Wednesday, March 31, 2010

AWESOME Rainbow deals today!

For those you who don't know, Rainbow Foods does Double Days on Wednesday and Saturdays. They'll double 5 coupons, up to $1 as long as before sales and coupons your total equals $25 or more. Well since I discovered Rainbow Foods coupon deals, they are where I do my shopping (aside from Aldi). I'm a loyal customer now!!
Well, this week there were some fabulous deals!! I had to share. They were so great in fact, that I went twice!
Red indicates store sale
Purple indicates my coupon

First Trip
Kraft Miracle Whip
*On sale for 2/$6
*$1.00 coupon from Cub Foods ad (manufacturer coupon) doubled to $2.00. 
7 boxes General Mill cereal
*Buy 7 boxes, get $7 off automatically + 3 gallons of free milk
*3 $1 coupons, doubled equaled $6 off plus I had 2 $2 coupons so in total I got $8 off my cereal bill. 
2 Oscar Meyer Deli Meat
*On sale for 2/$6
*$1/2 coupon doubled to $2 
2.65 lbs of bananas
*In store coupon made them $1.88
2 pounds butter
*In store coupon made them $1.28 each
Duracell battery 9-V (husband called at last minute to ask for this)

Total= $26.10

Amount saved= $30.26

Plus, when I was leaving the store, Pioneer Press (one of our local newspapers) had a stand in the front of the store for a drawing for a $250.00 Rainbow gift card. They also had a deal on the paper for $7 and some change every month to receive Thursday-Sunday PLUS you got a $10.00 Rainbow gift card right then and there. I had been thinking of subscribing to the paper so I signed up and got $10!!

Second Trip (that $10 was burning a hole in my pocket!)
5 cans diced tomatoes
*In store sale 5/$3.50
2 cans tomato sauce
*In store sale $0.75 each
6 boxes General Mills Cereal
*Buy 6 get $10 off at register
*2 $1/3 doubled to $4. The cashier also had a $2 off General Mills cereal and he scanned that so coupons savings totaled $6. 
2 boxes of Ziploc sandwich bags
*1 coupon $1/2 (made the baggies $0.89 each!!)
Oscar Meyer Bacon
*In store coupon brought the price from $5.69 to $2.88
4 bags Kraft Cheese
*2 Buy 1 Get 1 free coupons
****Plus, with the purchase of the cheese and bacon, I got a coupon for a dozen free eggs. 
Activia Yogurt
*On sale for $2.00
*$1 off (a do not double coupon)
2 1/2 gallons of Tropicana OJ
*On sale for $2.49 each. 
*$1/2 coupon, doubled to $2 off. 

Total= $22.85
-$10.00 Rainbow Giftcard

Total out of pocket=$12.85

Total Saved= $38.63

Both Rainbow trips put together totaled: $38.95

Total saved between both trips: $68.89 (Although technically it would be $78.89 because of that $10!)

Plus, technically, we truly didn't need any groceries. Thanks to stockpiling, I could shop out of my pantry for several weeks. At this point, thanks to my build up of meat (Last week I got about 10 more pounds of boneless, skinless chicken because it was $1.66 a pound!) and making all of my own flour products, at this point all we do is buy dairy, veggies, fruits and canned items. I really could have gone this week without anything though if I'd needed to.

The power of stockpiling and meal planning! :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Well, I PLANNED a thrifty move...

Don't forget, One Day at a Time's very first giveaway will be coming soon! Keep your eyes peeled. I'll give you a hint. It's for something green, thrifty AND I use this every single day. :-D

But unfortunately, that's not how it happened. At last minute, I did some quick calculations and realized we just needed to get a moving truck. Some people who we thought would be helping us move fell through and they had trucks so with what we had, it would have taken many, many trips. Luckily, there was a deal at U-Haul and after taxes and mileage, it only cost about $36.00. That wasn't the unthrifty part. Friday night, all of Saturday and Sunday, we ate out. In fact, we ate out so much that today, my husband and I feel sick from eating out so much! YIKES! And, of course, we were paying for multiple people because that's what you do when people help you move! You feed them. We were so grateful to my wonderful, amazing friend who drove 2.5 hours with her boyfriend to help us move. Thank God for them! They were here all day long and stayed over because we got done so late.
I calculated that we spent WELL over $100 eating out. Which doesn't sound TOO bad, but on Saturday we got KFC for everyone for lunch and when I got it home, the gravy lids were not on properly and I ended up getting STEAMING hot gravy spilled from my shirt down to my toes (literally) and all over my hand, burning me in the process. My hand was red for a good two hours. My husband went back, got more gravy and all of our money back for the meal.
So, I suppose, in the long run around $150.00, give or take, for a move isn't *too* bad. We got all the boxes from my husbands work, tape we spent $1.00 on and then the U-Haul and food. I budgeted $100 for this move, but my husband had lots of overtime and will have lots this week too so it made up for the costs.

I have to say, I also did something really unthrifty today. I went to Target. ::hanging my head:: I knew I shouldn't have, but I was just going to get some plastic eggs (not green, I know, just shoot me now), a baby doll for my daughters Easter Basket and some fillers for the eggs. $56 later, I had a baby doll, two onsies for the baby doll, Easter candy and crackers, plastic eggs, bath crayons, a sand bucket with the goodies, and 3 lbs of bananas. Oofta. I justified it by saying that my husband had gotten OT. NOT a good justification, I know. I need to be taking that money and putting it towards my snowball. Bad Christa!!

So needless to say, I was not a very good thrifty (or green) mama this weekend! I'm just going to move on and know that there are some rockin' deals at Rainbow Foods this Wednesday!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Oh yeah, I'm going there!

NOTE: Keep your eyes out for my very first giveaway coming up within the next 7-10 days!!!

Disclaimer: If you're uncomfortable talking or reading about menstruation, this may not be the post for you. 

Your Menstrual cycle. Aunt Flow. Cousin Red. Period. Yup, that's what this is allll about. I'm going there alright! You're about to learn more about me then you probably wanted to know!

I got my period when I was 10. That means I've had this sucker for 15 long years. Well, that's not necessarily true. When I was 18, I stopped getting it regularly. I would have it 2-3 times a year for about 2 weeks at a time (and the doctor I saw about it said that was normal, right...). Last year, after having my daughter, my period came back at exactly 10 weeks postpartum and I've had it regularly every since.

 I've used several different methods of menstruation products. The most commonly used, of course, were pads and tampons. I used those for yearssssss. When I was in middle school, I had an unfortunate incident with the Instead Cup. Are you ready for this? Even more then 10 years later, this ranks in the top five most humiliating experiences of my entire life. I used it because I had an unusually heavy flow. In theory, it seemed great. Well, I was at school and I had to change it...and I couldn't. Oh yes, that's right, I couldn't get it out. I absolutely PANICKED. After what seemed forever of trying, I had to go to the school nurse and explain what happened. She called my mom and my mom had to come get me. L-O-N-G story short, I ended up going to the doctor to get it removed. I never used them again. To this day, if I see an Instead Cup, I cringe.

I have recently discovered a whole new world outside of disposable pads, tampons and ::gulp:: Instead Cups. Let me just say that the reason I discovered this world is thanks to an allergy I formed to the chemicals in tampons and disposable pads. Every month, my period was an extremely unhappy event because of this.

Different Menstruation Products
*Note: I'm not going to discuss disposable pads and tampons here because I'm assume most readers are aware of what they are. If you're not, please feel free to post a question and I'll be happy to answer.

Reusable Menstrual Pads (aka Mama Cloth): This is actually what women used until the late nineteenth century. It generally consisted of strips of folded rags to catch the menstrual blood. These days, we have many more options at our fingertips. There are companies who make reusable menstrual pads such as Glad Rags and Luna Cloth. You can also purchase them from many work at home moms who make them in their home. I personally prefer to do this. I have purchased mine through GEM Cloth Mama Cloth, who does an incredible job! She makes three different kinds, two with wings and one without wings. I personally prefer the pads with wings because they stay in your panties MUCH better then the ones without wings. Here are two pictures that I took from GEM Cloth (note: these are not my pictures):

Menstrual Cups: Menstrual cups are an alternative to tampons. These are worn internally and are bell shaped with a stem at the bottom. The opening of the cup forms a seal with your vagina wall, allowing the cup to catch your menstrual flow. There are a few different options in the world of menstrual cups. Obviously, I already discussed Instead Cups which are disposable. However, since I'm a green and thrifty mama, the ones that are even better are the reusable ones. Two popular kinds are the Moon Cup, which holds an ounce of liquid and needs to be emptied several times a day. It is silicone and looks like this:
There is also the Diva Cup. The Diva Cup comes in two different sizes, based on your age and if you've had children. It is made out of silicone and also holds one ounce. It looks like this:

There are other options for menstrual cups, those are the ones I've heard of the most. I've personally not used one because of my Instead Cup experience, I'm afraid of using it (yup, I'm a chicken) but everyone I know who uses them absolutely raves about them! As for how long they last, the manufacturers say a year, but other sources say they can last up to 10 years.

Sea Sponge Tampons: Sea Sponge tampons are a completely natural alternative to tampons. They come in three different sizes based on your flow type. They should be removed at least every 3-4 hours and rinsed and last approximately 8 months. They are completely sanitary and safe to use. They look like this:

I have also never used the Sea Sponge tampon because I just recently heard about them. I'm seriously considering using them though! I also hear great things about them from people I know who use them.

These are the main types of alternative menstrual products. There may be others out there, although I'm not aware of them. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask! I would highly recommend trying out an alternative to disposable tampons and pads. They are extremely bad for the environment and really not all that good for you either! Plus, it's a much more cost effective option to your menstrual cycle every month. I'm here to tell you as well that the first time you get to use those oh-so-pretty mama cloth is really exciting! I love putting pretty designs in my panties. Sometimes I go through them and try to decide which one I want to use this time.

One more, unresearched but still true thing about these types of products: Everyone I know who uses these has noticed a distinct difference in their menstrual cycle--it's shorter and lighter. We are not sure why, but the very first month I noticed that instead of 3 days of a really heavy flow, I only had 2 (now it's a day and a half) and my cycle was shortened by an entire day. Nice!

Sources:,,,, and

Late night Friday Follow!

It's Friday follow again and I'm up late finishing up some last minute homework!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Tonight I watched the movie "Julie and Julia" and I was so inspired! I wanted to jump into my kitchen and just start cooking. Then I realized that not only is most of my food packed, but that I wouldn't even begin to have half of the ingredients necessary to cook in this fashion. This is some serious looking stuff. Plus, I definitely don't have the know how. But as I was sitting there watching this movie, I thought to myself I'm so sick of casseroles.

Ahhh....the casserole. The thrifty mama's go-to dish. You can make anything into a casserole or hot dish. Throw a bunch of ingredients together, a can of soup, stick it in the oven and voila! you have yourself a meal that has lots of leftovers. Oh yes, I am queen of the casserole. However, isn't it possible to be a thrifty mama and eat stuff other then casseroles? It has to be! I looked up the famous Beef Bourguignon dish and I have to say, other then the beef chuck and the bacon, the ingredients aren't as scary as I thought. I bet I could get beef chuck and bacon on sale. Actually, right now I have a coupon for the good bacon and as you know, I have boneless beef roast in my freezer. Would that work, I wonder? The rest of the ingredients, I could get at a somewhat cheap price.

Now, I'm not saying I'm going to run out and make Beef Bourguignon tonight but I think I might have to try it for a special occasion! Also, my new goal is to branch out from casseroles. Don't get me wrong, you'll still see me making casseroles and soups. I love lasagna. I also like the quick, simplicity of throwing together some hamburger, a cream of mushroom soup, some corn and cheese and having it taste pretty darn good (plus, let's face it, my daughter loves that stuff). However, I'm not going to become a casserole queen. I'm going to branch out and try new things AND I'm going to stay within my budget of $60 a week darn it!

So, here is my question for you! What is your favorite non-casserole and non-crock pot recipe? I would love to see different recipes that are thrifty!

I have a confession: I love froofy coffee drinks!

We're moving in two days and the majority of my food is packed. Sure, I have meat and veggies in my freezer but you have to take the meat out ahead of time. Which I did. When I went to Rainbow Foods, I bought two of the beef roasts at $1.99 a pound and I left one out. I know that doesn't jive with my menu for the week, but when you're moving, things change at last minute! It was easier to leave the roast out then to take the ham out! I put the roast in the crockpot late today and when it was getting close to dinner time, I couldn't stick a fork in even halfway. So we had a choice. Cheese omelettes or go out to eat. ::sigh:: You know I didn't choose the thrifty route. I didn't want an omelette! I wanted to go out to eat. Which is extremely unthrifty of course. I could have gone to the store and bought tons and tons of groceries for the $31.00 I spent on myself, my mom and my daughter to go out to eat. That's not too bad for three people, plus we got free pie because we waited so long. Does that count as being thrifty? :)

Moving is such a pain in the butt. I left out enough cupboard stuff to get us through until Saturday. My meal plan is shot to heck for the week because at the end of the day, after packing, tripping over boxes, stressing about the move and dealing with this horrible cold, sometimes I just don't want something on the menu! Being thrifty in this world can be tough. Following my meal plan can be tough. Not breaking down and going out to eat can be TOUGH. Obviously, tonight, I succumbed! Which is not always a bad thing. In the world of being thrifty, you have to make sure you have money for fun. You have to have some wiggle room and sometimes you have to go to Bakers Square, have a ridiculously overpriced and unhealthy meal and not come home and feel guilty about it.

That is one major lesson I've learned in my thrifty, frugal journey. Even as a stay at home mom with no income right now, I still go out and treat myself to Starbucks sometimes. I L-O-V-E fancy coffee drinks. LOVE THEM. So that is what I spend at least half of my blow money on. And you know what? That's okay. It's okay even when you're being super thrifty to splurge on some things. Should you let it get out of control or overspend? Definitely not! It's a good idea to set aside a certain amount of money for you to spend on yourself each month. My husband gets $40 a month and I get $30. THEN, for every 8 hours of overtime he works, we each get an extra $10. He likes to get junky stuff at the gas station. I like froofy coffee drinks. I'm thinking I'm going to start saving $5 or $10 a month because I want a Cricut really bad. It will take me a really long time to save up for it, and I would definitely buy it on craigslist but could you imagine buying something, even something small, after saving for like 10 months? How much would you just love that item?!? Quite a bit, I imagine. In this world of instant gratification, that is a feeling that people feel less and less these days! 

So, while I love staying home and I love being thrifty (really, I do!) and saving money, sometimes, I am going to go out to eat and get an overpriced turkey and avocado sandwich. Sometimes, I'm going to buy a ridiculously froofy coffee drink, and you know what else? I'm going to enjoy it!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Updates and Randomness!

Oh boy, it's been a week since I blogged! I couldn't take it anymore, I am taking the splint off for a few minutes so I can play catch up! Thankfully, the cortizone shot is doing me a lot of good and the splint helps as well so right now, I'm not in any pain.

We're just a few short days from moving and I feel like we still have SO much left to do! We're trying to do this move as thriftily as possible. We're not renting a Uhaul and we haven't bought any packing supplies other then tape. My husband has been able to get boxes from his job and we've used the newspapers I buy for coupons and clothing to pad our things. I decided that this time around, I'm going to pack up my dishes, glasses, pots and pans and other kitchen items that I use on a daily basis on the very last day. Because of my thumb, I'm really not able to help with moving the boxes so I'll be doing the cleaning as my husband, his friend and my brother move us. I'm going to put our dishes and stuff into bags and boxes to be moved in the front seat so that I can have access to them right away in the new place. If all goes as planned, the only day that I won't be cooking is that day that we move. We'll order pizza for everyone. Although, I am seriously considering making up a couple of pizzas the night before. It's SO easy to make the dough and sauce and probably tastes better then take out! But I don't know if I'm that ambitious. Moving day, we'll use paper plates that we have leftovers from our daughters baptism and first birthday.

I know, this is the most exciting post you've read on this blog so far right?! :) Sorry about that everyone. I hope you're all still checking in even though I haven't updated in a few days. I DID put up a new thrifty tip and recipe for Monday (which I'm striving to do on Mondays btw!) and I updated my menu for the week. If you've paid really close attention, you may have noticed that my menu has been going up on different days. That's because I'm still working out what day to start my menu on. I was doing my grocery shopping on Wednesdays because of Rainbows double days but now I'm doing my Aldi's shopping trip on Tuesdays, which may change once I start child care but I can't say that for sure.

I have a pretty small grocery list for this week. I was pretty lucky about 1.5 weeks ago, my mom got us about 5.5 lbs of hamburger and I was stocked up on ham and chicken already so my freezer is packed full of meat. Rainbow Foods DOES have beef roast on sale for $1.99 a lb this week so I'll definitely be getting some of that! I have a rule not to pay more then $1.99 a lb for meat  unless I get free items with it, so there are meats that we don't often eat. Beef roast, steak etc. So my husband is pretty darn excited about the beef roast we'll be getting on Wednesday. I don't have it on the menu for this week though. He'll have to wait 2 weeks for it. Next week, we'll be going up north to his grandmas house for about a week so there won't be a menu for that week.

This was just a brief update. Now that my thumb is feeling a million times better, I'll get back into it! I have some more followers from Friday follow which is super exciting!! I'm checking out their blogs and I'm sure I'll be following them back! Just four more followers away and I'll be hosting a giveaway! Keep your eyes out for that!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Joining the Friday Follow!!

I found a lot of neat blogs last time and a few people found mine so I thought I'd do this again!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Severe Tendonitis :(

Hello to my fabulous readers. I have severe tendonitis in my left thumb and wrist and am currently wearing a splint. I am still going to blog, but as you can see, I haven't been able to get to it everyday. It takes me a lot longer to type and after a while gets painful if I'm typing with both hands so you might not see as many posts over the next few weeks. Please stick with me though! I'll still blog pretty often, maybe not everyday and once I'm all better, I'll be back in full swing! 


<3 Christa

Monday, March 15, 2010

Toddler (and adult!) Snack using ripe bananas

Today I was getting my daughter ready for her snack. As I pondered the great question, 'What should I feed the monkey today?', I looked over at my ripe bananas and had a brilliant idea! Maybe I"m not the first one to come up with this-I'm sure I'm not, but since I've never seen a recipe for it and I came up with it in my mind, I've decided I get the rights to name this super yummy toddler (and adult!) snack! (don't mind the towel--I was making bread at the same time!)

Banana-Butter Crackers

4 Graham Cracker rectangles, broken up in 4s
Like this:


1/2 banana, mashed
1 scoop of Almond Butter (or any kind of nut butter, peanut butter would be good too)

1. Mix the Almond Butter and mashed banana in a bowl.

2. Spread on 1/4 Graham Cracker.
3. Put another Graham Cracker over that, making a sandwich.
4. Enjoy!

This is a pretty healthy, VERY yummy snack. I tried it too and have to say, it was pretty darn good! You could sub the Almond Butter with any other kind of nut butter, I just used Almond Butter because we have a bunch of it. This is a great recipe just using stuff you have around your house!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Recipe had to share!

This afternoon I had a sad site in front of me. About 2.5 pounds of perfectly lovely bananas that were right on the edge of inedible in their current shape. As I looked at those bananas I thought to myself, 'If I make enough banana bread to use up all of these bananas, we'll have banana bread coming out of our ears!' So I decide to look into other options. I posted a request on a forum I'm on for ideas and received several. One of them was banana pudding. Hmmm...pudding? As in, stuff that's NOT in the box?! ha-ha I have actually been thinking about homemade pudding the last few days and thinking that it must be possible, so I decide to give it a whirl. So I look up on my all time favorite recipe site AllRecipes for banana puddings. I find one that sounds pretty good but it requires a double boiler. Quick mental inventory-nope, I don't own one of those. So I click back and search through the other recipes. None of them look as good but none of them require a double boiler. Hmmm...I bet I could make that first recipe work with this double boiler contraption. If my ancestors could make pudding without a double boiler, darn it, so can I! So I get to work.

Here's a picture of the final product (I'm actually eating a bowl of this AS I type out this post!):

(I know, it's not the most flattering picture, especially in that super chic yellow bowl, but let me tell you. This was SOO yummy! Much better then the boxed stuff. Plus, I know what went IN this pudding!)


Banana Pudding:

2.5 cups of milk / I subbed some dry milk and used 1 cup of mixed dry milk and 1.5 cups of skim milk
2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup of white sugar
2 tablespoons of corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 sliced bananas
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Sprinkling of nutmeg and cinnamon (optional)
****First thing I noticed was that the recipe took 2.5 cups of milk. Wow, that's a lot of milk. Not very thrifty. Then I think ooo, I just bought that dried milk as a thickener for my next batch of yogurt and I have a WHOLE box of it! So I subbed almost half the milk with the dry milk.

1. Mix milk, sugar, beaten eggs, vanilla, corn starch and salt into a sauce pan.
2. Heat on low-medium, stirring pretty constantly until thickened.
3. Put in fridge until cold.
4. Slice bananas, put in bottom of a bowl, put a layer of pudding. Layer this way until pudding is gone, top off with a final layer of bananas and sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon (optional).

Can I just say YUM-MY!!!! It's a little different from what the original recipe called for, and I think next time I might cut down some sugar to make it a tad more healthy. I think it would still taste very good.

New Blog worth checking out! "Take my Crap 2010"

Okay, this is too fabulous! This super clever mama came up with the idea to start a blog and do giveaways of her stuff each week! She's decluttering and definitely trying to use her old stuff in the best way possible! She just started it and in her first week, I actually won this:

Fun right? She has different fun have to tell a story, or tell a joke, or something along those lines. How thrifty can you get with free stuff right?!

Check her blog out: Take My Crap 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010

More layout changes?!

I know, I thought I was done playing with my layout too but when I viewed My Fun Frugal Life and saw that she had THREE columns, I experienced some extreme blogger envy. I had been wanting three columns so when she gave the link to the tutorial that described how to do it at The Cutest Blog on the Block, I knew I just HAD to make changes again. I LOVED my blog layout before--well, the background and colors, but I really wanted to be able to have the three columns so I gave up the beautiful teal and red in exchange for having three columns. I can already tell you that the columns will be changing..I just moved some over to show that there are now three columns. I really think that it will help lay out things better and make it more pleasing to the eye. What do you think?

Thanks Sara from My Fun Frugal Life for letting us other bloggers know about this!

Baking homemade bread (without a breadmaker!)

It's been a few days since I blogged! We've been super busy with getting ready for the move in 2 weeks and just getting stuff done in general! BUT, I have been baking like a maniac! I made regular white bread AND yesterday I made whole grain bread...both turned out very good! The first time I tried to make the bread though, it was a miserable embarrassment of a failure! My bread didn't rise hardly at all! I still went through and baked it because I figured it wouldn't do anything but take my time. It tasted so-so but it was SO dense! I took a picture of it, but I can't seem to find it. I think it's because there wasn't enough water in the recipe. I tried to use the recipe I posted on my first blog about homemade bread and it definitely didn't work. See below for the new one I tried. It was great! 

Right now, as I'm typing this, I'm making homemade cinnamon rolls for tomorrow morning. I am completely obsessed with dough now and want to make EVERYTHING I can out of dough! I also made homemade tortilla's today for our lunch, and they were awesome! 

This is the white bread:

And the wheat bread:

Here's my recipe. I HIGHLY recommend it! :D If you want to make the whole wheat bread, use the same recipe but pay attention to the PINK text. 

2 Packages active dry yeast (4.5 teaspoons)
3 Tablespoons sugar
2.5 cups warm water (100 degrees F)
1 tablespoon salt
6-6.5 cups of white flour / 2 cups unenriched flour and 4 to 4.5 cups of whole wheat flour

1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in water. 
2. Melt butter. Stir in butter, salt and 2 cups of flourFor whole wheat, stir in the 2 cups of unenriched flour. 
3. Stir in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, mixing/beating well with each addition. You may end up using a bit less flour (I think I only used about 6 cups) but once it's slightly sticky, but not caking on your hands, it's ready. 
This is where you'll add in the whole wheat flour for whole wheat bread. 
4. Spread some flour on the counter and put dough on the counter. Knead and beat for about 8-10 minutes. (At this step, I added some flour into the dough if I noticed it was a bit sticky, which it was). It will feel wonderful at this point. It was at this point that I knew my bread was going to be fabulous! Shape into a ball.
5. Lightly coat a bowl with Olive Oil and put the dough in the bowl, kneading it a bit and turning it around to lightly coat the dough. Cover the bowl with a handtowel for about 45-50 minutes.
6. After the dough has raised, take out and separate it into two parts. Knead each one a bit and roll it out with a rolling pin. Roll the dough into a log and tuck the sides in.
7. Put each "log" of dough into a lightly greased bread tin and cover up for another 30 minutes. (The recipe said 50 minutes but mine was more then ready in 30 minutes).
8. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn oven down to 375 at that point and bake for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown.
9. Try not to eat it all at once!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Grocery Shopping and Weekly Menu

I wouldn't usually do 2 posts one right after the other, but my daughter is napping, as is my husband so I figured I'd might as well put my blog up about my grocery trip today while I have the receipts out. I DID get pictures of my Rainbow finds today as well!


9 Boxes of Quaker Instant Oatmeal-FREE
*On sale for $1.99 a box, had $1.00 coupons that were doubled which EARNED me $0.01 on each box
Organic Honey
10 lbs of flour
*On sale for $4.29
Oreos (I LURVE oreos)
*On sale for $2.49
4 8 oz blocks of cheese
*On Sale Buy1Get1 free
2- 1/2 gallons chocolate milk (we usually make our chocolate milk but for this price, I couldn't pass it up)
*On sale for 4/$5
2 jars of peanut butter
*On sale for $0.98 each
5.34 lbs of bananas
*On sale for $0.39 a pound
Bottle of Apple Juice (usually we buy frozen and make it, but again, awesome price)
Jar of yeast (I don't think this was thrifty, I think I should have gone to Costco and gotten yeast)
*On sale for $6.24
Crushed Red Pepper
*On sale for $1.19

Total: $29.10

Saved: $47.03

So, this week, I had to get a lot of items I didn't have coupons for. However, I didn't buy bread because I'm going to make my own bread. Still, I think I did okay! :)

I spent about $21 at ALDI . I seem to have misplaced that receipt somehow, but it was a lot of basics at Aldi. We have SO much meat from stockpiling last week (I went overbudget but they were good prices and will save me a lot in the long run), plus my mom got us 5 lbs of hamburger. I'm thinking I won't need to buy meat for the rest of the month, which means I'll have enough money in my budget to go to Costco and stock up on the big 5 lbs bags of frozen veggies and spices that I love from there!

My Menu for this week is:

Hot Cereal
Cold Cereal
Blueberry Pancakes

Chicken Quesidillas (I'm going to make my own tortillas for this!)
PB&J and oranges
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and veggies
Leftovers x3
Ham sandwiches, chips and veggies

Turkey, Mashed Potatoes and Corn
Chilli x2
Creamy Chicken with Rice and veggies
Santa Fe Rice and Beans
Chicken, Broccoli and Pasta in a homemade garlic cream sauce
**I'm editing in Spagetti because my first attempt at baking homemade bread failed and my bread turned out very very small and dense. My mom had the idea of making garlic bread and since it still tastes okay, we're going to have spagetti and garlic bread!

Homemade yogurt

Okay, well as you know (if you've read back posts), my goal for this week had originally been to make yogurt, but then I changed it to bread (which I'll be making later today). Someone told me to do the yogurt too and I caved to peer pressure. :-D So yesterday I made yogurt with 1/2 gallon of whole milk and 1/2 cup of Aldi's brand yogurt which has live and active cultures. Today it's finished and my daughter had it for breakfast and she was NUTS over it!! She had 3 (very small) bowls. Now, granted, my kiddo can eat like no one else in this world but still, that's a lot!! I found the recipe on here.

Don't mind the messy kitchen. We're moving in 2.5 weeks and everything is such a disaster!

First I started with 8 cups (1/2 gallon) of whole milk. I put that in the crock pot on low for 2 1/2 hours.

After the 2 1/2 hours was up, I unplugged the crockpot and left the lid on for 3 hours (guess I forgot to take a picture of it unplugged, but you can imagine it :-D!)

At three hours, I scooped out 2 cups of the warm milk and put it in a bowl and whisked in 1/2 cup of the live and active yogurt (the starter).

I put the yogurt and milk mixture back in the crock pot and put the cover back on. Then I tucked it in to bed over night with a big fluffy towel (still unplugged).

In the morning, the yogurt was DONE! It was actually pretty thick...or so I thought. But I usually buy the light yogurt, and that was what the consistency was. You can also add 2 tablespoons of dry milk or gelatin to thicken it up. I bought some dried milk and plan on trying that next time, especially since I want to use lowfat milk instead of whole milk. For us, the yogurt plain was not tasty enough so I added in some honey, which made it oh so good!! I also added in blueberries to my daughters breakfast. From what I read, adding in the fruit ahead of time can make it more watery so I'm just going to add it in as we eat it.

I debated about putting a picture of my kiddo on here, but it was just too funny not to share a picture of her with her mouth WIDE open, eating the blueberry and honey yogurt.

VOILA!! Very VERY yummy! It made so much, that I gave some to my grandma!! And I can't believe how EASY it was!!! MUCH cheaper then buying yogurt too.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Have you heard of People String? I hadn't until now, but you can earn MONEY!

My friend tuned me in to this new networking site. I was really hesitant to join it at first because I hadn't heard of it but she did research on it and couldn't find ANYTHING negative about it. So then I did a bit of research too and it seems pretty legit! They are trying to compete with the big boys apparently--facebook, myspace (is that a big boy anymore though?), twitter, etc.

You actually get paid to be on here. You earn $0.10 just for signing up and for every friend who signs up under you, you earn $0.50. You can also earn points and money by clicking on advertisements around the site, signing into the site and checking your email. I think there is a max to how many friends you get paid for, from what I researched, it's 100. But at $0.50 a pop, that's $50!!!

I also just found out that you earn points for searching and those points add up and you get a percentage of the sites advertising revenue, which is tracked by your people points. Um, sign me up!!! I think this sounds really great and while I'm a little sick of social networking sites, if you pay me, I'll come! :D

Sign up today to start earning money: Earn Money on People String!!

Free pizza today at Little Caesars!!

I found this on MN Coupon Adventure (thanks Karen). Today, if you bring 4 non-perishable, healthy food items to Little Caesars, you get a free large Cheese or Pepperoni pizza for FREE!! Check out Little Caesars promotional section on their website. My husband is going right now with 2 jars of Classico spagetti sauce, a bag of barley and a box of whole wheat Chex cereal! Free pizza AND doing a good deed--could life get much better?! I don't think so!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Goal for this week: Make my own bread

Okay so every week, I have a goal to make something new and from scratch. Last week I made cereal bars. I was going to make homemade yogurt this week, and I may still, but my priority has moved to baking homemade bread. Since I started staying home, we eat 2-3 loaves a week. At $1.69 for whole grain bread, that starts to add up when your budget is $60 a week. Why am I spending that money on crappy bread when I could make it myself?

I have no good answer to that question, so I might as well try to make it from scratch.

I don't have a bread maker though which stinks. I used to, but when we were robbed last year, it was stolen. So I have to make it without a bread maker. Luckily, that's the way it was done for thousands of years so there are a few recipes out there! :) I want my bread to look like this:

So I'm going to use the recipe that I found on here. It's from The Simple Dollar, which I've never been to before but a quick glance at it proves that it may be interesting! I'll have to take a closer look at it and see what I can find. I'm going to start out making a white loaf, like the author suggested but I will have to figure out how to make whole wheat because that's what we eat. We may eat thrifty, but I try to make it as healthy as can be.

I'm excited about this though. Wednesday is my grocery shopping day so I'm going to get yeast then, and I know I need more flour because of all the baking I've been doing (ick, my jeans are feeling a little tight today, better exercise!). I really hope my bread looks that pretty, and I hope it works!

I may still try yogurt but I don't know. Only if I have the time and/or patience. I know, it's terrible. You'd think I would have more time...sure I do, but it's spend chasing around my 16 month old who thinks she's Wonder Woman!! Plus, we're packing and I have a paper to write that is due on Friday! Busy, busy week!!

I'll let you all know how my bread baking goes! Wish me luck!

My first full week of being a SAHM

Well, this blog is not just about being thrifty, but also learning how to be a stay at home mom. So I figured it would be good to post about that first week. It was not nearly as productive as I hoped. Well, maybe productive isn't the right word. I actually got a ton of stuff done...In fact Mon-Wed of last week, I was at the store every day. It was freaking exhausting! I'm trying to figure out our groove here still. Thursday I made a not-leaving-the-house day because I was so exhausted from all the running around!
I feel kind of lost because I don't totally know my daughters day yet. I asked my husband what she usually does during the day and it's a lot of playing. The only set in stone things were Sesame Street at 10, breakfast, snack, lunch and snack. Other then that, they would just play all day.
I have these fantasies of going on field trips, going to story time every Monday morning, doing arts and crafts (my daughter LOVES to put stickers on paper), etc etc. So far, we haven't done any of that. Now, granted, this is our first week, and we're getting ready to move in 2.5 weeks but I'm just impatient for that SAHM feeling to kick in. I DID bring her to the library once and there were other (obviously) SAHMs and they were talking to each other. I felt out of place. Silly isn't it? They were also quite a bit older then me....but that doesn't usually make much of a difference. The majority of my friends are in their 30's.
I just need to get a feel for how we'll do this, and I know that. I think every week I'd like to make a goal of doing SOMETHING different then being in the house or regular errands. We have a membership to the Children's Museum so that would be easy. Once the weather warms up, we'll go to Como Zoo a lot because that's just a small (non-required) donation to get in. We'll also be able to take walks, go to the park...and whatever else. I don't know what else. I need to find THRIFTY activities we can do that will work for a very small baby and a toddler because at the end of next month, I'll be watching a 3 month old in my home.

This week our goal is to make it to the Children's Museum. In fact, I think Friday would be a great day for that. My daughter has a well child visit on Friday morning at 9:30 so if we bring her snack and a lunch with us, we could go straight to the museum afterwards and spend probably about 1.5 hours there before it's nap time.

This blog post really had no rhyme or reason other then to just check in with myself. :)

Bear with me!

Since my blog is so new, I'm still working out the kinks and figuring out just how I want it to be. I am trying different background and color combinations and sometime in the very near future, I will actually have a cute little logo of some sort. What, I don't know, but between my husband and I, we'll come up with something good! So please bear with me on the changes you'll see. I am looking for just the right background so you might see some different ones. :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Celebrating a birthday and keepin' it cheap!

My father in laws birthday was a few days ago and we invited him over for dinner for his birthday. Pre-thrifty me, I would have gone out and bought a whole grocery bag full of stuff and made dinner or even worse, we would have spent $50 going out to eat. Good gosh, $50....I can't even IMAGINE doing that anymore. So here is the breakdown of what we're having:

3 Pound Boneless turkey-Free from Rainbow for purchasing a ham (it also came with gravy mixings)
Mashed potatoes- a 5 lb bag of potatoes was on sale at Rainbow last week for $0.79 and we're only using probably 1 lb of potatoes today
Some frozen veggie, probably corn- Got on sale and with a coupon for $0.67 at Rainbow if I remember correctly

I made a chocolate cake from scratch which I've NEVER done before. I also made the frosting from scratch. I had all the ingredients around the house. It LOOKS like it's going to be good...if it is, I'll post the recipe! Heck, I even had some birthday candles from a while ago! Pre-thrifty me, I would have gone to Byerly's and spend $20-$40 on a cake. CRAZY!!

Even the gift we bought him wasn't bad. We went to Kohls and they had those neat digital frames on sale for 50% off. We got him a digital keychain so he has pictures of our daughter and us and it was $14.99. THEN we had a $5 coupon so it only cost a little more then $10 with tax.

All in all, not a bad deal on everything, and still a wonderful meal with what looks like a VERY tasty cake to eat!!

It really can be done. REALLY! :)

Do you swag? If not, you could be earning FREE money (for real)

Okay, I know it sounds crazy, but swag bucks is really great!! When I first heard about it I thought to myself, NO...FREAKING...WAY. That has to be fake or a scam. But it's actually not. These kinds of things usually are, or they almost never actually pay out, or you have to invest something up front. Swag bucks you don't have to do any of those things. It's just a search engine that you use. You can either download the search bar (which I did to remind me to use it and to make it easier to use) or you can just search from the swagbucks website. You earn swagbucks for your searches...not all your searches, just randomly (or so it seems random to me!). They also have swag hunts and special codes that will earn your swag bucks. When you hit a certain amount of swag bucks, you can turn them in for prizes or gift cards. I personally use mine to get giftcards because you can get SO much off of So far, I have earned $15 in Amazon giftcards. Seriously, I have $15 in FREE giftcards for doing essentially nothing. I don't spend hours and hours of my day on swagbucks, and I don't do anything extra. Let's face it, I have a kiddo to take care of. I did it while I was working full time too. In fact, that is when I started and earned my first $10 in gift cards.

A few tips I have found useful for swagging:

*Don't get discouraged!! Remember, it's free so if you don't get any for a few hours or a day, who cares right?
*Search for the websites you would usually go instead of typing them into your regular URL bar. For example, when I want to go to my Yahoo mail, I type "yahoo" into my swagbucks search bar. I usually get in between 20 and 40 swagbucks a day just for that (yup, I check my email way too often).
*Keep an eye on the widget. I've gotten some pretty good swagcodes from that!
*Join them on facebook!
*And most of all, have fun and don't have super high expectations. If you think you're going to get rich quick, it's not going to happen. It's just a fun, free thing to do to earn some extra money or prizes. I'm personally saving my gift cards for Christmas and birthday presents!!

If you think it sounds great (which you SHOULD because it IS great!!) then click here:
Search & Win

Friday, March 5, 2010

Blog Hop

MckLinky Blog Hop

I'm joining the Blog Hop! I can't wait to find some fun, new blogs to follow!

But, I work full time, I don't have TIME to coupon!!

4 different excuses as to why people don't coupon, and my responses to those excuses.

Excuse #1 why NOT to coupon: I work full time and don't have the time. 

Yup, that's what I said for YEARS. I work too hard, too long of hours and too much to clip coupons or check the paper for ads.

Hmmm...but yet I find time to watch TV at night don't I? Which was when I started doing all of my clipping and ad searching! Every Monday night, I watch the Bachelor and Castle (oh yes, I admit it) so I clipped my coupons while I watched my TV shows. I also scanned the ads and looked for the sales where I could match up my coupons. I started living thriftily while I was working full time and going to school part time, while managing our household finances and raising my daughter. I know what it's like...I know what it's like way more then I know what being a stay at home mom is like. In fact, I have only been a stay at home mom for 5 days now. I have NO clue what I'm doing in that boat! :)

You really can find the time. We're women, we're prize multi-taskers!

Excuse #2 why NOT to coupon: I don't get the newspaper. 

Me either. I go out and buy them. And if the coupons are really good, I'll buy more then one! We buy it on our way home from church. I can almost guarantee you that you can make it out to the gas station during the weekend to get that paper. And believe me, 1 or 2 coupons clipped just made you back the price of that newspaper.

Excuse #3 why NOT to coupon: I never remember to use my coupons. 

Believe me, the first time you see that savings of $10 or $20 or even MORE (I always save at least 50%, usually more like 70% at Rainbow Foods on Double Days), you'll remember those coupons! Find a way that helps you remember. I have a big file folder with all of my coupons organized in it. I have envelopes within the file folder for things like dairy, protein, breakfast foods etc. It's a pretty pink one too. I also keep my ads in there and have a special area for my coupons for a specific store. You'll find your own way of course. I also keep my file folder on the counter near the front door. This will have to change once we move but you get my drift. I have a terrible memory for things like that but I always remember my coupon folder!

Excuse #4 why NOT to coupon: Coupons are only for junk food.

Not true. Yup, there are lots of coupons for junk but there are lots of them for not as well. I get the majority of my dairy products at reduced prices. I get almost ALL of my health and beauty items with a coupon, bread, cereal (I won't even BUY cereal without a coupon anymore), meat (yup, they do exist) etc.

Now, you might be asking yourself why I put this up here. Because I had the SAME excuses for years as to why I couldn't I do though. If I don't get something at Aldi, I had better have a coupon or a really great sale. If I can't get it at Aldi or on a really good sale and/or with a coupon, we don't eat it. There may be the rare exception to that, although at this point, I can't think of one but overall, it's worked. As I've stated before, we DO eat healthy, we eat lots of veggies and fruits, all whole grains etc etc. 

There are lots of other reasons why people say they can't coupon. Some people just dont want to and that's obviously your own decision but I'm telling you, you can save a TON of money. I am not even CLOSE to being as good as some people are but I still save at LEAST 50% each time I go to Rainbow. :) 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Deciding how to tithe/give offering at church while on a very strict budget

This is a tricky subject for A LOT of people. I have seen people say that no matter what they give their 10%. Sometimes this means that they can't pay other bills, or they have a hard time putting food on the table. I am not judging those people by ANY means. I believe that you need to do what you need to do and if tithing 10% is absolutely the way you choose to go, I totally support people's decisions.

Sometimes though, I'm a little saddened by WHY people decide to do this. Too often, I've seen or heard people say that they HAVE to give this because that's what they signed up for. That's what their church requires. I have a hard time with a church that says that you have to sacrifice your well being, your health possible, to give to the church. Please don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying I think that MANY churches do this. I honestly don't know, but I've seen it so obviously there are churches that DO say it.

We are Methodist and we just joined our church last week. In the meeting to join our new(ish) church, they talked about giving and tithing. I remember once in church even our pastor said that in this economy, HE couldn't even give 10%. We definitely couldn't even start to think about giving 10%. It comes down to this, I believe in supporting our church but my families well being and health HAS to come first. I absolutely believe that God will provide. I have seen Him provide in ways that boggle my very mind. However, we also have to help ourselves. Because of that, we took what we were giving and doubled it and the rest of our "tithing/offering" will be through our time. I'm signing up for multiple different things that I would be able to do for our church as is my husband. We have also donated a very nice glider and ottoman to the nursery...we do what we can. The monetary amount we give is not much at all. But it's what we can afford and our time and efforts, as well as the fact that we adopt a family at Christmas time, is our "tithing". I believe that God does not look down on people who cannot give 10% and shakes His finger at us. Just as I believe that He doesn't frown upon people who make the decision that tithing 10% is as necessary as paying their rent.

Please believe me when I say that I don't believe that many churches say you HAVE to do this or that you're wrong in any way by deciding to tithe 10%, even if it is a struggle. I think the whole point of my post here is that it's a decision that we all have to make (well, those of us who attend church obviously) and that there usually isn't a wrong choice. In our place, if our offering got in the way of keeping a roof over our head, it would go.

I can imagine this will be controversial for some people, and I hope that I haven't offended anyone. This is just something we had to face in the last week as to deciding what we were going to do and it was laying heavy on my heart and brain so I thought, considering I"m blogging about being a thrifty mama, that this could definitely be blogged about. :)

Menu for Thursday 3/4-Wednesday 3/10

I had to sit down and redo my menu for the week today. I underestimated the fact that I was really sick of ham last week and when I made the original menu, I based a lot of recipes off of the belief that I was going to make ham and potato soup again. I DID include it now for the rest of the week and into next week however. My menu for the next 6 days is based on items I already have in my house. After yesterdays Rainbow trip and the extremely full freezer I currently have, there is no reason for me to get anything from the store except bananas (we got through 6-8 pounds of bananas a week in this house!).

I should briefly explain how I do my menu. I don't have a day-by-day menu. I pick 6-7 meals for lunch and dinner and then each day, I choose from that menu what we're going to have. I find that to be easier for me because I might not necessarily want what I'd written down for that day. The meals I have on here are in no particular order.

Cold Cereal
Hot Cereal
Chocolate Chip pancakes (these are leftovers and we'll actually finish them tomorrow morning)
**We pretty much eat the same things for breakfast. I have a HUGE stockpile of cereal from coupons and sales so that's what our breakfast mainly consists of. I try to cook breakfast once a week.

Egg Salad sandwiches w/strawberries and pineapple and chips
Leftover pulled pork sandwiches (which were made on Wednesday of this week) and veggies***
Ham and Cheese omelette's and toast
Ham and Potato soup (made from leftover hambone from last week)
Chicken Quesadillas and corn
Leftover homemade Cheeseburger Helper and green beans
***I keep a pretty good stockpile of frozen veggies and we almost always have frozen veggies with lunches and dinners. It just depends on what we have and what we're in the mood for.

Santa Fe Rice and Beans***
Leftover pulled pork sandwiches and veggies
Cheeseburger Helper and veggies
Turkey, potatoes and veggies
Chicken Tacos<~~I will make this after the Santa Fe Rice and Beans and use the leftovers from that to make these.
Leftover Turkey and veggies
****I try to make one non-meat meal a week.

Homemade banana bread
Homemade chocolate chip cookies
Animal Crackers*
*For my daughter, my husband and I don't eat too many of these items.

My husband brings leftovers or sandwiches for his dinners at work.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Learning to be thrifty

Three months ago, if someone had told me I was going to be doing the things I do, I probably would have laughed at them. The very idea of couponing seemed overwhelming. We were spending $600+ a month on groceries. I had hoped to be able to find a stat on how much the average American spends on groceries but in my searchings, I couldn't find a legitimate source. I could find answers that had no backing, but definitely nothing concrete. I'm sure it is somewhere around what we were spending or more though (anyone have some numbers here??). I took a good look at what we were spending on groceries and I knew we could do better. So I thought to myself, I wonder if I can cut that to $400. **gulp** VERY scary. I did it though. And then on day, after I had joined a fabulous website (I'm not affiliated with them, I just LOVE this site), I saw what some women were spending on the Thrifty Families forum and I thought, I could get that even LOWER. So I did. On month I told my husband, this month, we're going to spend $260 on groceries.

I didn't have a SINGLE problem. I actually ended up cutting it $20 a month to $240. Now you might be thinking, that family must eat CRAP foods. Nope, I make almost everything from scratch (except my bread, yogurt...stuff like that, but I AM working towards that!), I COUPON until the cows come home, I shop sales and I shop at Aldi. Prior to thinking about being thrift, I have to admit, I really did look down at Aldi. I thought, how can they keep all this stuff so cheap? It must be crappy quality and anyways, I make enough money to shop at the fancy grocery stores. I don't NEED to shop there. Yes, I am completely appalled at my snobbishness regarding food and groceries. I'm here to tell you that their food is NOT low quality. Yes, it's mostly off-brand but it's good quality food. They keep their overhead costs down by doing multiple different things such as making you put a quarter deposit to get the cart (which ensures that everyone puts their cart back thus making it so Aldi employees don't need to round up carts), charging for bags and having one, SOMETIMES two, extremely fast (and friendly I might add!!) cashiers. The food IS good and it's good quality. (I got on my soapbox about Aldi there :) We buy very little processed items--yes we buy cereal and poptarts and the occasional treat, but our meals consist of meats, whole grain pastas, veggies, fruits, low fat dairy products etc. We do not live on Mac and Cheese and Raman noodles (although, my husband DOES eat Raman as a treat...he's weird!), we also do not have any public assistance (which, by the way, I DO support, but we don't qualify/or need it). We eat made-from-scratch, healthy, fulfilling meals and we do it on $240 a month. It IS possible!

Can you tell I'm passionate about my grocery shopping!? :)

There are many other things we do that have saved money as well. We always use a coupon for gas, I am no longer brand specific on items I buy such as toothpaste, deodorant etc. I use coupons for health and beauty items as well, and I have just started what is know as the CVS Game. I'll blog more about that later. I actually got some super great deals at CVS two days ago but haven't had a chance to blog about them yet. 

We cloth diaper our daughter, and we will cloth diaper our next baby as well. I made all of our daughters baby food instead of buying it which saved us a TON of money! I do not use disposable feminine products either. It sounds super weird to many people, heck, when I first considered it I was APPALLED but it started for me out of necessity. I have an allergy to those items and had to look at an alternative. I found Mama Cloth which are washable sanitary napkins. I know, I know, it sounds weird but it's the best thing I've ever used. I HIGHLY recommend GEM Pads by Michelle if you are interested. She makes amazing products and is SUCH a sweet mama! I'll never buy from anyone else. We try to shut off lights and unplug items that suck up electricity, although this is something we're really working on because we tend to forget. In fact, as I speak, I have the closet light on as well as three unnecessary lights. (I'm going to shut them off RIGHT NOW...just shut them off:) OH! And one thing that I have found...foaming soap dispensers!! These are awesome! You mix in 1 part soap with 2 parts water into a special dispenser which turns it into foaming soap. You've seen the fancy foaming soap at Bath and Body Works I'm sure, all it is is less soap and more water. Do you feel gyped? Because I certainly did when I found out about this!!

There are a TON of products you can also make yourself which I'm looking into but for the mean time, I have a bunch of stuff I got for free or near free such as Laundry Detergent, toothpaste, deodorant etc so I haven't looked too much into it. I want to because I'm also trying to be greener!

Well, I think I've exhausted this topic for now. This is just a BRIEF (I know, it didn't seem brief, did it?) introduction to my new found thrifty ways. I'm still learning. I would have NEVER thought I would be this way. I wouldn't have even known how to be this way. It's a learning process but it's very easy to pick up. It can be so overwhelming but take it a step at a time, find a community that is supportive and find a few blogs **hint, hint** to help you on your way. It really is possible. :)

Rainbow Foods DOUBLE Double Daze!!

Today Rainbow Foods did DOUBLE double daze. Usually they only double 5 $1 coupons but today they doubled 10!! Plus, they have some amazing meat sales this week. My husband and I went today so I could use more then 10 coupons and we got over $160 worth of groceries for about $45. It's more then I would usually spend, but I did a bit of stockpiling, especially on meat which will bring my grocery bill down for this month, and into next month at least.

I meant to take a picture of everything to show you guys but my husband put away the groceries before I had a chance to do it so I'm going to break it down and tell you what I bought. A picture would have been a lot more fun so next time, I'm hoping to share a picture!

I should also add that I clip coupons every week on Sundays or Mondays. Usually on Mondays after my daughter has gone to bed and I'm watching my TV shows. I also get coupons off the internet which are **usually** from but occasionally other places, such as from the manufacturers website!

This is in no particular order:
*Orange text indicates the coupons and Rainbow sales I used
*Purple bolded text indicates that I got this item for FREE and potentially even MADE money on this sale!

6 large boxes of poptarts
*If you bought 5, Rainbow gave you an automatic $5 off
*I had 2 $1/3 coupons which were doubled so that saved me another $4 off. 
2 packages of New England coffee FREE
*I bought 2 coupons off Ebay for free coffee so neither of these cost me any money! 
6 packages frozen vegetables
*These were on sale for 4/$5. 
*I had 2 coupons for $1/3 which were doubled so that was another $4 off. 
2 packages 3 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
*These were on sale for $4.77 each making them $1.59 a lb!!! 
2 tubes of Crest toothpaste--FREE
*These were on sale for $0.99 each
*I had 2 $0.75 coupons which were doubled which made these not only FREE but then credited $1.02 towards my grocery bill. 
2 hams at $1.99 a lb
With each ham, we got a free
* (2) 3 lb boneless turkey FREE
* (2) dozen eggs FREE
* (2) package of breakfast sausages FREE
That was over $25 in free food. 
2 bottles of Old Orchard juice
*On sale for $1.69 each
*I had 2 $.50/1 coupons which were doubled making these $0.69 each. 
Coffee Mate Coffee Cream-FREE
*On sale for $0.99 
*I had a coupon for $0.75 which was doubled. I made $0.51 off this deal! 
2 YoPlus Yogurts-FREE
*On sale, Buy 1 Get 1 Free (BOGO)
*I had 2 coupons for $1.00 off, which made this FREE
Yoplait Delight-FREE
*On sale for $2
*I had a $1.00 coupon which was doubled, making this FREE
3 Energy Saver CFL Bulbs-FREE
*On sale for $0.99 each
*I had 2 coupons, $1/1 and $1/2 which were both doubled, making these FREE
Excedrin Migraine-FREE
*I got a coupon mailed to me from Excedrin for a free product

Total BEFORE coupons and sales=$154.99

Total AFTER coupons and sales=$50.81

Total Savings=$104.18

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Purex at Walgreens..and more!

Okay, I cannot take credit for this and I'm SO sorry but I do not know where I found out about this! I saw it somewhere the other day randomly on the internet and if I knew where, I would totally give credit!!

Walgreens currently has Purex Laundry Detergent Buy 1 Get 1 (BOGO). Last weeks Redplum newspaper insert had a BOGO coupon and you're able to use it at most Walgreens to get the detergent for FREE. How it works basically is that the free part of the coupon is being used on the one that you buy at Walgreens to get the other free--does that make sense? I've been trying to think of the best way to describe it but so far, I haven't come up with the best way to get the words that are in my brain out of my mouth...or fingers in this case! But if you have this coupon, or can get this coupon, you can get the laundry detergent for the price of tax. So far, I've gotten 8 containers of it and I have LOTS of these coupons because my mom was able to get me a bunch of the inserts. I do have to warn you though, the coupons expire on the 6th so better get going!! This is a great deal!!

Another note: the Purex Free and Clear can be used on cloth diapers because it is dye and fragrence free. It is rated a 3 out of 4 stars (and comes highly recommended by mamas) on for the use on cloth diapers. I didn't even THINK about that today when I picked up two of those. I'll definitely be looking for more!!

Another deal at Walgreens is they have Right Guard on sale for BOGO and you can print a $1.00/2 coupon at I believe you can print 2 coupons from this website. Great deal! My husband uses this deodorant so we definitely picked some up.

There are lots of other deals at Walgreens obviously, I highly recommend checking out and clicking on her Walgreens part which will show you lots of Walgreens deals (just please keep coming to my blog too lol).

Today my finds were:

8 Purex
2 Right Guard Deodorant
Total: less then $4.00

Hello and Welcome!!

I'm starting this blog to try and keep track of everything and also to hopefully share the wonderful deals I come across. I'm a very new stay at home mom, as of yesterday actually! Our family has been trying to be thrifty for just a few short months now and each day, I feel like I learn something new! I've gotten a lot of great information from MANY different sources, and I will always try and credit those sources. I've also learned a lot on different ways to be thrifty, greener and simpler which is really what I'm trying to do.

The first thing our family of three did was cut our grocery budget from over $600 a month to $240 a month. I know, that sounds crazy, in fact when I first considered it I just about choked. How could we POSSIBLY live on $240 for groceries and still eat GOOD and HEALTHY food. Well, I'm here to tell you that it's POSSIBLE. I make a meal plan and base that around what I already have in the house, what's on sale and what I can get coupons for. I shop mainly at Aldi and Rainbow because they do double coupons on Wednesday and Saturday. I clip coupons every week and have a very organized system as to how I have them set up. I go into the store and I KNOW what I'm going to get. Another thing I do is I use CASH for my groceries. It's scary at first, no doubt, but once you get used to it, it's sooo much easier! I'm HOPING to be able to use cash for most everything...that's my goal and something I'm working towards. I stockpile but I ONLY stockpile items we would use. I don't just go out and buy stuff because it's cheap, I buy stuff because it's cheap and we'll use it.

Aside from that, we are on a specific budget. Not only did we need to figure out how to make it on essentially ONE income, but we also want to be COMPLETELY DEBT FREE as soon as possible. Before I was able to quit my job, we had the goal of paying off every single credit card and CUTTING THEM UP. And we DID it! We have one credit card right now and it's our Kohls card. It has a ZERO dollar balance on it and the only reason we still have it is because we get 30% off coupons. The two times I've used it, the card has been paid off immediately.

It's been a big lifestyle change, we're moving to a cheaper apartment to make it work, but so far, it's going great. We lived on a tight budget for a few months and tried to slowly ease ourselves into it so that it wasn't such a shock when we jumped into just one income. On this blog, I hope to share how we're doing it, the deals I find including FREE stuff (which I DO get and no, I didn't steal it :D) and whatever else that comes along the way. I know that I couldn't have gotten to this point without two main sources which are: <~~~The Thrifty Families Forum..I LIVE on this forum. I am NOTHING compared to some of these women!!
and <~~~This woman is my HERO.

I highly recommend checking out both of those sites. They are amazing. :)

Thanks and I hope to actually KEEP this up!! :)