PhotobucketWhy Be Frugal?

I consider frugality an art form and a religious conviction. I learned about paying cash for purchases, recycling and reusing just about everything and being generous to friends and those in need from my parents.

My faith instructs me all things are gifted by God and so I am compelled to be a good steward of my gifts. [The highest heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth he has given to man. Psalm 115:16]


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Buy Gift Cards. Make Money!

One of my friends, Michael, posted this on Facebook:

Deal of the moment: Food Lion has [five] gift cards (Belk, iTunes, Lowe's,Bass Pro Shop and the Mastercard gift card) which, if you buy $50, you save $10 instantly. So I stopped in Food Lion today while at Hope Thrift and bought a $50 Mastercard gift card. It cost me $44.95 at the register, so I made a cool $5.05 buying a prepaid credit card I can use anywhere! Cool, huh?

He also pointed out he didn't think (and I agree) that the other cards have an activation fee - only the Mastercard gift card.

Wow!  Can you say great Father's Day gifts?  You can give these as gifts or spend them yourself! Stock up while the deal lasts!

I researched this and apparently this deal is nationwide, according to Centicible Saver:

Now through June 19 at Food Lion stores, when you spend $50 on gift cards for Belk, Lowe's Home Improvement, iTunes, Bass Pro Shops or Mastercard, you'll get $10 off your bill -- instantly.
There are no coupons or rebates involved. As I understand it, you will simply pay $40 for a $50 card.

Read more here:

Hurry!  The deal ends June 19!

Thanks, Michael for the head's up!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

"Little" sandwich day!

I got home from Kroger a few minutes ago and I'm pretty pleased that I saved over 35% on my total order! 

I got 1 free 1.2 lbs of Private Selection Ground Chuck, 1 free Private Selection 6" pie and 1 free SoBe Life water. One of the ways I score free samples and coupons for free/ discounted items is as a BzzAgent. I'm currently involved in a Private Selection campaign - have tons of coupons for 20% off Private selection items, and in a SoBe Lifewater campaign - and have tons of 50 cents off coupons.  The idea is to use some coupons and give some away - "cheap" marketing for the companies and a great way for "BzzAgents" to score free/ cheap stuff!

I also used quite a few Kroger coupons, which are mailed to us periodically--generally the items are geared to our spending habits (which I'm sure are automatically tracked through my Kroger card.)

Today I'll be cooking up sausage biscuits to freeze - quick 'grab-n-go' breakfast (I have a rebate coupon for one pack of Tennessee Pride sausage patties). I also bought 2 packs of Kroger sausage patties that I'll cook up while refrigerator biscuits bake.

I used a $1 off coupon on Hawaiian rolls and also bought a pack of "small rolls".  Bought 2 packs of Kroger brand slider patties (in the refrigerator section) that had been marked down so I'll also cook up 2 dozen sliders to freeze.  These are one of my son's favorites as they're tasty and can be popped in the microwave for a quick lunch. The cost for these is less than 1/2 of the ready-made frozen ones - even than the Kroger brand.

My husband has requested meatloaf  which I'll probably fix tomorrow for dinner and have leftovers for sandwiches next week.  Finally, I'll make some more pizza pockets but I'm going to add a bit of sauce to the recipe.

We have stuck to our "no eating out" pledge! There were a couple of times that it was soo tempting because I was exhausted from work. Fortunately, because I had planned ahead and had some meals (or at least main courses) all we had to do was defrost and microwave.

We've enjoyed the freezer brownies and pizza pockets I fixed (see previous post HERE.)

What are you cooking this weekend?

Just be frugal,

Monday, May 28, 2012

Freezer cooking update and Memorial Day cake success

The Memorial Day/ patriotic birthday cake was a huge success and so light and refreshing for the hot, humid weather yesterdayy here in Richmond, VA!

We had a great weekend with family and friends.  Love the summer when we can spend time on the deck, grill out and eat, drink and be merry!  I baked banana bread yesterday (one loaf was originally intended for the freezer, but ended up going home with my daughter and son-in-law). Fair enough, as my daughter helped out with last minute cookout prep:-)

Today I'm fixing Broccoli, Chicken, Rice casseroles - one will be for dinner tonight and three will go in the freezer. I'm going to make pepperoni pizza pockets and brownies this afternoon as well so I don't have to worry about cooking/baking the rest of the week.

We have enough potato salad, corn on the cob and deviled eggs leftover to provide supplements to our dinners and lunches this week, so it should be a light cooking/meal prep week, unless I decide to really go crazy and cook  ven more meals ahead--which I just may because I love having dinner ready to pop in the oven or microwave after work.

It's been a relaxing and fun Memorial Day weekend for us. My Dad visiting from Seattle was a special treat.  We missed Mom so much and hope she's up to travelling again soon.

We honor and thank all those who serve - and their families - so that we continue to enjoy the freedoms only possible in America, the greatest country in the world.

Regardless of your political affiliations, today we are all one and I'm so grateful for my life, for my family and my country.

I pray you and yours have enjoyed this Memorial Day weekend and have paused for at least a moment to remember those who have served and especially those currently on active duty around the world.

Just be frugal,

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Happy Memorial Day

I spent 2 hours at Kroger this morning!  I used all but two coupons, then used one I found that someone had opted not to use:  2 rolls of Heavy Duty Reynolds wrap - on sale and then with the coupon, it was CHEAP.  I usually don't buy national brands of wraps, but this deal made it quite a bit cheaper than the store/generic brands. Happy dance:-)

I bought 10 pounds of chicken leg quarters ($.69/lb), 4 packs of Ball Park franks, 4/$5. These two plus my found bargain were the best deals of the day, but I saved almost 30% on my total so I was pretty pleased. 

I bought the few ingredients I lacked for all the recipes I plan to cook tomorrow, and lots of items for our birthday (my 24 yr old son)/Memorial Day cookout with family (including my Dad who will be visiting from Seattle!

Our birthday/Memorial Day menu:
Turkey burgers, sirloin burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, deviled eggs, watermelon, corn on the cob, tossed salad.  Birthday cake will be a patriotic yellow cake mix, whipped topping with blueberries and sliced strawberries (flag).

Click HERE for recipe.
Eggs just finished boiling. One frozen and one "make from storebought whole-wheat crust" pizza are in the oven for dinner - we'll have leftover zucchini and some frozen brussel sprouts. I'll boil potatoes tonight. Tomorrow, I'll work on the potato salad, deviled eggs and freezer recipes:

Pizza Pockets
Banana Bread
Chicken Brocolli Rice Casserole

using recipes I found at moneysavingmom as part of her 4 Weeks to Fill Your Freezer series.

What are you fixing for Memorial Day?

Just be frugal,

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A weekend of filling up my freezer!

Dinner tonight:  Garlic chicken and rolls from the freezer, zucchini squash. Yum. Tomorrow: massive couponing/ stockpiling/ gearing up for freezer cooking!

I'll be using lots of the recipes I found at Money Saving Mom and her series:

4-weeks-to-fill-your-freezer = what a great idea!  I love freezer cooking!

Check back for updates over the next 3 days!

Just be frugal!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Freezer + planning ahead equals frugal - and smart!

Latest adventures in frugal living:  This weekend we decided to abstain from eating out for the next 3 months. It will be quite challenging for us, but we're going to give it a shot and are looking forward to the money we'll save.  We want to purchase several new appliances - not just want! We're holding our breath that everything will keep working for a while! We really DO want to pay cash whenever possible as well.

My husband and I also were not thrilled with the detailed reports we received at our most recent annual physicals so we examined ways to be healthier. One of things we've changed in our diets is that we're avoiding processed lunch meat and other highly processed foods (like Lean Cuisines, Smart Ones, etc. and other frozen ready made meals and snacks).  The sodium content in most of them is so high and we realized we can make our own frozen dinners/ lunches from scratch for a lot less. What I'm really excited about is that my husband has really "bought in" to our new lifestyle!  He's just as committed as I am and that will make a huge difference!

Tonight I assembled Ham biscuits, wrapped in packs of two and stored in the plastic bag the rolls were packed in - in the freezer--bought Hawaiian dinner rolls at 1/2 price last night ($1.79) & used part of 1/4 Spiral sliced ham I bought on sale and with a coupon. I wrapped them in plastic and stuck them back in plastic bag the rolls were packed in.

Then I assembled Ham sandwiches - spiral sliced ham and Sandwich Thins  (purchased on sale with a coupon) and in the freezer.

Finally, I cut up canteloupe and Strawberries and stuck them in rubbermaid containers - ready for snacking.

This weekend I made breakfast sandwiches with English Muffins (on sale--BOGO), Canadian Bacon, Egg, Cheese) and when I calculated the cost it was less than $1 each:-)

Tomorrow night I have a class and my husband and son have everning activities as well. I will pack a sandwich and some fruit for my dinner. They guys will have leftover smoked sausages on buns and some salad (which I'm getting ready to mix up now).

What are some lifestyle changes you've made lately for your physical or financial well-being?

Just be frugal,

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Redeem Box Tops for Education Online!

Did you know that you can sign up to redeem Box Tops online? You select the school and they will receive all of your online Box Top earnings.

Plus there is an “Earn” section where if you shop online through their website using a discount coupon (benefits you too!), there are over 175 different retailers that will donate Box Tops to your designated school after your purchase. They have big name retailers like Target, 1-800-Flowers and Lowe’s. Even Southwest Airlines.

This post was shared from  Box Tops for Education is an easy way to help your school- written by deal-finder Josephine and posted at More With Less Today.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Free Park Admission! Free Camping!

Spend the night of Friday, May 11 at a Kampgrounds of America site and stay Saturday night for free!

Visit for details about KOA's annual Come Kamp and Care with Us Weekend. The promotion benefits its Care Camps for childrenwith cancer.

Love the outdoors? 

Visit a National Park for free on these days in 2012:

  • June 9
    Get Outdoors Day
  • September 29
    National Public Lands Day
  • November 10-12
    Veterans Day weekend

  • On these fee-free days, many state parks also offer free admission. 

    Visit to find details about parks in your state.

    Just be frugal,

    Saturday, May 5, 2012

    Free College Course Online

    My dad told me about several years ago and the course offerings available are phenomenal!  This site is definitely work checking out:

    Open makes available over 400 free online courses from the world’s leading universities. Users can download audio & video courses straight to your computer or mp3 player.

    Open Culture was founded in 2006. Dan Colman, the lead editor, is the Director and Associate Dean  of Stanford’s Continuing Studies Program.

    This morning I heard about a new initiative, edX.  Here is an excerpt from the edX website,
    EdX is a joint partnership between The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University to offer online learning to millions of people around the world. EdX will offer Harvard and MIT classes online for free. Through this partnership, the institutions aim to extend their collective reach to build a global community of online learners and to improve education for everyone.

    The gentleman who shared this information on CNN made an excellent point that while these courses are not for credit, participants will receive a certificate of completion. Those certificates can be added to a resume and may give someone out of work, or looking to change careers, an edge.

    Free is good.  Free education is priceless!

    Just be frugal,


    Friday, April 27, 2012

    Free Family Fun-Trucks 'n Such - Sat. April 28

    Goochland Baptist Church will be holding its second annual “Trucks ‘n Such” event this Saturday, April 28, from 10am-2pm.
    Posted by Richmond Bargains

    They have all sorts of trucks, tractors, antiques, and more for the children and their families to explore, learn about, touch, and even climb into some of the vehicles. Many vehicles will be doing demonstrations. You will see rescue services, dump trucks, tractor trailers, antique cars, tractors, a bucket truck, an Ice cream truck, and much, much more. This event will be fun for the entire family.

    Everything is FREE (including lunch). Take the family and enjoy the fun!


    Thursday, April 26, 2012

    More Free Books for Kindle

    Two more FREE books for the Kindle:


    Check back often for other freebies, bargains and frugal living suggestions. Just be frugal, Mary

    Sunday, April 22, 2012

    Free Kindle Books at

    I absolutely love the Kindle I received as a Christmas gift! I've also really enjoyed downloading so many FREE books for Kindle!

    Here's one that is available today: Surface Tension by Christine Kling.

    I found out about this great "steal" in an email from It takes less than a minute to sign up and complete a profile - which consists only of checking off your genre reading preferences. Then you receive a daily email announcing the "deal of the day." It's that simple.

    Loving it! Check out to see the other free Kindle books available!

    Saturday, April 21, 2012

    Have You Discovered

    Have you checked out yet?  CouponMob offers coupons and promotions to consumers, with discounts on their favorite grocery items, goods and services, name brands and more! The bigger the Mob family, the more the Mob saves, and signing up for The CouponMob Daily newsletter is free!

    Signing up is so easy:  Just type your email address and zip code. Here's a sample of some of the on-line coupons that popped up.

      Vera Bradley deals, Vera Bradley coupons deals, deals, coupons
    Crocs, Inc.  deals, Crocs, Inc.  coupons
    SIRIUS-XM Radio deals, SIRIUS-XM Radio coupons
    I just signed up! Local deals for Richmond, VA haven't started yet, but if enough Richmond area residents sign up, the deals will start sooner! Please share your experience with this site!

    Saturday, April 7, 2012

    Free Saturday Outdoor Activity For Nature Lovers

    Join the Richmond Tree Stewards at different locations around town each Saturday in April for a free tree walk in celebration of ArborDay.

    April 7 Forest Hill Park 10am-2pm – Includes treasure hunts, tree climbing, and other kids activities

    April 14 Carillon in Byrd Park 2:15pm – Will be preceded by a Tree Academy from 10am-2pm ($40 fee, register in advance). The walk at 2:15 is free and open to everyone

    April 21 Bryan Park 10am-noon – Meet at Shelter 1

    April 28 Capitol Square 10am-11am – Meet at the Bell TowerDonations are appreciated.

    VCU Offers Free Educational Seminars - Various Medical Topics

    VCU physicians will be discussing and answering questions on a variety of current topics in health care. All of the seminars are free and open to the public, but registration is recommended.

    Here is a list of the topics to be covered:

    The Nuts and Bolts of Hip and Knee Replacement
    Thursday, April 12, 2012 5:30 p.m.
    Join Dr. Brian Curtin, from the VCU Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, as he discusses the many benefits and latest surgical options available for hip and knee replacement.

    Understanding Parkinson’s Disease
    Tuesday, April 24, 2012 5:30 p.m.
    Join Dr. James Bennett, from the VCU Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center, who will discuss the current treatment options and latest research findings for Parkinson’s Disease.

    What is ADHD?
    Wednesday, May 2, 2012 5:30 p.m.
    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder of childhood. Join Dr. Bela Sood, from the Virginia Treatment Center for Children at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, to learn more about the signs and symptoms of ADHD and the best treatment options.

    My Achy, Breaky Back
    Tuesday, May 15, 2012 5:30 p.m.
    Join Dr. Maged Hamza, medical director of the VCU Spine Center, who will discuss risk factors, prevention tips, and treatme nt options for the most common causes of back and neck pain that can help get you mobile again.

    Getting Older: The Expected, Unexpected and Tips for Success
    Tuesday, May 29, 2012 5:30 p.m.
    Join Dr. Peter Boling, a specialist in geriatric medicine at the VCU Medical Center, as he discusses the common changes that we go through as we get older, things to watch for that are not normal, and how to age as well as possible.

    Here's the link for full details:

    Monday, February 6, 2012

    Children's Birthday Parties on a Budget

    This weekend, a fellow blogger, Molly at posted a great article on her blog about affordable children's birthday parties.

    She makes some fun, creative, and frugal suggestions I wanted to share with readers.

    Speaking of birthdays, check out this great list of birthday freebies I shared last February!

    Thanks, Molly. Happy blogging!

    Sunday, February 5, 2012

    Meal planning for a busy week ahead

    Yesterday I saved almost 40% on my groceries at Kroger. I'm proud of myself that I updated my food inventory as I put items away. Having the inventory has helped me plan meals and upcoming shopping trips. Now I have multiples of items purchased intentionally at the lowest possible price.

    I purchased 20 items included in the buy 10/save $4 promotion Kroger was running and also stocked up on Kroger eggs - 4 day sale price of $1.77, Sun laundry detergent for $1.77. Some other great deals include chicken pieces for $.99/lb (For $10 I bought 1 pack of legs, 2 packs of thighs and 2 packs of chicken breasts!); and Uncle Ben's Microwave Rice packets (part of the buy 10/$4 promo plus a coupon to buy 3, get one free).

    My meals planned for the week so far:

    Monday: Egg salad and bacon toasted sandwiches, cottage cheese with pineapple slices, celery and carrot sticks.
    Tuesday: Boneless pork ribs in the crock pot, salad, rice.
    Wednesday: Roasted chicken, stuffing, lima beans.
    Thursday: California kitchen pizza, salad.
    Friday: Turkey burgers, french fries, peas.

    Desserts: Pumpkin chocolate chip cake, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, ice cream.

    Lunches: lunch on the run tuna salad kit, smart ones entrees (I keep a supply in the freezer at work), egg salad sandwiches.

    I've got to look up some new, interesting chicken recipes that I can cook up next weekend.

    What's on your menu for the week?

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    Buy a TV on Superbowl Weekend?

    Some experts suggest a great time to buy a big screen TV is just before the Superbowl. Makes sense to me, as there are probably some still in stock from Christmas and retailers are anxious to get them out of inventory. Also, there will probably be some great sales in the few days prior to the big game.

    Other great deals for the month of January: cameras, computers, small appliances, air conditioners, Christmas gift wrap and decorations (yes, I still see some in stores--often marked down 75%).

    How about thrift stores? Lots of perfectly good clothing and household items were donated after new ones were purchased or received as gifts for Christmas.

    Many of the experts I read suggest the best day of the week to buy gasoline is Wednesday (still time tonight to go!) and any day, early in the morning We've seen gas prices go up several cents when we happened to be driving by a station early in the morning, and then later in the day!). So if you head to the gas station early Thursday morning, you'll probably be getting the best price of the week. (Gas prices tend to rise on the weekends.)

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

    More stockpile cooking and "sharing the love"

    Yesterday I finally got to Target to score my 'better than free' Smart Ones Frozen Meals. See details of this awesome offer here. The cashier didn't even realize Target had a $3 off coupon! She said she was going to print it off and use it with a manufacturer coupon as I did.

    Then I did some major cooking and baking! Hubby was feeling a bit neglected as we have had NO baked goods in the house since about a week after Christmas! Baked chocolate chip cookies and brownies. Also made yummy salsa-beef chili for dinner last night.

    Today before church I started the slow cooker roast for our dinner tonight and then made some absolutely scrumptious turkey and white bean chili and baked lemon chicken with stuffing, both for meals later in the week.

    I'm sharing the love this week, in that I'm going to add some canned soup, pasta sauce and pasta to the donation bag we keep handy for our local food pantry, Lamb's basket. (Our church delivers all the donated items we drop off at church).

    It's so great to be able to donate even more because we're saving so much more now that we've started stockpiling groceries and cooking from the stockpile.

    Tomorrow I'll be at Bible study so we're having Kroger pizza that I scored for $5 (large size, fresh made from the deli, that I froze) and salad for dinner.

    Tuesday is grocery shopping night so we'll probably have the chili.

    How is your stockpile helping you save money?

    Just be frugal,

    Saturday, January 14, 2012

    Cooking From My Stockpile

    True to my word in my earlier post, Big Stockpiling Step, I have been preparing meals and plan to use recipes based on the items I have on hand.

    The other day I fixed in the crock pot, what my husband declared is THE BEST pork loin recipe ever! He raved about it and my son even commented that he didn't need a knife to cut the meat!

    I bought a 3.5 lb pork loin on sale at Kroger on Tuesday night, cut it in half and put 1/2 in the freezer. Here's the recipe I fixed:
    1.5-2lb. pork tenderloin
    1 oz. envelope dry onion soup mix
    3 TBS minced garlic (I used a dried garlic mix I had on hand)
    3/4 cup water
    1/2 cup red wine vinegar (the recipe calls for red wine--I didn't have any on hand)
    3 TBS soy sauce

    Place pork tenderloin in slow cooker with contents of soup packet/onion mix and garlic/garlic mix. Pour water, wine and soy sauce over the top, turning the pork to coat.

    I allowed the tenderloin to sit overnight in the fridge, turned it over in the morning and cooked for 4 hours on low.

    I served brown rice with a bit of the liquid from the crock pot and stir-fry vegetables.

    Yum, yum, yum.

    My husband had a sandwich with sliced tenderloin the next day and even commented how good the sandwich was!

    I'm going to chop up the remainder of the meat and freeze it in a zip lock bag. I'll use it a 'throw together' soup or other dish later.

    Today, I'm going to cook up the beef roast in the crock pot (purchased on sale this week) and will mix up some white chili using turkey left over from Christmas from the freezer. Finally, will make a batch of salsa-beef chili using 1 lb. of ground turkey we bought on sale.

    Signing off so I can get cooking!

    Just be Frugal!

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

    Free Sample Pack - Katz Gluten Free Products

    Get a FREE Katz assorted Gluten Free Sample Pack – Use Coupon Code SAMPLE To Receive It For Free (plus shipping).

    Limit 1 Per Customer- Shipping Charges Apply

    To see a list of all the items included in this sample pack, visit Stockpiling Moms. Also, while you're there, check out the Gluten Free Coupons list!

    Just Be Frugal!

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

    Chick-fil-A is offering nutritious kid's meals!

    Okay, admitedly Chick-fil-A is not the least expensive fast food restaurant around. But if you go for quality, they can't be beat! I admire them as well for adhering to their beliefs and not opening on Sundays.

    Now Chick-fil-A is taking another step in continuing to address the issue of childhood obesity by debuting one of the nation’s most nutritious kid’s meals.

    Click HERE for details.

    Frugal living isn't only about spending less. It's also about spending money wisely. You may spend a little more when you treat your family to an occasional fast food meal, but you will be supporting a company that prides itself on great customer service and delicious food.

    Now even children on a restricted, gluten-free diet can enjoy a family night out as a treat!

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    Big Stockpiling Step

    Can you say 50% off?! Kroger has many 50% off items this week - from frozen vegetables, Kroger frozen breakfast sandwiches (just as good as McDonalds!), salad dressing, hot chocolate mix and so much more! They also had a huge meat sale plus lots of other "regular" sale items.

    Kroger is also still running the P&G buy 4 items, get $4 back at checkout!

    What a great way to kick off stockpliling in 2012!

    We stocked up on:
    Spaghetti sauce
    frozen vegetables
    hamburger helper
    beef roast, pork loin, ground turkey, boneless, skinless chicken breast
    English muffins
    frozen breakfast sandwiches
    salad dressing

    We paired many of the 50% off items with coupons to add to the savings. My husband started the shopping trip and called for reinforcements when I got off work. Working together saved us lots of time and our bottom line was about a 43% savings!

    Tomorrow I'll be making a trip to Target to buy 10 Smart Ones with the $10 Target gift card my husband got for buying my Kindle there at Christmas. I'll stack the $3 off 10 Target coupon and the $3 off ten manufacturer coupon. I'll get a $5 Target gift card for buying 10 Smart Ones.

    Final price for 10 Smart Ones will be $18.90 minus $6 (stacked coupons) = $13.90; minus $10 gift card = $3.90. Plus I'll walk away with $5 gift card. That equals: moneymaker!

    My son had started an inventory of pantry items over the weekend. Tonight I used the shopping list to update the list, adding meats, frozen foods, bread and crackers. The lists will be posted and strict instructions have been issued: If you use it, mark it off the list.

    Next step: plan menus based on my stockpiled items!

    Saturday, January 7, 2012

    Take Inventory and Make Menus

    In order to know what I need to buy at the store, I need to know what I already have in the pantry and freezer! I had a pretty good idea until the holidays rolled around but now it's a lot more "hit and miss." Way too many phone calls from the store . . . asking if we need this item or that item.

    This weekend I will finally put away the last remnants of Christmas and do a "new year inventory" of pantry and freezers. It's a little daunting, but I'll feel so much better when I'm done! And I'll have a much better handle on the items I like to stockpile.

    I thinned out all my expired coupons last weekend (many expired December 31). This weekend I'm also going to plan some dinner menus around the items I already have on hand. That will also save grocery dollars. (Yes, we try to eat dinner as a family whenever our schedules allow it, even though our household includes 3 adults.)

    I've already started the Frugal Weight Loss Challenge sponsored by Stockpiling Moms -- or as I have grown to call it: The Excruciating De-Tox Eating Plan! If you'd like to join, it's absolutely free and guidelines are simple--no counting or weighing. The challange actually starts on January 9th, so there's still time to sign up.

    What are your frugal/organization/challenges for the weekend?

    Thursday, January 5, 2012

    Stockpiling: How Much is Too Much?

    The idea of stockpiling may be a new concept to some. In the past I had visions of every square inch of space in my home overrun with years and years worth of provisions!

    Some of the latest reading I've done indicates that sales generally run in 3-month cycles. So, for instance, if a particular brand of spaghetti sauce goes on sale, it will probably be about 3 months before you will be able to take advantage of the low price again.

    I also used to only save coupons for items I was used to buying - or thought I preferred. I now ask myself if I would buy something if I could get the price low enough vs. a brand I was used to. That's made a difference in how I coupon!

    There are some items I just won't plain need: anything baby-related (until some grandchildren come along), most juices, and several other items. So I don't even worry about coupons for those items. There are also some brands of deoderant, shampoo, etc., that are the "only" brand my husband and son will use.

    But there a plenty of other items that I will give up my brand loyalty for. Those are the items I save coupons for. Then I follow the sites that offer coupon match-up deals, like Stockpiling Moms.

    I've started a list of items I'd like to stockpile so when they do go on sale and/or I have coupons, I can stock up. Sometimes I feel like I buy the same things over and over every week or so!

    By stockpiling I can get the lowest price by combing sales and coupons and save time at the grocery store because I'll only be buying stockpile items and produce!

    The quantity of stockpiled you'll accumulate depend upon the size of your family. A family with two adults and several children will obviously stockpile more than my family of 3 adults! By using the 3-month guideline, you can shop wisely.

    You may need to start out tracking your consumption patterns before you begin stockpiling. You could start a notebook to track how much your family consumes of each item per month. That will give you a good idea of what a 3-month supply would look like. So with a little planning and you too can stockplie to save time and money!

    Just be frugal!


    Tuesday, January 3, 2012

    Frugal Weight Loss Challenge & CVS score!

    I was pleasantly surprised by two things during my trip to CVS yesterday! When I scanned my card at the kiosk, I received a $3 extra bucks coupon (didn't realize I had earned any!) that I applied to my first transaction. I also received a coupon for $1 off CVS brand cold medication ($5 or more) and $2 off Breathe Right Nasal Strips! I had added both of these items at the last minute to my shopping list as they were requested by family members!

    I ended up saving 34% on my first transaction and over 65% on my second transaction!

    The other surprise is that I met a very sweet lady in CVS with both CVS and Kroger sale fliers and an envelope of coupons. (A kindred spirit!) She looked a little overwhelmed and I don't remember how we struck up a conversation, but we chatted about how to maximize savings -- I shared some of the great tips I've learned from other bloggers. I gave her my blog link, so I hope she'll stop by and let me know how she did! I was thrilled to help out a "newbie" and pay it forward.

    Finally, I'm excited that Stockpiling Moms is hosting a Frugal Weight Loss Challenge. Click on the link to learn how to join up! Check back often to learn how I'm doing! I opted for losing 10 pounds in 6 weeks. Hopefully, I'll do even better, but I want to be healthy--and realistic!

    Do you have weight loss goals for 2012? Join the challenge! It won't cost you a penny and you'll receive encouragement AND accountability!

    Just Be Frugal,

    Sunday, January 1, 2012

    CVS Stockpiling - Extra Bucks and Donating Food

    Besides Kroger, my two favorite stores are CVS and Target. I don't buy too many groceries at Target, but they do allow coupon stacking, so if I have to run by there anyway, I'll try to bring along a few coupons. They have terrific customer service too.

    I like CVS because they offer Extra bucks on many items and a good variety of products. I also like scanning my CVS card at the kiosk in the front of the store to get "instant" coupons and free items.

    This week, with four coupon inserts (I bought 2 papers) and 2 inserts we received in a weekly delivery of a local newspaper, I'm really going to stock up on a couple of items and save money in general on some items I need.

    Here's my plan for CVS:

    Transaction 1) Buy 2 Colgate toothpaste, get $2 Extra bucks, use 2 $1 off coupons

    Kellogg's Special K cereal, bars, crackers, chips - 3/$10 with card; plus receive $4 extrabucks reward on 3 and use $1 off 3 coupon or $1 off 2 coupon

    Use $6 extrabucks from transaction #1 for

    Transaction 2) Nature Made Vitamins - Buy one Get One free: I'm going to use 1 $1 off multivitamins, 1 $1 off B vitamins, 1 $1 off vitamin D .
    2a) Clairol Nice N Easy colorblend foam, $3 off
    2b) Slimfast 2/$9, use 3 coupons Buy one Get one free
    2c) Pringles - 2 for $3 - use 1 $1 off 4 coupon
    2d) Chef Boyardee canned pastas - 10/$10 - 2 $1 off 5 coupons
    2e) Bayer Aspirin - Buy one Get one 50% off - 1 $1 off 1 coupon
    2f) Snack pudding - 10/$10 - 2 $1 off 5 coupons
    2g) Swiffer refills $8.99 - 1 $1 off coupon
    2h) Fiber One cereal - 2/$6 - 2 $.75 off coupons

    We're going to donate some of the canned pastas and pudding to a local food bank. One of the benefits of saving money, is that is gives the opportunity to share with others.