Thursday, June 30, 2011

Publix Trip 6/30/11

(Not Pictured: 2 Milk Bone Soft and Chewy)

I spent $26.17 for $134.54 worth of groceries, saving $108.37 or 81%! And of course I got my $50 gas card for $40!

Here's the match-ups:
(2)Thomas English Muffins BOGO $3.89

(10)Beechnut Stage 4 Foods BOGO $2 (Great for 72 hr kit!)
   -(4) $2/2 HERE
   -(2)$1/1 HERE

(4)Bertolli Pasta Sauce BOGO $2.89
   -(2) $1/2 Target HERE

(2) Mueller's Whole Grain BOGO $1.53
   -(2)$1/1 HERE

(2)Oscar Meyer Lunchables 10/$10
   -(2)$1/1 from 5/15/11 SS

(1)Playtex Sippy Cups $2.99 (after 50% off)
   -(1)$2/1 HERE
   -(1)$1/1 from Sweet Summer Savings Booklet

(2) Ritz Crackerfuls 2/$5
   -(2)$1.50/1 Tearpad
   -(2) $1/1 Target HERE

(5)Goldfish Grahams 10/$10
   -(5) 75¢/1 peelie found on package

(4)Ortega Chilies $1.35
   -(2)$1/2 Printables (not sure where from...)

(2)Travel First Aid Kits $1.49
   -(1)$3/2 Blinkie

(1)Coppertone $6.49
   -(1)$1/1 from 5/22/11 RP
   -(1)$2/1 Sweet Summer Savings Booklet

(2)Smucker's Hot Fudge $1.89
   -(1) $1/2 From July All You
   -(2) $1/1 Yellow Advantage Buy

(6)Corn 10/$3

(4)Publix Soda 2/$1

(1)Buttermilk 2/$5

Buy Theirs, Get Ours Free Promotion
(1)Tidy Cat Litter $2.25
   -(1)$1/1 HERE
 (1)Publix Cat Litter ($1.59)
(2)Milk Bone Dog Biscuits $3.49*
   -(1)$1.25/2 from 5/22/11 RP
(2)Publix Dog Biscuits ($2.79)

(2)Milk Bone Essentials $3.49*
   -(2) Free wyb 1 Milk Bone Product

(2)Milk Bone Soft and Chewy $3.19*
   -(2) Free wyb 2 Milk Bone Products

$50 Gas Card
   -$10/1 In-Ad Coupon

-(1)$5/$25 Save-a-lot

Good trip! I had to go to a second Publix for the Buy Theirs, Get Ours because my normal one had no idea what I was talking about. Somehow the others in the area got the banners and shelf tags, but not that one? Weird.

*This may be a your mileage may vary situation. Many stores will not allow two of the buy theirs, get our deals, so check to see if they will. Second, not every store will allow the stacking of coupons I used. WYB coupons are always tricky, and some stores think they attach to all the products mentioned, others think it just goes to the product before the stipulation part. Mine does the latter. Here's how it looks for those who need a visual.
1st Milk Bone Classic attaches to $1.25/2
2nd Milk Bone Classic attaches to $1.25/2
1st Milk Bone Essential attaches to Free Wyb 1 Milk Bone (which was the 1st Milk Bone Classic)
2nd Milk Bone Essential attaches to Free wyb 1 Milk Bone (which was the 2nd Milk Bone Classic)
1st Milk Bone Soft and Chewy attaches to Free wyb 2 milk bone products (The qualifiers here would be the 2 classic Milk Bones)
2nd Milk Bone Soft and Chewy attaches to Free wyb 2 Milk Bone products (The qualifier here would be the 2 Milk Bone Essentials)

The logic is this the coupon says "when you buy (insert qualifier)." It does not say "when you buy at full price." But again, this is a your mileage may vary situation so ask before you check-out, especially if you don't like surprises.

How did you do? Link-up below or leave a comment!

Frugal Dates and Family Fun

I recently was asked to present on this subject at church, and thought you guys might like some info too! Some of it I've discussed before and some is new!

Dates on a Budget

·         Look for free activities. Going for a walk at the beach or a picnic by a lake are wonderful ideas.

·         Check daily deal sites, like Groupon or Living Social, for cheap date activities. Also, is a great place to get restaurant gift certificates cheap.

·         Start a babysitting exchange group where a group of families trade off watching each other’s kids.

·         Instead of eating at a restaurant, consider their “to-go.” You get the same food minus the tip, and then you can take it for a picnic.

·         Sign-up for emails from your favorite restaurants and places, and if you use Facebook consider “liking” them.* Companies love to offer coupons.  Some offer BOGO meals or free food on your birthday or anniversary.

·         Look for membership perks. AAA and many professional organizations often have great discounts for museums, parks, and other cultural events.

·         Consider a high school performance. Many high school music and theater programs are quite good in quality, but a lot less money. The added bonus is supporting your community.

Family Fun

·         Just like for dates, look for free activities like going to beaches and parks, or just play in the backyard with a sprinkler.  Crafts and gardening can be fun for kids. Go on a camping trip in the backyard.

·         In the summer, there are tons of great programs for kids. The library offers summer reading programs, many bowling places offer free bowling, and some movie theaters offer cheap movies especially for families. Don’t forget craft stores and home improvement stores who often offer free programs to make stuff. Bass Pro Shop is another great place for free activities!

·         Again check daily deal sites and your memberships for great deals on activities, and sign-up for emails from places you really love.

·         Do some service. It’s free and rewarding.

·         Look for kids eat free at restaurants. For every day of the week, there is some restaurant that offers a kids eat free promotion.  Chick-fil-a even offers activities at their kids eat free night. (FYI Cow appreciation Day is July 8th, which means if you dress like a cow you get a free meal! It's really simple too.)

·         Redbox and the library. The libraries around here are awesome when it comes to movies you can borrow. For newer movies, Redbox is usually easier to get them. There are tons of free codes for Redbox. Two that I know of are DVDONME and BREAKROOM. They also often send codes via email or their monthly text.

General Advice

Plan fun around promotions, coupons, and other savings. I don’t think there is anything yet that I haven’t found a coupon, discount, or promotion for. And remember keep it simple! Often the best activities are the ones that cost the least amount of money. With a little planning and creativity, you can have tons of fun for little to no money.

*I highly recommend a second accout for signing-up for things, otherwise your inbox will be full! Also, you can create a Facebook profile specifically for "liking" pages of companies.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Great Resource- Cooking Fuels

While looking at some of the blogs I followed, I came across this little gem and decided to share. It goes over the different types of fuel you can use when you are without power. Definitely something you want to look at now before you end up without power.

Also, check-out this post of theirs on different kinds of emergency stoves you can make and how to use some of the fuels.

I encourage you to look this stuff over because most natural disasters come with power outages, so you'll need to be able to know how to make do until you can either leave the area or power is restored.

Their site in general is great for food storage tips in general, so it's worth looking around!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kids Stuff New Uses

A few friends of mine posted this wonderful link on Facebook, and I loved so many of the ideas on there that I'd thought I'd share. We've discussed some of these ideas before like the baby food jars as touch-up paint jars, egg cartons as paint palette, and plastic eggs as snack containers, but there are tons of other creative ideas on there.

My favorites:
  • Bean bag animals as ice packs
  • Lemonade Kool-aid as dishwasher cleaner
  • Paper tubes as Lincoln logs
  • Dishrack as art supply organizer
  • Changing table as potting bench (The opposite is true as well...)
What did you see that you liked? Do you have ideas on turning kids stuff into everyday stuff or everyday stuff into kids stuff? Share it below!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Monday- Tortellini, Veggie
Tuesday- Kielbasa, Pasta, Veggie
Wednesday- Pork Chops, Couscous, Veggie
Thursday- Grilled Chicken, Rice, Veggie
Friday- Tacos
Saturday- Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage
Sunday- Leftovers/DIY
What's your menu for the week?
Don't forget to link up below!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Favorites- Recipe

Lately I have been trying to cut out white processed flour from my diet and replace it with whole grains. I checked out this wonderful book from the library called King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking. It quickly has been added to my Amazon wishlist. I recently made some blueberry muffins from one of the recipes in the book, and they were delicious and you could never tell it wasn't white flour. I hope you'll try it out and enjoy!

Blueberry Muffins (as adapted from King Arthur Flour)
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
Coarse sugar for sprinkling (optional)
Flour for berries

1. Lightly grease muffin tin, or line with paper and coat paper with nonstick spray.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
3. Cream together butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy and almost white in color. Scrape down bowl and turn mixer back on and add eggs one at a time, beating after each egg.
4. Add vanilla and sour cream, and mix until incorporated.
5. Add dry ingredients, mixing on low speed until batter is smooth. Scrape down sides and bottom to make sure everything is combined.
6. In a small bowl, mix blueberries with enough flour to coat their surface. (I've found this keeps the blueberries from sinking in the batter and from turning the whole thing purple).
7. Gently fold blueberries into batter, and refridgerate for at least an hour.
8. Preheat oven to 400F.
9. Scoop batter by the 1/4 cup into the prepared pan and sprinkle with sugar.
10. Bake muffins until a toothpick comes out clean, 22 to 26 minutes.
11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Publix Trip 6/23/11

I spent $23.47 for $80.79 worth of groceries, saving $57.32 or 71%! I'll also submit for a try-me-free rebate on the Gerber meal, bringing it up to 72%!

Here's the match-ups:
(10)Powerade BOGO $1.25
   -(2)$1/5 HERE

(2) Kraft BBQ Sauce BOGO $1.65

(2)Post Great Grains Cereal BOGO $4.39
   -(2)$1/1 Blinkie
   -(2) 75¢/1 from Smart Savings Booklet

(4) Rosetto Frozen Pasta BOGO $3.99
   -(2) $1.50/2 HERE

(2) Alexia Snacks BOGO $3.59
   -(2) $1/1 HERE

Buy Theirs, Get Ours Free Promotion:
(1)Ragu Pizza Sauce $1.89
(1)Publix Pizza Sauce ($1.19)
(1)Swanson Canned Chicken $3.99
(1)Publix Canned Chicken ($3.19 ) Great for your 72 hour kit!

(1)Blueberries 3/$6

(2) Johnson and Johnson To-Go First Aid Kit $1.49
   -(1)$3/2 Blinkie

(2) Cottonelle Wipes $1.99
   -(1)$1/2 HERE

(1)Planter's Almonds $3.19
  -(1)Free Product Coupon

(4) Friskies Tasty Treasures 10/$5.50
   -(2)BOGO from 3/27/11 SS

(1)Country Time $2.99
   -(1) $2 off Country Time wyb 2 Kraft BBQ

(1)Gerber Graduates 4/$5
   -Try Me Free MIR

-$5/$25 Purchase Save-a-lot

How'd you do? Link-up below or share in the comments!

Frugality: Meal Planning, Part II

I previously posted on meal planning a few weeks ago and gave a brief overview and the benefits of meal planning. This week I thought I'd go over some different ways to meal plan successfully.
  • Circular/Pantry Method: This is mostly how I do it. You plan your meals based on what you already have and what is on sale that week at your store. You save money and have food to eat.
  • Reinventing Meals: The idea behind this one is you cook something major on one day and then reuse parts of it to make other meals. For example, you could make a whole chicken for dinner Sunday, Tuesday have shredded BBQ chicken, Wednesday BBQ Chicken Pizza, Thursday Soup made from making stock out of the carcass of the chicken, etc. You can combine this with option one to make it stretch even further.
  • Days of the Week: For this method, you assign categories to each day of the week, and plan your menu to match it. For example, Monday could be Meatless Monday, Tuesday Comfort Food, Wednesday Italian, Thursday New Recipe, etc. This is helpful if you find it hard to even think of ideas.
  • Freezer Cooking: The idea behind this is you spend one day a week/month making meals for you to eat. This can be great for those who don't have a lot of time to cook every night, as you spend a lot of time on one day, but for the rest of the time you just have to pull one of them out and let it thaw, then just warm it up.
These are just a few ways to plan meals, but you can also mix and match them to make something that works for you.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Where to Buy Emergency Preparedness Items

Sometimes what stops us from having our emergency supplies is we just do not know where to buy it. Here's a helpful list of places you can buy some emergency supplies (and certainly isn't a comprehensive list).
  • The grocery store- great place for food items, first aid supplies, etc.
  • One-stop-stores- Like Walmart and Target are good for food, first aid, and some other supplies that can usually be found in the outdoor section.
  • Warehouse clubs- This can be a great place to buy large amounts of food storage items such as flour, rice, nonfat dry milk, etc.
  • Camping Supply Stores- Camping stores like Bass Pro Shop, can be a great source of many emergency prep items, including more speciality items like various emergency cooking supplies, sanitary supplies, sleeping bags, etc.
  • Amazon- You can buy pretty much anything on Amazon. Water storage, food storage, grain mills, etc. etc. is all found on Amazon.
  • Online Speciality Stores- Some of these include Emergency Essentials and Shelf Reliance. These companies specialize specifically in emergency prep, and carry anything you can think of.
This is just a small list of places you can go for your emergency preparedness supplies. If you have any recommendations, please share them below and I will add them.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Uses for Dryer Lint

While searching for new items for this segment, I came across this great list of ways to reuse dryer lint. I've personally done the fire starters before, but there are a bunch of ideas there.

Check it out here.

Just goes to show pretty much everything can have a second use.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Monday- Mac and Cheese
Tuesday- Chicken Tender Salad
Wednesday- Beef and Broccoli
Thursday- Grilled Chicken, Couscous, Veggie
Friday-Cheeseburger Loaves, Mashed Potatoes, Veggie
Saturday- Pork Chops, Rice, Veggie
Sunday- Left-overs/DIY
What's your menu for the week?
Don't forget to link up below!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Favorites- Vocalpoint and Mott's for Tots

Vocalpoint is a great site that offers tons of great samples, which usually come with high value coupons. If you haven't signed up, you really should.

Today they have a special promotion to sign-up for a free sample and savings from Mott's for Tots. Mott's coupons are fairly rare, so I would definitely sign-up. To get this offer, click on the Mott's for Tots photo above.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Publix Trip 6/16/11

I spent $26.79 for $75.02 worth of groceries, saving $48.23 or 64%! But I can submit a rebate for the Bayer and the First Response bringing it up to saving $63.82 or 85%!

Here's the match-ups:
(2)Near East Couscous BOGO $2.19

(2)Breyer's Ice Cream BOGO $5.99
   -(2) 75¢/1 mailed to me due to issues with a promtion they offered.
   -(1) $1.50/2 Target HERE

(2) Magnum Ice Cream 2/$5
   -(2) $1/1 from 5/22/11 RP
   -(2) $1/1 Target HERE

(2) First Response Pregnancy Tests $12.59
   -(2) $2/1 HERE
   -(2) $2/1 Target HERE
   -BOGO Rebate found inside Package
(Total Price for both after rebate is $4.59, great price for these great quality tests)

(2) Bayer $3.49
   -(1)$2/1 from 6/12/11 SS
   -(1)$2/1 from Green Advantage Buy Flyer
   -Rebate up to $3 off (says minus coupon, but I'm not sure how it would know?)

(1)Filipo Berio Olive Oil Spray $3.59
   -(1) $1.50/1 wyb Near East Couscous Peelie

(2)Tidy Cat Litter $2.49
   -(2) $2/1 Facebook Coupon (No longer available)

(1)Breakstones Sour Cream 2/$4

(1)Broccoli 2/$4
(1)Blueberries 3/$6
   -(1) $2 off Produce Purchase HERE

-(1) $5/$25 Save-a-lot Coupon

Small trip for me, but still good. I didn't recognize any of the cashiers today, I think they've moved a lot of their teenage cashiers to the day now that school is out. When it took this young cashier a little while to do the coupons, this lady who was in line behind me grabbed each of her stuff on the belt and slammed it into her cart huffing and puffing. I never understand why people get so upset over these kinds of things. It took him probably 5 minutes total to check me out and do the coupons (including getting manager override). Oh well, patience is a virtue.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Monday- Pierogies, Veggie
Tuesday-  Husband's Choice (It's his Birthday!)
Wednesday- Grilled Italian Chicken, couscous, veggie
Thursday- Burgers, Tater Tots, Veggie
Friday- Pizza
Saturday- Pretzel Chicken Nuggets, Pasta, Veggie
Sunday- Left-overs/DIY
What's your menu for the week?
Don't forget to link up below!

Friday, June 10, 2011


After thinking a bit about it, I think that this coming week would be a good time for a little break. This coming week has a lot going on with my husband's birthday and father's day, as well as a baby shower to attend and a talk to give at church. We're also working on the transition from crib to big girl bed with my daughter, and while she is doing amazingly great with it, I've also been getting a lot less sleep.

I'll still do Meal Plan Monday, and my shopping trip. I'm trying a recipe right now, and if it turns out yummy I'll post it for friday favorites.

Hope you're having a great week!

Friday Favorites- Birthday!

Last Friday marked the 1 year birthday of Frugal and Provident! Boy what a year it has been! I feel like I just started this yesterday! In this short year, the blog has changed a lot with a new look and some new features. I hope to be able to bring you many more years of blogging!

Also, please share anything you'd love to see or anything you'd like to see changed! I love hearing from you! Stories, questions, or comments, I'd love to hear them. What's your favorite part of the blog? What's your least favorite part? What do you want to see more of? Have you learned anything? Is there something you'd like to learn more about? Let me know in the comments below or you can email me. For my email address check-out the disclosure policy tab above.

And also, a big thank you to all of my readers!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Publix Trip 6/9/11

I spent $20.41 for $86.06 worth of groceries, saving $65.65 or 76%, but I can submit for the $20 ConAgra giftcard offer, bringing it up to spending 41¢ for $86.06 worth of groceries, saving $85.65 or 99.5%.

Here's the match-ups:
(2)Orville Redenbacher's Popcorn BOGO $4.89
   -(1)$1/1 Pop-up bowl from free sample
   -Counts toward Conagra MIR

(4)Peter Pan Peanut Butter BOGO $2.59
   -(4) 50¢/1 HERE
   -(1) $1/3 from Conagra Storm Smart Booklet
   -Counts toward Conagra MIR

(2)Ragu BOGO $3.49
   -(1) 60¢/2 from 5/22/11 RP

(4)Sargento Shredded Cheddar 2/$4
   -(4)$1/1 HERE
   -(1)$1 off 1 lb or more of cheese (Florida Only) HERE
   -(1) 55¢/1 from May 2011 All You

(3)Van Camp's Pork and Beans 99¢ (Great for the hurricane kit!)
   -(1)$1/3 from Conagra Storm Smart Booklet
   -Counts toward Conagra MIR

(1)Pam for Baking $3.19
   -(1)$1/1 from Conagra Storm Smart Booklet
   -Counts toward Conagra MIR

(1) Sauve Hairspray $2.99
   -(1) Free Product Coupon

(1) Grapes $3.90
(1)Carrots $1.69
(2)Apples $1.88
   -(1)$2 off Produce HERE (Invite 3 friends)
   -(1) $1 off produce wyb Kraft Deluxe HERE

(1) Kraft Deli Deluxe 2/$5
   -(1)$1/1 HERE

(2) Chicken of the Sea 71¢
   -(2) 50¢/1 Printable (no longer available)

(2) Tylenol Precise Cream $4.99
   -(2) $5/1 HERE

(1)Clean and Clear Facewash $4.99
   -(1)$2/1 HERE

 -(1) $5/$25 purchase Save-a-lot coupon

It was good trip overall. Sadly I had to buy face wash not on sale because we some how ran out. :-/ I had been trying to play the drugstore deals to get it this week cheaper, but all the drug stores were out of the things I needed to make extracare bucks. UGH! Had my favorite cashier, and I think she's kind of realized that I don't scam because this week she just rang up all the coupons at the end. Nothing too exciting other than that.

How'd you guys do? Link-up below and share your spoils!

Saving Money on Pets

I'm a pet-lover, but pets can be expensive. Here are some ways to save money on your pets needs.
  • Coupons.* There are tons of pet coupons out there. Don't be afraid to contact a company to request coupons.
  • Sales. They happen all the time... Use a coupon with the sale for better savings.
  • Plan ahead and stockpile. Dog food and cat litter don't follow the same pattern as most sale items, and usually you only buy one brand because well it can cause stomach problems or your dog/cat doesn't like it. When there is a really good sale, stock-up on as much as you can to make it to the next sale. Avoid getting to the bottom of the bag and having to pay full-retail. I seriously have 6 big bags of dog food and several boxes of treats stockpiled, as well as a big bag of cat food and several bags of litter.
  • Make your own treats. There are tons of simple recipes out there, usually consisting of flour and peanut butter and a few other ingredients. If you can't score a good deal on treats, consider making your own.
  • Ask for discounts. I know it sounds silly, but vets have a lot of lead way on their prices.
  • Ask for cheaper alternatives. There are generics and sometimes even human otc work for animal conditions. Sometimes a treatment isn't always necessary.
  • Check-out online pharmacies like They have always been cheaper than the vet for me.
  • Consider the human pharmacy for some drugs. My beagle has epilepsy, and the drug she takes is also available for humans. I could pay $100 for a 6 month supply at the vet or I can pay $11 at Walgreen's. (On a side note, this works when you see a dentist, and they prescribe medicines or mouth rinses, our dentist wanted to charge $50 for a mouth rinse, and we got it at Walgreen's for around $10. It never hurts to call around.)
  • Check into local animal shelters, some offer low cost care and free spay/neutering.
  • Do it yourself. Many dogs don't require expensive grooming. Many dogs would prefer a bath with you then a complete stranger. Same goes for nail trimming. If it's not a show dog, there is no harm in trimming your own dog.
  • Ask for specials. This goes for grooming and boarding.
  • Call around.
  • Look for clearance and sales on toys, bedding, leashes, washes, etc.
  • Try craigslist for dog crates, cat towers, etc.
  • Realize most animals would be happy with used blankets, balls, and you.
  • Be creative. Honestly my cats bed is a box that those snack size chips come in. She just climbed into it when it was sitting on the floor, and it became her bed. We just put an old towel in it. My one dog sleeps in an old comforter.  My other dog like to play with empty water/soda bottles.
*A great blog for all sales and coupons related to pets is My Pet Savings. They update often with coupons and sales for all sorts of retailers, online or brick and mortar. She covers all kinds of pets as well. If you have a pet, it's definitely worth it to follow that blog.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Review of Everything

I figured now would be a good time to link-back to a bunch of emergency prep posts, so those that are new here can catch-up, and those that are old here can refresh their memories.

Food and Drink
  1. Put together your 72 hour kit!
  2. Learn how to store and purify water.
  3. Work toward building up 3 months of food.
  4. Work toward a year supply or more of food.
  5. Learn how to properly store your food storage and the ways to store it.
  6. Learn how to use the staples of long term food storage.
  7. Learn the many places you can put your food storage.
Emergency Prep
  1. Have a plan.
  2. Include your kids.
  3. Know how to prepare for your disasters.
  4. Have proper insurance. Don't forget flood!
  5. Have a financial tool-kit.
If you haven't started, please get started. Each day there are disasters and economic hardships. How much better would you feel if you knew what to do if a fire started in your home? How much better would you feel if you knew that food would be the least of your concerns, if you lose your job? Remember an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Don't be fooled into thinking it will never happen to you.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

New Uses for Business Cards

With the digital age we are in, business cards aren't as necessary as they used to be. Or perhaps you ordered a large box, only to end up changing positions. So what can you do with all those business cards? Here's a few ideas to get you thinking.
  • Use them as bookmarks. I'm always losing my bookmarks...
  • Use them for crafts
  • Build card houses and castles out of them. (Like playing cards)
  • Use them to level wobbly furniture
  • Use them to make labels for various things (like making tabs for hanging folders...)
  • Use them to clean tiny crevices
  • Use them to get organized.
  • Make confetti out of them.
  • Noisemakers for bike wheels.
  • Scrap paper for lists, notes, reminders, etc.
  • Create a game using the clean side, or play memory with them by trying to match like businesses.
  • Use them to make flashcards for kids
Do you have any uses for old business cards? Share them below, and I'll add them to the list.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Monday- Tacos
Tuesday-  Pork Chops, Rice, Veggie
Wednesday- Burgers, Tater Tots, Veggie
Thursday- Grilled Chicken, CousCous, Veggie
Friday- Beef Stroganoff
Saturday- Mac and Cheese
Sunday- Left-overs/DIY
What's your menu for the week?
Don't forget to link up below!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Favorites- Recipe

I made these delicious pumpkin muffins a week or so ago, and I just had to share them with you.
Photo Credit:
Don't they look yummy? They were sooo yummy, and made the house smell great.

You can find the recipe for them here. This is also a great website for a lot of recipes.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Publix Trip 6/2/11

I spent $16.08 for $87.48 worth of groceries, saving $71.40 or 82%!

Here's the match-ups:
(2) Thomas English Muffins BOGO $3.89

(8) Ronzoni Healthy Harvest BOGO $1.89
   -(4) $1/2 HERE

(2) Healthy Harvest Egg Noodles BOGO $1.89 (Since the coupons said off two boxes, I didn't feel it matched the bags)

(8) Ronzoni Garden Delight BOGO $1.89
   -(8) $1/1 HERE (I assure you I used 4 different computers to get these, in case anyone was wondering)

(2) Yoplait Yoplus BOGO $2
   -(2) 55¢/1 Peelies

(2) Dove Ice Cream BOGO $3.49
   -(2) $1/1 Blinkies

(4) Mrs. T's Pierogies BOGO $2.59
   -(2) $1/1 HERE
   -(1) $1/1 from June 2011 All You
   -(1) $1/1 from March 2011 All You

(2) Fresh Express Salad BOGO $3.69
   -(2) $1/1 from Facebook Promotion (no longer available)

(1) Orajel 2/$5
   -(1)$1/1 Printable (not sure where from...)

(2)Chef Boyardee Whole Grain 10/$10
   -(1) B1G1 from a homemailer

(2) Publix Cream Cheese 95¢

(1) Cottonelle Wipes $2.69
   -(1) Free Product Coupon

(1) Blueberries $1.99

-(1) $5/$25 Save-a-lot Coupon

Good trip, and I promise I didn't clear any shelves. ;-) It seems my store has been fairly prepared with the really good deals lately. My cashier was a little flustered with all the coupons and the new coupon policy, but she called one of the managers over to watch her do it, and there were no problems. Not even with the overage. I had been waiting for this pasta to go BOGO again, as it had been awhile. I'll only buy the wheat or veggie kind of pasta, but now I'm stocked for awhile again. :-)

How'd you guys do? Link-up below and share your spoils!

Frugality: Meal Planning

If you really want to save money, you need to plan meals. In fact, every week I do my meal plan monday where you can see my plan for the week.
You've probably also noticed I don't buy a lot of meat at Publix, but many of my meals have meat in them. The reason for that is simple, if it's a great price I buy it and a lot of it, so I have a freezer full of meat. I also tend to find the best prices for meat (and other things...) at warehouse clubs.

We also routinely have a meatless night, some weeks it doesn't happen, but most it does. This really helps save money because meat is expensive. I'm also one to cut back on portions of meat to stretch it further, which is why I try to do a lot of meals with cut up versions of meat because when it's mixed with a bunch of other things (like in a stir-fry or casserole), you just don't need a lot of it. After all most of us eat twice the recommended serving size of 4 oz, and then go back for seconds!

So how do you meal plan most effectively? Eat what you have, and cater to the sale ad for what you don't! Now it sounds hard, but it really isn't. I have a ton of ground beef/turkey from sales and from BJ's. Now I could choose to make sloppy joes with that, but the produce I need for that isn't in season right now, so if I did make that I'd be paying a lot more for it. However, in my stockpile, I do have cornflakes and stewed tomatoes, so I have everything I need for cheeseburger loaves. This time of year is grilling season, so a lot of good kinds of meat are on sale. If I buy steaks or pork ribs or hotdogs now (and the buns), I can freeze them and eat them later.

The reasons this saves money is simple:
  • You won't be forced to eat out because you have nothing for dinner.
  • You won't spend a lot of money because you aren't just shopping with no idea what you are going to make with it. (Have you ever gone shopping just thinking "I'll figure out meals for the week when I get to the store?" Sure you come out with meals, but probably a whole bunch of things you don't need.
  • You'll avoid having to run to the store because you need something for a meal. This almost always leads to buying something you didn't originally plan to.
  • Since you buy what is on sale, you'll be saving money right there.
  • You aren't wasting food. Throwing away expired or foods you won't eat is just like throwing away money. Often times the foods we throw away are things we bought without a list or a plan.
  • You save gas. If you aren't going out to eat, or stopping at the store several times a week, you are saving money.
I'm by no means perfect. There are times when I have planned my meals for the week, but a crazy day leads to fast food. Sometimes it's unexpected events like meetings or illness. And sometimes I think I have something in my pantry or freezer, but it turns out it's not there. But the point is to subscribe to the 80-20 rule- if 80% of the time you follow the rules, 20% you can fudge on, and not feel bad.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Look at My Stockpile/Food Storage/ 72 Hour Kit

So I decided to do a bit of a show and tell type post today. Couponers often call what I call food storage, a stockpile. This is just my shelf stable food, as I have lots of food in my fridge/freezer and chest freezer. I also have a stockpile of toiletries, but this is just about food storage. :-)
 Here's the bottom 3 rows of my kitchen pantry. Bottom row: Juice and soda, and overflow of chips. There also vinegar and baking soda back there that you can't see. Second row: canned tomato products (sauce, paste, diced), salsa, condiments, as well as some drink mixes (box milk, lemonade, chocolate, and hot chocolate). Top row: Canned veggies, snack overflow, and what you can't see is mac and cheese. Also some more condiments.
 Top three rows of the kitchen pantry. Bottom: Snacks and canned and dried fruit. This is where I keep nits, chips, pretzels, crackers, cookies, etc. Middle: Baking! And the peanut butter/jelly shelf, but those are baking foods too. There's various flours, canned milks, shortening, chocolate chips, and sugar. My all purpose flour isn't pictured, but that's because it's a big container in another place. Top: Breakfast. Cereals, granola bars, oatmeal, syrup
 This is one of my cabinets. Bottom shelf is snacks and toddler food. Middle is rice, pasta, couscous, bread crumbs, and seasoning mix. Top shelf is more baking! Generally the stuff in this cabinet is open.
 This is my newest addition. The bottom shelf is my no 10 cans. In those are things like rice, apple chips, beans, pasta, sugar, flour, even some pudding and fruit drink. The rest is just overflow from the other. Condiments, soups, veggies, fruit, and of course breakfast food. On top is the rest of a giant bag of brown rice I got (really cheap at Gordon Food Service), the rest of which is in other containers, but I couldn't find any more containers to fit the rest. To the left you'll notice two large buckets. They contain wheat.
This is my 72 hour kit. It's located in our bathroom linen closet. The reason for this is our safe room is the master walk-in closet right next to it. Those containers have wheels, so we can just wheel them. This is part of our water storage, we also have some two liters in the garage.In the containers are food, first aid, sanitary supplies, and other things that should be in your 72 hour kit. On top of those are a picnic kit that contains plates and such, and behind that is our document tool kit. That contains all important documents. We try to keep all of this together because if there is an evacuation ordered, we just want to be able to grab and go.

Hopefully this gives you a little insight, and is informative to you. I'm not quite to a year yet, but I'm working on it, but the important thing is to work toward it.