register now for your coupon for a free Beeswax Lip Balm, Honey Lip Balm or Replenishing Pomegranate Lip Balm, redeemable at any retailer who carries Burt's Bees and get in on the giveaway.

Go to this link to sign up. All 1000 have been picked up today—so be sure to try again in the morning!

Free Krispy Kreme Doughnut on 6/5

Jennifer at Coupon Mommie posted that National Doughnut Day is just around the corner. Check out here for more details. My experience with the freebies at Krispy Kreme is that it is a good idea to call ahead and make sure your store is participating. You also have to ask for the deal to get it.

Tip of the day

Don’t pay extra for convenience. Organic sliced and cleaned carrots are much more expensive than ones you peel yourself.

May 26, 2009

25% off for Borders Rewards Members

Now through May 31st, Borders Rewards Members can get 25% off one item.  Signing up for their program is free, and the coupons are sent to your e-mail acct.  They are also hosting a Summer Reading Challenge for kids.  Check out this link for more details.

Easy Roasted Sweet Potatoes

I was delighted to see sweet potatoes at the farmers market in downtown Memphis during our recent visit. My first question was, "How do you have sweet potatoes already?" I was even more pleased to hear that they were overwintered sweet potatoes from last season and were grown without any sprays. Local sweet potatoes in May--it just can't get any better than that!

This recipe is one that my friend Kristi gave to me about a year ago. Before that time I had always made roasted sweet potatoes with brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. I liked them that way so much that I was hesitant to try the recipe, but I am so glad that I did.

A few tips about sweet potatoes before we get to the recipe

  • Small, round sweet potatoes will be naturally sweeter than the larger ones in the barrel.

  • Leave the dirt on them until you are ready to use them.

  • Store in a cool dry place, and if overwintering them, check them every week or so.

  • Microwaving and boiling sweet potatoes will make them stringy. Stick with roasting and baking them.
  • If you want to make sweet potato casserole, bake the sweet potatoes the night before. This will not only make it easier to peel them, but it will also allow the sugary syrup to collect in the dish so that you do not waste any of those yummy bites.

Asian Roasted Sweet Potatoes

1-2 sweet potoatoes per person, peeled and cut into large cubes

Olive Oil (or sesame oil)

Kosher or freshly milled salt

Freshly milled pepper

Soy Sauce

Place prepared sweet potatoes in a roasting pan in a single layer. Drizzle with enough olive oil to coat lightly. Add a little salt and pepper--go light because you will add soy sauce later on. Bake at 350-400 degree oven until a fork can be inserted with a slight give. This will take about 30 minutes. Take roasting pan out of the oven and drizzle soy sauce on top. Remember that you can always add more soy sauce later if you find that they are not salty enough. Return to oven and bake until a fork can easily be inserted into the potatoes. Enjoy! Sale

Go to this link to see what gift certificates are available in your area. 

Offer ends Saturday, May 30, 2009!

Important Stuff: This offer cannot be combined with any other discount, rebate or promotion. When redeeming a Gift Certificate, these savings cannot be applied. Offer valid from Tuesday, May 26, 5:00AM PST thru Saturday, May 30, 2009 at 11:59PM PST. Offer cannot be applied retroactively.

80% OFF: Get $25 Gift Certificates for only $2!

Saving Money at the Grocery Store Workshop

Please join me at the Fountain City branch library on Saturday, May 30th from 1-2pm to learn ways to get the most out of your grocery budget. We will begin with a review of money saving strategies for helping to lower household and food expenses. Then, we will explore how coupons and new coupon resources can help you save even more money at the stores. The Fountain City branch phone number is (865) 689-2681. They are located at 5300 Stanton Rd, Knoxville, TN 37918. The library is just down from Litton's Restaurant on the corner of Essary and Stanton Rd.

If you plan on attending and have questions you would like to make sure I address, please post them in the comments section. I look forward to seeing you then!

Free after rebate-Office Depot

Check out the free after rebate items at Office Depot this week here and here.  Thanks to Money Saving Mom for the post!

Free Family Film Festival

Beginning next week, Regal Cinemas will be offering free admission to family movies. The movies start at 10am on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and the seating is first come first serve. Last year, Hannah and I went to a couple of these. They were a nice way to escape the heat. A few tips--get there early to get seats and if you want to be frugal do not buy concessions. The first time I thought, "What the hay, we are getting in free, let's buy some popcorn." The popcorn and a drink was over $10!!

Check out this link for more details. If you aren't in the state of Tennessee, they have other listings available on their site.

Tip of the day

Breakfast can be an inexpensive supper. It is fun, different, takes less time than a casserole, and is cheap!

May 25, 2009

Children's Festival of Reading

Mark your calendar for the 5th annual Children’s Festival of Reading! Saturday, May 30th, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm, the World’s Fair Park will be transformed into Knoxville’s only literary festival created specifically for children. There'll be amazing authors, illustrators, storytellers, stage productions, a mad science experiment area, giant inflatables, a hayride and even a petting zoo—and over 12,000 people expected.This year, they're proud to present Anna Dewdney as our featured author. Dewdney wrote the popular Llama Llama series, picked to be part of the official Imagination Library collection--they've even got a stage production of Llama Llama Red Pajama to help celebrate. Special guests include Kristin O'Donnell Tubb, Tracy Barrett, Bobby Norfolk, Allan Wolf, and mad scientist Keith Trahey. It'll be the perfect way to kick off summer reading at the Library!

Ingles Ad Match-ups 5/24-5/30

Check out this link for details on the Ingles ad match-ups for the week. Read her note at the bottom of the post, as she would like our help next week to work on the ad match-ups. I’m happy to help and hope you all will post deals you see as well.

Easy Steak Marinade

This is our go-to marinade for when we have meat on the grill. Sprinkle both sides of meat with garlic powder. Use either Kosher salt or freshly milled salt and pepper on both sides. Place meat in deep dish or zip top bag. Cover meat with equal parts Worcestershire and soy sauce. Marinade for 1 hour-overnight. Yummy!

I'm posting this as part of the Life as Mom recipe swap.

Target Deals 5/24-5/30

Click on this link for details on the Target ad match-ups for this week. The only deal that I found that interesting was the Pop Tarts--did you all see anything exciting?