Tuesday, January 31, 2012

End Of The Month Coupon Print Reminder

Tomorrow is already February (sheesh!  where has the month gone???) and that means new coupons will appear, but that also means that the current coupons just might disappear!

Here are links to several of the major printable coupon sites.  Check them out and print any that you may need before the are gone!  (Coupons general have an expiration date 1 month from the print date, so you'll have plenty of time to use them!)


Red Plum

Coupon Network

Grocery Coupon Network


Shopping Trip 1/31: Albertsons And Kroger

Not only was today the last day of the sale ads here, its also the last day of the month, so that meant many of my coupons were expiring.   I spent most of the evening last night combing through my inserts and clipping out some that expired today or next week that I thought might make for good deals, and also putting together lists to shop at the remaining two stores I wanted to go to.

My first stop was Albertsons.  I like when Albertsons does Mega Sales, but I'm not sure if it's just my store or what, but they NEVER have the mega sale prices marked on the items.  There are no Mega Sale signs anywhere.  Its very frustrating.  I always fear that things won't ring up right, and usually have to scamper back to the front of the store and grab an ad.  But, I've never had trouble with a price ringing wrong!

Here's what I got today at Albertsons:

Total Shelf Price:  $55.81
Total Sale Price:   $30.11  Already 46% Savings!

Price Paid After Coupons:  $16.80    70% Savings!

From there I went on to Kroger (still grumbling about them no longer doubling--in fact I think this may have been the second time I've shopped there since they stopped, but it was a good sale!)  I had planned on getting 4 sets of their Mega Sale items, and I did end up getting 4 sets, but I have to change my plans around a bit in store.

You see, my Kroger doesn't have a very large organic food section, so a  few of the items I planned to purchase, my store did not even seem to carry, and they were out of a couple other items.  I *always* bring along back up coupons to Mega Sales because you never know when you will run into a stock problem.   In fact, this time I still was three items short, so I grabbed a few $0.48 mac and cheese cups as cheap filler items.

Here is everything I ended up getting at Kroger:

Total Shelf Price:     $ 93.44
Total Sale Price:      $ 58.32   Already 38% Savings

Price Paid After Coupons:  $32.96     65% Savings

Altogether today I spent $49.76 on  $149.25 worth of groceries, so I saved 67%, nearly $100!  Woohoo!

Since I have all my meals prepared in the freezer this week, I focused my grocery money on rebuilding a small stock of some items that had dwindled.  I think I'm all set on juice and diced tomatoes for a while! ;)


Teaching Tuesday: Lesson 1--Know Your Costs And Shop Around

Welcome to Teaching Tuesdays!  In this series, I intend to lay out some of the basic rules and how-to's to help you save the most money!

Today's lesson I intended to be two separate lessons but no matter how I thought it through and tried to write it out, they were intertwined!  Today I'm going to be talking about knowing how much you usually pay for an item so you can know if you are getting a better deal elsewhere.

I think that most people, whether they use coupons or not, have a go to store that they imagine has the lowest prices.  There's nothing wrong with that!  In fact, its a great thing!  The problem comes when people get so used to shopping the same store, buying the same items that they need, that they don't even pay attention to the prices anymore.

One day they happen into another store, and they see what they *think* is a good price on an item they use, but they aren't really sure.

You can't know if you are getting a good deal on something if you don't know the price you usually pay for that item.

I used to be a one stop shopper.  Back when I was working and had one child who was an infant.  I didn't even pay attention to sales flyers from other stores because I was sure they were more expensive, and equally sure I didn't have the time to go from store to store chasing deals.  I still attempted to use coupons, but my savings were very slim at that time.

When my husband and I decided that I would begin staying home, and I found myself pregnant with baby number 2 a few months later, I knew I had to start spending less money.  I had a pretty good head for numbers back then, and could usually spout off the prices I paid for any item in my pantry.  I knew the prices I normally paid!

One day, I decided to open up a grocery flyer just to see, and I noticed that some things were on sale for LESS than I usually got them for.  I also noticed that the flyer said that they would double couples.

Now, I had to stop and blink a few times.  This "expensive" store had an item I liked on sale for less money than I had been paying for it, AND they would deduct double the value of my coupons?   At the time I had just printed a $0.50 coupon for this item, that just so happened to be on sale for $1.   It didn't take very hard calculations to realize that I could get that item for FREE that week at that store with my coupon.  

It wasn't hard to figure out that FREE was a good deal, but I still thought that this was only one item that would be on sale for one week.  It was a fluke.  Nothing more.

I was wrong.

I started paying more attention to the flyers from the three grocery stores that doubled coupons in my area each week (note that Kroger no longer doubles).  I started to find that the "every day low prices" I was used to paying, were usually beat each week in at least one of those three store's flyers.

So I started shopping around.  I would make my lists (I'll be talking more about how to do that later on), gather up the coupons I had for the sale items, and go to each of these stores to get the best deals.  I was prepared before entering the store, so shopping didn't take very long!

Once I had grabbed all the grocery store deals, I would shop my usual store to get what remained on my list.  By this time Aldi had just opened, and it quickly became my usual store.  I was incredibly surprised when my shopping lists of items that I needed started becoming smaller and smaller.  I was beginning to build a small stockpile of items in my pantry, and I was spending less than ever on food. (That was about the same time I was inspired to begin this blog).

Now, that's a long story of how I personally came to figure these things out.  What I want you to take away from it is that because I knew how much I normally paid for things, I was able to realize that I could get things for less by shopping someplace other than my normal store.

I kind of went a bit overboard when I first began, and I think that is just normal to do.  You naturally want to snatch up every deal you find.  But in order to know if you are getting a deal, you must know your prices!

These days, with two kids...one in school with homework to do and the other all over the place...its harder to keep track of prices I'm accustomed to paying.  I'm also a little more selective about if a trip to a particular store is worth the effort (how many things I can get cheaper there is important!  I don't make a special trip for just one or two items....I'm conserving gas, too!)

I'm planning on doing something that everyone suggests, and I've always thought it was a great idea, but never got around to doing:  I'm going to make myself a price list!

That's right!  I admit it.  I've never made one for myself before.  *hangs head in shame*  I've always had a good head for numbers, and I can still often tell you how much I paid for items after coupons, but there are a lot of things flying around in my head these days, so I think it would save me a lot of stress and wondering if I wrote these things down.

I intend to base it off of Aldi's prices, and I'm not going to do it all at once.  I'm just going to jot down a few items that I routinely buy there the next time I go.  I'm sure I'll leave things off, so I'll slowly make a more complete list.  Then I can compare other store's sale prices to my Aldi prices, and if an item is less at another store (and I'm going there for other things....no extra trips for me!) I can pick it up elsewhere while I'm out.  I'm going to also calculate a second column that is 30%-50% lower than Aldi's prices, depending on the item.  That will be my stockpile price, and when I am able to get items for that price after coupons, I will stock up, sensibly. ;)

If you'd like to have a look at an example, my friend Cricket at Thrifty Texas Penny (she lives in the Tyler, TX area) put together this very detailed comparison chart listing Wal-Mart prices next to the price she normally pays after coupons in her area.

She also has a blank one listed that you can start with if you'd like, or there is a selection of printable price list forms here.

Your Homework  (Now what kind of teacher would I be without homework!)  ;)

I challenge you to make a list of about 20-30 items you regularly buy, and write down their prices next time you go to your regular store.  You can even just use your current shopping list, and add on to it the next time you shop.  

Then, when you get home, open up a sales flyer from a store that you do not normally shop at, and see if anything is on sale for less than the prices you wrote down.

If you take this challenge, come back and leave a comment if you find something cheaper.

Next week I will talk about the importance of knowing your store's coupon policies, and I will give you the details of my local Dallas Area Stores.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Qualify For High Paying Surveys??

This morning, I checked my email and noticed that I had a survey invitation from MindField.   It was not your typlical $1-$2 survey invitation.

I had been invited to take part in an hour long 1 on 1 web cam interview, for which I would earn $35!

Unfortunately, I did not qualify for this particular one, but the screener said that they conducted these types of studies pretty frequently, so if you haven't registered with them yet, make sure you do!


Weekly Goals 1/30

I'm still not doing very great accomplishing my goals for the week, but I suppose I'm about halfway there.

Last week I said my goals would be:

Must get done:
  • Freeze spaghetti
  • Put meatballs, etc. in freezer bags (I left them on the baking sheets to freeze overnight.  It helps them hold their shape).
  • Finalize our budget  (work in progress)
Would like to get done:
  • Put Christmas items up in the attic
  • Clean master bathroom/bedroom
  • Organize Under Bathroom Cabinets
Trying to form habits:
  • Wash/dry/put away one complete load of laundry each day  (yes that means I have a huge basket awaiting me in the garage)
  • Wash/dry/put away one load of dishes each day 
  • Go to bed/wake up earlier (HA!)

So you can see I'm still working on getting to everything on my list.  I will say that I'm doing a good job of maintaining the cleanliness of the house that I worked so hard to achieve the week after Christmas, so that is encouraging to me!  I've also been able to get a little bit ahead on pre-scheduling blog posts for you guys, so that's saving me some stress.

This week....

Must Be Done:
  • Clean Betta Fish Tank
  • Use Up Sweet Potatoes  (I intend to attempt to make chips).
  • Put Christmas Stuff Away/Tidy Up Garage
Would Like To Get Done:
  • Clean Our Bedroom
  • Organize/Inventory Under Bathroom Cabinets
  • Organize/Inventory Under Kitchen Cabinets
  • Organize Cups
  • Continue Working On Finalizing Budget
  • Continue Pre-writing posts
  • One load of laundry each day (and put away)
  • One load of dishes each day
  • Go To Bed/Get Up Early
  • Yoga at least one night a week  (Wii or netflix)

I'm easing myself into this whole exercise thing...

I'm sure I will once again come up with a million other things that are more pressing, but I suppose there's no harm in that if they truly are!


Free Sample Of Purex Triple Action LIVE NOW!

As a member of the PurexInsiders, I have recently been given the opportunity to try some new and improved Purex products.

I've enjoyed using all the products, and found no difference from my normal detergent products.

Today, Purex is giving away FREE samples of the new Triple Action Liquid detergent.

I was sent a whole bottle of this to test, and I liked it a lot!

In a few weeks there will be another sampling opportunity, this time for the new UltraPacks.  There is a limit of one sample per household, so you must choose one or the other to request.  If you request the liquid today, you will not be able to get the Ultra Packs next time, just so you know.

I was also sent a whole pack of the UltraPacks to test out, and they worked very well too, and were easy to use.  My only worry was how easy to pop they were (the dissolvable outer layer is very flimsy), so I was always worried about a toddler induced disaster...

I'm happy to say I've made it to the last three in the bag without mishap, though! ;)

So now you've heard my thoughts!  Choose your sample, and head over here and request it (if you pick the liquid).  If you choose to wait, I'll alert you when the other one is available!


Shopping Trip 1/30: Should Have Paid More Attention To The Ad!

I'm still eating from the freezer this week, but there were a few items on my list that I needed from Aldi, and while I was out, and passing right by it, I figured I might as well stop by Tom Thumb.

My first stop was Aldi, and I grabbed some items we'd run out of and a few produce sale items they had.  Here is everything I got:

I'm stocked up on snack and lunch items now for at least the next two weeks, and my total spent was $30.85.

(By the way, my store still had plenty of the Tyson Chicken Breasts that were this weeks meat special buy, with $2 off stickers on them, so if you need chicken, keep your eyes peeled for those!  I still have plenty of chicken in my freezer, so I didn't buy any this time.)

Then I stopped in Tom Thumb.  My main reason for going there was to buy some Ken's dressing.  They were on sale for $1.50, and I had 4 $1/1 coupons to get them for just $0.50.  I walked in the door, and headed for the dressing aisle first.  The signs there said $2.50, however.  I was confused, so I walked back to the front and grabbed an ad.  Sure enough, I'd missed, or at least forgotten, the fine print that said 3 Day Sale, Friday-Sunday Only.

So, I didn't get my salad dressing..but I still got the rest of the few items that I went in to get:

Total Shelf Price:  $18.32
Total Sale Price:   $12.46    (Already 32% Savings

Used $5/1 Kingsford printable (NLA)
Used FREE Yoplait Kids Coupon (Home mailer, expired today!)
Used $1/1 Danimals Crunchers from All You
Used $1/4 2oz Buddig  (found in package)
Used $0.25/1 Chapstick (tripled)  (NLA)

Then used $2 ONYO coupon that printed last trip, bringing my grand total down to $0.21!  That's a savings of 99%!

I've hit two stores so far this week, for a grand total of $31.06 for $49.21 worth of items.  I'm still planning on going to both Albertson's and Kroger either this evening or tomorrow morning.  Hopefully I can keep it under budget for the week.

Since I'm eating from the freezer, I don't need items to make meals, so I am focusing on stockpile items that are running low!


FREE Italian E-Cookbook Download With Newsletter Sign-Up

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Click the blue button above!


Menu Plan: 1/30-2/5 (Eating From The Freezer Again)

Last week I shared with you my plan to try to make dinner meals from what we have on hand and in the freezer this month.  I ate from the freezer all last week, and the freezer still has plenty of meals in it, so I'm going to be planning my meals from the freezer again this week.

Last week, I only made it three days into my meal plan before I started switching things up for other freezer items, once to use up some lettuce (I grabbed taco meat and we had taco salads) and one night we had bacon and eggs.

I'm going to try to make myself use up some of the things in there that are getting a bit older this week, even if that may not be what I'm feeling when it comes to be dinner time.

Here's the plan:

Monday:  Gumbo  (one we skipped last week)

Tuesday:  Turkey Taco Quiche

Wednesday:  Turkey Soup

Thursday:  Pork Stew  (skipped last week)

Friday:  Meat Loaf  (skipped last week)

Saturday:  Lentil Soup

Sunday:  Chicken and Dumplings  (skipped last week)

For more menu plans, head over here.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Practical Wisdom From Yesterday's Women: Save The Bottles

If you're just tuning in, I've been reading through *very old* books on homemaking and frugality, and sharing with you some wise insights.

Today's tidbit of wisdom  from the past is about not tossing glass bottles:

Save vials and bottles. Apothecaries and grocers will give something for them. If the bottles are of good thick glass, they will always be useful for bottling cider or beer;

Child, Lydia Maria Francis (2009-10-04). The American Frugal Housewife (Kindle Locations 251-252). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition. 

In 1832 when this book was written, everything didn't come in plastic bottles, and there was not curbside recycling pick up.  I'm pretty sure that they sat out milk jugs to be refilled (a type of recycling), and selling them as she mentions is a type of recycling, too.

However, around the house, there are many uses to be found for bottles and jars.  Many times I have used containers that would have been tossed for another purpose around the house, and it has saved me from having to buy something to fill that purpose!

  • Freezing things!  I use margarine tubs *all the time* for my freezer meals.  My whole family has always done this, so it just seemed like the thing to do to me.  But, it saves me from buying plastic containers/bags.  I also use glass jars (think pasta sauces) to freeze liquid items--my homemade salsa and pizza sauce for example.
  • Bath Toys!  I cleaned out some empty spice containers and tossed them in the tub. My kids had the greatest time sprinkling each other at bath-time.  I got this idea when I saw a group of children bring a whole bag of such items to a splash park.  All of us mommies were sitting around in awe that the most popular kids there were the ones who had brought their TRASH as playthings!
  • Storage!  I've not yet done this myself, but I've seen many people use glass jars to store bulk foods like beans, rice, spices, etc.  They look nice, and you can easily see inside.
  • Projects!  I'm not good at these, but I'm sure all of the homeschooling mom's out there can give tons of examples.  My daughter's Kindergarten teacher just requested plastic bottles with lids for a science experiment, and they have been collecting cereal boxes for quite some time now for their 100th day celebration.  I'm quite interested to see what they are doing with them!

What other ideas can you share?


New Food Coupons This Morning

Today was a great day to get the paper.  I may go get a couple extras.  I also noticed a few new food coupons out on coupons.com this morning:

*The image is messed up on this one, but it is fro $0.70/1.*


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Weekend Rewind: Want FREE ECBs?

This post was first published on 4/30/10.  I'f since mentioned this program here and there in passing, but I love it and I still get survey invited from them every 2-3 months.  They no longer give ECBs if you do not qualify for the survey, but I usually do qualify for the ones I get now.

Here's the original post:

CVS has made a consumer panel called the CVS Advisor Panel.  They send out email survey invitations and reward you with Extra Bucks.  I have been a member of it for about a year (3 now!), and I've received about 4-5 surveys from them.  The survey will ask a few questions at the beginning to see if you qualify, and I have only qualified for one of the shorter surveys they have sent.  For that survey, I was awarded $5 Extra Bucks.  Some of the longer ones, that I did not get to complete, would have awarded $10-$15 Extra Bucks.  But, the best part is that even if you do not qualify to complete the survey, you will always get awarded $1-$2 Extra Bucks just for trying.  I just received an invitation in my email, and did not qualify for it after answering only two questions that took me about 10 seconds, and I was able to print out a coupon for $2 Extra Bucks which is valid for a whole month.  I love this program, and I wish more stores would do this.  If you would like to register, click here.


Filing Your Taxes? Do It Online For Free!

Have you received your tax documents yet?  We got ours yesterday, and my husband already filed them online last night.  Then he got an email saying we should have our refund by 2/6!  Woohoo!

Here are two places you can use to file your taxes online for free:

H&R Block

Note that depending on your tax needs, the free service may be unavailable, but by going through the online service, the fee can be deducted from your refund instead of paid up front (as in buying the tax software)!  My husband discovered this after he had purchased Turbo Tax software for a couple years. 


Friday, January 27, 2012

RedBox Movie Awards Facebook Game & Giveaway!

I was recently given the opportunity to try out RedBox through Smiley360.  My husband had used the kiosks before, but I had personally only returned a movie, so it was a great new experience for me!  They had a surprisingly large number of movies stored in those little machines, many of them new to me!  My favorite thing, though, is that the movies can be returned at any kiosk, so if you are going in a different direction the next day, you can still find a place to drop them off along your route!

RedBox is currently running a promotion on their facebook page where you predict the winners of the SAG Movie Awards, and you have a chance to win as much as 3 YEARS worth of FREE Redbox rentals!

Smiley360 contacted me on behalf of Redbox to help promote this new facebook game, and to help me do that, they have given me 3 FREE Redbox rental codes to give away to my lovely readers!  *Note: As compensation for this post, I have received two rental codes for myself, as well as status points on Smiley360.

This will be a very quick, weekend only giveaway.  It will begin at midnight Friday 1/27, and end at midnight Sunday 1/29  (Eastern Times).

To enter, use the rafflecopter form below.  The only mandatory entry is "liking" Redbox on facebook, but you have to do that in order to play the game and enter the sweepstakes, so don't forget to do that while you're there!  (But be sure to come back and get your other entries ;)

There will be three winners, each will be emailed a free Redbox rental code.  They will have 48 hours to respond or they forfeit.

If you would like to become a member of Smiley360 and receive sampling opportunities of your own, sign up here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


New High Value Welch's Coupon

Has anybody ever tried these Welch's Fruit Fizzes?  Here's a great coupon for $2.00 off!

I'd really like to taste the grape flavor!


Getting Organized: What $2 At A Garage Sale Can Do

This past weekend, I was on my way back home, and spotted a garage sale on the next street over from ours.  I decided to stop and look around.

On top of finding a Tinkerbell sheet/comforter for my girls room ($3), I spied a set of two white wire cube shelves on my way back to the van.  She wanted just $2 for them, and I knew exactly what they would be perfect for....

I had been asking for shoe organization advice a while back on my facebook page.   I had since purchased an under the bed organizer that ended up being HUGE!  I decided my shoes would fit in it better, so I moved the over the door shoe rack from my closet to the back of their door....but two little girls just have too many shoes for one of those, and I was still struggling to get them to put them back (and they were struggling to see inside).

I now have their summer shoes packed away in the door, and the block shelves that I got are holding their winter shoes.  The younger one's go on the bottom, and the older one's go on top.

They are doing really well with this system, and I am liking it much better than the toss them in the box at the door method we had been employing. ;)


Fiesta Trip And Weekly Totals

I told you last week that I was going to not shop this week (waiting for what our normal payday would be to get back in the groove).  Well, I forgot some very important things that we were running out of..namely cat food, and toilet paper.  I sent my husband into Aldi on his way home from work on Tuesday  (there's one two blocks from his school), and he grabbed those essentials and a few other items-bread, milk.  He spent $22.98 on that trip.

I did not do anymore shopping this week until Thursday.  I went to have much with my daughter at school, and had to drive right past Fiesta, so I thought I would go in a grab a few of their sale items while I was out  (some were Thursday/Friday only).

Here's what I got at Fiesta:

3 bacon @  3 for $5
3 avocados @ $0.39 each
3 lettuce @ $0.69 each
bread @ $0.99
6 Big Cup Noodles @ 3 for $1   (Used 2 $1/3 from 11/6 SS made all 6 FREE)

Total OOP after coupons:  $9.23.  (And yes, you read that right...I used a total of 2 coupons all week!)

I even adjusted our menu to have a delicious taco salad with some freezer taco meat and some of that lettuce instead of the meat loaf I had planned!

Total spent for the week was $34.37 (including a Taco Bell stop).  Technically that is well under budget, but this month's money has to stretch an extra 5 days.

So far this year I've spent $316.12 on $464.46 worth (33% savings...and that's factoring in 0% savings at Aldi, El Rio Grande, and the like).  That's an average of $79.03 per week for the 4 weeks so far.  I try to keep it to about $75, so I'm still a little bit over budget.

During the month of February, I am going to challenge myself to eat out of the freezer/pantry as much as possible, and in the meantime I will be able to refocus some of my grocery budget to rebuilding a modest stockpile of items at greatly reduced prices.   (I usually try to allot about $15-$20 of my weekly budget for this purpose, so I'm hoping to still be able to come in way under budget for the month.)

If you have a shopping trip posted this week, feel free to link up below or tell us about it in a comment!

Also, stop by and enter to win a $25 Restaurant.com GC (ends tonight!) and a Rock N Learn DVD of your choice!


Got Pets? Some New Coupons For You!

Here are some brand new coupons to use for your pets!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Free Kindle Download: Frugal Kitchen Tips

I just found this book available as a FREE Kindle download:

Amazon's prices can change without warning so please make sure it still show FREE before you download it. You can find FREE Kindle Apps for all of your devices, and if you'd like to keep up with more free reading material, follow my other blog Let's Read For Free!


Sunday Coupon Preview For 1/29

This Sunday there are going to be 3 inserts:  a P&G, and RedPlum, and a SmartSource!


Dishing It Up Recipe Hop: Slow Cooker Recipes--All Day Apple Butter


We all have them....those apples that have gotten dropped or bruised and they have a mushy brown spot and no one wants to eat them.

What do you do with those?  Do you throw them out?  That's what my family tries to do, but I say NO!

This week as I was cleaning out my produce drawer, I found a lot of apples like this, and pears as well, that kept getting pushed aside instead of selected and eaten, so I decided that I would peel them, slice them (removing the offending spots, of course!), and toss them into the crockpot for the day.

The outakes

This is only my second attempt at this recipe, and the first time I left the peels on, and it did not come out nearly so yummy.  That's what my laziness got me.  This time...no peels....delicious!

I started with this recipe from Taste of Home: Freezer Pleasers (it's my all time favorite freezer cookbook and very much on sale at the time I'm typing this!!)

Ingredients (as written in the book):
5 1/2 lbs apples   peeled and finely chopped
4 cups of sugar  (it does say to adjust sugar to taste depending on type of apple)
2-3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt

Put it all in the crockpot.  Cook on high for 1 hour and then on low for 9 hours.  (Personally, I add a bit of water for fear it will scorch, and then I cook on high for about 4 hours and then on low uncovered for another 1-2 to let the extra water cook off.)

Ready to start cooking.

What I did:
I used what I had on hand that I knew wouldn't be eaten.  That included apples and very sweet and juicy pears, and I do not believe I had a full 5 lbs, maybe 3-4.  I used only 1 cup of sugar, and thought they turned out plenty sweet enough.  I also did not have any cloves, so I left them out (still delicious!)

I've already had several slices of buttered toast slathered with this, and it was delectable!  Also, since it comes from a freezer cookbook, that means it freezes well.  I divided it up into small portions for the freezer, also.

Please check out the other slow cooker meals from my friends at Thrifty Texas Penny, Pary Moppins, Deals From MS Do, The Happy Lil Homemaker, Mama's Money TreeEating With Mimi, 20SomethingSaver, and Dearly Domestic listed below.  If you have a slow cooker meal, link up!  Please add our button to your post to help spread the word!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Practical Wisdom From Yesterday's Women: Cut Out The Middle Man

I'm still reading through The American Frugal Housewife, and last told you about not paying for convenience items.  Now, she would say that even shopping at stores is a convenience that costs extra!

"Buy your woollen yarn in quantities from some one in the country, whom you can trust. The thread-stores make profits upon it, of course."
Child, Lydia Maria Francis (2009-10-04). The American Frugal Housewife (Kindle Location 215). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition. 

These days, there is a lot less people "in the country" that you can go to, but that doesn't mean we are stuck with shopping in stores and letting them reap the profits.

  • Shop farmers markets, and look for signs that say "local farmers"  (if they aren't local, chances are they bought it from a store!)
  • Find a local farm or co-op.  I know of people buying beef, etc direct from farmers with herds.  I know people who have produce boxes delivered to their door, or someplace nearby.   (I'm interested to find these types of places near Dallas, so if anybody know's of one, please leave a link in the comments).
  • If you have room, try growing some of your own food!  I love gardening, but I've not had much luck with the soil at our place.  I've been working on some composting, and plan to give it another try in the Spring.
What are some other ways you've shopped directly instead of from the store?


Kroger Deals 1/25-1/31

Here are the best prices I see advertised at Kroger this week:

Armour Lunchmakers   $0.88

Wolfgang Puck Organic Iced Coffee  $1.00

Mega Sale   Buy 10 Participating items Save $5

Hunts Tomatoes or Paste    $0.48
  • Coupon in 1/22 SS  (varies)
Kraft Easy mac/Velveeta cups  $0.48
Goldfish   $0.99
Sunny D  $0.99
Kraft Salad Dressing  $1.79  
  • use $0.75/2 from 1/22 SS
Mom's Best Naturals Cereal/Oatmeal  $0.99
Skintimate/Edge Shave Gel  $1.49
  • Use $0.55/1 from 1/15 SS  (both varieties have a coupon)


Planter's Peanut Butter Just $0.74 At Albertsons

This week Albertsons is having a mega sale.  When you buy 10 participating items, you save $5.

One of the participating items in this sale is Planters Peanut Butter, just $1.49 when 10 participating items are sold!

Use this $1.50/2 coupon to get them from just $0.74 each when you buy 2 (and 8 more participating items).


Albertsons Deals 1/25-1/31

Here are the best deals I see advertised at Albertsons this week:

FREE Hunt's Ketchup wyb 2 8oz Hunts Tomato Sauces (2 for $0.88)

Snapple Drinks  6 pack   $3.99 with in-ad coupon

Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges   B1G2 FREE
  • use $1/2 from 1/8 SS

Mega Sale  Buy 10 Save $5 Instantly

Kraft Mac N Cheese  $0.69
Planters Peanut Butter  $1.49
Velveeta Skillets   $1.39
Kraft Mayo/Miracle Whip   $2.88
Ritz  $1.89
Jello/Temptations  $1.99
  • 1/8 SS  (varies)
Velveeta Potatoes  $1.39
Velveeta/ Kraft Homestyle  $1.39
Taco Bell mini Shells  $0.99
Kraft Easy Cheese  $3.49

For more Albertsons Deals for the week, visit Practically Virtuous!


Tom Thumb Deals 1/25-1/31

Here are the best prices I see advertised at Tom Thumb this week:


Fresh Pork Shoulder Blade Roast   $1.29/lb

Chicken Leg Quarters   $0.59/lb   (sold in 10lb. bags for $5.90)

Buddig Lunchmeats  2oz-12oz.  BOGO FREE

  • Use $0.75/4 2oz from 12/11 SS


Red/Green Seedless Grapes   $1.48

Roma Tomatoes  $0.88/lb

Fuji Apples  $0.99/lb

Yellow Onions   3lb. bag for $1

Navel Oranges  4lb. bag  $3

Avocados  $0.79 each

Mustard, Collard, Turnip Greens  $0.79 each bunch

Russet Potatoes  $0.79/lb


Ken's Salad Dressing  16oz.  $1.50 each
  • Use $1.00/1 from 1/8 SS  (some ares got $1/2)  =  $0.50 each
Chapstick   $0.99  (I think I saw a coupon for this recently, and I'm still trying to figure out where!)

Dial Liquid Handsoap  $0.99

Danimals Crunchers  $2
  • Use $1/1 from All You Magazine


Fiesta Deals 1/25-1/31

Here are the best prices I see advertised at Fiesta this week:


Thursday & Friday Only Specials

Ground Beef  $1.89  (limit 2 packs with $10 purchase)

Tyson Chicken Breast Tenders  $1.29  (limit 2 with $10 purchase)

Pork Country Style Ribs  $0.89/lb.  (limit 2 packs with $10 purchase)

Bacon  (all varieties Bar-S, Farmland, Rath, Fiesta, or Peyton)  12oz.   3 for $5

All week:

Tyson Whole Chickens   $0.67/lb   (limit 3 with $10 purchase)


Apples (gala, red, golden)  5 for $1

Tangerines/Tangelos  5 for $1

Avocados   $0.39 each

Lettuce  (Green, Red, Romaine)  $0.69 each   I love making a mixed salad with these three!

Green Cabbage   3 lbs. for $1

Grapefruit  4 for $1

Fresh Garlic   $1.29/lb


Nissin Big Cup Noodles   3 for $1

  • Use  $1/3 from 11/6 SS  =  3 for FREE

Enter my current giveaways for a $25 Restaurant.com Gift Certificate or a Rock & Learn DVD.


El Rancho Deals 1/25-1/31

Here are the best prices I see advertised at El Rancho this week:


Beef Shank   $1.69/lb

Chicken Leg Quarters   $0.59/lb  (sold in 10lb bag)

Bone In Pork Stew Meat   $1.19/lb

Whole Pork Butt   $1.29


Avocados   5 for $1

Roma Tomatoes   $0.39 each

Lettuce   $0.88/ head

Cabbage   3 lbs for $0.98

Green Beans  $0.88/lb.

5lb. Russet Potatoes  $1.39

Limes  8 for $1

Red Delicious Apples  4 for $1


Fabuloso Cleaner   $0.99

Maruchan Instant Lunch  5 cups for $1  (limit 5 with $10 purchase)

18 ct. Eggs  $1.50

Parade Rice  4lbs   $2

Enter my current giveaways for a $25 Restaurant.com Gift Certificate or a Rock & Learn DVD.


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