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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Interesting Reads

I've come across these post in the past few days and wanted to share them with you...

For the moms who fake it until they make it

Save Money on Milk

Free Snack Plates

Upstairs Friends

Have you read any interesting posts lately?

Weekly Grocery Roundup 5/28

Giant had dollar doublers this week. It was VERY hard for me to stay under budget. I stocked up on some stuff, mostly for hubbys work. I spent a lot of money, but batteries and sunscreen are not usually in our grocery budget. We usually buy enough batteries around Christmas out of our Christmas budget, but didn't last year. I've never thought to use coupons to get sunscreen so cheap, so this year, I found a decent deal and stocked up.

I bought:
1 gallon milk
1 pound ground beef
4 packs batteries
4 deodorants
2 pizzas (not pictured)
9 bags of noodles (not pictured)
1 watermelon (not pictured)
6 bags of combos
6 lunchables
5 bottles of suncreen
2 jars of banana peppers
12 bottles of marinade
6 lunchables
2 boxes Magnum ice cream bars (these are amazing!)

Total OOP: $41.86 plus I got back a $10 CAT to use
(I saved $165, so that makes it better LOL)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Where to Get Coupons

In order to to keep my grocery budget down, I use coupons. I've had several people ask me where I get the coupons to do my deals. There are a number of places that you can get coupons, today I will share with you some of the ways that I use to get my coupons.



1. Newspaper Inserts. In every Sunday paper, there are coupon inserts. (Sometimes the inserts come in your Saturday paper instead). Smart Source, RedPlum, and Proctor & Gamble are the major distributors of coupon inserts. Sometimes, General Mills or another major company will put out an insert of their own, for their products.

While the Sunday paper does cost you money to get your coupons, in my opinion, it is very worth it, depending on the cost of your paper and what coupons you'll use out of that weeks inserts. You can check out a preview of the coupons coming each week HERE. Last week, I bought 4 papers, totaling $4. There were 4 dollar doublers in each Giant sale flyer, which saved me $16.  I also used numerous other coupons out of the papers. The savings that I get when using the coupons justified the $4 in buying the papers.
If I am "in town" I will go to the Dollar Tree where they sell everything for $1. Even Sunday papers. The local paper that is usually a dollar sells for $0.50 at the Dollar Tree. If I know there is going to be some HOT coupons in the paper that week, I make sure to get to the Dollar Tree and get my papers for cheap.

2. Magazines I've found that most magazines offer one or two coupons. Parents and Baby Talk were offering a 20% off diapers coupon for Amazon.com that netted some pretty amazing prices on diapers! Women's Day sometimes has a SMALL booklet in the middle of it which usually contains coupons for Glade, and sometimes sugar, Sara Lee Lunch Meat and bagel bites. I currently subscribe to All You. This is the only magazine I pay for and I will not pay more than $1 an issue for it. There are deals all the time for this magazine and it always contains a ton of coupons. If you don't want to subscribe to it, you can find it exclusively at WalMart.


3. Grocery Stores You will find coupons two places in your local grocery stores. At the register from a Catalina machine and in the aisles. Sometimes there are blinkies - little coupon machines hanging by a product. Sometimes you'll find a tearpad of coupons hanging by a product. Often times when my area is trying to raise money to support something (the troops, the food banks, etc) they will offer a coupon booklet in exchange for a donation.

Catalina coupons are coupons that print at checkout. They are triggered by something you've bought. A lot of times there will be an On Your Next Order (OYNO) Catalina that prints out. These are the best kind! They are coupons you can use on almost anything you want to buy, produce, meat, etc. Sometimes companies will run promotions if you buy X amount of something, you'll get a catalina for X off your next purchase.

4. Ask! A lot of times, if you ask people for coupons, they'll give them to you. I've asked my mom to send me her leftover coupons and she gladly does. When she goes to visit my grandfather, she's started raiding his paper for the coupons [which he doesn't use] and giving them to me. My neighbors know I coupon and they'll save me the coupons they get.

5. Email Companies. This kind of goes along with asking for coupons, but some companies won't send you any if you specifically ask for them. Usually, if I find something I really like [or really don't like] about a product, I will email the company and let them know. Most of the time, the company sends me a few coupons in the mail just for taking the time to contact them.

6. Online Printables There are a TON of coupons at your fingertips every single day. And you can get them for free! All you have to do is find them. There are a lot of coupon sites that you can print coupons from. A short list would be :

Coupons.com
RedPlum.com
CoolSavings.com
SmartSource.com
CouponNetwork.com  

Something that I've recently learned is that the coupons on coupons.com are the exact same coupons that Swagbucks has on their site. And if you print them from Swagbucks, you'll get 10 swagbucks for every coupon you redeem!!

Some stores, Target for example, offer coupons on their site. Target offers both store coupons (to be used only in Target) and manufacturers coupons (to be used anywhere). The store coupons can be used with a manufacturers coupon. For example, if you have a $1 off Kellogg's TARGET coupon, you can use it with a $1 Kellogg's manufacturers coupon to save $2 off the one product.

A few things about printable coupons - you can usually print 2 of each coupon per computer, just hit the back button twice. The coupons are good in black in white as well as color. I only print my coupons in black and white - saves on ink! Never photocopy a Internet coupon. This is fraud.

7. Free Samples When you request free samples from companies online, the manufacturer usually includes a coupon or two with your sample. Yet another great reason to sign up for all the wonderful free samples! (Unsure where to find free samples? I share them on my facebook page!)

8. Coupon Trading There are forums that have coupon trading. You basically search the forum for a coupon you want. When you find someone who has a coupon you want, you trade them for it. Sometimes they want other coupons, sometimes they want postage stamps. A few trading forums are:

WeUseCoupons
AFullCup.com
HotCouponWorld.com

How do you get your coupons?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What's Cooking Thursday?

Welcome to What's Cooking Thursday! A place for you to link up whatever it is you've been cooking at your house! Not a blogger? Leave your recipe in the comment section. Look for a featured recipe next week. Feel free to link up as many recipes as you'd like, all I ask is that you link back to What's Cooking Thursday!



 
I have to admit, I haven't been experimenting much in the kitchen. I don't think I've made anything new in the past two weeks. So, instead of one of my recipes, I'll share a few of the recipes from last week.
 








Now it's your turn, what have you been cooking this week?

Garden Update

This week has brought a lot of surprises in my garden....

Like this little guy here. The beginnings of a tomato plant. I found about 15 of these. I pulled some and am letting some grow. The tomato plants I plated from seed did not make it, so luckily we have these!


We harvested our first strawberry this week! (Monday actually) We found 2 more today. It has become the boys favorite game. Who can find the red strawberries??

Here is one of our containers. This one is our green beans. They have really taken off!! I am hoping to plant another pot of them this week if I have enough soil.

How is your garden growing?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Friendly Wednesday 5/25

Welcome to Friendly Wednesday Blog Hop! I'm glad you're here!


Thank you to all the bloggers who linked up last week!

Please feel free to grab the button (located in the right side bar) and add it to your blog to get more bloggers to participate in the blog hop!!




How to Participate:
Follow the hostesses located in the first and second spots - Feeding Four and Scraps of Life Blog. If you want me to follow you back, please leave a comment letting me know that you are a new follower and leave a link to your blog.

Create a new Friendly Wednesday blog post on your own blog and be sure to use the button provided on the side bar.

Enter your information into the linkup below.

Follow all the other blogs you want. This is a great way to get more followers!

Friendly Wednesday will be posted once a week. Your link must be added every week so be sure to come back to linkup!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Meal Plan 5/22

The other week I wrote how I made a monthly meal plan to help me on Sundays when I sat down to make my weekly meal plan. Monthly meal planning is a great way to cut down on the time it takes me every week to come up with a list of seven meals. Well, it helps me if I can keep track of the darned list. I have no idea where I put my monthly meal plan. So, it's back to the drawing board for this week. :(

I did make it a bit easier on myself by not fixing a meal or two from last week. We ended up at my mom's house for dinner one night, and the other night I was lazy and we just had pizza.

This week we're having:


Out
Steak with Salad (repeat from last week)
Bourbon Chicken
PorkChops
Pizza
Chicken Fajitas
Fish
Leftovers

What are you eating this week? Check out 100s of other menus at OrgJunkie.com

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Interesting Reads

I've come across these posts the past few days and wanted to share them with you.

Free Childrens Books for Kindles

10 Ways to Respect Your Husband

Getting Rid of Ants

Costs of Couponing

Have you read anything interesting this week?

Weekly Grocery Roundup 5/21

It's been sort of a busy week at Giant this week. I've been stocking up on candy for the summer. I see lots of smores and blizzards in our future. :) I got E some soda for work, and since lunchables and subs were free and practically free, I bought a few...

I bought :

5 - 6 packs of soda
1 gallon milk
4 lbs strawberries
mushrooms
broccoli
5 bottles Hershey syrup
4 boxes mini wheats
3 Kraft subs
5 Kraft flat breads
chocolate ice cream
6 packs Orbit gum
2 pounds deli ham
4 - 4 packs of pudding
3 Lunchables
7 Weber Grill Seasonings
2 Kraft Home style Mac & Cheese
20 Hershey candy bars

Total Spent OOP : $ 26.71

Friday, May 20, 2011

Garden Update

With all the rain from this past week, my garden has really taken off.
These are the sugar snap peas, which I planted from seed. I need to stake them up soon.

Our strawberries are getting big. The boys are really excited! They keep asking if they can eat the green ones.
We have 2 big patches of lettuce that have sprouted up on it's own. This one is right beside our compost pile. There are also random lettuce plants throughout the garden. I'd like to try and transplant them to containers, or at least all into one spot.

My seeds that I planted have pretty much died. I'm not sure what I did wrong. The only ones that seemed to have survived were the watermelon and one of the pepper plants. Hopefully they'll continue to grow okay.

How is your garden growing?

What's For Lunch? 5/20

Need some inspiration for your children's lunchbox? I will be sharing what I have packed in C's in the hopes that it will help you when you struggle! (C has school Monday, Wednesday and every other Friday, so I will be sharing 2 to 3 times a week)



Today he took: turkey and cheese wrap, pretzels, strawberries and grapes
What did you have for lunch today?

Friday is Mega Swagbucks Day!!



Need some extra cash? How about making money to surf the web! Seriously, it's that simple. Sign up for Swagbucks and get points when you search the web. Turn those in for prizes! My favorite prize is an Amazon.com Gift card!

Every Friday when you use Swagbucks to search the Internet you could win anywhere from 50-5000 Swagbucks! An $5 Amazon gift card is worth 450 Swagbucks. So get searching and earn some Swagbucks! (You can earn Swagbucks any day of the week, on Fridays you have the chance to win extra!)

New to Swagbucks? Sign up HERE and get 30 Swagbucks just for signing up!

Don't forget to become a fan of Feeding Four on Facebook - I share Swagbucks codes there that are worth extra Swagbucks!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Want to Add Some Extra Cash to Your Budget?

How would you like to earn some extra cash? We all would right? What if I told you you could stay at home with your kids and make money?

I just finished listening to this FREE CD from Joy Anderson where she tells you all her secrets about how to START A PRESCHOOL (not a daycare!) in your home!



She wants everyone to know about this great option, so she's giving all our blog readers a copy of her FREE CD too! You can go get yours now. Just click the link below to go get it:

Start a Preschool!

So why is she giving out all these FREE CDs?

Well, 3 years ago she was a single mom and had to find a way to create a full-time income at home or be forced to go to work and put her kids in daycare! Everyone told her to start a daycare, but she knew she'd be exhausted after the long 12-hr. days!

Then she stumbled upon the idea of starting a preschool (teaching preschool classes for just a few hours each day to children ages 3-5) and within 30 days, she made enough to keep her kids out of daycare... and keep her at home with them!

Over the past 3 years, she's taught over a thousand men and women how to start their own preschools. "But that's not enough," Joy told me, "because I know there are still thousands more women in the world feeling hopeless about their financial situation. NO woman should feel that their only options are to get a job and put their kids in daycare, or to start a daycare themselves. There IS another option--perhaps a better option for some women--and I'm here to share it with the world!"

So grab your FREE CD right now to find out how starting a preschool can bless your family's life! (And feel free to forward this link to anyone you think might benefit from it!)

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR CD!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What's Cooking Thursdays - Chicken Pot Pie

Welcome to What's Cooking Thursday! A place for you to link up whatever it is you've been cooking at your house! Not a blogger? Leave your recipe in the comment section. Look for a featured recipe next week. Feel free to link up as many recipes as you'd like, all I ask is that you link back to What's Cooking Thursday!





The other week after we had our chicken ring, I had a good bit of the chicken mixture leftover. I also had some pie crust in the back of the fridge that needed to be used up. (Don't ask where the pie crust came from because I seriously have no idea.) There was also some of the philly cooking creme just begging to be used. Throw the three together and you have an amazing chicken pot pie.

You'll need:
1-2 cups shredded/diced cooked chicken
1/2 bag mixed veggies (thawed if they were frozen)
1 diced and cooked potato
1 can cream of chicken soup (I used a half can)
1 philly cooking creme - garlic flavor
2 pie crusts

Roll pie crust onto the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate. Combine chicken, veggies, soup and cooking creme. Spoon chicken mixture into crust-lined pan. Top with second crust. Seal the edges. Cut a few slits into the top pie crust. Bake at 425 for 35 minutes. Enjoy!

This week's featured recipes are:






Now it's your turn. What have you been cooking this week?

What's For Lunch 5/18

Need some inspiration for your children's lunchbox? I will be sharing what I have packed in C's in the hopes that it will help you when you struggle! (C has school Monday, Wednesday and every other Friday, so I will be sharing 2 to 3 times a week)


Today he took : Turkey and Cheese Lunchable, an apple, yogurt, extra crackers, a brownie and a water bottle.
 

What did you have for lunch today?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Friendly Wednesday 5/18

Welcome to Friendly Wednesday Blog Hop! I'm glad you're here!

Thank you to all the bloggers who linked up last week!

Please feel free to grab the button (located in the right side bar) and add it to your blog to get more bloggers to participate in the blog hop!!




How to Participate:


Follow the hostesses located in the first and second spots - Feeding Four and Scraps of Life Blog. If you want me to follow you back, please leave a comment letting me know that you are a new follower and leave a link to your blog.

Create a new Friendly Wednesday blog post on your own blog and be sure to use the button provided on the side bar.

Enter your information into the linkup below.

Follow all the other blogs you want. This is a great way to get more followers!

Friendly Wednesday will be posted once a week. Your link must be added every week so be sure to come back to linkup!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Meal Plan 5/15

Our meal plan for last week pretty much went out the window. A requested pizza, I had leftover filling from the chicken ring, so I made it into a chicken pot pie. Friday we had quesedillas, which hubby has been requesting for weeks (so he says) and Saturday night, hubby and I went out for a date night. The fact that our meal plan went hay wire was fine with me. I have all the ingredients for a whole month worth of meals at my finger tips, so I'm very flexible with what I fix.

This week, we don't really have much going on, so I'm going to take the time to make a few family favorites that take a little bit of time to fix.
Chicken Kabobs
Cheeseburgers on the Grill
BBQ Pork Roast
Steak
Stir fry
Enchiladas
Leftovers

What are you eating this week? Check out 100s of other menus at OrgJunkie.com

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Date Night Idea

Some of the best date nights are the ones that cost you little to no money. Especially for those with kids, it's a lot easier to stay home and "date" after the children go to bed.



Have you ever decorated a cake with your hubby? Think of how much fun it could be! There are so many options. Will you bake a cake or buy a premade one? What kind of toppings, frosting, etc are you going to use? You could use crushed candy, cookies, sprinkles, fruit, or decorating gels. By picking things that are special to each of you, you're sure to add more excitement to your date!

Have fun! After you've decorated your cake, you could feed it to each other, adding more fun to your date night!

Interesting Reads

I've come across these links in the past few days and really enjoyed reading the posts, I thought you might too.


How To Remove Crayon Marks From Clothes

10 Tips About HomeSchooling

Caring For Little Teeth

Jars Of Joy

Have you read any interesting posts lately?

Weekly Grocery Roundup 5/14

Slow week at Giant this week. :)
I bought:
4 Mac & Cheese Cups
10 Single Rolls Scott Toilet Paper
10 Scott Wipes
16 Cadbury Eggs

Total OOP: $1.80 and I have a $2 catalina to use on my next purchase.

I bought:
mushrooms
broccoli
2 tomatoes
bread
hot dog rolls
18 Hallmark cards

Total OOP: $3.78 and I have $20 in catalinas to use next week.

Total OOP for the week: $5.58

Friday, May 13, 2011

How I Keep My Budget Under Control - Monthly Meal Planning

I have been asked numerous times how I make my monthly menu plans. I was curious how others made theirs, so I googled it. (well, really, I swagbucksed it LOL) I think some people make menu planning a lot harder than it has to be. I don’t know about you, but I want to make my life as easy as possible. That’s one reason I meal plan. Taking 15 steps to do something that could be done in 5 seems silly to me.


Anyway. I already talked about how I make my weekly menus HERE. Making my monthly menu plan is just an extended version of that. First, I write list of numbers, the dates of the month. (you could use a calendar to make it easier, but for some reason that doesn’t work for me.) Then I go through my fridge, freezers, and pantry to see what has to be used up, like right now. Things that have been in there the longest. Maybe there is some veggies in the fridge that are starting to look rough. I’ll add some kind of stir fry to the list. That steak has been in there awhile, it goes somewhere on the menu too.

Once I’ve plugged in some meals, I turn to the boys and ask for suggestions. Hubby usually has quite a few and with a monthly meal plan, I can space them out however I want. That way, I don’t have to have some kind of hamburger 4 nights in a row.

Usually by the time I’ve went through the freezers and asked for suggestions, I have almost filled in all the blanks. If I haven’t, I turn to the Internet. There are millions of recipes at your fingertips, you just have to look for them! I’ll plug in a few new recipes and bam, our monthly meal plan is complete.


One thing to remember as you’re creating your menu is things that are going on that month. This month, we have a few doctors appointments, some picnics and things that I know I’m going to have to plan around. I can make sure I plan a crock pot meal for nights we will be running around. I have time to look for a recipe to make for the picnic (I won’t be stuck last minute trying to throw something together!)

When I do monthly meal plan, I also shop for the month. Since I have a built up stockpile, I normally don’t have a big grocery list. I write down what I know I need to buy, and get the rest from my stockpile. For example, this month I only needed to buy a handful of items for the whole month. The rest is coming from my stockpile. I’ve done all my grocery shopping for the month and it cost me a total of $17.70. I will still have to buy milk and produce. I also didn’t have to buy any meats this month as we have a ton in the freezers. I’ll use the rest of the grocery budget this month ($82.30) to stock up on things. If we end up needing something, I have plenty of money to get whatever, or to add that money to savings.
This is my meal plan planning for the month. The top is the meals, the bottom the grocery list.

 
Monthly meal planning makes my life so much easier. And it helps keep my grocery budget down! Do you meal plan?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What's Cooking Thursdays? Homemade Croutons

Welcome to What's Cooking Thursday! A place for you to link up whatever it is you've been cooking at your house! Not a blogger? Leave your recipe in the comment section. Look for a featured recipe next week. Feel free to link up as many recipes as you'd like, all I ask is that you link back to What's Cooking Thursday!






One thing I have stopped buying is croutons. We didn't care much at first, but lately, C and hubby have been asking for them. I have a hard time spending money on something I could make better at home. Especially something that I know will be healthier for us if I made it at home. This past week, I had some bread going stale and we were having salad so I figured I'd use up the bread and make croutons. It was so easy and they tasted so good! I really don't have much of a recipe, it's more like a bunch of ingredients thrown together.
You'll need:
bread cut into crouton sized chunks
olive oil
Italian seasoning
garlic

Combine olive oil and spices in a small bowl. Toss the bread in the olive oil until coated. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes. Flip the croutons, bake for 5 minutes. You'll need to keep a close eye on them so they don't burn. If your bread chunks are larger, you'll want to bake a few more minutes. You want them nice and crisp. Serve over a green salad, or eat by themselves.

This week's featured recipes are:







Now it's your turn. What have you been cooking this week?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Friendly Wednesday 5/11

Welcome to Friendly Wednesday Blog Hop! I'm glad you're here!


Thank you to all the bloggers who linked up last week!

Please feel free to grab the button (located in the right side bar) and add it to your blog to get more bloggers to participate in the blog hop!!




How to Participate:


Follow the hostesses located in the first and second spots - Feeding Four and Scraps of Life Blog. If you want me to follow you back, please leave a comment letting me know that you are a new follower and leave a link to your blog.

Create a new Friendly Wednesday blog post on your own blog and be sure to use the button provided on the side bar.

Enter your information into the linkup below.

Follow all the other blogs you want. This is a great way to get more followers!

Friendly Wednesday will be posted once a week. Your link must be added every week so be sure to come back to linkup!


Garden Update

There has been lots of happenings in my garden this past week. Lots of little sprouts! I planted a few things in containers, it's my first time trying this and so far so good! We planted carrots, green beans and spinach in containers. I also have something new, celery leaf, and some basil.
 I planted a bunch of spinach in the ground and in a container. The spinach in the ground is just now starting to sprout, I see the very tips starting to come up. The spinach in the container (which I planted a month after I planted some in the ground) is sprouting like crazy. I found some spinach and lettuce growing randomly in the garden, not sure how it got there.

Our sugar snap peas are growing like crazy, I think I'm going to have to stake them up here soon.


Here is the seeds we planted earlier this year. They've outgrown their starters and need transplanted into the ground. That's on my list to do this week.

How is your garden growing?

What's For Lunch? 5/10

Need some inspiration for your children's lunchbox? I will be sharing what I have packed in C's in the hopes that it will help you when you struggle! (C has school Monday, Wednesday and every other Friday, so I will be sharing 2 to 3 times a week)



Today he took: ham and cheese sub, cantaloupe, watermelon, chips, yogurt, 2 cookies, and water.
 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Meal Plan 5/8

How was your Mother's Day? Mine was great. We spent half the day with my mom. The men fixed us chicken kabobs for dinner. Then, we came home and we all planted flowers and spread mulch. The boys had a lot of fun.

We finally had roast chicken last week. I really didn't feel like fixing it, but I knew if we wanted the "leftover" chicken, I needed to have the chicken.

This week for dinners we're having:
Total cost for this week's dinners : $9.97

Chicken Kabobs @ moms - Free (my daddy bought dinner tonight)
Fish - $1.08
Chicken Ring - $1.40
BBQ Pork Roast - $1.99 (the coast of the roast was $3.99, we'll get at least 2 meals from it. The sides, veggies, were free)
Steak - $3.40 (A and I do not eat that much steak, I concentrate on the sides, which are mac & cheese ($0.80) and veggies (free) We use 1 pound of steak, we each eat a salad - free spinach (garden) cheap cheese, etc., and sides)
Pork chops - $2.10
Leftovers

What are you having this week? Check out 100s of other menus at orgjunkie.com!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Date Night Idea

When hubby and I first got together, money was hard to come by. We still wanted to do things together, so we had to come up with cheap date nights. Hubby liked to play darts, so when I saw a dart board on clearance for $5, I bought it. The next time we went to have a date, I pulled the dart board out. We had a few beers, played darts and laughed and talked into the night.


Do you have a dart board you could pull out after the kids are in bed? Add a few beers, some music and it could feel just like you are in a bar - except you don't have to pay for overpriced beer and you don't need a sitter!

Weekly Grocery Roundup 5/7

This week was an example of how I buy things I don't need to help keep my grocery budget down. (A post on that will be coming soon) For every 3 Hallmark cards you buy, you get a $5 catalina (a coupon good on your next shopping order. The $0.99 cards were also producing this catalina. So the deal went like this :
Buy 3 cards @ $0.99. Pay $2.84 OOP, get a $5 coupon good on your next order. Really, a $2.16 moneymaker. You could roll this deal as many times as you wanted, using the previous $5 coupon to buy your new cards. Also, the Scott products were producing a catalina.
5 Hunts Ketchup
5 Hunts pasta sauce
1 Scott TP
1 Scott wipes
4 Cracker Barrel cheese
Tabasco sauce
ibuprofen

Total OOP: $7.10 and I have $20 in catalinas to use next week.



10 Hunts Ketchup
7 Peter Pan Peanut Butter
2 loaves bread
hamburger rolls
oatmeal cookies
applesauce
2 tortillas
2 enchilada sauces
1 green chile's
pretzels
chili powder
milk
Tabasco sauce
3 liter soda
2 lbs strawberries
ice cream cones
2 sour cream

Total OOP : $17.70

Total : $24.80

This isn't bad considering I got a few things for hubbys lunch - usually he buys wit his own money at work - and that this is basically the groceries for the next month! Plus, I have CATs to use.

Friday, May 6, 2011

How I Keep My Budget Under Control - Stockpiling


You've seen my grocery trips where I have bought 20 yogurts, or 30 bags of cheese. The other week I bought 6 containers of mayo. The week before, a ton of cream cheese. All these items by themselves don't make meals. But combine them with the items I have already stockpiled and are sitting in my pantry/freezer, and I'm good to go.

What is stockpiling? It's when an item is at it's rock bottom price and you buy as many as your family will use over a period of time (usually 3-6 months, sometimes up to a year). When you use coupons when these items are at their rock bottom prices, you can get products for pennies on the dollar.

There are several different ways to obtain coupons. Online, through the mail, newspapers inserts and directly from the manufacturer. You can also order your coupons from a clipping service, but there has been a lot of controversy lately over if this is legal or not.

Stocking up with coupons does take some time, but the process is really simple. Look at your life and figure out what products you and your family are using the most. Then, grab a sale flyer for the week. Keep your coupons close by. Grab your price book. You should know by now what a great price on your products are. When you see your product go on sale for the lowest price, look for coupons to make the price even lower.

For example, Peanut Butter is on sale this week 2 for $4. There are $0.50/1 coupons available HERE. When you buy 7 peanut butter (or any products in the category) you get $3 off instantly. My store doubles coupons up to $1. So the math looks like this :
  • Buy 7 Peanut Butters @ $14
  • Use 7 $0.50/1 coupons (doubled) @ $7
  • $3 off instantly
  • Total is $4 for 7 jars of Peanut Butter or $0.57 a jar
This sure beats paying $2 (sale price) for 1 jar of peanut butter because I ran out. By buying 7 jars now, I'm saving at least $10. (If I were to buy 7 jars on sale it would be $14, I'm spending $4 now. ($14-$4=$10 savings))

7 jars of peanut butter would get used up in about 3 months in my house. My kids eat PB&J for breakfast and lunch if I let them. Hubby takes it to work. This would be a great example of stocking up FOR ME. If you don't eat Peanut Butter, or don't eat that much peanut butter, you would have to find another deal that worked for you.

So how do you figure out how much of something you need? Get your list of the most used items that your household uses. Next to each item put down how many of that item your family uses per month then multiply it by however long you're trying to build your stockpile for. I usually try to keep a stock for at least 6 months, sometimes even a year. In the winter, I don't like to go out in the cold so I try to have enough "supplies" to get us through the winter. :)

The hardest part of stockpiling is actually finding the deals. That's where it pays to be organized. Have all your coupons organized and not just thrown all around. Know where your store circulars are. Have a pen and paper to write out your coupon match ups while you're going through your ads. I use We Use Coupons a lot. Its the best resource I've found to help me in my match ups.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments or email me at feedingfour@comcast.net and I will be glad to answer them for you!

Friday is Mega Swagbucks Day!!


Need some extra cash? How about making money to surf the web! Seriously, it's that simple. Sign up for Swagbucks and get points when you search the web. Turn those in for prizes! My favorite prize is an Amazon.com Gift card!


Every Friday when you use Swagbucks to search the Internet you could win anywhere from 50-5000 Swagbucks! An $5 Amazon gift card is worth 450 Swagbucks. So get searching and earn some Swagbucks! (You can earn Swagbucks any day of the week, on Fridays you have the chance to win extra!)

New to Swagbucks? Sign up HERE and get 30 Swagbucks just for signing up!

Don't forget to become a fan of Feeding Four on Facebook - I share Swagbucks codes there that are worth extra Swagbucks!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What's Cooking Thursdays - Chicken Kabobs

Welcome to What's Cooking Thursday! A place for you to link up whatever it is you've been cooking at your house! Not a blogger? Leave your recipe in the comment section. Look for a featured recipe next week. Feel free to link up as many recipes as you'd like, all I ask is that you link back to What's Cooking Thursday!





We had kabobs the other weekend at a friends house and they were amazing. I had to recreate them at home. They turned out even better here than they were at our friends. Even if they were a little crispy :)
You'll need:
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pineapple
1/2 red onion
1/2 bottle Lawry's Hawaiian marinade

Cut chicken, pineapple and onion into bite sized pieces. Place in a large bowl and pour marinade over top. Let sit at least 8 hours, ideally overnight. When done marinating, Thread chicken, pineapple, and onion alternately on skewers. Grill 8 to 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

This week's featured recipes are:



Now it's your turn. What have you been cooking this week?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Friendly Wednesday 5/4

Welcome to the Friendly Wednesday Blog Hop! I'm glad you're here!


Thank you to all the bloggers who linked up last week!

Please feel free to grab the button (located in the right side bar) and add it to your blog to get more bloggers to participate in the blog hop!!


 
How to Participate:


Follow the hostesses located in the first and second spots - Feeding Four and Scraps of Life Blog. If you want me to follow you back, please leave a comment letting me know that you are a new follower and leave a link to your blog.
Create a new Friendly Wednesday blog post on your own blog and be sure to use the button provided on the side bar.

Enter your information into the linkup below.
Follow all the other blogs you want. This is a great way to get more followers!

Friendly Wednesday will be posted once a week. Your link must be added every week so be sure to come back to linkup!

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