Sunday, June 28, 2009

Weekly Grocery Finals

It took some discipline, but I got our groceries under budget this week. And thanks to Nashville Cheapster and Frugal Dr. Mom, I have found a great place to get really good bread for cheap! Apple Market on Nolensville road has Peppridge Farm Breads that are nearing their sell by dates for .50 a loaf! I found whole wheat, rye bread, hoagie buns and hamburger/hot dog buns all for .50 a loaf. Depending upon who you ask there, you'll get a different answer as to when the bread is available, but when I was there on Saturday, they still had 1 and 1/2 racks full. I will freeze my loaves and it will last us a couple of weeks.

Here's the breakdown of my shopping:

Apple Market:

2 Loaves of Peppridge Farm Whole Wheat: .50 each

1 package of hamburger buns. .50

1 package of cornmeal .90


4 cans of dice tomatoes .49 each

4 cucumbers .49 each

Bananas .90

Baby carrots .99

Basil 1.09

Parmesan cheese 2.39

Watermelon 3.99

Total w/ Tax 16.72

Publix after coupons:

12 boxes of Post Trail Mix Crunch FREE

2 French's Mustard FREE +overage

2 Kraft BBQ FREE + overage

Bananas FREE

GE CFL light bulb 60 watt FREE + Overage

Publix Apple Juice .01 (penny item)

Sara Lee Cheesecake bits .99

2 Soy Milk .50 each

1 bag baking potatoes 1.18

GE CFL light bulb 100 watt 1.39

Tomatoes 2.91

Gatorade Mix 7.99

TOTAL W/ TAX 14.22


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Friday, June 26, 2009

Look what I got! - UPDATED

An Earth Machine composter! I know, seems very unusual for a "city girl" to want something so agricultural. But, as I get older, and more frugal, I'm learning the importance of raising your own food and living off the land (even if your "land" is 1/10 of an acre).

I had planned to purchase a composter back in the early spring in hopes that we would have some compost for our garden this summer, but I procrastinated and didn't get to it. We've been very lucky this month to have some unexpected "non-expenses" (does that make sense?) so, I felt we had some wiggle room in the budget for a "want" item.

Metro Beautification and Environment Commission sells the Earth Machines for $40. It was the best price I had found. So, went down to Metro Recycling Convenience Center on Omahundro Place and purchased one. They also have rain barrels for sale too, we may go back later and purchase one of those also.

My friends have told me this is the best way to compost, no mess and it's in a barrel, so you don't have to see rotting and decomposing food scraps. And because it's in a barrel, completely covered, it shouldn't attract insects or rodents (if it does, it'll be gone quicker than that mouse that got in the house). I always feel bad as I fill my trashcan with banana peels, and vegetable scraps, knowing that I'm just wasting one more trash bag that will be taken to clog up the landfill even more. We recycle about 80% of our trash already, and it is my hope that with composting we can increase that amount even more! Before E came along, we were able to only use one kitchen trash bag a week. I would love to get back to that. Then, I'll want to cancel our trash pickup and delete one more expense! :)
UPDATE: We've had the composter for many months now and we've started to use the compost on our garden this year. So far, so good! We've not had any issues with rodents or bugs.

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Have you seen this coupon book?

This is a new coupon book from Publix with all pet related products. I would LOVE to have a couple of these badboys. If you spot any, please drop me a comment and let me know where they are.

My dogs, cat and probably some animals at the Humane Association thank you!

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Crisis of Conscience - UPDATED!

I having a crisis of conscience today. There is a mouse in my kitchen.

As I was sweeping and mopping the kitchen floor this morning, it scurried from one cabinet across the kitchen to another cabinet. Upon further investigation, it has nibbled through the dog food bag and has left little "presents" throughout my cabinets and drawers. I've spent most of the day pulling everything out of my kitchen cabinets and drawers and wiping down the inside with bleach water and lysol. Ugh!!!! Not what I had planned for today.

So, as most of you know, I am very pro-life, human and animal. I am a big supporter of animal rescue and animal welfare -- I usually include all animals in that. But, now I'm cleaning up mouse poop where my food and dishes are stored. I'm not feeling so animal friendly right now.
I can't live with a mouse in the kitchen.

And, my cat??? Worthless! Apparently, she thinks she's too good to hunt down a mouse. I brought her into the kitchen in hopes she'd pick up the scent of the mouse and get it, oh no! She went back to nap on my bed has remained stretched out on the foot of my bed sleeping soundly throughout the whole mouse debacle.

Yea, I think I'm going to have to let go of my animal welfare convictions for right now. I'm going to the hardware store for a mouse trap.

UPDATE: Good news! I was able to get a "Catch and Release" mouse trap yesterday. Early this morning, my husband found the trap closed (meaning the mouse was inside) he took it out and released it in the field behind our house. I had intended on him actually taking it away much further than that and releasing it in some woods about a mile down the road, but he said it was too early in the morning for that. :)


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Puppy Mill Bill Passed!!!

State bill SB 258/HB 386, the Tennessee Commercial Breeder Act to reform Tennessee puppy mills, passed nearly unanimously in the General Assembly.
This act will protect animals by placing regulations on breeders who house 20 or more female dogs or cats for breeding purposes.
This bill was prompted by several large-scale raids on puppy mills in Tennessee over the last few months, thus creating awareness for the need to set specific guidelines for the humane treatment of animals in commercial breeding facilities. The new bill also requires yearly inspections and licensing of these facilities.
It is my hope and prayer that this law will be enforced. Resources are scarce in a very tight state budget.
I have personally seen and held some of the animals that have been rescued from these awful puppy mills, and this legislation is the LEAST that we can do to help these poor dogs and cats. They are often sick, under-fed, and scared.
The bill takes effect January 1, 2010.


A Story of Hope, Love and Pure Determination

I wanted to share the story of a fellow adoptive mom and blogger. Adrienne and her husband Jim, are on a journey to have more children. They have a very sweet little boy, Owen and have been trying for a long time to adopt more children.
They've just endured a second failed domestic adoption. I thought I'd share her blog about their whole journey. A Journey of Love is their story.
Adrienne is such a good writer and her story is so compelling. She has had a a lot of loss, grief and disappointment but has handled it with the utmost grace and optimism. I really admire her.
Check out her story here.


Go There Do This!

Go There Do This is a good website to find and purchase tickets and gift cards for half price. There are many attractions that have tickets available. Right now you can purchase tickets to Nashville Shores, Kentucky Down Under and other local attractions for up to 50% off. There are also services available for discounts such as spa services, hair salons, and cosmetic dentistry

The site is updated every Monday at 7am. New tickets are added then. So, if you're looking for one of the more popular tickets (such as 1/2 price tickets to Holiday World), you'll need to check early on Mondays.

A couple of notes of caution: Make sure you read the fine print for the indivual deals. Sometimes they have restrictions such as "only good on Tuesdays and Thursdays". So, make sure the deal will work for you.
Also, my friends and I have only had good experiences with this site's deals, but I've known of other discount ticket sites to sell certificates for establishments that no longer accept them or the establishment has gone out of business. I recommend calling the establishment and getting confirmation from management that they will accept the discounted tickets or gift cards.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

$5.00 Menu Plan for June 21 - 27

I aim for $5.00 a meal using food and ingredients that I purchase on sale and with coupons. When calculating my costs I do not figure in the price of smaller ingredients such as spices. I usually round up in my figures. I don't always hit the $5.00 mark, but it's more of a guideline anyway.

Sunday: Veggie burgers and frenchfries $2.00

Monday: Tomato Basil Salad w/ fresh cut up veggies $3.00

Tuesday: Black bean tacos (recycled from last week b/c we ended up having something else) $2.50

Wednesday: Mac n cheese from box, mixed veggies, garlic bread $2.00

Thursday: Veggie Pizza $2.00

Friday: Broccoli Spaghetti Bake $3.00

Saturday: Tamale Lentil Casserole $5.00

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Grocery weekly wrap-up

This week, I still went over budget. I was doing really well, and then something happened, not sure what, but I think it's the Farmer's Market. I may have to cut out my visits or at least reduce them to a couple of times a month instead of every week. I didn't realize until I put it all together how much junk food I bought this week. Got get better on that too!

I visited 4 stores, including the FM this week.

Kroger after coupons:

3 Suave Deodorants FREE

2 M&Ms .25 ea

4 Suave Shampoo/conditioner .50 ea

2 Red Bell Peppers .50 ea

3 Keebler Sandies .79 ea

1 Lemon Juice .99

1 gal Milk 1.89 (manager's special - will freeze half of it)

1 Kroger Teriaki sauce $1.59

1 Kroger Soy Milk $2.49 (ugh! I hate having to pay full price -- bring back some soy milk coupons!)

2 scruncy sponges $1.00 each

TOTAL w/ Tax : 16.71


4 Cucumbers .49 ea

2 Black beans .59 ea

2 Red beans .59 ea

2 Baby Carrots .99 ea

2 pints Strawberries .99ea

1 bag Red onions .99

TOTAL w Tax $9.99

Publix after coupons:

Bananas FREE

Publix Vanilla Wafers .01/penny item (free bananas and penny Vanilla wafers = Banana pudding!)

Kraft Deluxe Mac n cheese .49 ea

Morningstar Veggie burgers 4-pak .89 ea

2 Rachel Ray Dog Treats $1.00 ea

Sara Lee Hamburger buns $1.35

DiGiorno Pizza $2.00

Soy Milk $2.50

Tomatoes $3.91

TOTAL with Tax 16.37


Grand Total including Farmer's Market: $65.07

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Got honey?

On our trip to the Farmer's Market this week, we got:

4 jars of honey $5.00 each
5 bell peppers .40 each

I'm really struggling to balance my desire to buy local, organic produce/food and keep within my grocery budget. I really wish I could have participated in the CSA this year, but it simply was not the right time for us during the sign up period for the CSA's. Maybe next year.....

I've learned in my research that locally grown honey is very good for helping with seasonal allergies. We struggle with allergies in our family so I am willing to pay extra for local honey. Our honey intake has also drastically increased over the past few months. So, I decided to take advantage of a special deal one of the local honey farmers was having and purchase 4 bottles for $20.00. Unfortunetely, that's almost half my grocery budget for this week, but I'll try to make up for it somewhere else. I don't plan to buy more honey for a long time.


Friday, June 19, 2009

My Trip to the Ladies of Charity Sale

Today, E and I hit up the Ladies of Charity Sale. They had a little bit of everything. I was trying not to spend too much, so here's what I got:

4 VHS Tapes for E $1.00 each

3 Books for E $ .50 each

4 NEW Litter boxes $.50 each (to be donated to Nashville Humane Pet Food/Supply Bank)

2 Kitty bowls $.50 each (same as above)

1 two-side kitty dish $ .50 (same as above)

1 Cat Collar $.25 (same as above)

1 small cutting board $.50

1 King Henry VIII book* $2.00
Total $11.75

* Now some of you may wonder why the King Henry book. I am currently watching the Showtime series "The Tudors" on DVD from the Library. I've become very enthralled in the story line. But I've been wondering, how much of the story is true? Are the characters real people? So, when I ran upon this book today and started flipping through it, I saw many pictures of the real people whom I've been watching. So, now I will use this as my refernce guide as I watch the series.

I thought it was a good sale. I was a little disappointed that I didn't find just a mind blowing deal. But, I always have very high expectations for this sale because a couple of years ago on my first trip there, I scored a set of brand-new 400 thread count king size sheets for $10.00! That'll never happen again.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Great Week at Walgreens!

I had almost given up on Walgreens since they discontinued their rebate progarm. This week turned out pretty good. In the end, I got all of this for free when my register rewards are taken into consideration! Here's what I did:

Transaction #1

St Ives Body Wash 2.99

Paid with the remainder on my rebate card.

Received $3.00 RR


Transaction #2

3 John Frieda Shampoo/Conditioners $5.00 each

1 Lip Balm (filler item) .50

- (3) $3.00 q's

- $3.00 RR

OOP .50 + tax

Received $5.00 RR


Transaction #3

8 Skippy Peanut Butters $2.00 each

1 box clearanced Wild Flower seeds $.50 (filler item)

- (8) .75 Skippy PB q's (total $6.00 - these came from the Publix "Family is it's Own Reward Book)

- $5.00 RR

OOP $6.79 (including tax)

Received $8.00 RR

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Family Is It's Own Reward Coupon Book is here!

Yea!!!!!! I found it!

I had to run into Publix today and what! Do my eyes deceive me! Yes, it really is the "Family is It's Own Reward Coupon" book! I've heard of this mythical book, but did not really believe it's existence! But there was! I grabbed eight. I don't normally hog coupon books but I've wanted this one so much that I got excited and grabbed a lot. I'm glad I grabbed as many as I did, because I've already used 8 coupons. I'll post later on the deal I got with those coupons.

Check you Publix quickly to get these books, I'm sure they won't last long. I found mine at the Concord/Nolensville Rd store.

Go here for a list of all the great coupons inside.

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Ladies of Charity Sale

One of my favorite sales of the year is going on now!

The Ladies of Charity Stuff Galore Sale

Thursday - Saturday June 18-20

2216 State Street

Nashville TN

8am - 3pm


It is reported that there is LOTS of stuff.. lots of books and movies, (mostly vhs) plus tons of kids toys and puzzles, and a full area of holiday items - and almost nothing is over $10.

NO CLOTHING! They do a clothing sale earlier in the year.

All proceeds go to help the needy in our community.

I really hope I can make it over tomorrow.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

50% Off Days at ThriftSmart

Thriftsmart on Nolensville Road is having 50% off everything in the store on Saturday, June 20 through Wednesday June 24 (closed on Sunday).
I spoke with the manager yesterday and he said they will be putting new items on the floor everyday of the sale.

Happy shopping!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

.99 cent Sunday Newspapers at Walgreens

On my visit to Walgreen's yesterday, I noticed that the .99 cent Sunday papers are back! The sign said "Summer", so it will probably be like before and last until the Fall.

So, now we have 2 options for sunday paper deals : CVS $1.00 or Walgreen's for .99 cents. I'll probably do Walgreens because they're more convenient.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

This Week's $5.00 Dinner Menu

$5.00 a meal is my goal. Sometimes I don't make it. But, I usually only go over by a dollar or two. I only calculate the costs of the main ingredients, I don't include smaller ingredients like spices. The only reason I can make any of these dinners for $5.00 or less is because I buy the ingredients when they are on sale and I use coupons. And then, I stock up. For instance: I never pay more than .80 cents for pasta. Lately it's been more like .35 cents a box after sales and coupons, and I bought 14 boxes of various types of pasta. Usually my most expensive food items are fruits and vegetables, but with the summer season upon us, I expect those prices to go down.

Monday Mac n Cheese from a box, mixed Italian veggies, garlic bread $2.00

Tuesday Teriyaki Veggies and Rice $2.50

Wednesday Paula Deen's Squash Casserole $6.50 (this recipe is higher because I'm using veggies I bought from the Farmer's Market, if I had bought these on sale a the grocery store, it probably would have come in at $5.00)

Thursday Homemade Pizza $3.00 (I will add some veggies to this recipe, and brush the crust with a little garlic butter to add some flavor)

Friday Black bean tacos $2.50

Saturday Lentils, garlic and tomatoes served in tortillas $2.25

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Eat your heart out CVS!

So, remember last week with CVS and the internet ad that said you could buy Pampers and get $5 ECB's? Great deal, except it apparently was a mistake or a hoax. I was one of the many dissapointed CVS shoppers that did not get my ECB's. I returned my purchase, but lost my q in the process.

So, today I stumbled upon an even better deal at Kroger. Kroger was clearancing many of their Pamper products. Including Easy Ups jumbo packs.

Clearance Price $4.89
Minus coupon $1.00
Final Price $3.89 each

I made 2 trips (had to go home for more q's) and ended up with 6 packages. I did take all the size 4/5 Easy Ups they had (sorry to anyone looking for them). But, they did have many other Pamper's diaper and other Pampers products (wipes, travel packs) marked down 50% or more

I visited the Kroger at Nolensville and Old Hickory Blvd. Not my normal Kroger, so I guess it's good to switch up sometimes.

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Grocery Finals for week

This week, I went to 2 stores and the Farmer's Market in Franklin. Unfortunately, I went WAY over budget, but got a great deal on Easy Ups and learned a valuable lesson about checking your receipt before leaving the store (see below).

At Publix

2 Sundown Vitamins FREE + BIG Overage

Knorr Rice FREE + Overage

Publix Toilet Paper .01 (penny item)

Bananas .09 (used Publix Q 1.00 off bananas with purchase of Cheerios)

4 Kraft Mac n cheese Deluxe .75 each

2 Bags Baby Carrots .84 each

2 Pillsbury Pizza Crust .87 Each

Cheerios 1.00

Whole Wheat Bread 1.75 each

Soy Milk 2.50

Energizer Batteries 4.99

Donation to Children's Miracle Network 1.00 (received $5.00 in coupons for it)


Total: 19.02

Kroger - was an interesting week, got some unexpected items, and a very interesting story about checking your receipt (see below)**

2 Betty Crocker Pasta Salads .35 each
1 Kroger Cola .79
1 Dora Puzzle .99 (total impulse buy for E)
10 Frozen Veggies 1.00 each
1 box strawberries 1.50
1 bag onions 1.59
4 Pampers Easy Ups 3.89 (more on this in an upcoming post - go here )
Total $33.32

Franklin Farmer's Market (sorry no pic)
Total: 12.00 A lot more than I normally pay for veggies, but I was supporting local agriculture and the veggies were delicious!

Will have to do better next week, but who could resist the great deal on the Easy ups!

** Here's a great example of why you should always check your receipt before leaving the store. As I exited the check out line at Kroger, I began to review my receipt, and on the list popped out KROGER MUSTARD. I was confused. I did not buy mustard. I never buy mustard (unless it's free and I can give it to someone). I started looking through my bags to see if it was accidentally mixed in. Nothing. I started matching all my items to my receipt in case something was just coded wrong. Nothing. Finally I took my stuff over to the customer service desk. The CS clerk went though my stuff too, he couldn't find anything either. Another CS clerk overheard what was going on and said a similar incident had happened a couple of days before with something mysteriously popping up on a receipt that was not there. In the end, customer service refunded the price of the mustard. A very weird incident, I'm glad I checked my receipt.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

So Long Amazon, Netflix, Blockbuster!

On my journey to cut costs and become more frugal we have made drastic cuts in our entertainment budget. I've always felt we were pretty modest in our entertainment expenses (choosing usually to rent movies verses seeing them in the theatre, buying used books and music on amazon and other sites, going to local community theatre instead of the big broadway productions) But we had to really take a look at what we were spending in this area if we were going to achieve our ultimate goal of becoming debt free.

That's when I started using our local library to the fullest extent. Nashville has a GREAT library system. The main library is in a huge beautiful building downtown where they offer many programs including live puppet shows that my daughter loves. Then they have many neighborhood libraries thoughout nashville.

Our library system always has the latest books, dvd, cds, etc. You can request and put on hold up to 10 items per card. We have 2, so I usually keep 20 items on request at a time. As soon as items come in and I pick them up, I usually go online and request more. Sometimes, depending upon the popularity of the item, it may take a few weeks to get the item.
Books can be checked out for 3 weeks and DVD/VHS can be checked out for 1 week.

In addition to about 20 books for E, this week we are enjoying the following DVDs

For E

The Backyardigans (2 DVDs)
The Wonderpets
The Swan Princess

For Me and Hubs:

The Tudors - disc 2
Don't Mess with Zohan
The Secret Life of Bees
We also rent music CDs on a regular basis.

I estimate that we've already saved $250 this year by not paying DVD rental fees, or Netflix dues, buying new (or used) books and CDs. It's been a great alternative for entertainment expenses.

Now, if you are a movie buff or music lover who must see the latest movie out or have the latest CD released, this may not be the best plan for you. But, if you don't mind waiting for a while to read the hottest novel out, see a movie or hear the latest CD, this could be a great money saver.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Impromptu Trip to Target finds some deals!

But, I can usually find at least one good deal at Target whenever I go!
Today, on our way home from my sisters, we got stuck in horrific afternoon rush hour traffic. E started whimpering that she had to go potty. I knew I'd never make it home. So, we pulled off to Target in B'wood. I also took the opportunity to let the traffic die down and look for some good deals on sale or clearance. I found some,after coupons of course, that's why you should always take your coupons with you when you leave the house. You never know where you'll end up.
Today I got:
2 Purina Dog Treats .90 after q
2 Post Trail Mix Cereal .99 after q
2 2-pack GE Compact Flourescent light bulbs 2.48 after q
1 pair flip flops for E (man, that kid can go through shoes!) 5.99 after sale
Not the best deals I've ever gotten on any of these products. But not bad and I actually needed all of them.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Auction for Animals- Benefit for Nashville Humane

Auction for Animals

Only Three Days to Bid!

Dierks Bentley and the Nashville Humane Association are teaming up for a dream auction to help homeless animals.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience an incredible concert, meet an incredible artist, and help all of the incredible animals at Nashville Humane Association.

Bid on Two (2) Tickets to the Saturday night performances, featuring Dierks Bentley, at the CityStages Music Festival in Birmingham, Alabama on June 20th, 2009!

PLUS Meet Dierks IN PERSON with Two (2) Meet & Greet Passes!

Auction will close at noon on Thursday, June 11, 2009.

Click Here To Place Your Bid

All proceeds benefit the Nashville Humane Association. This auction was made possible by Dierks Bentley, Vector Entertainment, Birmingham CityStages and TicketMaster

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Monday, June 8, 2009

Nashville Humane Association Pet Food Bank

I've posted about this before, but it warrants another post. In response to the declining economy and the influx of pets being given up or even worse, abandoned, NHA has opened a Pet Food Bank. Folks that are going through a rough financial time (i.e job loss, etc) and need assistance in taking care of their pets can come to the food bank and receive free food and supplies. Here are the requirements:
Must be a Davidson County Resident (and show proof)
Must show proof of financial need
* Unemployment checks
* Letter of Disability
*Section 8 Housing resident
* Medicaid Recipient
* Food Stamps recipient
* Other proof on case by case basis
Must have all pets spayed or neutered (show proof by way of vet records)
* If a client does not have animals altered the first visit, they will still be eligible for
* NHA will call the week following and make arrangements for animal(s) to be brought in
to be altered in the ROVER spay and neuter program.
* Clients must have animals altered in order to receive food assistance again.
Food and supplies are given out on a first come, first serve basis
Clients are only permitted to receive assistance once a month. NHA Volunteers try to provide enough food to accommodate 30 days if possible.
The Pet Food Bank is open:
Wednesdays 1pm - 4pm
Sundays 1pm - 4pm
213 Oceola Ave
Nashville TN 37209
If you or someone you know is in need of assistance for their pets, please contact the Nashville Humane Association.
NHA is also in need of donations to this program. The food bank is run entirely upon donations. If you can donate pet food or supplies (i.e. cat litter, dog collars, dog/cat treats, etc), It is GREATLY appreciated! No amount is too small. You can also drop off food supplies at many local Krogers. Just look for the barrel labeled "Feed a Hungry Pet" that's usually very close to the customer service desk.

To find Pet food banks in other areas of the country go here.

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

$5.00 Dinner Menu

This week's menu is a little heavy with Mexican food and a few meals are over my goal of $5.00, but it's okay. The point of $5 dollar dinners to me is to set a target so that you don't end up making $25 dollar dinners all the time! I calculate how much I spent on the main ingredients of the meal, I do not calculate smaller ingredients like spices. How much does a teaspoon of ground cumin cost anyway??

Sunday -- South of the Border Enchiladas $5.50

Monday -- Spaghetti Broccoli Bake with Corn on the Cob $3.85

Tuesday -- Quick Bean Quesadillas $3.25

Wednesday -- Veggies, mac n cheese from a box, baked beans, canned biscuits $2.50

Thursday --- Mexican Lasagna $6.00

Friday -- Crock Pot Falafel $3.00

Saturday -- Mexican Pasta Shells $5.25

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Weekly Grocery Finals

This week I have visited 3 stores and the Farmer's Market. Not a bad week, stayed pretty close to budget, but not a spectacular deal week either


Sundown Vitamins FREE + Overage

Crest Toothpaste FREE

1 Wheat Thins FREE

Publix Cheese .01 (penny item)

8 ears of Corn .25 each

2 Bertolli Pasta Sauce .75 each

1 Publix Cola .79

1 Ritz Crackers .90

2 Maxwell House Coffee .99 each

2 Juicy Juice 1.33 each

1 Publix Soy milk 2.39
Total with Tax $11.83


Strawberries $1.89

Baby Carrots $ .69
Pineapple $.99

Bananas $1.14

Garbanzo Beans $.59 (on markdown)

Mexican Corn $.69 (on markdown)

Trail Mix Cereal $1.35 (hubs favorite - on markdown)
Ice Cream Sandwiches $1.99 (trying to teach our child that she can get more ice cream at the store than with the ice cream truck that comes through the neighborhood -- it's a hard sell right now)

General Tso Chicken* $3.99
Total with Tax: $16.03

*Many of you that know us personally will be surprised by the Chicken purchase, since we are living a vegetarian lifestyle. I have been craving General Tso chicken for weeks, and had been contimplating a trip to our favorite Chinese restaurant. But didn't want to pay the $25 dinner tab (at least) just to satisfy my meat craving, so I when I found this frozen dinner for $3.99 I decided it would do, and you know what? It did!


Not a great coupon week at Kroger, but it seldom is compared to Publix. Here are the coupon highlights.

2 Kraft Dressings .69 each

1 Flipz Pretzels .50 each
2 Kraft Shredded Cheese .67 each
And other necessities (Ok, well the flipz were not a necessity, but I wanted them!____________________
Total with tax: $22.19


A little over my goal of $50, but I'm not complaining.

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Goodwill Finds

We had a busy day today with a family reunion that was out of town. But I did manage to squeeze in a little 1/2 price shopping at the Goodwill in the town we were in.
I got:

1 heavy duty pot $.99

1 toy golf club $.99 (not pictured b/c it's already being used!)

1 alarm clock $1.49

1 denim capri pants $3.74
Total: $ 7.24

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Trip to Farmer's Market

Today we made a trip to the Nashville Farmer's Market. I was disappointed in the lack of good deals. Of course it's early in the year, and it was Friday, so less vendors were out. But I got:

4 Cucumbers $.50 each
1.25 lb red potatoes $.75/lb
4 Bell Peppers $.25 each

Total: $4.17

Not a great trip, hopefully it'll be better next time.


Half Price Days at 2 different local thriftstores

This Saturday all the middle Tennessee Goodwills will have their entire store at 50% off.

The doors open one hour earlier, at 8:00 a.m., on the first Saturday of the month. Visit any of the stores to find great bargains at amazing prices!

Also, Thriftsmart on Nolensville road will have their entire inventory at 50% off.

Go here for location and hours.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Thrifty Treat!

Yesterday, I had a bad day a work and needed some retail therapy. But what's a girl to do when she's on a tight budget?
Fortunetly, there is a Southern Thrift Store just a couple of blocks from where I work. So, I popped in on my lunch break. Every week they have 2 different colored tags that are 50% off the listed price. This week it was yellow and red striped tags. So, the rule I set for myself was I would only buy items that were 50% off this week. Here's what I got:

1 heavy cotton T-shirt $ .34
1 Coldwater Creek shirt (blue) $1.29
1 Coldwater Creek shirt (yellow) $1.79
1 pair Lee Navy shorts (navy) $2.49
1 plastic storage basket $ .49
TOTAL: $6.40

I could not even buy the T-shirt for that amount at a regular retail store. These are all good, clean clothes. And will be a welcomed addition to my very small summer wardrobe.

Southern Thrift is a good store, it's clean with a huge, organized inventory. Go here to find locations, hours and possible coupons. Their website is a little lacking and apparently not kept up to date (there is a coupon on the site right now, that expired in April). But, that will not keep me from visiting the stores.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Critter Camp at Nashville Humane Association

Do you know someone between the ages of 10 and 12 years old? Do they love animals?
Nashville Humane Association invites 10 to 12 year olds to join them for a week of learning and fun.
They will cover important issues such as proper petcare, safety around animals and pet overpopulation.
They will also have visits from other animal organizations. And its FREE!
July 13th-17th 2009

The camp includes lunch, t-shirt and free veterinary exam andspay/neuter for qualifying participant's companion animals.

Space is limited! Preference given to low-income families. Children may only participate in the program once.
Call the Nashville Humane Association for details and application
Deadline is 6/20/2009.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

We get to keep our satellite and DVR!

For the past several months we have been looking at our expenses and trying to cut out anything that wasn't necessary. We've done fairly well. Except one thing: the satellite TV and DVR. We did downgrade our package about 6 months ago, but we were still paying (cough! sputter!) $40 a month! I knew it was stupid, but just couldn't quite let go of the satellite TVchannels and most of all the DVR!

If you've had a DVR, TiVo, etc., you know that it is the greatest invention. Gotta go to the bathroom, but don't want to miss a pivotal scene in that medical drama? Just pause it! A kid was screaming and you didn't quite hear that last news story?? Rewind it! All your favorite shows come on during bath and bedtime? Just hit record!

But, as the months wore on, and as $40 dollars was deducted from our account every month, I knew that we need to let it go. Just as I was having these thoughts, along came a mailer from the local cable company. Limited basic cable (i.e. the network channels and the weather channel and a news channel) for $10 a month. It was a sign. We needed to make the cut.

So I called the cable company, arranged for them to come out at the first of the month. Then I called the satellite company to find out just how long I could go before they would cut it off but still charge me for another month. Of course, they tried to talk me out of it. They offered me a smaller package, but I would still pay extra for the local channels (which is what we wanted most of all) and of course extra for the DVR. I declined. But I had another day to think about it before I had to call to have the service turned off.

On the second phone call (when they knew I was serious) they escalated my call to a supervisor who offered me the intro package and the local channels for the low, low price of $10.99 a month for 10 months. I mentioned that was nice, but that I would still have to pay extra for the DVR. That's when he said "OK, if you'll stay with us, I'll add the DVR for no additional charge". Really? I kept trying to find the punch line. I asked about taxes and fees. he looked it up and said it should only be about $2.75. So, for $14.00 a month (for 10 months) we will get to keep our satellite TV service and DVR. Of course, in 10 months we'll be facing the same decision as now, but I think it will be easier since by then we will have found many other uses for that extra $25 a month we'll be saving.

The moral of the story: It never hurts to ask for a better deal on your services. Just be ready to pull the plug if they won't give you a better deal.