September 30, 2011

FREE Sample Dial NutriSkin Lotion

dial-nutriskin-lotion-m UPDATE—These are gone.  Sorry. :(

Go here for your free sample of Dial NutriSkin Lotion.

Tip of the day--Print Your Coupons

bs01864_ It is the end of the month and time to print any coupons you want to make sure you have. Printable coupon sites often refresh their lists at the beginning of the month, and some coupons may no longer be available. Others may be refreshed so that you can print additional coupons. Now is the time to print if you spot any you think you might use! Remember that when you print from bloggers’ sites, they earn a little money off of each print. It is a great way to support your favorite bloggers and get your coupon fix. (I do not make money off of this blog and do not have that option here. For some of my favorite bloggers, check out my links tab). Other coupon printable sources:

All You

Red Plum

Mambo Sprouts

September 29, 2011

Bruster’s Knoxville Family Theme Nights

costume Dress up as a character from your Favorite Movie, and get a Discount at Knoxville area Bruster’s locations. 

We will be choosing a weekend every month to host a "Family Theme Nights" party, beginning October 1st! This month's Theme is Movie Characters, dress up as your favorite character from any movie, and get a great discount!
Buy one Get one Half-off any item! Offer Valid for Saturday, October 1st and Sunday, October 2nd...all Day Long!

There is also a contest going on to win a $25 gift card:

Ok Bruster's fans, we need your help! When deciding on our upcoming Family Theme Night categories, it was easy for our first one (Movie Themed), a no-brainer for our second one (Halloween), and just plain fun for our fourth one (Tacky Christmas Sweater). But, here's the deal, we need your suggestions for November's Theme! The person or family who chooses the most creative idea will get a $25 Gift Card to use in any of our stores! Just respond to this post with your suggestions. Tell your friends to cast their votes too, so we can make this interesting!

Thanks, Pat!

Dine with Ruby Tuesday on Sunday to benefit KARM, East TN area

image Enjoy a meal at select Ruby Tuesday locations on Sunday, October 2, and Ruby Tuesday will give 20% of the cost of your meal to Knoxville Area Rescue Ministries

Essentially - for every $10 you spend, Ruby Tuesday will feed a hungry person at KARM!

Click here for coupon (REQUIRED FOR KARM TO RECEIVE 20%)  and for the list of Ruby Tuesday locations participating.

Great American Cookie—FREE Cookie on 10/1

reading is sweet National Book Drive kicks off on October 1 with a FREE Original Chocolate Chip cookie giveaway from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at participating Great American Cookies locations.  Throughout October, customers can receive a free cookie of their choice by donating a new or gently read book at their local Great American Cookies store*.  All books collected at each store will be offered as a donation to a local branch of the public library or a local charity.  More information on the program, including a list of participating stores, is available at

*Limit one cookie per guest per day during the promotion. Counts vary by store. Valid only at participating U.S. stores. No purchase necessary. No cash value.

Go here to find a participating store near you.  Note that while the Knoxville stores aren’t participating, some other East TN area stores are.

Tip of the day—Fall Craft Ideas

I loved these two fall craft ideas from a blog I recently discovered—Meet the Dubiens.  I thought you might enjoy them as well.  The first is a button branch that seems just as simple as it is beautiful.  The second is to make a leaf family.  How fun!

The bento boxes and plate lunches that she posts are super cute—be sure to check those out while on her site.

Chick-fil-a Box Top Thursday (East TN area)

cfaDon't forget Box Top Thursday at your local (Knoxville area, Sevierville) Chick-fil-a restaurant. Bring in a cereal box top and receive a FREE breakfast item.  Yum!

Trade in your cereal box top any Thursday in September and October for the featured FREE breakfast item!!
(Box Top's for Education will be donated to area schools.)
SEPT 29- New! Oatmeal
OCT 6- CFA Biscuit
OCT 13- Parfait
OCT 20- Spicy Biscuit
OCT 27- Chicken Minis

September 28, 2011


promo3 Go to CVS online and take the pledge to ‘not be a MoneyTrasher’ and you can score $2 CVS ExtraBucks Voucher for FREE! Simply scroll down and click the red banner. Then enter your CVS ExtaCare Card number and your e-mail address. Your FREE $2 CVS Voucher is will be delivered via e-mail within 24 hours.

Thanks to Freebie Shark and Coupon Angels!

Vocalpoint—FREE Sample Crest Complete

crest_complete-300x131 Vocalpoint is giving away FREE samples of Crest Complete Toothpaste for members.  If you haven’t yet signed up for this program, I encourage you to do so. It has been a great way for me to try new products and receive great freebies (many times full sized freebies!)  Thanks to Coupon Katie for the heads up!

Tip of the day—Share some coupon love

The next time you are in the grocery store, I encourage you to be a coupon fairy.  If you see someone in the same aisle as you looking for a product that you have an extra coupon for, share it.  If you are waiting in a long line at checkout, glance at the next person’s cart and offer to share a coupon if you have an extra one for something that they are purchasing.  If you see a new couponer, offer him or her some encouragement—it does get easier and faster as you coupon longer.  Talk to fellow couponers (you’ll know who they are because you’ll spot their binders or coupon envelopes) and ask about which blogs they follow.  This will help you to discover new ones you might not have otherwise heard of. 

Couponers who demonstrate generosity help to off-set the bad press that couponing has received on the news and from that cable couponing show (you know the one).  By showing others that most couponers aren’t shelf clearers, hoarders or neurotic you might inspire them to give couponing a chance. 

Krispy Kreme—FREE 12 oz Coffee on Sept 29

kkDrop by your nearest Krispy Kreme tomorrow, Thursday, September 29th and receive a FREE 12 oz cup of their House Blend Coffee in honor of National Coffee Day.   As with any restaurant freebie, I always recommend that you phone your local store to make sure they are participating beforehand. 

Couponing in Critical Times Coupon Workshop, October 9th


Please join me for a Coupon Workshop at Faith UMC to learn how to save 50-75% on your groceries and how to score tons of freebies!  I’ll be reviewing the basics of couponing and going over store coupon policies, shopping at drugstores, and how to give more by saving more.  The $5 donation at the door will benefit the many outreach programs at Faith United Methodist Church.  Leaving time for questions, the workshop should take approximately 2 hours to 2 1/2 hours.  I hope to see you there!

Couponing in Critical Times Coupon Workshop

Sunday, October 9th at 2pm

$5 donation at the door

Faith United Methodist Church
1120 Dry Gap Pike
Knoxville, TN  37918


Or e-mail me with questions

September 27, 2011

Tip of the day—Essential Oils at a Reasonable Price

Yesterday my tip of the day focused on essential oils.  Someone mentioned the cost of these, and I thought I’d share my source for buying them at a reasonable price—Frontier.  As I’ve mentioned before, I periodically place a wholesale Frontier order with a buyers co-op.  The essential oils go on sale periodically and when I see them at a good price I scoop them up. 

I’ve also seen printable coupons here and here.  When you catch a sale at Three Rivers Market or another Co-op Deals store and match it with a coupon, you might find an even better price. 

Hope this helps!

September 26, 2011

Tip of the day—Essential Oils

I was talking with a new mom at our church about essential oils this weekend.  Even though I’ve mentioned using some of these on the blog before, I thought it might be a good time to post again.

Tea Tree Oil

  • Add a few drops of it to a bottle of shampoo.  This helps reduce the risk of your children getting lice.  Thanks Radeana for this tip!
  • Add a few drops of tea tree oil to the wash when cleaning cloth diapers.  It helps to disinfect the wash.
  • If you have acne, add a drop of tea tree oil to a blemish at night.  Be careful not to get this in or near the eyes.  This helps to heal and disinfect the spot.

Peppermint Oil

  • Mopping Water—in a few gallons of water, add around a 1/2 cup or so of vinegar.  Add a few drops of peppermint oil to make things smell better.  Mop your kitchen floors. 
  • Keep it out of reach of children and pets as it can be poisonous when consumed in large doses.
  • Add a bit of peppermint oil to your bath or shower to help wake you up.
  • Add a few drops of peppermint oil to unscented lotion and shake.  This will feel great on your tired or sore feet and legs.
  • I have a friend who would make a wet compress with a hand towel and add a couple of drops of peppermint oil.  She would put the compress on her head when suffering from a headache.  She said it almost always made her feel better.

Thieves Oil or Medieval Mix—A mixture of oils used by grave robbers to prevent them from catching the plague. 

  • I would put a drop or two on our daughter’s shirt tags when she was a baby to help prevent her from getting sick.  She had very sensitive skin, and so I wouldn’t put it directly on her.  Putting it on the tag was a way to keep the oil from staining her clothes.
  • Add a couple of drops of it to unscented liquid hand soap for a hand sanitizer.
  • Checkout the new soap by Colette Souder of Rainwater Farm that has Thieves Oil in it (“It takes a thief”).  What a great idea!
  • I have a friend who boils a pot of water and a few drops of Thieves Oil as an air deodorizer for her home.
  • Now that our daughter is older, I’ve started adding a few drops of this to her bath for cold prevention.

Clove Oil--

  • One of the best uses for clove oil is to help soothe a tooth ache.  It tastes much better than that yucky stuff you buy in a tube at the pharmacy, and I think it works much better.  You can usually find it at neighborhood pharmacies, as many of the mainstream pharmacies are no longer carrying it.

Eucalyptus Oil--

  • This is my go-to oil for when I’m congested or have a cold.  I add a few drops of it to a hot bath.  The steam helps to clear my nasal passages as Vick’s Vapor Rub would. 
  • Make your own Vicks by mixing some unscented lotion with a few drops of eucalyptus oil and rubbing it on your chest. 

Lavender Oil--

  • This oil is probably best known for its somniferous quality.  (Since somniferous is one of my favorite words next to pumpernickel and loquacious, I had to throw it in.)  Add a few drops of it to your bath at night to help calm your nerves and relax.
  • Use lavender oil instead of peppermint oil in the mopping recipe I included above.

Meal Planning, Week of 9/26

“People say they don’t have time to cook, yet in the last few years we have found an extra two hours a day for the internet.”~Michael Pollan

This meal plan is for a family of 3.  We often have at least one friend or family member over to share a meal with us during the week.  Since I factor the cost of the meal when I first prepare it, leftovers will be marked as $0.  When we dine out, it comes from a different part of the family budget and those expenses will also show $0.

Kid Konnection Meal

One night a week, we help with the children’s program at church.

Pasta Bake
Garlic Bread using leftover buns from the freezer

Approximate cost—$0, from church budget

Ways I saved on this meal—I bought a huge amount of Ronzoni pasta earlier in the year when it was on sale at Kroger and I had coupons that made it free.  We’ll use the whole wheat pasta and some leftover cheese from a youth fundraiser.  I’ll pick up some low sugar/no sugar added pasta sauce at the store and layer cooked pasta, sauce, and cheese.  Then I pop it into the oven until the cheese is melted and slightly toasted.  We have some hamburger buns leftover from Faithstock this weekend, and I’ll put them to  use for this meal. 


Meal 2

Apple Slices
Carrots and Dip

Approximate cost--$4

Ways I saved on this meal—I bought some Carolina Pride bacon when it was BOGO and I had a coupon, making it very inexpensive per pound.  I picked up bread for Faithstock at the Merita Bread Outlet, and while there I bought 3 loaves of whole wheat bread for our family.  Since Kroger has upped the price of Roman Sungrain Bread to over $3, even with my coupons whole wheat bread would be more expensive there.  Whenever I know I won’t get a better deal at another store, I try to swing into a bread outlet and pick up some bread.  I freeze the extras and pull them out whenever we are running low.  I picked the garden yesterday and was amazed to have so many red tomatoes still on the vines, hence the inspiration for this meal.  The mayo is some Hellman’s that I bought at Kroger with a fantastic coupon and sale.  The organic lettuce and organic carrots are from Kroger, and unfortunately weren’t that fantastic of a price.  I could have bought them cheaper at Three Rivers or Ingles, but I was already at Kroger.  The dip is the last of the Helluva brand that I picked up at a recent Mega Event at Kroger.  The organic apples are some that I bought at Three Rivers.  They are on sale through the 4th for $4.99 a bag.


Meal 3

Roast and Gravy
Brown Rice
Cooked Carrots

Approximate cost—$7-$8

Ways I saved on this meal—The organic brown rice was bought in bulk, making it a little over a dollar a pound.  Brown rice will keep for about a year, and whenever I see it on sale I try to buy at least 6 months worth.  The roast is one of the last of the pieces of meat from the portion of the steer we bought earlier in the year.  The price per pound was much less because we bought it in bulk.  I’ll cook the roast on low for most of a day so that it is tender and delicious.  I’ll make the gravy with the pan drippings and a bit of flour and butter.  The carrots are some more of the organic ones I mentioned above.


Meal 4

Leftover Roast
The last of the salad greens

Approximate cost—$0

Ways I saved on this meal—Since this is a leftover meal, the cost is $0. 


Meal 5

Breakfast for Supper

Egg Scramble
Fruit Salad
Toast Points and Homemade Jam

Approximate cost--$4

Ways I saved on this meal—I usually plan at least 1 breakfast for supper meal per week.  These are usually fast meals for busy nights, and they cost less because they usually rely on eggs as the source of protein.  Egg scramble is easier than making an omelet.  Cook your veggies in a bit of olive oil or butter until tender.  Add your eggs that you’ve whisked with a bit of cream or milk.  Stir them to cook as you would scrambled eggs and in the last minute or so of cooking add the cheese.  The eggs were bought from a local farmer for only $2 per dozen.  The veggies will be from the garden and what we’ve preserved in the freezer.  The cheese was bought on sale at Kroger.  I’ll use some of the summer berries we froze earlier this year with a bit of peaches I canned and some bananas and apples to make the salad.  The discount on the bread was mentioned above. 


Meal 6

Lamb Burgers
Peppers, Onions, and Tomato Kebobs

Approximate cost--$7

Ways I saved on this meal—I found another pound of lamb in the freezer that I need to use before we buy anymore.  I’ll ask Hubby to make up some small patties and grill them for us.  Since he will have the grill heated, the peppers, onions, and tomatoes will be good to throw on the grill.  I have three options for the beans, depending on what time allows.  If I have enough in the garden, I’ll make green beans or lima beans.  If I have a chance to run to the farmers market, I’ll buy some there.  If I can’t do either of those options, I’ll soak some dry beans from the pantry and make those.


Meal 7

Supper at a friend’s house

Approximate cost--$0-?

Ways I saved on this meal—Once I learn more about what they will be serving, I’ll most likely bring something.  One of our daughter’s closest friend’s is having a birthday this week, and we’ll be celebrating her. 


Weekly Matchups and Deals, 9/25-10/1

co op_deals_standard

Three Rivers Market and Co-op Deals Stores Matchups through 10/4

earth-fare-market_thumb[2]Earth Fare, Best deals for the month


Office Supply Deals

7617559Food City Organic Deals through 10/8

target frugal mom blogger  columbus ohio


kroger deals kroger sales logo

Kroger and here







September 24, 2011

BlueOut Knoxville is Around the Corner

banner4 It is the final week of voting for the BlueOut Knoxville competition.  I told you about this awesome fundraiser and encouraged you to vote for my favorite local charity—Random Acts of Flowers—in early August, and the big event is right around the corner. 

Want to give more than $5,000 to your favorite charity and have a great time doing it? On September 29th, 2011, Knoxville is going to be a BlueOut! Bluegrass, Blue Moon, Pabst Blue Ribbon, BBQ and Bleu Cheese Cole Slaw.

BlueOut Knoxville was born out of a collaboration between two of Knoxville’s most involved social media creative marketing firms. During Social Slam ‘11, Tori Rose of Blue Media Boutique and Jeremy Floyd of Bluegill Creative discussed opportunities to break the traditionally competitive mold of local marketing firms and consider opportunities to work together for good. A few weeks later they reached out to Margaret Slattery at Blue Frog Creations to bring a video element to the table.

The result. BlueOut Knoxville—a charitable event to close summer one last sunny afternoon with beer, BBQ, and Bluegrass.

Now is the time to get your tickets for the fundraiser. Go to to purchase tickets for the event on Thursday, September 29th.  Tickets are $50, and the proceeds from the event will go to non-profits in our area.  What a fun way to support your community!

If you aren’t able to purchase tickets, but would still like a chance to go, Coupon Katie is generously giving away 2 tickets to the event!!  Be sure to sign up for a chance to win on her blog.

The three blue ribbon finalists are:

  • Anna's Angels
  • Random Acts of Flowers (MY FAVORITE, hint, hint)
  • SOCM

I hope you’ll vote and attend the event.  It sounds like it will be a blast!  Thanks Blue Frog Creations!

September 23, 2011

Faithstock is tomorrow! 9/24



Music Festival @

Faith United Methodist Church

1120 Dry Gap Pike Knoxville, TN 37918

(Corner of Dry Gap Pike & Rifle Range Rd)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

1 PM - 7 PM

Featuring the musical talents of:

Crimson Ridge * 3 Nails 4 Given * BRIM * HisVoice* Jon Do* Ron Sample* Soulgate 7* Sevenday Believer* Tim Hughes & The Franks * Tim Chastain & Eight Days After …….…

Silent Auction~Food~Fun~Fellowship

(I’ve taken part in securing donations for the Silent Auction and there is a GREAT selection!)


In partnership with


Bring a chair or a blanket for the best seat on the lawn.

For additional information contact Faith UMC at 865-688-1000

Like Faithstock on Facebook

Tip of the day—Junk Yard

Recently I heard a great tip about shopping at the junk yard before going and buying new.  You might compare the prices of buying through a car shop and going to a junk yard.  If you have a mechanic in your family or group of friends, you might be able to coax him or her into helping you.  Depending on what it is, the savings could be significant.  We have an old work truck, and Hubby has done this for a few of the parts that were needed.  On older vehicles, we’ve found that the savings are even more than on newer, easier to find parts.

Cruze Farm Corn Maze—Only $10 for 3 at Half Off Depot

cruze-1 Because right now, you can pay just $10 for admission for 3 to the Cruze Farm's corn maze at Half Off Depot! Plus, they'll throw in a hayride and activities for everybody (a $25 value)! Just make sure to stop by between October 8th and the 30th.

We are so excited about the Cruze Dairy Farm having a corn maze this year and can’t wait to go out and support our farmer friends!  This is a fantastic deal!

September 22, 2011

FREE USPS Priority Mailing Kits

mail When I first saw this freebie I didn’t realize what a value it was.  Then one day I had to deal with schlepping my stuff to the post office, finding a box that fit, and then getting it ready to mail while waiting with my 5 1/2 year old.  Having these at the house will be very handy! Thanks to Real Housewives Clip Coupons for the following tip:

Once again, as the Holiday’s are approaching, the USPS is offering FREE Priority Mailing Kits.  It includes 4 Flat Rate boxes and 4 Flat Rate envelopes.  This is great to have around if you know you will be mailing some packages around Christmas time!  Just head over HERE to request yours!

FREE Appetizer at Wok Hay

wok hay “Like” Wok Hay on Facebook and you can print a coupon for a FREE appetizer!  Yummy! 

Thanks Coupon Katie!

Tip of the day—Pantry Cleanout Time

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.  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.

September 21, 2011

Earthbound Farm Organic PowerMeal 75ct/1 coupon

Play Power Up Penelope & Get a $.75 Off PowerMeal Coupon.

Play the game Power Up Penelope on the Earthbound Farm Organic Facebook Page and you can score a 75ct/1 Earthbound Farm PowerMeal coupon, plus a chance to win other prizes.

Tip of the day—Don’t clip free coupons

This is a fantastic tip from Money Saving Maine-iac on freebie coupons.  I’ve had friends tell me that Kroger has been refusing freebie coupons, even when they were from manufacturers.  This might help with that problem. Thanks Teresa!

September 20, 2011

FREE Sample Downy Unstopables

174867_118930884816779_392053_n Go to the Downy Facebook page for a FREE sample of Downy Unstopables.  Has anyone tried these?  I received a free bottle from Vocalpoint and gave it to my mother-in-law because it seemed very fragrant.  Any idea how they are when you run them through the wash?

Thanks Mojo Savings!

FREE Admission to Museums on 9/24

MD2011-Museum-Day-2011-header On Saturday, September 24th you can receive free admission into participating museums for Museum Day.  There are quite a few Tennessee museums participating.  To receive your free Museum Day Ticket for two people only, please enter your information here. Your Ticket will be emailed to you after you submit your information. You must print your ticket and present it to receive your free admission. 

Thanks Money Saving Mom!

Tip of the day—A little salt in your coffee?

I learned this tip from a social worker friend of mine.  She said that if your coffee is a little on the bitter side, you can sprinkle a dash of salt in it, and it will cut the bitterness. 

One more salt trick--putting a dash of salt in chocolate dishes (even hot chocolate) will bring out the sweetness. 

September 19, 2011

Tip of the day—Self Check 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!

September 18, 2011

Weekly Matchups and Deals, 9/18-9/24

co op_deals_standard

Three Rivers Market and Co-op Deals Stores Matchups through 10/4

earth-fare-market_thumb[2]Earth Fare, Best deals for the month

all Big Lots


Staples Back to School Deals

7617559 Food City Organic Deals through 10/8

target frugal mom blogger  columbus ohio


kroger deals kroger sales logo








Meal Planning, Week of 9/18

“I don’t think there is one thing more important you can do for your kids than have family dinner.”~Ruth Reichl

This meal plan is for a family of 3.  We often have at least one friend or family member over to share a meal with us during the week.  Since I factor the cost of the meal when I first prepare it, leftovers will be marked as $0.  When we dine out, it comes from a different part of the family budget and those expenses will also show $0.

Kid Konnection Meal

One night a week, we help with the children’s program at church.

Apple Juice and water
Spaghetti O’s
Garlic Bread using leftover buns from the freezer
Fruit of some sort or veggies
Approximate cost—$0, from church budget

Ways I saved on this meal—I bought 30 cans of Spaghetti O’s for the church when Kroger was running a deal on them.  The first batch of 10 cost only 90cts because one Kroger adjusted the coupon to allow it to double, as it should.  The second batch cost a little more at another Kroger with the coupon not completely doubling—I still have no idea why it didn’t.  The third cost a little more because I paid tax for it for time’s sake on another trip.  I normally would have used separate transactions so as to buy the church supplies using the tax exempt form.  The apple juice is some leftover from last week.  Water, of course, is the least expensive and arguably the healthiest of drinks.  Using the buns leftover from another meal prevents them from wasting, as they tend to get freezer burned pretty quickly.  I’ll see what kind of fruit or veggies I can get on sale to add to the meal and add a few more vitamins to the meal.  


Meal 2

Since I didn’t make this meal last week, I’ll do so one night this week.

Roast Chicken
Roasted butternut squash
Poached pears
 Approximate cost--$6

Ways I saved on this meal—I scored a FANTASTIC deal on organic chicken at Kroger recently.  I bought an entire chicken for only $2.73 after the markdown and my $1.50 coupon!  The butternut squash is from the garden.  I’ll roast it in the oven with a bit of olive oil.  Then I’ll mash it with butter and cream and sweeten it with a bit of maple syrup or molasses. I bought the organic pears at Three Rivers Market—they are on sale this week.  I’ll poach them and add a bit of something sweet to them.  I have some ginger syrup that I recently bought at World Market for free after a birthday coupon.  I’m thinking that the ginger might be good with the pears.  I’ll give it a taste, and if it isn’t as good as I think it will be, I’ll probably add some maple syrup. 


Meal 3

Neckbone and Rice

Approximate cost—$1

Recipe—This is a Southern meal, created no doubt in lean times when no one would think of wasting.  Since I most often buy chickens whole and cut them up myself, I usually have the neckbone, backbone and a few rib bone pieces leftover.  Normally I make a broth or stock from these pieces, but this is another meal idea that is simple and yum.  Cook the bones and any skin pieces in water over medium low heat for a few hours.  Pour the broth through a sieve and reserve the liquid in a bowl on the counter.  Let the neckbone cool and once it has, remove any bits of meat that you can.  Discard the bones and leftover skin.  Add a bit of butter to the empty pot and sauté an onion, a clove or two of garlic and a couple of stalks of celery chopped.  Once the onion is translucent, add the liquid and meat back to the pot.  What is left is basically a soup or a soup base.   Add white rice to the pot and cook the rice in the liquid until it is done.  This usually takes about 20 minutes.  I leave the measurements open here.  Normally when cooking white rice you would add 2 parts liquid and 1 part raw rice.  If you want this to be more of a soup, add less rice than that.  If you want it thicker, which is usually how I make it, go closer to that measurement. Season as you wish.  I usually add a bit of parsley near the end of cooking.

Ways I saved on this meal—The rice was bought in bulk, making it less than a dollar a pound.  The organic celery and onion were bought at Three Rivers.  The organic celery was almost 50cts less at TRM as compared to Kroger.  The garlic was from the garden.  Since the chicken pieces are leftovers, the only expense is a bit of rice and veggies.


Meal 4

Chicken Salad and Crackers
Mandarin Oranges or Fruit Salad
Crudités and dip

Approximate cost—$3-$4

Ways I saved on this meal—I bought some Helluva dip at Kroger a few weeks back, and it has almost expired.  Yikes!  I’ll use this with carrot and celery sticks, and any yellow squash and cherry or grape tomatoes I still have in the garden.  Since I have a hodgepodge of fruit right now, I might opt to make a fruit salad to use it up quickly.  Normally I would add almonds to my chicken salad, but since I don’t have any and have some pecans in the freezer that need using, I’ll make it with them instead.  The mayo was bought on sale at Kroger with a fantastic mailer coupon matched with a Mega Event sale.  The Triscuits were some I bought last week for Ladies Night Out and didn’t end up using.


Meal 5


Approximate cost--$0

Ways I saved on this meal— Cook once, eat twice.  Love that!


Meal 6

Salad Greens
Biscuits and jam

Approximate cost--$5

Ways I saved on this meal—My sweet neighbor surprised me the other day with a dozen eggs from her sister.  What a nice treat!  I’ll use them with whatever veggies from the freezer and garden strike my fancy.  I still have some snow peas and asparagus in the freezer and those might be good with some onions or chives and a bit of shredded zucchini.  The omelet will be free, save for the cheese.  I’ll pick up some when I go to the market next.  If I make it to the farmers market, I’ll buy some salad greens there.  If not, they will be organic ones from the store dressed with a bit of oil and vinegar.  The grits are some local ones that I bought a month or so ago at the farmers market, and they are so unbelievably fantastic.  I’ll also make some biscuits, as these are great leftover for an easy breakfast the next morning.  Our daughter loves to help me roll them out and cut them with cookie cutters.  I never know what shape they’ll be, and it is always fun!  I’ll use some organic butter that I scored a deal on when Three Rivers was moving their location.  I’ll add some lemon juice to milk for the buttermilk since I don’t have any on hand right now.  The flour is some that I mill at home from wheat we bought in bulk a couple of years ago.  The jam, of course, is homemade.  A simple, easy, delicious meal!


Meal 7

Dinner at Faithstock

Our church is hosting Faithstock again this year, a Christian music concert that is free and open to the public.  I’ll post more on it this week.  We’ll most likely eat there.

Approximate cost--$0, from another part of the family budget


Faithstock 2011, THIS Saturday!

faithstock_web_site001004 FAITHSTOCK

Music Festival @

Faith United Methodist Church

1120 Dry Gap Pike Knoxville, TN 37918

(Corner of Dry Gap Pike & Rifle Range Rd)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

1 PM - 7 PM

Featuring the musical talents of:

Crimson Ridge * 3 Nails 4 Given * BRIM * HisVoice* Jon Do* Ron Sample* Soulgate 7* Sevenday Believer* Tim Hughes & The Franks * Tim Chastain & Eight Days After …….…

Silent Auction~Food~Fun~Fellowship


In partnership with


Bring a chair or a blanket for the best seat on the lawn.

For additional information contact Faith UMC at 865-688-100

Like Faithstock on Facebook

A Happy Thought

DSC_1500 “The magic is inside you. There ain’t no crystal ball.” ― Dolly Parton

Gotta love Dolly!

Tip of the day—Spots on Jars

This was a great tip from one of my favorite food preservation writers.  Thought y’all might like it too!

Have a great Sunday!

September 17, 2011

Tip of the day—Washing Fruit

The Tip of the Day comes courtesy of my friend Sylvia who thought that readers might not know this.  It is always a good idea to wash the outside of fruits before eating them, but often people forget that when cutting into melons.  Remember that the knife drags through the flesh of the fruit, carrying with it all sorts of stuff. 

Have a great weekend!

Three Rivers Market and Co-op Deals Stores Matchups, 9/14-10/4

co op_deals_standard Money Saving Maine-iac has posted the Co-op Deals Stores matchups for now through 10/4.  This sales circular includes our local co-op Three Rivers Market.  Thanks for your work on these Teresa!

My favorite deals are below:

  • Maranatha Peanut Butter 16 oz. $4.29
    - $1.00/1 Any Maranatha Nut Butter Product (enter "Take A Healthy Bite" Sweepstakes)
    OR this All You Exclusive Coupon
  • Annie's Homegrown Pasta & Cheese Dinner $1.67
    Annie's Homegrown Snack Crackers $2.49
    - FREE Annie's Homegrown Product @ 7th Gen Rewards - 50 points mailed offer
    There is also a manufacturers coupon in a recent Kroger Mailer Magazine (School Days Theme)
  • Rising Moon Organics Pizza 11 oz. $4.99
    - 1 FREE Rising Moon Organics Pizza @ My Stonyfield Rewards - 45 points mailed
  • Stonyfield Lowfat Yogurt 6 oz. $ .80
    - $ .50/3 @ Stonyfield Coupons
    - 7 FREE Cups @ Stonyfield Rewards - 45points mailed offer
    7 FREE - $ .63 each wyb 3
  • This Tazo Tea coupon makes for a great deal at Three Rivers.  They sell for $1.49 each, meaning that when you buy two and use the coupon they are only 49cts each!
  • If you are a member of the Sweet Leaf Tea e-newsletter mailer, then you might have received a BOGO coupon recently when Knoxville beat our record heat.  If so, this makes two teas cost only $1.19! 
  • This Lara Bar Coupon makes them only 49cts each at Three Rivers. They might be free when the coupon is doubled and matched with a sale at Kroger, though.

prod_9_14_11 TRM is also running the following produce deals.

Produce Specials: September 14 - October 4

Organic Red Beets, $1.79 lb. (reg. $2.69, save 90¢)
A nutritional powerhouse that may be roasted, boiled, shredded, or juiced AND the greens can be sautéed or steamed and reserved for later use or served alongside the resplendent root. A tantalizing vegetable with impeccable pedigree.

Organic Red Pears, $2.29 lb. (reg. $2.69, save 40¢)
To make sure they're at the peak of ripeness, eat them when the tops yield to gentle pressure, (granted, that's a pretty subjective standard...) Some folks swear by the olfactory test: if they smell ripe, they are ripe. Yummy at all times, especially when lightly caramelized to accompany an omelet or mixed salad greens.

Organic Red Onions, $1.29 lb. (reg. $1.59, save 30¢)
These brilliant globes with papery skins are the onion to choose if you're looking for one with a mild to sweet flavor. They also offer health benefits that help classify them as one of
the world's healthiest foods.  This is a perfect deal for my caramelized red onion relish recipe!

September 16, 2011

Tip of the day—Support Local Businesses

Last night I was thrilled to be a part of the Ladies Night Out event at Faith UMC.  It was such a fun night with some fantastic local businesses and crafters represented!  At the show I took care of a good chunk of my Christmas shopping, and I was so happy to buy from people who put so much thought and love into their work. 

The event led me to reflect on how important it is to support local businesses.  These people are our neighbors and friends.  They give generously back to the communities in which they live and are working to support their families.  By supporting locally owned businesses, more of the money you spend stays in the community in which you live thereby benefitting you and your neighbors more than a company that is based out of state or out of the country. 

This year as you are making your Christmas list and shopping for birthdays and other gifts, I encourage you to first shop locally.  If you are looking for some fantastic people to support, be sure to look at my post about Ladies Night Out.  Many of the vendors are keeping their shows open, and even if you don’t buy now, I know they would appreciate your business in the future. 

Have a marvelous day!  I’ll not be posting much today as it will be a busy one for me.  I’ll update the blog soon! 

September 15, 2011

Tip of the day—Don’t forget who is in charge

Yesterday I was mad.  I was the kind of mad when you don’t really think clearly, and I won’t get into the event that triggered my ire.  What I do want to share is what happened afterwards.  Even in the midst of that anger and fuming, God put in my heart to call our pastor’s wife.  She’s one of the nicest and funniest people you’ve ever met.  She’s has a quick whit about her, and she can always cheer a person up.  I knew she would be a good ear and I also knew she wouldn’t try and placate me or rush in to fix the problem.  She listened, empathized, and then helped me to problem solve.  She put me in a completely different frame of mind than I was in before, and I truly believe that God led me to talk with her.  That conversation triggered a series of events, and in less than an hour, I could clearly see God’s plan in all of it.  It was so clear that the way it turned out to be was how He wanted it to be all along. 

So often I find myself mired in the moment—quick to become emotional and then stuck in that emotion and not moving forward.  Ever feel like that?  Get so caught up in what you are upset about that you lose sight of what is really important?  Today, remind yourself of who is in charge.  When you notice yourself feeling stuck in your anger, frustration, hopelessness, fatigue… take a deep breath and decide instead to watch how it unfolds.  You just might be surprised at how God uses those little hiccups in life, those little hiccups that seem like really huge, terrible things in the moment, to work His plan. 

Ripley’s Attractions Gatlinburg Teacher Appreciation Days

Ripleys-Teacher-Appreciation-Days11-791x1024September 24 – 25 are Teacher Appreciation Days at Ripley’s attractions in Gatlinburg, and all teachers (plus one guest) receive free admission! Go here for more details. 

All Gatlinburg Ripley’s Attractions also offer a homeschool rate.  Hop over to Thrifty Christy’s blog to learn all of the details of that program.

Thanks for your work on this Christy!!

Ladies Night Out 2011 TONIGHT!!

Ladies Night Out 2011 JPEGLadies Night Out 2011 will be tonight (Thursday, September 15th), from 6-8pm at Faith United Methodist ChurchGo here for a detailed list of vendors.  In addition to those noted, we’ll have local author Mary Brummette with her book Seeking My Father’s Love,   ‎"ScuttleBuzz" will be selling a line of really cute Nepal crafted tops, and Sandra Eiler with Signature Homestyles will have a wide variety of accents and decor for your home.  Due to a last minute cancellation, Mrs. Gerri Shelton will unfortunately not be present, but we are so happy that Katy Petrik of Discovery Toys will be joining the show.   We are thrilled to have such a diverse group of vendors this year!

Admission is free and there will be snacks and lots of door prizes!  Start whittling away at your Christmas shopping list while enjoying a night of fun!

September 14, 2011

Tennessee Valley Fair $1 Admission THIS Afternoon!


This might be a fun afternoon activity for the family!  The Tennessee Valley Fair is offering dollar admission today:

In appreciation of our AWESOME Fair Fans who have supported us in 2011, we've decided to reward you with a second $1.00 Admission opportunity! Wed, Sept 14 from 3:00 PM to 4:32 PM, you can get into the Fair for only $1.00 per person! Discount ends promptly at 4:32 PM and is valid on Sept 14 only. Come see us!

Knoxville Zoo—FREE Day for Teachers 9/17

zoo Are you a local teacher?  This freebie might be a fun one for you!

Kroger's Atlanta Division will be showing its support for Knoxville area teachers by giving away classroom supplies at the grocer's"Earning Plus Learning" event at Knoxville Zoo on Saturday, Sept. 17. Zoo admission will be free to teachers on the day of the event. Teachers will receive free zoo admission and a complimentary bag of school supplies upon verification of teacher licensure. Teachers will also receive valuable information regarding all of the zoo's education programs for the coming school year.

Classroom supplies include:

Copier Paper
Whiteboard markers

Construction Paper
Facial tissues

Hand sanitizer and soap
Sandwich bags

Paper towels

Disinfectant wipes

Teachers will receive items on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.  Teachers must show proof of teacher licensure in order to receive free admission and complimentary supplies.

Tip of the day—10% off Bridal Registry

The church secretary is getting married in April and recently went to register for gifts.  When I asked her about it, she shared a tip that I wasn’t sure everyone would know about.  She said that many stores now offer the bride and groom an additional 10% off anything on their registry after their wedding date.  This means that they can buy the items they didn’t receive but wanted for a little less money.  She mentioned both Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond stores when she told me this news, and both stores carry a wide variety of products.  Given this information, I’ll most likely opt for gift cards as wedding shower gifts in the future. 

Hoping your day is a wonderful one!

September 12, 2011

Kroger Kick Off to Savings

banner_logo_header There is a new instant win game on the Kroger site—Kick Off to Savings.  To enter, just log into your  Kroger Plus Card account  and play.  You can play daily can earn up to 2 prizes per person! 

And the winner is, commenter #5

Coupon book 2011 cover I used to draw the lucky winner and it was commenter #5, Miss Deb!

Deb said...

The free would have to be a java chiller from Sonic...yum, yum, yum!!!

That would be yummy!  Deb, I’ll be contacting you via email to get your mailing address.  Congrats!  Thanks to all of you who entered the giveaway.  Happy Couponing!



Meal Planning, Week of 9/12

I’m reading the book The Family Dinner by Laurie David.  My cousin gave me the book for my birthday, and thus far I’ve liked it.  Most of all, it is serving as a good reinforcement for how important dining together as a family really is.  Below are a few facts that she quotes from researchers on page 12:

  • Compared with teens who rarely have family dinners, those who have them five or more times a week are 42 percent less likely to drink alcohol, 59 percent less likely to smoke cigarettes, and 66 percent less likely to try marijuana.
  • Compared with teens who rarely have family dinners, those who frequently have them are three and a a half times less likely to have abused prescription drugs or an illegal drug other than marijuana.
  • Compared with teens who rarely have family dinners, adolescent girls who frequently eat meals with their families appear less likely to use diet pills, laxatives, or other extreme measures to control their weight, even five years later.
  • One in three American children are overweight or obese.  Regular family dinner can reduce the incidence of childhood obesity.
  • Compared with teens who rarely have family dinners, teens who have frequent family meals are 40 percent more likely to get A’s and B’s.  Children ages seven to eleven who did well on school achievement tests were the ones who ate meals and snacks with their families more frequently. 
  • Family dinners are a key ingredient in helping children develop language skills, expand vocabulary, learn how to tell stories, and articulate feelings and thoughts.
  • Teens who have regular family dinners are more likely to be well adjusted.  They’re less likely to be depressed, are more motivated at school, and have better peer relationships.

Make note that the author does not specifically site each study, and as a social worker, I’m curious if the researchers factored in socio-economic class or any other possible indicators into the equation.  Either way having regular family meals does clearly make a difference. 

This meal plan is for a family of 3.  We often have at least one friend or family member over to share a meal with us during the week.  Since I factor the cost of the meal when I first prepare it, leftovers will be marked as $0.  When we dine out, it comes from a different part of the family budget and those expenses will also show $0.

Kid Konnection Meal

One night a week, we help with the children’s program at church.

Apple Juice and milk

Approximate cost—$0, from church budget

Ways I saved on this meal—I picked up the lunchmeat as part of a Carolina Pride sale at Kroger and had coupons.  The bread will be from Aldi, as will the fruit.  The Apple Juice was some of the Motts for Tots that was a part of a Kroger Mega Sale a few weeks back, and I had the Vocalpoint mailer coupons.  The chips are some that were leftover from a church get together and need using before they go to waste.  The milk was leftover from the men’s breakfast and also needs using before it wastes.  I’ll pick up sliced cheese to go with the sandwiches when I go to the market. 


Meal 2

Dressed salad greens
Leftover breakfast casserole
Leftover roasted sweet potatoes
Green Beans and tomatoes from the garden

Approximate cost—$2

Ways I saved on this meal—The sweet potatoes and breakfast casserole are leftovers.  Cook once, eat twice!  I bought the salad greens with a coupon at Three Rivers Market, and I’ll make some homemade vinaigrette for them.  The green beans and tomatoes came from the garden, and I think I’ll cook them together Italian style.  It is kind of a hodgepodge meal, but all of the major food groups are represented!  We’ll even drink milk to bump up the calcium intake!


Meal 3

Salad Nicoise minus the potatoes
Toast points or crackers
Sliced apples

Approximate cost—$0

Ways I saved on this meal—I found a new source for locally grown eggs, and I’ve been pleased with the quality thus far.  They are just a little more than grocery store eggs, and I know that they are raised better and probably have a higher nutritional count.  The tuna was some that I bought on sale, as were the olives.  The onions are from the garden.  The salad greens were some I bought at Three Rivers with a coupon, mentioned above.  The tomatoes, onions, and green beans are from the garden.  The bread for the toast was some I bought with a coupon and BOGO sale at Kroger (only 85 cts for a loaf of good quality whole wheat bread!).  The crackers were some whole wheat ones I bought on sale a while back.  The apples are some I bought at Three Rivers and were a little pricey because they are organic.  They taste delicious, though!


Meal 4

Ladies Night Out food

I’m making Mock Champagne Punch with ice ring
Herbed Cream Cheese Spread
and I’ll probably also bring fruit

Approximate cost—donation to the church

Ways I saved on this meal—I’ll shop for fruit at Aldi, where I found some good prices on it last week.  The herbs from the spread will be from our garden.  The punch is probably the priciest item on the menu that I’m bringing only because juice is so high.  I’ll buy the Kroger brand to save a little money.


Meal 5


Approximate cost--$6-$10, depending on the cost of the beets and cabbage (This will make a large stock pot full with lots of leftovers to freeze)

Ways I saved on this meal— The stew meat was from the steer that we bought with friends earlier in the year.  The beet greens, garlic, and onions will be from the garden.  The carrots are some organic ones I bought at Three Rivers on sale.  The cabbage and beets I’ll pick up at the farmers market if there are any available.  If not, I’ll buy them at the store.  I’ll dress it with some sour cream that I bought with a coupon and sale at Kroger and some dried dill from our garden.


Meal 6

Daddy Makes Pancakes 

Approximate cost--$4

Ways I saved on this meal—Hubby is the pancake maker in the family.  He loves to experiment with different types of flours since we can mill them at home with our grain mill.  I never know if it will be buckwheat pancakes or quinoa or traditional wheat.  Our daughter loves to be his helper in the kitchen, and I know she’ll be thrilled with this meal choice.  I’ll serve any leftover fruit from the Ladies Night Out buffet.


Meal 7

One night this week we’ll either have leftovers or I’ll roast a chicken.

Roast Chicken
Roasted butternut squash
Sliced tomatoes from the garden
Green beans from the garden

Approximate cost--$0-$6, depending on if it is leftovers or not

Ways I saved on this meal—I scored a FANTASTIC deal on organic chicken at Kroger last week.  I bought an entire chicken for only $2.73 after the markdown and my $1.50 coupon!  If I roast the chicken, we’ll most likely eat the chicken for at least 3 meals.  The first meal is usually chicken pieces that I cut up and roast.  While the chicken is roasting, I’ll use the backbone and any other bones to make a stock or broth (depending on how much time I have) or make neckbone and rice.  To make it you cook the neckbone in water until the meat is released.  Remove any bits of meat you can and add them into the broth, removing all bones.  Use the broth to cook rice and add any herbs, celery and onion you want.  For another meal, I usually make chicken salad or some other casserole from the leftover chicken. 

The butternut squash is from the garden.  I’ll roast it in the oven with a bit of olive oil.  Then I’ll mash it with butter and cream and sweeten it with a bit of maple syrup or molasses. 


Tip of the day—Saving on S&H

Whenever I’m at a catalog party (Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, Premier Jewelry, etc) and want to place an order, I try to combine my order with a friend.  Most companies have a shipping and handling fee for each order, and by pairing our orders together we each save a few dollars.  This was suggested to be my a salesperson once, and she never minded customers doing this because it usually meant that they were going to buy a little more.  If I can save $2 or $3 from my shipping, I can use that money towards something else that I might need or want.  Of course, I can also keep the money in my checking account and not spend it, too. 

While on the subject, I always ask about the monthly specials at parties.  Sometimes the salesperson forgets to mention it, and these are almost always the best buys from the show. 

September 11, 2011

FREE Sample Kleenex Cool Touch

45 Head over to Target’s Sample Spot to get a FREE Sample of Kleenex Cool Touch.  Thanks Coupon Katie!