March 31, 2011

Kids Eat Free at IHOP in April

ihop kids eat free

Every day in April from 4pm-10pm kids will receive one free meal with each adult entree purchase at IHOP.  Valid only for children 12 and under.

Tip of the day—Print ‘em while you can

At the beginning of each month, many printable coupon sites refresh their lists.  If you see a coupon on the list that you want to make sure you have for a future shopping trip, now is the time to print. 

March 30, 2011

FREE $10 Gift Card to Homeschoolers

10-amazon-gift-card-w260-h260 A fantastic reader, Becky, shared this info so that all might benefit:

A free gift card worth $10 at for parents of homeschoolers who agree to complete a 20-minute online survey about homeschooling their children:

But it's only for the first 500 folks who complete the survey, and the offer closes on April 5th.

I’m hoping that some are still available and you might be able to get in on the deal if you are a homeschooler!  Best of luck!

Thanks so much, Becky—you are a gem!

Co-op Advantage Stores/Three Rivers Market Matchups and Deals 3/30-4/12

trmBelow are the Three Rivers Market Produce Specials: March 30 - April 12

OG Asparagus, $5.99 lb (reg. $6.99 - save $1) Fleshy spears topped with bud-like compact heads, are prized for their succulent taste and tender texture. The abundant concentrations of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients are just icing on the cake for this fabulous vegetable. Steam, grill, or sauté it. OG Grapefruit, 99¢ ea. (reg. $1.29 - save 30¢) Tart and tangy with an underlying sweetness, grapefruit has a juiciness that rivals that of the ever popular orange and sparkles with many of the same health promoting benefits.

OG Collards, $1.79 ea. (reg. $2.29 - save 50¢) Make collard greens one of the cruciferous vegetables (kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage) you eat on a regular basis. Cancer prevention appears to be a standout area for collard greens with respect to their health benefits.

When shopping for deals at Three Rivers, you might want to drop in on Friday, April 1st. They are celebrating their 30th birthday and have some special things planned!

co op_deals_standard

I am working with Teresa of Money Saving Maine-iac on the Co-op Advantage Stores matchups, adding the coupons that are available in our area to her list. Thank you Teresa for your hard work on these matchups! If y’all haven’t yet checked out her site, I highly recommend it. Not only is she a super nice person (I’ve gotten to know her a bit through blogging), but her site is also a wealth of information.

Go here to view the Co-op Advantage Sale Flyer. Don’t forget that if you own shares at Three Rivers Market, you can get a case discount of 10% off. They will allow you to use coupons with your case discount, making your deal even sweeter!

Happy Shopping!

Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent 100 oz. $10.99 - $1.50/1 Seventh Generation Laundry Product @ Seventh Generation - $1.00/1 Seventh Generation Product in the 1/23 RP As low as $9.49

Annie Chun's Soup Bowl $2.39 - $ .50/1 Annie Chun's Product - facebook - $1.00/1 Annie Chun's Product @ Annie Chun - $1.00/1 Annie Chun's Product - $ .50/1 Annie Chun's Product As low as $1.39

Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes 28 oz. $1.99 - $1.00/1 @ Muir Glen - Connoisseurs Club OR -$1/1 can any variety/flavor Muir Glen Tomatoes from the Knoxville Coupon Fair $ .99 after coupon

Alexia Sweet Potato Fries $2.29 - $1.00/1 Alexia Frozen Product $1.29 after coupon

Green & Black's Chocolate Bar $2.50 - $1.00/1 @ Green & Black's - facebook $1.50 after coupon

LightLife Smart Deli Slices $2.29 - $1.00/1 LightLife Product @ Smart Source or @ Mambo Sprouts $1.29 after coupon

Country Choice Organic Snacking Cookies $2.79 - $1.00/1 Organic Choice Product @ Mambo Sprouts (refreshed) $1.79 after coupon

Equal Exchange Organic French Roast Coffee $9.99 lb. - $1.25/1 Bulk Equal Exchange Coffee @ Mambo Sprouts $8.74 lb. after coupon

R.W. Knudsen Black Cherry Just Juice 32 oz. $2.99 - $ .75/1 @ R.W. Knudsen or $1/1 @ Mambo Sprouts $2.24 after coupon

Brown Cow Plain Yogurt 32 oz. $2.29 - $ .50/1 @ Brown Cow $1.79 after coupon

Similasan Homeopathic Eye Drops $8.99 - $2.00/1 Similasan Product in the 3/6 SS - $1.00/1 Similasan Product @ Similasan As low as $6.99 after coupon

Yogi Tea 2/$6 -Use $1/2 coupon from the Yogi Well Wishes Mailer $5 after coupon for 2

Annie’s Naturals $2.29 -Use 75ct/1 Annie’s Dressing, BBQ Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, Ketchup or Mustard from the coupon fair (exp 3/31/11) $1.54 after coupon

Luna Bars $0.99 -Use $0.50/1 @ Mambo Sprouts $0.49 after coupon

Organic Rolled Oats $ .79 lb. – Bulk—GREAT PRICE!!!

So, what will I be buying this go around-- I plan to stop in on the 1st if I can swing it and stock up on oats, buy a few of the organic juice boxes that are 2/$4 this time and maybe some of the Country Choice Cookies for our daughter’s soccer team snack, pick up a couple of grapefruit, and some of the organic black cherry juice to keep for my dad in case his gout acts up. (I’ve read that cherry juice is supposed to be good for that. Anyone had any experiences with it???) I’m also contemplating getting a case of the brown cow yogurt since it is such a good price and we eat a lot of yogurt. There was a time when I made all of our yogurt from scratch, but these days life is a little more hectic. Alas!

What about you? What good deals piqued your interest?

Regal Cinemas $1 Popcorn and $1 Soft Drink


Regal’s newest coupon is for a $1 small popcorn and $1 small soft drink (April 1-3).  Since their “small” is still HUGE, this is a great deal for date night! 

Sample Showcase

sampleshowcaselogo Y’all I’m a little hesitant to post this because I’ve only just this week signed up and don’t have as much experience with this site.  However, many other bloggers have really good things to say about it, and so I’m hoping I’m not steering you wrong.

Sign up with Sample Showcase and in another 4 days (there is a counter on the site telling you how close it is to the box drop date) they will take requests from members for a sample box.  This is what they say about the box:

How can I get a box?
All you need to do is sign up and become a member of this Sample Showcase™ site. When boxes are available, we will contact you (if you allow us to) as well as placing the box offer on the website. When the time comes to order a box, it will always only be available on a first come, first served basis until the volume of Sample Showcase™ boxes are gone. There are no guarantees you will receive any particular Sample Showcase™ box.

I hope it all works!

Walgreens Friends and Family Sale—15% off on 3/31

Tomorrow is the day to shop at Wags! You’ll score 15% off for all purchases or 20% off of Walgreens brand items.  I’ve had problems with counting coupons before—just make sure you go to the cosmetics counter to check out (or the photo counter, though it is usually slower) and to give them this coupon FIRST!!  I haven’t made it into Wags yet this week, and now I’m glad that I waited!

Smokies Baseball $1 for opening night tickets!!!


Take me out to the ball game…no really—take me out to the ball game!  There is a fantastic deal going on RIGHT NOW, and if you are in or around the Knoxville and Sevierville area, I hope you’ll enjoy:

Throughout the 2011 season, the Tennessee Smokies will be celebrating 100 years of professional baseball in East Tennessee. Kicking off our "Century of Memories" campaign, the Smokies are giving fans the "Deal of the Century!" For 100 hours, fans can purchase a $10 ticket to the Smokies' opening night (April 13) game for only 100 cents ($1.00).

Fans will be able to purchase the $1 tickets on the team's web site at, at the Smokies ticket office or by calling (865) 286-2300 beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 27th. The "Deal of the Century" will end at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 31st. 

The Smokies will kick off their 100-year celebration on April 13, as they play host to the Montgomery Biscuits. First pitch is slated for 7:15 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at, at the Smokies ticket office or by phone at (865) 286-2300.

Thanks Coupon Katie for the heads up!

World Market Coffee BOGO, Today only!

g_cpwmLogo World Market is having a One Day Sale on their 12oz bags of coffee today.  Buy One 12oz bag of World Market Coffee Get One FREE.  Since World Market already has great prices on their coffee, you’ll be able to score some high quality java for a bargain.  Remember to sign up for their coffee club if you haven’t already.  The deal is both online and in-stores and no coupon is needed.  Thanks Healthy Life Deals!

Tip of the day—Socks

When you find a sock that has a hole in it, don’t throw it away.  Use cleaned holey socks as dusters.  Put your hand inside of them, as if they were a glove, and either dry dust or use a dusting spray or oil.  You’ll be surprised at how much better it works when dusting knickknacks and other multi-surfaced objects.  I’ve even used low lint socks when I clean windows or the bathroom sink.  Again, make sure that they are clean!

March 29, 2011

Three Rivers Market Turns 30!

 50553_59375159955_8472_nI just saw this on the Three Rivers Market Facebook page.  Sounds like fun, and I thought I’d pass on the info:

This Friday, April 1, we turn the big 'Three-Oh'.. Stop by the store as we celebrate 30 years of providing Knoxville and East TN with fresh, wholesome, healthy foods and products.
We'll have surprises for members and customers all day long - with Magpies Bakery cupcakes and Cruze Farm "milk shots" starting at 4p.m. woo-hoo!
Thanks for 3...0 terrific years - here's to the next 30!

FREE Sample of Degree Deodorant

174892_237804312161_4908304_n Sign up for the giveaway on the Degree Facebook page, and you’ll receive a free sample and a chance to win a $1,000 Zappos gift card.

Kellogg’s Rebate—Buy 10 select boxes, get $10

kelloggs-cereal Thanks to Frugal Coupon Living for this great rebate info!  There are going to be some great deals!  Remember that if you don’t eat cereal, you can always donate it to a food pantry or shelter for them to use.

There is a new rebate from Kellogg’s. This goes GREAT with the Kellogg’s coupons.

Purchase 10 select boxes of Kellogg’s 10 oz Cereals and submit your UPCS to the for $10 back. Multiple transactions are fine. Rebate form HERE.

Offer expires 12/31/11.

Cereals Include:

Kellogg’s All-Bran® Original cereal
Kellogg’s All-Bran® Bran Buds® cereal
Kellogg’s All-Bran® Complete® Wheat Flakes® cereal
Kellogg’s Smart Start® Strong Heart Antioxidant cereal
Kellogg’s Smart Start® Strong Heart Toasted Oat cereal
Kellogg’s Corn Flakes® cereal
Kellogg’s Corn Flakes® Touch of Honey cereal
Kellogg’s Raisin Bran® cereal
Kellogg’s Raisin Bran® Crunch cereal
Kellogg’s Raisin Bran® Extra! cereal
Kellogg’s Crispix® cereal
Kellogg’s Product 19® cereal
Kellogg’s Mueslix® cereal
Kellogg’s® Cracklin’ Oat Bran cereal
Kellogg’s® Lowfat Granola with Raisins cereal
Kellogg’s® Lowfat Granola without Raisins cereal
Kellogg’s® Fruit Harvest Strawberry/Blueberry cereal
Kellogg’s Rice Krispies® cereal

March 28, 2011

Meal Planning, Week of 3/28

Remember that the meals are for a three person family, and we factor the cost of the meal when I first make it.  Leftovers, therefore, will say $0 beside them.  We usually dine with my dad or other friends or family at least once a week.


Last week I switched a few meals around and made the chicken poppyseed casserole on Saturday.  I poached 2 packages of chicken breasts and reserved some for this meal.

Pasta with herbs, asparagus, and green onions from the garden, chicken, lemon and olive oil

Approximate cost--$0.50

Ways I saved on this meal—The pasta was free after coupon and Mega Event at Kroger.  The herbs, onions, and asparagus are free from the garden.  The chicken is leftover, and therefore doesn’t count into the cost of this meal.  The lemons were some that I bought from Aldi for our daughter’s birthday earlier in the month that I need to use.  The olive oil was bought at Sam’s in a large container.  I like loose pasta dishes like this because they are delicious and super easy. 



There will most likely be plenty of pasta left, and we’ll eat it again tonight if so.  If not, the plan is below:

Salmon Patties

Saffron Rice

Carrots (Copper Pennies)

Approximate cost--$5

Ways I saved on this meal—The rice was bought on sale with coupons.  Making your own salmon patties is a cinch, and if you haven’t ever done so, I recommend it.  Just do a quick search online for a recipe (I’ll try and make note of the exact measurements so that I can post, too.  Dishes like these when made at home rarely have the exact same ingredients in them).  I make homemade tarter sauce, too (bit of mayo, lemon juice and zest, capers, green onions minced, a bit of dill).  The carrots are cooked with a little honey or molasses and butter.  I caught a good deal on organic carrots when I was last at Super Target.



On Wednesday nights when the kids are in school, I make the meals for the children's program at church. 

Tonight is PJ night, and the kids will be having breakfast for supper.  Pancakes will be on the menu!

Approximate cost--$0, from church budget

Ways I saved on this meal—The pancake mix was part of a past Mega Event Sale, and we had coupons.  It was under $1 for each box.  The syrup was donated by a church member.  The apple juice was from Old Orchard and bought with the BOGO Facebook coupon that was recently released.  I’ll try and pick up some fresh fruit at the store to make the meal a little healthier. 



Chopped steak, rice, gravy

Green beans

Pickled beets

Approximate cost--$5

Ways I saved on this meal—The rice and green beans were some that I bought on sale at Kroger. We recently purchased 1/8 of a cow with friends, and the price per pound came out to be $3.10—a huge savings for pastured, organically grown beef!  If we have any shitakes by that time, I’ll add them to the gravy with some of our onions.  The beets were ones that I made last summer.



We’ll be going out to eat with friends after a school function

Approximate cost--$0, from the entertainment budget

Ways I saved on this meal—We try not to dine out very often.  When we do we try to use coupons or split meals to save money.  Tonight we’ll be enjoying Mexican food.  To save money, I’ll split my meal with our daughter.



Today is scheduled to be a busy day, and so I planned something super easy to enjoy for supper.

Omelet with ham from the freezer, onions and asparagus from the garden, bell peppers from the freezer

Berries with sweetened sour cream

Approximate cost--$3

Ways I saved on this meal—Depending on how fast we use the last of the eggs that a friend gave me, the eggs for the omelet will either be farm fresh or from Three Rivers (TN Valley Farms).  The ham was some leftover from New Year’s that I froze.  The onions are some that were leftover from a recent church function that I froze to keep them from wasting.  The bell peppers were some I froze late last year from the home garden, and the asparagus are currently sprouting.  I’ll add a bit of cheese to the omelet, which I bought on sale with coupon.  The berries are some we picked last summer and froze.  I’ll do a little American take on crème fresh, and mix sour cream with a little honey.  The tangy sweet taste makes the berries a little more complex in flavor.  If I get the time, I’ll make some homemade biscuits, but if not, the omelet and berries will be plenty.



I call this a “nosh meal”, and I’ll probably be making this type of meal a little more often.  It is easy, everyone is happy, and it is inexpensive.

Pepperoni slices

Boiled eggs

Banana Burritos (bananas wrapped in a tortilla with a bit of honey and sliced crosswise)


Home canned peaches

Carrot sticks and dip

Approximate cost--$2.50

Ways I saved on this meal—The pepperoni slices were only 50cts a pack after coupon and sale at Kroger.  The Triscuits were free when I won the of Kroger Instant Win Game.  See above for the note on the eggs.  The peaches were bought from a local farm and canned in the summer.  The dip was free after coupon and sale. I mentioned finding a deal on organic carrots at Target above.  The tortillas are some leftover from our daughter’s party that I bought with a Mission Tortilla for $1/1.  The bananas will most likely be picked up at Aldi, since they have really good prices per pound for them.  The peanut butter was some that I bought on sale at Three Rivers Market recently—a great price for organic!

Tip of the day--Your turn

Yesterday I mentioned how I've learned many of the tips that I post here from friends, family, aquaintances, fellow bloggers, and even perfect strangers. I enjoy learning from others ways to make life a little easier. Today, I'd love to hear from you. What is your favorite tip or trick? It can be anything, even something that has been mentioned on the blog before. If you have a blog and would like to link up to a current or past post, feel free to do that, too! I can't wait to hear from you!

March 27, 2011

Independence Days Update: The Weather Did a Switcheroo

 DSC_3630We participate in Sharon Astyk’s Independence Days Challenge .  Below is our weekly update.

The weather did a little switcheroo this week.  We were in short sleeves and soaking up the sun, and then the weather shifted mid-week to much cooler.  We have had a bit of rain, which my new seeds needed.  We turned off the heat and haven’t turned on the AC yet.  Then when the weather shifted cooler, we had to make a decision—do we turn the heat back on or do we just wait it out?  We have, at least at this point, decided to wait it out.  Hubby has kept us warm with the fireplace, and I’ve been doing a little more cooking to warm up the house.  It is by no means unbearable because our home is very well insulated, and we think that it is worth it to save money and help reduce our impact on the environment. 

The trees and shrubs were all in full bloom earlier in the week, but the rain and wind blew a lot of the petals off of the trees.  The second wave of daffodils are still in full bloom and the tulips withstood the storms. 

The early spring plants are sprouting green everywhere in the garden.  Most of the seeds appear to have a good germination rate this year with the exception of the peas.  I used some of the seeds I saved from 2009 mixed in with some newer seeds, and I’m afraid that has a lot to do with the turnout.  In the next week I’ll have a better feel for what that crop will look like, and I can always add a few more seeds to the ground if necessary.  That’s the beauty of saving your own seeds! 

Plant— With the rain and cold spell, I haven’t planted anything else yet.

Harvest—Lots of flowers in two tiny hands.  On Tuesday we had the entire upstairs decked out in flower arrangements, and it looked like we were going to have a wedding or baby shower!  Love that!  We’ve been consistently picking a few asparagus each day.  The cold snap has slowed the growth some, but the steady harvest has been satisfying.  I just saw a recipe for pickled asparagus spears, and my mind is already working on how to expand the gardens to allow for more asparagus crowns to be planted.  Shhhh, don’t tell my Hubby!

Preserve—Nothing preserved this week.  I just found a great blog on preserving, and their zeal for canning makes me want to do more unusual recipes this year.

Waste Not/Reduce Waste— I mentioned the heat and air above.  We do little things to reduce waste—saving the chicken broth when poaching chicken to use when making soup next, using leftover water from meals to water plants, putting on an extra layer instead of turning the heat on right away.  Those little things add up, though!

Want Not/Prep/Storage—My cousin dropped off two huge bags full of clothes for our daughter on Tuesday.  They are hand-me-downs from her daughters, and they are in great condition.  She has an entire closet full of summer and fall clothes now.  I’m excited about how much money it saved us, but I also appreciate the fact that it is lower impact on the environment.  Isn’t it nice how eco-friendly options also save you money?

I added a few more boxes of pasta to the pantry.  When I realized I hadn’t printed the limit on some online coupons, I made one more run to Kroger on Saturday afternoon. 

Building Community Food Systems—A friend read my post last week about missing farm fresh eggs, and she shared some with me.  They have beautiful plump yolks, thick shells, and a wonderful taste.  How I have enjoyed them!

I worked in the food pantry at church some this week and need to do a little more work making up boxes and taking stock of things.  For a while we had a lull in how many people were accessing the pantry, but now the numbers are up a little.  I want to make sure we have well-rounded boxes ready for easy distribution.  One of the hunters in our congregation donated a large supply of ground venison, and it has been such a blessing to be able to give out meat to people instead of just canned goods. 

I spoke at a local MOPS group on Gardening with Children, and much of the questions focused on starting a vegetable garden at home.  It is great to be around so many women who were excited to get started gardening!  I hope that the talk will inspire them to get their hands dirty and get growing this year. 

Eat the Food— We’ve had eggs with asparagus and green onions from the garden three times this week.  That tells you how happy I am to have the garden going and farm fresh eggs in the fridge!  YUMMY!

Weekly Matchups and Deals, 3/27-4/2

Co-op Advantage Stores/Three Rivers Market through 3/29


Best deals for this month for Earth Fare

target frugal mom blogger  columbus ohio


kroger deals kroger sales logo








Picture-26 Staples

Tip of the day—Expand your circle

Sometimes people ask me how I have tips and freebies to post on the blog, and the answer is that I’ve learned a ton from the people whose lives have touched mine.  Friends, family, teachers, coworkers, even strangers have been wonderful resources to learn more about the world around me.  Everything from gardening skills to recipes to how to offer help to those in need has been expanded because of teaching and instruction from others. 

Recently I was talking to a group of people who had lost much of their social network.  They were in a sense starting over and had no idea how to introduce more positive, healthy people into their lives.  Below are some ways that I access social resources and have expanded my group of friends. 

Check websites.  When I started blogging, it opened the door for me to be influenced by even more people.  I can’t tell you how many friends I’ve made through blogging and couponing, and I’m constantly in awe of  how God uses each interaction for His good.  Checking others’ blogs inspires me to try different recipes, can different foods, and think about things in a slightly different way.  While some of my blogging buddies are those who I have never met in person, I feel a kindred bond with them that is difficult to explain. 

Get involved in a forum.  Forums such as, one of my favorites, allow for a sounding board for ideas and questions.  I stay up-to-date on what is happening in the community and outside world. 

Social networking.  I’m not a huge fan of social networking, but it definitely has its place.  I joke that I have a Facebook page, but I don’t have any “friends”.  I have a page for CICT, but I don’t have a personal page for myself.  Therefore I have “Likers” but no “Friends”.  Only last year did I finally get on the FB bandwagon after  years of protesting.  I’m glad that I have because it provides me with a place to share and gather information.  I’ve heard from others about how it helped them reconnect with old friends and relatives too.

Find a group that is of interest to you.  When our daughter was just a few months old, I happened to drop into a Holistic Moms Network meeting in town.  Soon after I became a member, and the friends that I met in that group are some of the dearest I now have.  Like interests draw you together and provide you with an opportunity to get to know others.  I have learned so much through the friends that I made in HMN, and even though I’m not as active in that community, I still have a special place in my heart for that organization.  Think about what is of interest to you, even if it is something you don’t really know much about.  Find a local group and get involved.

Volunteer.  Community agencies and organizations very much need volunteer support right now.  Budgets are being cut left and right, and without community support, many programs will have to close.  Now is a good time to get involved!  Through volunteering I’ve made so many friends of different ages.  I think back to one of the dearest ladies I have ever known whom I would visit weekly at a nursing home in Athens, TN.  She carved an angel out of a bar of soap for me, and it is one of my most treasured possessions. I think about how much I learned through her about courage, patience, and love, and I know that I received more from the relationship than I was ever able to give her.

Faith.  Whatever your spiritual and religious beliefs are, becoming more involved in your faith allows you to meet people with similar beliefs and values.  I know how very difficult it can be to find a house of worship that fits your needs.  When I moved from West TN to East TN, I never thought that I would find a church that was a good fit.  Hubby and I spent months visiting churches, and we even joined another church for a while.  When we found Faith UMC we loved the people there, and when Pastor Paul Humphrey became the leader, we knew it was where we were meant to be.   Becoming involved in the outreach programs and ministries there has helped all of our family to make so many more friends than we would have otherwise.  I continuously learn from the people there about the Bible, grace, love, openness, and a multitude of skills.  One of the older ladies of the church gave me my first tutorial on putting up corn, and she was so patient with me as I phoned her every five minutes of the process to ask yet another question!

Now I know that not everyone who reads this is going to want to try these ideas.  Everyone has different levels of being introverted or extroverted.  As I always say on this blog, do what works for you.  By expanding your circle you’ll open yourself up to more information, ideas, and opportunities, but there can be some downsides to doing so as well.  Find the balance with which you feel most comfortable.

Have a blessed week!

A Happy Thought


“If you judge people you have no time to love them.” ~Mother Teresa 

March 26, 2011

A Few Freebies

Here are a few freebies for your weekend.  Enjoy!

Sun Tan City KnoxvilleThis is one from Knoxville on a Dime that is for today only:

Head to any Sun Tan City location here in Knoxville and for just a $5 contribution to EastTennessee Children's Hospital you can use the Versa Spa Spray - I think these are usually  upwards of $30! You can see more info in their Facebook page HERE.  Offer is good until 11pm tonight.

sample-Pic Go here for a sample of Carefree and go here for a sample of Flix Dental Sticks. Thanks Squeezing a Dollar Out of a Dime!

american-baby-29-1 Go here to get a FREE Subscription to American Baby Magazine!  Thanks Sharing Savings with You!

snickers-creme-eggs Go here for info on a new hot coupon for $2/2 Mars Easter Candies.  The Snickers eggs will be free at Wags. Thanks Mojo Savings!

Tip of the day—Get ready for garden season

Below are a few things that you can do now to help you get ready for gardening season:

  • Clean and sharpen any tools that need attention.  Gardening spades and pruning shears need a little attention every so often.  Get them ready now so that you don’t have to take the time to do so when the weather warms up and you are busier outside.
  • Now is a good time to get the lawn mower ready.  Make sure it is in good working order so that when you start mowing every week, you won’t have the added frustration of working on it.
  • Pull leaves out of garden beds so that flowers can have plenty of room to grow.  Add them to your compost pile instead of putting them in the trash.
  • Trim back any perennials that have spent stems or flower heads.  Often I’ll leave the stalks of plants like sedum and anise hyssop so that there is a little more structure and interest in the winter gardens.  This time of the year, I take some pruning shears and cut those old stalks back so that when the new ones sprout they are the focus.
  • Work on weeding early.  When it is 110 outside, I don’t care a thing about weeding.  Making sure that you catch weeds early and before they go to seed will help to make sure that the garden isn’t a jungle in the summer months.  Add some mulch around plants as needed as another way to reduce weeds.
  • Now is a good time to feed plants like blueberries a bit of sulfur.  Make sure that your fertilizers are organic!
  • Realize you don’t have to do everything at once.  Instead of planting the entire garden in one day, spread it out.  Succession plantings of crops like cucumbers mean that you’ll be able to harvest for a longer time frame, and it spreads the work out so that you aren’t exhausted. 
  • Hook up the rain barrel if you haven’t already.  Start collecting water now so that when the weather warms you won’t have to use the hose.

March 25, 2011

FREE Bath & Body Works Country Chic 2 oz Lotion

pBBW1-9503527v600 Print this coupon for a free 2 oz bottle of Country Chic, the new line at Bath & Body Works, this Friday and Saturday (March 25 & 26).  Thanks Squeezing a Dollar Out of a Dime!

FREE Suave Professionals Product Coupon

bg_feature_all_ You can still sign up for a free product of Suave Professionals coupon on their Facebook page!  I just did!

Tangled $5 off 4 Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack

A Limited Time Tangled Offer

Go to the Disney Movie Rewards site, log in or sign up, and you can print a $5 off coupon for the Tangled 4-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack.  Watch for sales at Target or Toys R Us!

Tip of the day—Stress and Spirituality

Yesterday, I was one of the speakers at the MOPS group at Grace Lutheran Church in Knoxville.  The speaker who was right before me gave a great lecture on Stress and Spirituality, and she gave me permission to talk a little about it on the blog.  As y’all know, I’m a licensed clinical social worker, and so I do a lot of talking about and listening to lectures on stress and stress management.  So when I say that I was impressed with this one, you know it had to be good!

Mandy Jarvis is a member of Grace and a nurse.  She gave these tips for how to manage stress by using spiritual resources:

  • Prayer.  This was at the top of her list, and she talked about how connecting to God helps us to feel grounded and to seek guidance.  Philippians 4:6
  • Express Gratitude.  She encouraged the use of a gratitude journal, and what I really liked was that she encouraged making one with your children.  She said that she encourages her grandchildren to draw pictures about what they are thankful for, and I’m going to start using this idea with our daughter.  Psalms 107:1
  • Be optimistic.  Focus on the positive things.  “Ask God for help to see what He desires for you to learn during difficult times.” Luke 12: 25-26
  • 5-Minute Rule.  Take just 5 minutes out of your day to be quiet, breathe deeply, and focus on relaxing.
  • Pretty things.  By surrounding yourself with pretty things, you make your home a safe haven from the chaos of the world outside.  You could do this at your office as well.  Put a few photos or pictures of something that makes you happy on your desk and direct your focus to that when feeling stressed.  Ezekiel 31:9
  • Laugh.  Laughter is truly the best medicine.  Find the funny in stressful situations.  Psalms 126:2

I hope you have a wonderful, stress free day!

March 24, 2011

Tip of the day—Check your stores

Once a month check your food stores. This not only helps to prevent spoilage and waste, but it also helps you to keep better tabs on what you have on stock to use for meals.

  • Check your freezer. Discard what is freezer burned or what might be beyond use. Give it a good wipe down and refresh the baking soda box if needed.
  • Look in your fridge. Use any leftovers, the last of the olives, that last teaspoon of jelly, anything that might need eating to make way for fresh foods. Give everything a good wipe down and replace the baking soda box in there. Check the temperature and make sure it is at the proper level. Vacuum the coils so that it is running properly at least a couple of times a year.
  • What do you have in dry storage? Onions starting to sprout? Chop them and put them in a bag in the freezer. This will help to streamline your prep work for supper on busy nights. Potatoes starting to sprout? Consider planting them this year as part of your garden. Garlic getting tough? Roast or dehydrate it so that you can use it before it goes bad.
  • What about your pantry? Organize. I like to put the cans so that I can see the labels, because I’m anal because I like to see what is available with a quick scan. Make a habit of putting the new cans and jars in the back so that you can use them in a first in first out method. Check any food that you have preserved at home for spoilage and discard what is unsafe to use.
  • Check your spices. If you can’t smell them, then they are probably too old to use. Most spices do best if stored for 1-2 years.
  • Plan a meal or two using the odds and ends that you found in your kitchen quest.

March 23, 2011

Tip of the day—Call the company

Yesterday I poured a bowl of Moms Best Natural cereal for breakfast.  It was the square kind of shredded wheat.  When I poured the last of the box about a cup of loose shreds came out.  I’ve been buying this cereal for a while now, and I’ve never had a problem with them before.  I phoned the toll free number on the box to report the problem, knowing that this was out of the norm for them and thinking that they would want to know.  The phone operator was so wonderful—polite, quick to serve me, pleasant to talk with.  She asked if I wanted my money back or if I wanted some free product coupons as a thank you for letting them know.  I jumped on the opportunity to have free product coupons, and I was so glad that I took a couple of minutes out of my day to make the call.

If you are pleased with a store, business, or product.  Call the service line and let them know. Give specific information, including any employees who were particularly helpful to you.  If you are having a problem, do the same.  A good company will appreciate that you took the time to let them know so that they can improve their services.  Who knows—you just might receive a thank you in the form of a coupon or free product because you took the time to do so!

March 22, 2011

Stonyfield 32 oz Yogurt Coupon when you complete a Bolder Challenge

Complete a Bolder Challenge to reuse your containers, and you’ll receive a $1/1 coupon for Stonyfield yogurt in your inbox.  These went fast last time!

Another Freebie from Pilot—Mt Dew or Diet Mt Dew


Make note that this excludes the regular green flavor.  If you have a Mt Dew lover in your household, print this coupon and store it in your car for when you’re by Pilot Travel Centers Next.  Valid through April 18th.

Thanks Hubby!

FREE Sample Dove Men+Care Products

83297OCODEeb Go here for a free sample of Dove Men+ Care products through Walmart.  You can also print a coupon on the same site.

FREE Red Gold Apron

ApronAgencybest1Red Gold Apron Promotion--FREE Red Gold Apron  While Supplies Last

This promotion is only available to residents in KS, MN, MO, OK, TN, or TX with a valid shipping address and email address.

Wear this adjustable Red Gold tomato apron, which bears the message, “Summertime Tomatoes All Year Long,” while cooking your favorite tomato recipes. And just in case you spill, it’s durable enough to wash again and again. Like our tomatoes, use this apron year round.

Register below for our e-newsletter to receive recipes and special offers/promotions and in return you will receive this Red Gold apron FREE.

OFFER EXPIRES March 31, 2011, or while supplies last.  Limit 1 Apron per Household Address

 Thanks Coupon Katie!

I’m signing up for this apron and donating it to the church to use when making tamales.  If you don’t need an extra apron, you might consider donating it to a local soup kitchen in your area.

FREE Suave Professionals Full Sized Bottle, 3/24

bg_feature_all_ Suave has a great giveaway for March 24th – the first 200,000 fans to register on Facebook will receive a FREE full-sized bottle of Suave Professionals.

To get your freebie, go to Suave’s Facebook page and “Like” them and then check back on March 24th.  These usually go very fast, so be sure to check in on the 24th and wait for it to go live.

Thanks Southern Savers!

Sears Craftsman Club=$5 in Tools Cash

022411_CraftsmanEmail Join the Craftsman Club and receive a free $5 off coupon in your inbox to be used on Craftsman tools.  It may take 24 hours for the coupon to be sent to you, so don’t get nervous if you don’t see it right away.  Thanks Hip2Save!

FREE Subscription to Woman’s Day Magazine

womans_day_clusterIn case you have seen the links in the last week for Woman’s Day, this is a new offer.  I’ve subscribed for free before, and it is pretty simple.  You’ll see a bunch of other offers, just be sure to skip through those.  If you haven’t received this magazine before, note that they often have a few good coupons on their pages. 

Go here to sign up for a FREE subscription to Woman’s Day magazine.  Hurry, these offers don’t last long!  Thanks Mojo Savings!

FREE Hot Beverage at Pilot


Just a quick reminder that you can print this coupon from the Pilot Facebook page and receive a FREE hot beverage (16 oz) now through April 30th.  I keep these in my car and in Hubby’s car in case we are driving by a Pilot Travel Center and want a treat.  

Tip of the day—It’s that time again

Time to check the girls!  Once a month perform a self check breast exam and remind those you love to do the same.  It only takes a few minutes and might help you detect a lump or abnormality.  Remember to have a clinical exam one time a year and a mammogram when you are over 40 or earlier if your healthcare provider recommends due to a family history of breast cancer. 

This time of the month it is also a good idea to remind the men in your life to perform a testicular check for lumps.  Early detection of a testicular lump could save his life!

Remember that preventative health measures aren’t just money smart!

March 21, 2011

Meal Planning, Week of 3/21

Remember that the meals are for a three person family, and we factor the cost of the meal when I first make it.  Leftovers, therefore, will say $0 beside them.  We usually dine with my dad or other friends or family at least once a week.


I had hoped to be able to make it to the Weston A Price Foundation meeting tonight, but at least at this point, it isn’t looking like I’ll be making it. I’ll plan on making pasta with sauce and cheese as a simple supper.

Approximate cost--$1.50

Ways I saved on this meal—The pasta was free after coupon and Mega Event at Kroger.  The sauce was less than $1 at a Mega Event a few weeks back.  The cheese is some that we had leftover from our daughter’s party last week. 



Eggs and Asparagus

Cheese Biscuits


Approximate cost--$2.50

Ways I saved on this meal—I’m hoping by this time in the week, we will have picked the asparagus that are starting to pop up out of the ground.  I’ll use some of the TN Valley eggs, a few spring onions from the garden, a bit of cheese, some cream poured off of the milk that we buy to make a lovely egg scramble (much easier and less fussy than an omelet).  I’ll make some homemade cheese biscuits which are super simple and inexpensive.  One way that we save on biscuits is by milling our own flour which we buy in bulk.  The pears were ones that were free from a friend, and I canned them at home last summer.



On Wednesday nights when the kids are in school, I make the meals for the children's program at church. 

Leftover hot dogs from the tamale dinner

Leftover chips from the tamale dinner

Apple Juice


Pinto beans

Approximate cost--$0

Ways I saved on this meal—The corn and pinto beans were leftovers from previous meals that I froze.  The apple juice was free after overage from Walmart.  The leftover hot dogs and chips are from the men’s program for the kids to use.


Thursday—repeat from last week

We still had tons of leftovers on Sunday, and so I decided to wait on this meal. 

Chicken poppyseed casserole

Green beans (I found one more quart jar from what I had canned this summer!  Love that!)

Roasted asparagus (if we have enough in the garden)

Approximate cost--$6

Ways I saved on this meal—The chicken was bought on sale.  There was a ton of sour cream leftover from the party, and I’ll use it to make the casserole with some free after coupon and sale cream of chicken soup.  I’ll pick up some crackers for the topping at Kroger and will weigh the price of name brand with a coupon vs generic when I’m there.  I buy poppyseeds in bulk through Frontier.   The green beans were in the back of the pantry hiding, and I was tickled when I found them.  The asparagus are free from the garden—that is, if we have enough producing by this time of the week.




Approximate cost--$0

Ways I saved on this meal—The casserole from Thursday will make more than enough food for us.  We’ll enjoy the leftovers and a low-key evening. 



Tuna Fish Salad

Annie’s Mac and Cheese


Approximate cost--$3

Ways I saved on this meal—The tuna pouches were free after coupon at Kroger.  I add pickles (I’ll use some that my SIL made and gave me), chopped carrots and celery, green onion (free from the garden), an egg, some apple, and mayo (bought on sale with coupon at Wags).  I’ll add a bit of Tony’s for seasoning.  The mac and cheese was bought in bulk with sale and coupon at Three Rivers Market.  The fruit will most likely be some from the freezer that we picked last year.



Since I know that today will be a busy one with church and the Caring for Your Parents workshop, I’ll make a simple supper for us to enjoy.  I call this a “nosh meal”:

Pepperoni slices

Boiled eggs


Dried dates

Home canned peaches

Carrot sticks and dip

Approximate cost--$2.50

Ways I saved on this meal—The pepperoni slices were only 50cts a pack after coupon and sale at Kroger.  The Triscuits were free when I won the of Kroger Instant Win Game.  The eggs are $1.85/dozen at Three Rivers Market, and they are gorgeous.  The dried dates were some that my dad gave us.  The peaches were bought from a local farm and canned in the summer.  The dip was free after coupon and sale.  The carrot sticks are organic and rather than buying the small carrots, I buy them in large quantities and peel them myself.

Tip of the day—Hook up your rain barrel

I recommend that you drain your rain barrel in the winter months to prevent damage due to freezing.  While we’ll still have a few frosts and maybe even a freeze, we’re at the point in the year in our area (zone 6a, 6b, and 7a) where you should be able to safely reconnect your rain barrel.  Last week I planted seeds, and it was so unusual for me to use the water hose to water something.  Since we’ve had the rain barrel, we only have need to water the garden with the hose a few times each year.  This is a significant decrease from previously when we would water the garden with the hose at least a few times a week!  Yes, it requires a little more effort to water the garden by hand, but I like the exercise. Rather than hooking a hose to the barrel and let gravity feed the water through, I prefer to fill up water buckets and water directly on the area that needs it.  I waste a lot less water than when using a hose, and like I said, I build up some muscle. 

March 20, 2011

Weekly Matchups and Deals, 3/20-3/26

Co-op Advantage Stores/Three Rivers Market through 3/29


Best deals for this month for Earth Fare

target frugal mom blogger  columbus ohio


kroger deals kroger sales logo








Picture-26 Staples

Independence Days—Happy Spring!

DSC_3619We participate in Sharon Astyk’s Independence Days Challenge .  Sharon hasn’t been posting the updates regularly on her site.  I’m hoping she starts posting them again, as they are always fun to read.  I learn so much about what different people from all areas of the country (and globe) are planting and harvesting when.  I am inspired by their conservation efforts and notes.  If she doesn’t resume posting on her site, I’ll probably still post my updates here.  I have found it a helpful record of the garden, and I hope that it inspires you to get out and start planting.

It has been a while since I posted last, in part because not much was happening in the garden to speak of.  We had a cold winter with quite a bit of snow followed by a wet late winter.  In the last two and a half weeks our area has had a lot of rain.  While I was glad that I hadn’t yet planted anything other than onions, the rain, rain and more rain kept me from planting until Friday of last week (3/18) my early spring garden.  This will mean that not only will we be able to harvest as early, but the length of harvesting those tender veggies will be shortened.  Crops like lettuce, radishes, and peas don’t particularly like warmer weather. 

Spring is almost here, and the outdoors are starting to show it.  The grass is at the point where it really needs mowing, though we are trying to hold off a little longer before we succumb to that dreaded chore.  If for no other reason than having less yard to mow, making more garden beds is very enticing.  The early daffodils have bloomed and the mid-season varieties are starting to open now.  Tulips are starting to bloom, and the hyacinths are showing their pastel petals.  The Lenten Roses desperately need separating, a chore that I have put off and put off for too long.  One clump of them is gorgeous with the drooping flower heads reaching out over the large leaves, but the other clump is a tangled mess.  The Spring Fling at church will be a good incentive to get that project completed.  While autumn is a more ideal time to separate, I’ll baby the plants for a while this spring until they recover, and I suspect that they’ll be fine. 

Our daughter was playing outside this week and I kept hearing her shouts of delight, “Look at those plants!  They are growing even though we didn’t plant them!  Look Momma!”  Of course, we did plant them.  Many of the tulips and daffodils were planted by her own little hands, but her delight was too wonderful and I couldn’t bring myself to remind her of the reality of the plants.  Everything is so magical when you are 5!

The purple plum trees are in full show now, and it is heartening to see so many bees buzzing in and out of the petals.  Oh please bear more fruit this year, sweet plum!  How I would love to make plum jelly this year!  Every time I think about those plum trees I think of the ones that my grandfather and grandmother had in their yard.  The jelly was scrumptious on homemade biscuits on the mornings we would spend with them.

Yesterday when we went to the garden to inspect, we found the first of the asparagus creeping out of the ground.  They should be ready to start picking Monday or Tuesday afternoon, and I can’t wait!  I did a little happy dance right beside the asparagus bed, and I think our neighbors who were on their back porch thought I was nuts. 

Plant— From seed—dill, parsley, basil, Chinese cabbage, bok choy, lots of peas, 4 kinds of beets, carrots (probably too late for them to do anything—oh well!), 2 types of lettuces, spinach, broccoli (probably also too late, but we’ll see what happens), radish mix, and kale.  I’m not entirely sure how these plants will fair.  In the last few years I would have planted a good chunk of this by now, so I’ll just wait and see.  But as my friend Jennifer always says, if you don’t plant it at all, it surely won’t come up!

Harvest—Lots of flowers in two tiny hands.  A big, fat, delicious shitake mushroom from our mushroom log.  Yummy!

Preserve—I had meant to get to making some caramelized onion relish, but too many other things took priority.  I don’t suppose wanting to counts??

Waste Not/Reduce Waste— Not much new here.  We recycle, compost, try to use leftovers to their fullest, and conserve water and electricity.  The heat is off at this point and probably won’t be turned on again until winter.  We shouldn’t need AC until late May, and we’ll hold off on that as long as we can.  The house is still quite cool and comfortable, and we haven’t needed any fans yet. 

Recently, inspired by Blue Frog Creations, we started making some of our own dog food.  At least once or twice a week, our sweet dog Red is very, very pleased with his dinner.  

Want Not/Prep/Storage—I loaded up on pasta this week.  After the February Eat from the Pantry Challenge I’ve been trying to build the pantry again without buying much junk.  The pasta was a good option since it was free, it keeps for around a year (for the whole wheat), and we use it pretty often.  I scored 54 free pastas with coupons from the church to use in the children’s program there.  I picked up 4 for my dad and 20 for us. 

I updated the 72 hour kits (the backpacks that we keep in case we had to evacuate from our home due to emergency).  I realized that we don’t have many foods in storage right now that are easy to travel with and high in nutritional value.  I added a few tuna pouches, pepperonis, crackers, and lollipops, but ideally I would have a few dehydrated soups, protein bars, and dried fruit in there too.  I will make an effort to stock up on those items in the next month as I catch sales.

Building Community Food Systems—About a month ago, I discovered TN Valley Farms eggs at Three Rivers Market.  I had bought them one time previously at Earth Fare, but they were 15cts more there.  At TRM they are so close to the cost of the regular eggs at the grocery store that I feel almost as if I’m cheating to have local eggs that are not $6 per dozen!  Granted, straight from the farmer is always preferred, but this is the next best thing that will do for now.  Two friends who have chickens whom I’ve bought from in the past had declines in their broods, and until they have more laying hens, we can’t buy from them.  We decided to wait until 2012 to get chickens so that we could have the coop and such ready this fall.  We’ll see how the plans go.

I recently bought 1/8 of a pastured, organically grown, local cow.  (For us, I use the term “local” to refer to within 100 miles from our home).  We have been very pleased with the meat and look forward to ordering again next year.  I hadn’t bought a roast in a year’s time, and it has been so nice to eat meat that we don’t have concerns about. 

I continue to have milk co-op every two weeks and order with friends through Frontier every other month. 

As far as communal meals, it has been nice to have my dad in town.  He’s been in Knoxville for almost a year now, and it is nice to share meals with him at least once a week.  The church had their annual tamale and chili meal with homemade tamales and all sorts of chilies from different members of the congregation.  I made my usual black bean organic chili, and it was nice to hear that people were looking forward to it.

Eat the Food— I can’t think of much that I’ve cooked recently that was a new recipe.  The meal that we made for our anniversary was quite nice, though.  We had two of the t-bones from the beef we bought (don’t worry, there were leftovers that we enjoyed the next morning for breakfast—yum, steak and eggs!).  I added the shitake to the marinade and Hubby threw it on the grill too.  I roasted some sweet potatoes, and we had a little leftover braised cabbage.  It was so unbelievably good!  The first meal of the year that contains some of our harvest always feels very special, but this meal was more so because of our 11th anniversary celebration.

A Happy Thought

Flowers 4 (1280 x 960) “Anyone can hide. Facing up to things, working through them, that’s what makes you strong.”

~Sarah Dessen

March 19, 2011

My Trips to Kroger and Walmart for the Church—Saved 93% and 91%!

banner_logo_header Today I made two trips to the grocery. The first stop was Walmart. I left in a bad mood because the cashier tried to give me a hard time about the coupons. I was very happy that I had the new coupon policy printed out and ready to show her!

I paid taxes at Walmart for the following items. Walmart requires a special tax id card, and I didn’t have one with me.

  • 2 large 100% apple juices, no sugar added $2.48 each
    2 (4cup size) mozzarella cheeses $3.72 each
    6 Purex single size 3in1 97cts each

Used 6 of the $3 off Purex coupons. Total spent $1.72. Saved 91.28%

Second trip was to Kroger, where they know me and do not give me a hassle about using coupons, even massive amounts of coupons!

This trip was tax free:

  • 54 boxes of Ronzoni pasta, 3 different flavors, 49cts each before coupons
    4 Classico Pasta Sauce, $1.99 each before coupons
    12 Hormel Pepperoni Packs $1 each before coupons

There were 6 of the $5 off Mega Event discounts.

I used 27 coupons for the Ronzoni, making each free after $1/2 discount

I used 4 printable coupons for the Classico at $1 each. I meant to put 2 of them on my ticket, but in the hubbub of getting all of the pasta counted I completely forgot. Just so you know—Kroger only wants you to use 2 printables for the same item per transaction. The coupons made each 99cts.

I used 6 of the $1/2 coupons, making them 50cts each after discount.

Total spent $9.40. Saved 93.44%! Love that!

FREE SoyJoy Bar


Go to the SoyJoy Facebook page, “Like” them, click on the Do You Dare button, jot down a dare, and then click the link to sign up for a free bar.  You’ll have to give them access to your info to complete the request. 

Tip of the day—Forget your coupons?

I learned this trick years ago from a Kroger employee.  If you realize that you forgot to use a coupon after you complete your transaction, you can bring your receipt and the coupon to the customer service desk for reimbursement.  This works even when you forgot it at home and return the following week.  On Thursday I was cleaning out my purse (cue hysterical laughter from my friends who are reading who know what a mess my purse always is!) and found a catalina coupon that I had forgotten to use when I was in Kroger the previous day.  When I returned on Friday to hunt for some more Ronzoni pasta, I brought the catalina, my receipt, and my Kroger Plus card to the service desk.  In a few minutes I had a $1.50 in my hand!  Don’t you just love coupons??

I’m not sure if this policy applies to all Kroger stores or other grocery chains, but it is definitely worth the trouble of asking if you forgot to use a coupon or two.  Remember, be ethical.  Don’t abuse policies like this or groceries will stop having them. 

Every little bit helps!  Happy Couponing!

March 18, 2011

FREE Sample PowerBar Protein Plus Bites

Free PowerBar ProteinPlus Bites Sample

Go here to sign up for a free sample of Power Bar Protein Plus Bites

OK, truth be told, these sound a little gross to me.  Yet, I was thinking that they might be good to keep in the 72 hour kit for emergencies.  I’m not that into protein bars, so I’d love to hear from others about how these actually taste.