Showing posts with label Money Saving Tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Money Saving Tips. Show all posts

Monday, April 9, 2012

Reuse Ideas

In keeping with the theme for this month of Earth Day today’s topic for Money Saving Monday is REUSE IDEAS. One of the best things you can do to save money is to reuse items instead of tossing them after one use.


One item that I reuse a bunch is plastic zip baggies. Most of the time I put things like muffins to freeze or snacks in these. I simply wash them out and let them dry and use them again. I will do this several times before being tossed. This helps reduce waste in the landfill and also helps my budget by not having to buy baggies as frequently. As I have said before I hate spending money on things that get used once and then are throw away.

Another item I may use twice is aluminum foil. If I am baking biscuits or something that really doesn’t stick to the foil. I will wash it off and reuse it again. Then I will fold it up and place it in the drawer and then flip the sheet over and use the other side. I normally use foil on my baking sheets, so the baking sheets stay nice and clean and provide an even baking surface all the time.

If you are a couponer and you print lots of coupons like I do, you have a lot of left over pieces of paper. I will take these and save them for the kids to color or to make additional craft projects. These little pieces of paper are stored by the art supplies and can be used for cards or whatever they can imagine. We always have scrap paper for a project.


Have you seen these fabulous things people have made using toilet paper tubes? I have been in awe myself. I even made this fabulous little mirror for around $3.00. Here is the link to my toilet paper tube mirror project. I think when summer is here I will have more time to make some of these little projects. We will see.

One last awesome reuse idea is to repurpose clothes. This is another thing I am pinning a lot of lately. Taking old t-shirts and using them to make skirts, shrugs or tanks. These are awesome little one hour projects that look so cool and easy to make. I can't wait to give these a try.

Is there anything you reuse to save money? I would love to hear from my readers. Leave a comment below. If you have a recipe or crafty linky party, share your links on my Linky Parties Page.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

How I Save Money by NOT Eating Cereal for Breakfast

I rarely buy cereal any more. There are some great cereal deals out there right now and I just don’t feel the need to buy cereal when I have great items I can make for breakfast ahead of time and freeze.

Here are a few items I like to make pancakes, muffins, french toast and hard boiled eggs and sausage. I make extra on the weekends and freeze these to eat throughout the week. Just simply pop them in the microwave for a minute or two and you have a quick and easy breakfast. 

Cinnamon Swirl French Toast - $1.44 for a family of Five
Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins - Fruits and Veggies in a muffin
Make Your Own Muffin Mix  - Don't buy prepackage muffins, make your own to have on hand at anytime
Healthy Smoothies for Kids - My kids think they are getting Ice Cream for breakfast $0.50 per serving
Then kids were lucky enough I made the Cinnamon Swirl French Toast and Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins last week for them to choose for breakfast.

My grocery money for high carb cereal is now going towards wholesome ingredients such as multigrain pancake mix, eggs, fruit and whole wheat flour while trying to stay within my budget of $50.00 a week for a family of five.

Do you have any great breakfast ideas other than cereal for breakfast?

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Recipe Cinnamon Swirl French Toast

I normally get the Cinnamon Raisin Swirl bread loaf at Kroger when it is in the discount section for $1.00. I take it home and freeze it right away. This recipe will feed all five of us for one meal; However, I like to make this on a weekend afternoon on my electric griddle and freeze it, so the kids have this for breakfast instead of cold cereal. I warm it up in the toaster on a higher setting and press the frozen button. This past week they were lucky enough to have freezer muffins and Cinnamon Swirl French Toast to choose from.

If you do not have an electric griddle here is one from Amazon that is very similar to mine. This makes an awesome gift too.

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Cinnamon Swirl French Toast
1 loaf Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread
4-6 Eggs
½ Cup of Milk

1. Toast both sides of the Cinnamon Swirl bread on and electric griddle set for 350 degrees for a couple of minutes on each side or until starting to turn golden. After the bread is toasted allow to cool for a few mintues. Otherwise the bread gets too soggy.

2. Take 2 eggs and crack them in a large flat bottom bowl and add ¼ cup milk. Mix well.

3. Dip the bread in the egg mixture and let it soak a minute or two on each side. The egg should soak into the bread. Keep dipping pieces until the egg mixture is gone. Once gone add another couple of eggs and the remaining milk until all bread is soaked and on the griddle.

4. Spray electric griddle with spray oil and lay the egg soaked bread on the electric griddle. Let fry for a couple of minutes. The egg will get brown around the edges of the toast. Flip and let the other side brown.

5. Once complete serve with powdered sugar, apple butter, apple sauce or syrup.

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Last time I made Cinnamon Swirl French Toast I only used four eggs and a little milk. This costs me $1.00 for the bread and $0.44 for the eggs. So for the main part of the meal I spent $1.44 to feed a family of five for breakfast. This meal includes protein, carbs and a fruit.

How much do you spend on breakfast for your family?

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tips 4 Tuesday - Why I Never Shopped at Walgreens. Until TODAY!

One thing you have to realize when you are first starting to coupon is you can’t always get all the deals all the time. There are just too many stores and the amount of gas you would use would offset the saving you were getting anyway. That is mainly why I never shopped at Walgreens. It was too far away for me to justify making a trip out that way to get just a few items each week. Even if it was FREE. Since most of the time the FREE item was gone off the shelf by the time I got there. So all I did was waste gas and drive around for nothing. I spent time planning my scenarios, gathering my coupons. Instead of being excited about the awesome deals I was about to get, all I got was disappointment. This was not worth my time, gas or energy. I did this on several occasions. I vowed I would not go to Walgreens anymore.

Until now! I just realized that there is a Walgreens close to my son’s preschool, since this is on my way and I won't waste any gas money. I thought to myself “How can I now add Walgreens into my shopping rotation?” I stopped by there today, and the cashiers were so much nicer than the Walgreens closest one to my house. Someone in the aisle even asked if I needed help. They even had a ton of the sale items still in stock, and it was Tuesday. I was very impressed and I will go back to this store.

My new plan of savings is to hit Walgreens and CVS on Tuesdays. Then do my grocery shopping at Tom Thumb, Kroger and Sprouts on Thursdays. This way I will not waste any gas, since all of these are on the way home from my son’s daycare. Tuesdays and Thursdays are the closest to when the new sales cycles start for those stores. Woo Hoo more savings!

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Money Saving Monday - Maximize Savings on Clearance Items at Tom Thumb

Just a few things first. My DI team made 6th place at our tournament. We are thrilled with the results. The team worked so hard and they are excited they placed this year. Now I can focus a little more time on my blog.

Second; don’t miss out on my giveaways. They are both ending March 1st. If you haven’t registered do it now before it is too late. There will be 3 winners for Purex Laundry Detergent FREE product coupon and 3 winners for Purex Ultrapacks FREE product coupon. For a total of 6 possible WINNERS! Super easy entry.

Lastly, I just love yogurt and I hate paying full price for it. I have to say Yoplait is my favorite yogurt. It is just thick and creamy and I love most of the flavors they make. I am always looking for ways to get this stuff cheaper. I like to shop the clearance bins for maximum savings.We eat yogurt pretty quickly around here so it won’t ever go to waste. I can usually buy what we will eat before it expires. Here is a scenario you can try to get any clearance items even cheaper at Tom Thumb.

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Using Coupons on Clearance Items at Tom Thumb

In each store, there are several clearance bins for items reduced for quick sale. One in dairy, meat, dry goods and produce. If you are a newbie, you should start trying to familiarize yourself where these little gold mines of savings are located at each of the stores you shop. You can really score some great deals in these areas. Check the product thoroughly and make sure it is in good condition before you buy it. Also check the expiration date on perishable items to see if you will use this or freeze it before the expiration date. It is also a good idea to find out what day they move certain items to the clearance bins to get them when they first hit the sales rack.

Tom Thumb has several clearance bins throughout the store to shop. Notify the cashier you have a clearance item(s) before they begin to check you out. It is best to set these aside or have them ring them up last, so you can pay attention to how they do it. The clearance item is supposed to be rung up first at full price, then scan the red clearance bar code. Always check this when they are checking you out, and . If not done this way your item may still ring at full price. You may experience some problems if the product is not scanned correctly.

Since they scan the product at full price then take the discount off after, you can still use a coupon to maximize your savings. This is great when it can also be a coupon that can be doubled or tripled.

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I haven't had any problems trying this scenario at Tom Thumb. Now I am testing this at Kroger. I have used it on a couple of items with success. Have you had any successes using coupons on clearance items at Kroger?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tips for Tuesday - Make Ahead Muffins

When I first started my extreme couponing journey a year ago, I loved the thrill of getting things for free or really cheap. However, when I really looked at what I was buying, it was a lot of junk food or unhealthy food. I really didn't want to be feeding this to my growing children. I wanted to feed them nourishing food for their growing bodies.

We were spending way too much on food, since we were now on a single income.  I needed to also stay on a strict budget. When I was looking at what I could do, I knew I needed to cut back on the grocery budget. When I was a single mom a few years back, my daughter and I survived on $20 a week for all our meals. I thought I would try to do the something similar with a family of five. I would spend $10 per person per week for my grocery budget.

I like the fact of buying muffins in the package and opening them up and pouring a few ingredients in then baking them. Ta Da you then have muffins. I also realized in order to provide better food I needed to get back to the basics and start cooking more things from scratch. I was staying at home now, so I had the time right? So I thought. I was just as busy if not busier. How could I provide good food and save time?

I remembered my "Joy of Cooking " cook book had a recipe for making muffins by listing the dry ingredients then telling you what to add to make variations of these muffins. Here is the simple recipe and a few variations you can use:

1 3/4 cups sifted all purpose flour (I use whole wheat, I haven't noticed to much of a difference)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Sugar
2 Teaspoons double-acting baking powder (I use a little more, since I use whole wheat)

I simply make a few ziplock bags with these dry ingredients in there. Then I have a little print out of the wet ingredients:

Dry Ingredients for Muffins:
Beat in 2 eggs
2-4 Tablespoons butter melted
3/4 cup milk

Combine all the ingredients and bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.

Blueberry or berry muffins add:
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup berries

1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup Pumpkin

Then I have my own prepackaged muffins I can whip up whenever I want. 

I must say the best gift for a new bride would be "Joy of Cooking " cook book. It is very educational and has a recipe for just about anything you would want to make.  

Learn couponing strategies by reading my

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Do you have any great time saving tips? How do you save time during the week?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Super Coupon Deals Saturday

FREE Printable Coupons for the Month

$1.00 off any TWO (2) UNCLE BEN'S Whole Grain 
$0.50 off three Zatarain's Rice or Pasta Mixes  - It's Mardi Gras, Zatarains will be on sale soon
$0.75 off FRENCH'S Dijon Mustard 
$0.30 off FRENCH'S Spicy Brown Mustard - Can make it FREE if tripled
$3.00 off 10 Weight Watchers Smart Ones 
$0.75 off Yoplait Kid Zone yogurt 
$0.40 off 2 Pillsbury Sweet Rolls 
$0.80 off 4 Hamburger, Tuna or Chicken Helper 
$0.50 off 2 Betty Crocker Fruit snacks 
$0.50 off 5 Campbell's Spaghetti0's pasta  - Great if Doubled
$0.80 off one package of Truvia natural sweetener 

$1.50 off on any 2 Atkins Day Break products 
$1.00 off any JOSÉ OLÉ brand item 
$1.00 off one bag of M&M'S Pretzel 
$0.75 off any TWO (2) Bagel-fuls (4ct) 

$1.00 off 1 Cream Cheese w/1 Keebler Toasteds 
$0.40 off one Frigo Cheese Heads String Cheese 
$0.40 off SIX CUPS Yoplait Yogurt  - Great if your store doubles

$1.00 off two (2) packages of ARMOUR Pepperoni 
$3.00 off HORMEL Party Tray product 
$0.55 off two HORMEL Bacon Bits products 
$1.00 OFF 2 ARMOUR Meatball Products 
$0.55 off 2 HORMEL Premium Chicken Breasts 

$1.00 off ONE 6-pack Snapple Tea 
$0.55 off Florida's Natural Ruby Red Juice 
$1.50 off on one BOOST Kid Essentials Drink 
$2.00 off two cans of illy issimo 
$2.00 off two cans of illy issimo 
$1.00 off any one PediaCare product 

$1.00 off eighteen cans of Elegant Medleys 
$1.50 off ten cans of Purina ALPO Dog Food 
$1.00 off twenty-four cans of Fancy Feast 
$2.00 off twelve Mighty Dog cans or pack 
$1.00 off four Fancy Feast Appetizers for Cats 
$1.00 off one bag Fancy Feast Dry Cat Food 
$1.00 off Cat's Pride cat litter 

$3.00 off when you buy Citracal and Bayer 
$2.00 off any one (1) Clearasil PerfectaWash™ 
$1.00 off any 12 oz size or larger of COMPLETE
$3.00 off on Florastor probiotic 
$2.00 off Florastor probiotic 
$1.00 off Blink Tears or Blink Gel Tears 
$1.00 off any 20ct Nicorette Gum 
Up To 75% Off On Prescription Medication 
Up To 75% Off On Prescription Medication 
$1.00 off On any Schiff Vitamin or Supplement 
$1.50 off DESITIN™ Soothing Rash Bath Treatment 
$1.00 off on any ONE (1) Alka-Seltzer Plus Allerg 
$1.00 off any Citracal 
$7.00 off on any Nicorette Mini Lozenge 
$1.00 off on any 1 (ONE) Advil Congestion Relief 
$5.00 off any Centrum Specialist™ Vision 
$3.00 off any Slo-Niacin 
$2.00 off one Colace or Peri-Colace Product 
$2.00 off one Senokot or Senokot-S Product 
$1.00 off any URINOZINC Prostate Formula 
$5.00 off Sarna Anti-Itch Lotion 
$1.00 off one Coricidin HBP product 
$1.00 off off any Robitussin product 
$1.00 off on any Afrin Nasal Spray 
$2.00 off EAS Myoplex Original Choc 

$1.50 off any one (1) box of Revlon Root Erase™ 
$1.00 off Sally Hansen Hand Cremes 

$8.00 off when you buy one PLAYSKOOL SESAME STREET 
$5.00 off BOP IT! XT game  - Kids love this game
$5.00 off when you buy one NERF VORTEX PRAXIS blas 
$8.00 off when you buy one BABY ALIVE MY BABY ALIV 
$3.00 off TRANSFORMERS Deluxe action figure 
$5.00 off when you buy one PLAY-DOH MEGA PACK 
$5.00 off one PICTIONARY game Hasbro 

$2.00 off the February issue of InStyle 
$1.00 off HP ColorLok Paper 
$1.00 off February issue of People StyleWatch 

GLADE coupons
$1.00 off on any Glade Press & Spray™ starter kit 
$2.00 off Glade Expressions™ Oil Diffuser 
$1.00 off Glade Expressions™ Fragrance Mist 
$1.00 off any Glade Scented Oil Candle holder 
$3.00 off Glade PlugIns Lasting Impressions 
$1.50 off TWO Glade Scented Oil Candle refills 
$3.50 off Glade Sense & Spray starter kit 
$1.00 off on any Glade Automatic Spray refill 
$0.55 off Glade Carpet & Room Odor Eliminator 
$1.50 off on any TWO Glade 4-oz. Jar Candles 
$2.00 off Glade PlugIns Scented Oil refills 
$1.00 off any Glade Fabric & Air Odor Eliminator 

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Product Review - MISTO olive oil sprayer

I found this great little gadget when I was shopping for Christmas gifts this year. It is the MISTO Olive Oil Sprayer. This serves two purposes for me. One I can put whatever oil I want to inside and two it is a GREEN product. I love the fact I can purchase oil on sale and I can put this into the can and use it for all my cooking. Also, I am not filling up some land fill with emptied spray oil bottles. I use mine more than I used the spray can oil and I am using far less oil on my food. I am not only saving money, but calories too!

This is so easy to use. You fill the MISTO container about half way full of oil. The extra space is needed to provide air pressure for the fine mist spray. Then you just pump the top about 10 times or so and spray oil on the surface you want to use. This is great for spraying muffin pans, cake pans, frying pans or whatever else you don’t want to stick. You can even mix up a salad dressing and spray on your salad. I use mine all the time.

MISTO is around $10 for the bottle. After four uses it pays for itself. Since normal aerosol spray oil cans cost over $3 a piece. I used mine for a while before I wrote an article on this fabulous product, since I wanted to make sure it would last. I have used it and refilled it once. Once you see how little oil is in the product you purchased before, you will so thankful for how much money you will save.

MISTO is not paying me to write this article. All opinions are my own. This contains affiliate links and I may be compensated from this article.

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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!


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.

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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

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


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

2nd Transaction:

4 Nivea Lip balm $2.50 each


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

$5 ECB for $10 Nivea Purchase

$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.

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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.
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