Saturday, April 30, 2011

We have Power!!

Our power was restored last night around 8 p.m., and we are so grateful. Many of our friends and neighbors are still without power though, so we are praying for them along with all the others who have suffered tremendous loss during this time. 

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we are unafraid, even if the earth gives way, even if the mountains tumble into the depths of the sea, even if its waters rage and foam, and mountains shake at its turbulence. Psalm 46:1-3

Friday, April 29, 2011

News from Here...

This is a picture of the front page of the Chattanooga newspaper today. The storms and tornadoes that came through our community along with those all across the south have been devastating. 

Thankfully my family and our home were sparred, however a tornado did touch down about 50 feet from where my daughter and I were laying in bed. We heard the trees snap and fall, but didn't realize the extent of the damage until we saw for ourselves in the daylight hours. Huge oak and poplar trees ripped right out of the ground, root ball and all, down a straight path away from our home. We are counting our blessings this day. 

We've been without power since right before the storms hit on Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. We do have a generator up and running  and have our freezer and refrigerator plugged into it, but this is only a temporary fix. I do have the laptop plugged in to charge it, but with the price of gas at almost $4 a gallon we cannot sustain this for long. 

Hopefully the power will be restored as soon as possible. Until then I won't be online as much as usual, and I just wanted to let you all know. :)  


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Month of Free Groceries?

The Family Balance Sheet says if we stop wasting food in our homes to the tune of $600 a year it would be enough to have a free month's worth of groceries. 

Check out the article here:

A Month of Free Groceries

What do you think?

Living Within Our Means

Thought for the Day

Learn to like what doesn't cost much.
Learn to like reading, conversation, music.
Learn to like plain food, plain service, plain cooking.
Learn to like fields, trees, brooks, hiking, rowing, climbing hills.
Learn to like people,
even though some of them may be different...
different from you.
Learn to like to work and enjoy the satisfaction of doing your job as well as it can be done.
Learn to like the songs of birds, the companionship of dogs.
Learn to like gardening, puttering around
the house and fixing things.
Learn to like the sunrise and sunset, the beating of the rain
on the roof and windows,
and the gentle fall of snow on a winter's day.
Learn to keep your wants simple and
refuse to be controlled by the likes and dislikes of others.
Lowell Bennion

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Food Lion ~ Marked Down Meat

Stopped in at Food Lion today to see what good deals I could find and happened to run across several varieties of sausage marked down.  The Jimmy Dean sausage, in the one pound rolls, were marked down to $1.69, and the boxes of Swaggerty's sausage were marked down to $3.20 for a 28 ounce box of 18 patties. I normally pay around $2.50 for the one pound rolls, and $6.99 on sale for the 30 patty box of Swaggerty's sausage, so you can see this was a great deal. And this was not the only sausage they had on mark down. If you are in the area I would definitely check it out because they had at least a dozen varieties of sausage marked down. I will be using the one pound rolls for dinner in Quiche and the patties will be made into more sausage biscuits for the freezer.

WFD ~ Tuesday 4-26-2011

Dinner tonight consisted of Cheeseburgers, Potato Salad, and Cole Slaw, which were all homemade. The Hamburgers were Angus burgers, which were given to me by a friend, and my Dad gave me the tomatoes, which he picked up at the flea market on Sunday. The tomatoes were so ripe and good tasting  and not at all like the store bought tomatoes available here at this time of year. This dinner cost me less than $3.00 to fix for my family, although it would have been considerably more if I had to buy the meat and tomatoes, but still cheaper than take out. 

You may wonder why the cheeseburger is surrounded by aluminum foil. The reason for that is because my sweet daughter loves to eat out and she would rather eat out than have a meal at home. So in my efforts to show her that home cooked meals are just as good as take out I tried to make her cheeseburger special by wrapping it in aluminum foil. She said it was a great tasting cheeseburger, so I know my efforts were not wasted. I have a friend who used to buy happy meal toys at yard sale and serve them to her kids once a week with a home cooked meal. Just something fun to do for the kids, and they seem to enjoy it. :)

Crash & Burn Items 4-26-11

Pictured above are the Crash & Burn (dented can sale) items I found and bought from Bi-Lo grocery store today. Two cans of re-fried beans, which are perfect for making Bean and Cheese Enchiladas, one of my family's favorite budget friendly meatless meals, and priced at only 35 cents each. Also, one can of Campbell's cream of celery soup, which I will use to make Tuna Casserole, and priced at 80 cents. And finally a can of low sodium LeSueur Peas for 60 cents. These four extra cans will be added to my pantry, which helps me keep the cost of feeding my family down.

Monday, April 25, 2011

We recently made a trip to the Fresh Market in Chattanooga, which is a high end grocery store and not known for low prices except on bulk spices. We enjoy the taste of dill in our Salmon Patties, so I try to keep this spice on hand for such occasions. However, the cost of dill and some other spices in the supermarket is prohibitive. Buying spices and herbs in bulk provides a greater cost savings over grocery store prices. This bag of dill cost me $1.89, which is actually an increase since I last bought dill, but still cheaper than buying name brand spices in a bottle at the grocery store.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

WFD ~ Easter Sunday Dinner

Woke up early this morning to put a Rump Roast in the Crock-pot along with some carrots, which I bought at Sam's Club this week. Sam's sells five pound bags of carrots for $2.98, which works out to 59 cents per pound an unheard of price in any grocery store here. Served mashed potatoes (loss leader this week - 10 pound bag for $2.99) along side the roast, and served Strawberry Shortcake for dessert. Made two gallons of sweet iced tea for drinks (55 cents per gallon - I use decaffeinated tea bags, so higher cost than regular tea bags). Total cost of dinner was right under $20, which is not bad for a holiday dinner considering Christmas or Thanksgiving dinners can sometimes cost three times that amount.

Smart Money Article on Stockpiling

Smart Money has an article titled, 

Will Stockpiling Save You Money? 

David Bell mentions an unintended consequence of stockpiling is to end up using more of what you've stockpiled than you would otherwise. 

Hopefully being aware of that possibility will be enough to stop it from happening. 

I know stockpiling helps me save money because I am then able to shop in my pantry and use items I have bought on sale rather than items where I had to pay full price.

Living Within Our Means

Saving Money on Laundry

Deal With It, Simply! has an article about saving money on laundry

I like the idea of the homemade fabric softener, which I am going to try and then get back to you with the results.

Homemade fabric softener; 2 Cups cheap conditioner, 3 cups Vinegar and 6 Cups water. Mix and store in a container and use it just like your regular fabric softener.

Cut fabric softener sheets in half and they can be used more then once.

Only wash full loads of laundry, weather 1 thing or a full load you use the same amount of water.
Learn to use 1 Tablespoon laundry soap

I have been considering the girls doing their own laundry. I bet the multiple changes would diffidently change.

Hang clothes and use the dryer less. We have a solar dryer outside, a clothes line. In the winter I have a rod above my washer to hang clothing. The moisture adds to our home.

Clean the lint trap after each use.

Vinegar also makes a frugal fabric softener.

Take clothes out of the washer right away so you don’t have to rewash them and waste water.
Things that can be worn more then once- Jeans, bras, Pajamas and sweats.

Hang your towel to dry and you can use it again.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dixie Crystals Sugar Deal at Bi-Lo

Bi-Lo has the four pound bag of Dixie Crystals sugar on sale this week for $1.99. Walmart's Great Value brand was $2.78 tonight, so this is a good deal. I actually price matched some at Walmart, and they let me have the five pound bags for $1.99, so I bought 20 pounds of sugar for $7.96, which is a good deal considering the price of sugar lately. Walmart sells the 25 pound bag of sugar for over $13, so again this is a good deal. I read over at Southern Savers that there was a coupon for Dixie Crystals in the 4-10-11 coupon inserts, but my coupon inserts did not have the coupon, which is OK because I think I got a good deal even without a coupon. 

On a side note, here is a link to Granny Miller's website and how she stored 30 pounds of sugar in mason jars:

Check Your Sonic Receipts

Sonic Drive-In is once again offering Free Route 44 drinks on the bottom of their receipts. Some days, especially if I've run out of water or not had time to bring any with me, I go by Sonic and can get a Route 44 filled with ice water for 26 cents, which I think is a great deal when I am out and about and away from home and can't make my own ice water, which in my line of work can happen from time to time. The offer will be printed on the bottom of your receipt. All you have to do is go to the Sonic website, enter your ID# off the receipt and fill out the survey. When you are done you will be given a verification code to write on your receipt, which you can then return to Sonic for a free drink. Sonic even has a Facebook page for fans on their Route 44 drinks.

Free Personalized Mother's Day Card from Tiny Prints

Tiny Prints is offering a free, personalized Mother's Day card to anyone who Likes them on their Facebook page. 
 Here is a link to their Facebook page: Tiny Prints
 I went and designed a card for my Mother for Mother's Day, which falls on May 8, 2011 this year. They had a very large assortment to choose from and I found a really cute one that I'm sure my Mom will like.  You can add or change the text and even add pictures.  You can even pay 44 cents to have your card mailed directly to her.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Proof of Rising Grocery Prices

We went by Sam's Club today to purchase a few things, and one of them happened to be the five pound bag of shredded mozzarella cheese. 

I noticed immediately that the price had gone up since I bought it last month. I keep all of my Sam's receipts in one of those ten cent spiral notebooks, so I can keep track of the prices. 

These are my receipts for the last year:

June 23, 2010 - Paid $10.37
March 23, 2011 - Paid $11.29
April 22, 2011 - Paid $12.98

So, in nine months time the mozzarella cheese has increased in price by $2.61, which is a price increase of more than 25%. 

Since I bought the cheese in March the price had increased by $1.69, which is a 13% increase in just one month. 

I've been reading about grocery prices increasing with increased frequency, and today I had tangible proof and wanted to share my findings with my readers.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Aldi Store Ad 4-20 thru 26-2011

Deals I plan on taking advantage of at Aldi this week include:
- Ham - 58 cents a pound with in ad coupon 
- Cantaloupe - 99 cents each
- Pineapple - 99 cents each
- Strawberries - 99 cents pound
- Crescent rolls - 99 cents each
- Corn - frozen - 16 ounce bag - 65 cents
- Crushed pineapple - 20 ounces - 89 cents
- Mandarin oranges - 11 ounces - 49 cents

Canned Tuna ~ A Pantry Staple ~ Tuna Pate Recipe

Several grocery stores have been running sales on canned tuna especially with the Easter season and Lent. Last week Food Lion had Chicken of the Sea tuna on sale for 50 cents per can, so I stocked up. 

Tuna is a great money saving item to have around especially since it can sit on your pantry shelf and requires no refrigeration. Also, a tuna sandwich can make for an inexpensive and satisfying, quick lunch. This is an item worth buying in bulk when the sale price is right. 

I'm going to give you one of my family's favorite recipes for Tuna. 

This recipe is for Tuna Pate and is good served on Club crackers.

Tuna Pate


1 large can or 2 small cans of tuna, drained well
1 - 8 ounce block of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
3 Tablespoons Chili Sauce (Can substitute shrimp cocktail sauce or ketchup, I’ve used all three with good results)
2 Tablespoons Parsley
1 Tablespoon Dried Onions
1/4 teaspoon Hot Sauce

Using a hand mixer, mix the tuna and cream cheese until well blended. 
Add other ingredients and mix well. 
Refrigerate, overnight if possible.

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Free Photo Magnet from Kodak

Frugal Coupon Living ~ Kodak Gallery Free Photo Magnet

Here is a link to the Frugal Coupon Living blog, which explains how to get a free photo magnet from Kodak Gallery although there is a $1.00 shipping fee. This would make a great gift for someone or even a terrific magnet for your own refrigerator.

Lysol & Facebook coupon

If you hurry over to Lysol's Facebook page and "Like" them, you will be able to print off a coupon for $1.50 off a canister of Lysol wipes.

The coupon will let you print it twice. These will be around 40 cents at Walmart after using the coupon. Great deal!

Dollar General store has the Lysol wipes on sale 3 for $5.00, which makes them $1.67 each. I bought two of them and used my two coupons and paid 34 cents for both of them, which makes each one 17 cents. These normally sell for $2.50, so this was a great deal. 

I stopped in at a second Dollar General store today also, and I'm glad I did. I had two coupons for Lysol Wipes for $1.00 off two, so I went ahead and bought 4 more, and paid $1.17 each for those. Still a good deal since these normally sell for $2.50. I'm going to add a couple of them to my back to school stash, and I want to thank Carol for that suggestion. 

DG also has Palmolive dish soap on sale for 85 cents. There were 50 cent off coupons in the Sunday paper, so I picked up two of those for 35 cents each. The Lysol cleaner was also on sale 3 for $5.00, and I had coupons and paid $1.17 each for those as well. 

The reason I was glad I went to the second Dollar General was because they had their winter hats, gloves, scarves, and cozy socks on clearance for 25 cents each. These will replenish our stash of gloves we seem to lose every year and I have plenty to give as gifts as well. I ended up getting $67.00 worth of merchandise and paid $6.00 for all of it. Love getting a bargain. :)


Ran into IGA this morning after dropping dd off at school, and I'm so glad I did. They had gallons of skim milk, dated today, marked down to 50 cents a gallon. I bought five of them...four for my freezer and one for my Dad. They also had smaller pork roasts for $2 to $3 each, and I bought three of those and gave one to my Dad. They also had grapes on sale for $1.00 a pound. So for $13 and some change I bought 5 gallons of milk, 3 pork roasts, and a bag of grapes. I'm so glad I decided to stop in there today.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Food Lion Books

Our Food Lion has put a lot of books in the dented canned food section and marked them down to $1.00 each. They had several books that would make great gifts. Golf books with CD, Cook books, Home Decorating books, several nice hardback children's books too. I picked up 3 spiral bound Brain Games books.  If you look closely you can see they the original price was $9.99. Last Christmas I paid $8.99 for a similar Sudoku book for my father in law's girlfriend who likes Sudoku, so I picked these up for her plus an extra one to spare. I'll put it into my gift closet for this year. Be sure to check your Food Lion and see what they have to offer. You may be surprised. 

Peanut Butter Sale

One of our local grocery stores, Cookes, has Peter Pan peanut butter on sale this week for 2 (16 ounce) jars for $3.00. There was a recent coupon in All You magazine for $1.00 off two jars, which I applied to my order today. My final out of pocket price was $1.00 per jar.

Crash & Burn Items

Crash & Burn is a term coined by one of Carol's sons, who writes the CT on a Budget blog. 

Her son used it to describe the dented and discounted canned goods that his Mother was buying one day and the term stuck. 

I liked it so much that I decided to adopt it for myself. 

Here is a picture of my recent Crash and Burn items:

The list includes such items as:

- 15 ounce can asparagus spears - 42 cents
-  (2) 15 ounce cans potatoes - 50 cents each
-  (2) 15 ounce canisters bread crumbs - 90 cents each
- 19 ounce can Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce- $1.20
- 15 ounce can cream style corn - 29 cents
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes - 90 cents
- 26 ounce can spaghetti sauce - 60 cents
- 20 ounce box Kellogg Raisin Bran - $1.00
 Also, not pictured are three cans of petite diced tomatoes that I picked up for 33 cents each. They are not in the picture because I already used them in Friday night's dinner of Chili Tacos. 

Not all grocery stores have a dented can section, but it might be worth it to you to check and see if they do. I know for myself that I've saved some money over the years by shopping in this section of the store.

~ Living within our Means ~
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Rite Aid & Fiber One

Rite Aid drug store has all varieties of Fiber One cereal for $1.99, which is normally $3.58 a box. If you have any coupons lying around you can save even more. I've had $1.00 off coupons for almost a year now waiting for a good sale. I saved $2.59 on every box I bought today. I bought 13 boxes, and already gave 3 to my Dad. I bought the Raisin Bran Clusters, Caramel Delight, Shredded Wheat, and the original kind.

Original Price: $3.58 x 13 = $46.54 (And yes, I have paid original price before)
Savings with Sale Price: $20.67
Savings with coupons: $13.00
Total Savings: $33.67
Total Price Paid: $12.87
Price per Box: 99 cents

Food Lion & Campbell's Soup

Food Lion has had a couple of unadvertised specials on Campbell's soup both last week and this week. I just happened to be in there both times looking for clearance priced dented can sales, also known as, Crash and Burn items, thanks to Carol in CT's son. Last week I was going to be making Cube Steaks for dinner and I always like to include a can of Campbell's Beefy Mushroom soup to use as gravy and I normally pay $1.55 for the can, but Food Lion had a sale on the soups priced at 10 for $10.00. I was shocked when I saw the sale because it had not been advertised in the sale flyer. Needless to say I stocked up and bought 12 cans for myself and a couple for my Father who also likes to cook with the soup. 

This week I was in Food Lion again looking for Crash and Burn items when I came across another unadvertised sale on Campell's soups. The 26 & 1/4 ounce Family Size cans of soup were on sale 2 for $3.00. These are the cans that are normally price $2.39 and up, so this was also a good sale. They even had our favorites on sale, which include the Vegetable Beef soup and the Chicken and Rice soup. Needless to say I stocked up on these as well.

Dollar Tree Stores

I ran into the Dollar Tree store today to pick up a special they had on Vinegar. They advertised the 64 ounce bottles of vinegar for $1.00, which would make a gallon $2.00, which is a good deal considering most gallons of vinegar sell for over $2.00 here. Other things I picked up include:

- Shampoo
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Band aids
- Teen Spirit Deodorant
- Lady Speed Stick Deodorant
- Duncan Hines Fudge Brownie Mix (They also had Betty Crocker)
- Soap Saver (Which Carol blogged about a few weeks ago)

I'm hoping to extend the life of my daughter's facial soap by using one of these soap savers. Be sure to check out Carol's post on her blog about the soap saver:

Aldi ~ Pineapples

Aldis has pineapples on sale this week for 99 cents, which is a great deal. I picked up two of them today while I was out and about shopping.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Saving Money on Breakfast

Today I made 30 sausage biscuits for the freezer in an effort to save money on breakfast costs. 

We've gotten into the habit of stopping at McDonald's two or three times a week to buy either Sausage Biscuits or Sausage McMuffins off the Dollar Menu. That was adding up to around $15 or so every week. 

Today I bought some sale priced Swaggerty's sausage and sale priced Grands biscuits and made my own sausage biscuits. 

I wrapped each one in aluminum foil and put them in the freezer. Now all I have to do for breakfast is take one out and remove the foil, wrap it in a paper towel and stick it in the microwave for less than a minute. 

The savings are significant.

Swaggerty's Sausage - 30 patties - $7.68
Grands Biscuits - 3 tubes - $3.96
Total - $11.64

Price of each biscuit - 39 cents
Price of 30 Sausage Biscuits from McDonald's - $30.00
 Savings: $18.36

Yearly Savings - $220.32

Living Within Our Means 

Saving Money on a Limited Income

From the America Saves Blog...

Russell Jackson never considered himself a saver, but ended up creating a $500 emergency fund while on unemployment. Here is what he had to say about trying to live on a limited income:

 Even on a limited income, like unemployment, he found ways to save. Russell never realized how everyday expenses add up. "Eating my meals at home, using coupons when I do shop, and using the public library for books and DVDs have been my biggest money savers. I’m doing the same activities and eating the same food.  The only difference is that I’m saving money instead of wasting it,"

Read the rest of his story:

Update July 28, 2016:

Unfortunately, this link is now broken and you will not be able to read the rest of Russell Jackson's story. 

From Unemployed to American Saver

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Good Deal Alert ~ Dollar General Canned Vegetables

The Dollar General Store has a good deal on canned vegetables right now. Corn, creamed corn, green peas, green beans, and french style green beans are all 40 cents a can right now. It's been a while since I've seen them here for 40 cents. Most every place sells them for 50 cents now, and with the price of gas going the way it is I'm sure that will increase as well. So, I consider this to be a good sale and I went this morning and stocked up. Here is what I bought:

12 cans corn
12 cans green beans
8 cans French style green beans
4 cans peas

I may go back for more later, but for right now my pantry shelf is nice and full. I also bought 4 cans of evaporated milk since they had it marked down to 89 cents. The photo above is a picture of them stacked neatly in my pantry.

Crest Pro-Health Clean Cinnamon Toothpaste

Pictured above is the lastest deal on my family's favorite toothpaste. We like the Crest Pro-Health Clean Cinnamon, but it has been harder and harder for me to find lately, so I've been stocking up when I find it. The price I pay is $3.58 at Walmart. Kmart had this type of Crest toothpaste on sale this week 2 for $6.00, so I price matched it at Walmart. I also had three coupons: one for 50 cents off and two for $1.00 off. Here is a breakdown of my savings:

Original Price at Walmart: $10.74
Price Matched Sale from Kmart $9.00
Used 3 coupons for $2.50 off
Total Price: $7.50
Total Savings: 3.24

Now $3.24 may not seem like a lot of money to you, but it is to me. My favorite author on the subject of Frugality, Amy Dacyczyn, said we should sweat the small stuff like this because these things will add up over time.
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