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. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Whatever Wednesday - Popcorn Cake

I know some of you have been wanting to know how to make the fabulous Popcorn Cakemade for my daughters 10th birthday movie party. Today I am going to share the simple instructions on how you can make this cake on your own for a Movie Party or Popcorn Birthday Party. You can see the other decorations I used for her Movie Party.



Popcorn Cake
Movie Party Ideas

1. First I started by baking two cakes. One butter and one chocolate. Click to print Betty Crocker cake and icing couponsYou can decide based on what you already have in your pantry. I think butter is the best tasting cake. Let’s face it, it’s cake who is counting calories anyway. I used two 9" cake pans for each cake. To make sure they have the same amount of batter in each pan, use an ice cream scoop and alternate between pans. The cakes will come out even. 

2. After I baked the cakes, I took them out of the oven and let them chill for 10 min. I inverted them on a cooling rack, then set them to cool in the fridge. If I have time I chill them over night. Otherwise it is best to let them sit for at least two hours in the fridge to cool.

3. I cut the tops off the cakes with a serrated knife to even them out. I just eye balled it, but if you have a cake leveler, then use that. Since, I never throw anything out. I kept the leftover cake to bribe little face when he goes on the potty. It worked great. We are almost there!

4. Then I stacked the cake layers alternating butter and chocolate onto a round cake pan. In between each layer I placed a small amount of icing to glue them together. Next is the hardest part of the whole cake. I placed my serrated knife at an angle and cut turning the cake stand to keep the knife at the same angle around the entire cake to make the Popcorn bowl shape for the cake.  Wipe gently to remove any remaining crumbs around the edge and wipe your cake stand free of crumbs. Again you can discard the cake, but that is a crime in my house. I mean it is cake! When you are done this should resemble a Popcorn Bowl.

5. I used nearly an entire can of icing on the outside of the cake with a cake knife. Be a little generous here. You want to capture all the crumbs in this layer of icing. Place in the fridge for about 10 min or more.This is the crumb coat. Don’t worry about all the little chocolate flakes you see in the icing. They will disappear in the next coat. A cake knife is a great purchase if you plan on making cakes. Spreads icing like a dream. 

6. Yes you will need another tub of icing. I used nearly ¾ a tub icing the next layer. This will make all those crumbs disappear. Generously spread icing over the cake again. Now you should have a white cake.


7. This is where the magic happens. Get the strawberry Fruit by the foot. I opened every package until I found the one with the straight lines. Then I measured the cake from the stand to the top. I cut many strips to this length. To create the smaller lines, I cut one strand in half lengthwise.  Start placing them on the Popcorn cake. Two small lines then one thick one, alternating in this pattern around the outside of the cake. Once finished let the kids eat the fruit roll ups this helps keep them quite while you are concentrating on the cake.


8. I took some of the icing and used a red tint to make it red. Be sure you make enough. It is difficult to get the same color. I don’t have a pastry bag, so I placed the icing in a sandwich baggie and cut a small tip and fed the icing through. This is where you can get decorative. I just used small circles at the top of the cake to cover where the fruit rollup stripes end and a straight line at the bottom with the red icing to seal it to the bottom.

9. Now what you have been dying to know is, how did you make that popcorn on top? While you are doing all the above steps, have the birthday person and extra help squeeze two small marshmallows together with their fingers until they stick. Squeeze hard. I used nearly half a bag of marshmallows. This makes awesome looking Popcorn for the top of the cake.

10. Finally I got another Ziploc bag to place all the Popcorn marshmallows in and sprinkled it with yellow decorative sugar. This made it look like buttered popcorn. Shake the bag to get the yellow sugar everywhere the marshmallows stuck together. Keep them in the bag. 


11. Cut from and extra popcorn bag or print the words "POPCORN" in red ink to make the popcorn logo. Glue it to the cake with some icing. 

12. Right before the party started I let my daughter decorate the top of the cake with the Popcorn marshmallows. The more the better. You want to do this last, otherwise you have crunchy marshmallows, instead of soft ones to eat. I normally don’t like candy on cakes, but this was just right and  tasted fabulous for her movie party.


When cutting this Popcorn Cake remember only small pieces are needed, since this is a four layer cake. This picture is one I made for a friend who also had a Movie Party and this Popcorn cake served over twenty guests. 

Please share if you make one. I would love to see your pics.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Finals 10-28-11


Wow what a night. First my daughter had a soccer game after the cold front blew in while it was raining. The sign of a true athlete will play in the freezing rain. The sign of true love is the parents who sit there and cheer them on.  It was very cold and it took me a long time to warm up. Then to come home and stay up late to watch the Rangers loose last night makes for a very slow day today. Lots of caffeine has been consumed to write this post. Since I normally prepare my shopping post on Thursday evenings, I just didn’t have time last night. I will post what I spent and how much I saved. Then maybe later tonight I can update this post.

I still would like to see how everyone else did this week, so LINK UP below! Here are the entries with the most links:





Walmart



I spend $31.27 and saved $17.10 plus more, since I did several price matches, on $48.37 retail.

Sprouts

$2.28 on fresh produce

Tom Thumb

I spent $12.43 and saved $22.80 on $34.72 worth of retail.

CVS

I spend around $10.00 Saved $6.00 on $16.00 retail at CVS.



I spent around $56.00 and saved $45.90 on $101.90 retail.

How did your shopping trip go this week? Link UP below

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Whatever Wednesday - Movie Party Birthday Bash

First I wanted to say thanks for all of you who voted for me at the Top Mommy Blogs. I went from 480 to 127, and I am listed in the top five on the Frugal Living page. You can vote daily. Thanks to all my visitors!

This year my daughter turned 10. Yep she is double digits now. I can't believe it. Where did the time go? I remember she was born a little over two weeks after 9/11. I was thinking of what kind of world was I bringing her into. Things have not changed as drastically as I thought they might.



MOVIE PARTY IDEAS

She picked her party theme "A Night at the Movies." She wanted this to be a red carpet event. So I did my best to give her a fabulous Movie Party event on an extreme budget.

The Menu
We are talking eight 9-10 year old girls, so I wanted to keep the menu simple. My first thought is what do you get at the movies? Hotdogs are served at the movies. Remember the nearly 20lbs of hotdogs I purchased around memorial day? I still had some in the freezer. Then I thought nachos. My all time favorite and hers too. I purchased processed cheese for this event. One of the most expensive things for the party. I had plenty of salsa from this trip and I bought some chips. Then of course the most obvious thing at the movies popcorn. I didn't want to spend my time popping a million bags of popcorn in the microwave. I knew they could eat a ton from the last party she had. So I borrowed a hot air popper from a friend. I popped five batches of popcorn. Yes that is a lot of popcorn. Then I got all sorts of candy from CVS from their sale a couple of weeks ago and chocolate chips to mix in the popcorn purchased here.

Menu:
Hot Dogs & Buns
Nachos
Popcorn
Candy
Chocolate Chips
Popcorn Cake

By the way the plain chocolate chips were a big hit. Who knew? Hint hint if you are throwing a party soon, chocolate chips are cheaper than candy.



And of course, since it is a birthday party you will need a cake. I didn’t feel like buying one from the store. So I decided to make one instead. It is a Popcorn cake. Click the link to see how to make this fabulous cake. Super cute. I even made a Popcorn Cake of these for a friend who had a Movie Party.
 
She enjoyed putting the "popcorn" on the cake.

Decorations
I purchased a generic silver star set from the party store last year. I choose this since it would go with a lot of party themes and not be a one time purchase. We just recycled these and hung them around the house. I found a cheap red carpet at the party store we place outside our door. I colored large yellow stars with sidewalk chalk in front of the house to make it look like the Hollywood walk of Fame. (If I had a little more time I was going to write the girls name who were attending the party in the stars).


 I made her  a banner for her birthday. Her name is at the end, I do not want to share it to protect her identity. She loved it.


I found the popcorn buckets at Target for $1.00 each. And the paper ones at hobby lobby for 8 for $2.49. I couldn't find my coupon or it would have been cheaper. They made their popcorn buckets and filled them with candy and popcorn and everything. I didn't care what they ate as long as they had a great time.



For the table I used a red table cloth. I covered my cake dish with black tissue paper for the stand where the popcorn gift bags were. I also covered a bowl with black tissue paper to place the Popcorn cake on. I thought it looked fabulous for a movie party idea.

Entertainment
My husband borrowed the projector from his work and we hooked it up outside and put a large white sheet on the back of the house. He used a staple gun to tack it up. It looked great. I spread several blankets outside on the lawn where they could lay down eat popcorn and watch the movie. (not too much movie watching happened) They even had a popcorn fight and I didn't care since all of this was outside. I just picked up the blankets shook them off and I was done with clean up. Super easy.

Everyone had a great time! This was fun for me too, since most of the party took place outside I didn’t have a lot to clean up inside.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Money Saving Monday

Step 3: Big Savings on your Grocery Bill


If you have been following my couponing series the past couple of weeks, you should have accumulated tons of coupons by now. You can read my previous two posts:


1. How to start couponing. Coupoing 101
2. Go Shopping


If you do not have a lot of coupons you can PRINT COUPONS for free. If you have started trying to acquire coupons, you have probably printed a ton off the internet in order to create a nice coupon stash. I know I did when I first started. I had stacks and stacks of coupons to cut. I had the whole family cutting them out for me for a while. Now it is under control.

Now that you have quite a few coupons and you have made your first trip to the store, you are ready to take it up a notch. How did you feel the first time you scored saving 60-70%? It felt great, right? I know it was great for me, since we needed food and we needed food fast.

Maximizing Grocery Savings

Let's talk about your next trip to the store where you are going to do a larger shopping trip and make a larger list. Go to a matchup website such as Saving Well Spending Less or Southern Savers and pick the items where you can save 60-70% on items. Now that you have more coupons you should find more items to matchup. You will want to find items at the lowest price, then purchase as many of them as you have coupons for. This way you will save the most on that particular item until it goes on sale again.  The major grocery stores have sales that are discounted below Walmart price to entice you to go there and do your normal shopping buying items on sale and items that are not on sale.


Make a Grocery List
Now it is a good idea to gather your coupons from the matchup sites and make or print your list. Keep your coupons in a separate folder or envelope. Before you check out, check your coupons to see if they match according to brand size and type. Count the number of items in your cart and make sure you have the same number of corresponding items to match the coupons you have clipped. Then proceed to the check out. Be nice to your cashier as you check out. Find out if they would like coupons as they scan the items or after they scan.

When you are checking out pay close attention to the scanned price of an item and also make sure all your coupons are scanned. This is much easier to do if you don't have your kids with you, but if you are like me, most times that is not an option. If not try to review your receipt before you leave the store. I saved over four dollars on a trip because something didn’t ring up correctly and went to customer service for my refund.  Always be courteous, especially if you can calmly explain the error they will give a refund.

My standard price to buy an item is below Walmart price or 50% or higher. It is a good idea to know your prices when you are shopping for an item. Walmart claims to have the best price. What that really means is they have the better than the stores normal price. I will share a price list with you in a later post. It is not quite complete, since many rock bottom prices are going up. The only thing I normally buy that is not on sale is milk.

If you can also take a moment to vote for me at Rate My Blog @ Top Mommy Blogs
Have you tried the first two steps in my series? Do you have any questions? I will do my best to help answer any questions you may have.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Finals 10/21/11


Wowee wow wow! I have such exciting news to share today. First, I am a guest blogger at Grocery Cart Challenge. I am very excited and honored to be chosen. I came across Gayle’s site and notice she was feeding a family of six with $60.00 a week. I knew I could do this too! A few years back I was trying to feed a family of three on $30.00 a week. It was difficult, but I was able to do it. The most important thing I learned was how to cook from very few ingredients and make great meals.

The second piece of exciting new I have to share is I was accepted to the Top Mommy Blogs. In order to vote for my blog and check out other exciting blogs just click the brown button located on the left or the link provided. I just received the email last night. It would be very exciting to get at least one vote.

Now on to shopping! I didn’t stick to my budget very well this week. I was kind of winging it again. I didn’t have a great plan. We were out of some items I have been searching for the past couple of weeks and needed to purchase this week. I was able to get cheese and oil on sale, but purchasing both was a bit expensive. My husband and I were dying for some wings since it has been cold and it is football season. So I splurged for wings. I have been looking for weeks and just couldn’t find any on sale. In case you were wondering, yes, they were so delicious. Still cheaper than going out and buying wings at a restaurant.

I went to Kroger twice without much savings.

Kroger 10/16/11


2 Capri sun Juice $1.29 each – I need to buy juice for my daughters soccer game

4 Kettle Chips $2.50 each – 4 $1/1 Kettle Chips RP 09/25/11

            -Final $1.50 each

1 Kroger Tortilla chips $1.00

1 Pilgrims Wings $10.49 – Shelf price said $8.19 $2/1 Pilgrims Pride Chicken
            -Final $8.49 – Should have been $6.19
2 Mission Tortillas $1.00
1 Zapps Chips $2.19 – Splurge item for my hubby

I spent $22.47 and saved $11.14 on $33.61 worth of retail. I had two major splurge items this trip the wings and the Zapps chips. This change in weather has gotten me a little off my game. I am still looking for cheap snacks for soccer. If anyone know of any great sales, please share in the comments.

Kroger 10/18/10

2 Gallons Milk $2.49
2 lbs Cheese $6.99 – Best price I have found. Cheaper than Wal-Mart
4 Progresso Soups $1.25 - $1/4 Progresso Soup Coupon GM 09/11/11
            -Final $1.00 each
1 Huggies Slip on Diapers $9.85 - $2/1 Blinkie in Store Slip on Diapers
            -Final $7.85
2 Bertolli Olive Oil B1G1 store deal $10.49 I was nearly out of oil
            -Final $5.24 each
3 Kroger Sweet Corn $0.88 each – I had an eQ for $0.60/3 that did not scan. Not Happy
            -Final $0.88 each
1 Kroger Oatmeal $1.39 on sale – Daughter wanted Oatmeal for the cooler weather.
4 Dr. Pepper 10 $1.00 each – 4 FREE coupons for Dr. Pepper 10 SS 10/09/11
            -Final FREE

I spent $40.39 and saved $24.44 on $64.83 retail. Milk went up again $0.10 a gallon. I have to say I loved it when milk was a $1.00 a gallon. I would buy four gallons a week and we would drink it all. Now I have to ration it a little at the house. I need to make sure little Face gets his share every day.

Sprouts

4.18 lbs Gala Apples @ $0.69/lbs - $2.88
3.88 lbs Golden Delicious @ $0.69/lbs. - $2.68
3.47 lbs Onions @ $0.49/lbs - $1.70

Bag Credit -$0.10

I spent $7.16 and saved $0.10 on $7.26 worth of produce. I plan on making homemade applesauce and maybe some apple butter today. I have seen these on others sites and I am itching to try it. If I do, I will share on Wednesday. I didn't take a picture.

Overall I spent $70.02 and saved $35.68 on $105.70 worth of retail food and diapers. Not the best, but there were not very many good deals this week.  I needed to buy cheese and there have not been very good sales for the past couple of months and very few coupons. I had two splurge items that really put me over this week. But these will last a while for us. I can make it stretch.

If you are just starting out I am posting a series on how to coupon every Monday. You can read my first article here and my second post here. Looking to print coupons you can go to Coupons.com.

How did you do this week? Please share your shopping trips below with the linky. If you don't have a blog please share your shopping trips in the comments area. You can share more than one trip; however, I do ask to keep the trips current. The best way to learn to save money is to share so others can learn from you experience.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Whatever Wednesday


I have exciting news. I am going to be featured as a guest blogger at Grocery CartChallenge  on Friday. Stop back by to see what I purchased this week and see my article posted there.

 I always like to find something different to fix the family. I usually try to travel around the globe for dinner ideas for the week so no one gets tired of any dish. My daughter is just like me. She asked the other night why we don’t have Mexican food every night. Both of us could eat Mexican food every night. We both love it. Especially if it involves queso of some kind. However, my husband like a variety of food.

This week we traveled to India for a different flavor with ground beef called Keema. I found this recipe on Allrecipes.com App on my phone when I was looking for recipes with cardamom. I purchased this on major sale at Sprouts. See my shopping trip here. I love that I can have my phone in the kitchen with me while I cook and view the recipe without having to print it out and waste toner and paper. Plus I have my recipes with me where ever I go.

According to some of the reviews this is not a traditional way to make this dish and I did a few things different too to make it my own recipe. This made enough to feed all five of us with small leftovers.

Ingredients:

1 lbs. Ground Beef
1 onion Finely chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
½ table spoon Cardamom
¼ table spoon cinnamon
¼ table spoon cloves
A pinch of nutmeg
1 cup or 8 oz of tomato sauce
¾ cup beef broth (I used chicken because that is what I had. Still very tasty)

1. In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, cook onions and garlic until onions are soft and translucent around 5mon.

2. Then add the beef and cook until evenly brown breaking apart with spoon until crumbled. Drain excess fat.

3. Stir in Cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. (I measured it all so it fit in one table spoon)

4. Stir in tomato sauce and broth. Continue to cook on a lower heat until most of the liquid had evaporated reducing the sauce.

This can be served over rice or noodles. Depends what you have the most of in your pantry. This is fabulous burst of flavor from the traditional foods we are used to eating. The husband and the kids loved it. The Cardamom can be expensive. But if you viewed my post, I purchased just a little while it was on sale and that will make four to five dishes. Supper yummy and something different from what you might normally eat.  I just love it. This meal in now in our meal rotation. 

Hopefully I won't have as many problems as I did with my Friday Linky. Do you have any recipes you would like to share? Link up below. Hopefully I won't have as many problems as I did with my Friday Linky.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tips for Tuesday


I have a bunch of coupons. Now what?  You are so excited you want to rush out to the store and buy everything you now have a coupon for. However, that will not save you very much money and you will be extremely frustrated. In order to save using coupons you need to have a lot of coupons and you also need to create a stockpile. You cannot do this over night. This will take some time.

Pick the Store Where You Want to Shop

You should decide which store you would like to shop by looking at the weekly flyers sent to you in the mail. I receive mine on Tuesdays for sales starting on Wednesday. Stores like WalMart might have the best everyday pricing available; however, stores like Kroger and Tom Thumb, in the Dallas area, will have several items at a DEEP discount sale, a better than WalMart price. The real secret is to buy at the below WalMart price and to purchase a lot of an item to last you until the next sale.

Now look through the flyer you have received from the store. Is there anything in there you have coupons for? Is that a really good price for the item? If not keep looking try to find at least three to four items you have coupons for, on sale and you want to eat.

Find a Match Up Site

Check out coupon Match-Up websites to help you in your search. I usually use Saving Well Spending Less or Southern Savers. Southern Savers indicates which is a great stock up price by a little acorn. This is great for beginners. Saving Well Spending Less will let you know if there is a great match up or deal idea for items. These have the items listed with the matching coupons and where to find the coupons.  You can make your list of three to four items and print it from the website with the corresponding coupons.

Print Your List and Gather Your Coupons.

Simple Steps:
1. Find the store you would like to shop.
2. Go to a Matchup Site check prices and coupons.
3. Print your list and gather your coupons
4. Go shopping and start saving

It is important to start small to see how much you can save on your shopping order with the sale and coupons. If you go while you are doing your normal shopping trips you won’t see the big savings and may get more discouraged. I know when I saw my first 60% savings receipt I was really excited.

You will need to buy at the lowest price and purchase enough to last you until the next sale. This is known as stockpiling. You may also need to make trips to several different stores in order to get the best deals possible.  Another option is to price match at WalMart, but many stores have deals that are unadvertised where you can still get great deals by shopping around the store. I will talk about price matching WalMart in a later post.

I would say it was a comfortable three months before I was able to create a stockpile and have enough food in order to create any meal I wanted from my stockpile. This is something that will take time to create and mold into your family’s eating habits. If you are concerned about stockpiling and how to store your food I will be posting more on that in the next couple of weeks.

If you missed the first part in my series, go my How to Start Couponing series to start from the beginning.


You can continue on in this series by reading: 

3. Step Three to saving BIG on your Grocery Bill


4.  Step Four Drug Store Shopping - CVS


Let me know if you have any questions. Have fun shopping and let me know how you do!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Money Saving Monday


I love this fall weather. I am still waiting for the first big cool front to come our way. It should be here tonight. It will be time to bring out the big blankets and fuzzy pajamas. This is going to be excellent snuggle weather.

I would love to share some tips I use to help save a few dollars on heating during the winter months ahead. Muffins and breads will now be on the menu at our house more often, since the house will not get so hot from all the baking. After I finish baking, I leave the oven door open to help the oven heat the rest of the house. This is not recommended if you have little ones. Or at least make sure they are not around the oven. This makes a huge difference in warmth in the living areas where we normally hang out.

I love to use my crock pot for making meals too. When I am cooking something in the crock pot, I usually will place it on the counter by the living room. This is where it will cook all day and provide some heat to our common area. I am cooking a great meal for my family and heating the house. How great is that?

My dishwasher is the next source of warmth during those frigid winter months. After the cycle is done, I will open the door and let the heat and steam rise. This also provides some much needed moisture in the air during the dry winter season.

 If I can have all three going at once; the heater may not come on for quite a while. I am creating wonderful meals for my family and clean dishes. I can’t think of anything better!

Do you have ways where you try to create additional heat in your home without using your heater? Please leave a comment below.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Finals

I went shopping this week. However I am a tinsy over budget, but we splurged on salmon that was on sale. I have been able to purchase a lot of meat lately. For me a good price is cheaper than Wal-Mart. Here is how I did this week. See LINKY below to link up any shopping you did this week.

Sprouts 10/11/11



0.48 lbs Chili Peanuts @ $2.49 lbs - $1.20
2 lbs Salmon $9.48
1 lb Carrots $0.99
3.28 lbs Yellow Onions @ $0.49lbs - $1.61
4 Cartons Strawberries @ 1.25 each - $5.00
2 Kashi Frozen Waffles $4.49 each – B1G1, 2 $1/1 Kashi Frozen items Booklet at Kroger
            -Final $1.25 each
2 Kashi Go Lean Cereals $4.99 each – B1G1, 2 $1/1 Kashi Cereal boxes Booklet at Kroger
            -Final $1.50 each

I spent $23.76 and saved $13.48, including coupons and B1G1 deals, on $37.24 retail value. I was so excited to see B1G1 at Sprouts. They do not normally advertise B1G1 deals. Then I was really excited I was going to get to use my Kashi coupons. I now have all organic cereal in my pantry. I never would have been able to buy organic cereal before I started couponing and really shopping sales.

Kroger Shopping 10/11/11

2 Dozen Kroger eggs $1.25 each - $0.55/2 Printable
2 Whole Chickens @$0.79 lb $9.12 - $1.50/$7.00 Kroger meat catalina
            -Final $7.62 for two chickens
1 Kroger crackers $1.79
1 Domino Sugar $2.19

I spent $13.60 and saved $6.29 on $19.89 retail. I almost missed the $1.50/$7 meat coupon. Be sure to check your coupons and know what you have on hand. I was running out of snacks for school for my daughter, so I purchased the crackers on impulse. Although I didn’t have a coupon for the sugar, it was still lower than the Walmart price of $2.50. I was running low.

I can’t find my Tom Thumb receipt I have a picture of what I bought and I am pretty sure I know most of the prices. Here it goes.

3 International Delight Creamers $1.99 each – In Store coupon
4 Barrilla Pasta Sauce $1.69 – 4 $0.55/1 Barrilla Pasta Sauce SS 08/28/11
            -Final $1.14 each
4 Cambell’s Soup $.50 each – 1 $0.40/4 doubled Chicken Noodle or Tomato RP 09/11/11
            -Final $0.30 each
4 Herdez Salsa B1G1 store deal $2.XX
            -Final less than $1.49 each
2 Gallons of Milk $2.39 each

The bill was around $21.00 and I  saved almost $10.00 on $30.00 retail.

Walmart

1 Pullups $9.47 - $2/1 Mailed Coupon
            -Final $7.47
1 Pullup wipes $1.64 - $1/1 Mailed Coupon
            -Final $0.64

Total $8.78

I went a little over this week at $67.14. The splurge on the Salmon really put me over. So I need to budget a little better next week. Now I am searching for Buffalo wings. My husband and I are dying for some. I haven’t seen any great prices for any lately. Please post if you find some really cheap. We want them by Sunday for the football game.

How did you do this week? I can’t wait to see your results. Sorry I am having linky issues this week. I had to get a new script. Please try to link up again.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Whatever Wednesday

Zucchini Fritters



I made these when the kids where not home. I really didn’t think they would like them at all. However, when they came back, they scarfed these down. I was so surprised. It may have been how I described them as savory pancakes. They are all over them. Especially the little one, he kept saying “more fritters mommy, more fritters.” I got them to eat vegatables without complaining. This is a big accomplishment in my house. These are on the menu again.

I got the recipe from the App ALL RECIPES.

3 med Zucchinis shredded
1 small onion shredded
3 eggs beaten
½ Romano or Parm Cheese
1 cup Milk
2 Cups flour (I used Whole Wheat Pastry Flour)
Salt, Pepper, Garlic and other seasonings to taste

1. In a large bowl, mix together the zucchini, onion, eggs, cheese, milk and flour. Season with Salt, pepper, garlic and seasonings.

2. Pour a couple of table spoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Drop ¼ cupfuls of the batter in the skillet and flatten slightly. Turn the fritters over when the center appears dry. Cook other side until golden brown

Monday, October 10, 2011

Money saving Monday - Extreme Couponing

Good news… My neighbor CC, who lives right behind me, was out shopping at Wal-mart and a lady noticed her binder and how organized her coupons were. She asked CC if she would mind doing a class showing how she coupons and gave CC her card. She works for a women’s advocacy place. Where they try to teach women how to get back on their feet after a tragedy or who need assistance. My neighbor said she would call her back after she talked to me. I was so excited she told me about it and gave me the opportunity to do this with her. I have wanted to teach a class. So I am going to be expanding my Couponing 101 series and featuring this on my Monday segment Money Saving Monday. I will be writing most of the copy and she will help with graphics and the Power Point. She is much better than I am. If you don’t want to miss the posts, be sure to join via GFC or LIKE Pounds4Pennies on Facebook to receive all the latest updates.  I post more items on these sites than my blog.

Couponing 101

How can I save 60% or more on my shopping trips? I will show you all the basics to learn how to start extreme couponing, where to get free coupons, how to organize coupons and how to stockpile by using coupons. Each store has a sales cycle that runs anywhere from a 6 to 8 week cycle for an item. Then the item will be at a rock bottom price. This is when you want to purchase the item and combine it with a coupon to get the most food for your dollars. 

How and where do you get coupons?



1. Ask your friends if they are going to use their coupons in their Sunday paper. If not, ask if you can have theirs.

2. Purchase 2-6 papers. So you can have multiple sets of coupons. Also Parade Magazine is in the paper and has coupons in there from time to time. And check through the paper. I have found coupons on the back of some of the sections in an ad. A good rule of thumb is to buy as many sets of papers as you have in your family.  Why so many? If there is a good sale on a product you will want to buy as much of that product as you can to have enough to last you until next time that item goes on sale.


3. All You magazine has many coupons in the magazine. It usually over $50.00 in coupons. This usually pays for itself each time I purchase this magazine. It is well worth it.

3. Places of business. Check with your local coffee shop, auto care center or dr. office to see if you can have the coupons from the Sunday papers they receive. I have to say I have never done this, but I have heard you can try.

4. Grocery stores or convenience stores have blinkie coupons. Blinkies are the little smart source machines in the Grocery store that blinks at you to take a coupon. Now that you are looking for them, you will be surprised at how many you will see. Again rule of thumb would be to get 4 or so, but don’t take them all. Leave some for the next person. You probably aren’t going to use them all anyway.
5. Coupon fairies leave coupons by products that they are not going to purchase or they do not want. You may get lucky and find some coupons there. I always leave formula coupons by formula for people with babies.

6. Products have peelies that can be peeled off to use at a later date. These are usually higher in value than other coupons. Also be sure to look to see if there are any peelies on the product you are going to purchase or if there are coupons included inside the product.

7. There are several sites you can print coupons from and some even reward you for printing and using a coupon from their site. I use quite a few printable coupons every week. I recommend getting a cheap laser printer. Some time the printed coupons are a higher dollar value than the ones in the papers. Go to SwagBucks and signup. You will get rewards for using coupons. Coupons.com, SmartSource.com, Red Plum.com and Target are other great resources for coupons. You can normally print these coupons twice. You will need to use another computer to print more coupons.

8. Facebook is a great resource for coupons. Many times if you like the page of a particular item you can then get a printable coupon from them. Please note they will then want access to your friends and your information. After you like them and print your coupon go in and remove that program from your apps to prevent them from gathering your information and your friends information.

9. If you have a favorite product visit their website to see if they have coupons available to print. Check back once a quarter to see if they will refill the coupon prints. At the start of a quarter they will usually reset the coupons for you to print.

10. Call or write the company and tell them how much you enjoy their product. Sometimes they will send you coupons to get the item for free. I know several people who do this and get free items, even for meat products.

Bottom line More Coupons = More Savings


Ok now I have tons of coupons what do I do with them?

How to organize your coupons?

I don’t have the best answer for you, but I can tell you what I do to organize all my coupons. I started with the Clip and go system, then I transitioned to the Binder System. I use the binder method to organize my coupons. I like knowing all my coupons are always at my finger tips whenever I go to the store. This is more time consuming than the other methods I will show you, but you can ensure you will always have your coupons with you.

The CLIP and go System






This filing system is one of the easiest to get started. Take your inserts from the paper and put them in a hanging file folder. Label the folder with the date of the inserts. This is easy and I feel this is the best way to get started so you don't feel so overwhelmed at first. You just pull the insert from the folder and go to the coupon you want and clip it.

Baseball Card Binder System





The second way is the Baseball card holder/Binder system. Purchase baseball card plastic holders and place them in a large binder. You will need at least a three inch binder or bigger and a lot of baseball card holder pages. Cut coupons you would most likely use. File them in baseball card holders. I have seen several different methods used for this.
  • Alphabetically by product name
  • Grocery aisle
  • Categorized by products ie (healthcare, cereal, dairy...)
However your brain works to categorize things is the best way for you. There is nothing set in stone here. You customize this to the way you are going to remember how to find the coupon when you need it in a moments notice. This just depends on how much time and energy you will have to devote to this.
Combination system

Clip the coupons you are most likely going to use and file them according to the baseball card/binder system and organize them. Then the left over coupons you can file in the clip and go system for deals you may still want to get on items you may not normally buy, but you may need later. This is great for seasonal items. I like to wait until a good sale to stock up on.

Ok now you know where to get coupons and how to start organizing them. Take some time and figure out what your plan of action is going to be to acquire coupons and what method you are going to use. Go out and purchase the items you need to get organized and set up your system. This will make it easier as you get more coupons you can file them right away and be done with them.

Leave me a comment on how this goes for you or if you have any questions. I will do my best to help.

Happy Couponing!
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