Sunday, July 31, 2011

Today's Giveaway Reminder

Here's your reminder for the great giveaway!
Hallee the Homemaker is hosting an awesome giveaway, which makes me super excited. It's for the grain mill I've always wanted!

A grain mill is a great thing to have with food storage because it really widens the amount of things you can store and make.

I'll try to remind you daily to go enter!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Publix Trip 7/30/11

I spent $20.76 for $99.65 worth of grocery, saving $78.89 or 79%! I also got a $5 g/c to use next time.

Here's the match-ups:
(2)Yoplait Go-Gurt BOGO $2.59
   -(1)Free Product Q

(6)Eggo Waffles BOGO $2.69
   -(2)$1/3 HERE

(4) Mueller's Whole Grain BOGO $1.53
   -(4)$1/1 from 7/10/11 SS

(2)Wise Potato Chips BOGO $3.99
   -(2)50¢/1 HERE

(3)Publix Milk $3.89
   -(3)$2 off Milk wyb 2 Eggo Products

(2)Ziploc Bags 2/$5
   -(1)$1/2 HERE
   -(1)$1/2 Target HERE

(4)Oreos 2/$5
   -(2)$1/2 from 6/19/11 SS
   -(1)$1/1 from Stocking Spree Booklet
   -(1)B3G1 Target HERE

(1)Natural Instincts $5.99
   -(1)Free Product Coupon

(3)Herbal Essence Products $2.79
   -(2)$1/1 from 6/12/11 RP
   -(1)$3 off Styler wyb 1 Shampoo or Conditioner
   -(1)$1/2 from Stocking Spree Booklet

(2)Always Pantiliners $1.25
   -(2) 50¢/1 from 6/5/11 PG
   -(1)$1.50/1 from Stocking Spree Booklet
   - Eligible for $5 g/c wyb 3 Participating Products

(1)Crest Toothpaste 2/$5
   -(1)75¢/1 from 6/5/11 PG
   -(1)$1/1 from Stocking Spree Booklet
   - Eligible for $5 g/c wyb 3 Participating Products

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

How'd you do? Link-up below with your trip or leave a comment below.

Giveaway Reminder

Here's your reminder for the great giveaway!
Hallee the Homemaker is hosting an awesome giveaway, which makes me super excited. It's for the grain mill I've always wanted!

A grain mill is a great thing to have with food storage because it really widens the amount of things you can store and make.

I'll try to remind you daily to go enter!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Bonus Friday Favorite: Recipe

While we are on the subject of Hallee the Homemaker, I wanted to share one of her awesome recipes. This recipe is for white chicken chili. I'm not a big chili fan, but I loved this chili. It had just the right amount of spice for me. It's not really chili season right now, but soon enough it will be!
Photo Credit: Hallee the Homemaker
She has a ton of great recipes especially for homemade (healthy!) breads. If you haven't checked out her site, it really is worth it!

Great Giveaway on Another Site

Hallee the Homemaker is hosting an awesome giveaway, which makes me super excited. It's for the grain mill I've always wanted!

A grain mill is a great thing to have with food storage because it really widens the amount of things you can store and make.

I'll try to remind you daily to go enter!

Friday Favorites- Website!

I recently discovered this wonderful website called Parenting. Illustrated with Crappy Pictures. I find t to be a really entertaining look at parenting. The writer illustrates common parenting moments through funny stories and pictures that could easily been drawn on MS paint. For parents out there, it will make you feel like you are not alone in the weird things you go through.

This is one of my personal favorites.

If anything, the site will give you a good laugh. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Frugality: To "Green" or Not to "Green" and Other Popular Phrases

I'm not very old, but I know that there is always some sort of catch phrase going around when it comes to food and other things you buy. Words like "light" and "low-fat" used to be big, then came "low-carb," now it's things like "all natural" and "green." Now not all the time do these words mean something bad. Something that is low carb can be good for you, as can something that is green. So how do you know what is good and what is just marketing?
  • Read the label. Sometimes in order to make something low-fat, light, or low-carb, they actually add things like tons of salt, artificial sweeteners, or the infamous "natural/artificial colors and flavors." Those things themselves can be kind of scary.
  • When it comes to the words all natural or green, those really don't have a lot of backing. You can say something is all natural, but think about what things are "natural." Sugar is natural as is salt, but thinking about cleaners a lot of things naturally found are not necessarily safe. My adage to remember is "even arsenic is natural." If you want natural food, stick to the outer aisles of the store, where you find produce, meat, and dairy. For cleaners, stick to vinegar, lemons, baking soda, etc.
  • For the term green, always weigh the price to what it is. I'm sorry, but a hybrid gigantic SUV just does not make any sense, you pay a ton more to get a few extra miles. A lot of things will claim to be green, which really aren't any different then they used to be, and somethings don't make the claim and are more green then the ones that do.
  • Organic. Organic is a good thing, but to truly be organic at the grocery store it needs a USDA label. When it comes to the farmer's market, ask how the farmer grows his food.  A lot of times local farmers do grow things organic, but cannot afford to be certified. Also, organic does not mean good for you. Organic sugar is just as unhealthy as regular sugar. An organic cookie is just as bad as a regular cookie.
  • Whole grain. Whole grains are good for you, but if it's whole grain Chef Boyardee, you'll probably still find trans fat in it. Also, corn is a whole grain, but really it's not the best kind of grain to have. Really you want wheat, rice, barley, etc. Don't buy something that says whole grain without reading the whole label.
  • 0g of Trans Fat per Serving. Here's the thing if there is less then 0.5g of trans fat in the food, the company doesn't have to list it on the nutrition label. However, if you read the ingredients you'll still find it. It will be listed as either fully or partially-hydrogenated oil. You'd be surprised what you'll find it in. Also, with the reality that most people don't eat just one serving of many foods, it can be concerning that the company can fool you into thinking you are not eating any trans fat.
Really what it comes down to is read the label and do research. Remember the company is trying to sell you something, they will not tell you the bad, only the good. It's up to you to be informed.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Emergency Prep: A Checklist

A lot of people work really well when they have a list to go by. There are a lot of things to remember when it comes to preparing, and you really don't want to forget any of it.

The American Red Cross and FEMA has put out this checklist that goes through everything you need, from supplies needed to making plans. It even has blank "rooms" for you to draw escape plans for a fire in your home. It also has a "home hazard hunt" section where you can look for things that could be potential hazards to your home.

It's 4 pages, and I highly encourage you to print it out and go through the list, even if it takes a few days. Remember if you are prepared, you will not fear.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Clever Tricks for Getting and Keeping Your Home Liveable

Notice I didn't say clean in the title? I'm a firm believer that if your house is always absolutely perfect, then you probably are missing the important things in your life, like spending time with your family, and that kids are missing out on being kids. I'm not a perfect housekeeper, and there are days when my daughter makes a mess of the whole living room with her toys or days when my coupons take over the table. I try to only do laundry once or twice a week. How do I do that? We have enough whites and colors to last two weeks, and we rewear our jeans and khakis (they're meant to be worn that way). Also, by waiting to have full loads of laundry, we cut back on the energy and water used to wash them. I try to keep the main living area (kitchen, family room, and dining room) presentable, but worry less about bedrooms and the office because not too many people go in there, ya know?

First, here's a resource for getting your house to a maintainable level and being able to keep it. It is called Fly Lady. She can really help you to develop habits that you can then keep.

Second, the best way to avoid total chaos is to organize your house in the first place. If everything has a home, it's a lot easier to put it away. That also means purging anything you don't want or need from your life.

Third, try to follow the touch it once rule. For example, when you get the mail from the mail box immediately sort the junk into the recycling, the bills where you pay bills, file the things you need to file, and anything you need to do put in your to-do pile. This keeps the mail from piling up all over the place.

Fourth, try never to leave a room empty handed. Chances are there is something in the room you are in that belongs in the room you are going to, so you might as well take it with you.

Fifth, decide how often things need to be done around the house based on your family's needs and situations. If you have kids, you may need to do things more often. Perhaps you only need to run the dishwasher every few days instead of everyday. Maybe you're really good at eating your leftovers, so cleaning out the fridge only needs to be done occasionally.

Finally, come up with your own housekeeping plan based on that. It doesn't have to be fancy or even day specific. Perhaps you just need a list of things that need to be done every week, and you choose one to do whenever you have a chance, or you like to have specific things to do each day. Remember, what works best is what works for you, and that you will keep up with.

Remember to keep it simple. Your home is your home, not a museum, it's supposed to look like people live there. There will be dust, there will be dirt, there will be fingerprints, and there will be clutter at times. Like I said before, I'd rather spend time with my family or spend some time for myself then making sure my house looks immaculate, besides if anybody puts a white glove to your house, you probably shouldn't be friends with them. LOL.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Monday- Stuffed Shells, Veggie
Tuesday- Lazy Nachos
Wednesday- Pork Chops, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Veggie
Thursday- Leftovers/DIY
Friday- Hotdogs, Mashed Potatoes, Veggie
Saturday- Cheeseburger Loaves, Couscous, Veggie
Sunday- Pretzel Chicken Nuggets, Pasta, Veggie
What's your menu for the week?

Don't forget to link up or leave a comment with your meal plan or recipe below!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Publix Trip 7/23/11

I spent $18.73 for $102.98 worth of groceries, saving $84.25 or 82%!

Here's the match-ups:
(4)Morning Star Farms BOGO $4.19
   -(2)$2/2 from Morning Star Farms Booklet
   -(2) $1/2 HERE

(2)Nabisco Grahams BOGO $4.09
  -(1)$1/2 from 6/26/11 SS

(2)Gerber Graduates $2.19
   -(2)$1/1 HERE
   -(2) $1/1 from Ooh and Aah Booklet

(2)Gerber Pasta Pick-Ups 2/$3
   -(2) 55¢/1 HERE
   -(2) $1/1 from Ooh and Aah Booklet

(2)Earth's Best Snacks $2.19
   -(1)$1.50/2 Homemailer
   -(2)$1/1 from Ooh and Aah Booklet

(4)Frosted Flakes 50% off price- $2.44
(2) Frosted Mini Wheats 50% off price- $2.32
(2) Crunchy Nut 50% off price- $2.04
(2) Special K 50% off price-$2.10
   -(2)$5/5 printable (no longer available)

(1)Special K Protein Bars $6.49
   -Free wyb (2) Special K Cereals Peelie

Strawberries $2.50
   -(1)$1.50 off strawberries wyb 2 Special K tearpad
Blueberries $2.50
   -(1)$1.50 off blueberries or rasberries wyb 2 Kellogg's Products tearpad
Bananas $1.66
   -(1)$1.50 off fruit wyb 2 select Kellogg's Cereal from New School Year Booklet
Watermelon $1.88
   -(1)$1.50 off fruit wyb 2 select Kellogg's Cereal from New School Year Booklet
Apples $2.95
   -(1)$1.50 off fruit wyb 2 select Kellogg's Cereal from New School Year Booklet

-$5 g/c from last week

I fully took advantage of the 50% off sale to stock up on cereal and get a ton of fresh fruit. There were some other things I wanted, but unfortunately my Stocking Spree Booklet has not come yet, anybody else still waiting to receive it?

I'm sure you noticed my lack of posts this week. If you follow me on facebook, you probably saw that I wasn't feeling too great. I'm feeling a little better, but not the best. Since I was going shopping on Saturday, I also fully took advantage of Thursday to go to the beach, even if I didn't feel that great, it was still fun. Everything should be back to normal next week!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Clever Tricks from Readers for Greening Your Life

Recently I did a giveaway, and one of the entries was to share a green tip. I loved them so much I thought I would share with you some of the tips that were left.
  • When you're waiting for the water to heat up, don't let the water go down the drain. We collect it and use it to water our garden. -Elizabeth
  • Try to save all the food you would normally throw into the garbage! Instead, compost it and use it to feed your garden! This not only nourishes the garden, but helps send less to the landfill! -Lindsey
  • Use cloth faux paper towels and napkins. Cuts on waste and we just throw them in the wash with our clothes. -Tristan
  • Use canvas bags when shopping! Leave the plastic behind and if you do use them - recycle them at Publix or Walmart or wherever they have plastic bag recycle bins. -Mary
  • I love my cloth diapers and I wash them in my high efficiency machine and then dry them on a drying rack so that I use less energy by not drying them AND the sun naturally bleaches out any stains! What a great bonus! -Samantha
  • Clean with vinegar whenever possible, instead of a bunch of chemicals. You can use it to clean almost anything! -Kelli
  • Re-usuable snack bags! We used to go through soo many ziploc bags! -Sarah
  • My favorite "green" tip is use less and recycle more! -Bethany
  • Your green tip here! Comment below and I will add it to the list.
Here's my green tip for today: Reuse things as much as possible, almost everything has a second life after it's first use. :-)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Monday- Burgers, Pasta, Veggie
Tuesday- Beef and Broccoli
Wednesday- Breakfast for Dinner
Thursday- Italian Chicken, Couscous, Veggie
Friday- Pizza
Saturday- Beef Stroganoff, Veggie
Sunday- Leftovers/DIY
What's your menu for the week?

Don't forget to link up or leave a comment with your meal plan or recipe below!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Favorites- Harry Potter

I figured since the last movie premieres tonight, it would be appropriate to make Harry Potter my Friday Favorite for the week.

I must admit when the Harry Potter craze first started, I was very not interested. I had seen a couple of the movies, and they were good movies, but I hadn't read the books, or even cared. Then I took a religion class that covered 4 different series: Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, His Dark Materials, and you guessed it, Harry Potter. I had to read the series for the class, and I found myself unable to put them down. Luckily, by time I took the class all of the books were out, so there was no waiting a long time for the next one. I've seen all the movies, and I am eagerly awaiting seeing this last one. I don't know if I'll see it tonight, or in a few weeks, but I am excited.

Anyone else as excited as me?

(On a side note, I'm dying to go to the Harry Potter world at Universal Studios as well...)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Publix Trip 7/14/11

(Not Pictured: Publix Cat Food)
I spent $25.29 for $86.74 worth of groceries, saving $61.45 or 71%, but I also got a $5 giftcard to use next time!

Here's the match-ups:
(2) Frosted Mini Wheats with a Touch of Fruit BOGO $4.39
   -(1)BOGO Coupon from Vocalpoint

(4)President Feta Cheese BOGO $5.19
   -(2)$3/2 HERE

(2)Scotch Scissors BOGO $1.99
   -(2)$1/1 HERE

(2)Pantene Pro-V 2/$7
   -(1)$2/2 from a home mailer forever ago
   -(1)$1/2 from Target Beauty Bucks
   -Counts toward $5 giftcard wyb 3 participating products coupon

(1)Always $3.49
   -(1) Free Product Coupon
   -Counts toward $5 giftcard wyb 3 participating products coupon

(4)Papermate Pens 2/$1
   -(2)$1/1 HERE

(1) Publix OJ $2.99

(1)Blueberries 2/$5
   -(1)$1.50 off berries wyb 2 Kellogg's items Tearpad

(1)Strawberries 2/$5
   -(1) 50¢/1 Driscoll's Berries HERE

(1)Brocolli 2/$4

(1)Publix Cat Food $12.49

-$5/$25 purchase Save-A-Lot coupon

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

Frugality: Sometimes Items are Cheaper at a Warehouse Club

I've posted before about Warehouse Clubs, but I figured I'd revisit some things, and share some new stuff I've found out about BJ's specifically.

Why a Warehouse Club membership is worth it:
  • I'd say 95% of the time, they have the cheapest gas in town. Sometimes by 5¢ or more. I use an App on my ipod to see which is cheapest in the area, and rarely is something else cheaper.
  • Propane. At least at BJ's, the propane is significantly cheaper then anywhere else. We're talking like $10 cheaper.
  • Seasonal/clothing/books/tvs/etc. Honestly you can find a lot of good deals on these items at warehouse clubs. Our most recent was 150 cubic feet marine cooler that we got for about $50ish for our fridge breaking. That was the price Target was charging for some 50-100 cubic feet ones. Now we have it, and it will be great should there be a power failure, or a need to evacuate, or even if we are taking a long trip and want to bring food to cook with (like camping!)
  • Eggs, Milk, Butter. A simple price comparison (and I realize our prices are higher here then many areas): Milk at Publix: $3.85, Milk at BJ's: $3.29. Eggs at Publix $1.60ish, Eggs at BJ's $6ish for 5 dozen (so about $1.20/dz ). Butter is usually about $2.50 for 4 sticks at BJ's and that's generally a sale price at Publix.
  • Meat. Here's one example from a sale a few weeks back. Publix Ground Turkey was on sale for $2.69/lb. Ground Turkey is regularly priced $2.29/lb at BJ's. This is similar across all meats. There are times where Publix (or Winn-Dixie) has a great sale on meat, but generally it's still cheaper at BJ's then the sale price at Publix. Of course if I can make a deal happen at Publix where I get $X off Meat wyb some item, I try to do that, but only if the item I have to buy is a good deal.
  • Some produce. If I need a lot of some produce it's often cheaper to buy at BJ's. Like say I'm going to make stuffed peppers, it's about $5 for a 6 count bag (and these are good size red peppers). I often buy salad from there because I can get a large container of organic salad for $5ish. Considering the BOGO price for regular salad is generally $3.99 for two, and the amount in this container is about 4 of those bags and organic, I'd say it's a better deal.
  • Bread Products. Sure occasionally good deals come with coupons at Publix, but a lot of times I can get it for the same price at BJ's. I consistently buy hamburger and hotdog buns from there, as it is always $1.99 for 16. The bread we like (Martins Wheat Potato bread) is consistently about $5 for 2 loaves when it is about $4 for one at Publix. Even regular bread is fairly cheap there.
  • Pet items. If your dog or cat uses a typical brand pet food (like Dog Chow, Purina One), a lot of times the Warehouse club is the way to go. I've compared several stores on the price and a lot of time even with sales and coupons the warehouse club is cheaper.
I also have a great resource for those of you who live near BJ's. It is called MyBjsWholesale and it works a lot like iheartpublix. She lists the best deals she can find at BJ's using their coupon books, flyers, and policy for manufacturer's coupons. You'd be surprised what you can get for super cheap.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Emergency Prep: Don't Forget About Money

I've talked about emergency funds in a past segment here on Frugal and Provident, but they are just important to your emergency preperations as they are to your financial security. Here are some things to consider:
  • When we prepare for disaster it should be for all kinds, including natural, manmade, and even economic. Having food, water, and money will help you weather just about anything.
  • Emergency prep includes unexpected health problems and unexpected loss of income. You can't rely on credit cards to keep you afloat.
  • Remember to have a supply of cash money on hand. Should there be a natural disaster are a number of reasons why you might need cash, and might not have access to atms or credit card machines.
  • Every little bit counts when it comes to emergency funds. Ideally you want six months to a year of living expenses in the bank, but don't let that deter you from starting to save even if it is a small amount. While it's better not to have to go into debt at all, $500 of debt is better then $1000, $1000 is better then $2000, and so on. A little bit is just how much less you will have to pay back when you get back on your feet.
  • The following things are not emergency funds: houses, cars, jewelry, belongings, credit cards, and retirement funds. A house is not a good source because as we've seen sometimes they're worth less then you owe, or are impossible to sell/ tap your equity in a bad market. Cars, jewelry, and other belongings aren't because there's no way to know if you'll be able to sell them or their worth when you need them. Credit cards just equal debt. Retirement funds are not meant to be emergency funds. Worst case scenario they are an option, but they come with a lot of risks when withdrawing early. Make sure you understand all penalties that may come from touching that money before you retire.
You'll feel so much more peaceful if you know you have some money put away.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Clever Tricks for Dealing with Weeds

The other day I saw this wonderful article on my homepage, and thought it would be great to share with you. Since it's warm out now, it's time to work on our lawns and gardens, and one of the most tricky things is dealing with weeds. Check-out the article for a list of 10 homemade ways to deal with weeds. I'm all for the natural ways to deal with things, as I just don't like the idea of using tons of chemicals in the places where my daughter plays. I also love the last idea about just living with it. Some weeds it's worth it to get rid of, but I see plenty of ground cover weeds that I actually think look pretty as they have pretty little flowers on them, and they seem to grow where our grass just does not want to.

Does anyone else have any tips for dealing with weeds or gardens in general? I'd love to hear them! Comment below and I may use them in a future post.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Our refridgerator is having issues, and the part they ordered won't be here until today or tomorrow, so the beginning of the week will be simpler meals since I had to transplant all of the inside freezer to our chest freezer and so I can't hardly get to anything. :-/

Monday- Pasta with Chicken Sausage, Tomatoes, and Broccoli
Tuesday- Unsure... (might just be DIY or burgers/hotdogs)
Wednesday- Grilled Chicken, Couscous, Veggie
Thursday- Pork Chops, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Veggie
Friday- Pizza
Saturday- Pretzel Chicken Nuggets, Mashed Potatoes, Veggie
Sunday- Leftovers/DIY
What's your menu for the week?

Don't forget to link up or leave a comment with your meal plan or recipe below!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

And the Winner Is...

And the randomly selected winner of the Seventh Generation Giftpack provided by MyBlogSpark and Seventh Generation  is....


Congratulations! Be looking for an email from me shortly.

Thanks again to everyone who entered!

Also, for those who didn't win, they let me know that they have another $2/1 coupon available, which you can find here. These are definitely some nice high value coupons for these diapers!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

I have family in town this week, so as you can see it's a lot of simple meals.

Monday- Burgers, Corn, Potato Chips
Tuesday- Out for Cheesesteaks
Wednesday- Pizza
Thursday- Hotdogs, Mac and Cheese, Veggie
Friday- Chick-fil-a (It's Cow Appreciation Day!)
Saturday- Pasta with Meat Sauce, Veggie
Sunday- Leftovers/DIY
What's your menu for the week?
Don't forget to link up below!

Happy 4th of July!

I hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July!

Since I have family in town this week, I won't be posting as much this week.

While I'm gone, don't forget to enter my giveaway to win a free pack of Seventh Generation Diapers!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday Favorites- Giveaway!

I was really excited when I received this "spark" from MyBlogSpark. I've always wanted to try Seventh Generation Diapers, but they just were never in my price range at the time. I try to be quite green where I can, so I was very excited about this. Seventh Generation has redesigned their diapers and they wanted you guys to have a sneak peak at what you can expect.

Their Free & Clear diapers do not include chlorine processing, fragrances, latex and petroleum based lotions. With processed chlorine-free wood pulp in Free & Clear diapers, Seventh Generation also makes certain that no chlorine is released into the environment during the Totally Chlorine Free whitening process of the diapers and training pants.

What is equally exciting is Seventh Generation has also reduced the size of the plastic packaging, meaning less landfill waste. In fact, the packaging can now be recycled at local supermarkets where plastic bag recycling collection boxes are available. (Publix has plastic bag recycling at their stores).

These diapers feel and work like any other diaper, just without all the yucky stuff! If you would like to try them, they are offering my readers a $2/1 Seventh Generation Product that can be found here. They're also giving onne lucky reader a prize pack that contains one package of diapers (Choice of size 2, 4, or 5)!
To Enter:

Required Entry:
  1. Leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite "green" tip or a diapering/baby tip.

Bonus Entries:
  1. Subscribe to the Frugal and Provident feed or email, and leave a comment saying that you did.
  2. Follow Frugal and Provident via Google Friend Connect (found in the right side-bar), and leaving a comment saying that you did.
  3. "Like" Frugal and Provident on Facebook, and leave a comment saying that you did.
  4. Share this giveaway somewhere, and leave a comment saying where.
  5. "Like" Seventh Generation of Facebook or Follow them on Twitter and leave a comment saying which you did.
This means you can enter up to 6 times! Please be sure to leave a comment for each  form of entry! The winner will be chosen using on 7/8/11 around 10pm. Emailed comments and those left on Facebook will not be counted.

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