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, 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.