Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Uses for Toiletries

I stumbled across this post, while searching for ideas for this weeks post. Instead of reinventing the wheel, I just figured I'd share it with you. :-)

One of my favorites is the hair conditioner as shaving cream. I've done this for years and it works great, and even if you buy the cheap kind it's usually cheaper than shaving cream.

I've done a whole post on clear nail polish in the past, so you can check that out here if you want to know more about it.

Check-out the article for ideas ranging from lip balm to eye shadow and everything in between.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Monday- BBQ at Friend's House
Tuesday-  Chicken Stirfry
Wednesday- Burgers, Tater Tots, Veggie
Thursday- Chicken Tenders on Salad
Friday- Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Veggie
Saturday- Pretzel Coated Chicken Nuggets, Pasta, Veggie
Sunday- Breakfast
What's your menu for the week?
Don't forget to link up below!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Favorites- This One is for Girls Only!

One of the best things I ever did as a woman is start tracking my fertility. What does that mean exactly? Well for one it is keeping track of when your period happens, but it can be sooo much more than that. If you are trying to conceive, there are tons of things you could be looking for to improve your chances. Also, tracking can help you to realize if something is wrong with your menstrual cycle.

I've found the best online tracker for me is fertilityfriend.com. I track pretty much everything, and it keeps it all in one neat place for me. I have the VIP version, as I need some of the more advanced stuff due to some infertility issues, but the basic is suitable for someone just trying to know more about how their body works. They also have courses for you to learn how to chart. Once you do it for a little bit, it becomes really simple. Honestly I was surprised by how much our body tells us, and how it tells us.

I really found it all empowering, and I hope you do too.

On a side note, if anyone would like me to send them an email invite for the website, it would be helpful. Each invite accepted gets me a few days of vip service added on to my account, and for each person who purchases the vip I get 30 days, as do you. :-)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Publix Trip 5/26/11

I spent $20.21 for $93.36 worth of groceries, saving $73.15 or 78%!

Here's the match-ups:
(6) Crystal Light BOGO $3.91
   -(2) B2G1 Coupon from 4/3/11 SS
   -(4)$1/1 HERE
   -(1)$1/3 Target HERE

(2) Breyer's Ice Cream BOGO $5.99
   -(1)$1.50/2 Target HERE
   -(1)$1.50/2 Facebook promotion HERE

(2) Luigi's Italian Ice BOGO $3.19
  -(2)$1/1 from 5/1/11 RP

(2) Split Chicken Breasts $1.79/lb ($3.99 and $3.35 total)

(2)Kashi Pita Chips 2/$5
   -(2)$1/1 HERE

(2) Lance Creations 2/$4
   -(2)$1/1 HERE

(4) Yoplait Yogurt
   -(4) Free Product Coupon

(3) Heinz Ketchup 40 oz $1.99 (Note this size is cheaper than the current ad, but lasts only until the end of the Yellow Advantage Buy Flyer)
   -(3)50¢/1 from 5/22/11 SS

(1) Zephyrhills 24pk $3.99 (Great for the hurricane kit)

(1)Sundown Vitamin D $2.99
(1)Sundown B Complex $3.99
   -(2)$1/1 from 4/17/11 RP
   -(1)$6/2 from Green Advantage Buy Flyer

-$5/$25 purchase Save-a-lot Coupon

Good trip. First week officially under the new policy, and they still took overage. It seemed they were waiting on some to see if the order total would not be in the negative, so I guess that is how my store interprets it. One of the days when I have a chance, I'll have to ask them specifics on the overage. I plan to visit another Publix later that supposedly sells Pepsi Throwback because there is some free Pepsi just waiting for me. If I go, I'll come back and add it here.

So I made it to the other Publix yesterday and was only able to get 2 Pepsi Throwbacks, but here's the how that one matched up:
(2)Pepsi Throwback BOGO $4.99
   -(1)B1G1 Facebook Promotion (no longer available)

Total spent: 30¢(tax) Total Saved: $9.98 Total worth: $10.28 Percent Saved: 97%

That makes the grand total for the day:
Total Spent: $20.51 Total Saved: $83.13 Total Worth: $103.64 Percent Saved: 80%

Now I just need to go back and get more Throwback, as I have 3 more coupons still. :-/

Frugality: Saving on Produce Through Community Supported Farms

So recently my husband and I bought a share in a Community Supported Farm. A community supported farm is a farm that is basically run by people taking ownership in it. Some farms have you help with work, others have you provide monetary support. In return you get a share of the harvest.
So why did we do it?
  • It's truly a great way to get veggies. For $30 a week, we will get a big box of organic fruit and vegetables. Sure we will occasionally have to pick up other things at the store, but it will provide much of what we need and then some.
  • People in general need to eat more fruits and veggies. If you pay for something, you'll probably be inclined to find a way to eat it before it goes bad. Also, many people skip veggies and fruits at the store because they are too expensive, and organic is even more so.
  • It helps a local business. By buying from a local farmer, you are helping them to profit, which in turn leads to them spending and hiring. If you buy from the supermarket, sure the store will profit, but it also means that a person across the country is profiting too.
  • It helps the environment. When produce is shipped across the country (and world), it just means lots of gas is used, and also a lot of packaging. If it doesn't grow in your area at that time of year, chances are it came from somewhere else, and traveled a long way to get there.
  • Variety. We'll get a variety of produce each week, which means not just eating the same three veggies, and getting more of the rainbow of foods available. Here's a look at some of the things my farm will be giving us, not all at once of course.
I'm actually quite excited, but unfortunately we don't get our first box for a long time. We live in South Florida, and now is when a lot of crops go out of season. It's really just to hot for many plants to grow. But I've heard both i heart publix and Southern Savers discuss their memberships in similar programs, and they love them. I hope you will consider looking for one in your area!

For more info on Community Supported Farms, or to find one near you, check out local harvest.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hurricane Season

Next week starts the beginning of Hurricane Season here on the Atlantic side. Now is a great time to make sure you are ready for a hurricane.
Here is FEMA's page on hurricane prep.
 So what should you be doing to prepare now?
  • Have a plan for your home. Where will you store outside furniture? Do you have shutters? Do you know how to install them? What about boats?
  • Make sure to keep up on tree and shrub maintenance. Dead branches can lead to serious damage.
  • 72 hr kit! If you think you can run out to the store when a hurricane warning goes into effect, you are mistaken. Stores quickly run out of the essentials. Also be sure your 72 hour kit is portable, should you have to evacuate you will still need it. Not all shelters provide food, and stores can be out of it if trucks can't get to them.
  • Know your evacuation plan. Know which roads are evacuation routes (designaed evacuation routes generally mean that if there is a mandatory evacuation then traffic on those roads will only flow out of the area). Have an idea where you will go. Do not count on shelters, they are crowded and are meant for the people who truly have no place to go. If you have a relative you can go visit, do that. Other wise you'll need to make sure you know a way to book a hotel fast. Also when they say evacuate, you should ready to go the minute the evacuation order is issued.
  • Always keep your gas on the full end. When a hurricane watch is issued, people will go buy gas. This leads to long lines, high prices, and gas shortages. Save yourself the trouble and keep gas in the car, (and possibly a container at home).
  • Have cash on hand. Similar to gas, some people end up withdrawing all the money a bank has. You also can't be sure that you'll be able to use credit and debit cards as the machines depend on phone and internet lines, which could be damaged in a storm. That being said you don't need to keep all of your money as cash or large sums, just enough to be able to pay for gas during your evacuation and possibly more food, housing, etc.
  • Have a plan for your animals. Animals can't go in most shelters and shouldn't be left in the home to fend for themselves. Have a plan for either a kennel to hold them or to take them with you.
  • Have all your documents ready. Anything you might need to prove should be in it. In other words, birth certificates, deeds, insurance documents, vaccination records, financial records, pet records, even school records (during Katrina, many children left the area, but had trouble enrolling in school in a new area because the school had no idea what classes they were taking or had taken and their grades.)
  • Here is a post from the past which was from an event where our local emergency response team (they are the ones who decide to issue an evacuation )and several local people discussed things to do for disasters
I encourage you to plan now, so you are ready if a hurricane should threaten.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New Uses for Plastic Margarine/Butter/Yogurt Containers

A lot of food we eat comes in plastic containers. Just think about it. Spreadable butter, margarines, sour cream, cream cheese, dips, yogurt, hummus, and even some cheeses like feta or cheese spreads. That's a lot of plastic. Here's some handy tips on what you can do with it.
  • Sorting and organizing. Many of these tubs are great for storing the pieces to a board game or keeping the puzzle pieces you just sorted seperate, or for storing all sorts of things like paper clips, beads, etc.
  • Use it for painting. We used them for the edging in portion of painting rooms, or you can use them for small painting projects, or for painting with the kids.
  • Make it into a piggy bank. Decorate, cut a slit in the top, and voila a fun way to save money.
  • Pet food storage. Great for traveling with pet, and you can also use them as a water bowl on the go. I also use a large container for storing pet food in my 72-hour kit.
  • Seed starters. These little containers are great for starting some seeds, just be sure to drill some holes in the bottom first.
  • Paint them and use them as gift baskets for various holidays. Great for giving to your kids friends with candy inside or some other yummy treat.
  • Use them in bathroom drawers to keep like things together and clean (like cotton balls).
  • Create a travel sewing, first aid, or other kit in them. They can fit easily in glove boxes, diaper bags, or under a seat.
  • Turn them into scoops. You can use them in the big bag of cat food or they can be lots of fun in a kiddy pool or sandbox (or even the beach, they'd be great for castles!)
  • Donate them. Lot's of schools, day cares, churches, etc. use them for arts and crafts projects.
  • Recycle them. Not all cities do, but a lot do recycle them.
That's just some of the many uses for them! If you have an idea for a use, please share below, and I will add it to the list.

And a word of warning, which you can follow or not, the type of plastic that these containers are made out is not meant to be heated, in fact microwaving them can leach chemicals from the plastic into the food. So while it may seem like a good idea to make them into your personal tupperware collection, it's really not that wise of an idea. Besides you can get plastic containers fairly cheap, and it's sooo much easier when you can see your leftovers in your container. ;-)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Monday- Pierogies, Veggie
Tuesday-  Pasta with Chicken Sausage, Tomatoes, and Broccoli
Wednesday- DIY (we decided we weren't terribly hungry come dinner, so we just ate some leftovers and such)
Thursday- Grilled BBQ Chicken, Mac and Cheese, Veggie
Friday-  Tilapia, Brown Rice, Veggie
Saturday- Chicken Cordon Bleu, Couscous, Veggie
Sunday- Left-overs or Breakfast
What's your menu for the week?
Don't forget to link up below!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Favorites- Recipe

I made this recipe for Nutella Cheesecake Brownies the other day, and they were soooooo yummy.
The only thing I would change is for the cheesecake layer, cream the cream cheese and sugar first, then add the Nutella, then each of the eggs one at a time.

They were really simple to make, but oh so yummy. Definitely on my favorites list.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Publix Trip 5/19/2011

I spent $29.70 for $77.53 worth of groceries, saving $47.83 or 62%!

Here's the match-ups:
(2)Wishbone Salad Dressing BOGO $2.89
   -(1)$1.25/2 HERE
   -(2) $1/1 Great Deals on Great Meals Coupon
(2) Kraft BBQ Sauce BOGO $1.65
(2) Dentastix BOGO $3.59
   -(2)$1/1 HERE
   -(2) $1/1 from "Who Loves You?" Booklet
(2) Ocean Spray Sparkling Cranberry BOGO $3.99
   -(1) $1/1 that came with a free sample.
(2)Juicy Juice Juice Boxes 2/$5
   -(1) $1/2 from "Simple Summer Pleasures" Booklet
(1) Publix Toasted O's Cereal $2.49
   -(1) $1/1 Publix Baby Club Coupon
(1) Publix OJ $4.99
   -(1) $1/1 Publix Baby Club Coupon
(4) Carnation Evaporated Milk 99¢
   -(2) 50¢/2 HERE
(3) Yoplait Yogurt 8/$6
   -(3) Free Product Coupons
(1) Country Time Lemonade $2.99
   -(1) $2 off wyb 2 Kraft BBQ Sauce Peelie found on BBQ Sauce
(2) Sundown B Complex Vitamins $3.99
   -(2) $1/1 Peelies
   -(1) $6/2 from Green Advantage Buy Flyer
(2) Breakstone Cottage Cheese Doubles 20/$10
   -(1)$1/2 Printable (Offer from Kraft First Taste)
(1) Strawberries 2/$5
(1) Asparagus $3.44
(1) Tomato 84¢
(2) Organic Valley Milk 2/$7
   -(2) $1/1 HERE

Trip was good, nothing exciting. I did however get a copy of the coupon policy, and as you can see so far they are still letting me do overage... *crosses fingers* that it remains true after the official start date.

Publix Coupon Policy

As many of you know, Publix is rolling out it's new coupon policy. Check-out Michelle's post on it here.

Honestly, it's similar to what most people already have been dealing with. For some people it has changed their competitor's a little bit, but it's also forced stores to put who their competitors are in writing, which stops that variance from store-to-store, manager-to-manager, and cashier-to-cashier.

One thing it didn't make clear is overage. It almost seems that it is allowed now, but you'll have to ask your Publix. I heard from a cashier in my area who just got out of the meeting about the policy change that she was told by her manager that if the end balance is negative the drawer will open and the customer will receive money back. I was shocked becaused this was at a store that I hated going to because I had to fight them just to lower the coupon value to not get overage.

When I went to my store last week, they had their new competitor's poster up and it listed Save-a-lot, Target, Winn-Dixie, and Sweetbay. Definitely fair to me. They didn't hand me one of the new policies, but they didn't stop any overage, but like I said in my show-and-tell post there was that whole accident in the parking lot, so they might have been a little distracted.

So what are your thoughts on the policy? Any thing you are glad to see? Any new troubles at your store that you didn't have before? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Importance of Flood Insurance

It may seem like it's unneccessary. Your area never floods, you aren't near water, etc., etc. But the reality is, you need flood insurance (renters and owners included). Why?
  • Most insurance policies do not cover any form of flood, which is often defined as rising water entering the home from the outside. What you might not realize is this includes man made causes as well. So say a water main breaks in the street and floods your basement. Your home insurance is not going to pay.
  • Floods can becaused by droughts. That sounds silly, but the longer an area sits without rain the harder and harder the ground gets, so when it does rain the water does not drain immediately. So what was much needed rain becomes an inch of water in your living room.
  • Storm surge. Your policy may cover hurricanes, but it most likely does not cover the storm surge.
  • Sometimes rivers flood, which causes smaller rivers and streams to flood. Just because the small stream that runs right behind your house has never flooded, doesn't mean it couldn't some day.
  • Ice melts. If you live near mountains or in areas where it snows a lot. Melting snow and ice have been known to cause problems.
  • Do you own a pool? It's a very real possibility that if it rains for days and days that it could end up a big problem for you.
Ok so I've given you a bunch of reasons why you need it, now let's talk about how to get it.
  • The only provider of flood insurance is the national flood insurance program, however most insurances companies can do the applications for you.
  • Depending on your risk class, you will either be preferred or in a risk category. The rates differ for the two.
  • In most cases it covers structure and belongings.
  • If you purchase for closing, there is no waiting period, if you wait there is a 30 day waiting period. (This is similar to how you can't get a homeowner's or renter's policy when their is a named storm in the ocean, that is if you live in an area that deals with hurricanes).
  • Since the program requires renewal from Congress, there are periods that if Congress is fighting over something else, no policies can be written. All the more reason not to delay in getting it.
So really it's a smart idea to get it. And if you live by any body of water, it should be a necessity (some lender's require it). Dealing with a flood is hard enough, but it's far worse when you find out your insurance pays for nothing.

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    New Uses for Wire Hangers

    You're not supposed to use wire hangers for clothes because they can damage them (I'll admit it, I still use them), but sometimes you end up with many more than you actually need. So what do you do with them? Check-out the list below for some ideas.
    • Cut it into pieces with a wire cutter, and use it to "staple" a soaker hose into place in the garden
    • Untwist it and use it to adjust angles on the air vent or use it to retrieve items that have fallen under or behind the refridgerator or other heavy objects (like those socks that fell behind the dryer).
    • Make it into a giant bubble wand.
    • Use it to remove static cling. Just rub the long straight side over your skirt to remove static.
    • Turn it into a shoe hanger by turning the two ends up.
    • Unlock the door on an older car. (This won't work on most newer cars)
    • Unclog drains. Untwist the hanger and go fishing around in the drain to pull out an ubstruction.
    • Make a mobile for a baby's room. (Could be a fun project for an older sibling.)
    • Use it to make a plate hanger.
    • Use to make a hanging basket for plants.
    • Use it to unlock bedrooms doors. (If you have the push lock kind)
    • Use them for roasting marshmallows or hotdogs over a camp fire or fire pit.
    • Build a kite with them
    • Use them to make plant markers for your garden
    • Lots of arts and crafts including wire Christmas trees and wreaths.
    Do you have a use for wire hangers? Share below, and I will add it to the list.

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Publix Ad

    I Heart Publix

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

    I'm not seeing anything too exciting for me... maybe when I look at it again? What about you? Do you see anything great?

    Meal Plan Monday

    Monday- Stuffed Shells, Veggie
    Tuesday-  Tilapia, Brown Rice, Veggie
    Wednesday- Hotdogs, Tatertots, Veggie
    Thursday- Dinner at Friends House
    Friday-  Pizza, Salad
    Saturday- Cheeseburger Loaves, Mashed Potatoes, Veggie
    Sunday- Left-overs or Grilled Cheese
    What's your menu for the week?
    Don't forget to link up below!

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    Friday Favorites- Freecyle

    Freecycle is an idea that you can recycle your unwanted goods to someone who might want them. They have a national website, where you can find your local chapter. It's usually run through yahoo groups. 
    How it works:
    1. A person lists an item they don't want anymore (examples might be a bike with a flat tire, tvs, newspapers, coupons, etc.)
    2. You want it so you contact them via the email they registered with.
    3. If your first, or the person they pick, they'll let you know and you can arrange pick-up.
    4. If you don't get it first, the person will either email you back or list it as "Taken"
    You can also list wanted, but this is discouraged.

    What freecycle is not:
    A place to get everything you need for free. Yes occasionally really nice things come through, but you shouldn't be posting "wanted Nintendo Wii" or anything like that.

    What is it's purpose:
    It's really meant for things that would otherwise end up in a landfill. So it may be items that are fixable (like the bike with a flat tire) or are just random like empty wine bottles, but the point is that one man's junk is another's treasure. People also post things that they could donate. Sometimes people just post "bag of clothes this size, one person takes all." You may not want everything in the bag, but that's ok, you can freecycle what you don't want. Sometimes it's a box of misc. homewares. You just never know. Nicer things go quicker, so you'll have to respond right away.

    And it's all free. No fee to join, no fee to get anything. So get to freecycling.

    Thursday, May 12, 2011

    Publix Trip 5/12/2011

    I spent $16.57 for $50.71, saving $34.14 or 67%!

    Here's the match-ups:
    (2) Thomas English Muffins BOGO $3.89
    (2)Vlasic Pickles BOGO $2.69
       -(2)75¢/1 Blinkies
       -(2)55¢/1 from Springtime Savings Booklet
    (4) Kraft Homestyle Mac and Cheese BOGO $2.59
       -(4) $1/1 from 4/17/11 SS
    (2) Yakisoba Noodles BOGO 89¢
       -(2) 50¢/1 from 3/13/11 SS
    (4) Yoplait Yogurt 75¢
       -(4) Free Product Coupons
    (2) Gas-X $2.39
       -(1)$5/2 from Green Advantage Buy Flyer
    (1) Gain $9.99
       -(1) $1/1 from 5/1/2011 PG
    (1) Bounce Dryer Sheets 2/$5
       -(1) Free wyb Gain Peelie
    (1) Broccoli 2/$4

    Nothing exciting with the actual grocery part, but about 2 minutes after getting there when I had just left the coupon turnstyle, I hear a screech and slam and someone yelling. Thankfully there were firemen in the store, and my husband ran and got them. When leaving the store it appears that someone mistook their brake and gas pedals, jumped the curb hit two parked cars and a person walking with a grocery cart. Hoping no one was seriously hurt. :-/ But I was happy to see many of the Publix employees run to go help (including the manager), and thankful the firemen were in the store at the time.

    Frugality: Share Your Story!

    I thought for a change of pace this week, it would be great to hear from you! So what is your story? How did you get into couponing? If you haven't yet, why not? How long have you been doing it? What do you love the most about it?

    Or ask me a question about something that confuses you about couponing? A specific stacking of coupons? How does True BOGO work with a BOGO coupon? No question is dumb, so please feel free to ask!

    Do you have a way to save money? Share that too!

    Really I just want to hear from you!

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    Where to Store Your Food Storage

    One of the main reasons people give for not storing food is, you guessed it, I don't have anywhere to store it. Last week on I Heart Publix, Michelle asked her readers about organizing and storing a stockpile. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I'm just going to share a link to her post. You can find it here.

    Here are some of my suggestions:
    • Under beds
    • In the back of closets
    • On top of cabinets
    • In guest rooms or offices (Buy a nice cabinet to store it in, if you want).
    • If you have a climate controlled attic, basement, or garage, you can store them there. Or you can store things that don't need climate control there, like paper goods, razors, toothbrushes, etc.
    • Under furniture, maybe you have a side table that has a table cloth on it. You could store it under there.
    There's a lot more, so definitely check-out her post.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    New Uses for Junk Mail

    We all get junk mail, whether we solicited it or not. Check out the list below for a list of things you can do with it.
    • Read it. LOL. No, but seriously there are sometimes good coupons in junk mail. Yes even the valpaks and such. Take 5 seconds to scan it.
    • Use it for animals. Works just like newspaper a lot of the time. Line a cat box, shred for a hamster cage, etc.
    • Use it to ship something. Larger things can wrap valuables, smaller to fill in extra space.
    • Scrap paper. The white letter paper (from a realtor or local business) can be turned over to print coupons on. :-)
    • Make new paper from it. There's tons of advice on how to do this, just do a google search to find it.
    • Use the envelopes to write your shopping list on (and then you can store the coupons inside)
    • Let your toddler or small child color or paint on it. They generally don't care that there's already something written on it.
    • Use catalogs and ads for kids projects or educational games.
    • Use the mail to let your kids play post office with.
    • Crafting. This website has a ton of stuff you can purchase, but they also have diy section.
    • And of course, if all else fails recycle it.
    Do you have idea for junk mail? Share below and I will add it to the list!

    Monday, May 9, 2011

    Another Publix Trip and Publix Ad

    I spent $17.76 for $48.35 worth of groceries, saving $30.59 or 63%! Not great, but I got dog food and a nice plant in there, so I consider it great. I also got another gas card.

    Here is the match-ups:
    (4) Glade Spring Candles BOGO $3.49
       -(2) $2/2 from BzzAgent Booklet
       -(2) $1/2 from Yellow Advantage Buy Flier
    (2) Publix Greenwise Milk $4.29
       -(1) $1/1 Publix Baby Club
    (1) Pedigree Dog Food $12.99
       -(1)$3/1 HERE
       -(1)$2/1 Pet Club HERE
    (1)Watermelon $3.12
    (1) Calla Lily $6.50 (All Mother's Day flowers and plants were 50% off at my store)
    -$10 Publix Gift Card


    I Heart Publix

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

    A few good things, but I haven't had a chance to give it a big once over.

    Meal Plan Monday

    Monday- Quesadillas
    Tuesday-  Grilled Chicken, Roasted Potatoes, Veggie
    Wednesday- Kielbasa, Tater Tots, Veggie
    Thursday- Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Veggie
    Friday-  Pork Chops, CousCous, Veggie
    Saturday- Chicken, Brocolli, and Rice Casserole
    Sunday- Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Veggie
    What's your menu for the week?
    Don't forget to link up below!

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    Friday Favorites- Recipe

    I really, really love baking, so I just thought I'd share one of my favorite roll recipes. It's a recipe by King Authur Flour, one of my favorite kinds of flour (yes I have favorites).

    I often make it for Thanksgiving, but they can work for all sorts of meals. They are soo yummy.
    Check out these yummy Honey Wheat Rolls here.

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    Publix Trip 5/5/11

    I spent $29.31 for $77.47 worth of groceries, saving $48.16 or 62%! I also got $50 gas card for $40!

    Here's the match-ups:
    (2)Pepperidge Farm Stone Baked Rolls BOGO $3
       -(2) $1/1 from 4/10/11 SS
    (4)Tidy Cat Litter BOGO $2.49
       -(4) $1.10/1 HERE
    (2) Philadelphia Cooking Creme 2/$4
       -(2) $1.50/1 from 3/6/11 SS
       -(1) $1/1 Winn-Dixie coupon in homemailed RP
    (2) Frito-Lay Snack Packs $5.99
       -(2)$2/2 Printable (no longer available)
    (2) Crest Pro-Health 2/$5
       -(2)$1.50/1 from 5/1/11 PG
    (5) Yoplait Yogurt 20/$10
       -(5) Free Product Coupons from myblogspark.
    (1)Emeril Bam Meal 5/$5
       -(1)$1/1 HERE
    (1) Mushrooms 2/$3
    (1)Potatoes 2/$5
    (1) Watermelon 1/4 $2.38
    (1) Pedigree Dog Food $12.98
       -(1)$3/1 HERE
       -(1)$2/1 Pet Club HERE

    Trip was good overall. Realized I forgot the gift card I had at home, and they only had one bag of the dog food, but I can't complain. I'll just use the gift card toward getting another bag later in the week. The produce guy gave my daughter some fresh cut strawberry, which she loved. That's why I love Publix, their staff is always so friendly.

    Frugality: Publix Coupon Policy Change?

    There has been a lot of speculation about the forthcoming Publix Coupon Policy, but here's the thing: it's best not to believe any of it until it actually comes out. I've seen two posts about it from two major blogs, and in the comments everybody claimed to know someone (or worked at Publix themselves) who heard that the coupon policy had _______ in it. And they varied all over the place to only minor changes (competitor's within a certain mile radius) to huge changes (no competitor's, only one competitor coupon, no overage, limits on coupon amounts, etc.)
    Here's what we can expect:
    • It will make things clearer. Hopefully it will clear up confusion that you have from store to store, or even cashier to cashier.
    • It will be in writing. This is a good thing really. You can show it to the cashier or manager when there is a problem.
    • You'll still be able to save a lot. They'll still do BOGO's (which is an automatic 50% savings), and you'll still be able to use manufacturer's coupons saving you more. Really I'm going to bet that unless there is something really crazy in there most people won't see much in relation to their savings percentages.
    • It will stop abuse. Unfortunately a few bad apples can spoil it for the rest of us. Hopefully with a written coupon policy all cashiers will be knowledgable on what they can and can't accept, and therefore there won't be any problems with people using more coupons then items, fake coupons, unacceptable competitor's (for example warehouse club coupons to by a trial size item, or coupons for a store not even in the same state or neighboring state), etc.
    • Less poor customer service. While poor customer service is rare at Publix, there are cashiers (and customer service managers, and managers), who feel as though coupon users are "stealing" money from the store. Hopefully with a clear, written policy they won't feel so bad.
    • It will be fair. They know who their competitor's are, they know what kind of policies are out there (Walmart just released one that was surprisingly lenient in allowing overage!), so they aren't going to want to alienate their shoppers too much. If they make it too difficult to use coupons or harder to save money, people will switch stores. They like people saving money at their store (remember their motto is "Love to Shop Here. Love to Save Here. and they have commercials featuring people printing coupons). More than likely there will be minor changes, but many of us won't see many things far different then how our store currently works.
    • It won't cover everything. It just can't. All stores have learned that with written policies. There's just no way to make rules that cover everything, so there will still be things that will vary from store to store.
    My best advice, until it officially comes out, I wouldn't worry about it too much. However, in the mean time I would certainly voice your opinions to Publix corporate.

    What would I like to see?
    • Doubling coupons in Florida
    • Penny Item in Florida (a girl can dream right)
    • Just a written policy in general.
    • Overage written out as allowed. (After all Walmart does allow it now, which has almost tempted me to go there...)
    • Limits on number of deals you can purchase. Reasonable to the type of item, obviously, since a limit of 4 yogurts would be awful, but a limit of 4 boxes of the same cereal would be reasonable. However, I think this would be best accomplished in each ad. I dislike shelf-clearers, and this seems like a fair way to deal with it, and thusly stop the store from having a then surplus when the store finally catches up.
    • A written list of competitor's for each store. I don't care if there is a mile range or not, just that each store has to post who they accept as competitors. It's really frustrating when one week you ask CS and get that a certain store is a competitor and the next it is not, and then a month later it is. Really to me the only competitor's I care about are Target (we have a Super Target), Winn-Dixie, and Sweet Bay. I would also like Save-a-lot too, but I won't complain. They've been really lenient in my area, but really I just care about Target and Winn-Dixie as I rarely get any other competitors.
    What would you like to see?

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    Ready Kids

    Last week I talked about the need to have a plan, and since then there have been more natural disasters. There always will be disasters, and you can never believe it won't happen to you. One way to be ready is to make sure your kids are also ready, and where they are capable, have them be a part of making the plans and preparations. I mentioned the FEMA site last week, and this week I thought I would share their kids site. You can find it here. It has lots of games and activities to help kids be prepared.  Most kids could tell you exactly what to do if the fire alarm goes off at school, but could they tell you what to do if it went off at home? They should, which is why you should be ready.

    As a side note, the more your kids are prepared the more they will (most likely) remain calm in an emergency. Remember the more kids have a chance to do something and practice the better they act in time of the actual event. (This is true of adults too). Have mock emergencies, where you act out what you will do. It adds a great piece of mind. Teach them young and often, and you should have no problem at all.

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    New Uses for Old Jeans

    While jeans are pretty sturdy in nature, sometimes they wear out, we rip them, or we grow out of them. Here's a list of things you can do with those old jeans.
    Do you have an idea for old jeans, share them below, and I will add to the list!

    Monday, May 2, 2011

    Meal Plan Monday

    Monday- Tortellini, Veggie
    Tuesday-  Beef Stir-fry
    Wednesday- Salad with Veggies and Chicken Tenders
    Thursday- Beef Stroganoff, Veggie
    Friday-  Chicken Cordon Bleu, Rice, Veggie
    Saturday- Pizza
    Sunday- Pasta and Chicken Sausage Bake
    What's your menu for the week?
    Don't forget to link up below!