Category Archives: Misc

Stuff that doesn’t fit anywhere else

Maximum Grocery Efficiency

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How do you plan for a shopping trip?

I like to plan a menu, and then make a list. Then I check my coupon stash and match up my coupons to the items I need, and off I go to the store! This handy dandy little Grocery Checklist is helpful. I go down the list with my daughter, who checks how much we have/if we need more of an item. She feels good for getting to help, and I always have my little pantry stocked with the essentials.

I match my grocery list to my Wal-Mart ad (where we do most of our coupon shopping) and compare to our stock up stores ads (Aldi and Sam’s). Usually the best deal is at Wal-Mart, but we buy certain items at the other locations in bulk because the every day price is cheaper if you buy large quantities. It only makes sense for some items, especially since space is at a premium in our house.  I use one sheet for each store,printed on old school papers (recycling!).  Then I grab my coupons, and head to the store!

Do YOU use reusable bags?

Smaller bags for smaller trips

Big cart bags for big trips

I try to, as often as I can. Sometimes I forget to grab them. I got a neat set of Grocery Cart Helper Bags, which attach to the sides of your cart and are great for places like Aldi or Sams, where you HAVE to bag your own…I attach both to the carts and organize my purchases into the bags. They clip closed, and it means less trips to the car when bringing the food in!

I have four smaller bags I like to use for quick Wal-Mart trips, when I can remember to bring them….I bag my groceries the way I was taught back in my teenage days, when I worked in a grocery store. On either side I place a box, like cereal or a similarly sized item, and then fill the cavity in the middle with a layer of cans, then smaller boxed items, and any fragile items or bread on top. I try to spread heavy items like cans evenly through the bags, to keep them from being heavy. I also have a large Aldi insulated bag, for cold and frozen items.

Do you look up coupon/sale match ups online? 

No Wal-Mart Bashing here

I have a few places I like to look for match ups. My favorite blog is I Heart The Mart, since I go to Wal-Mart most often. It doesn’t hurt that I get a teensy discount, because *MH works nights there. 🙂 If I combine the sales, coupons and my discount I can save a pretty penny on our food. BUT on deal items, I certainly do a sale ad check, and compare my favorite stores for prices. Then I can go out and maybe get something free, or nearly free!

Do you rebate? 

I rebate within the parameters of each deal. If it says you need to be dissatisfied, and I am satisfied, I do not usually send out the rebate. It just feels dishonest to me.  But couponing in combination with rebates, if following the rules and ethics, can be a smart way to save!  Today I found a coupon for a local store (good for that location only, for one day only, from 3pm to 7pm only) for a dinner deal for Marie Callender’s new lasagna, 2 liter bottle of Coke (any coke product) and bag of Fresh Express salad – all for only $5! The lasagna alone costs $6.39 (on sale for $5) so it was like getting a bagged salad and bottle of Sprite for free.  THEN…I filled out my Marie Callender rebate, good up to $8. My final cost on dinner tonight was $0.00! I don’t often find deals THAT good, but today we ate dinner for free.

Tasty but small...

Stay tuned for more about menu planning…there are a few different systems you can use, depending on your family’s needs.  It will save you time, money and maybe even lead to healthier eating habits with time.  One quick tip : don’t introduce an entire meal of new foods to your family all at once. Instead, introduce a single new dish in a meal that is full of familiar dishes.  The new item will be associated with old favorites, and perhaps more likely to be accepted. You know your family’s likes and dislikes better than anyone else…don’t try to make liver and onions an acceptable dish if you know it won’t go over well. It is a frustrating waste of time, effort and money!

Happy shopping! 🙂

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Hello world!

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A new year, a new blog! I have tried my hand at blogging a few
times, with moderate success, but I was never truly happy with
the direction things took. I have decided to focus on the things
that make me happy, and not let a rigid writing schedule take
the fun out of things. I DO promise to be active as much as
possible though, cause the point of this is to share my little
window to the world with y’all. 😉

Some of you might end up following me because of coupon stuff or
freebie stuff, and thats cool. I am not going to be one of those
daily deal blogs, though…so you may be disapointed. I am
pretty darn new to the couponing world…as a matter of fact, I
started this afternoon! 😀 So for those of you who are also new,
we can learn together or offer each other suggestions. If you
are a pro, feel free to poke your nose in and tell us whats
what!
That being said…I follow a different coupon and freebie
philosophy than some of you, which I will tell you more about
here. I am not gonzo for coupons, but I AM
gonzo for freebies! But if a coupon could get me something free,
I am all over that, my friends. And if it is really good, I will
link ya, on my Facebook page.

Why am I writing this blog? Well, to share with you, of course!
Here is a little background on us. IF you are not interested,
just skip ahead to our second post! I won’t be hurt. not even a
little. That is not a tear, my eyes are sweating. Just go. 😉

*Notice- This is a judgement free zone. Any negative or nasty
comments will be deleted and the poster banned. If you have any
concerns, see my About Me page and send me an email*

I moved from Chicago to a tiny town (3,500 people) in Central
Illinois, because the cost of living in “The Big City” got to be
too high. I love Chicago, we bleed Cubby red and blue in this
house…but we had to be smart and do what was best for our
future. The cost of living in a rural community is lower, though
it comes with its own interesting issues. We have been here a
few years, but the adjustment has come hard to some of us.
Sometimes in very funny ways! The town has horse hitches at our
one tiny gas station/diner, and I have seen people ride their
horse to buy a pack of smokes before!

We live in a town home,and are dreaming/saving for what I call the "Forever House"

I have Walking People blood in me, and so I have spent most of
my life moving around from one town to another. Now that my
daughter is getting older, however, I’ve decided to put down
roots (if I can, haha) and concentrate on raising the family and
selling my crafties. My daughter is almost 9, a pink-wearing
girly girl who loves sports and wants to be a vet when she grows
up. (The country is a good place for her,haha.) She is my little
princess! We refer to her here as Lil’ G.

My personal life is kept very private (except for…you know,
the whole blog thing) but I will occasionally refer to my
partners in crime. *DH is tall, quiet and incredibly smart. Scary smart.
He is very into science, physics, and space. I asked him once
why he felt like he needed to know how everything in the
universe works, and he joked “because thats how I hold it all
together with my mind”. But I believe he could do it,haha.
*MH is a small, wirey and boisterous man of mischevious good
intentions and an easy going nature.He is the one who senses my
moods and always forces me to talk about my stupid girly
feelings, even if I don’t wanna…a great listener.

I am 28, with 5 years in the event industry and culinary arts. I
gave up the 9-5 life to peddle my wares full time. We also
bought a 100 year old house in a nearby city,and are slowly
rehabbing. no glorious quick flippers here…we are in this one
for the long haul, and plan to rent it out. But money is tight,
so we work on it when funds become available.
I love music, art, sitcoms that make me laugh or think,dogs over
cats but cats are ok too,books,movies, Football,Nascar,baseball,
animals, food and making things. I think recycling is neat.I
think rockabilly is the shit. I Love to swear. Sorry and I will
try to keep it to a minimum. I love my oddball family. I don’t
care much what people think about me.

Welcome to my little corner of the internet.