Showing posts with label Frugal living. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Frugal living. Show all posts

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Finals 01-13-12

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I still have this nasty cold, I think maybe it has turned into a sinus infection. I am very stuffy at times and other times I can breathe fine. Everyone had been really good, since I have been sick. I have had to let quite a few mommy duties go this week. The clothes are washed, but they are in a big pile in my room. So if anyone needs anything they can rummage through the pile to get it. I hope to get that done today. I went to pick something up for dinner on Wednesday night. I didn’t even feel like making a freezer meal and the hubby was out of town. We made it cheap and ate at a Taco place. The kids loved it. I got my favorite thing, but I could not taste it. With me being sick I am way under budget this week. I went shopping twice and that’s it.

Top Three Clickest last week. Stop by and say hi to these fabulous shoppers:


Walmart 01/07/12

1 White Frosting Mix $1.28
1 Cilantro $0.44
2 Great Value Chick Peas $0.68 each
1 Lime Juice $0.88
1 Golden Butter Cake Mix $1.25
2 Hillshire Farms Cocktail Sausage $2.50 each - $1/2 Hillshire Farms Cocktails Sag. Printable NLA
            -Final $2.00 each

I spent $9.21 and saved $1.00 for $10.21 worth of groceries here. Doesn’t sound like much, but I forgot to get a few things I wanted. I was trying to make it a quick trip.

Tom Thumb 01/10/12

3 Boxes Rice a Roni $0.89 each
1 Fiber One Granola Bars $1.99 - $0.40/1 doubled Fiber One Granola Bars Printable
            -Final $1.19
1Fiber One 90 Cal Bars $1.99 - $0.40/1 doubled Fiber One Chewy Bars Printable
            -Final $1.19
4 Nature Valley Granola Bars $1.79 each – 1 $0.75/2 GM 01/08/12
1 Frosted Toast Crunch $1.99 - $0.50/1 doubled Cinnamon Toast Crunch Printable
            -Final $0.99
3 Kikkoman Soy Sauce $1.89 each - $1/1 Kikkoman Soy Sauce Found under Product
            -Final $0.89 each
4 Cans Chef Boyardee $1 each - $0.50/4 doubled Chef Boyardee
            -Final $0.75 each (ON SALE $0.89 Fri, Sat, Sun, at TOM THUMB)
1 Pie crust $2.99
2 International Delight Creamers marked 50% off $3.28 - $0.55/1 Int’l Delight Creamer 12/11/11
            -Final $0.27 each (The receipt took off an additional $0.82, I don’t know why)
6 Yoplait Yogurts $0.60 each - $0.40/6 doubled Yoplait Yogurt Printable
            -Final $0.47 each

I spent $24.85 and saved 25.02 on $49.87 worth of groceries at Tom Thumb. The receipt printed differently than it normally does and some coupons were hard to find on the receipt. It seems every time I go to that Tom Thumb I get a different type of receipt and it is difficult to decipher.

Well I spent $34.06 and saved $26.02 on $60.08 worth of groceries this week. I am way under budget due to my cold.

Stay connected with Pounds4Pennies on Facebook or join me at Pounds4Pennies on BlogFrog community for more great savings.  

How did you do this week? Share your savings trips below. It is great to see how others save, so you can learn how to save too. Stop by and leave a comment if you visit someone shopping trip.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Money Saving Monday - Realistic Budget


How did you do working getting all your money divided out into buckets? Were you able to capture every dollar you spend? Probably not, but you should be able to see where the majority of your money is going. I not a financial expert, but I would like to share some ways I have found to save money and still be able to get have a great lifestyle. Now let’s take a look at some areas where you can shave some money off your budget.

1. Impulse buying

One important thing is to stop spending money on the little impulse buys you make, such as a drink at the convenience store or fast food restaurant for a soda. How about that extra coffee you get on your way to work? If you can cut $10 out of your budget on these items a week, you will save $40 a month or $520 a year. If you really enjoy a good cup of hot coffee from that great coffee chain based in Seattle, ask for gift cards for items like this. This makes your coffee FREE and you still get to enjoy a great cup of coffee.

2.  Entertainment Expenses

This depends on your family size and how often you go to some type of entertainment. Look to see if there is an alternative that is less expensive. Like going to the movies, see if there is a $1 movie or matinee in your area. You can still enjoy a movie for a much reduced cost. Evaluate all your options to see if there are also some FREE things you can do as a family. Parks are great and very inexpensive.

3. Going Out to Eat

This one is one that many people don’t realize how much they spend on eating out. This should be considered a treat. Spend your money on something worth eating, not always fast food. One way to stop getting fast food all the time is to have ready made food in your freezer or use a slow cooker. Try to make and have a few freezer meals cooked and ready in your freezer one weekend. These are great for when you are sick or just don’t feel like cooking that night, you will have something ready to go and not stop by to get some fast food before you get home. Also start something in the morning before you leave for work and let it cook all day in the slow cooker, you will have a nice warm meal when you get home. These are usually healthier options as well. You may just find being frugal will help you lose weight too!

Review

Now start trying to implement a few of these changes this week. See if you can start cutting back on a few areas. Examine your priorities and find out where you really want your money to go. If you are in a place where a flat tire would put you into debt, stop by next week where I will discuss how to start savings and what is a good amount to have in your savings account next week. You may be surprised.

Stay connected with Pounds4Pennies on Facebook or join me at Pounds4Pennies on BlogFrog community for more great savings.  

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday Finals 01-06-12

Friday Finals are here again! I am looking forward to all of your savings this week. Be sure to visit other site so you can learn of other great deals out there. If you are new to Extreme Couponing, one of the best ways to learn how to save money on your grocery bill every week is to look at how others do it.


I went to Tom Thumb right when we got back home New Years Eve to get some milk and a couple of other items. I spent around $11. But I can’t find the receipt. I know I got Martha White Muffin Mix FREE using $0.35/1 tripled RP 11/13/11.



Walmart 01/02/12

1 10 lbs bag of Potatoes $3.77
1 1lb Great Value Mozzarella Cheese - $3.22 – WOW! Great deal with no coupons
1 Baking Soda $0.58
2 Minute Maid Berry Juice Box $2.98 – 2 $1/1 Minute Maid Juice Boxes Printable, NLA
            -Final $1.98 each
2 Carmex Lip Balm $0.98 – 2 $1/2 Carmex, RP 10/30/11
            -Final $0.48 Each
2 Eight O’Clock Coffee $4.88 – 2 $1/1 Eight O’Clock Coffee Campbells Booklet
            -Final $3.88
1 Ovaltine Malt $3.48 - $1/1 Ovaltine printable- Little face loves this
            -Final $2.48
12 Cans Allen’s Trappey’s Beans $0.78 each – 4 $0.50/3 Allen’s products SS 12/11/11
            -Final $0.61 each – Cheaper than GV brand
4 Cans Libby’s Corn $0.75 each - $1/4 Libby’s vegetables RP 11/13/11
            -Final $0.50 each

I spent $35.54 and saved $9.00 on $44.54 worth of groceries this trip. Little face loves warm Ovaltine in the morning. He drinks the Ovaltine Malt with no chocolate. Poor guy is allergic to chocolate just like I was when I was little. I grew out of it, thank goodness. Walmart is the only one who carries it around here.

Tom Thumb 01/03/12

2 Clorox Wipes 35 count $3.79 – B1G1, and $1/2 Clorox Wipes
            -Final $1.40 each
1 Oscar Mayer lunch meat $4.99 – Store Coupon $2.49
            -Final $2.49

I spent $5.51 and saved $7.30 using coupons and store discount on $12.81 worth of products. Just found out you can print the Scotch Bright B1G1 coupons for Walmart. They are $1.60 at Walmart. That makes them $0.80 each. Great deal Print to stock up now!



CVS 01/03/12

1st Transaction

2 Oral B Powered Toothbrushes $5.99 each
2 Oral B Satin Floss $2.99 each
1 Theraflu Warming $6.49
1 Ribbon ½ price $1.49

Used:
2 $3/1 Oral B Toothbrush
1 $3/1 Theraflu Warming Liquid
1 $5/$20 purchase
2 $3 ECBs
1 $2 ECB
1 $2.50 ECB
1 $1 ECB

Received:

$4.00 – For Oral B Toothbrushes
$2.00 – For Oral B Floss
$1.00 – Bag Tag

OOP:
$0.63
2nd Transaction:

4 Nivea Lip balm $2.50 each

Used:

2 $3/2 Nivea Lip care
$4 ECB from previous transaction

Received:
$5 ECB for $10 Nivea Purchase

OOP:
$0.00 + $1.00 Money Maker

I went to my regular CVS and they did not have any Nivea lip balm anywhere. They had several displays completely picked clean. I had to take my son to the dr. later in the week and stopped by a different CVS on our way home to pick up his medicine (not listed since it was a prescription.) I noticed they had the Nivea luckily I brought my coupons with me and my CVS bucks from the previous transaction.  So altogether I spent $0.63 for all the items pictured above. This could have been all free if the first CVS had the Nivea to begin with. The two older kids were excited I gave them the Nivea to put in their backpacks to take to school.

Altogether this week I spent $52.68 for food and necessary items and saved $48.80 on $101.48 worth of groceries and necessary items for my family. Please note I chronicle all food purchases, toiletries and cleaning products I purchase for my family. This goes to show you how to still buy great food and household items on a small budget and save a ton of money.

Stay connected with Pounds4Pennies on Facebook or join me at Pounds4Pennies on BlogFrog community for more great savings. 

How did you do this week? Did you have any fabulous shopping trips you would like to share? LINK UP your savings here. The best way to learn how to save is to see how others do it. I get a lot of tips by visiting my followers who link up here.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Money Saving Monday - Realistic Budget


I took a little time off for the holidays to spend some time with my family. I am glad I got to spend some time with them, since my brother is in the hospital having gall bladder surgery. I just heard from my mom he is out and doing well.

I also got a wonderful gift from little face this Christmas. He is now potty trained. Right before Christmas he was dry for two days, so after that I said no more diapers and put him in underwear. He now only wears diapers for sleeping, but most of the time he wakes up dry. Since this has occurred, I will be reducing my budget down to $50 a week for the new year. New year = New challenges.

 
Since it is a new year I want to talk about budgeting and how this can help your marriage or any relationship you are in.  This will help everyone keep realistic expectations when it comes to money. I am not an expert in this field, but this is what works for me. I think it is better if you can see your actual budget on paper and see the picture of how this works. I will also be happy to help answer any questions about your budget to see where you may be able to cut some expenses. I love helping people.

How do you create a realistic budget?

One of the first things you need to do is see where is your money is going right now. Do you purchase most of your items with your debit or credit card or do you use cash? If using debit or credit pull out one or two of your statements. If you use cash this is a little more difficult, since you will need to collect all of your receipts and add them up at the end of the month. Go into excel and create a spreadsheet with row for each category. I will explain this in greater detail below. This way you can see all the buckets your money falls into.

Next look at your house or rent payment. This should not be more than 30% of your take home income. If it is more, you should consider moving or refinancing your home. This is the standard housing allowance for budgets. I worked in the mortgage industry for five years and when analyzing budgets this was our cutoff. If your interest rate is 6% or higher, you should consider refinancing now. Mortgage rates are very low right now. If you don't own, you may consider purchasing a home. By refinancing when the market is low, you may be able to save quite a bit on your mortgage payment. We have refinanced twice and saved $500 off our current payment.

Now take a look at your bills such as electric, water, gas, car payment, insurance and any other bills you may have to pay on a regular basis. Make sure you do an average for things like electric, water and gas, since you are more likely to use more electricity in the summer to cool your home than you use in the winter.

Now review your spreadsheet with all your other statements to see if you have captured every dollar you spend. Do you have any annual expenses you pay? Be sure to include that in your monthly budget and set that money aside every month.

Ok let’s review your spreadsheet. In the first box, put your total household income you actually bring home. Then subtract all of your expenses for the month. How much do you have at the end of the month? If this is nothing or a negative number, you have a problem and need to cut unnecessary items from your budget or reduce one of your boxes. Did you make a payment to your savings account? If you are not saving any money, where are some of the areas you can cut? You should always try to make payment to savings no matter how small. This way if something comes up that you didn't expect, you can pay cash instead of using credit and paying interest which is like throwing your money in the trash.

Next Monday I will talk about areas you can cut or ways you can save. Have you ever actually sat down and created a budget like this before? Now is the best time to start, since it is at the beginning of the year. Wouldn’t be a great habit to save money? Let me know if you have any questions. I would love to help you save some money this year.

Stay connected with Pounds4Pennies on Facebook or join my Pounds4Pennies on BlogFrog community for more savings.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Money Saving Monday - Grocery Budget


Some of you are wondering how I can have such a small budget of $60 for a family of five and still eat healthy and good food. Here are a few things I do to keep my budget down.

I have a ridiculously low budget for all my toiletries per week. Since I have started learning the basics of extreme couponing, I have found I can budget around $5.00 each week on items such as toilet paper, deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, makeup, hairspray, soap ect... This is my budget for all of my toiletries for a family of five. That is $1.00 per person per week.

How is this even possible? I usually buy these items at the drugstores near me CVS or Walgreens. I am always amazed how many items I can get for free or close to free by using the drugstores reward program. Read my Extreme Couponing at the Drugstore post to learn more. Since I get most of my toiletries for free, this really helps stretch my $5.00 budget pretty far. Most toiletry items are used and then thrown away in the trash such as toilet paper and razors. I hate spending my money on things that get thrown away. I might as well just take my money and throw it in the trash too. Boo on that.

Here is how I can get most of these items for FREE or close to free. I LOVE FREE. I scan the ad for the drugstores to see if there are any FREE items for the week. Usually there are one or two items for free each week when combined with their reward program. I will always pick these items up. Especially if it is a food item. If we will not eat, I can always donate it. Then I look to see if there are any items we use. It doesn’t matter if we need it or not right now. If it is something I know I can use and it is at a rock bottom price and I have a coupon for it, I will pick it up. I will then have this item when I need it and I got it at the lowest price possible.

This is different way of thinking and shopping from how I normally used to shop. If I can stock up while the item is at its lowest price, then I will not have to spend more money when I actually need it. I can shop from my stockpile instead of going to the store and paying full price. I always dreaded having to add deodorant and toothpaste to my shopping list for the week. There was my $5 right there. And I only got two items for that $5. I hated knowing this would take money away from my extremely limited grocery budget. Basically this was taking food out of our mouths for things we needed, but could not eat.

We don't need razors every week, so if I get a razor for free I still have five dollars in my budget to spend on other things we may need. This is how I maximize my saving on my very limited budget to buy necessity items for us. I can't stand having to spend money on items I have to throw away. If I can get them for free, it makes me happy! I love free! Then I can spend money on nutritious food for my wonderful family.



Stay connected with Pounds4Pennies on Facebook or join my BlogFrog community for more savings.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Money Saving Monday - How to Save With a Kroger Plus Card

How to Save More With a Kroger Plus Card

Even though Kroger has taken away the double and triple couponing you can still save at Kroger using your Kroger Plus Card. Some people have even decided to give up on couponing altogether. Let’s face it we no longer really shop, we are shopping to save. I want to show you how to get the most savings from shopping for groceries and things you need even without using coupons. First go to Kroger and get your Kroger Plus card. You need to make one small purchase to take advantage of the online e-Coupons. Buy a gift card.

GIFT CARDS
Right now is a great time to buy gift cards at Kroger. You can receive 4 times fuel points you spend on gift cards towards gas purchases. If you buy one $25.00 gift card, that is 100 point or $0.10 off per gallon of gas. Kroger has a wide selection of gift cards you can purchase. I do all my gift card shopping at Kroger in order to save big on gas.

GAS
I usually fill up our SUV at Kroger, since I get such a great savings on gas. Gas is one area that is very difficult to save in a budget. We all use gas and it is not going away or going down in cost real soon. I might as well get as much savings as possible whenever I can on gas. I do this buy shopping at Kroger.

e-COUPONS
Not only does Kroger have e-coupons online, but they also have and app you can download to load coupons directly onto your Kroger card. Each week Kroger adds new coupons you can add to your card, so check back often. They have coupons for store brand items too. You can’t go wrong with adding coupons to your card. This applies to all Kroger affiliate companies too. I traveled to Arizona this summer where they have Fry’s stores and my e-coupons worked there too. This is great especially for someone who doesn’t want to clip and use coupons. However, Kroger will not allow you to use a digital coupon and a paper coupon together. If you have a better paper coupons, just remove that ecoupon from your card.

There are other e-coupon sites where you can load coupons to your cards too. Take a moment to sign up for UPromise and  Savings Star and easily load digital coupons to your card. Come back here after you finish.


Savings Star is great site, since these coupons are tied to your card, but they are not loaded to your card. You can load as many coupons as you want. You register your Kroger Plus card  and when you use it the savings will sit in an account until you reach the limit to redeem a FREE gift card. I LOVE FREE!


BUYING NECESSITIES
I like to purchase things like milk, eggs and my papers at Kroger. I need to buy these things nearly every week why not get the benefit of extra saving on purchasing them here. Milk is the same price at Walmart, Kroger and Tom Thumb. There may be a sale here and there and I will take advantage of those, but for the most part milk is the same price. Kroger usually has a better price on eggs than Tom Thumb, so I buy my eggs at Kroger. I spend around $10.00 to purchase 4 papers every week. So I will get 10 Kroger fuel points for just purchasing my papers there.


CREDIT CARD SAVINGS
Credit Cards are a good way to get additional savings. This sounds crazy right. How can you get savings from a credit card? This will only work if your credit card is paid in full at the end of every month by not carrying over a balance that will earn you additional interest. However, some credit cards offer a percentage cash back for all purchases made on that card or you could have a card that accumulates airline miles for each purchase you make with that card. Therefore you are making money by purchasing things you already need. This is a good way to replace your debit card for making purchases. This does take a little getting used to using your card this way, but you have to remember you are going to pay this off at the end of the month this is not a loan.

RECAP
Let’s have a little recap of way to get the most out of using your Kroger Plus Card:

1. Gift Cards - 4 Times Dollar Amount for fuel Points right now
2. Gas – savings from Fuel Points
3. e-Coupons – Just click and load
4. Buy Necessities – Milk, Eggs, Papers, ect…
5. Credit Cards - + 2% or more additional savings on Cash Back Credit Cards or FREE miles

Now go out there and start saving! 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Finals 12-09-11


I did quite a bit of shopping this week. Since I did so much shopping when it was freezing outside, my cold got worse. I was on the couch all day Wednesday and went to bed early that night. I drank a lot of hot tea with lemon and honey, since I had laryngitis for three days this week. Good thing this is not a video blog, no one could hear me. I am still sick, but feeling much better. If you would like to find more deals be sure to like Pounds4Pennies on FACEBOOK or join me in my Blog Frog Community. If you want to show a little love vote for Pounds4Pennies at TOP MOMMY BLOGS.

Visit last weeks most viewed for more inspiration:


Homemaking Mom
Blessings Multiplied
My Road to Savings


Kroger – 12/06/11

4 Barrilla Pasta $1 each - $1/2 Barrilla coupons Printable emailed coupon
            -Final $0.50 each

I spent $2.00 and saved $3.52 on $5.52 worth of Pasta. The savings reflects the stores normal price of $1.38.

CVS 12/06/11

2 Garnier Fructis Hair Gel $3.99 each
1 Listerine Mouthwash $3.69
1 Luvs Diapers $6.99
2 CVS MultiViatmins B1G1 $7.29 each
1 Candy Canes $1.27
3 Cards $10.27 – these are not in my grocery budget

USED:
2 $1/1 Garnier Fructis Hair item RP 10/30/11
1 $1/3 American Greeting Cards – RED BOX Coupon
1 $1/1 Listerine MouthWash RP 01/09/11
$1 ECB
$10 ECB

Received ECBs:
$3.00 for Garnier Fructis items
$3.00 for Cards
$1.27 for Candy Canes
$2.00 Diapers
$1.00 Listerine mouthwash

I paid $22.49 and saved $15.00 on $37.49 worth of items at CVS this week. I got one jar of vitamins, 1 card and 1box of candy canes for free this week.

SPROUTS 12/06/11

0.94 lbs Dried Cranberries @ $2.99 lb
            -Final $2.81
1 Jar Sunbutter $5.99
1 Jar Texas Honey $3.99 – Used up the rest drinking honey and lemon for my throat.

I spent $12.79 at Sprouts this week. I have two children that cannot eat peanut butter. I buy them sunbutter made from sunflower seeds. So far this one tastes the best. My daughter didn’t like the soybutter and I like that the sunbutter is more natural and tastes better. It is expensive, so I use it sparingly to try to stay within budget.

Tom Thumb 12/06/11

2 Nature Valley Granola Bars $2.99 each – Store Coupon $1.11
            -Final $1.88 each
4 Krusteaz Cookie Mixes $2.69 -  B1G1, 2 $1/2 peelie coupon right below box!
            -Final $0.85 each
2 Gallons of Milk $2.99 – On Sale $1.99 each

I paid $11.12 and saved $11.61 on $22.73 worth of groceries. This is pretty good, since I also bought milk this trip.

Walmart – Can’t find receipt

1 Package Walmart Pull ups $8.49 – Not feeling well, forgot coupons
1 Dishwashing gel $2.49 – I think

I spent around $10.98 this shopping trip.

Overall I spent $59.38 minus cards $53.11 for family budget this week. I saved $28.61. Still under budget and bought diapers twice this week. I didn’t buy a lot of food, but did get some pantry staples for my house. How did you do? I love seeing how all my readers did. Sometimes I find great deals too! Looking at how others shop helps others learn how to use coupons.

25 Days of Christmas - Blog Share Day 9


25 Days of Christmas



December 9, 2011

Featured Blog – Pounds4Pennies


I am so happy to be able to participate in this Blog Share with so many other bloggers. I love Christmas time, because it was always about spending time with my family. It is the one time of the year where we all try to make an effort to get home to mom and dad’s (nana and papa’s) house to enjoy time with each other. When I was a single mom I was able to purchase a set of 3 trees of different heights for my Christmas tree. We now use these trees to put in the three kids rooms. These are their Christmas trees to decorate how they choose each year. They get to place their handmade ornaments on it each year. In order to count down to Christmas we make a paper chain advent calendar for them to put on their trees to count down to the birth of Jesus. Here are some variations on this easy frugal advent calendar.

One thing I want my children to remember is, Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus. I make sure we read the Christmas story from the Bible each year. I enjoy reading Luke 2 verses 1-21. For each length of chain you could write one verse and read it before you tear it off. If you started on the first you can use a few verses from the book Matthew about the birth of Jesus.

If you decide to make only one chain and each child gets a different color to add. They can write what they like about other siblings on their pieces of colored paper and they get to read their day and that is the day they get to tear off. I like coming up with ideas to promote fairness to every child.

The really crafty person can decide to make the chain and decorate each link with their own personality. I find using decorative scissors or punches are fun to do if you have those from scrapbooking. You can sequins, glitter, ribbon. If you make a wonderful masterpiece and don’t want to rip it every day, you could use a marker such as a clothespin to mark the day. Of course you would decorate the clothes pin to match your garland.

There is still time to make an advent calendar. It is a great way for children to enjoy the countdown to Christmas. Here are the simple instructions of how to make this chain calendar.

You will need glue, scissor and paper in different colors.

1. Let your children pick the colors they would like to use.

2. Cut small strips of construction paper across the short end of the paper. Use a pencil and draw lines to make straight cuts on the paper.

3. Take the construction paper and make a circle and glue the ends together to make a circle. This step is good if you have a couple of helpers. Continue until you get to the end.


4. Once you are at the end you can place something special to signify ONLY ONE MORE DAY until Christmas. I used a star this year and placed it near the top of the tree.
5. Hang the garland on your tree or where ever you want. Make sure you enjoy the Christmas season with your Children.



Monday, December 5, 2011

Money Saving Monday - Christmas Budget


Christmas is time for giving gifts, but don’t get into debt by giving. There are a lot of ways to start saving for Christmas by using a budget. One thing I like to do is to have a budget for each person and keep a total on how much I spend. This way I know I am being fair to each person.

If it is difficult for you to keep a budget for each person, you can make individual envelopes and put the dollar amount you want to spend in each envelope and only spend that amount on that person. Keep your receipts and gift receipts in the envelope of that person after you have spent the money. When it comes time for Christmas you can take out all the gift receipts and had it to them, in case they need to make an exchange. When the money is gone there are no more gifts to buy. It helps you get to that stopping point. This is hard when you are shopping for someone who is easy to shop for.

Also try shopping all year round for people on your list. I have quite a few people to shop for and I said I was going to do this in 2011, but once again I did not. Next year in 2012 I am. I now have a better understanding of sales cycles work, and how to stretch my dollar to the maximum. Everyone will be crossed off by November next year. I will keep you guys updated on how this goes.

Next I try to make gifts for those who I don’t have a budget for such as teachers, friends or someone else. These can be made for very little money and they always appreciate these gifts. I much rather do that then, buy something they are not going to use or need. I am planning on making peppermint cocoa as gifts this year. I got a great deal on cocoa at Tom Thumb last week. And this just sounds wonderful on a cold night.

Right now it is very cold here in Texas. We almost had snow today, but it started to warm up right before the snow line got to us. Some people got nearly two inches. That is a lot for us here in the south. It has been raining for three days now and I am a little tired of the rain. And to top it off we are all sick. I can’t talk right now because I have lost my voice. My husband posted on my Facebook page, “Finally some peace and quiet around here.” I just gave him a sneer.

Remember to have a budget and stick to it. I don't have all the answers, I just try to share some ideas that work for me. Find a system or method that works the best for you and stick with it. Now go and shop, shop, shop.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Finals 12-2-11

I am taking part of a Blog Share Exchange were we all feature one article on our site each day about Christmas until Dec. 25th. Please stop by and visit these awesome blogs. Each has a thought or craft idea for Christmas. I will be featured next Friday. I can't wait to share my craft with you and all my new readers.


Please take a moment and vote for me at Top Mommy Blogs. One click = One Vote. I would love to try to get five votes today. Thanks in advance for voting for me. 


Stop by these wonderful blogs to see how they shop. Here are the clickiest views from last week:


Saving A Bundle
The Intentional Momma
Coupon Story

I seemed to do a lot of shopping for not really needing anything. Goes to show you should NEVER shop while you are hungry. I will usually grab one or two free cookies or snacks they have out to help curb my appetite while I am there.


I took one big picture of everything I got instead of individual pics of each store. I will update throughout the day a breakdown of each store. So stop back by.


Kroger


2 French Style breads $0.50 each Manger Special
2 Kroger Tortilla Chips $1.00 each
1 Carnation Dried Milk $2.00 - $0.50/1 Carnation Dry Milk RP 09/25/11
1 Whole Wheat Bakery Bread $1.00 Manager Special
2 Whole Wheat Tortilla $1.50 each - I love these whole wheat tortillas
2 Nutrigrain Bread Whole Wheat BOGO $4.09
     -Final $2.05 each


I spent $12.59 and saved $4.59. I mainly purchased discounted manger's special bread and tortillas, so my savings is much greater, but it is not listed on the receipt. I have been going lately and they have not had as much bread in the discount area. I was surprised. That is probably why I bought so much. Most Kroger purchases are on the right hand side of the picture.


Sprouts 


.48 lbs Cherry Vanilla Granola @ $1.99lb
     -Final $0.96
.80 lbs Dried Cranberries @ 2.99lb 
     -Final $2.39
1.28 lbs Whole Wheat Flour @0.69lb
     -Final $0.88
1 Package Rosemary - $1.25
1 Arrowhead Mills Buckwheat Pancake Mix $3.00 - $1/1 Arrowhead Mills product Printable
     -Final $2.00
1 Arrowhead Mills MultiGrain Pancake Mix $3.00 - $1/1 Arrowhead Mills Product Printable
     -Final $2.00
4 Packages Black berries @ $0.69 each
1 Celery Stalk $0.89
5 Hass Avocado @ $0.69 each
2.67 lbs Zucchini @ $0.77 each
3.81 lbs Tomatoes @ 0.69 lb
2.61 lbs Sweet Potatoes @ $0.69 lb
3.28 lbs Yellow Onions @ $0.49 lb


I spent $24.68 and saved $2.00. I purchased a lot of fruits and veggies. I plan on making some soups and freeze them this weekend. I might have the crock pot and the stove going all weekend. The cold has set in here in Texas. I like to cook and bake to keep the house warm. I make multigrain pancakes and I mix different pancake mixes together to provide higher protein pancakes so the kids don't have a carb crash at school after eating the pancakes. I am making sun dried tomatoes in the dehydrator this weekend. YUM!


Tom Thumb
1 Hershey Cocoa Powder $1.54 (Manager Special) Nothing wrong with package
2 Birds Eye Steamfresh Veggies $2 each - $0.50/2 doubled SS 11/13/11
     -Final $1.50 each
1 Sea Pack Fish Sticks $4.99 - $2/1 WYB Birds eye Veggies Store Coupon
     -Final $2.99
2 Grands Biscuits $0.99 each - $0.30/2 tripled GM 11/13/11, $0.99 Price Store Q
     -Final $0.54 each
1 Oscar Meyer Deli Fresh meat $2.49 - $2.49 Store Q


I spent $11.10 and saved $13.46 on Groceries. I even picked up some Cocoa on Managers Special. I didn't see any thing wrong with the cocoa. I inspected it and Exp is in 2013. I plan on making some homemade cocoa for gifts this year.


Walmart


1 Pull Ups Huggies $9.47 - $2/1 Walmart 11/06/11
     -Final $6.47
1 Benadryl Cream $3.88 - $2/1 Any Benadryl Product RP 06/19/11
     -Final $1.88


I spent $10.17 and saved $4.00. I purchased diapers on this visit. This will soon be my last purchase of diapers we are ALMOST there. Little face has #2 down and will tell me when he needs to go. We are working on #1. He always goes when I sit on the potty, but he just doesn't tell me when he needs to go. Someday soon he will make the connection. I just know it! Any words of encouragement are greatly appreciate here.


I spent $58.54 Under Budget!


So how did you do this week? I can't wait to see what others have purchased this week. Be sure to come back to visit someone else's shopping trip to see if you can learn something new too!



Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tips 4 Tuesday - Frugal Exercise


I did it! I finally purchased my first few gifts today, and I already have  return. I bought a couple of things for the kids, since it was a good price and it was the last one. However, when I went home to read the reviews, they were not so good.  I will just bring it back and get something else. This is where I cash in for the holidays. I always keep my receipts and bring it back if it goes on sale somewhere else or if I don't like it after I have purchased it.
Elastic Exercise Bands


I don't know about you, but I ate my way through Thanksgiving. My husband is originally from New Orleans and that is where we spent our Thanksgiving. We had all kinds of traditional food, so we packed on a few pounds from that wonderful Thanksgiving meal, now we need to lose all those tasty pounds we consumed. How can you sneak in a workout, since you don't have any time?


I personally don't like to go to the gym to work out. I would rather do things at home. If this is you too, you can combine shopping and walking. Before you head to the store or department you are going to, take a quick lap around the mall or store before you start your shopping trip. If you do this a couple of times a day you are working off a few extra calories and slimming those thighs in no time.



Exercise while you are cooking. I do this all the time. Do a few leg lifts or simply march in place while you are browning your meat or chopping onions. This also helps improve your coordination, since you are doing two things at once. 



If you have stairs take the toys or clothes up stairs one at a time. You are getting a stair master workout, and you are not at the gym. For a quick ab workout sit on the edge of your bed and do some leg lifts about 20 or so before you get all the way out of bed in the morning. 


A video game is a great way to burn calories and have a great time with your kids. We have a couple of fun games to do with the kids, like Just Dance 2 or Wii Sports. You are making memories while burning calories. I love multitasking, especially if you can get the kids involved.


Sneaking in a few extra exercises throughout your day will also give you more engery this holiday season with out caffeine. Who couldn't use a little extra energy. Now if I can find a way to give me more time I will be set!


Do you have any quick fun exercise you do or would like to share? Leave a comment below to share your fabulous tips with others.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Finals - Times 2

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving! We sure did. I did not do any grocery shopping this week, but I would love to hear how you did this week. I am also posting an additional link to see how you guys did shopping on Black Friday. 


Macy's had a great coupon for $10 off $25. I love the create your own sale coupons, since you can combine those with any other items already on sale. I even buy my coffee when I get these coupons.



First is GROCERY LINK UP:






BLACK FRIDAY LINK UP:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tips for Tuesday - Black Friday

It is almost here, Black Friday. I really like finding out the history of things. Most people don't know why it's called Black Friday. This is the day of the year most retailers go from operating "in the red" (a deficit) to operating "in the black" (making a profit). Thus Black Friday. This is a big day for retailers, and I think it should remain to just Friday. Let the employees enjoy their thanksgiving with their families and not be so greedy to make them work on thanksgiving. Ok that is my two cents. If you agree please do not shop on Thursday.

Here are a few of my tips for surviving the day. Do your research on the items that are going on sale to make sure that is the item you want. Sometimes it is last years model at a deep discount to clear the shelves. The item may not be the quality you really want.

Just like grocery shopping, you should have a plan and a budget and stick to it. Start by planning which stores are open earliest and have the item(s) you really want.

If you can convince someone to go with you, divide and conquer. Have one person go to one store while you go to another to get the most out of the time limited deals.

Don't worry if you don't get the deal you wanted. Another deal will come along during the holiday season.

Remember to:

1. Research

2. Have a plan and budget and stick to it.

3. Divide and conquer

4. Don't worry if you don't get the deal, another one will come along.

I enjoy shopping online and staying with my family on that day. I really don't like the crowds, but I would love to hear from my readers and I will have an additional black Friday linky for you to share your great deals you find on that day. I can't wait to hear from you.
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