Saturday, January 11, 2014

My adorable coffee mug!!

For Christmas, my awesome parents got me a coffee mug that looks like a prescription for coffee... Does life get any better?? Here is the link to the mug on Amazon if you are interested! :)

Big Mouth Toys The Prescription Coffee Mug

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Healthy Snack Ideas!

I feel like I am always searching for new snack ideas. Check out this list of *100* suggestions to try here! Variety is the spice of life, right? :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Meal Planning 3.25-4.5.2012

Today was my day to meal plan, make a list, and shop for the next 2(ish) weeks.
My (self inflicted) challenges:
~ Healthy, "whole" foods (not processed foods) where possible. I also eat low carb, high protein when possible.
~ Menu to accommodate our new routine (my husband is now working nights) as well as to match the nice weather.
On our list is (in no particular order):
Fajitas over brown rice for me, in a tortilla for everyone else
Grilled burgers and potato salad
Grilled brats and baked beans
Grilled chicken with salad
Tuna pasta salad with grapes
Taco salad
Homemade pizza with salad
Tortelini alfredo with a veggie or salad on the side
Boiled polluck (Poor Mans Lobster) with potatoes and green beans
Corn and black bean quesadillas
Pulled pork sandwiches with cole slaw
Chicken stir fry over brown rice
Homemade pizza rolls with salad
Todays shopping also stocked the fridge and fruit bowl with grapes, apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries, salad, cole slaw mix, cucumber, tomatoes, green peppers, mushrooms, and carrots for snacks and sides. I feel really good about our plan, and think we have plenty of options for quick, healthy meals and snacks.
Best part? We came in under budget, and treated ourselves to The Muppet Movie. :)
What are your planning/shopping/saving challenges lately?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Price Book/Rock Bottom Prices List

In a few recent discussions, I realized that not only do I want to keep track of where I find the cheapest prices (which I can usually remember) but when and for what quantity. The 12 pack? The single pack? Was it a gift card deal with a coupon at Target? Building a "price book" moreso than just a "price list" can give you more and better information!

See the post here.  Thanks for sharing Couponing in Minnesota!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Meal Planning

Just to give you a few ideas if you are starting out, here is what I have on my rotation for the next 15 days (and one extra):

Hamburger gravy with green beans
Southwestern chicken bake
Mexican Lazagna with salad
Taco Baked Potatoes
Sloppy joes with carrots
Baked fish, baked potato, steamed veggie or salad
Cheesy chicken enchilada soup with corn bread
Taco chili with tortilla chips
Stuffed shells with salads
Chicken, mashed potatoes, and veggies
Chicken stir fry over brown rice
Beef roast with potatoes
Ham with cheesy potatoes and green bean potatoes
Pot roast with veggies and potatoes
Pulled pork sandwiches with cole slaw

Coups for Troops!

Here is a link to "The Krazy Coupon Lady" for information on how to send your expired coupon overseas for our military to use.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Meal Planning 5/21/11

We've been doing well with meal planning lately, how about you?

This is what we have based on our stock pile and this weeks ads:
Friday: Cold tuna pasta salad
Saturday: (ordered pizza)
Sunday: Chili or spaghetti
Monday: Grilled chicken breasts with baked or mashed potatoes
Tuesday: Venison stroganoff over egg noodles
Wednesday: Leftovers - we leave Thursday for 5 days! :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

5/19/11 Shopping Highlights

~$.99 Kraft BBQ sauce, B2G$2/KoolAid - bought 4 BBQ sauce, got 2 Koolaid for $6.70!
~Buy 10 FC items, save $5 - got 4 marshmallows, 1 Twizzler, 4 chocolate chips and 1 butterscotch chips for $10.30 ($.49 marshmallows, $.89 Twizzlers and $1.49 choc/scotch chips.)
~B1G1 Cool Whip - $1.95/2
~B1G1 Kemps 1/2 gallon choc milk - $3/79/2
~Buy marshmallows, chocolate bars, and graham crackers and save $2
Spent $33.26, saved $18.70, 36%!

Cash Wise
~FC sugar free Jello $.29/ea for small boxes
~Coke 24 packs $8/2 - they are on sale for $10/2, then there were peelies at Coborn's for $2/2
~FC hot dogs $2.88/2 - I got 3 of these, my son loves hot dogs!
~FC BSCS $3/98/2.5# - great buy!
~B1G1 Land O Frost lunch meat $5.48/2 (I forgot my $.55/1 coups!)
~Grape tomatoes $2.47/pint. Cheap!
~Dole iceberg salad mix $1.54
~YoBaby 4 packs discounted to $2.49
Spent $68.03, saved $20.20

Total spent $101.29 for $140.19 worth of groceries. I was happy! :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

"Extreme Couponing"

Here is an interesting link to a recent news blip about couponing. Once again, the "EC" show on TLC drives me CRAZY!

I have a stockpile of quite a few things. But, I am not a hoarder like many of these people! The lady buying juice boxes for the summer? I get that. But having 100 toothpaste and 50 cake mixes? If you aren't donating 95% of that - which, despite claims that they do this is NOT shown - then this is wasteful and irresponsible.

I have 25 rolls of toilet paper. Not 2500.

Moreso than the hoarding/stockpiling, I question these people's ability to feed their families. Where are the meal plans? What are you actually serving for dinner - just frozen foods? How about fruits, and salads, and fresh vegetables. Meat? Bread? There are rarely coupons for these! I save in areas that I can so that I can afford produce, meat, dairy, etc.

Another thing to keep in mind if you are just starting out - what these shows don't mention is the "OYNO" coupons. Similar to coupons, they are savings from your last purchase that come in the form of a coupon to use On Your Next Order. You get your order down to $60 then use $60 worth of OYNO coupons. Pfft, that's savings from your LAST order, you're just cashing them in tonight! If I can't duplicate your order, you aren't showing me a realistic savings trip...

I could go on... What frustrates you about this show?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Meghann's Coupon Ethics

1) Don't pay for coupons, other than your newspaper subscription - you should never have to buy coupons! Ask around to friends, family, and businesses to see if they will give you their extra coupons! I also have a group of friends that trades coupons, just costs us the stamp and envelope!
2) Don't buy more than a reasonable amount of a product - probably under 10 items per visit.
3) Related to #2 - don't clear shelves! Always try to leave some for the next person.
4) Don't "trick" the system - meaning, 18 seperate transactions in 1 day is rediculous. 3 or 4, depending on how busy the store was, would be my limit.
5) Don't EVER use coupons on the wrong product. Unintentional mistakes happen - but doing it intentionally is fraud, and hurts those of us doing it the right way!!

Above all - pay it forward. Share your wisdom, share your stock pile and deals when you can, and be kind to those in the stores with you! A cashier who looks forward to what you save vs. one who hates to see you walk through the door makes a big difference in enjoying your shopping!

(Can you tell I am watching 'Extreme Couponing' and getting frustrated at some of these practices?!)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Walmart Coupon Policy

Have you see this? They will no longer accept competitor coupons without a price (such as, "$1 off of Tide" - but they will accept a coupon that states "Tide 100oz for $8.99.")

AND, now they will allow overage - meaning if there is a really good sale and you have a really good coupon, you could LITERALLY be PAID to take items home. In cash. Or in $ towards the rest of your bill. WAHOO!

I believe they will also price match for same items, or will price match generic brands if they have the exact item in their brand. Good savings come from knowing store's policies!!

Here is the policy:

Walmart Coupon Policy

Walmart accepts the following types of coupons (see guidelines below):
  • Manufacturers' coupons
  • Print-at-home internet coupons
    • Must be legible, have "Manufacturer Coupon" printed on them, have a valid remit address for the manufacturer, valid expiration date, and have a scannable bar code.
  • Competitors' coupons that feature a specific item for a specified price
    • for example, $2.99
  • Soft drink container caps
  • Checkout coupons
    • (also called "Catalinas") that are printed at our competitors' registers, have "Manufacturer Coupon" with specific requirements printed on them, a valid remit address for the manufacturer, valid expiration date, and a scannable bar code.
Walmart does not accept the following coupons:
  • Print-at-home Internet coupons that require no purchase
  • Competitors' coupons for dollars/cents or percentage off, buy one get one free, and double- or triple-value coupons
The following are guidelines and limitations:
  • Only one coupon per item is permitted.
  • Coupons must have an expiration date and be redeemed prior to expiration.
  • Coupons may exceed the price of the item. Change may be given or applied toward the cost of the basket purchase.
  • Walmart only accepts coupons for merchandise that we sell.
  • Coupons must be presented at the time of purchase.
  • We accept the following with Customer Service Supervisor/Management approval:
    • 40 or more coupons
    • Any coupon over $20
    • $50 or more in coupons in one transaction

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Aldi Trip 12/29/10

I definetly recommend hitting Aldi before your regular store every time you shop. Take your quarter for the cart, your reusable bags to pack things up, and your list - then just go up and down the aisles and grab things from your list!

*I will say, there are some things I haven't gotten yet from Aldi - like meat and most of the frozen stuff.

This week we got:

Macaroni and cheese - $.29, $.10 savings per box
Lite pancake syrup - $1.49, $1 savings
Black beans - $.55, $.10 savings per can
Diced tomatoes - $.49, $.10-20 savings per can
Refried beans - $.69, $.30 savings per can
Cream of chicken - $.99 - equal to best sale price at CW (but not available in light)
Pancake mix - $1.39, $.60 savings per box
Condensed tomato soup $.49, equal to best sale price at CW
Whole kernal corn $.39 - equal to best sale price at CW
Light sour cream - $.99 - equal to best sale price at CW
Imitation cheese - $.99 - equal to best sale price at CW (I would not buy this again, I haaaaate fake cheese.)
Onions - $1.49/3# bag, $.50/lb savings

All in all, with 2 cans of refried beans and 2 cans of corn, we spent $11.41. GREAT savings at approximately $3.60 over best prices at Cash Wise, 24% savings without clipping any coupons.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

How to do a Birthday Party Cheaper!

~Make the food yourself. We planned for 35 people and made 5 pans of homemade lazagna, 1/2 pan of vegetable lazagna and a crock of gluten free lazagna. Ingredients cost me around $70 total, including lettuce for salad plus croutons, parmesean cheese and 2 dressings and 2 loaves of french bread and cheese for garlic cheese bread.
~Drinks were 2 liter sodas - I picked these up on sale for $1 each, then bought ice and had that next to the 2 litres in an ice bucket.
~We chose a theme of Curious George, but only bought 8 plates, 8 napkins, and the invites in the "theme." The rest of the paper products were solid colors from Target - about $12 for 3 packs of large plates, 3 packs of cake plates, and 3 packs of napkins, then about $10 for plastic silverware and cups and $6 for table cloths. Big savings over using all products in the "theme!"
~We had a friend with a wonderful talent for making cakes do our birthday cake, the smash cake, and 12 cupcakes. What I paid her for all of this was a fraction of what I would have paid at the store, and I got a custom cake with fondant monkeys! We skipped the ice cream.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Leftovers: do they work for you?

I was discussing leftovers with my Mom recently - the gyst of the conversation is that Mom doesn't always want to take the leftovers to work from last nights meal, and Dad rarely eats leftovers.

So - while it works for my family to have leftovers for lunches, maybe your family needs to freeze leftovers for a few days or weeks before that meal sounds good again. Or, maybe your family needs to halve recipes so you don't have leftovers as you just don't ever use/eat them.

Bottom line - obviously, leftovers are only a good deal (time wise and financially) if you EAT them before they go bad!!

Another alternative - make a pork roast, for example, and then the next day make pork fried rice. This is my Dad's specialty with leftovers - transform them in to something new!

*Along the same lines - do you notice that you are routinely throwing out produce? Maybe its that bag of salad you intended to have for lunch at work, maybe it's a few apples each week. If you don't eat it, QUIT buying it! Literally - cash in the trash is killing your budget. With some self restraint, you can make a mid-week stop at the grocery store if you go through all your oranges, apples and bananas. BUT - I wouldn't take in my check card. Take a list of what you need and just a bit more cash than you think you'll need. Chances are you won't want to run out to your car to get your other cash or your wallet, and you'll be much more careful about what you are buying. Otherwise, these mid-week trips can ruin your budget just as much as throwing out food you didn't eat!

Meal Planning 10/10-10/20/10

Poorman's Lobster
Stir fry w/ brown rice
Santa Fe Rice and Beans
Sloppy joes (we just use a can of Manwich,  which are on sale this week for $.90/can, and ground beef or ground turkey over hamburger buns.)
Baked ziti
Chicken and wild rice soup
Loaded baked potato soup
Crock Pot Chicken and stuffing
Beer battered fish
Stuffed shells
Steak soup - so simple, and if you keep those random veggie leftovers and freeze them, this is a great soup to use them up in if you don't make your own soup stocks!
Taco Chili
Macaroni, cheese and tomato bake
Grandma's cheesy chicken casserole
Beef stew
Mock chow mein (on the blog, but the link isn't working? Hmm...)
Broccoli cheese soup
French onion soup

Staples for lazy days, lunches, snacks:
A few frozen lunches in case I need to grab something on my way out the door
Some canned soups for lunches at home or work
Makings for sandwiches
Macaroni and cheese
Hot dogs
String cheese

Side dishes: I keep rice, potatoes, etc. on hand for sides as well as frozen and canned veggies.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Haircuts - Especially Men

My husband usually wears his hair short, and all one length. We usually pay $15.95 for a haircut plus tip, but a few years ago we bought a trimmer to use at home. The first one was less than $10 and lasted nearly 3 years! We just replaced it for $10something.

I am no hair expert, but I just snap on the guards to the trimmer and away we go! Super easy and CHEAP!! Husby still gets a store haircut now and again, but just 1 cut at home and the thing has more than paid for itself.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cheap Target Trip!

Who knew there was such a thing?!

My transaction looked like this:
$2.24 Shout spray (I knew the coupons would have overage - I wanted the full discount!)
$3.99 Head and Shoulders
$3.99 Head and Shoulders
$2.08 Garnier Fructis conditioner - clearanced
$.97 Johnson&Johnson first aid kit
$.97 Johnson&Johnson first aid kit
$.97 Johnson&Johnson first aid kit
-$3.99 B1G1 Head and Shoulders 7/11 SS
-$3 B3G$3 off Johnson&Johnson coupon 8/1 SS
-$1 Head and Shoulders coupon 8/15 SS
-$5 Target coupon for Head and Shoulders, Pantene, Garnier, etc. coupon (I got this in the coupon booklet given out at our Target's 'Grand Opening' of the Fresh Market.)
$1.23 before tax!