Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday Favorites- Giveaway!

Yoplait Light has an awesome new program called the Two Week Tune Up. By following the plan you could lose up to 5 lbs in 2 weeks! Here's what you have to do:
  • Replacing your breakfast and lunch with a Yoplait Light yogurt, a whole grain,
    and a fruit
  • Eating a diet rich in lean protein and non-fat dairy, including a sensible dinner, beverages, and snacks
  • Walking 30-40 minutes daily
Pretty simple! Especially, since I love yogurt! 

With the new year starting, I'm sure many of us (myself included) want to lose some weight, and this would be a great way to start. By going to Yoplait's Website, you will find tons of tools to help you on your way, such as meal planners, recipes, and exercise trackers. The folks at Yoplait and MyBlogSpark have supplied me with a great gift pack full of lots of goodies to go with the program and coupon for free Yoplait Light*And what's even better is one of my lucky readers will receive a prize pack to help them succeed!
To Enter:
  1. Comment on what your NewYear's Resolution will be this year.
  2. Subscribe to the Frugal and Provident feed or email.
  3. Follow Frugal and Provident via Google Friend Connect (found in the right side-bar).
  4. "Like" Frugal and Provident on Facebook.
This means you can enter up to 4 times! Please leave a comment for each entry (up to 4 comments total)! The winner will be chosen on 1/7/11 around 11am. Emailed comments and those left on Facebook will not be counted.

Disclosure: Yoplait and MyBlogSpark provided me with info and a prize pack for me and my winner. All comments and opinions are my own.

*Coupon not valid in CA, ID, LA, MN, NV, NJ, ND, and TN.

Good Luck!

*Due to some technical issues with the site that hosts my comments, I will extend the entry time until tonight 1/7/11 at 9pm. That way everyone has a chance. Please remember to leave a comment for each form of entry.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Publix Ad

I Heart Publix

Michelle over at iheartpublix has the new ad up, you can find it HERE.

It's just the BOGO's so far, and I'm not seeing too terribly much yet.

Publix List/Trip

I spent $19.97 for $53.36 worth of groceries, saving $33.39 or 63%!

Here's the match-ups:
(2)Hidden Valley Ranch BOGO $3.69
  -(1)$1/2 from Open Happiness Booklet
(2)Stonyfield YoBaby 2/$5
   -B1G1 Tearpad
(4)Pace Salsa BOGO $2.79
   -(2)$1/2 from Open Happiness Booklet
   -(4)50¢/1 Target HERE
(1)M&M Pretzels 89¢ (not pictured)
   -(1)Free product coupon
(3)Hidden Valley Ranch Dip $1.53
   -$1/3 Open Happiness Booklet
(1)Friendship Sourcream
   -Free wyb (2) Hidden Valley Peelie
(4)Cherry Coke B2G1 $1.79
   -(1)$1/4 Open Happiness Booklet
   -(1)B3G1 Target HERE
(7) Barilla Plus Pasta $2.19
   -(1)Free Product from Vocalpoint
   -(3)B1G1 Coupons from Vocalpoint

It's been a crazy week, so far! I decided to go through and see what I had expiring at the end of the month. I keep a little section right at the front of my binder for coupons I want to use. Basically these are coupons that make really good prices sale or not, I hold onto them in hopes of a sale, but if it doesn't happen I will use them right before their expiration. Hope everyone had a great Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Publix Ad

I Heart Publix

Michelle over at iheartpublix has the new ad up, you can find it HERE.

I haven't been able to look over it very well as of yet, but I'm loving the new feature she has going on. I'm sure it will make things a little easier for me! Check it out!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

Monday- Mac and Cheese, Broccoli
Tuesday- Baked Brown Sugar and Applesauce Pork Chops, Pasta Side, Peas
Wednesday- Beef Stroganoff and Green Beans
Thursday- Chicken Cordon Bleu, Rice, Broccoli
Friday- Homemade Pizza, Salad
Saturday- Christmas Dinner
Sunday- Cheeseburger Loaves
What's your menu for the week?
Don't forget to link up below!

News for the Next Two Weeks

Things have been crazy around here! I've had tons going on. In order for me to enjoy my family over this holiday season, I'll be taking a little break for the next two weeks. You'll still get some posts, just not daily. You can still expect meal plans, shopping lists, shopping trips, and new ads. There may be a few other fun posts in there too. *Hint*A giveaway is coming your way...*hint*

Hope everyone enjoys their holidays!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Favorites- Christmas and Giving.

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. I love the whole Christmas time feeling of love and giving. For me I love giving gifts, much more than receiving them. I love doing service for others as well, and there are always tons of ways to give this time of year. Here's a list of things you can do:

  • Donate to a food pantry. Go through your stockpile and purge anything that you aren't going to use or is nearing expiration and you won't be able to use. Food pantries have a lot of demand at this time of the year.
  • Toy drives. There's tons of these that happen for tons of organizations. There's Toys for Tots and Angel Giving Trees. If you attend a church, you may be able to help a family there. Some of these can be a great place to give gently used toys your children no longer play with.
  • Caroling. It can be nice to visit a few houses or shut-ins with some Christmas cheer.
  • Nursing Homes. These places love having people who are willing to come visit around the holidays.
  • Time. Many organizations could use your time to fill their demands around the holidays.
  • Money. Most notably is the Salvation Army. You'll see them ringing their bells outside of stores. If you have anything to give, it can be quite beneficial for them. Many are finding that people aren't donating as much this year.
There really are tons of ways to give this time of  year, so I encourage you to choose at least one and do it!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Publix Trip 12/16/10

I spent $29.37 for $97.76 worth of groceries, saving $68.39 or 70%!

See my original list here.

(1)Bananas 2.24lb @ 69¢/lb = $1.55
(1)Publix Ham $11.24
(1)Jell-o $1.39
(1)Publix Gingerale 2/$1


Prices, Price Changes, Coupons, and Coupon Changes:
Ore-ida BOGO $2.93 not $2.95
Quaker Oatmeal BOGO $3.99 not $3.89
Deli Purchases: Publix Lemonade @ $2.99 and Swiss Cheese @$1.05 (used $2 off toward)
Ritz BOGO $3.69 not $3.09
Coke $1.79
Keebler Club BOGO $3.89 not $3.69
Green Beans 89¢
Zucchini 69¢

My usual cashier went on lunch break right before I was going to check-out. The cashier I used this time didn't take overages. Since nobody ever seems to answer me straight on that, I just went with it, and didn't argue. You win some, you lose some! Still did great for what I got.

Saving Money on Babies and Toddlers: Activities

At this age, most children don't take much to be entertained. Here are a few things you can do to save some money.
  • Find a playgroup. It provides some great adult conversation and usually the places they go are cheap or free. You might discover some fun parks that way.
  • Playgrounds/Parks. These are obviously fun for toddlers, but they can be a great place to go for a walk with a baby in the stroller. Babies love to look at the things that surround them.
  • Libraries. Many libraries offer reading time or other baby/toddler age activities.
  • Neighborhood Walking. It can be fun to walk around the neighborhood and point at trees, animals, and all sorts of sights.
  • Check your memberships. If you have memberships to any organization, check to see what perks they have. Some gyms offer free childcare or even Mommy and Me type classes. 
  • Check your local parks and recreation. These often offer classes for mother and child or classes for older toddlers. These can range from movement, art, or music, and are usually cheap or free.
Basically, don't go crazy on activities at this age, most babies/toddlers are happy to just explore the world!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Shopping List for 12/16/10

Blue= Manufacturer's Coupon
Green= Publix Coupon
Red= Competitor's Coupon

(2)Ore Ida Hash Browns BOGO $2.95
   -(1)$2/2 Target from 12/5/10 SS
   -(2)$1/1 Blinkies
(2)Quaker Oatmeal BOGO $3.89
   -(2)$2/1 Printable (No Longer Available)
(2)Planter's Nuts BOGO $3.19
  -(1)$2/2 Target HERE
  -(2)$1/1 HERE
(2) Thomas English Muffins BOGO $3.49
(2)Keebler Club Crackers BOGO $3.69
   -(1)$1/2 from "Your Ultimate Holiday Savings" Booklet
   -(1)$1/2 Walgreen's IVC
Deli Purchase
   -(2)$1 off Deli Purchase wyb (1)Package Keebler Club
(2)Nabisco Ritz BOGO $3.09
   -(1)$1.50/2 HERE
   -(1)$1/2 Target HERE
(4)Coca Cola 2 L B2G1
   -(1)B3G1 Target HERE
   -(1)$1/4 Open Happiness Booklet
(4) Publix Soda 2/$1 (Soda deals vary regionally, so I never know what to expect)
(1) Colgate Toothpaste 10/$10
Green Beans 99¢/lb
Zucchini 99¢/lb
Yellow Onions $1.99
(2)Baker's Chocolate 2/$5
   -(1)$1/2 HERE
   -(1)$1/2 Target HERE
(2)Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice 2/$5
   -(1)$2/2 HERE
   -(1)$1/2 Walgreen's IVC

-$5/$50 GFS HERE

I'm also thinking of picking up a ham, but haven't decided yet...

How Do I Use It? Pasta Part IV: Special Concerns

There aren't a ton of concerns for pasta, but there are a few.

Allergies- There are a large number of people who are either allergic to wheat flour or suffer from Celiac disease. Obviously if someone in your family has these issues, pasta is not a great option for food storage. 

Water- I feel like a broken record on this one, but it's true. However, one advantage to pasta is theoretically you could use the water that the pasta was cooked in to cook other foods. Unlike beans and/or rice where the water is either absorbed by the food or must be tossed after soaking, the water is still there and usable. You could cook dehydrated veggies or use in other ways. 

Cooking Source- Again I feel like a broken record, but you need to be able to cook the pasta. (Well I guess you could eat it uncooked if you were desperate...)

Wheat Pasta- I love wheat pasta, but for long term storage it would be better to pick the white kind. Wheat products can go rancid a lot quicker. The only wheat the can be stored for long term is the hard cracked kind (the stuff you need a wheat grinder for). However feel free to choose wheat for short term storage.

Pasta Part I, II, III

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Clever Tricks for Organizing: Bathrooms

Bathrooms can become really disorganized with all that happens in there. You have shampoos, soaps, toothbrushes, make-up, children's toys, towels, clothes, etc., etc. Here are some helpful tips to help tame the bathroom clutter.

  • Limit your shampoos, conditioners, body washes, etc. You can do this by sharing the same product with another family member, or at the very least make sure that each person doesn't have several shampoos, conditioners, etc. It easily happens when you decide you want to try something new, but haven't finished the old.
  • This leads to the next point, which is to purge the old. If you've got medicines that have expired, dispose of them. If you have make-up that's a pretty old, get rid of it. If you have toiletries that were given to you as gifts, but you haven't used them, give them away to a charity. If you have several tubes of toothpaste that have just a little left in there, it's probably best to toss them.
  • Figure out if you can move things to other places. If you have a cabinet or closet that is half filled with toilet paper and extra toiletries and you can't fit your towels in there, maybe consider another closet or maybe even the laundry room or garage. If your drawers are filled with make-up, consider a vanity in your bedroom. 
  • Invest in some storage containers to control what you do keep in the bathroom. Containers can keep like things together, and often provide more storage in the storage areas you have.
  • Find a solution for your kids toys. There are tons of fun toy holders for the bathroom. If you're like me and your child's bathroom is also the guest bathroom, it may be wise to find a home out of the way for the toys because I don't know too many people who want to navigate through toys to use the bathroom.
  • Try to keep things off the counter. Use the methods above to keep as much as you can off the counter top. The reason is simple, if you always knock stuff over to simply wash your hands, it can be really frustrating. You certainly don't want to start your day by seeing clutter in your bathroom as well. 
  • Create habits by always putting back things where they belong. Train the rest of the family to do the same (hard, I know!).
I hope these tips help! If you have any tips, please feel free to share below.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Publix Ad

I Heart Publix

Michelle over at iheartpublix has the new ad up, you can find it HERE.

It's looking pretty good, I see quite a few free and/or money makers for me this week!

Meal Plan Monday

Our oven broke on Saturday, so I'm kind of vamping this week. So these things may change based on when we get a new oven, and get it set up.

Monday- @ Friend's house
Tuesday- Burritos
Wednesday- Crockpot Pot Roast
Thursday- Leftover's
Friday- Homemade Pizza
Saturday- Church Event
Sunday- Chicken and Stuffing Bake, Salad

What's your menu for the week?
Don't forget to link up below!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fun Find for Pet Owners!

 I saw an ad in my paper today for a new program from Publix for pets. It looks similar to the Baby Club and Pre-school Pals. You can sign-up at If you sign-up, you'll also be entered into a drawing for $5200 worth of Publix gift cards. 

I know I'm excited with my little zoo, and if it's anything like the Baby Club, I will be super happy!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Favorites- Recipe

I know I gave a recipe last week, but with it being the holiday season, I figured another cookie recipe wouldn't hurt.

1 cup soft margarine or butter blend
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar + 2 tsp cinnamon for topping

1.Preheat oven to 400 F
2. In a large bowl, mix together margarine and sugar.
3. Blend in eggs one at a time.
4. In a medium bowl sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
5. Mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Dough should be a little stiff.
6. On a plate combine extra sugar and cinnamon.
7. Form dough into 1 inch balls and roll into cinnamon sugar mix to coat.
8. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet 8-10 minutes.

Makes about 24 cookies.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Publix Trip 12/9/2010

I spent $21.40 for $51.74 worth of groceries, saving $30.34 or 59%.

See my original list here.

(2)Baker's Chocolate 2/$5
   -(1)$1/2 Printable (not sure where from it was in my binder...)
   -(1)$1/2 Target Printable HERE


Prices, Price Changes, Coupons, and Coupon Changes:
Total price for Chicken Breast -$9.47
Changed Welch's Coupon to a $1/2 hangtag because I didn't want the light juice.

Nothing too spectacular to report. It was actually good it was a small trip because I'm feeling a bit under the weather, so I was glad it didn't take too long in the store.

Saving on Babies and Toddlers: Gear

Baby/toddler gear can easily eat up a lot of money. You have cribs, strollers, high chairs, car seats, swings, etc. etc. It costs a lot and sometimes it's things you only use for a few months. Here are some tips to cut back on these costs.

  • Cheaper isn't always better. Buying the cheapest one of these items is not always the best idea. The last thing you want is to buy the cheap one and find out it breaks easily or isn't very user friendly. If at all possible find a place where you can try it out, and if you can't do that check out reviews for the item.
  • Multitasking items can be better. If you can find a crib that can be a toddler bed, convertible car seats, or potty seat that can become a step stool, it can save you money down the line. Buying items that can only be used for a couple of weeks or month may be a waste of money. Instead of a bassinet, try the bassinet attachment on a pack and play. 
  • Decide what you really need.  This varies greatly from family to family. Some people think a changing table is a waste of money, but I find it to be a back saver (and still use it on my 20 month old.) Maybe a swing isn't a necessity, but it could be if it is the only place your child will sleep. Maybe you don't fancy a stroller and use a baby carrier all the time. The point is figure out what you need, and then don't be convinced you need to have something by anyone else (and trust me everyone tries to give you their opinion of what you need!)
  • Use the usual money saving tips. Coupons, rebates, consignment, sales, etc. all exist for gear. In fact I got much of my big ticket items from a consignment sale. I got a brand new crib still in the box at a consignment sale for $50 less than it costed new (and it was the exact one I wanted!). I also had tons of friends who just gave away some of their stuff to me (like a pack and play and high chair). There were few things I bought brand new, which mainly was car seats (you should not buy these used), and I used Amazon Gift Cards from Swagbucks to purchase these.
Remember it's always wise to keep it simple. You don't need the fanciest stroller or crib. You just need something that is safe. It doesn't make sense to get into debt for things they need only for a small portion of their life (after all you have 18 more years of spending to do!).

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Shopping List for 12/9/2010

Blue= Manufacturer's Coupon
Green= Publix Coupon
Red= Competitor's Coupon

(2)Welch's Juice BOGO $3.99
   -(2)$1/1 HERE
(2)Kraft Shredded Cheese 2/$5
   -(1)$1/2 HERE
   -(1)$1/2 HERE
(1)Energizer Batteries 20 ct $7.49
   -(1)$1/1 from 11/21/2010 SS
   -(1)$3.50/1 from Publix Family Style Magazine
Chicken Breast $1.99/lb

Here's hoping next week is more exciting...

How Do I Use It? Pasta Part III: Cooking

Pasta is probably one of the easiest things to cook, but many people over or undercook it. Actually a study by Barilla found that more than half of Americans cook their pasta incorrectly. Here's the keys to cooking pasta correctly.

  • Use the right size pan and enough water. Crowding the pasta can cause it to stick to the sides and get an overall "sticky" taste. You need about four quarts for every lb of pasta, and a pot to accommodate it all.
  • Use salt. Adding salt to cooking pasta is not for the taste of the pasta. Pasta does not absorb salt while cooking. Salt actually helps pasta cook evenly and keeps it from feeling "slimy." A good rule is about a teaspoon of salt for each quart of water.
  • Do not add oil to the pot. Most people do this to keep the pasta from sticking, but then sauces will not stick to the pasta either. To keep pasta from sticking, simply stir the pasta occasionally while cooking.
  • Add the pasta after the water is boiling. Pasta does not cook properly unless the water is boiling when you add it. If the water stops boiling when you add the pasta, get it boiling as quickly as possible.
  • Stir the pasta. Pasta is not a set it and forget it food. It keeps it from sticking and makes sure all pasta cooks evenly.
  • Don't overcook. Perfect pasta should be al dente, which is slightly firm. If it's really limp it's overcooked. On the other side if it is crunchy, it's under done. To get it just right, you need to check the pasta about a minute before the box instructions. To test it: taste it! When it's done turn off the heat and drain it. Pasta will continue cooking even after it's been drained. The cooking time depends on the pasta, 7-12 minutes being average. Tasting is your best bet.
  • Don't rinse. By rinsing, you rinse of the starches that will absorb the sauce you will put on it. 
  • Serve immediately. Remember pasta will keep cooking even after it has been drained, so the longer you wait the more likely it will be overcooked by time it is served

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

New Uses: Christmas Edition!

I want to hear from you guys what are your best new uses for Christmas items, or what items do you reuse to make Christmas items?

Here's a few ideas to get you thinking:

  • Baby Food Jars for making cute Christmas gifts in them.
  • Christmas globe ornaments in a big vase for a fun centerpiece.
  • Old Christmas cards as a puzzle
  • Old Christmas cards to make ornaments from.
  • Your stockpile to make gift baskets.
This won't be exciting unless you contribute!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Publix Ad

I Heart Publix

Michelle over at iheartpublix has the new ad up, you can find it HERE.

I got to say it's just the BOGO's so far, and I'm not liking much. A lot of it repeats from the last few weeks... *crosses fingers* Here's hoping for something good in the rest of the ad.

Meal Plan Monday

Monday- Mac and Cheese, Broccoli
Tuesday- Sloppy Joes, Tater Tots, Peas
Wednesday- Oven Ranch Chicken, Pasta Side, Veggie
Thursday- Homemade Pizza
Friday- Chicken Fettucini Alfredo
Saturday- Church Christmas Party
Sunday- Pork Chops, Apple Sauce, Green Beans

What's your menu for the week?
Don't forget to link up below!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Favorites- Recipe

Sorry this is a little late today...

It's the holiday season and that means baking! Here's a great recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies. It's great if you love your cookies chewy.

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips


1. Adjust rack to center of oven and heat to 325. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.
2. In a large bowl, beat the melted butter and sugars together with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until combined about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl and beaters as needed.
3. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds. Mix in the chips until incorporated.
4. Working with 2 tablespoons of dough at a time, roll the dough into balls and lay them on the baking sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the edges are set and beginning to brown but the centers are still soft and puffy, 15-20 min, rotating the sheet halfway through baking.
5. Let cookies cook on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Makes about 24 cookies.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Saving on Babies and Toddlers: Toys

Toys can be expensive! Follow these tips and you can cut those costs significantly.

  • Consignment- I don't think I can say it enough. Consignment is a great way to go for a lot of children's needs. It's usually in great (sometimes new or like-new) condition, but significantly cheaper.
  • Thrift Stores- Don't rule them out. They're stuff isn't up to the same quality as consignment, but you can still find nice stuff. I found a toy similar to this toy for $49.99 for $6.99, it had a few little scratches and a bit of dust on it. 
  • Craigslist/Yard Sale- You can find lot's of great treasures at these, and you can haggle.
  • Make Your Own- Honestly, this is the way to go a lot of the time. An empty box, pots and wooden spoons, measuring cups, cans with beans inside, they all work. Most of the time kids will play more with the box a toy comes in then they will the toy itself, so save your money.
  • Don't Buy Any- Young babies really don't need toys, they learn a lot just from looking at you or at pictures. You'll also acquire many toys from relatives. If all else fails, go for some of the above suggestions.
  • Remember Regular Frugal Tips- Coupons, sales, etc. all work for buying toys. 
Just keep it simple at this age, that way you don't have to worry about things getting chewed on or ruined and how much you paid for it. Babies and Toddlers love the simple stuff as well.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Shopping List for 12/2/2010


LOL, I really don't see much of anything that I want. The few things that I see that are "ok" really don't warrant a trip to the store to get right now.

(On a side note, this is why it is great to have a stockpile of food because I can choose not to go shopping for a week!)

How Do I Use It? Pasta Part II: Types and Uses

There really are a ton of pastas out there! Normally I compile my information from books, websites, and personal experience, but I found this great website that explains all of it pretty well with pictures.

It has a great list of many types of pasta including pictures, and lists how it is often used with the best sauces, etc. to serve it with.

Check it out!