If you are wondering what coupons will be in the paper tomorrow, go to the Sunday Coupon Preview. If you are a newlywed, like me, you know there are often weeks where there may only be one coupon that you can use. I try to always check the Sunday Coupon Preview to make sure that it is worth my time to buy the paper.
This week I went to Lance's New Market which is a local grocery store. There are seven of them in northern Indaina, so if you live near one take advantage of their coupon policy. They have amazing deals on the weekends. They have triple coupons up to $0.50 and double coupons up to $1.00 on Thursday-Sunday. I normally would never shop there until they started this new coupon policy because their prices are much higher than most stores and they have very limited selection. However, now with this new coupon policy, I try and take advantage of the coupon sales at least once a week. They also have a pump perks program which will take a certain amount of cents off per gallon depending on what you buy. For example, this week you will receive $0.10 off per gallon of gas at a local station if you have bought a bag of M&M's. The pump perks can really add up, and now that I drive a long distance to the school I teach at, this has really helped reduce the amount I am paying for gas.
This week I went and was able to buy $43 worth of groceries for only $21! I have to admit most of the items I purchased are all in my opinion j-u-n-k, but my husband likes most of the items I bought to eat as a snack or with his lunch at work. Also, I bought an 8 pack of paper towels on a great sale and paired it with a coupon. I only use paper towels when I am windexing mirrors, so those should last me forever. My husband thought that I was rather peculiar because I never use paper towels, and only use rags and towels. In the end, it saves us a lot of money. Paper towels are rarely on that good of a sale, so this works well for us.
If you are scratching your head and wondering whether we are going to live on frozen pizzas and poptarts, don't worry. I believe in the "buy ahead" principle, and so our cupboards and freezer are full of good nutritious food for meals.
Highlights from the trip:
Free hair gel ($1/1 doubled)
Free spices ($1/1 doubled)
$0.39 dryer sheets ($1/1 doubled)
$3.50 for 8 paper towel rolls ($0.50/1 tripled, plus a sale)
$4.50 for two gigantic bags of candy (50% plus two $2/1 coupons really brings down the price!)
$0.60 pizza ($0.40/2 tripled)
$1.00 Poptarts ($1/2 doubled)
$1.00 Special K bars ($0.50 tripled)
$1.60 Cereal (not a very good deal, but we needed it) ($1/1 doubled)
Did you find any good deals this week? Leave your deals and links in the comments section. I would love to hear from you!
Restaurant.com is a great way to get a cheap date night (or in my case afternoon) meal. You just have to go to their site and type in your zip code. After that it will bring up restaurants near you that are affiliated with restaurant.com. Each restaurant will have different values of gift certificates.
Be careful before you order to you look at the small print on each one. Some of them require that you spend a certain amount and others specify the time of day they can be used. My husband and I recently bought two of the these gift certificates and used them. They worked wonderfully and we had no problems. We were able to eat a $25 meal at a nice restaurant for $2 plus the cost of the tip!
Although I am not a huge promoter of Halloween (I have never enjoyed being scared), I definitely love the deals that come along with it. My favorite deal this Halloween that I sadly won't be able to take advantage of, is the "boorito" deal at Chipotle. If you dress up like a burrito (i.e. wrap a part of yourself in foil), you can receive a free burrito!
Also, Hey, It's Free! has an awesome post with details of many different Halloween deals, including other free food!
Pocket Your Dollars also has a great post with other Halloween offers including one for free pie today at Baker's Square. Click here for the informational post.
I was looking at one of my favorite sites, Hey, It's Free! and saw that you can receive free samples of coffee. Although I am not a coffee drinker, I have several friends who are. This could easily go in a gift basket for them this Christmas!
$0.50/ 2 Any Hunt's Canned Tomatoes printable coupon is now available here. If you shop at Lance's New Market, they will triple $.50 coupons on the weekends which would make for some very cheap tomatoes!
I have read from many different blogs about Swagbucks. Swagbucks is a search engine that pays you to use it. I just started using it and I just earned my first swagbuck from searching! The search engine is pretty good, and considering you get paid to search, it's great! You can earn swagbucks from searching or referring friends. These swagbucks can be used to buy prizes, giftcards, or have paypal pay you money. So far it seems to be as good as everyone says it is!
If you want to use Swagbucks, just click on my swagbuck button on the side of my page to bring you to their site.
A last minute change of plans meant that I would be gone all of today, which was my planned baking day. Yesterday I was determined to not give up on my baking day experiment, so I decided to do half of the baking on Wednesday night and the other half on Friday. On Wednesday, I didn't get home until late. Then, I quickly educated myself on the art of freezing dinners before partaking on my first ever baking night. First I made sure to empty the dishwasher.
Before unloading...a dishwasher full of clean dishes.
After: A wonderful dishwasher ready for action!
Next, I laid out all of my recipes...
It was very exciting because I had a deadline. I started baking at 6:30 and my husband was going to come home at 8:30. My goal was to have completed three small lasagnas, one meatloaf, and a pan of rice crispy bars and have the kitchen cleaned up by the time he would come home.
After reading this article, I decided that it would be easiest for me to make up the lasagna and meatloaf in pans covered in aluminum foil. I chose to not bake the lasagna before I froze it. We'll see how they turn out when we bake them later.
By the end of the night I my freezer held three small lasagnas and one meatloaf. I even was able to make the bars and put them in the refridgerator to harden. When my husband came home the kitchen was clean and I was happy knowing that I already had at least four dinners ready in my freezer. Friday I am hoping to make up the pizza dough and get the rest of the house cleaned.
Here is a picture of the fruits of my labor.
Hopefully this will turn out to be one of the best timesaving ways to make healthy meals for busy weeknights! I hope that this inspires any of you out there who have never tried cooking freezer meals. It was really just as easy as cooking the meal itself, so if you can normally make the recipe you should have no problems freezing it and enjoying it later.
For a cheap and practical baby shower gift, use a permanent marker to write inspirational or humorous short messages on the backs of a set of diapers. Tie them all together with ribbon and put in a basket. Your gift could make changing diapers at least a bit more enjoyable! Since I am going to be an aunt again three times over, my old college roommate is expecting, and many women who I am friends with at church are expecting, I am always on the lookout for frugal worthwhile gifts to give at baby showers and this is just one of the ideas that I have found. Stay tuned later this week for a picture of the diaper gift!
Meal planning is one of the most important items on my weekend to-do lists. Due to the hectic schedule on weekdays, I have found weekends to be the best time for me to do meal planning. Meal planning keeps me from ordering out on weeknights just so I don't have to think about what to cook up.
Many moms out there plan all meals, snacks, lunches, and dinners for very large families. I believe that I will be able to do that someday. Since there is only two of us at this point, meal planning is fairly simple and consists of mainly planning dinners. We are both pretty content with just cereal and Carnation Instant Breakfast for breakfasts, and for lunch we eat leftovers and my husband eats out due to his jobsite.
This week is a strange week as I will be gone on Monday night, dh will be gone on Wednesday, and my school is on Fall Break both Thursday and Friday. I hope that either Thursday or Friday I can have my first ever baking day! My hectic schedule at the school keeps me late many nights, so I am going to try for the first time, to make some freezer meals.
-I will be traveling to a baby shower that is a two hour drive away, so my husband will be on his own.
Frozen Pizza (my husband's guilty pleasure)
Sausage and Mixed Vegetable Casserole
-My husband will be traveling home from a convention for his work, so I'll be home alone.
-Fall Break! I hope to make this a baking day!
Baking Day Items:
2 Freezer Lasagna
3 Freezer Pizza Doughs
1 Freezer Meatloaf
1 Pan Rice Krispy Treats