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

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.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Finals 12-23-11

It has been a crazy shopping week this week. I probably have done twice as much shopping as I normally do trying to finish up all my Christmas shopping for everyone and shopping for food deals. I will post them as soon as I can find my receipts. Funny how I managed to keep up with my Christmas purchases and kept the receipts for those, but I can't find my receipts for groceries. I have a few more place I can look, but I wanted to get the linky up soon.

Stop by to check out the awesome savings for top three most viewed links from last week here at Pounds4Pennies:

Tom Thumb I spent around $24.00

Tom Thumb round 2 I spent $20.00


2 Honey Maid Graham Crackers $2.50 each - $1/2
            -$2.00 each

1 12pack Toilet Paper $5.00

Sprouts $10.00

Total I spent around $63.00. A little over, but I am not blowing the budget. 

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

Link up your savings/shopping results for the week here. Be sure to visit others site so you can learn how to save more. I know I always find other deals I missed. It is the best way to learn.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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 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.

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! 

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.


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.


.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.


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.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Money Saving Monday - Cyber Monday Shopping

This is cyber Monday today. I have listed several sites I recommend to get some great deals today. I love all my readers and to show me how much you care if you could take take one second and support me at Top Mommy Blogs that would be wonderful. It is very easy. One click = One vote. Thanks for taking the time to vote for me here

New week = New Coupons be sure to print yours now. HOT $0.75/1 International Delight Coupon. PRINT NOW. This one won't last long.

Guys - Hard to Shop for
I find it is so hard to buy for guys in my family. I found this company last year and they have great deals going on right now on hundreds of items even for guys. I just Love, Love, LOVE this place.  I find buying something personalized for a guy is a great gift to give. Especially if it is something they are going  to use. My husband frequently travels, so I got him a small travel bag with his initials on it. He loves it and enjoys using it on all his trips. They have so many neat things to shop for here. I know you will find something for at least one person on your list. They have gifts for everyone. It looks like nearly everything is on sale, too! 
Coupon Codes for Today ONLY! Order now!

PMALL5D - $5 Off Orders of $25 or More
PMALLSHIP75 - On-Site Deals - Today Only!
PMXMAS10 - 10% Off Holiday Orders

Gift Card Ideas

Here is a great site where you can shop for many different Gift cards at the same time and location. They will send you a bill and you can pay securely through your bank. You are not giving your account information to several different retailers risking your personal financial information getting stolen. This is a more safe and secure way to shop this holiday season. You can even earn up to 10% cash back on each gift card purchase. Then you can do a little shopping for yourself. Happy Holidays to you!

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.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Money Saving Monday - Stockpiling

I wanted to write about stockpiling today, since we are in another season where it is good to stockpile items. If you have noticed all the baking supplies in the stores have gone on sale. It is baking season and it is time to stockpile on all your baking supplies. Each season has different items you want to stockpile.

Here are a few items that are on sale right now at most stores and have great coupons to match:

Canned Soup
French Fried Onions
Corn Starch
Chocolate chips

The time you want to stockpile and item is when it is FREE or 70% off retail price. I will be making a list and publish it soon of what I found to be my rock bottom or stockpile price for an item. I started my extreme couponing hobby in Feb. of this year and I have now seen all four seasons and I am more familiar when to stockpile an item and when to wait. I used coupons before, but I would only clip the ones I was going to use and when I went to the store the next time I would buy that item. I shopped at Walmart so the prices didn’t change. Or so I thought. Walmart does change their pricing and they do have sales on items. Especially this time of year. Walmart will change prices about once a month or once a quarter depending on the season and the item.

At first this is difficult creating a stockpile. You need to manage having enough food for your family to eat each week and create a stockpile. You may wind up spending more in the first month, but once you acquire a lot of coupons and a lot of variety of items and learn the sales cycles, you will be a pro in no time. If I can learn how to do this, so can you. After the second and third month you should start to see a significant savings in your grocery budget. You will find your list of items you need will decrease, and you spend more money on less expensive items. Saving you money all around.

In order to stockpile you will need a large number of coupons to combine them with the sales. The more coupons you have the easier it is to match up with the items on sale. The general rule of thumb is to purchase as many papers as there are members in your family. I purchase 4 papers and clip the coupons from those in order to match them with the sales when they come along. I print additional coupons on items I really think my family will eat. But normally four papers will do it for us. I can then purchase four of the sale item and create my stockpile when that item is at its rockbottom price and this will be enough to last me through the next time this item will go on sale. You don’t need to clear a shelf of an item. That item will go on sale again and it will have a coupon to match.

I am now at a point where I have a great variety of food to where I can buy at the rockbottom price and still have enough to eat. This takes around four to six months before you have a wide variety of food in order to do this. Stockpiling takes time. If you are like me trying to stockpile and are on a very strict budget it is difficult to accomplish both, but I like a challenge.

Here is what my stockpile looks like.
My pantry
Canned and Baking goods

Boxed items, cereal, breakfast items, Boxes meals, Pasta

My laundry room shelf with juice, Paper towels, a few other items

A shelf in my closet with my bathroom items

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tips 4 Tuesday

First I would like to make sure you are getting all you can from Pounds4Pennies. I offer additional savings information and HOT coupons on my Facebook page and in my BlogFrog community. Please be sure to LIKE me on Facebook to keep up with the latest coupons and savings deals. I also offer additional tips and coupons on BLOGFROG. If you do like my site be sure to click Top Mommy Blogs and vote for me. One click = one vote. I am 108 and would love to get into the top 100 this week just eight more places to go. I know all my fabulous readers can take a few moments to vote for me. THANKS in advance.

I have a few tips to share with you about not throwing things out. My wonderful husband and I try to avoid throwing anything away. If something is about to spoil or we don't think we will use it in time, we just pop it into the freezer. Why let something go bad and have to throw it away. You might as well take that money and throw it in the trash that you purchased that food with. It is basically the same thing.

Do you ever make a pot of coffee and have some left over? Don’t throw it out. My husband and I love ice coffee. We make a little extra during the summer, so we can have ice coffee in the afternoons. We take the left over coffee and put it a plastic cup or make ice cubes out of it. We use plastic cups, since this is water and it will expand and break a glass container. We then put confectioners sugar and creamer and blend to make a great tasting frappe or just have iced coffee. The confectioners sugar dissolves quickly in ice coffee and you don’t have to worry about the grainy texture from granulated sugar.

What do you do with the left over heels of a piece of bread? Again don’t throw them out. There are several great uses for these. I put some butter on them and toast them in the toaster. Then I place them in my food processor to finely chop them up. I never need to buy bread crumbs. Another thing I do with the bread is make croutons. I butter them and cut them into cubes. Then place them on a cookie sheet and put the oven on broil. Watch very closely as these can burn quickly. I even sprinkle some seasonings on them to make them extra tasty. The kids all time favorite is to save these for duck food. We also keep a bag in the freezer and put left over hot dog buns, hamburger buns or bread crusts in there. When we want to go to the park we automatically have duck food ready for the kids to feed the ducks. This also make a great time for family photos.

My husband and I try not to throw anything out. I hope you will be able to use these tips in the future. Do you have any great tips on how to save or use the extra things you might consider throwing out? I love your comments and I would love to hear from you.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Finals 11/11/11 Kroger Mega Event

To all veterans, including my dad, THANK YOU for my freedom. Happy Veterans Day on this 11/11/11. I have heard there are a lot of marriages and other celebrations going on this landmark day. Do you have anything fun planned?

I have had sick kids all week this week. The little got the stomach bug too. AUGH! So for two days I have been cooped up in the house and have not done much shopping this week. But I plan on going out this weekend and getting a few more things from other stores. I will list them here next week.

Be sure to check out these ladies posts. They had awesome savings last week and were the top three clickiest:

Kroger Mega Event
MEI = Mega Event Item -$0.50 off each item listed

1 Kroger Cheese - $1.99
3.69 lb Bananas @ $0.39 lb - $1.44
6 Aunt Annies Mac and Cheese $1.19 – MEI, $0.75/1 Printable Coupon Facebook
            -Final $0.56 average each
2 International Delight Creamer $2.49 – MEI
            -Final $1.99 each
4 4lbs Bags of Domino Sugar $2.49 – MEI, 4 $0.50/1 Domino Sugar RP 10/16/11
            -Final $1.49 each
1 Idaho Potatoes $1.00 – FREE All You Magazine Oct.
            -Final FREE – I love FREE
16 Campbells Condensed Soup $1.00 – MEI, 4 $0.40/4 Campbells Coupons SS 10/09/11
            -Final $0.40 each
8 Ricola Cough Drops $1.49 – MEI, 4 B1G1 Ricola Cough Drops 10/02/11, 4 $0.75/1 Ricola Cough Drops
            -Final $0.12 each
1 Hillshire Farms lunch Meat $3.49 – MEI, $0.35/1 Lunch Meat RP 10/16/11
            -Final $2.64
2 Hormel Turkey Pepperoni $2.50 – MEI
            -Final $2.00 – Printable coupon now available. PRINT NOW!

Altogether I spent $33.19 and saved $49.64 on $82.83 worth of retail grocery products. I know I don’t need 8 bags of Ricola Cough Drops, but I would like to give this as a gift along with some soup (I am picking more up next week) for friends who might be sick. There are several of us moms whose husbands travel from time to time and no matter what someone gets sick when the husband is gone. I can run this by quickly and cheer them up a bit.

CVS – FREE this week

Nov. 5th

1 Shick Quatro Razor refill $8.99
1 Milk $3.99


$5.00 ECB
$1.00 ECB
$5.00/1 Shick Quatro Razor or refill Printable


$4.00 ECBs 

I spend $1.98 and saved $11.00 on 12.98 worth of retail items at CVS this trip. I didn’t realize milk went up to $3.99. Ouch! This is really good milk and I had $5.00 ECBs that were expiring so I combined it with an extra $1.00 to get the price of Milk down.

Nov. 7

1 Illy Coffee Drink $2.00
2 Hydro 5 Razors $10.49 each

$2.00 ECB
$1.00 ECB
$4.00 ECB
$3.50 ECB
$2.49 took off - FREE Illy coffee drink printed Nov. 5th.
2 $5.00/1 Shick Hydro razor

$10.00 ECB for Razors
$1.00 ECB for Bag Tag

I paid $0.00 for $22.98 worth of retail products at CVS this week. I LOVE FREE!

Sprouts - Farmers Market

.49 lb Peanuts - $0.98
1 lb Raisins - $1.49 - Great price on Raisins
1 Yogurt - $2.00
1 Pk Cinnamon $1.25
1 Broccoli - $1.05
1 Bell Pepper - $0.49
3 Lemons - $1.00
3 Limes - $0.50
1.74 lbs Onions - $0.85

Bag credit -$0.10

Total $9.51 on fresh produce and dairy.

All together I spent $44.68 and saved $83.72 on $128.40 worth of items this week. I think I have my groove back. I had 65% savings overall savings for this week. Unlike some couponers, I do buy fresh produce nearly every week. Fresh is better than canned or frozen. I usually budget around $10.00 for Sprouts.

How did you do this week? Link up your awesome savings below. I can't wait to see how you did this week. It is great to see how others shop to learn how to save.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Money Saving Monday - CVS

If you haven't read my other couponing 101 articles over the past weeks I suggest you start at the first post and read through. This is a lot of information. Take some time to read each section and go over it before you dive right in. 

Part 4 Drug Store Shopping

Shopping at the drug store is different than shopping at the grocery store. Most drug stores print their own money at the register. They want you to use this money at their store. Walgreens has Rapid Rewards RR, CVS has Extra Care Bucks ECB’s and Rite Aid has Single Check Rebate Program SCR’s. I am going to be mostly informing you on CVS today.

With the money they print for you at the stores, you can roll this each time you check out and not pay a lot of your money out of pocket, OOP.


First of all you want to make sure you get a CVS card. Ask for one when you enter the store before your first purchase. To register your card complete the form on line. You will receive additional coupons and sometimes ECBs through email. You can load these onto your card so next time you enter the store you can use your savings and not worry about finding a piece of paper.

Now you will need to scan your circular to see if there are any items you want or need that print ECB’s. Now look to see if you have a coupon to matchup with this item to bring your total OOP down even further. Please keep in mind the ECB prints at the end of the transaction. At first it is difficult to get started. Please check out Simply CVS for beginner $5 & $10 OOP scenerios she posts each week. Once you have checked out you will have ECB’s you can use towards your next transaction. Please be considerate of others

I roll my ECB’s a little differently than other people. I like to have ECB’s left over at the end, so I can get my items for the advertised price or free. I try to do all my purchases in one transaction with all my ECB’s and coupons at one time. This way I don’t have to worry if they are out of an item in order for all my transactions to work. I also know what I am going to spend before I get there. My budget is $5.00 on toiletries and $5.00 on diapers when I can get it.


There is a little magic red box when you walk into CVS. This is a coupon dispensing machine. It spits out extra CVS coupons. You can stack or combine these with any additional coupons you may have to get items for free or really cheap. It frequently gives away free items. You just need to make sure you print it out. This is the first thing I always do when I walk into the store and see if it gives me anything good. This is a must in my book.


CVS has a bag tag program. You can purchase this little tag or sometimes it gives you a free one at the magic red box. Every four times this is scanned it will print you a $1 extra buck. Yup that is FREE money just for visiting the store. You can only use it once each day and it only will scan after an item is scanned.


On more program CVS has is the Beauty Club. This is free to sign up. To sign up look near the register to see the Beauty Club tear pad. Just hand this to the cashier when your make your first purchase. For every $50.00 you spend you will receive $5.00 back.


CVS will add up all your purchases before ECB’s and Coupons and give you 2% back at the end of every quarter. You can receive this at the little red box or it will print at the register. Again free money you can use to purchase additional items at the store.

Things you need to do when you go to CVS:

1. Get a CVS card – Sign Up on line
2. Get a Bag Tag – You may need to pay $1.00
3. Sign up for the Beauty Club – FREE tear pad at registar
4. Scan the red box when you go to the store.

Items I often get at CVS:

Razors – FREE
Make up – FREE or $1
Nail Polish – FREE or $1
Food – FREE or CHEAP
Milk – CHEAP when on sale
Hair Care – CHEAP
Diapers – CHEAP

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Finals 11 4 11

I wanted to thank everyone who voted for me at Top Mommy Blogs. I am now #3 on the Frugal Living page and I am ranked 116 overall.  It only takes a second to vote by clicking Top Mommy Blogs and that gets me one vote. Let’s see if my readers can get me into the top 100 this week! I would be so delighted. Now on to shopping…

Last week the most viewed were:

1. Weekly Shopping
2. Saving a Bundle
3. Saved by the Sale

Stop by these ladies sites to view some awesome savings!

I went shopping at Kroger twice this week, since my parents came into town and I needed a few things. Hence, the tiny shopping trip listed first.

Kroger shopping

1 Kroger corn chips $1.00
4 Barrilla pasta $1.00 - 4 $0.55/1 Barrilla Pasta SS 09/18/11
            - Final $0.45 each
2 lunchmeat $2.99

I spent $8.78 and saved $3.72 on $12.50 worth of retail food. My parents came into town and we wanted sandwiches. I didn’t have any lunch meat, so I had to go to the store.

Kroger # 2

3 Kuerig coffees 12 Pack $4.49 clearance rack reg. $11.88 each
2 Sour Cream $1.00 each
2 lbs Cheese $2.99 each
1 Planters Peanut butter $2.50 - $1/1 Kroger eCoupons
            -Final $1.50
1 Package Sliced Cheese 1lb. $2.99
1 lb carrots $1.00
1 turkey @ $0.59 lb $6.82

$35.74 and saved $18.12 on $53.86 worth of groceries retail. 
This is more savings, since the Kuerig coffees did not reflect as savings on the receipt. I could add another $15.00 in savings and value. I bought peanut butter because of the $1.00 ecoupon and the Peanut crisis. I have enough to last until June. So if any more sales come up. I will get some more. 

Walmart Shopping

No Pic

1 Huggies Slip on Diapers $9.49 - $3/1 Huggies slip on diapers
            -Final $6.49

Overall this week I spent $51.01 on family needs and saved $24.84 on $75.85 worth of Grocery needs. This is more savings, since the Kuerig coffees did not reflect as savings on the receipt. I could add another $15.00 in savings and value.

I need cheese. If anyone has any good cheese deals out there PLEASE let me know. I am having a difficult time.

I didn’t feel like I got a whole lot for my money this week. I seem to be in a bit of a slump. Does anyone else feel there are not as many GOOD deals out there as there used to be?

How did you do this week? Please share your shopping trips below so others can see and learn how to save. 
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