October 31, 2009

Tip of the day

Halloween tips--

  • Dress you and your children in reflective clothing when trick or treating tonight.  If possible visit neighbors during the daylight hours, but remember that it is often just as hard to see when driving at dusk.  Wear reflective gear regardless of the time of day. 
  • When walking along the road, walk facing traffic so that you can see cars coming and can easily get out of their way. 
  • Inspect the candy that your children receive from others before letting them eat it, especially if your children have allergies of any kind. 
  • Before going out to trick or treat, discuss the rules that you and your partner have for your children—what are the manners you want your children to have when asking for candy?  No running across the street.  Holding hands when on the road. 
  • Also discuss how much candy you will let them enjoy each night or day.  A friend doles out the candy a little each day after Halloween, and another allows her children to enjoy all they want on Halloween and then they donate the rest the next day.
  • If you are driving tonight, be especially alert and aware that children will be out and about.  If you are tired or incapacitated in any way, call someone to drive you home. 
  • Most importantly be safe and have fun!

Free Steaz

Thanks Organic Deals and Coupons for the following info:

A zero calorie beverage that's made with natural and organic ingredients and in a glass bottle - I'm in LOVE!
I already love their original sparkling green teas, so I am eager to try this. The gracious folks at Steaz will let me (and you) do just that for FREE. Just go HERE to print out your coupon! - Limit (1) per person.
Thank you Steaz!
Don't forget to follow Steaz on Twitter or Facebook!

October 30, 2009

A little light reading

  • I liked this post from Mindy about couponers and non-couponers in the check-out lane.  I try to tell the people behind me, “I just want to let you know that my transaction might take a little longer if you are in a hurry.”  Sometimes they give me rude looks and huff off and other times they are super nice.  Regardless of how they act, I try to thank them after I pay for their patience (whether they actually were patient or not, it sends a message). 
  • Go here to learn how to make a canning jar pin cushion.  This might be a nice addition to a gift basket for a friend you know who likes to sew.

I know, it is a short list this week.  Share any articles or posts you think that readers would like to check out in the comments section.

Have a great weekend!

Free Tax Workshops in TN

I received the following information from Jamie Woodson:

NASHVILLE - The Tennessee Department of Revenue announces its next series of free bimonthly tax workshops to be held in Nashville, Knoxville, Johnson City, Memphis and Chattanooga.

Nashville: Nov. 24, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the department's Murfreesboro Road office, located at 1321 Murfreesboro Road, Eighth Floor.

Knoxville: Nov. 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the department's Knoxville regional office, located at 531 Henley Street, suite 606.

Johnson City: Nov. 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. at the department's Johnson City regional office, located at 204 High Point Drive.

Memphis: Nov. 12, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Renaissance Business Center, located at 555 Beale Street. The workshop will be held in the Memphis Training Room.

Chattanooga: Nov. 4, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the department's Chattanooga regional office, located at 540 McCallie Avenue. The workshop will be held in conference room 607.

These free workshops are designed to assist those encountering business-related taxes for the first time. Tax specialists from various local and state agencies will provide the basic information needed to comply with registration and tax requirements. During the session, attendees will have the opportunity to listen to these tax specialists, ask questions and receive materials explaining tax responsibilities and providing contact information. Areas of discussion will include business tax, sales and use tax, unemployment tax and tax enforcement procedures.

Interested individuals may register online at http://tn.gov/revenue/education/newbustaxworkshops.htm .

The Department of Revenue is responsible for the administration of state tax laws and motor vehicle title and registration laws established by the legislature and the collection of taxes and fees associated with those laws. The Department of Revenue collects approximately 92 percent of total state tax revenue. During the 2008-2009 fiscal year, the department collected $10.2 billion in state taxes and fees. In addition to collecting state taxes, $1.9 billion of local sales tax was collected by the department for local governments during the 2008-2009 fiscal year. Besides collecting taxes, the department enforces the revenue laws fairly and impartially in an effort to encourage voluntary taxpayer compliance. The department also apportions revenue collections for distribution to the various state funds and local units of government. To learn more about the department, log on to www.TN.gov/revenue.

Homemade Graham Crackers

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There is only one word for these crackers—YUM!  They are really easy to make and have always been a hit when I serve them to friends and family.  I’m always trying to find ways to make the things we would normally buy, and homemade graham crackers are definitely doable for most home cooks.  They are denser than the store bought variety, which I personally like. 

Homemade Graham Crackers (this is adapted from a recipe found on the King Arthur Flour website)

1 cup whole wheat flour (if using freshly milled use a darker wheat like a hard red)
1 cup all purpose flour, white whole wheat or freshly milled soft white wheat (You will also need flour for dusting your board when rolling them out)
1/4 cup  sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder (preferably without aluminum)
1 large egg
1/4 cup vegetable, canola, olive or coconut oil (coconut and olive oil will give the crackers a slightly different taste since they are more flavorful oils)
1/4 cup honey
2 to 3 tablespoons whole milk and additional milk for glaze
cinnamon-sugar

In a mixing bowl, combine whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and baking powder. In a separate bowl, beat egg till light, then add oil, honey and 2 tablespoons milk. Stir into dry ingredients until you have a fairly stiff dough, adding additional milk if necessary. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 1 hour (or longer, if it's more convenient).
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead gently until it holds together. Roll dough out till it's about 1/16-inch thick; make sure rolling surface is well-floured, or you'll have trouble transferring crackers to baking sheet. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
Cut dough into 3-inch squares, prick each square several times with a fork, and place on lightly greased cookie sheets. Brush the tops with milk, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until crackers are lightly browned. Rotate the pan half way through cooking so that the graham crackers are evenly browned.  Remove crackers from oven, transfer to a wire cooling rack, and cool completely. Makes about 2 dozen graham crackers.

Tip of the day


I'm posting this as part of the Frugal Friday carnival at Life as Mom.

Keep cream cheese on hand for easy entertaining. At $1-$3 depending on brand and whether it is organic or not, cream cheese is a versatile ingredient to keep in your refrigerator.

  • If you have a boxed cake mix handy, make it seem special. Pick a jelly or loose jam from your refrigerator. With a large tip on a pastry bag, pipe the jelly into the center of the cupcake. This adds a little extra pizzazz to a normal cake mix. Then, whip softened cream cheese with powdered sugar using an electric beater to fluff up the mixture. Adjust the amount of powdered sugar to your liking, but I usually add at least 1/4 cup. Add a 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla if you desire, but note that it will tinge the mixture a light tan color if you use real vanilla extract. Frost the cupcakes and enjoy!

  • If you have a can of chili in the pantry or some in the freezer, heat it up. Pour it over a block of cream cheese and sprinkle the cheese of your choice on top. Serve with crackers or chips. Yum!

  • If you have some graham crackers or pretzels available, top the cream cheese with any type of preserve, jelly or jam for a sweet treat.

  • If you have an herb garden, make my Herbed Cream Cheese Spread and serve with crackers or French bread.

  • Have a few savory crackers available? Top the cream cheese with an onion relish or hot pepper jelly for a sweet and savory treat.

  • Want a delicious sandwich for your next tea party? Chop green olives filled with pimento and mix them into a block of softened cream cheese (adjust the amount based on your taste, but add at least 10 chopped olives per block of cream cheese). Spread onto pumpernickel or another flavor of bread. Sprinkle with a little Tony Chachere’s seasoning for color (optional). If you would rather make this into a cheese log or cheese ball, simply form the ball or log and roll in chopped walnuts or chopped pecans.

  • Do you have a can of crab meat in the pantry? By all means use picked crab meat if you are lucky enough to have fresh available. Mix 1 T. cocktail sauce with 1 small can of crab meat and 1 block of cream cheese. Warm in the microwave slightly if desired. Serve with crackers or French bread.


Get creative using what you have. Experiment—that is how I have found some of my best recipes. Enjoy!

October 29, 2009

Free Sample of SturdiWheat Pancake Mix

sturdiwheatUPDATE--this is NOT a valid deal. I received an e-mail from the company that the original sample was posted without their approval on a major site, but keeps popping up everywhere else. Sorry about that!

End of month report—Thank you Walgreens and Earth Fare!

I like seeing what Money Saving Mom posts on her end of month reports, and I thought I might start doing something similar for our grocery budget. 

We budget $350 each month.  This includes all groceries, paper products, cleaning supplies, toiletries, medicines/herbals, and hygiene items (razors, deodorant, etc).

In October we spent $349.94—how’s that for close to the mark!  We have 6 cents left to be used for next month’s budget.

With that money we bought $729.16 worth of items.  If I’m doing my math correctly, we had a savings of 52.11%. 

Walgreens really helped us to stay on budget this month.  Because of their great moneymaker register rewards deals, we were able to “make” money on purchases there to be used towards other part of our budget.  For example, I purchased 4 of the Zantac boxes, making $5 off of each of those after coupons and RR.  We do not use Zantac, but I’m hoping to pass these on to someone who does and help with their expenses a bit.   I also picked up a number of the Vaseline lotions, making $1.50 off of each of those after RR and coupons.  I’ll use some of these and others will be added to the stocking stuffer pile for Christmas.

Earth Fare deals helped us to add some nice items to the pantry and fridge towards the end of the month.  I visited there today and spent $0.54.  I received lunch (tenderloin panini, chips, and a drink), 3 lbs of apples, and 3 free items from the pantry swap for free.  The total if I had paid would have been just over $26!  April was an especially nice cashier, and I told her how impressed I was with all of the people I encountered working at the Bearden location.

What did we purchase with that money? (These are the major purchases/bigger ticket items)

$90 for half of a locally raised lamb

$90 for CSA basket this month

$19 for organically grown, grass-fed, locally raised milk

$15 for locally raised eggs

$10.40 Local honey and molasses purchases

I caught some good sales and  bought or stocked up on--a new mop head, 2 boxes of canning jars, Halloween candy and treats, organic carrots, organic salad mix, Sure-jel, butter, yeast, chips, bacon, Fruit Fresh, canning salt, Ragu, beans, crescent rolls, mandarin oranges, dryer sheets, baby wipes, baggies, and dishwasher detergent. 

I purchased the following items because I needed them—yogurt starter, polysporin, large bandages, pasta, toilet paper, organic cereal, crackers, breakfast items, camping supplies (chocolate and marshmallows for smores), chicken, peanut butter, and sodas.

Many items were free including—Zantac, Vaseline lotion, Emergen-C, Chapstick, tuna fish, razors, Tabasco, dental picks, organic chocolate milk, Healthy Choice frozen dinners, canned evaporated milk, 3 lbs organic apples, organic salad dressing, organic jelly, organic peanut butter, Chex Mix, candles, kitchen gloves, sandwich bread, Dove conditioners, 4 packs Trident Layers, Palmolive Pure and Natural dish soap, Halls Refresh, and Crystal Light drink mixers. Bananas and eggs were also free because of the scan right promise at Kroger.  (This was the first time I had bought eggs at the grocery store in over a year.  Because of this purchase I’m reminded of why I purchase locally grown eggs!  Our farmer has lost many of her chickens to coyotes, and I’ll be purchasing some eggs from other friends who have chickens next month).

Among other things we were able to donate the 8 conditioners, 22 Crystal Light drink mixers, and 4 crescent rolls.

What will I stock up on next month if the price are good?  I plan to pick up a turkey or two to put in the freezer to roast.  I’ll be on the look out for good deals on spices, extract, canned pumpkin, canned vegetables, sugar, and brown sugar.  Three Rivers Market is having a fantastic sale on organic butter, and I’ll be buying a case of it.  (I’m Southern, and I use a lot of butter when baking!)  The other big ticket item of the month will be maple syrup.  I decided to not get the maple syrup when it was on sale at Amazon to help us stay on budget.  I’m now glad that I decided to wait. 

So, what could you glean from this post to help with your budget and shopping?  Did you notice that there wasn’t much meat, lunchmeat, cheese, etc?  I stocked up on those items last month and because of that we did not need to purchase many of those items this month.  Because we stockpile, we rarely have to purchase items because of necessity.  All of the items I listed that were needed except for the yogurt starter were on sale, and many of the times I also had a coupon. 

Did you also see how I was able to make money on items from Walgreens and use that money to go towards the general grocery budget?  Many of these items will be given as stocking stuffers or donated.  I wouldn’t buy them if they would end up in the trash; I’m NOT encouraging you to be wasteful.  I am encouraging you to think outside of the box when it comes to your budget and how to make it work.  Yes, this did require more work and a few more trips to Wags this month than I normally would have made, but I always scheduled those trips around other errands so as to not waste gas or time. 

I hope this is helpful to someone out there.  Happy Budgeting!

Free Sonic Cherry Limeade--SEE UPDATE

UPDATE--I received notification from Anita with Sonic that this promotion is only for the Tampa area, but she adds "However, participating Sonic Drive-Ins will be offering $.50 corn dogs this Saturday, Oct. 31, from 5-10 p.m. Costumes aren’t required and customers of all ages can enjoy the $.50 corn dog. It’s the perfect on-the-go treat."

Free Kid’s Healthy Habits Activity Booklet


Go here to snag a FREE Kid's Healthy Habits Activity Booklet from Lysol! You'll need to scroll down and click on the link to request a booklet to be mailed to you. Allow 6-8 weeks for delivery.  Thanks Hip2Save!

Free Nescafe Sample

Nescafe_SinglesFree Sample from Nescafe of Their New Gourmet Coffee Single Serves!

Nescafe is giving a free sample pack of their new gourmet singles coffee packs when you register for their newsletter!

Nescafe Gourmet singles free sample

There are 5 different varieties coming out: Vanilla, Colombian, Original, Decaf, and Hazelnut

Thanks Coupon Dad!

Knoxmoms Calendar

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The calendar of events at Knoxmoms.com and the other cities in the Moms Network is always a great resource.  If you are interested in what family friendly events are taking place for the Halloween holiday, go here to check out the list.  These sound fun!

Coupon Preview 11/1

bs01864_ Go here for the coupon preview for this upcoming Sunday.  Happy Clipping!

Baby Einstein Refund

baby-einstein-dvd

Thanks to Common Sense with Money for the following info:

If you had a baby in the last four years you are probably familiar with Baby Einstein DVD’s.  These are DVDs that were marketed as educational for infants 9 months or younger.  Well, it seems that I was not the only one who though babies this age should not be in front of a TV (The American Academy recommend zero TV for children 2 years and younger).  Fearing a class action lawsuit brought on by Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Baby Einstein DVD makers have agreed to issue a refund or provide an exchange to those who bought these DVDs under the pretense that they were educational.

If you have any of these DVDs, you can read the details here on how to get a $15.99 refund for each DVD you mail back to Disney, the makers of these DVDs.  You can return up to 4 DVDs for a total possible of almost $64 refunded back to you.  OR you could request an exchange for Baby Einstein books or music CDs or a promotional discount good at the DisneyStore.com.

Scary Snakes

DSC_1799 This recipe is super simple, though I’ll admit that it took a little longer to make them than I remembered in the past.  I think that I saw this on an episode of Paula Dean’s cooking show, but I’m not completely certain.  Regardless of the source, they are super fun to make for the kids, and I hope you enjoy them.

Scary Snakes

Crescent Rolls

Lunchmeat

Sliced cheese

Egg

Food Coloring

Bell pepper

Green Olives with pimento

Toothpicks

1.  On a floured board, roll out the crescent rolls and pinch the dough together where it is perforated so that there will not be holes in the dough.

DSC_1792

2.  Add the lunchmeat of your choice and cheese to the dough, paying attention to stay towards the middle and to not overstuff the dough.  If you overstuff or get too close to the middle the cheese will ooze out.  If desired cut a few strips from the ends to use for decoration and patch jobs if you find holes later.

DSC_1793  DSC_1794

3.  Roll the dough together in a snake form.  Add the extra crescent roll strips to make decorations on the snake if you like.

DSC_1791

4.  Crack the eggs in small bowls (as many eggs as you want color).  I used two eggs and stuck with green and red.  Mix the coloring into the egg until you get the hue you want.  Then brush the egg wash onto the snake in the pattern of your choice.

DSC_1796 DSC_1795

DSC_17985.  Place snakes on a greased cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.  Bake in a 350 degree oven until the dough is light brown and set.  Approx 15-20 minutes, depending on how big your dough rolls end up being.

6.  In the meantime slice the olives in half and the bell peppers in the shape of a forked tongue.

7.  When the snakes come out of the oven fit the tongue into the dough while it is still hot.  Use toothpicks to affix the eyes.  Voila!  You are ready to slice and eat!

Tip of the day

Want to get your house cleaned?  Having trouble getting motivated to finish that home improvement project?  Set a date for a party!  It is amazing what you can accomplish when you have a deadline and know that people will be coming over.  If you are especially unmotivated, I might recommend inviting over people who have never seen your home or your in-laws—you’ll accomplish even more than you ever thought possible.  ;)

October 28, 2009

Mission Wraps Coupon

Go here to get a $1/1 Mission Foods Wrap Coupon.  Log in if you are already a member.

Kids Eat Free on Halloween with costume

Kids Eat Free at Abuelo’s on Halloween!

Bring your little ghosts, goblins and super heroes to Abuelo’s this Halloween!

All day Saturday, October 31, kids age 12 and younger who are dressed in costumes will receive a free kid’s meal. *Up to two free kids meals with the purchase of an adult entrée.
Kids can also enter Abuelo’s costume contest for the chance to win a $25 Toys R Us gift card!

Bring the kids in on Halloween and they eat free!

You still have to purchase two adult entrees, but if you are planning a trip out anyway, you could get a little discount.

Free Apples at Earth Fare

freeorganicapplesfromearthfareI just received this coupon in my inbox, and I was pleased to read on Frugally Farming Family that she learned a way to print the coupon without receiving the e-mail.  Thanks Hannah!  Don’t forget the Pantry Makeover that Earth Fare is hosting right now when you plan your shopping trip!

Go here to print the coupon without getting the email. Thanks Earth Fare on Twitter!

Free Shipping at Walgreens

enjoy FREE STANDARD SHIPPING with your online order of $25 or more Enter coupon code FALL2009 at checkout thru Thursday, October 29* NOW FEATURING As Seen On TV SHOP NOW

In case you are wanting to do some holiday shopping in the comfort of your own home, I thought I’d pass this Free Shipping Code for Wags on to you.  Visit their website here to start shopping.

Crabtree and Evelyn 20% off sale

Boo! 48 Hours Exclusive - Ends Thursday at 10 AM EST

Boo! 48 Hours Exclusive - Ends Thursday at 10 AM EST

Crabtree and Evelyn is having a 20% off sale this Thursday, October 29th.  If you have a Crabtree and Evelyn fan in your family, now might be a good time to pick up a holiday gift.  Happy Shopping.

Tip of the day

When honey and oil are ingredients in your dish, measure the oil first.  Then use the same measuring cup to measure the honey.  It will pour without wasting a drop.

More Free Tuna

I’ve been loving all of the free tuna lately, and Saving and Giving reports another source of coupons:

Bumble Bee tuna is offering a $1.00 off coupon via email for the next four weeks (total of 4 coupons) if you sign up for their My Cookbook program. It's free to register, and you will get weekly meal planning ideas too. Head over HERE to sign up. I found these tuna pouches at Kroger for $1.09 last week, and others have reported them being around $1 at other stores. This means free or almost-free tuna!

Free Lip Gloss at Victoria’s Secret

beauty-rush-lip-gloss-free

Thanks to Southern Savers for this freebie info:

Head to any Victoria’s Secret and get a Bra Fitting and get a Free Lip Gloss with this coupon.  No purchase necessary. (exp 11/15)

Halloween Printables


What would any holiday be without free coloring pages just for the occasion??
Here is a site that offers many coloring pages for the kiddos.  Thanks Saving Your Cents!

October 27, 2009

Free Old Orchard Juice Coupon

Hbpba
Take a quick survey here and you'll receive a coupon for a free bottle of Old Orchard Juice in the mail.  Thanks Money Saving Mom!

Ro*Tel Coupon

Rotel
Money Saving Mom reports that the $0.50/1 Ro*Tel coupon is available again. Go here and wait for the header to show an ad for a $0.50/1 coupon. You should be able to print it twice per computer.  These often go on sale at Kroger, and once doubled the coupon makes for free Ro*Tel! 

Win a maid for a year!

Murphy® Oil Soap Your Year To Shine Sweepstakes

Oh yeah I signed up!  You’d better believe it!  As I was talking to the pastor’s wife on the phone today, cleaning toilets, sweeping and mopping floors, and dusting, I realized how nice and spoiled I would feel if I had a maid.  God must have known I needed a little smile because as soon as I sat down, I saw this post from Just a Bunch of Nothin’ about a Murphy Oil Soap Sweepstakes to win a maid for a year.  I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

Mother Earth News $10/year rate

Mother Earth News is probably my favorite magazine of all time.  I devour it when it arrives at our home, often reading it 3 or more times before turning it over to my husband who then does the same.  It is a “meaty” periodical, and one that I do not pass on to friends—this one we keep for reference.  I have not found MEN at a cheaper rate than $10/year.  It is at that rate currently for gift subscriptions.  (My husband gifts the magazine to me in order to get the rate).  Go here if you’d like to order gift subscriptions and, as always, their website is jam packed full of great information.

A few freebies

BS01178_1 Head over to Organic Deals and Coupons here, here, and here to find out the details of three organic freebies available right now. 

Visit Frugally Farming Family here to get the scoop on some homeschooling freebies.

Coupon Mommie has the details of getting free EPT pregnancy tests at Walmart with a $5 printable coupon. 

Check out this post at Hip2Save about getting free stuff from companies by e-mailing them.

Don’t forget the free sample of Kashi TLC bars here.

I love free!

Cupcake Witches

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Look at these super cute witches.  My cousin brought them to one of our costume parties a few years back.  Simply make your choice of cupcake flavor and ice in a green blue frosting.  Then top with a sugar cone for the hat.  Use licorice for the hair, M & Ms for the eyes, sprinkles for the eyebrows and mouth, and candy corn for the nose.  They were a HUGE hit!

Free Glowelle sample

Glowelle1

Go here to request a GLOWELLE clutch containing three GLOWELLE powder stick packs, product information, and a few refreshing, beauty-boosting recipe suggestions (approx. $15 value).

Thanks Money Saving Mom!

Hidden Target Deal

Go here to learn more about the hidden Target gift card deal with Glade.  These would make a good stocking stuffer or addition to your emergency candle supplies.  Happy Shopping!

ConAgra Foods Coupons

conagra-logo-large

Play Conagra’s Recession Payback game and gain access to print coupons to save money on Conagra products.  All you need to do is play one round of the game.  At the end you will have access to print coupons for the brand of your choice among a selection.  Hit the back button to print the same coupon for a second time or to select another brand and its printable coupon.  Here are the coupons available:

$0.50/5 Banquet Dinners
$1.00/2 Marie Callender’s Frozen Meals
$0.50/1 La Choy Product
$1.00/3 Hunt’s Products
$1.00/3 Manwich Products
$0.50/2 Chef Boyardee Products
$0.50/1 Reddi Wip Product
$1.00/1 Orville Reddenbacher Products

Thanks Common Sense with Money!

Tip of the day

Warm air rises—remember that your ceiling fans have a switch that changes the direction on them.  This pulls the warm air down and regulates the temperature.  And, for Pete’s sake, please dust your ceiling fans.  Most of the dusting that I do is with an old rag, but every few weeks I pull out the swiffer sweeper with an extension handle to give the ceiling fans and light fixtures a good dusting.  Not only does it look nicer, it helps to reduce the dust that the fan spreads in the air when turned on.

October 26, 2009

Stockpiling, Emergency Preparedness, and Food Security

Wondering why you are seeing this post on a couponing site?  View my posts here and here to find out why I believe these issues are important.

Stockpiling-- Here are the weekly “best buys” I found for adding to your stockpile (therefore the list is mostly of shelf stable items or toiletries).  Some of the stores are regional.  If you do not have a store listed in your area, or if you do not eat the items mentioned, then consider taking $1-$5 from your weekly grocery budget to use for building your stockpile. 

If you find some deals I missed, please post in the comments section. The scenarios are from the websites I’ve linked for the sales and match-ups.

It looks like it will be a good week to score some deals, especially at Kroger. 

Target—These are from Stretching a Buck.  All but the Keebler deal are ongoing deals, meaning that the prices at your stores might vary.  If in doubt, call ahead to check prices to avoid wasting a trip to the store.

  • Keebler Chips Deluxe (16 oz) Fudge Shoppe (11.5 oz) Cookies (selected others) - $2/ea
    Buy 2 Selected Keebler Cookies, Get 1 FREE
    Use $1.50/2 here
    PLUS
    Use $1/2 Chips Deluxe Target Coupon here
    Final Price = $0.50-0.83/ea when you buy 3 (Thanks, Melissa!)
    * Read how to earn a $10 Toy Voucher
  • Bumble Bee Tuna (3 oz) - $1/ea
    Use $1/1 here
    Final Price = FREE
  • Hormel Compleats - $1.89/ea
    Use $2/1 in October All You magazine
    Final Price = FREE
  • Chex Mix (8 oz bag) - $1.75/ea
    Use $0.50/1 here and here
    PLUS
    Use $1/1 Target Coupon here
    Final Price = $0.25/ea
  • Musselman's Totally Fruit - $1.54/ea
    Use $1/1 here
    Final Price = $0.54/ea
  • Skippy Peanut Butter (15 oz) - $1.74-1.79/ea
    Use $0.40/1 or $0.75/1 in 10/4 Red Plum insert (note: not all regions rec'd this coupon - including Central OH)
    PLUS
    Use $1/1 Target Coupon here
    Final Price = FREE - 0.39/ea or $0.74/ea
  • Jimmy Dean Breakfast Bowls - $2.02-2.29/ea
    Use $0.75/1, $1/1 or $1/2 in 8/30 Red Plum insert
    PLUS
    Use $1/1 Target Coupon here
    Final Price = $0.02-0.79/ea
  • Old El Paso Taco Seasoning - $0.69/ea
    Use $0.60/2 here
    Final Price = $0.39/ea when you buy 2
  • Quaker Oatmeal Cups - $1/ea
    Use $1.25/2 in 8/30 Red Plum insert
    Final Price = $0.38/ea when you buy 2
  • Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Pasta - $1.19/ea
    Use $1/2 here
    Final Price = $0.69/ea when you buy 2
  • Kellogg's Cinnabon Bars - $1.75-2.79/ea
    Use $1/1 here
    Final Price = $0.75-1.79/ea

Walgreens--

  • Go here to learn about free LypSyl after rebate.
  • Go here to learn about Bayer meter RR deals for this week and the week of November 8th. Use the RR earned to buy items for your stockpile.
  • Royal Gelatin 5/$1 with in store ad coupon
  • Crystal Light $1.99 each with in store ad coupon, use $2/2 Crystal Light drink mix products , exp. 11/30/2009 – Page 134
  • Quaker Quick Oats B1G1 at $3.19 w/in ad coupon
    -$1.25/2 Quaker Instant or Old Fashioned Oatmeal, RP 8/30
  • Chicken of the Sea Pink Salmon $1.89 each with in store ad coupon

CVS--

  • Go here to learn about free Dove deodorant.
  • $3 ECB wyb (2) Nature’s Bounty Supplements, B1G1 starting at $7.49 Limit 3
    -$2 off Natures Bounty, printable (register)
    -$1 off Nature’s Bounty Vitamins or Supplements SS 9/13, 10/11 or printable
    (this is possibly only for Fish Oil 50-320ct., CO Q10 30-100ct., Flax 80ct., or Red Yeast Rice 60-250ct.)
  • Hershey’s, Mars or Nestle Bagged Candy 9-12oz $2 ea
    (price good Sunday - Tuesday)
    B3G1 Free Hershey’s Snack Size Candy Bags SS 10/18
    -$1/2 Mar’s Candy Bags RP 10/11
    -$1/2 Nestle Fun Size Bags RP 10/18
    -$1 off Nestle Candy printable (makes it $1 ea)
  • Campbell’s or Sawnsons Soup or Broth 50¢
    -.40/4 Cambell’s Chicken Noodle or Tomato Soups SS 10/04, 9/20
    -.40/2 Campbell’s Condensed Soups SS 10/04, 9/20
    -$1/2 Campbell’s Cooking Soups printable (makes 2 Free)
    -$1/5 Swanson Broth Cans SS 9/27

Kroger (Atlanta/Knoxville area)—Thanks Jenny for doing such a great job on the Kroger ad this week!  It was a long one with tons of deals!

Tuesday only--

  • Nestlé or M&M or Mars Fun Size Candies 9.34-12.5 oz., $1.88 ea
    -$1/2 Nestle Fun Size Bags RP 10/18
    -$1 off Nestle Candy printable (makes it 88¢ ea)
  • White House Regular Apple Juice 64 oz., 99¢ ea
  • Kroger Water 24 Pack 16.9 oz bottles $2.99 ea

All Week—Note that there are many non-shelf stable items and toiletries at good prices at Kroger this week as part of their Mega Sale

  • Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa Mix 10 ct 49¢ ea
  • Del Monte Tomatoes 14.5 oz 49¢ ea
    -$1/5 Del Monte canned Fruits or Vegetables RP 9/20 (makes it 29¢ ea)
  • Hormel Chili with Beans 15 oz Can 79¢ ea
    -$2/3 Hormel Chili SS 10/18 (makes it 13¢ ea)
  • Bumble Bee Tuna Pouches .39 ea
    -$1 off Bumble Bee Tuna printable (makes it FREE)
  • Betty Crocker Boxed Potatoes
    -.50/1 Betty Crocker Potatoes Cellfire eCoupon
    -.40/1 Betty Crocker Potatoes SS 9/13 printable
  • Carnation Evaporated Milk 12oz 49¢ ea
    -.50/2 Carnation Evaporated Milks SS 9/27 or printable (makes both FREE)
  • Nestle Toll House Morsels 12oz., $2 ea
    -.50/2 Nestle Morsels printable
    -$1/2 Nestle Morsels RP 9/13 (exp 11/1)
    -$1/2 Nestle Morsels June All You Magazine
    -.50/1 Nestle Morsels RP 9/13 (exp 11/1) (makes it $1 ea)
  • Dole Mandarin Oranges 59¢
    -.50/1 Dole Fruit printable
  • Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice or Wild Rice 99¢
    -$1/2 Uncle Ben’s products RP 9/13 or printable
    -$1/3 Uncle Bens products RP 9/13
  • Krusteaz Pancake Mix $1.17
    -$1/2 Krusteaz Pancake Mix SS 10/11
    -.50/1 Krusteaz Pancake Mix SS 10/11
  • Pepperidge Farm Crackers or Baked Naturals Crackers 5.9-10.3 oz $1.99 ea
    -$1 off Pepperidge Farm Crackers printable (IE) or printable (FF)
  • Chex Mix, Bugles or Gardetto’s Snacks 7-8.75 oz $1.49
    -.50/1 Chex Mix 4.5 oz. + Cellfire eCoupon or Shortcuts eCoupon
    -.50/1 Chocolate Chex Mix printable
    -.50/1 any Chex Mix printable or here
    (use e coupon with paper coupon makes it FREE)
  • Keebler Fudge Shoppe Cookies 99¢ ea
    -$1.50/2 Keebler Cookies printable (makes it 24¢ ea)
    -$1/2 Keebler Cookies Kroger Home Mailer

Ingles--

  • Bartlett, Bosc, Red or Anjou Pears, 98¢ lb
  • Progresso Soups, $1.33 ea
    -.50/2 Progresso soup any SS 9/13, 10/04, 10/25
    -.25/1 Progresso Light soup SS 9/13, 10/04, 10/25
    -$1 off Progresso High Fiber soup printable (IE) or printable (FF)
    -$1/3 Progresso soup printable (sign in)

 

Emergency Preparedness—this week put a warm blanket or two in your car.  If you are concerned about them getting dirty, place them in a plastic bag first.  If ever you are stranded on the side of the road and your car will not start, you’ll be glad you have these in your car as you wait for help.  In addition to emergency uses, the blankets are perfect for bundling up at outdoor football games or events.

If you already have a blanket in your car, this week I encourage you to put a small tarp in the trunk.  We use tarps for about anything and everything.  When camping this weekend, we covered the firewood and kindling with the tarp to keep it dry overnight.  If stranded you could use it and some rope tied to a tree as a make-shift shelter.  If you have to change a tire, these are handy for keeping you from getting as dirty when you are kneeling on the ground.  I think that the best deal we’ve found on these is when purchasing them at Harbor Freight stores. 

Food Security—This week I encourage you to consider where your food comes from.  Last week I gave you some options of items to buy at your local farmers market at the end of the season.  Yet, most if not all of the deals that I’ve listed under the stockpiling section are for non-local items—that’s sort of a double bind isn’t it?  I’m telling you to buy local but I’m also giving you some great deals on mass produced items.  What I hope you will do is start to find some balance in  your purchases as your budget will allow.  While we still purchase name brand and off the shelf goods, we have tried to shift more of our purchases towards locally grown products over time. 

Why?  There are many farmers in my family, and I grew up in a rural, agrarian community.  I know how hard each of those families worked to bring in the crops.  I also watched as in my lifetime many of them went out of business as crops were taken over by big business.  A neighboring county was once well known for its egg production.  Then, as eggs became brand named and mass produced, more and more of the egg farmers went out of business.  We need our farmers!  We need the farm land to remain farmland and not be turned into asphalt. 

But if you are purchasing mass produced products aren’t you still supporting farmers?  The answer is yes and no.  Yes, American farmers are sometimes behind the products you see, but a much smaller percentage of the revenue from that product actually goes to the farmer.   The beauty of knowing the farmers that produce the food you eat is that you can feel good about supporting someone you know.  Our daughter loves to say “Miss Adrienne grew this for me” or “This is Mr. Dave’s sausage”.  You are also keeping more of the revenue from those products in your community.  In case you haven’t noticed, we are in a recession.  Supporting your community helps your neighbors and friends to keep food on their families’ tables.

What to do next?  If you are in Tennessee, this is a great website for finding what products (organic and conventionally grown) are available in our area.  If you are outside of our state, check with your local agricultural extension agency to find what products are produced in your area.  Local Harvest also offers a search engine to help you find what farms are near you.  If you have not yet read the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle it is an easy introduction to the world of eating and buying locally grown products.

What foods do our family buy locally at this time? Honey, lamb, some pork, beef, eggs, milk, most of our cheese, yogurt (made from the milk), almost all of our vegetables, and almost all of our fruits.  We also try to purchase nuts and maple syrup within 150 miles of our home.  When we travel to someplace that has different crops than our zone, we try to pick up those foods there--shrimp and seafood when we visit family on the Gulf, peanuts and oranges when we are farther south, sorghum when we visit Amish country, etc.

As always, I reinforce that you and your family have to decide what will work for your situation and your budget.  It has taken our family over 3 years to move towards purchasing as many locally grown and organic products as we now do.  Make the transition slowly, maybe choose one item to change each month and see how it goes from there.

Walgreens Robitussin Deal

I just received this e-mail about the Walgreens Robitussin deal and wanted to pass on the info to you all.  Thanks so much Ann for the heads up on the deal!

I don't usually send out deal email, but I have not seen much chatter on this one.
There is a corporate email http://couponsdealsandmore.com/uncategorized/walgreens-robitussin-heads-up/
Regarding the robitussin-to-go being OOS. They are substituting ONLY if the store is OOS.
I did this 4 times this morning (separate orders):
Robitussin DM Cough Syrup, 4oz (WIC 511399 only)
$2.49 after the cashier applies the coupon at the check out - $2 printable = 49¢ + receive $2.50 RR!
http://www.robitussin.com/  $2 printable
There was also a $1 manufacturer coupon in the 9/27/09 RP inserts.
HTH!
Ann

Little Mummies

 

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I can’t remember where I found this recipe last year to credit the source.  These Little Mummies were so simple and inexpensive and were a huge hit at our costume party. 

Ingredients

Crescent Rolls

Hot Dogs

Mustard

Ketchup

Directions

Roll out the crescent rolls on a floured board or counter.  Cut them into long strips.  Wrap the strips around each hot dog to look like a mummy.  Bake in a 350 degree oven until they are golden brown 10-15 minutes.  When they come out, use mustard to make two eyes. 

For the dipping sauce:  Pour ketchup into a small serving dish.  Then, make circles in the ketchup with mustard.  Take a toothpick, and draw concentric lines from the center to the outside, making it look like a spider web.

Meal Planning Monday

Whew, last week was busy, but this week is scheduled to be even more so.  The following is our schedule for the week’s meals. 

Breakfasts—bagels and cream cheese, soaked oatmeal, cheese toast, yogurt and fruit

Lunches—sandwiches, leftovers, soups, snack lunches

Suppers

Monday—Last night we enjoyed an impromptu dinner with friends at their lovely home.  They have a special recipe for spaghetti sauce that they make, and they sent us home with some of the leftovers.  Tonight I’ll boil some whole wheat pasta and heat the sauce for our meal.  I’ll serve slices of homemade mozzarella and garlic bread on the side.

Tuesday—Hot dogs and slaw.  I’m having a get together later in the evening and will be serving a dessert buffet.

Wednesday—I’ll be preparing the meal for the children’s program at church.  Last week there were almost 30 children there, and so I’ll be planning on feeding at least that many again this week.  We will serve “snakes”—lunchmeat and cheese rolled in crescent rolls, shaped and decorated like a snake.  We’ll also have crocodile teeth (apple slices), fingers (carrot sticks), and if I can get a good deal, eyeballs (grapes).  We’ll make trees in lava (broccoli in cheese sauce) as another vegetable side dish.  The kids will have a scoop of ice cream as a special treat in honor of Halloween for dessert.

Thursday—Red beans and sausage.

Friday—Vegetable meal—sweet potatoes, green beans from the freezer, turnip greens from the garden, and cranberry beans.

Saturday—Homemade chili with all of the fixings.  We’ll make salt dough ghosts as a special craft for Halloween.

Sunday--Borscht from the freezer with yogurt instead of sour cream.  If I get a chance, I’ll bake some bread to go with it.

Independence Days Update

We participate in Sharon Astyk’s Independence Days Challenge.   This is our weekly update. 

Plant—Nothing in the ground this week.  I have lots of bulbs I need to plant, but I didn’t make the time to do it when it was pretty outside this week.

Harvest—The very last of the green Beans, in fact, I’m amazed I was able to find any that were edible with the touch of frost we’ve had.  I also harvested the last of the red tomatoes.  They were a little anemic tasting, but they added some color to a capresi salad I brought to a friend’s dinner party last night.  I pulled basil, bell peppers, jalapeños, onions, and flowers for arrangements.  We went to a local pumpkin patch with our daughter’s school and picked a pumpkin and a few apples. 

Preserve—I made mozzarella and yogurt again this week, and I was very happy that I did when we were invited to the impromptu dinner party.  It was nice to bring something fresh and Italian to a spaghetti dinner.  I harvested what I think will be the last of the jalapenos and made easy jalapeño rings.  I froze some more bell peppers and chopped green onions.  I was pleased to preserve a few more foods this week.   Like I said last week, this is the time of the year that I look back and wish I would have done more.

Reduce Waste—We continue our energy reduction, recycling, and composting efforts.   I happily passed some soup on to a friend who just had a beautiful baby girl.  We went camping this weekend, and it was nice to give it to someone who appreciated it rather than letting it go to waste.  I also passed a magazine on to her.  I reorganized the pantry, taking stock of how many jams and jellies we have left.  I keep giving it away and realized that I need to make sure that we have enough for us this winter.  I cleaned out the refrigerator and was pleased that not much was found wasteful in there.  I used some hot peppers we had from the CSA along with the jalapeños when making the rings I mentioned above.  I began making a pile of books to bring to the bookstore for resale.  Hubby is working on the church computer to help save money and reduce the need for purchase of a new computer.  We donated a few more items for the church bazaar and rummage sale.

A friend passed some clothes and coats on to our daughter.  These hand-me-downs are so appreciated!  Our daughter gets such a kick out of wearing something that “Marley gave me”, and it means so much more to her than something that came off of a rack.  She often asks, “Who made this for me” when talking about toys or “Who gave this to me” when referring to clothes.  It is so much nicer to tell her that her cousin or her friend passed clothes to her or her Daddy made her toy than to tell her that it was made in China and shipped thousands of miles to a store. 

I am asking myself more often when at the store, “Can I make this myself, and if so, how much would it cost?”  Example—we went camping this weekend, and I can’t imagine camping without smores.  Instead of buying graham crackers, I made them myself.  The taste of homemade is far superior to the ones you find in the boxes, and they are a little cheaper.  Yes, it takes time, but really not as much as you might think.  (I’ll try to post the recipe for these on my blog soon). 

Prep/Storage—I stocked up on some toiletries this week and found a great deal on organic carrots.  I pulled out some more winter clothes for our daughter to wear as the weather continues to cool.  I can’t think of anything else we did in this area. 

Building Community Food Systems—I made up some more boxes for the food pantry.  The youth group donated $60 to the food pantry at church, and I spoke with them briefly about how important this outreach is for the community and how often we are able to help people in need.  I picked up some tuna fish for the food pantry.  We had some breads donated to the church, and I picked up about 9 cases of sliced breads, hot dog buns, and hamburger buns.  We’ll use the hot dog buns for a wienie roast we have planned for November 7th, the hamburger buns will go for the youth, and the sliced breads will be donated when we hand out boxes and also used for the children's program.

Eat the Food—Our daughter’s favorite part of the food this week was the smores with the homemade graham crackers.  “Thank you Momma for making this for me.”  My hubby’s favorite part was eating the homemade petit fours that I baked for his birthday on Sunday.  My favorite part was seeing each of their faces as they enjoyed the special treats and knowing that one of my special gifts in life is to prepare foods for the ones that I love.  It is such an honor and responsibility.  I, in many ways, am the gatekeeper for what we bring into our home and put in our bodies.  Sure, it takes more thought, planning, and time to prepare foods from scratch and to plan the budget so that we can buy more locally grown and organic products.  It is worth it, though.  When we have a special treat, I want it to be special.  When we sit down together to eat as a family, I want them to know that I made the meal with love.

Free Taco Bell Black Jack Taco on Halloween

Taco Bell is offering FREE Black Jack Tacos on Halloween (Sat., 10/31) from 6:00 p.m. to midnight!

Valid at participating Taco Bell locations in the United States while supplies last. Whenever I post about restaurant deals and freebies, I encourage you to phone your local store first to make sure that they are participating. 


Thanks Melissa!

Target, Ingles, and Kroger Deals 10/25-10/31

Go here for the Target deals this week.

advantage_card Go here for the Ingles match-ups for this week.

banner_logo_header Go here for the Kroger deals this week.

Tip of the day

While we are on the subject of gifts and budgeting (the last two days I’ve given you tips related to gift giving and budgeting), start a “wish list” in January.  Write down all of the people whom you buy gifts for—birthdays, holiday gifts, anniversary gifts, and showers you know might occur.  Then as you hear those people mention things that they like, enjoy, or want make a note of it.  They will be so surprised that you remembered something that they had mentioned in passing.  The bonus—you’ll have a little extra time to find the best deal on the item you for which you are searching.  If my husband says that he really likes a certain magazine, I have some time to find the best price for a subscription. 

October 25, 2009

Target Toys Coupon Book

target-toys-300x251 Check out the details of the 2009 Target Toys Coupon Book here.

Saving Money on Healthy Foods—Part 6

Part 1 of the series

Part 2 of the series

Part 3 of the series

Part 4 of the series

Part 5 of the series

Today the focus is on healthy oils. Research varies on what is and what is not healthy when it comes to oils. At present, most doctors agree to stay away from transfats, but if you only look for words like “no transfats” you might be misled. Instead look on the ingredients to see if there is anything with hydrogenated in the name. Many labels say “no transfats per serving” which is a way to slide by the labeling rules. I like what I heard Michael Pollan say once. To paraphrase—“If you can’t say the name of the ingredient, don’t eat it.” Butter is butter. Olive oil is olive oil. There are no mistakes to be made about those ingredient lists.

Whenever possible, we opt for organic when purchasing oils or fats to add to foods. I’ll direct you to the book Omnivore’s Dilemma or the movie Food Inc. if you would like to know why. Also, our family chooses a more traditional diet, which means that we eat butter…and we like it. As a general rule, we do not enjoy lower fat options and processed foods. Instead of opting for those, we try to use less of the real stuff to save money and calories.

How to add healthy oils to your diet:

  • Enjoy fresh bread with a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Enhance the flavors of your foods with a little healthy oil, herbs, and seasoning.
  • Stick with the real stuff as I said earlier. In order to reduce your intake, whip butter to make it fluffier and trick yourself into using less.

How to save money when purchasing healthy oils:

  • Buy your oils in bulk. When we buy our coconut oil, we go in with friends and order a 5 gallon bucket from Mountain Rose Herbs to save money per unit.
  • I have purchased organic olive oil at Sam’s for a fraction of the price at the store.
  • Look for coupons and match them with a sale. Next month, I’ll be purchasing a case of organic valley butter at Three Rivers Market because it will be on sale, I’ll have coupons, and I get a case discount. When you find a great deal, buy what you can to stock up.
  • Use a mist sprayer for oils so that you will not have to buy cooking spray.
  • Store your oils properly. I’ve always heard that extra virgin olive oil should be stored in the refrigerator to prevent it from becoming rancid.

What other ideas do readers have for adding healthy oils to your diet? Please add any tips to the comments section so that all readers may benefit.

A Happy Thought

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"There's an old saying that you can't have a war when one side doesn't show up. Be that side. Do what you have to to address the situation and then walk away from the drama. Not only do you give yourself (and the problem) the greatest chance for a successful outcome, more important, you protect your peace of mind - the most valuable gain of all."

- Cheryl Richardson

Tip of the day

Yesterday I encouraged you to keep track of your holiday spending.  I hope you will also keep track of to whom you give what.  I started keeping a record of this after my sister-in-law informed me with a laugh that I’d given the same gift to my nephew two birthdays in a row.  What can I say?  I really liked that Fischer Price school bus!  We all shared a good laugh, and now I keep track of what I buy, for whom, and how much I spend.  I also record what gifts my husband and I make others (he is a woodworker) and the estimated cost of those items.  You’ll avoid redundancy and make sure that you give a somewhat even amount to others.  I try to keep the amount we spend on our nephews the same because I wouldn’t want one to think that we’d done more than we did for the other.

October 24, 2009

Free Sample Pampers Extra Protection Diapers

pampersextraprotection

Thanks to Common Sense with Money for this info:

Walmart is offering a free sample of Pampers Extra Protection diapers.  This sample is available for diaper sizes 4 and 5.  You may want to sign up for this one quick as it may not last very long.  Hopefully it will come with coupons.

Free YoCrunch

YOcrunch Free YoCrunch for Sending in Candy Wrappers

Mail your candy wrapper(s) to YoCrunch and get a coupon for a free yogurt.  You have up to two weeks past Halloween to submit them.  Go here for more details.  Thanks Thrifty Mama!

Free Kashi TLC Chewy Granola Bar

tlc_chewy_box

Click here and then on the banner to claim a free sample of TLC Chewy Granola Bar.  If you’ve never tried these, you are in for a treat!

Thanks Common Sense with Money!

Saving Money on Healthy Foods—Part 5

Part 1 of the series

Part 2 of the series

Part 3 of the series

Part 4 of the series

Today the focus is on liquid and water intake. 

How to drink more fluids:

  • Realize that when  you wake up in the morning you have been fasting for many hours.  Start your day with one large glass of water to rehydrate you.
  • Add flavoring to your water.  I like to put a few tablespoons of cranberry juice cocktail in my water to add a pleasant flavor.  Lemon and lime juices are also nice—just remember to drink citrus flavored drinks through a straw to reduce the impact that the acid will have on your tooth enamel.  In the summertime, I enjoy adding some sliced cucumbers to the water for a refreshing drink.
  • Enjoy foods that have more water in them.  Foods like soups are both inexpensive and nutritious. 

 

How to save money when purchasing liquids:

  • Make teas and water your drinks of choice.  Not only do drinks like green tea add some healthy antioxidants to your diet, but they also are inexpensive compared to bottled sodas or juices.  If making hot teas, reuse your tea bags or leaves to save a little money.
  • Don’t go for bottled.  Bottled water is not only a nuisance to the environment, but it is also crazy expensive.  Opt for your own container that is BPA free and use a water filter on your tap.  Make a habit of grabbing one of these containers whenever you are heading out the door for errands or work.
  • If your family chooses to drink mixed beverages like Kool-aid, add your own sugar and use the small packages so that you can adjust the amount of sugar and water yourself. 
  • Use coupons for teas, juices, and drink mixes.  Couple them with a sale and you’ll get a good deal. 
  • Break the soda habit.  If you decide that sodas are something you cannot give up, learn how to make your own.  At least then, you will be able to control the ingredients. 

What other ideas do readers have for increasing your liquid intake?  Please add any tips to the comments section so that all readers may benefit.

Tip of the day

This year, keep track of how much money you spend on holiday gifts.  Next year, you can use that total to decide the budget for next year’s holiday spending.  Take whatever number you decide upon and divide it by 12.  This will be the amount you can spend each month, and shopping ahead will help to you to snag some good deals when they are available. 

Example—this year you spend $541, but you and your family decide that you will need to increase that amount slightly next year.  (Your sister is having twins, your brother is getting married, etc)

Next year’s budget--$600

Each month’s budget--$50

Just like with your grocery envelopes, if you do not spend the entire amount one month, add it to the next month’s envelope.  You’ll be able to stay on track with your spending.

October 23, 2009

A little light reading

  • Go here to read a post about reducing consumerism around the holidays.
  • Go here for ideas on a frugal Halloween.
  • Go here to learn how to make your own pumpkin puree (if you do not have pumpkins you can use other winter squashes instead).
  • Go here to learn more about the 30 day giving challenge at Kingdom First Mom.

Have a great weekend!

Saving Money on Healthy Foods—Part 4

Part 1 of the series

Part 2 of the series

Part 3 of the series

Today our focus is on milk and dairy. Since many people are allergic to cow’s milk, I’m including some other options and ideas as well as addressing traditional dairy products.

How to fit more dairy into your day:

  • Start the day out with dairy. Breakfast of yogurt, fruit, and granola makes a yummy breakfast. Traditional cereal and milk is a staple in many households.
  • Pack dairy in the lunchbox. Pack cheese slices or string cheese sticks as a snack for your children. If you want to make it extra fun, use mini cookie cutters to make fun shapes. Don’t throw away the “scrap” cheese—add it to casseroles or freeze it for later use.
  • When you catch a mark down on milk, use it for just about everything. Make homemade or boxed recipe pudding. Add it to creamy soups. Make your own yogurt.
  • Make Soaked Oatmeal. Soak 2 cups of old fashioned oats in 2 cups of milk overnight in the refrigerator. Bring 2 cups water to a boil and add 1 t. salt. Stir in oat mixture and stir until heated through and thickened. Serve with butter and real maple syrup. The oats will only cook about 3 minutes and will be fabulous. Add what oatmeal you do not eat to an oven safe ramekin and pop in the toaster oven the next day for baked oatmeal.
  • Desserts are an easy way to add dairy to your diet, but many people are trying to cut calories and sugar intake. Instead of a heavy dessert, serve fruit with cheese or slightly sweetened real whipped cream.

How to save money when purchasing dairy:

  • Know that milk can be frozen. When you catch a great deal on milk but cannot use it before it expires, freeze it. Remember that the milk will expand when frozen, and to prevent the jug from bursting, pour a little of the milk into a separate container to allow for expansion.
  • Use coupons for dairy and allergen free options. While coupons for regular milk are a little harder to find, ones for cheese products, yogurt, organic options, and soy are readily available on line, in the newspaper and via loadable coupons. Make sure to couple the coupon with a sale to get the best deal.
  • Cheese can also be frozen. Mozzarella and softer cheeses if shredded tend to clump together, but harder cheeses such as cheddar do great in the freezer. Stock up if you have room.
  • Watch the deli section for mark downs. I’ve found feta cheese at a clearance price. Since I had a coupon, the feta was around $1 for a block and the perfect addition to the salad I was making that night. It never hurts to run by that section of your store to see if any goods are to be found.
  • Buy local. I prefer Cruze Dairy Farm milk for many reasons, and the price in comparison to organic milk is on the top of the list. Their milk is not certified organic but is grown using organic methods, and the cattle are grass-fed. All of that, and I save money—who could ask for more?
  • If you are using soy or almond milk, consider making your own. A friend once told me that she does this for her stepson with great success. Do a quick internet search, and you’ll find recipes to get you started.
  • Make your own yogurt, cheese, ricotta, farm cheese, cottage cheese, and yogurt cheese. These are very easy to make, and when you catch a great sale on milk or have a coupon these can be very inexpensive. To make many cheeses, you will need milk that has not been ultra-pasteurized. Since most milk in the grocery has, opt for a local choice or raw milk if your state allows. For the locals, Cruze Dairy Farm is great for making cheese! If you’d like to learn how to make cheeses or yogurt, contact your local branch of Slow Food International, your local agricultural extension agency, or 4-H to inquire about classes.
  • Realize that there are other sources for calcium if you are not able to use dairy—cruciferous vegetables, fortified juices and products, and white beans are also options for calcium that at times can be less expensive than dairy.
  • Use dried milk and dried buttermilk when cooking to help save money. Add dried milk to recipes with water to add some calcium to the dish.

What other ideas do readers have for eating more protein or saving money at the store when purchasing dairy items? Please add any tips to the comments section so that all readers may benefit.

Back to Nature Coupon

I really like the Back to Nature Crackers, and so I was thrilled to see that this coupon was available again.  Thanks so much Organic Deals and Coupons for the info!  Go here to print.