November 30, 2009

Not sure what the next week holds

Hello everyone.  I’ve debated back and forth with myself about posting this here, but I’ve decided to go on and do so.  Earlier this summer, I asked for your prayers for my grandmother.  She’s been in the hospital for most of the time since I wrote that post but was able to return home for a short time.  (How she loved seeing her cat and being in her own bed!)  My sweet grandmother went to Heaven a few hours ago. 

She was an amazing lady.  Among the many things that I could write about her, she would cut out coupons for me every week and mail them to me from Memphis.  She delighted when I told her all of the things I was able to purchase and all of the supplies we were able to donate for the church because of those coupons.  She loved hearing about all of the people I passed the coupons to and all of the programs she was able to help because of cutting the coupons.  It became her way to help others as much as it was me helping others.  She would often send a dollar to my daughter with the coupons and a note telling her that it was her spending money for when she went shopping with me.  

I still plan to pick the winner of the giveaway on Friday, and I’ll most likely blog a little here and there as a distraction.  Since I do not know what the next few days or weeks hold, though, I hope you will be patient with me.  I encourage you to check the links section of the blog, as there are some amazing bloggers that have great deals regularly posted.  I know they will keep you up to date. 

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. 

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.

I didn’t include CVS this week because I didn’t see many good deals in the sales ad or on blog sites.  Please leave a comment if you have scored some good deals there this week so that all may benefit.  The best places to shop this week seem to be Kroger and Walgreens.  Kroger’s one day sale with inexpensive cereal and the Ecotrin deal at Walgreens with overage should help to stretch your dollars.  If you do not use Kellogg’s cereals or products, you might consider donating them to a food pantry.  We scored some inexpensive cereal last month at Target and were pleased to donate it when our daughter’s school was collecting for a local charity. 

Walgreens—Use the $7.05 overage from the Ecotrin deal to score free food, toiletries or other supplies to add to your stockpile. 

  • Band-Aids character 20 or 25 pk or plastic 60 pk get $1 RR WYB 2/$3
  • Complete Multi-Purpose Solution 12 oz. $7.99 get $8 RR
      -$1 Complete Multi-Purpose Solution, Any 12 Oz RP 10/25/09

See below for a couple of more deals from Common Sense with Money.

  • Toblerone bars 2/$3
    Use two $1/1 coupon from 11/22 SS insert (regional)
    Use $1/2 coupon from December Coupon booklet
    FREE after coupons!

Also, here’s how you can get some cheap Nivea Lip products and lotion:

  • Buy 6 Nivea Lip Balm
    Buy two Nivea Lotions

    -$2.97 when you use (3) Buy One Get One coupons from 11/1 RP insert
    Use two FREE lotion when you buy 3 lip balm coupon from 11/1 RP insert
    Pay $2.97 for 6 lip balm and two Nivea lotions

Walgreens is having a 3 day sale this week.  Go here to view that ad.

Three Rivers Market/Co-op Advantage StoresI usually wait until the first of the month to post the match-ups for these stores because sometimes new coupons are made available at that time.  The best buy to stock up on for December will be the organic popcorn at $1.19 per pound found in the bulk sections.   Popcorn is always good to stock upon because it can be used popped for popcorn and ground into cornmeal if you have a grain mill.  I’ll try to have the rest of the match-ups and deals posted late tomorrow.

Ingles—If you can find a store that has the 4 pack of Marcal toilet paper at $2.48 today, you can use the $2 off coupon and score for some inexpensive tp.  While there, use the free/$1 off Marcal coupon for very inexpensive eco-friendly tissues (our store had them priced at $1.18.)

  • Ragu pasta sauces 16-26 oz., at $1.98 (BOGO 99ct)
    -.60/2 Ragu pasta sauce RP 11/15
    -$1/2 Ragu Sauces printable (makes it 49¢)
  • Eight O’Clock coffee 12 oz., at $4.88 (BOGO $2.44)
    -$2/2 Eight O’Clock coffee printable (IE) or printable (FF) (makes it $1.44)
  • Blue Diamond Almonds 6 oz., at $3.38 (BOGO $1.69)
    -.75/1 Blue Diamond Whole Natural Almonds SS 9/13
    -$1/2 Blue Diamond Almonds SS 11/15
    -$1/2 Blue Diamond Bold Almonds SS 11/15
    -.50/1 Blue Diamond product printable (makes it 69¢)
  • Hartz Crunch & Clean Dog Biscuits at $3.38 (BOGO $1.69)
    -$2 off Hartz Crunch & Clean dog biscuits printable (makes it FREE)  NOTE--If you’ve printed this coupon in the past few months, it might not let you print another one.
  • Kellogg’s Cereals 8.7-12 oz $1.75 ea
    -$1 off Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, or Crispix RP 11/08
    -$1/2 Froot Loops, Corn Pops, Apple Jacks, or Frosted Flakes RP 11/08
    -$1 off Kellogg’s Corn Flakes or Rice Krispies RP 11/8
    -$1 off Kellogg’s Apple Jacks or Froot Loops in store dispenser (makes it 75¢)
    -$1 off any Kellogg’s product printable
    -.75/1 Rice Krispies printable
    -$1/3 Kellogg’s Cereals, any, RP 11/08 printable
    -$1/3 Kellogg’s Raisin Bran RP 11/08
    -$1/2 Kellogg’s Froot Loops, Corn Pops or Apple Jacks RP 11/08
    -$1 off Kellogg’s Corn Flakes with Touch of Honey printable (if included)
    -$1.50 off Store Brand Coffee wyb (3) Kellogg’s Cereals printable
  • Ray-O-Vac Alkaline Batteries, $1.25 ea
    -$1/2 Ray-O-Vac alkaline batteries SS 11/08
    -$1 off Ray-O-Vac alkaline batteries SS 11/08, 10/18 (makes it 25¢)

Kroger Atlanta/Knoxville area--

  • One Day Sale on December 3rd--

    50% off Kellogg’s Cereal and Bars, Keebler or Sunshine Cookies and Crackers or Kashi Cereal and Crackers Select Varieties
    -$1/3 Kellogg’s Cereals, any, RP 11/08 printable
    -$1 off Kellogg’s Crispix or Rice Krispies RP 11/8
    -.50 off fruit wyb Kellogg’s Special K printable
    -$1.50 off store brand coffee wyb any 3 Kellogg’s cereals printable
    -$1 off any 6ct+ Kellogg’s Cinnabon Bars printable
    -$1/2 off any 6ct+ Kellogg’s Special K Bars printable
    -$1/2 Rice Krispies printable
    -$1/2 Keebler Town House Flipside Crackers printable
    -$1/2 Keebler Club Crackers in Better Homes and Gardens and Redbook Nov 09
    -$1.50 off Kashi GoLean Crunch Vocalpoint Mailer or printable
    -$1 off Kashi Honey Sunshine Go Mambo booklet
    -$1.50/2 any Kashi Cereal printable (no prints left)

  • While not a shelf stable item, this seems to be a good deal--

    Jimmy Dean Breakfast Links or Patties Fully Cooked 9.6 oz $2.50 ea
    Free Kroger Large Dozen Eggs with ANY 2 Jimmy Dean Sausages Purchased
    -$1 off Any Jimmy Dean Fully Cooked Sausage RP 11/01

  • Progresso Soup 18.5-19 oz $1 ea
    -.50/2 any Progresso Soup SS 11/08, 10/25 and Shortcuts
    -$1/4 any Progresso Soup SS 11/15 or SS 11/08
    -$1.10/3 any Progresso Soup printable
    -.50/2 any Progresso Soup Cellfire
  • Annie’s Pasta and Cheese 6oz $1 ea
    -.50/1 off any Annie’s product printable(makes it FREE)
  • Mom’s Best Cereal 12-16.5 oz $1.99 ea
    -.75/1 off any Mom’s Best Product printable
  • Charmin Bath Tissue 6 Mega or 12 Big Rolls $5.99 ea
    -.25/1 Charmin PG 11/29
    -$1 off any Charmin 6 pack or larger PG eCoupon
    -$1 saved for College wyb any Charmin Mega Roll pk. Upromise eCoupon
    (makes it $3.49 after all savings)
  • Chicken of the Sea Chunk Light Tuna 5 oz .50 ea

Target

  • Steaz Organic Iced Tea (16 oz) - ?
    Use the Get 1 FREE coupon here (exp 12/31)
    Final Price = FREE
    * Note: there is also a B1G1 Free coupon here
  • Del Monte Canned Vegetables (14-15 oz) - $0.66/ea (reg. price)
    Use $1/8 in 11/15 Red Plum insert or $1/4 here
    PLUS
    Use $1/6 Target coupon here (exp 12/12)
    Final Price = $0.33/ea when you buy 6 or $0.41/ea when you buy 8
  • Kellogg's All Bran Crackers - $1.99/ea
    Use $1.50/1 here
    Final Price = $0.49/ea

Emergency Preparedness & Food Security—This week I thought we could discuss some gift ideas in these categories.

  • Cookbooks and Canning Cookbooks—pick your favorites or stick with classics like the Joy of Cooking and the Ball Blue Book.
  • Books such as Animal, Vegetable, Miracle or Periodicals such as the Farmers Almanac and Mother Earth News or instructional manuals such ones related to home repair
  • Calendars, especially ones related to gardening.  The Farmers Almanac annual calendar is such a nice one because it includes moon phases and recommendations on planting. 
  • Gift certificates to local stores, on line seed catalogs, or any store that provides supplies you think that the recipient might like--gardening/farming supplies, emergency or camping supplies, or hunting or fishing supplies.
  • A gift of seeds, including ones you have saved yourself.  My favorite on line stores are Kitchen Garden Seeds and Seeds of Change.
  • Gifts from your garden, kitchen, or canning.  Make a gift basket and include some of your home preserved, home baked, or otherwise homemade items.  If you do not preserve foods, make a visit to a local farmers market, Amish country, or your local co-op to see if they have some items for purchase. 
  • Gifts to keep warm--Winter silks or thermals, hot pads, electric blankets, rice bags, hot water bottles, fleece pullovers, warm slippers (children really like fun designs), home knitted socks/hats/scarves, or slipper socks.  On this note, a friend of mine knitted me some homemade socks.  I have enjoyed them more than words can say.  They are the perfect color, fit wonderfully, and are nice and warm.  If you knit, don’t negate how wonderful of a gift homemade items can be!
  • Gifts of light—flashlights, especially self crank or solar recharging batteries are nice, nice candles, and lamps for camping.
  • Gifts of tools or knives—One year my uncle gave me a really nice gift set of garden shears, pruners, and hedge trimmers.   Another year, he gave my husband and I a really nice wheel barrow.  Both gifts have been so appreciated and I’m reminded of how thoughtful they were each time I use them.  Speak with other gardeners, farmers or campers to ask what might be a useful tool to avoid buying something that is just a gimmick.  For children, I like to give them a real tool that is scaled to their size.  Our daughter enjoys the real (not plastic junk!) rake, hoe, and shovel I gave her one year.  Whenever we are in the garden, she goes to the potting shed to get her tools.   Also know that these gifts do not have to be new.  My father gave my husband some of his power tools that he no longer used, and they were appreciated even more because they were something my father knew he would like.  If you are looking for a great source of knives, I recommend Smoky Mountain Knife Works.  I’ve been very pleased with all of the items I’ve bought there both on line and in store. 
  • Cooking tools/utensils—grain mills, solar ovens, dehydrators, canning supplies (mason jars, canners, pressure canners, labels), good knives, or homemade items in this category.  My husband turns wood/lathes. He has turned pepper mills, rolling pins, honey dippers, bowls, and plates. 
  • For a new driver pick up a first aid kit for the car and/or a set of tools and roadside repair gear.  For a new parent, the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, Dr. Sears series of books, cloth diapers, baby sling, and/or tools for home safety might be nice.  For a college student, a compact tool kit comes in very handy.  For a newlywed, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, or something for their kitchen, garden, or workshop might be nice.
  • One more idea comes from my friend Coupon Mommie.  She used many of her freebies and cheapies to make a marvelous gift basket for a friend.  She practically gave them an entire stockpile of supplies!  What a wonderful idea!

If you have any other gift ideas, I’d love to hear them!  I so enjoy seeing comments and e-mails from readers!

Cyber Monday discounts at Cutie Tooties

I received this e-mail from Sunny and thought you all might be interested in checking out the deals:

Hello Friends!

It's CYBER MONDAY, which means lots of GREAT deal at Cutie Tooties just for you!

Here are the items on SALE and their discounts! (No Coupon Required! SALE ends at Midnight!)

Fuzzi Bunz Sized & One-Size Diapers & Diaper Sprayer: 15% Off!

Bumgenius: Flip, Flip Inserts, Econobum Singles & Sets 20% OFF!

Bumgenius Bamboo Fitteds 20% Off!

Ergo Baby Carriers & Accessories 10% Off!

Moby Wraps & Swaddling Blankets 10% Off!

Earth Mama Angel Baby Products 15% Off!

Kissaluvs Marvels 20% Off!

Mimi The Sardine Products 30% Off!

Knickernappies Pocket Diapers 15% Off!

Sophie the Giraffe 15% Off!

Organic Fruits & Veggies 15% Off!

Baby Legs 15% Off!

Happy Heiny's One-Size & Pocket Diapers 15% Off!

FREE SHIPPING FOR ORDERS $100 & MORE!

**LOCAL MOMS**

If you want to pick up at the store,

BE SURE THAT YOU PAY ONLINE. DO NOT CHOOSE PAY AT PICK-UP. Orders not paid online will be automatically cancelled, as this option is no longer available.

Simply choose LOCAL PICK-UP on the shipping options page and we will pull your order & set it back for you.

Happy Shopping!

Eddie Bauer 25% off and Free Shipping today only!

Go here if you’d like to place an order.  Happy Shopping!

Independence Days Update

We participate in Sharon Astyk’s Independence Days Challenge.   This is our weekly update.  The weather is becoming colder in our neck of the woods.  When we have a bit of warm weather, we try to stay outside as long as possible and drink up the sunlight. 

We visited family for Thanksgiving in OH.  (We brought the most energy efficient car and drove the speed limit to reduce fuel usage).  We listened to the two Laura Ingles Wilder books, and our daughter was so excited about them.  “Are you going to turn on my Laura book again?”  My husband had never read them, and I think he enjoyed them as much as she did. 

We saw our first snow of the year on the day after Thanksgiving in OH.  Our daughter was so upset when it melted and wanted to make a snowman.  Perhaps we’ll see a big snow in East TN this year—one can hope.

Plant—Nothing planted this week.

Harvest—Onions, turnip greens, parsley, kale, and jalapeƱos

Preserve—I’ll be pickling jalapeƱos today, added turkey stock to the freezer, made yogurt

Reduce Waste—The weather has been cooler, but we’re trying to hold out until December 1 until we turn on the heat.  Since this is the last day of the month, we should be able to last.  ;)  I brought the plastics and aluminum cans home from one of our daughter’s friend’s birthday parties.  I was made fun of a bit for that one.  I know I should be more secure in my commitment to taking these actions, but it still hurts my feelings when people make fun of me for this kind of thing. I try not to make a fuss over it or be judgmental toward others, and yet by a simple act of recycling I’m an outsider.  On the positive side, my friend did say she had picked up a cheaper Styrofoam plate but put it back and chose another option thinking of me. 

Prep/Storage—Hubby planed wood and used the shaving around the blueberries and play areas.  I sorted closets and under sinks.  I purchased some canned pineapple and organic macaroni and cheese to add to storage.

Building Community Food Systems—We received eggs from a friend with chickens as a barter for baby-sitting her daughter.  (Though there was no need for her to pay me, as we often care for each other’s children).  I sent her home with a sweet potato casserole.  For some strange reason this year I doubled the recipe and did not know what I would do with the extras.  She commented on how yummy it smelled baking, and I was so pleased to send it home with her for her Thanksgiving dinner.  She was so appreciative and said that she would bring me some more eggs next time she sees me as a thank you.  How wonderful!

I talked with my sister about game for this winter.  She said that her husband has taken a deer this year and hopes for another one.  If my husband is unable to take on this year, we’ll split the cost of processing with her and take some of her venison. 

Eat the Food—Our favorite meal this week, of course, was Thanksgiving.  We spent the holiday with family in OH, and it was so nice to visit with everyone.  My sister in law whipped us all at a game of Gin Rummy, and the children played and played together.  Grandma made her famous homemade noodles which she cooks in chicken stock for a side dish to the meal.  She has taught me how to make them in the past, and I’m determined to perfect the recipe using home milled wheat.  I’m sure there will be a lot of trial and error. 

Our contributions to the meal were Yum Yum Sweet Potato casserole—a Southern recipe that involves way too much butter and way too much sugar for anyone’s good.  Everyone loves it, though, and so we make it for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  As a healthier option we also brought some roasted butternut squash sweetened with a bit of maple syrup and molasses.  We packed some of our home canned spiced beets and homemade sodas for extra treats.  I really didn’t expect any of them to try the beets, but Grandma liked them so much she wanted to keep what was left of them.  She said she hadn’t had ones that were that good since she was young.  It did my heart good to see her so happy about it. 

We bring our Christmas gifts to the extended family on Thanksgiving so that we can give them to them in person and not need to ship them.  This year we gave a gift basket with hot pepper jelly, peach jam, canned pears and a recipe for how to cook them, homemade sodas, and pecans.  Because so few people can where they live, they really seem to enjoy the home canned foods we bring for the holidays. 

Tip of the day

I saw this tip in a magazine somewhere, but I do not remember which to credit the source.  Sorry about that.

Use the sample credit cards that companies send in the mail as scrapers.  They can be used in skillets to scrape off stuck on bits or for your car windows when it is frosty outside.

Three Rivers Market Weekly Deals 11/30-12/6

Weekly-Deals

Nov 30th to Dec 6th


Organic Pears
$1.49 Save $ .50


Green Mtn. Gringo
Medium Salsa, 16 oz.
$2.89 Save $1.50


Westbrae Natural Pinto Beans, 15 oz.
$.99 Save $1.00


Giovanni Smooth as Silk Shampoo, 8.5 oz.
$4.29 Save $2.36

Meal Planning Monday

Since we were given the turkey carcass to bring home from relatives on Thanksgiving, I was able to make a large pot of turkey stock for the freezer.  We’ll be using some of it this week to help free up some room in the freezer for other foods. 

I also made a double recipe of whole wheat pumpkin bread this weekend.  I brought half of it to church for the hospitality table.  We’ll have some of the rest for breakfasts.  The rest will go to my hubby’s work.  I like to send him to work with some goodies for his co-workers every so often, and I think this will be perfect for them. 

Breakfasts—whole wheat pumpkin bread, oatmeal, cereals, cheese toast, homemade yogurt and fruit, and omelets

Lunches—sandwiches, leftovers, soups, macaroni and cheese, snack lunches

Snacks—raisins, cashews, peanuts, frozen blueberries, crackers, cheese, pretzels, and carrots

Suppers

Monday—Potato and Kale soup using the turkey stock instead of ham or chicken broth.  The kale in the garden has now been touched by frost and should be yummy in this soup.  Since tonight our daughter has ballet and I have a meeting, this will be the perfect supper.  I will make it earlier in the day so that it is ready when we are.

Tuesday—Venison tenderloin, roasted acorn squash with maple syrup, yellow and green zucchini from the freezer

Wednesday—We’ll be making supper for the children’s program at church and will be eating there.

Thursday—Homemade pizza.  This was my hubby’s request, as I’ve not made it in a while.  Everything will be from scratch except the sauce.  I’ll most likely make the mozzarella the day before so that it dries some in the fridge, making it easier to slice thin.  I use the whole wheat pizza dough recipe from the Animal, Vegetable, Miracle book/website.

Friday—Salmon patties, peas, mashed potatoes, and home canned peaches for dessert.

Saturday—Date Night.  My aunt is in the new movie The Blind Side, we’ll be catching dinner and a movie to see her on the big screen.  I’m so excited!  I’ve been looking forward to seeing it ever since we heard she was going to be in it, and this is the first chance we’ve had for a date night.

Sunday—Shrimp and pasta.  If the basil is still alive after the cold this week, I’ll add some of it to the recipe.

November 29, 2009

Target Deals 11/29-12/4

bullseye__V2546705_ Go here to view the Target Deals for this week.   Happy Shopping!

End of the month report--November

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

In November we spent $349.23—We were 77cts under budget.  I help with a Frontier co-op, and that small income normally would go towards the food budget.  This month, however, we didn’t need it for the groceries so it went towards the larger home budget. 

With that money we bought $1002.20 worth of items.  If I’m doing my math correctly, we had a savings of 65.15%.

What did we buy with that money?

Free items—1 Kotex overnight, Fruitbu organic fruit rolls, 1 box of cereal, 3 Robitussin To Go, 3 small cans Hunts tomato sauce, 1 lb butter, 1 tuna pouch, 4 free blood glucose meters, 6 Lubriderm lotions, 1 lb shrimp from Earth Fare, 4 cans pineapple, 4 boxes Annie’s mac and cheese, 1 dozen farm fresh eggs (bartered baby-sitting for eggs), and 2 ricola cough drops.

We didn’t have nearly as many free items this month as last month.  Some months are like that.  Some of the items listed above were donated to our daughter’s school and our church food pantry.

What did we stock up on?

  • Our biggest expenditure this month was on organic maple syrup.  We paid $52 including shipping on a gallon’s worth of maple syrup.  This will last our family about a year. 
  • I purchased 10 lbs of local sweet potatoes grown using organic measures.  They were $15.  I know that some will look at that number and think I’m crazy for spending that much.  Yet, the flavor is far superior to any store bought sweet potato I’ve ever eaten.  They have so much more natural sugar in them, and they will keep for months on the counter in a cool part of the house. 
  • Our local Kroger store was moving to a larger location and there I purchased 6 lbs of organic butter, a turkey, lunchmeat, 2 lbs shrimp, organic beef, bacon, 2 packages of Sister Shubert’s sausage rolls (my hubby loves these), 4 containers of sour cream, bacon, and 2 packages of cheese all half off.
  • At Three Rivers Market, I purchased  6 boxes of the Back to Nature Crackers that were on sale this month with coupons.  These will be used throughout the holiday season for snacks and appetizers with cheese.
  • I picked up 3 bottles of Star Olive Oil using their Free/$4 off coupons.  They were $5.99 each so I only bought three this month.  When I return to Memphis I’ll check the price and might purchase the other 2 then if they are the same price or less.  (I have not been able to find these locally and while in Memphis found these at Schnuck’s).

Other purchases—(Some of these items were donated to our daughter’s school and to our food pantry at church.

  • $14 for a tub of cookie dough.  A friend’s daughter was having a fundraiser, and I wanted to support her.
  • $19 for locally grown using organic measures pastured milk.
  • 1 lb of chopped pecans to use for holiday baking.
  • 3 (10 oz) blocks of locally made buttermilk cheese (Sweetwater Valley Farm)
  • At Kroger—parchment paper, 6 boxes whole wheat pasta, 4 loaves bread, 3 boxes tissues, sodas, nestle morsels, snack crackers, 3 cans chili, 4 cans evaporated milk, 2 boxes potatoes, 1 box pancake mix, 2 organic chickens, 4 (5 lb each) sugars, 2 boxes Mom’s Best Naturals cereal, 3 bags frozen peas, 2 cans of corn, 2 cans of green beans, organic fat free milk, 1 lb lentils, 2 cans organic garbanzo beans, bananas, organic carrots, 1 lb fresh shrimp, 3 lbs rice, sausage, Purex eco-friendly laundry detergent. febreze, tums
  • At Walgreens—toilet paper, 6 cans of soup, 8 cans mandarin oranges, 4 cans pumpkin, 4 boxes Jiffy cornbread mix, 3 boxes cream cheese, honey (I know, shame on me for not buying local, but when I went to the market the honey people were not there and I needed it—I’m not perfect), 4 boxes sugar free pudding mix for my father, 2 (5 lb each) bags of all purpose flour (this will be enough to last us a year since we mostly use freshly milled whole wheat), cashews, peanuts, canned ham, 4 cans chicken broth, 2 detergent, 2 French Fried onions, 1 cranberry sauce, 1 can salmon, 2 coffeemate creamers, 2 werther’s original candies,
  • At Target—3 boxes cereals, 2 boxes pop tarts, 1 loaf bread, 4 boxes baby wipes, bag of pretzels
  • At Three Rivers Market—organic raisins (stocked up for daughter’s snack day at school), 2 boxes teas, 6 boxes Annie’s mac and cheese, 2 bags (3lb each) organic apples
  • From Frontier co-op—teas, toothbrushes, organic candy and lollipops (for Christmas), Tom’s of Maine deodorant
  • At Aldi—organic blue corn tortilla chips (I was there dropping off something to a friend)
  • 1 1/2 dozen eggs from a friend who owns chickens and bought organic broccoli from a farmer friend

So, what could you glean from this post to help with your budget and shopping? 

Did you notice that we purchased some items that will be used for the next 12 months (all purpose flour and maple syrup, for example)?  When we find a great price on an item that will keep, we buy extra.  This prevents us from buying items out of necessity and allows us to decide what price we are willing to pay for an item. 

Because our CSA basket season is over, we made fewer trips to the local farmers markets.  Yet, we still made an effort to buy some local items and from local stores.  Many of the canned good items and cereals noted above were donated.  We are able to do this and stay in our budget because of coupons. 

Also notice that many of the items purchased at Walgreens were food items.  Many people think of drugstores as only being a place to find toiletries and drug items at a discounted rate.  Yet with the in store coupons, sales, and manufacturer coupons, many of these items were cheaper than they would have been in grocery stores. 

The last tidbit you might be able to use is to shop when you are in a different city.  Because I had the high dollar Star product coupons, I was on the lookout for where I could find their olive oil.  A quick call to a store near my sister’s home and a 5 minute shopping trip on the way back to my grandmother’s house, scored some very inexpensive olive oil for our family. 

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

Tip of the day

If you have a rainbarrel and live in colder weather, don't forget to drain it before your area has a hard freeze. You can add the debris found in the bottom of the rainbarrel to your compost pile if you like.

A Happy Thought

DSC_1656 “It is well with my soul,

Thou hast taught me to say.”

—Horatio Gates Spafford

Giveaway Reminder

doll up close Don’t forget about the Homemade Waldorf Doll Giveaway!  This would make a lovely gift for any young one in your life.  Go to my post  to learn about the 3 opportunities for a chance to win.  The giveaway will take place on Friday, December 4th at 8:00am!!

November 28, 2009

Don’t forget-Dave Ramsey Books and Materials $10

Category Image

Go here to place your order.

Brown Bag, Green Book Knoxville

Tomato BlightDr. Bill Shiell, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, will lead a discussion of Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture, by Ellen Ruppel Shell. "During the shopping season," according to Dr. Shiell, "this book asks us to look beyond the sale price and examine how our purchases reflect our values."

The Brown Bag - Green Book Lunch and Learn series, sponsored by the Knox County Public Library and the City of Knoxville, continues  next Wednesday, December 2, at 12 noon in the East Tennessee History Center Auditorium, 601 South Gay Street, across from the Tennessee Theatre.  Go here for more details.

Thanks Good Earth Farmers for the heads up!  I’ll try and check this book out of the library when I finish the other books I’m currently reading.

Kiwi Magazine BOGO

Plus, a Bonus Kids Music CD

Subscribe for Yourself and Give a Gift Subscription for Free

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KIWI Magazine is ideal for families interested in a healthy lifestyle. We cover the latest in natural and organic products, nutrition and wellness. You’ll find information on social and environmental issues that touch your family as well as parenting advice from leading experts. And, of course, there’s fun stuff like kids’ fashions, reviews on kids’ media, toys and games. We’ve even thrown in some information for pampering parents, too.

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Florence Adams Sale through Nov 30th—Grain Mills

When I was looking for an apron for a family member this year, I came across the Florence Adams website.  When I phoned to place my order, I spoke with a real person at their storefront location.  She was so helpful and really seemed to care if my order was filled correctly and if the relative liked the apron.  They sent this e-mail last night which includes a competitive price for grain mills.  We own the Nutrimill and have been very pleased with it thus far.  The free shipping makes the deal even sweeter!

Black Friday has come and gone. Enjoy the crowds? Leave them behind with fantastic deals at Florenceadams.com.

FREE SHIPPING

Jessie Steele Aprons

20% Off

01 Jessie Steele

 

John Boos Islands and Tables Ship Free

00 John Boos Gathering

 

All Polish Pottery

25% Off

Polish Pottery

 

Bosch Universal Plus  $399 & Free Shipping

Bosch Universal Plus Kitchen Machine

 

Excalibur 3900

$219 & Free Shipping

Excalibur 3900 dehydrator

 
 

Wondermill $239 Free Shipping

Wondermill Grain Mill

 

John Boos Cutting Boards Ship Free

John Boos Walnut

 

Nutrimill $239

Free Shipping

Nutrimill

 


Champion Juicer $208

Free Shipping

Champion Juicer

 

Call us Toll Free: 1-877-271-0115

Tip of the day

This time of the year you’ll find great buys on insulated coffee cups.  If you do not yet own one of these and like warm beverages, I highly recommend picking up one for yourself.  I finally invested in one of these about a year ago, and I’ve delighted in using it.  While I drink coffee on occasion, I much prefer hot tea.  I love that I can make up a couple of cups of tea, pour them in the cup and sip on it all morning long.  It keeps me warm (saving money on heating bills), and when I’m out it reduces the temptation to purchase a drink elsewhere.   An insulated cup might also be a good item to ask Santa for this year!  ;)

November 27, 2009

Tip of the day

Here's a few tips on how you can be even greener with your online shopping and your holiday shipping

  • Order more than one item from a retailer in a single purchase to reduce packaging materials and transportation impacts to the environment.
  • Recycle the packaging materials from your purchase.
  • Select ground shipping methods over air shipping methods when ever possible.
  • Use paper or masking tape over plastic tape if possible.
  • Some packing stores accept those Styrofoam peanuts to reuse.
  • Use newspaper or items from your paper recycling or shredder for packing materials at home.

November 26, 2009

I’m thankful for you

This Thanksgiving I have something new to be thankful for—all of the readers and people who stop by this blog to check out the information.  I light up when I see I have a new comment on the site or find a new follower has signed up.  I appreciate the e-mails you all have sent me and your kind words and encouragement.  This blog has been very fun and has provided me with an opportunity to get to know many great members of the blogging community.  I’m especially grateful for all of the friends and family who have encouraged me to undertake blogging, all of the ongoing support that each of you have given me to help others via couponing.  Most of all, I’m thankful for my kind and caring husband.  His support, instruction, and assistance in this blog has been such a blessing to me.  He never ceases to amaze me—he knows how to do just about anything and everything and does them well!  How is it possible that I found such a wonderful partner and friend!  I know God gave me a wonderful gift when He gave me my husband. 

This year has had its challenges.  I’m always reminded of what I tell patients with whom I’ve worked.  I don’t know the answer to the age old question, “Does our Higher Power make the bad things happen to us or allow them to happen to us?”  I do know that our Higher Power can work with us to make the bad things that happen to us work for good though.  Time and again I’ve been told by people that they are only able to make sense of hard times because they can use those experiences to encourage, support, and assist others.  Perhaps that is why I’ve enjoyed blogging so much this year—it allows me to focus on what I can do to help others.  If ever you doubt how your life might touch others,  know that a perfect stranger to you (that would be me) appreciates the fact that you chose to stop in and share your time.  Thanks for reading!

I hope your Thanksgiving holiday and week are filled with many blessings.  I hope you take the time to savor it all!  Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Tip of the day

The hectic holiday season is in full swing--anyone having any holiday stress yet? Whatever the source of your stress these days, there are some simple stress relievers that you can integrate into everyday life to help alleviate some of the upheaval. First recognize that stress impacts all parts of your being--mind, body and spirit. When we see all parts of ourselves working together, we can intervene at any of these points to have a positive affect on the whole self. Examples of stress relievers in each of these categories follow.

Mind

  • Stop trying to be perfect and accept yourself. This is a daily process and one that requires reminders. I keep this quote from Jill Churchill somewhere around my computer, "The most important thing she'd learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one."
  • Instead of automatically responding when someone asks something of you say, "Let me think about it," instead. When we over-commit to activities, we tend to become more stressed.
  • Go on a mental vacation. You can do this anywhere you want, with your eyes opened or closed. Think of a pleasant place and experience, one that brought you peace and happiness. Let yourself "be" in that place as much as possible. What did it look like, feel like, smell like? These mini vacations can break the cycle of dwelling on worries.

Body

  • If you don't already have deep breathing in your arsenal of stress busters, I highly recommend that you try it out. Do this anytime you feel stressed and use it as a preventative measure by doing it periodically throughout the day. Take a deep slow breath in through your nose, try to use your diaphragm to inhale the air deeply into your lungs, hold it for a second, and then slowly breathe out. If it helps, think, "I'm breathing in peace and breathing out worry." Insert anything positive for the word peace and any negative for the word worry that is relevant to your situation. Repeat the deep breathing for a few times during each "session" if possible.
  • Try some basic stretches through the day. Look into taking a yoga class to learn some simple poses to help.

Spirit

  • If you do not already have some sort of daily meditation, try one out. Meditation does not have to be sitting cross legged on the floor and chanting. Decide what works best for you and roll with it. Prayer, mantras, guided imagery, and even singing are examples.
  • Embrace nature and our connection to the world around us. Somehow studying the details of a snowflake on the windowsill or looking at how beautiful the orange of the butternut squash you are preparing for dinner is can bring you out of a dismal state.
    I hope some of these tips are helpful in helping you to de-stress over the holiday season.

Happy Holidays!

Giveaway Reminder

doll up close Don’t forget about the Homemade Waldorf Doll Giveaway!  This would make a lovely gift for any young one in your life.  Go to my post  to learn about the 3 opportunities for a chance to win.  The giveaway will take place on Friday, December 4th at 8:00am!!

November 25, 2009

Cuties Coupons

Cutie

Go here to print 2 coupons for Cuties California Mandarin Oranges—55cts off of a 3 lb bag and $1 off of a 5 lb bag.  Coupons are good through mid next year so you should be able to match the coupons with a sale.  Thanks Thrifty Mama!

Veggie Tales 40% off DVDs and CDs


Thanks to Saving and Giving for this deal information:


Big Idea is having a huge Holiday Super Sale to help you celebrate Christmas with VeggieTales! Right now you can get 40% off all DVDs and CDs. You can also get FREE shipping on all orders over $30 using the coupon code SHIP220 at checkout. There is a limit of one code use per customer. The prices are good through 11/30, so head over HERE now to check out the great merchandise!
While you're at the site, you might want to kick back and play a few games or snag the Veggie Tales Personalized iPhone Application. Be sure to check out the Christmas items too. They have some great ornaments and stocking stuffers! And you can even watch the trailer for the newest DVD, Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving.

Free Toblerone Chocolate at Walgreens

toblerone chocolate bar

Free chocolate just in time for the holidays!  Common Sense with Money posted this deal on her site.  I haven’t checked to see if local stores have their chocolate ringing up as $1.50 each yet, so know that there is a chance that it might not work everywhere.  You could always call ahead and do a price check to see. 

Toblerone chocolate bars are ringing up for $1.50 at some stores—use both a Walgreens coupon and manufacturer coupons to get them free!

Here’s how:

(2) Toblerone Chocolate Bars $1.50 ea.
- (2) $1/1 coupons (11/22 SS)
- (1) $1/2 Walgreens coupon (The November coupon savings books are found at the front of the store by the weekly ads)
= 2 Free!

Free after rebate Alouette Baby Brie

promos baby brie Free Alouette Baby Brie Cheese After Rebate!

I was excited to see this new rebate on Crystal’s site.  Purchase Alouette® Baby Brie® Wedge 7oz or  Alouette® Smoked Baby Brie® Wedge 7oz., and get it free when you submit for this rebate HERE.  This offer expires 12.31.09.  I love free!

Thanks Thrifty Mama!

Earth Fare $10 and $5 off platters

Go here for the printable version of the coupon. View the other specials that Earth Fare is highlighting for the week below.  Go here for more information.

Tip of the day

Get your leftover storage pieces ready!  Since Thanksgiving is a meal that almost always insures leftovers, pull out your storage pieces like Tupperware, mason jars, baggies, Rubbermaid, and Pyrex.  If you are traveling to another home for the meal, pack a few in  your car so that you will have them if the host or hostess needs them.  If the meal is at your home and you do not have enough storage pieces available, ask those who are attending to bring some so that they can carry leftovers home with them.

November 24, 2009

Dover Publications Save $20 on a $40 or more order!

Secret Sale! Save $20 on an order of $40 or more - Expires 12/1/09
- Use Coupon Code HLC2

I received this e-mail from Dover Publications just now.  Receive $20/$40 or more order!  We have so enjoyed their sticker and coloring books, and they make fantastic stocking stuffers or travel gifts. 

It's Thanksgiving week. So in the spirit of the holiday, I'd like to give thanks to our most valued customers: you can save $20 on an online order of $40 or more. Our Secret Sale is the very best savings we've ever offered, and it's only available through this email—you won't hear about this outstanding opportunity anywhere else. But this money-saving special ends on December 1, 2009. Read on for more details or use this link to start saving now

Save $20 on More Than 9,000 Books!
The Secret Sale is good on every book on our website so it's a great time to get started with your holiday shopping. You'll find great gifts for book lovers of all ages and interests in dozens of different categories. Here's all you need to do:

  • Add a minimum of $40 in merchandise to your shopping cart
  • Use Coupon Code HLC2 during checkout
  • $20 discount is good on all the books on our website, including new releases and bestsellers
  • This special offer ends on December 1, 2009

Start saving now

Not only is the Secret Sale our best offer ever, you can also save with Free Shipping when your order total after your coupon deduction is $50 or more. Happy Thanksgiving!

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.

Walgreens

  • Go here for info on how to get Vanity Fair bowls or plates free.  Some people say they’ve had trouble with this, but my transaction went through without any problems.
  • Campbells Tomato Soup $0.59 each after in-ad coupon
    Use $0.50/2 printable coupon
    Pay $0.68 for two after coupons
  • Tic Tacs $0.99 after in-ad coupon
    Use $1/1 coupon from 9/20 RP insert (if Tic Tac Chill included in sale)
    FREE after coupons
  • Nabisco Crackers 5/$10, Earn a $3 RR when you spend $10
    Use $1/1 Nabisco Cracker coupon from 11/8 SS
    $1/1 Nabisco Ritz Crackers printable coupon
    $1/2 Nabisco Crackers on Smartsource
    $1/2 Nabisco Crackers Printable coupon
  • Deal Idea:
    Buy Five Boxes of Nabisco Crackers (mix and match)
    Use five $1/1 coupons from 11/8 SS insert or $1/1 Nabisco Ritz Crackers printable coupon
    Pay $5 out of pocket and get $3 RR back.
    If you do this deal twice you could then submit for Kraft Rebate: Get $10 back when you buy ten boxes Nabisco Crackers
  • Dinty Moore and Hormel Chili 99ct each.  Use $2/3 coupon.

CVS

  • Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce $0.88
    Use $1/2 tearpads found at various stores
    Pay $0.76 cents for two after coupon
  • Kleenex Facial Tissue $0.99
    Use $0.50/3 from the 11/1 SS insert
    Use $1 off coupon from the $100 CVS Flu Booklet
    FREE after coupon

Target (make note of printable coupon system change)

  • Del Monte Canned Vegetables (14-15 oz) - $0.45/ea
    Use $1/8 11/15 Red Plum insert
    PLUS
    Use $1/6 Target coupon here
    Final Price = $0.20/ea when you buy 8
  • Swanson Chicken Broth (14 oz cans) - $0.49/ea
    Use $0.35/4 in 11/8 Smart Source insert
    Final Price = $0.40/ea when you buy 4
  • Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (14 oz) - $0.49/ea
    Use $0.25/4 in 11/8 Smart Source insert
    Final Price = $0.43/ea when you buy 4
  • Heinz Gravy - $0.79/ea
    Use $1/2 in 11/1 Smart Source insert or $1/3 here
    Final Price =$0.29-0.46/ea
    Note: Save $2 on a Butterball Turkey when you buy 5 Heinz Gravy or Stove Top Stuffing here

Kroger (Atlanta/Knoxville area)--

  • Use this 50ct/1 coupon for free Dole Pineapple or Mandarin Oranges (Thanks Coupon Mommie!)
  • Use this 50ct/1 coupon for free Annie’s Homegrown macaroni and cheese.  Thanks Kristi!
  • Kroger Value Sugar 4 lb, $1.89
  • Jell-O Gelatin or Pudding Mixes .6-6oz $1 ea
    -.50/2 Jell-O Boxed Gelatin printable
    -.50/2 Jell-O Gelatins Kraft Food & Family Sept ‘09
  • Campbell’s Cream of Chicken or Cream of Mushroom Soup 75¢ ea
    -.25/4 Campbell’s Cooking Soups SS 11/8
    -$1/5 Campbell’s Cooking Soups SS 10/11, 9/20
    -$1/4 Campbell’s “Great for Cooking” soups printable
  • Purex Liquid Laundry Detergent 24-32, 34 ld $2.50 ea
    -$1/2 Purex Liquid Detergent, Any SS 10/04
    -.55/1 Purex Liquid Fabric Softener, SS 10/4
    -.35/1 Purex Liquid Detergent, SS 10/4
    -$1 off Purex Natural Elements Any printable (IE) or printable (FF)

Three Rivers Market/Co-op Advantage Stores—The local Three Rivers Market store has organic russet potatoes 5 lb bag for $3.49 this week. 

  • Organic Thompson Raisins $2.49/lb
    Good price
  • Organic Green Lentils, $1.29/lb
    Good price
  • Organic Valley Butter, $3.99 (while not a shelf stable item, per se, I thought I’d mention this one because the price is great for organic butter)
    Go here for $1/1 coupon
    $1/1 coupon in the Mambo Sprouts Coupon Book
  • Back to Nature Crackers, $2.29
    Look in the Earth Fare Holiday Savings coupon book for a $1/1 coupon.
    Go here for a $1/1 coupon
  • Annie’s Homegrown Pasta and Cheese Dinner, 99cts
    $1/2 Annie’s Calendar Coupon
    Go here to sign up for the free Annie’s calendar and coupons to be mailed to your home.  Go here for 50ct/1 coupon.

 

Ingles—Stop in for some inexpensive Marcal Tissues with the free/$1/1 coupon.  Use the $2/1 bathroom tissue coupon that expires on 11/30 to get bathroom tissue for 48cts. (NOTE—not all Ingles stores carry the Marcal brand—call ahead if you want to make sure they are there).

  • Idahoan Instant Potatoes 4 oz, $1 ea
    -.40/1 Idahoan potatoes printable (makes it 20¢)
    -.75/3 Idahoan potatoes printable (sign in)
  • Starkist Chunk Light Tuna pouch 2.6 oz, $1 ea
    -.50/1 Starkist pouch product printable (makes it FREE)
    -$1/2 Starkist pouch RP 10/11
    -$1/2 Starkist Lunch to go or pouch RP 9/20
  • Duncan Hines cake mix 18.25 oz, 98¢ ea
    -.55/2 Duncan Hines mixes SS 10/11

Emergency Preparedness—Since this week tends to be the largest for travel in the U.S.  I recommend that you check your car kits to make sure you have emergency supplies that might be needed.  Go here for a list of suggested items from Safely Gathered In.

Food Security—How good at making food stretch are you?  What happens when you are hosting friends for dinner only to discover that 5 extra people show up?  What about when your grocery budget is limited and you have to feed your family with just a few ingredients?   Has the skill of making food stretch and feed extra hungry bellies been taught to you?  Have you learned it through necessity?  This week, as you prepare what is one of the largest meals for families in our country, I encourage you to ask yourself how you might stretch the meal.  Doing so is good for  your pocket book and for Mother Earth. 

What are some ways to stretch your holiday foods?  The first is to not waste anything.

  • Use the ham bone to season beans for another meal.  The bits of meat will fall off of the bone as it simmers in the pot.  If you give your dog bones, save the larger ham bone for him or her.
  • Use the turkey carcass for soup or to make broth to freeze for another time. 
  • Reserve the liquids from canned corn, peas, and green beans if not using them in your recipe.  These can be frozen and used later for soups.
  • Compost kitchen scraps (no meat or fat) so that your garden will have the nutrients from what would normally be thrown away. 

Another idea is to use “fillers”--

  • If you do not have the funds to purchase a turkey this year, use canned or fresh chicken or turkey breast (bake and shred fresh chicken or turkey first) in your dressing.  Many caterers do this instead of serving a bird because there is less chance for the bird to dry out and it costs significantly less. 
  • Use rice, corn bread, stuffing mix, potatoes or beans when serving meats so that you use less meat per person. 
  • Use more vegetables this year.  My sister recently purchased sweet potatoes at  39cts/lb (nonorganic).  When vegetable prices are lower, serving more side dishes and having a smaller bird is more budget friendly. 

Remember “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without”. 

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Mother Earth News $10/year

  If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that Mother Earth News is my favorite magazine.  Both my husband and I enjoy reading through the magazine and returning to it as a reference.  If you are interested in purchasing a copy for a friend this holiday season, they are offering gift subscriptions at $10/year.  If you want one for yourself, you might ask your partner to subscribe for you.  Enjoy!

When you know that your daughter listens to you…

Today, we are taking care of a friend’s daughter.  She is one of my daughter’s best friends, and they have been playing beautifully together.  They just sat down to lunch, and I listened to their conversation while I was cooking in the kitchen. 

Friend, “I really like these placemats you have, they are cool.”

My daughter, “Do you have some like them?  They are new.”  Note—they are not new, we’ve had them for a few years now, but everything is “new” to my daughter.

Friend, “No, we don’t have any like them.”

My daughter replied with a scream of exclamation, “Your mommy can get you some at the store, they were FREE!” 

Yes, she is a daughter of a couponer!!  ;)

Build a Bear—Free Mini Moose Pair

Stop by a Build a Bear store or shop online November 27-29, 2009 and receive a FREE Mini Moose Pair ($14 value) with any $30+ purchase.  Be sure to use the $5/$10 or FREE Shipping on purchases of $30+ coupon that was in the 11/8 Red Plum insert for additional savings. 

Thanks Stretching a Buck!

Ace Hardware 50% off Coupon

Go here to print a 50% off one item $30 or less regularly priced at Ace Hardware for Saturday, November 28th.  Thanks Southern Savers!

Annie’s Mac and Cheese

AnnieDo you remember the coupon I posted about yesterday for 50ct/1 Annie’s product?  My friend Kristi just told me that she was at Kroger this morning and the Annie’s Homegrown Macaroni and Cheese products were on sale for $1.  When this coupon is doubled it will make for free macaroni and cheese!  Love that!  I’m not sure if this is solely a local deal or a national deal—call ahead if you want to price check at your Kroger affiliated store.  Happy Shopping!

Dole Canned Fruit Coupon

dole-coupon1UPDATE-- Coupon Mommie posted that Kroger has the Dole Pinapple and Mandarin Oranges on sale this week for $1/can!! I love free!

I love it when this coupon is available because it almost always means free canned fruit that I can donate to the food pantry at church. Go to coupons.com to print your 50ct/1 Dole canned fruit coupon. Be patient and wait for a sale on these for $1 at Kroger stores, as it doesn’t expire until February. Thanks Common Sense with Money!

Tip of the day

Since many people will be putting up Christmas decorations this week and weekend, here are a few money saving tips on trees:

  • The environmental impact of artificial trees is greater than purchasing a tree from a tree farm.  Many people have allergies and prefer artificial trees, though. If that is the case for you, I encourage you to look at thrift stores, tag sales, antique stores, and Craig’s list to buy a used tree.  This will help keep the tree from ending up in a landfill and will meet your needs.  Trees that are sturdy can be “dusted” by using a blow dryer in an open area (garage, outside)
  • Buy a small tree.  We started purchasing smaller trees a few years back and have been very pleased.  The trees are more in scale for our daughter, and she is able to decorate more of the tree herself. 
  • If you have a larger property or farm, consider cutting down a tree there.  When I was a kid we would go out to the farm and pick the perfect tree.  Check the trees to make sure no animals have nest in the branches.  Give the tree a few good shakes before bringing it inside.  Often we would keep it outside for a day and shake it again before bringing it indoors.
  • While I’ve never had luck with buying a potted tree to plant later, other people swear by this. While you will pay more out of pocket initially, you might have a tree that will grow on your property for years to come.

November 23, 2009

New Annie’s Homegrown Products Coupons!

AnnieThere are two new coupons available for Annie's Homegrown products.  50ct/1 general coupon on their products and a $1/1 coupon for the cereal! 

Go here to print your coupons.  While supplies last!

Coupons for Black Friday

If you are going to head out on Black Friday to shop the sales, you might want to check out this link for some coupons.  Thanks Dawn for the heads up!

You might also like to read Nancy Twigg’s article on Black Friday Strategies in preparation for your shopping trip. 

If you all read my blog post yesterday, you know that I am not planning on a trip to the stores this Black Friday.   Therefore the Black Friday sales are sort of off of my radar this year.  If you all find any good deals you think I should post for readers, please do not hesitate to drop me a line at couponingincriticaltimes@gmail.com  Thanks!

Giveaway!! Beautiful Homemade Waldorf Doll!

dolls

Look at these beautiful dolls made by local artist Ashley Sprinkle-Tappan!  She has made the cute red headed one in the middle available as a giveaway to my readers.  “Shannon” seen below would make a perfect gift for your favorite young one.

doll up close

Ashley’s website found here offers many other beautiful handmade items.  She’s offering all of the readers a chance to win the doll AND a 10% off to all who mention the code HOLIDAY when placing their orders.

More about Ashley, the lovely dolls, and her site:

I'm a stay at home mama who loves to make lots of things. I like for my two little girls to have toys that are made with natural materials and are not mass produced as much as possible, and that means doing a lot of research and making a lot percentage of them. I'm so pleased to be able to offer these items to other mamas their little ones too.

These Waldorf dolls are made with a soft jersey cotton and are stuffed with cleaned and carded wool. Their faces are needle and thread shaped under the jersey so they are completely soft and lovable.

Their hair is a crocheted strand sewn into the head (which I like the shape of better than a crocheted cap) and each strand of hair is sewn into the crocheted strand. They have several kinds of yarn for hair, which allows for better wear. The clothing is made from quilting cotton. Wool holds heat and is wonderful to hold and carry, which makes it a nice snuggly friend.

All of Gabrielle’s followers will receive a 10% discount off dolls-just mention HOLIDAY when sending your orders to aksprinkle@gmail.com.

Instructions on what's needed to order are on my blog, www.mybluepocketgirls.blogspot.com, as well as lots of things to look at! Thanks for your interest!

Readers have 3 opportunities to sign up for a chance to win the “Shannon” doll.  The winner will be chosen on December 4th at 8:00am.  In order to enter, please leave a separate comment for each entry on my blog.  PLEASE include your e-mail address so that I can contact the winner.

1.  Become a follower to my blog.  If you are already a follower, please make note of that.

2.  Visit Ashley’s website and tell us what you think.

3.  Blog about Ashley's site and this giveaway.  Please include the link to your blog entry in the comments section.

I’m so excited that one lucky reader will win this sweet doll!  Thanks Ashley!