Tuesday, March 30, 2010

100 Good Wishes - Financial Assistance For Adoptive Families

Many of you know that our daughter is adopted. And she is the best thing we ever did! But, it was not an easy process and certainly not an inexpensive process. We were very lucky and blessed to have been in good paying jobs with benefits that assisted us in the financial area. But, it was still a struggle. I cashed out all my company stock, we used alot of our savings, and even used some of the proceeds from a condo sale.

There are alot of good parents out there that may not have all the financial resources that we had. But that should not prohibit them from adopting a child that needs a family

I recently became aware of 100 good Wishes.

One Hundred Good Wishes is where community supports adoptive families. It is a free fundraising web-based tool for adoptive families seeking to raise partial or full support for their adoptions. One Hundred Good Wishes website was inspired by the Northern Chinese tradition called Bai Jia Bei, or "100 Good Wishes" quilt - a tradition which engages others in the celebration of a new life. Like the tradition, adoptive families can use this site to not only share their adoption journey and gather good wishes as a keepsake, but also to use as a resource to raise support for their adoption endeavor.

How does it work? If you are in the process of adopting and are homestudy-approved, then you can set up a FREE One Hundred Good Wishes page to raise financial support for your adoption! Create a One Hundred Good Wishes page with a bio, explaining your adoption endeavor and your fundraising goal. Invite friends, family, and others to visit your page and give a good wish. Those who visit your page can leave a good wish message, upload a picture, and give a monetary donation. Donations are made directly to your PayPal account and there are no fees to use the One Hundred Good Wishes service.

Even if you are not currently in process of adopting, please help spread the word to other families that may be interested in fundraising for their adoption. Visit the website and join One Hundred Good Wishes on Facebook!

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Target Deals

Here are the deals I snagged at Target this week. I must say, I'm pretty excited about these deals. Not only was I able to get these deals with no issues at the register (I have a very bad track record with Target not wanting to take my coupons), but I also was able to get some cool presents for my daughter's upcoming birthday.

2 Leapster Games
Sale Price: $15.00
- (2) $5/1 Printable (must register with leapster see note below)
- (1) $5/$30 purchase Target Printable
= $7.50 each

Disney's The Princess and the Frog DVD
Sale Price: $13.99
- $5/1 Printable
= $8.99
Will submit for $5.00 rebate here. Then it's $3.99! (Note: the rebate is for the Disney DVD & a Band Aids purchase)

Note on how to find the Leapster coupon: Follow the link, sign in or create an account. Once signed in make sure you are on the Learning Path Tab and look toward the bottom right where it says Exclusive Learning Path Savings


Weekly Grocery Wrap up

Not a great week for the ole budget. There were just items that we needed and I either did not have the the best coupon available for them or not a coupon at all! Oh, and I bought meat. I only buy humanely raised and organic and/or natural meat. So it's always expensive, even when it's on markdown. Here are the highlights of my shopping.


Ziploc Freezer Bags
Sale Price: $2.50
- .40/1 (doubled) from 3/21 SS
= $1.70 ea
Received $2.00 off next purchase of anything catalina

Kroger Onion salt, onion powder, minced onions, garlic powder,
Sale Prices: $1.87 - $2.87

2 packs Harvestland Cagefree Natural Chicken Legs
Markdown Price: $1.83 & $2.00

4 Sunday Tennesseans
Monday Markdown: $1.00 ea

Kroger Milk
Markdown $1.38

Kroger Cottage Cheese
Sale Price: $1.00

Total OOP: $27.02


Birds Eye Frozen Vegetables
Sale Price: $.89 - $1.19
- .50/1 SS 3/21
= FREE +overage or .19 ea

Lysol Neutra Air
Sale Price: $1.79 (rain check from last week)
- $1.50/1 SS 3/7
= .29 ea

Dole Pineapple
Sale Price: .60 ea
- .55/1 SS 3/21
= .33 ea

Kraft Cheese Shreds
Sale Price: $1.66
- $1/2 Blinkie
= $1.16 ea

Sue Bee Honey
Price: $2.99

Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice
Sale Price: $2.70

Publix Soda
Sale Price: .50 ea

Total OOP: $12.66

Aldi Highlights

Cantelope .99 ea
Pineapple .99 ea
Broccoli $1.89
Bananas 3lbs $1.16
Romaine Lettuce (3) $1.99
Green Peppers (3) $2.49
100% Cranberry Juice: $2.49
Peanuts $1.99

Total OOP: $25.26 That's the most I've ever spent at Aldi's in one trip! But I just went ahead and bought several items that we were out of and I saw no good deals on at other stores.

Whole Foods

2 Everyday 365 Peanut Butter
Price: $1.79
- $1/1 Store Coupon Printable
= .79 ea

3lbs Natural Ground beef
Markdown Price: $10.35

3lbs Organic Chicken thighs
Markdown: $6.39

Total OOP: 19.69

Grand Total for Week: $84.63 Ouch! Will have to do better next week.


Menu Plan Monday

I try to keep my dinner's at $5 or less. They are a little more if I use meat, because I've committed to only purchasing humanely raised, organic or natural meats. They are more expensive. Otherwise, I am able to keep my meals at $5 by purchasing the ingredients on sale and/or with coupons and stockpiling when they are at their best price.

Monday -- Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken

Tuesday -- Garden Vegetable Spaghetti

Wednesday -- Lentil Rice Casserole

Thursday -- Slow Cooker Black Beans & Rice

Friday -- Simple Supper: Soup & Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Saturday -- Bakeless Ziti

Sunday -- Homemade Veggie Helper


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Whole Foods: 365 Peanut Butter .79 cents

Right now you can get the Everyday 365 Peanut Butter at Whole Foods for just .79 cents a jar.

They are priced at $1.79 each. Use the $1/1 Printable coupon found here.

You can print the coupon as many times as you like, but the register only allowed one. I had a nice cashier that did an override and let me get 2. But I probably would not push it past 2 per transaction.

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Dollar General Coupon for Facebook Fans - Sunday Only

Facebook fans of Dollar General can get a coupon for 10% - 20% off merchandise. The coupon is good for Sunday only.

Go here for the coupon.

They put this coupon out before Christmas last year, and I was able to snag some good deals with it. Now, I'm thinking: EASTER BASKET FILLER.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Tonight! Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

Jamie Oliver, chef extraordinaire, is taking on America's unhealthy eating habits. His first stop: Huntington WV. Huntington was named America's Unhealthiest City. But really, it's no different than any other American City.

I watched the preview last Sunday. And it's quite an eye opener and interesting show. Of course, Jamie is being met with alot of resistance, from the elementary school lunch ladies (don't call them that to their face!) to the local radio DJ. My impression from the show is that he is not trying to be mean or scornful about peoples eating habits. He really wants to educate folks about healthy eating and cooking.

I am in the long process of trying to rid my family's diet of junk and processed foods. I'm trying to cook from scratch so that I know what ingredients are in my dinner. It will not happen overnight, but, I really believe in the revolution. I believe the foods we eat everyday are filled with hidden ingredients that can have dangerous effects on our health. We may not see the effects immediately, but we will down the road.

So, I encourage you to watch this show (there's something you don't hear me say often) Set your DVRs, TiVos or whatever else you have to make sure you don't miss this show. It airs on ABC.

Also, Jamie has a petition that he would like to take to the White House after the TV series airs, to show The President and First Lady how many people across the country really care about this and ask for their support. To sign the petition, go here. There is also a button for the petition on my left sidebar.


Extreme Couponing hits Late Night News

ABC's Nightline did a story about Extreme Couponing. I thought the 2 very different approaches by the two couponers were very interesting.

I have to say my approach is much more like the woman profiled in this story rather than the man's. Mainly because my garage houses 2 cars, and there simply is not enough room for 500 boxes of Jello! But more power to him!

Go here for the video


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Free Days at Cheekwood This Sat & Sun

Looks like this is the weekend for FREE family activities!

This weekend, as part of "Regions Free Days", Cheekwood will be free admission.

Saturday, March 27, 9:30 - 4:30
Sunday, March 28 , 11:00 - 4:30


Sunday is Free Family Day at the Frist

Sunday, March 28 is Free Family Day at the Frist Center.

1:00 - 5:30 pm

There will be lots of activities for the kids including:

  • Vanderbil Dyer Observatory's Solar Telescope
  • Myths in the Sky: The stories behind Hercules, Orion and Other Constellations
  • The Thirty Minute Epic: Odysseus Sees the Round World in Half an Hour Flat
  • Story Time: Aesops Fables
  • Terrific Triptychs (confession: I have no idea what that is!)
  • New Urban Species
  • Martin Artquest Gallaery: Now, this is our favorite, my daughter can spend hours in Artquest. There are so many hands on art projects for the kids! This is open all the time, and I encourage everyone to take your kids there at least once.

Go here for the complete list with details.

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Ladies of Charity Sale starts Friday

One of my favorite sales of the year starts Friday, March 26 at Ladies of Charity. They will have clothing for men, women and children and maternity. They restock on a regular basis so don't worry if you can't get there right away.

I have attended this sale many times, and have never been disappointed. I have found brand name clothing for just a few dollars. My sister found a very nice formal dress for just $10 to wear on a cruise. That dress retailed for $100! They've also had wedding gowns for very good deals in the past.

The Ladies of Charity Spring/Summer Consignment Sale
Monday - Saturday. March 26 - May 8
10a - 4p

2216 State Street
Nashville TN

I won a DiGiorno Pizza Party!

A couple of months ago, I signed up with House Party to host a DiGiorno Pizza Party. I was one of the lucky winners! This party was to introduce their new pizza and breadsticks line. I have to say, it was really good pizza.

In the "party box". I received coupons for free pizzas, an apron, paper coasters and party beads and coupons for all my guests. I also received a bottletop basketball game that the kids enjoyed playing with.

My sisters, a couple of neighbor kids and my sisters in-laws joined us. One sister brought drinks that she picked up from the Kroger Mega Sale for .79 each and the other sister brought brownies she made from a mix that she got from a sale for only .25 cents. The pizza and breadsticks were free with the coupons from DiGiorno. We figured that we had a nice little family party for less than $10!

It was a great time had by all. Even the littlest member of our family enjoyed it! Notice the snowman plate?? I thought I had plain paper plates, but realized shortly before the party that they were all Christmas themed plates! Oh well! You use what you have!

If you are interested in applying to host a house party. Go here to see the current offerings. There are ally kinds of products that you can promote while having a house party.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

For the locals: 20% Off Last Minute Hair Appts.

Jon Alan Salon at Nippers Corner is giving 20% off any appointment made for tomorrow. The best part about the Jon Alan Salon? They give a 5 minute neck and shoulder massages with all appointments.

Go here for a list of all their services and prices.

Phone: 615-331-9800 Make sure you mention the 20% discount when making the appointment!

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WFMW: Freezing & Storing Onions

One of the things I have been doing instead of blogging lately is chopping and freezing onions - A LOT of onions! I got carried away last week when Aldi's had their 3lb bags of onions on sale for .69 ea. I bought 9 pounds of onions! I use onions a lot in cooking, so when I run across a good deal, I always stock up. I like to chop them and freeze them. It's taken a little time and some smelly lessons but this is what works for me!

I chop one whole onion. I do it the old fashion way, knife and cutting board.

Put the chopped onion into a labeled freezer bag. Make sure it's a freezer bag and not the sandwich bags. There is a difference, and you will want the thicker freezer bag. That's one of those lessons I had to learn.

Make sure you lay the bags flat and freeze flat so that you don't have a frozen ball of onions.

Now, this is the important part about freezing onions! Double bag the individual bags! Unless, you want your whole freezer (and refrigerator if you you don't have a separate freezer) to smell like onions, you Must put the bags in another bag. What works for me is to put the individual small bags into a larger Ziploc freezer bag. And then put another one over that. I just re-use the 2 big bags because they do not get dirty. I can store at least 10 small bags (laid flat) in these larger bags.

When I have a recipe that calls for onion, I can just pull one of the bags out and throw in the chopped onion. I cannot taste a difference.

This is what works for me! Do you have any food storage or shortcut tips? Please let me know, I'm always looking for more efficient ways to do things!

To find out what works for others, check out Works for Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A few Target Deals

Thought I'd share a few of the deals I got from Target this week:

Dial Nutriskin Hand Soap
Reg Price: $1.37
- $1/1 Target Coupon Printable
- .35/1 from 3/7 RP
= .02 ea

Dove Shampoo 12oz
Reg Price: $3.44
- $2/1 Manu Coupon Printable
- $1/1 Target Coupon Printable
= .44 ea

Monopoly Board Game (traditional game)
Sale Price: $7.00
- $5/1 coupon in 3/21 Paper
= $2.00

Connect Four Game
Sale Price: $7.00
- $4/1 coupon in 3/21 Paper
= $3.00

My Little Ponies (some include mini DVDs)
Price Cut: $4.99 (Regularly $6.99 each)
- B1G1 Coupon in 3/21 Paper
= $2.50 ea
Guess what my daughter is getting in her Easter basket!


Weekly Grocery Wrap-up

This was a week for free Snickers, cheap Kashi, Whole Grain Bread and Organic chicken!

Kroger Trip 2 (yea, I'm doing this backwards)

Garden of Eatin Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips
Sale Price: $2.00
- $1/1 Printable
= $1.00 ea

8th Continent Soy Milk
Sale Price: $2.49
- $1.50 Printable
= .99

Cage Free Eggs
Manager Markdown .79

2 Harvestland Cage free whole chickens
Manager Markdown $6.04 ea

4 Sunday Tennesseans
Monday Markdown Price: $1.00 ea

Total: $21.69


Uncle Ben's Whole Grain & Wild Rice
Sale Price: 1.00
- $1/1 RP 2/21

Scooby Doo One A Day Vitamins
Sale Price: $4.26
- $2.50/1 Publix Q from Publix Family Style Magazine
- $2./1 SS 1/03
= FREE + overage

Kashi Honey Sesame Cracker
Reg Price: $3.29
- FREE Kashi Crackers wyb 2 Kashi Cereals Printable

Kashi Go Lean Crunch Bars
Sale Price: $3.50
- FREE Kashi Bars wyb 2 Kashi Cereals Printable

6 Kashi Cereals
Sale Price: $2.50
- Free Kashi cereal VocalPoint Mailer
- $1.50/1 Kashi VocalPoint Mailer
= FREE - $1.00 ea

Bananas 2.8 lbs
- $1.00 off Produce Publix home mailer
= .65

Muellers Whole Wheat Pasta
Sale Price: .74
- .55/1 Printable
= .19 ea

V8 Fusion Juice
Sale Price: $1.99
- .50/1 (doubled) SS 3/14
= .99 ea

All Small & Mighty Detergent
Sale Price: $2.99
- $2/1 RP 2/7
= .99 ea

$50 BP Gas Card
- $10 off Gas Card with $25 Grocery Purchase (publix in ad coupon)
= $40.00

= $59.22 ($40 of that is the Gas card, which is not part of my grocery budget)
= $19.22 Groceries

Kroger Trip #1

14 Snickers (yea, I went a little overboard, but they were free! And Snickers freeze well)
Sale Price: .50
- .50/2 (doubled) RP 2/21

7 Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread (bread will freeze too)
Sale Price: $1.66
- .50/1 (doubled) SS 1/03
= .66 ea

Reynolds Aluminum Wrap 100% Recycled
Closeout Price: $1.49
- .50/1 (doubled) Printable
= .49 ea

RW Knudsen Organic Juice
Sale Price: $1.97
- $1/1 Printable (available when purchased Annie's Organic Products)
= .97 ea

Crisco Vegetable Shortening
Sale Price: $2.50

Total OOP: $11.15

Grand Total for week: $52.06 Yea! Under budget! But, I think I'm going to CVS to get the deal on Pullups later, so I'll probably be right at $60 for the week.


Menu Plan Monday (okay.. Tuesday)

I did not fall off the face of the earth! I've just not found the time to blog. But I have several things to talk about, so maybe I'll be able to catch up on my blogging the next couple of days.

I'm kinda excited about my menu this week, we're having something we don't eat alot of around here.... meat! I got a deal on organic, free range chicken that I'll be cooking this week.

Normally I try to keep my meals at $5 or less, unless the meal includes meat. I've committed to only purchasing organic and humanely raised meat, so it is always more expensive than other meat. Otherwise, I'm able to keep my meals at $5 or less by stockpiling ingredients when they go on sale and using coupons. Also I am starting to cook from scratch more and more to avoid processed foods.

Monday -- Leftover pizza

Tuesday -- Skillet Nachos (I'll be using organic blue corn tortilla chips I got for $1 this week! Yea!)

Wednesday -- Roast Sticky Chicken w/ roasted potatoes and veggies (my reduced price organic chicken find! Whoo Hoo!) I'm going to make this recipe in the crock pot.

Thursday -- Chicken Tacos

Friday -- Simple Supper: Green beans, potatoes, mac n cheese

Saturday -- Tamale Lentil Casserole

Sunday -- Spaghetti with marinara sauce and garlic bread

For more great menu ideas, visit orgjunkie.com


Friday, March 19, 2010

Recall of McCormick Sauce & Dip mixes

McCormick has recalled several of their dip and gravy mixes and cornbread stuffing mix. Go here for the complete list and details.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Today's Favorite Links

A couple of great and informative posts that I ran across and I want to share.

Catherine at A Spirited Mind has a great article on math books for preschoolers. This is a hot topic in my household these days. We read all kinds of books and do many math activities and I am always on the lookout for new resources.

And speaking of books, Angela at Suburban Jungle has a great review of a couple of books about raising boys. I found it very insightful and will be picking up these books at my next library visit.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Weekly Grocery Wrap-up

It was a unimpressive sales/coupon week for me. Not alot got me excited, except for the cheap alumininum foil at Kroger and the .69 3 lb onions at Aldi's (yea, I may have went a little overboard with the onions, I can still smell them in the car)

Here is a short synopsis of what I got:

Kroger:Note: Kroger is having a Mega Sale this week. Buy 8 participating items, get $4.00 off at checkout. I did do this deal, but since I'm getting us off of processed food as much as possible, it was not as exciting for me as in the past.

Kraft Shredded Cheese
Mega Sale Price: $1.67
- $1/1 Kroger Coupon Mailer
= .67

Del Monte Canned Tomatoes (FYI.. some of the differnt styles have High Fructose Corn Syrup, so check the label if that is a concern for you)
Mega Sale Price: .49
- $1/4 RP 2/7
= .24 ea

Annie's Organic Mac n cheese
Mega Sale Price: .49 ea

Reynolds Wrap 100% Recycled Alumininum foil
Closeout Price: $1.49
- .50/1 (doubled) printable
= .49 ea

8th Continent Soy Milk
Sale Price: 2.49
- $1.50/1 Printable
= .99

4 Sunday Tennesseans
Monday Markdown Price: $1.00 each

Total OOP: $28.41

Publix Milk
Sale Price: $2.69
- $1/1 Publix Home Mailer
= $1.69

Old El Paso Green Chilis
Reg Price: $1.35
- $1/2 Publix in Ad coupon
- $.55/1 Printable
= .30 ea

Flat Out Flat Breads
Sale Price: $1.45
- $1/2 Publix q in "Healthy Meals for Healthy Kids" flyer
= .95 ea

Green Cabbage
Sale Price: .29/lb
= .45

Rico Rice 3lb
Sale Price: .99

Total OOP: $6.19

Aldi's Highlights
3 lb bag Onions (3 bags - I chop them up and freeze them for later recipes)
.69 ea

5lb bag Red potatoes

2lb bag of Carrots (2 bags - I can chop/shred these for later recipes)

100% Cranberry Juice

2 1/2 lbs Bananas

Total OOP: $14.82

Total for Week: $49.42


Great deal on Reynolds Wrap at Kroger

Currently Reynolds 100% Recycled Alumininum Wrap is on closeout for $1.49. Use the .50/1 printable coupon here (it will double) and get it for .49!

It's a great deal, cheap foil and you using a "green" product.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I took last week off from menu planning because I had a back injury and I was sick. It was not a great week for meals, and we ended up having take out one night (my child begged and begged for pizza that she saw on TV, and my defenses were down). I've committed to getting back on track this week.

I try to keep my meals at $5 unless we have meat, and then it's going to be more because I've made a commitment to only buying humanely raised, organic meats. We rarely have meat more than once a week, sometimes not at all. I am able to keep my meals at $5 or less by shopping sales and using coupons and cooking from scratch.

Monday -- Very Veggie Chili with confetti corncakes

Tuesday -- Southwestern Pot Pie (I'll make my own cornbread mix)

Wednesday -- Bachelor Stew (this recipe is very flexible, I will throw in whatever veggies are most convenient for me)

Thursday -- Simple Supper: leftovers

Friday -- Dance Class! Sandwiches/Soup

Saturday -- DiGiorno Pizza Party Night! (more to come on that later!)

Sunday -- Homemade Veggie Helper

For more great menu ideas, visit Orgjunkie.com


Friday, March 12, 2010

Free Dave Ramsey Class

Go here to sign up for one (1) free class of Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. The classes will be offered April 5 - 12. They will be offered all over the country, so check it out to see the one closest to you!

Thanks Faithful Provisions

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Free Redbox Code for Facebook Fans

Sign up to be a fan of Redbox on Facebook and get a code for a free rental on St. Patrick's Day, March 17.

Thanks I Heart Saving Money!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Write 5 Reviews for Sears and get a $5 giftcard

Become a member of the Sears Community (it's free) and complete 5 reviews of any of their products (there are hundreds to choose from) and you will receive a $5 giftcard to Sears.

There are a few restrictions to the reviews.
1.) They must be approved by the moderator before it is viewable
2.) The reviews must be at least 45 words (really not that hard)
3.) Go here for all the rules and legal jargon.

Now, get to reviewing! There's tons of items, I'm sure you or your family members have at least 5.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Weekly Shopping Wrap Up

This was a light shopping week. Not only am I trying to make up for my large budget overage from last week, I also sustained a back injury that pretty much rendered me useless for the past few days. In fact, if it weren't for the hubs, I wouldn't have even gotten this much.


4 Birds Eye Steamfresh Vegetables
Sale Price: .89-$1.19
- .35/1 (doubled) SS 2/28
-$1/2 Publix Yellow Advantage Flyer
= FREE + Overage

4 Bertolli Pasta Sauce
Sale Price: $1.47 ea
- .75/1 RP 2/14
- 1/2 “Multiply Your Meals” booklet (Publix coupon)
= .22 ea

Rico Rice 3 lbs
Sale Price: .99

Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice
Sale Price: $1.79

Fresh Strawberries
Sale Price: $1.66

Total: $11.21

Aldi's Highlights:

Bananas 2.5 lbs .94
Pineapple .99
Grapes 2lbs 1.98
Assorted other fruits, veggies and some snacks, nothing noteworthy
Total: $13.87

Milk $1.69
4 Sunday Papers: $1.00 ea (Markdown)
Total: 5.82

Grand Total For week: $30.90

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Free Couponing Class in Springfield TN

Ronica, from Keeping Our Cash is putting on a FREE Couponing Workshop in Springfield TN on Wednesday, March 26. Go here for all the details.

Happy Couponing!


Friday, March 5, 2010

Old Navy Coupons

Before you head out for your weekend shopping, check out Old Navy Weekly for some printable coupons. They have 10% off, 15% off, $10 off $50, $5 off $25 coupons available.

If you've never used Old Navy Weekly, they make you work for your coupons. You must click and search for the coupons. But, the website is easy to use, they guide you through the process.

Happy Shopping!

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50% Off Sale at Middle TN Goodwills this Saturday

This Saturday is Middle Tennesse Goodwills 50% off Everything Sale. Go here for a store near you.

Happy Bargain Hunting!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Otter Creek Consignment Sale Starts Friday

The Otter Creek Sale is probably my favorite consignment sale of the season. Tons of great kids clothes, toys, books etc. At least 50 % of my daughter's wardrobe comes from here.
Sale runs:

Friday, March 5 8am - 6pm
Saturday March 6, 8am - 2pm Half Price Day!

Otter Creek Church
409 Franklin Rd
Brentwood TN 37027

For more local consignment sales visit consigningtime.com


Thrifty Thursday: Eating out on a Budget

Right now, with a very limited income, dining out is a real luxury for my family. We have made a commitment to only eating one dinner out a month. And even then, we try to be very frugal in our choices.

We never go anywhere very fancy (really, fancy restaurants are wasted on small children anyway). We usually choose a casual restaurant. Often these restaurants will offer free kids meals on certain evenings. Go here for a list of restaurants that have kids eat free deals.

Another source of good deals is coupons. There are several places to look for coupons for your favorite restaurant. One of my favorite coupon resources is the entertainment book, it's loaded with B1G1 coupons at all kinds of restaurants. There is also Restaurant.com that offers gift certificates to a variety of places for sometimes as much as 80% off. See Ronica's post with all the details about Restaurant.com. Groupon offers a daily deal to many different places, often restaruants, for as much as 50% off.

Ever look through those coupon envelopes that you get in the mail? ValPak is the one we receive regularly. I throw most of them out, but usually there is at least one good coupon for our favorite Mexican restaurant.

Don't forget the good ole newspaper. I find coupons regularly for Olive Garden and Logans in the Sunday inserts. But also keep an eye out for them in the actual newsprint.

If you still cannot find a coupon for your favorite restaurant, check their website. Sometimes, the coupons on the website is even better than the ones they print. I had this happen a few months ago with a local pizza place. They had a higher value coupon for the exact same deal on their website than the one in the flyer. It pays to look around!

Do you have any savings tips for eating out? Let me know!

For other money saving ideas, visit The Coupon Teacher's Thrifty Thursdays and Madame Deals.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

WFMW: Homework for the 4 Year Old

Recently we've had some role reversals in my household. Hubs is playing "Mr. Mom" while I am working outside the home a few days a week. It's tough for dads who are used to going to a job outside the home and being with adults all day to suddenly be trapped at home with babies and preschoolers.

Of course the biggest challenge is how to keep our 4 year old occupied all day - without her watching 8 hours of television!

Here's the plan I came up with: Homework assignments for my 4 year old!

Everyday before I leave for work, I write some assignments for her to complete on her chalkboard. Some of the assignments so far have been:

Write the number "4" and the number "9" (those are two numbers she struggles with)
-- she also had worksheets to help her with this.

Write your phone number 7 times.

Draw a triangle 10 times (I had discovered that she could draw every shape except a triangle)

Complete the hidden pictures puzzle in her Highlights Magazine.

This has been working pretty good so far. She was thrilled to have an "assignment", it's help to keep her on track for kindergarten preparation, it's made me feel less bad about having to go back to work, and it's given my husband a little break because she will concentrate on this activity for quite a while.

It Works For Me! See other helpful tips about all kinds of things at Rocks in My Dryer: Works For Me Wednesday.

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Great Petfinder Widgets for your website

If you are an animal lover and a blogger, there are some great Petfinder links and widgets that you can add to your blog at the Petfinder Download Center. I chose the Featured Pet Generator. Everyday it will spotlight a new pet available for adoption at my chosen shelter, Nashville Humane Association. You can choose a shelter or it will choose an animal randomly.

Not a blogger? There are also widgets for Myspace and Facebook.

It's a great way to get the word out about available pets for adoption!


Good Housekeeping for $7.00

Amazon currently has several magazines for $7.00. My personal favorite, Good Housekeeping. They have some great recipes, articles and have started having a few great coupons in every edition.

Go here to see the whole list of $7.00 subscriptions.

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Entertainment Book 50% Off

If you havn't purchased a 2010 Entertainment Book yet, now is the time to get it. It's 50% off AND free shipping.

I love these books. They are a great way to stretch your entertainment and dining out budget. It's filled with coupons for local events, attractions and restraurants of all types. Alot of the coupons are Buy One Get One Free. Which basically is 50% off 2! Click the above graphic to order one for your city.

Happy Shopping!


Monday, March 1, 2010

Weekly Grocery Wrap Up

For a while now, I've been trying to pay cash only for my groceries to help me stay on track with the budget. I didn't do that this week, used the debit card. And, boy did I get in trouble! I've upped my budget to $60 a week, and I think that knowing that, along with a debit card, made me lose track of things. And of course I'm trying to only buy healthier and non-processed foods; although I've found that to be impossible, especially when it comes to snack items (there's only so much fruit you can make your kids eat)

Publix Trip #1

Progresso Broth
Sale Price: $1.30 (Rain check from last week)
- .50/1 Printable
- $1/4 Publix q
= .05 ea

Hunts Tomato Sauce
Sale Price: .33 ea
- $1/5 Home Mailer
= .13 ea

Juice Juice
Sale Price: $1.82
- $1/2 Printable (sign up for Nestle Newsletter)
= $1.32 ea

Ronzoni Orzo Pasta
Sale Price: .70


Total OOP: $25.25

Publix Trip #2
Special K Granola Cereal
Sale Price: $1.76 (Rain Check price from a few weeks ago)
- $1/1 Printable (No longer available)
= .76 ea

Dannon Light & Fit Yogurt
Price: .50
- FREE Dannon Yogurt when you buy Special K Granola Cereal (tearpad found at Kroger)

Fresh Strawberries
Sale Price: $1.67

Total OOP: $7.33

Healthy Lifestyle Bread
Sale Price: $1.66
- .50/1 (doubled) 1/3 SS
= .66 ea

8th Continent Soy Milk
Sale Price: $2.49
- $1.50/1 Printable
= .99

Kroger Milk - quart
Sale Price: $1.25

Sale Price: .77/lb

10 lbs Potatoes
Sale Price: $2.28

Kroger Cow Pals String Cheese
Sale Price: $2.50

Kroger Dishwasher Detergent
Price: $2.15

Quinoa Grain
Sale Price: $4.29

4 Sunday Newspapers
Reduced Price: $1.00 ea
Total OOP: $21.86

Various Fruits & Veggies
Dried Fruit Snacks
Snack Crackers
Total OOP: $19.93

Soft Soap Body Wash
Sale Price: $4.99
- $1/1 from All You - March Edition

Ocean Spray 100% Cranberry Juice
Sale Price: $2.50

- $6 ECBs
Total OOP: $1.06, earned $4 ECBs

TOTAL OOP: $75.43


Dummies Book Rebate

Got a subject that you'd like to brush up on or new skill you'd like to learn? This may be the month to buy the "Dummies" book for it. There is a $5 rebate on the purchase of any Dummies Book of $6.99 or more. The purchase must be made between March 1 and April 30.

If anyone finds a good sale on Dummies books, let me know!