"A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned"

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Quick Tip - Cheap Candy

I just wanted to share something I do every year after Halloween. The day after Halloween (that's Monday) head to the store and stock up on candy. It will most likely be marked 50% off. Look for the kind that doesn't have the Halloween wrappers on it or isn't a Halloween candy like those gummy fingers, blah. Hershey's kisses and candy bars have been my favorites.
I tuck this candy away and use it to help fill all of my Christmas stockings.
Waalaa! You've just saved half-off of your Christmas candy. Now the trick is actually saving it till then. Good Luck!


Live less, live more
Renee

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

When Cheaper Isn't Always Better

Awhile back my mother-in-law asked me "why are your kitchen towels so grey?" I thought that this was just one of those "mother-in-law" things and since I have the most wonderful mother-in-law, I let it pass with an "I dunno".

Then, while at church, I looked at my teenage son in his white shirt standing next to the other teenage boys in their white shirts, only, my sons shirt is more on the grey side.

This is not good. "Jake's getting a new white dress shirt" was my first thought, followed almost immediately by "I'm swithching laundry soaps!"

In my attempts to be frugal I had been making my own laundry soap for about a year and a half. I used a recipe I found online. I'm sure you've seen the ones using Borax, Washing Soda and Fels Naptha soap. I felt this mixture did a good job getting my clothes clean, it just didn't seem to be keeping my clothes clean looking.

Although it was cheaper, I did find that it wasn't that cheap. I would use 2/3 of the Fels Naptha soap ($1.17) to get the 2 cups needed for the recipe. The total cost was about .06c per load. Not bad, but with a sale and a coupon I can get a good brand of laundry soap for close to that.

So I've decided to go back to buying my laundry soap and having brighter clothes. Lesson learned, cheaper isn't always better.

What frugal lessons have you learned? Have you had to learn any the hard way?

Live less, live more
Renee 

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Quick Tip - Try Something New

A couple of weeks ago I found a recipe for making jam without added pectin. I had just gotten some apricots and wanted to make jam with them since I love apricot jam.

Since I have always wanted to try making it without added pectin, I decided, why not?

It was relatively easy. The recipe was easy to follow, not a whole lot to do, just a lot of cooking. I learned about and was able to try 3 different "gel tests" to see if the jam would set.

I'm glad I decided to venture out and try something new.

In the end I ended up with 3 batches of jam that vary in consistency and color, and a new skill.
What have you learned by trying something new?

Live less, live more
Renee
I'm linking up to the Thrifty Homes Penny Pinching Party. Head on over and check it out.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Quick Tip - Savings on your phone bill

Have you ever opened your phone bill and noticed a little flyer stuffed inside advertizing a new phone plan? It's probably cheaper than the one you're currently on too. Ever wonder why the phone company didn't tell you about this new, cheaper plan earlier? Yeah...they don't do that do they.

That's why it's a good idea to check with your phone company often and see if a better, cheaper plan is available. The last time I did this I cut $20 a month off my phone bill.

How do you save on your phone bill?

Live less, live more
Renee

For more great tips check out Works for Me Wednesday and The Penny Pinching Party.


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Monday, July 5, 2010

Quick tip - Back to School Shopping

I realize that this might sound crazy since it's just the beginning of July, but the back to school sales are going to start soon and I wanted to give you a heads up.

Start watching the weekly circulars for the best deals. Some of my past favorites have been the penny sales at Staples. I hope they continue this year.
You can usually find a supply list on your school districts website if you don't have one.

Before I shop I'll look around at home to see what I already have. No sense in buying colored pencils when you already have them right?

When do you start getting ready for back to school? Have any great sales to share? Please do!

Live less, live more
Renee

I love all the great ideas I get over at Works for me Wednesday and The Penny Pinching Party so I'm sharing this post with them.

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What I look for at Garage Sales

One of the simple pleasures I have in my life is the fun I have garage saleing. Sounds crazy maybe, but then again if you live a frugal lifestyle, you know just what I mean. This past weekend I found a huge roll of vinyl flooring which I need for a bathroom for $10! The next day I found a tub of flooring glue for 50c. Imagine that, a new bathroom floor (and maybe even the laundry room) for $10.50!

There are a few things I always look for at garage sales so I thought I'd share my list.

Toys - you'll notice I have 6 children and toys are expensive.
Games - same as above
Tools
Yard tools
Children's/Baby clothes - kids are tough on clothes and outgrow them quickly so why pay full price?
Puzzles - I look for the unopened ones.
Kitchen items
Small appliances - plug it in and make sure it works
Home decor - some people have really good taste
Craft items
Sports equipment

Another thing I do is watch for something I need (like the flooring). If I'm patient I can usually find what I'm looking for and at a great price.

What do you look for at garage sales? Do you have any great finds?

Live less, live more
Renee

Garage saleing works for me so I'm sharing this over at Works for me Wednesday. Go on over and check it out.

You might also like this post on garage sales.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Quick tip - Cheap Greeting Cards

With weddings, graduations and Father's Day just around the corner I thought I'd share a tip I've found that can save you money when you need to send a greeting card.

Check out the dollar store and/or the thrift store first. Thrift stores have lots of cards for really cheap, I'm talking anywhere from 10c - 50c. The selection is OK.

Dollar Stores have a much broader choice and their cards can be any where from 3/$1, 2/$1 or $1. They're nice cards too.  Better than the 99c ones you find at the grocery store that don't say much of anything and WAY better than spending $4 or $5 on a card! Can you imagine?

I hope you enjoy your celebrations, whatever they may be.

Live less, live more
Renee

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Quick tip - Make a list

Have you ever been sucked into the vortex of the grocery store? Yeah, I have plenty of times.
Studies show that the longer you are in the store the more money you will spend. Makes sense. Think of all the things the stores do to try and get you to stay longer. Samples, nice music, the nice little coffee spots. I'm sure there are dozens more.
When you're trying to stick to a budget the last thing you want to do is spend more time in the grocery store. I have found that when I make a list of what I need I can get in and out, and not spend so much time meandering the aisles asking myself  "do I need this?". Chances are if I ask I'll end up buying it.
Before you leave your home make a list of what you need. This is also a good time to check the circulars for sales or coupons.
Stick to your list and you can get in and out of the store with your budget intact.

Live less, live more
Renee

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Family Meals Under $5 - Maple Dump Chicken

I love the crock pot. Not just because it makes cooking so easy but also because there are some really tasty meals that can be cooked in them.
As I told you before, I've stocked up on some cheap chicken, so this week I'm making Maple Dump Chicken.
My friend Louise made this when I was part of a freezer meal co-op. It was one of my children's favorites.
I hope you like it too.

Maple Dump Chicken - $2.66 
Mashed potatoes - .65
Tossed green salad - $1.18
Total - $4.49

Maple Dump Chicken
7 chicken quarters - 2.38
3/4 c maple syrup - .18c
2T chili powder - .10c
1t salt

Place all ingredients in a gallon freezer bag. Seal well. Put in freezer until ready to use. The day before you want to make this take it out of the freezer and place in fridge. The next morning, get up (yawn), dump chicken and sauce into crock pot and cook on low 6-8 hours. Go have a great day. Come home to the smells of yummy chicken. Make your mashed potatoes and tossed green salad. Sit down to a nice relaxing dinner that not only was super easy but cost a whopping $4.49 to make.

Live less, live more
Renee

p.s. For the tossed green salad I used 1/2 head of Romaine lettuce, .84c, 1 carrot shredded, .09c, and 1 tomato diced, .25c. If you want to beef up your salad you could add a sliced cucumber, radishes, whatever you like.
I also used 8 potatoes, a splash of milk and 4T margarine to make my mashed potatoes.

p.p.s. - I'm sharing this over at The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap. Go on over and check it out.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Christmas....in May?

 It always seems that I never have enough money to do all the fun things that I want to do during the holidays. Sound familiar? One thing I try to do is to buy things when I see it on sale during the year. For example I just got a big tub of Knex at Walmart.com for $10 shipped to the store for free. I have a little guy who will love these.
Now my list will be smaller in December and my stress a little less so I can have more fun. Thanks Pinching your Pennies for the great tip on the Knex!


Live less, live more
Renee

I'm sharing this over at The Thrifty Home's Penny Pinching Party.  Check it out.


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Friday, May 21, 2010

Family Meals Under $5 - Crock Pot Ginger Chicken

One blog I like to follow is The Grocery Cart Challenge.  Gayle put up a link for a great recipe for Crock Pot Ginger Chicken. I made this last night and my family liked it.
I've run into 2 really great deals on chicken lately so you'll be seeing lots of under $5 chicken meals. The first deal was whole chickens advertised for 79c/lb but were 59c/lb when I got to the store. No complaints here! The second was a 10lb bag of quarters marked down to $4.19. I bought 3 bags. I should get 5-6 meals out of these.  I love being in the right place at the right time. 


Crock pot Ginger Chicken - $3.67
Steamed Rice - .56
16oz Frozen Green Beans - .68
Total - $4.91

Crock pot Ginger Chicken
7 chicken quarters - 2.25
1c soy sauce - .88
1c water
1/2c brown sugar - .42
3t ginger root sliced and smashed- .12

Mix soy sauce, water, brown sugar and ginger root in crock pot. Add chicken. Cook on low 4-6 hours.

I used chicken quarters instead of thighs that were called for in the original recipe. When the chicken was done I removed it and added some cornstarch to the liquid and made a sauce to serve over the chicken.

For my side dishes I served rice and green beans.

This was a triple treat. I found a good deal on chicken, a good recipe to use that chicken, and it was in the crock pot which made it really easy too. All around, a great day.

Live less, live more
Renee

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Quick tip - Freezer Meals

Monday is a busy day at our house. It's my heavy cleaning day, the day I bake my bread, and we have Family Night on Mondays. With all this going on, dinner is sometimes late. This pushes everything else back, so we get to bed late, we're tired the next morning...you get the picture.

In order to make things go a little smoother I've decided to make this night my freezer meal night.

I've always liked the idea of freezer cooking and have done a little bit here and there. Having dinner already done and in the freezer not only saves you time but can save you money as well. You can purchase your ingredients when they're on sale and stock them in your freezer. It also prevents you from going through the drive through.

You can cook as much or as little as you want. I think the simplist way is to just double your recipe the next time you're cooking dinner. Save half of it in a freezer container or Ziploc bag and pop it in the freezer until you need it. Make sure you lable it with the contents and date.

There are lots of great books out there that will teach you everything you need to know. Here are just a couple.











I hope this quick tip helps make your life a little easier.

Live less, live more
Renee



I'm sharing this over at The Thrifty Homes Penny Pinching Party. Go on over and join the fun.




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Friday, April 23, 2010

Family Meals for Under $5 - Hamburger Soup

This was one of my husbands favorites when he was growing up. The nice thing about this is you can open up your fridge and use up some of your leftovers. Let it simmer on the stove while you do other things.

Hamburger Soup - $4.13
French Bread - .66c

Total - $4.79

1 1/2 lbs ground turkey - $2.04 (I buy the 1 lb frozen ground turkey tubes. These are a lot cheaper than ground beef but taste just as good)
1 sm onion - chopped - .27
4 carrots, halved and cut in chunks - .36
4 potatoes diced - .16 (10 lb bag on sale for 99c)
2 ribs celery, sliced - .16
8c beef broth - .64 (I use bullion cubes)
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes - .50 (on sale at Fred Meyer)

Brown meat and onion till no longer pink. Add vegetables and cook a few min. Add broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hr or till vegetables are tender. Season to taste. Serve with french bread.

I realize I've posted a lot of soups lately. They are one of my favorite meals because they are really easy to prepare and are one of the most frugal meals there is to make. They also freeze well so you can make a large batch and freeze some to use for a later day.

Live less, live more
Renee


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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - Day 3

Last but not least in our series on being green and frugal is recycle. This one can be lots of fun. I'm so impressed with the myriad of ways people use things in a different way.

At our house we participate in our communities recycling programs. We have curbside recycling, which is just as easy as taking out the trash. We can also take our recyclables to our schools and drop them off there. This helps earn money for our schools.
I remember paper drives in elementary school. We had fun pulling our wagon down the street and collecting the unwanted papers from our neighbors.

Then there's the fun, creative ways to recycle. Here are some of the things I do:
Save rainwater and use it to water indoor plants.
Instead of throwing away the ends of my bread, (my kids don't like them) we make breadcrumbs or croutons.
I've cut up old denim jeans and made them into picnic blankets, quilts and bags.
The inside packaging of cereal boxes can be used like a freezer bag. The box can be cut and covered with cute scrapbooking paper and used to store magazines.
Milk jugs are in an area all their own. Cut the top off but keep the handle intact and you now have a nice handled bucket that can be used for picking berries, Easter egg hunts and Trick-or-Treating (decorated of course), cleaning etc. You can even hook it on to your belt for hands free work. Cut more of the jug off to make a scoop.
Use your empty laundry soap container, the big ones, as a washing station when camping. Just fill with water and put on its side on a table.
Cardboard egg cartons are great seed starters. Plus when its time to plant outside you can put it right in the ground.

Thanks for joining me in this series. I'm sure there are many things that you do in your frugal lifestyle that are good for our environment as well. If we continue to think of the ways we use things we can make our world a better, cleaner place to live.

Live less, live more
Renee


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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - Day 2

How'd you do yesterday? Were you able to get rid of anything you didn't need? I took one box to St. Vinny's, should've taken more, but I did tell the ARC they could come next week. Now I have a few days to collect more "stuff" for them. My friend Julie told me that when they call you should always tell them to come by even if you don't have anything. They give you a week and in that time you'll feel pressured to have something for them because you know they're coming so you'll have to go through your "stuff" and get rid of something. Give it a try, just make sure you actually do have something for them.

Today we'll focus on the next part of the slogan, Reuse. When I talk about reusing something I'm talking about using it over and over again. Who says you have to use something just once then throw it away.
There are so many things you can reuse. I always wash and rinse out my ziploc bags and use them over and over. You can also do this with aluminum foil. We save our ice cream pails (yes we need a pail) and use them for cleaning, in the garden, painting projects, etc. I also use them when taking dinner to someone. That way the recipient doesn't have to worry about returning my dish.

If your reusing something that means your not buying something, which is saving you money.

One of the biggest ways I reuse things is my childrens clothing. To be honest I don't buy a lot of clothes, especially for my little ones. When someone outgrows something and there is still some life left in it I just box it up and wait for the next one to grow into it. I label the boxes with the size and gender so it's easy to find. If I don't have anyone in my family to save it for I'll pass it on to a friend. I have to say I am so grateful for my friends sharing their childrens clothing with me. And I have some friends with excellent taste so I always get super cute things. The little ones are so excited when someone drops off a bag of clothes. They are equally excited when they get to share their clothes with others.

How do you reuse? I'd love to learn from your experience so please share.

Live less, live more
Renee

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Did you realize that by being frugal you were also being "green"? Many of the frugal things I naturally do are good for the environment as well. Think of the slogan reduce, reuse, recycle. It goes hand in hand with frugal living.
For the next few days I'll be addressing each of these areas and sharing ways you can be both frugal and green.

Today we start with reduce.

No brainier here. The less "stuff" you buy the less resources have to be used to fulfill the "demand" and the more money you have in your pocket.

Also, think in terms of natural resources like water and natural gas. Turn off the water when brushing your teeth and even when taking a shower (I'm not quite here yet, I love hot showers). Just turn the water on to rinse. Take a shower instead of a bath, but remember to keep it short. Keep your thermostat programmed at 68 degrees (or lower) in the winter. In the summer, turn off your air conditioner and use fans. If you do use an air conditioner set it as high as possible.  Run heat-producing appliances at night.
This save resources and reduces your monthly bill.


How about gas? It's tempting to run around from store to store scoring all those deals but when you add in the cost of gas it's not such a great deal. I've often been guilty of this. Now think off all the carbon monoxide your adding into the atmosphere with that extra driving. Try combining your errands so your only driving on one day. Make a menu plan so that you only have to go to the store once a week instead of driving there every day. Every time you go to the store you're more likely to buy stuff you don't need or haven't budgeted for. No reducing there. Price matching is great as well. Many stores will match a competitor's price when you bring in the ad. Some will even let you just tell the competitors price. Look on the stores website for their pricmatching policy. That means you just have to go to one store and less driving.

What about reducing the amount of "stuff" you already have. I just realized, I have 3 strainers. Do I need that many? No. What we don't realize is that there is a cost to maintain all of this and not just a monetary one. The more clothes we have, the more laundry we do, the more water and energy we use. Think about cleaning out the extra stuff you have that you don't need and donating it to a charity. Not only will you feel better, you'll be allowing those things to bless the lives of others.

I hope you'll share ways you have found to reduce, reuse and recycle that fit into your frugal lifestyle. Come back tomorrow and we'll talk about reusing.

Live less, live more
Renee

I'm sharing this over at The Penny Pinching Party Go on over for some great ideas on how to pinch your pennys.


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Monday, April 19, 2010

Save Water Challenge

My kindergartener came home with a "Save Water" challenge from one of the local girl scout troops. They asked us to have one of our family members brush their teeth with the water running for the reccomended 2 minutes. We were to collect the water and measure how much was used. WOW!  It was really amazing to see how much water was wasted. I even had the water on low, not full force like the kids do. When we did the math to see how much our entire family would use each day it came to 20 gallons. That's a lot of water just going down the drain just from brushing your teeth.

We live over an aquifer so I think we tend to take water for granted and assume it'll always be there. I know, not very frugal. There are so many simple ways to save on water too.

Well, we have taken the challenge and from here on out will be brushing our teeth without the water running.

Thanks troop 3008 for reminding us to "Save Water"

Live less, live more
Renee


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Friday, April 9, 2010

Family Meals Under $5 - Split Pea Soup

It's time to use that leftover hambone from Easter dinner. What better way than yummy split pea soup. This is really easy to make and can even be done in the crockpot. Add a salad and some toasted french bread for a complete meal.

Split Pea Soup - $3.37
French Bread - $0.88
Tossed Green Salad - $0.67

Total - $4.92

Split Pea Soup
1 hambone with meat - $1.52 ( I was able to get 3 meals out of the leftover ham from Easter. Whole ham cost $9.09, half eaten on Easter = $4.55. Divide the remaining half by 3 = $1.52 for each of those 3 meals)
1 1lb package split peas - $1.08
1 onion, chopped - .27
3 carrots, diced - .27
2 stalks celery, diced - .16
1 potato, diced - .03 ( 10 lb bag on sale for .77c @ Trading Co.)
1 clove garlic, minced - .04
2 qts water
1/4 t pepper
salt to taste

Combine ingredients in a crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hrs. Remove ham bone and cut off meat, dice and return meat to soup. Season to taste.

Tossed Green Salad
1/2 head Romaine lettuce - .29 (.57c @ Trading Co.)
1 carrot, shredded - .09
1/2 cucumber, sliced - .29 (.58 ea @ Wal-Mart)

It's great when you can use 1 piece of meat for so many dinners. Don't let the cost scare you, just remember you're dividing this up between many meals. Look for sales and this can be a very frugal way to stretch your grocery budget.

Live less, live more
Renee

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Walgreens Photo Deals

Today only, (Friday) you can get a free 8 x 10 with Walgreens 7 Days of Deals promotion. Just head on over here to check it out.

Live less, live more
Renee


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Attention Wal-Mart Shoppers

I was so excited to find out from my very helpful cashier at Wal-Mart yesterday that you no longer have to bring in the actual ad in order to price match. We can now go back to making our lists and just telling the cashier. If something seems a little too good they will want to check it with the ads they have at the store so you might want to be prepared if you find a super good deal.
You will probably want to verify your own local stores policy as they seem to vary by store. It's just a good idea to know your stores policies and even have a copy with you in case you run into any questions. Most stores have them available on their webpage.
Also please remember to do your very best to honor store policy. It was people being dishonest that made them change their policy in the first place.
See ya at the store.


Live less, live more
Renee 


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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Walgreens Photo Deals

 Just in case you didn't already know Walgreens photo dept. is having a 7 Days of Deals promotion. Each day there is a different deal. Today you can get 20 free 4x6 prints when you enter code PRINTS20.
Check out their site here for other great photo deals the rest of the week.

Live less, live more
Renee


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Friday, April 2, 2010

Family Meals Under $5 - Chicken Pot Pie

This week we're using that rubber chicken to make our Under $5 Dinner. Growing up we used to have the little store bought pot pies. I loved those... but as I'm sure you all know those little things can be quite spendy, especially when your feeding a big family. I also have big eaters so just one isn't enough. Solution. Cook it from scratch baby. I take the simple route and just dump it into a 13 x 9 but if you want to really impress you can make individual pot pies.

Chicken Pot Pie - $3.59
Tossed Green Salad - $0.73

Total - $4.32

Chicken Pot Pie
1 stick margarine - .19
1/3c flour - .06
1/2t salt
1/8t pepper
1/2t dried thyme - .05
1/2c chopped onion - .13
2c chicken broth - .16
3/4c milk - .08
1 16 oz package mixed veggis - .57 (March was frozen food month - yeah!)
3c cooked chicken - $1.80 (see rubber chicken)

Pastry for double crust pie
2c flour - .22
2/3 c shortening - .33
6-7T water
1/2t salt

Make pastry by mixing flour and salt. Cut in shortening till it looks like course meal. Sprinkle in water a tablespoon at a time till all is moistened. Gather dough into a ball. Set aside.
Rinse mixed veggies in a cloander with warm water till thawed. Set aside.
Melt margarine in a saucepan. Add onions and cook till tender. Stir in flour, salt, pepper and thyme. Add chicken broth and milk. Cook and stir till thickened. Add chicken and mixed veggies. Pour into 13 x 9 baking dish.
Roll out pastry to 1/4 in thick. Place on top of baking dish. Flute edges as desired. Cut slits in top.
Bake in a 450 oven for 15 min or till pastry is golden brown.

Tossed green salad
1/2 head Romaine lettuce - .38 (.77 head @ Trading Co)
1/2 bunch radishes - .12 (.25 bunch @ trading Co.)
1 c chopped broccoli - .18 (.78/lb @ Super 1 Foods)
1/4 shredded sweet potato - .05 (Trading Co. had a tote bag full of these for 99c. I figured I'd just substitute it for my carrot - I liked it, the kids didn't)


I'm sharing this over at The Grocery Cart Challenge recipe swap

Live less, live more
Renee

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rubber Chicken

It is a rare occasion in my house when a whole chicken is used in one meal. At our house we eat rubber chicken, a chicken that is stretched for 2, maybe even 3 meals. Stretching your meats is one of the easiest ways I know to make your grocery dollars go further. It's simple to do too. Just watch.

First I start with a whole chicken. This baby was 7lbs! Total cost $4.81 @ .68/lb. When chickens go on sale for this price I try to grab a couple of them. I also try to grab the biggest one that I can. The bigger the bird, the more meat.

Next I remove the breast from the rest of the body and reserve it for another meal. Now I have 2 sections, one for $2.40 & one for $2.41.

 
I roasted the body and ended up with 4 cups of meat. I froze 3 cups for another meal and used 1 cup in tonights dinner (fried rice).  Cost - $1.80 for 3 cups and $0.60 for 1 cup. 

So from this chicken I will have 3 meals. My cost for the chicken in each meal being $2.41, $1.80 and $0.60. Not too bad and certainly better than the whole $4.81 for just one meal.

Rubber roasts are really good too.

Live less, live more
Renee

I shared this post on Works for me Wednesday

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Blog Owners - If you want traffic - Check out this new video

If you own a blog and want more traffic then Jeff Johnson just release a brand new Traffic Voodoo video for you… just wait until you hear what he has to say about his free "two for one coaching" bonus.

If you need more traffic, then this video is for you Click Here

Jeff's newest Traffic Voodoo content has been all over the "news" this past week… everybody has been raving about it.

But now Jeff has decided to just flat-out give you a 3 month membership in his best-selling Underground Training Lab Coaching Club as a free bonus when you join his Traffic Voodoo program today.

This is the very same coaching club thousands of people have paid to join… up to $5,000.00 (five thousand dollars)… and they are currently paying up to $997.00 a month for access to it.

Check this out… You get full access to the very same content and SEO software that they are paying for… 3 entire months of full access to the very same content thousands have paid for… for
free when you join Traffic Voodoo today.

This new video explains everything

I almost forgot!

Jeff also dropped another bombshell on me today…

You get double the normal amount of time in his Traffic Voodoo program when you join today.

That means you get 16 full weeks of access the private Traffic Voodoo membership site instead of the normal 8 weeks… double the time for free… but only if you join Traffic Voodoo today.

He mentions both of your secret bonus offers in this new video

I say "secret" because Jeff hid them in the video and once those bonus offers are snatched up by you and the other fast movers today…. Jeff's going to completely edit that bonus section out of the video… and you won't be able to get your hands on them… once they are gone, they are gone forever.

If you have ever wished you had more traffic, then this video is for you

To your success,
--Greg

P.S.
I believe in Jeff Johnson and his ability to teach you how to get a ton of traffic to your website… he's been successfully teaching his proven traffic-getting systems to thousands of students over the last five years… And I've personally seen the amount of traffic this guy can produce… it's insane!

CLICK HERE


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Friday, March 26, 2010

Family Meals Under $5 - Minestrone di Oregon

It's great when you have friends and family that are good cooks. I've learned so much from the recipes of others. I've been making this weeks recipe for years. My sister-in-law Stephanie passed it on to me. I really like it because it's so full of good foods that I always have on hand. I can make it in the crock pot too if I need to. And it's cheap!! You can't beat that.


Minestrone di Oregon - $3.67
French Bread - $.87

Total - $4.54

Minestrone di Oregon

2 T olive oil - .10
3 cloves garlic, minced - .12
1 C onion thinly sliced - .27
1 C carrots, diced - .18
1 C celery, diced - .24
2 C potatoes,  diced - .10 (15 lb bag Yukon Gold potatoes $1.98 @ Trading Co, bought 2 weeks ago)
3 C cabbage, shredded - .24 (.18c /lb @ Super 1 Foods)
1 15 oz can italian tomatoes - .63
3 C seasonal vegetables (zucchini, green beans etc) - .83 (zucchini for 78c/lb @ Winco)
3 C beef broth - .24
3 C water
1 15oz can great northern beans - .72
1 bay leaf - infantisimal
seasonings to taste

Saute onion and garlic in oil. Add carrots and cook a few min. Repeat with celery, potatoes and vegetables, cooking each a few min and stirring. Add cabbage. Add tomatoes, broth, water and seasonings. Cover & cook over low heat for 3 hrs or till soup is thick. Add beans and simmer for 15 min.
Serve with toasted french bread.

This recipe is really great in the summer when your garden is in. Everything in this soup can be grown right in your back yard, except the beans. There's nothing like walking through your garden and saying "what shall we have for dinner tonight?" The possibilities are endless. Until then, enjoy this meal knowing your not breaking the bank.

Live less, live more
Renee

I shared this recipe at The Grocery Cart Challenge. Head on over to see some more great recipes.


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Friday, March 19, 2010

Family Meals Under $5 - Fried Chicken

I was in Spokane the other day and stopped by my favorite Winco store. We don't have a Winco close by so when I'm in town I try to make my trips count. Besides having a great bulk food section I can usually find a good deal on something my family uses. Well this time they didn't dissapoint. I found a jumbo pack (do we buy anything else?) of drumsticks for 59c/lb. When I saw the total of $2.77 I knew I had a $5 dinner.
The best thing is that we didn't eat the whole thing so I had a very nice lunch the net day.

Oven Fried Chicken - $3.10
Mashed potatoes - $0.40
Tossed green salad - $0.84

Total - $4.34

Oven Fried Chicken
Jumbo pack of drumsticks - $2.77
1 c milk - .11
2 eggs, beaten - .22
1 c breadcrumbs - free (I save the ends of the bread that y kids wont eat and grind them up into crumbs)
seasonings - use what you like and add to breadcrumbs. I used Johnnys seasoning salt and onion powder.

Wash and pat dry chicken. Dip in milk, then egg. Roll in breadcrumbs to coat. Place in greased 13 x 9 baking dish. Bake at @375 for 45-55 min or till done.

Mashed Potatoes
8 Yukon Gold potatoes.  - .40c (I got a 15lb bag on sale a couple of weeks ago for $1.98 - Super deal!)     I use 1 potato per person. Wash and dice. I don't peel because a lot of the nutrients are in the peel. Put in large pot and cover with water. Boil till tender. Drain and mash. Add a little milk and butter to reach desired consistency. Season to taste.

Tossed green salad
Winco also has some good prices on produce. I got a packaged head of Romaine lettuce for $1.48. I use 1/2 head per meal and toss in whatever I happen to have in my fridge. This time I went with some alfalfa sprouts that I sprouted on my own. They cost me about .10c.

Keep your eyes peeled for meat that is marked down. I bought this on the 10th and the use buy date was the 12th. I just came home and popped the whole jumbo pack in the freezer. You can usually save about 50% which is a huge savings.


Live less, live more
Renee


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Friday, February 19, 2010

Family Meals Under $5 - Poor Mans Meal

Gayle over at The Grocery Cart Challenge posted about a cookbook from a 91 year old woman named Clara who grew up in the depression. I have seen some of her recipes on Youtube and this is now one of my family's favorites. If you get a chance, check out her book. It's full of great frugal recipes as well as some frugal living skills of her own.


Poor Mans Casserole - $1.56
Tossed Green Salad - $2.34
Total - $3.90

1 pkg Hot Dogs - .88
10 Potatoes - .40 (10 lb bag on sale @ Albertsons for $.99c)
1 Onion - .11 ( 3lb bag on sale for $1)
8 oz tomato sauce - .17 (15 oz can on sale for .33 ea. I stocked up)

Wash potatoes and dice. Leave skin on for extra nutrition. Chop onion. Slowly brown onion and potatoes in a large skillet onver med heat. Meanwhile slice hot dogs. Add tomato sauce to potatoes and stir to mix. Add hot dogs. Cook till potatoes are done. You can add a little water to help cook the potatoes and make it kind of saucy.

Tossed green salad
Since the rest of the meal is so cheap you can really stock this salad. I like tomatoes, shredded carrot, zuchinni and chopped broccoli. You can add whatever your family likes.

Romaine Lettuce - $1
2 Roma tomatoes - .25c (.99lb @ Albertsons)
1 carrot - .09
1 zuchinni, sliced - .50 (.99lb @ Safeway)
1 sm head broccoli, chopped - .50 (.99 lb @ Safeway)

Live less, live more
Renee
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Monday, February 15, 2010

Family Meals for Under $5 - Spaghetti from the Good Ship Lollipop

This weekend was my birthday and I didn't feel like cooking so I didn't make a $5 dinner.  I have found something even better though. The Good Ship Lollipop: On a Budget

Bethany is my second cousin (who I didn't send a valentine to. Now I think I should) who put a great post on her site about a spaghetti dinner being only $4.70. I guess CBS thought that you could do it for a measly $35. Hello people!

Her entire dinner is under $5 and sounds quite delish. So, for my Family Meals under $5 I am reposting her dinner for you to enjoy. I love seeing what others can do as well. If you have a family meal under $5 we'd love to hear about it.

The Good Ship Lollipop: On a Budget - $4.70 Spaghetti Dinner

Live less, live more
Renee


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Friday, February 12, 2010

Update on Walgreens Collage Print

Today only Feb 12th, get a free 8x10 collage print when you order online! Just enter code VDAY at checkout.
You gotta love free!

Live less, live more
Renee

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Walgreens Collage Card

I think these photo collages are so cute that I just had to do one up so I could show you. It's super easy to do and doesn't take a lot of time, depending on how easily you can decide on your pictures.

You can have a few pictures or a lot. I think they'll let you go up to 20. You can add a caption, which I did when using it as a card, or just leave it blank.
One cute idea is to have the people in the photos hold a sign like "thinking of you" or "Happy Valentines Day". 

Right now they're having a sale on all their collages through Saturday Feb 13. Enter code FEB30 at checkout and get 30% off. That equals $1.39 for a 5x7 collage. You can't beat that!!!

Live less, live more
Renee  

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Frugal Valentines Day

Of all the holidays we celebrate there is one that I'm starting to not like. Valentines Day. It's not that I don't like this holiday, I just don't like the fact that it seems to be less about love and more about commercialism.

For starters why do things like flowers suddenly have to double in price just because people want to express their feelings for one another? And why do I have to send a valentine to my second cousins?  I thought Valentines Day was for lovers.

Well, I am not without a solution. First of all, I used to tell my husband not to buy me flowers on Valentines Day. I have since changed that because I love fresh flowers and I discovered that Costco has beautiful boquets for a reasonable price that is constant pretty much the whole year through. I also just saw in the Wal-Mart circular that a dozen roses are only $15. Not too bad.

Second are the paper Valentine cards the kids exchange at school. I put a dollar limit on these. And  I do mean $1. I refuse to pay $4 a box (x 2) for something kids are going to open, look at, then throw away. My favorite place to find these little cards is at the thrift stores. They often have popular themed cards for 25c - 75 c a box. Another good time to buy them is the day after Valentines when everything is 50% off and save them for next year.

An even better idea is to have the kids and you for that matter, make your own Valentine cards. There are lots of great sites out there with cute ideas like AllFreeCrafts.com. I especially like the post Valentines Day on a Dime found here. They have lots of cute ideas that I've done myself.

This year I've decided to do some collage cards. I love these! I go through Walgreens Photo and it only cost me 31c for a super cute 4x6 collage photo that I'm using as a card.

Remember, the best gifts really are the ones from the heart.

Live less, live more
Renee


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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Family Meals Under $5 - Taco Bake

Sorry to give you a mexican dish 2 weeks in a row but there were a lot of things on sale this week for the Super Bowl so it just worked out that way. I know you'll enjoy it anyway.
This recipe comes from my tried and true church cookbook. Thanks Melanie for a great recipe.

Taco Bake - $4.21
Lettuce - .25c (.49c a head for leafy green @ Super 1 Foods)
Sour Cream - .24c (.48c 16 oz tub @ Super 1 Foods)
Total - $4.70

1 lb lean ground beef - $1.68 Super 1 Foods
1 15 oz can chili - .78c Super 1 Foods
1 15 oz can tomato sauce - .33c stock up from Trading Co
1 sm onion, chopped - .23
1 clove garlic, minced - .02
1t ground cumin - .03 Winco Foods
1/2 t chili powder - .01
1/2 lb cheddar cheese, grated - .86 ($3.44 2lb loaf @ Trading Co.)
3 oz corn chips - .27 ( $1.97 22oz bag Mission tortilla chips @ Trading Co.)

Crush chips on the bottom of a greased 2qt casserole dish. Brown ground beef with onion and garlic. Add spices, chili and tomato sauce. Stir to combine. Place on top of chips and top with cheese. Bake at 350 for 20-30 min or until heated through.

I would serve this with lettuce, sour cream and tomatoes. I'd only do the tomatoes if you could get them at a good price which seems difficult these days.  If not just leave them out.
I can't wait for summer and fresh tomatoes from the garden!

Live less, live more
Renee


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Friday, January 29, 2010

Family Meals for Under $5 - Fiesta Macaroni Supper

My Under $5 dinner is a one pot dish that I whipped up before we had to be at a Boy Scout Court of Honor this week. When we have weeknight meetings, dinner can sometimes get pushed back until it's too late and we end up eating really late. That's why I love one pot dinners that can be prepared quickly with ingredients that you're likley to have on hand. This one can be ready in about 30 min.

Fiesta Macaroni Supper - $4.91

1/2 onion, chopped - .13
2 cloves garlic, minced - .04
1 green bell pepper, chopped - .65
1lb lean ground beef - $1.75 ( not the best deal, I've seen cheaper)
1/2 of a 16oz bag of frozen corn, thawed - .49 ( 98c @ Winco)
1c salsa - .61c
16 oz macaroni - .50 ($1.48 3 lb bag @ Super 1 Foods)
2 15 oz cans tomato sauce - .66 ( .33c each @ Trading co.)
1 T chili powder - .05
1 t cumin - .03 ( Winco )

In a large pot cook macaroni till al dente. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, brown ground beef with onion and bell pepper. Add salsa, tomato sauce, corn and seasonings. Simmer 5 min. Add pasta to meat mixture and stir till combined and heated through.

Live less, live more
Renee

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A Quick tip


I just wanted to share a quick idea that I had.

When I see a really great deal on something I try to stock up and get as much as I can. This means that I can have 2 of the same item in my cupboards that I paid very different amounts for. When I'm trying to figure out the cost of a meal I have to remember what I paid for a particular item. This can be daunting.

Solution. When I come home from the store I just write the price I paid on the outside of the can, jar, or whatever. Then when I use those items I can easily total my cost.
This will also tell me the average cost of a particular item so I'll know when it's a good time to stock up.

Live less, live more
Renee


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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Swap -n- Share

Today I had a great time getting rid of stuff that's been cluttering my house and picking up a few things that I can use and visiting with friends while doing it!

The ladies organization at my church organized a Swap -n- Share. The idea is that you bring things that you no longer need and take things that you do need or want. At the end the leftovers were donated to a local womens shelter and thrift store. We  also were treated to a delicious lunch.

This is a great way to clear out things you haven't used in awhile and let someone else put it to use.  It always feels good to clear out all of the junk that seems to magically accumulate in our homes. We say we're going to use that thingamabob "someday" yet never seem to get around to it. Why not let someone else. Another benefit is that you don't have to pay for anything. Very frugal.

The next time your cleaning out your closets consider organizing your own swap -n- share.

Live less, live more
Renee

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Simple ways to save money

I just read a great post from Gayle over at The Grocery Cart Challenge. She talks about how spending a little extra time can really save you money.

Saving money doesn't have to be difficult. Many people are amazed at the fact that I can make an entire meal for only $5. What usually makes this possible is making things from scratch or not buying the pre-packaged, already done for you foods. The Farmers Casserole dinner is a good example of this.

Thanks for the refresher Gayle. You can click on over here to read her post.

Live less, live more
Renee








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