Friday, October 31, 2008

What's left of my stockpile?

I made it through the month only spending $100.00 for groceries. I can't believe it! I feel like I climbed Mt. Everest - just kidding, but it does feel great to set and achieve a goal! I am so grateful for the items that I have stockpiled over the past several months. My stockpile is the reason I was able to accomplish this.

I got to thinking about this Monthly Mission and realized that I did this for fun, but someday (with the current economy) I may have to do this out of necessity. I will continue to build my stockpile - not only to save money, but to be there when times are tough and we need to cut back. I know we will never go hungry and that is a great blessing to our family.

The picture above is what is left of our food stockpile. (I reorganized it, I like it so much better!)I've still got plenty! I am doing some shopping tomorrow, but my list is surprisingly short. This challenge has helped me to use what I have and make it work and now I have formed a habit!

Home Haircutting - Frugal Friday

One of the things that I hate spending money on is haircuts, especially for boys/men. I can fudge on the 6-8 week thing, but my husband and my son cannot. When we first got married (eight years ago) we purchased a set of Wahl hair clippers and I cut my husband's hair. Unfortunately, my home haircutting skills were not the greatest and I made a few (BIG) mistakes. I have not been allowed to cut my husband's hair since!

My son didn't have any hair until he was over 2 years old and I didn't trust my haircutting skills after he did have hair, so we have been getting his hair cut by a friend who does it at home and paying $15. Every 8 weeks this works out to be about $100 per year. I decided last night that I was going to give my son a much needed haircut. I knew he would be more forgiving than my husband! It turned out great! Here is what I have learned through research and now experience:
  1. Comb the hair really well - you have to get out all of the hair that is hiding!
  2. Using the clippers (I used a #2 attachment) I trimmed from the bottom to the invisible line right above the ears.
  3. Using a comb and GOOD scissors (this is critical) I trimmed the top of this hair. I put sections of hair between my fingers and trimmed it to the length of my fingers.
  4. Using the newly cut hair as a guide, I trimmed the top to the same length.
  5. Then I went around the sides and trimmed at an angle to avoid the "shelf" and make a smooth transition.

This is the end result.

I know the side is sticking out :), I didn't take a picture last night when it was fresh so this is pillow hair. I need to wet it down this morning, he hates it so it is an ordeal. Anyway, I am happy with the results and it saved me $15! I will be doing all of his haircuts from now on.

Now when my daughter gets some hair - I would like to learn the art of cutting girl's hair.

Check out Biblical Womanhood for more great Frugal Friday ideas!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Monthly Mission - Fred Meyer

So, are you sick of looking at pictures of MILK on my blog? I never realized we went through so much milk until this month!

Anyway, this is my last trip this month of my Monthly Mission to spend $100.00 on groceries this month.

I headed over to Fred Meyer and picked up:

1 gallon skim milk - $2.50

2 Darigold chocolate milk - $2.00 (only one is pictured, I couldn't pry the other one out of my son's hands :)!)

Total before coupons $4.77

Used 1 $1.00 off 2 Darigold coupons

net OOP $3.77

I now have $.62 left in my budget. What should I buy? Just kidding!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Increasing Traffic on your Blog

In honor of the 9,000th visitor to Saving Some Green today (woo hoo!), I decided to share some ideas with my fellow newbie bloggers about how to get visits your blog. While this blogging thing is mainly just a fun outlet for me, there is a bit of money to be made with it (notice the ads in the margins)! Chances are you won't get rich, but it helps to actually have people visiting your blog. The networking part of blogging is so fun too!

Getting visits to your blog isn't like Field of Dreams (if you build it they will come) (am I showing my age here?). It's more like my version - if you build it and share it they will come! Here are just a few of the things I do/have done to increase my blog traffic:
Tell your friends! Tell everyone you know about your blog. They will look at it out of obligation, but will hopefully stay because they like to read it. If they really like it they will tell their friends, who will tell their friends, etc., etc., etc!

Leave comments on other blogs! Don't lurk! Make yourself known. Chances are the readers of the other blog and the blog owner will check out your profile, then check out your blog. If they like it, they will visit again - maybe bookmark it - maybe subscribe. You never know!

Participate in other blog's Mr. Linky post events. This is where another blog hosts a weekly event such as The Centsible Sawyer's Drugstore Divas where they post something then offer readers to post something similar IF they leave a link on their blog back to the original event post. This is a win-win for both the host and the blogger. I regularly participate in The Grocery Cart Challenge's Recipe Swap and Rocks in my Dryer's Works for me Wednesday.

Host a giveaway! Everyone loves FREE stuff and everyone loves winning stuff. Why not host a giveaway on your blog? Money Saving Mom has a weekly post called Giveaways Galore where you can post a giveaway. She has a lot of regular readers (myself included!) and they all love a giveaway (myself included!). There are other blogs out there that also host giveaway Mr. Linky's. One thing that has also been successful for me is to offer a 2nd entry in the giveaway if the person posts about my giveaway on their blog - this ensures traffic from their readers as well.

I'm sure there are many more things that you can do to increase the traffic on your blog, but these are the things that have really helped me since I started Saving Some Green at the end of July. The important thing is to do what works for you!

Look for some upcoming posts about how to earn some money while blogging and how to find time for blogging in your busy schedule!

Works for me Wednesday - Bathroom Quick Clean

Cleaning the bathroom is on thing that I hate/dread. I came up with a solution that is quick and easy for the times that I am not deep cleaning. Here is what I do:

  1. Take out the rugs and put in the dryer on a low heat/fluff setting
  2. Meanwhile, wipe down the counter, then faucets, then toilet tank, then toilet seat with a Lysol disposable wipe (I have a friend who uses baby wipes for a quick clean, haven't tried it, but she says it works great).
  3. Put some toilet cleaner in the bowl.
  4. Meanwhile, sweep, then windex the mirror and the faucets (there is NOTHING like shiny faucets in the bathroom, I love this!)
  5. Clean the toilet with a scrub brush.
  6. Take the rugs out of the dryer and replace.
  7. Light a candle.
  8. DONE!

Notice I do not mention the tub or shower during a quick clean, but about every other time I will spray with scrubbing bubbles and then quickly rinse with the shower attachment. Anyway, this whole process only takes about 5 minutes and leaves my bathroom feeling clean and smelling fresh and just makes me feel better - and it works for me!

Check out Rocks in my Dryer for more great Works for me Wednesday ideas!

Did you think that was my bathroom? I wish. Mine isn't blogworthy!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monthly Mission - Walgreen's

I headed out to Walgreen's last night for some milk, but decided to peruse the aisles a bit. I was pleasantly surprised to find some clearance candy. I saw this recipe on a friend's personal blog and totally wanted to make it, but I never buy caramels. These babies were on clearance at Walgreen's for $.24 per bag. Quite a steal if you ask me. So here is the breakdown of what I purchased last night:

1 Gallon Milk - $3.19

4 Walgreen's Brand Caramels - $.96

Total: $4.40

Used 1 $3.00 RR

Net OOP: $1.40 I now have $4.39 left in my Monthly Mission budget for the month. Only 4 more days to go! I think I am going to make it!
Read more about my Monthly Mission here.
See what else I have purchased with my $100.00 budget here.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monthly Mission - Making Dinner

So it is 27 days into my Monthly Mission challenge ($100.00 grocery budget for month), and we are still eating great! It would seem that we would be down to beans and rice, but thanks to my stockpile we are just fine. This is what we had for dinner on Friday. I had this great roast in the freezer that I got on sale a few months ago - it is a big roast and we have a lot of leftovers, so I am also going to try this recipe this next week. I also had some Rhodes rolls in the freezer that were totally buried by my freezer stockpile. I was excited to find them and make them!

I still have $5.79 left in my budget for the month and a $3.00 Register Rewards. I have 1 1/2 gallons of milk left. We are doing just great! I can't wait until Saturday - I have already started my shopping list, but I will stay within my budget. I really just need a green salad soon or I am going to go insane!

Free Stuff!!

I got some great freebies in the mail this weekend. FREE samples are the best! Here are a few that you can get in your mailbox:

Get a FREE sample of Sunsilk Hair Care here. I love this stuff, it makes my hair feel so soft and smooth!

Get a FREE sample of Aveeno Positively Ageless here.

Get a FREE sample of Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Face Scrub here.

Are you a nursing mother? Get a FREE breastfeeding support kit from Enfamil here.

Have you signed up for your FREE Betty Crocker Potatoes? You still can here.

Get a FREE sample of Lactaid Dietary Supplement here.

Get a FREE 3 year subscription to Remedy Life Magazine here.

Click here for FREE registration with on of the largest online largest online communities for free samples, coupons, and savings. This site is awesome! I have found so many great freebies here!

Click here to get a FREE sample of Garnier Nutritioniste Ultra lift.

Get a FREE sample of Carefree or Stayfree here.

Click here to join Freefly's - this site is full of freebies from tons of great brands, and it changes all the time!

Get a FREE sample of Always Infinity here.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Free Pop at Albertson's

This started on Tuesday and I totally forgot to post about it! My aunt called to remind me this weekend. Thanks Aunt Judy!

Through Tuesday 10/28 if you purchase 10 7up, A&W, or Sunkist 2 liters for $10.00 you get $10.00 back by mail making these FREE! You must use your preferred card, all 2 liters must be purchased in a single transaction, and the rebate information will print at checkout!

Sorry to post this so late, but you still have a few days! Enjoy!

Souper Saturday!

It is Saturday! That means another soup recipe! I found this week's recipe through The Grocery Cart Challenge's Recipe Swap that I participate in each week.
This recipe comes from Lynn who has a blog called Lynn's Kitchen Adventures where she shares recipes, product reviews, meal planning, and kitchen tips. Her recipe for Cheeseburger Soup caught my eye. Not only because it was a soup recipe I could potentially use for Souper Saturday, but just by reading the recipe I can tell it is really yummy.

Rather than posting the recipe here, go check out this recipe and other great recipes on Lynn's blog here.
Craving some more great soup recipes? Check out my other Souper Saturday recipes here. Do you have a soup recipe you would like me to share on an upcoming Souper Saturday? Leave a comment or send me an e-mail!


Friday, October 24, 2008 - FREE Shipping

JCPenney is offerring FREE shipping for online purchases of $49.00 or more. This is a great deal, especially because Christmas is right around the corner and they have some great specials going on now! This does not apply to clearance/outlet prices :( and is good through November 5th. Just use the promo code LEAVES at checkout and you get FREE shipping.

Make the deal even sweeter, sign up for Ebates and get $5.00 + 4% back on your JCPenney purchase that you do through E-bates! To find out more about Ebates, read my post here.

Monthly Mission - One more week!

I have one more week left of my Monthly Mission (which is to only spend $100 on groceries for the whole month). I have $5.79 left to spend for the rest of the week. I also have one $3.00 Register Reward for Walgreen's. I'm feeling really great about being able to meet this goal!

Here are some of the things I have learned in this process:

  1. It is okay to NOT stock up on every great deal that you find (especially if you already have the items in your stockpile).

  2. Use what you have - because I wasn't making a lot of shopping trips, I was constantly planning menus and making things with what I had on hand. For example, I found a container of pumpkin puree in my freezer from ???? I don't know how long ago. I decided to make a pumpkin cake and today (or this weekend) I plan on using the rest for pumpkin bread. I don't normally make stuff with pumpkin, but it is what I had.

  3. Make it stretch. I had two whole chickens in my freezer that had been sitting in there for quite a while. I decided to boil the chickens and debone them and use the meat in recipes. For the first one I made two pots of White Bean and Chicken Chili, a pan of chicken enchiladas, and a BBQ chicken pizza. Not to mention all the chicken broth I was able to make. I just boiled the second one and so far have made a broccoli, rice, and chicken casserole (I just threw a bunch of stuff in a casserole dish and baked it, but it turned out really good!). I still have a lot of meat left that I plan on using this next week.

  4. Take it easy! Because I wasn't making my usual many trips to Walgreen's and Albertson's (which I usually do in the evening when my hubby is home), I felt much more relaxed and felt like I was taking it easy!
Now that I now have all these great habits, my goal from now on is to only spend $50.00 per week on groceries for my family of 4. This will be a challenge, but again, I know that it is possible after all Crystal from Money Saving Mom only spends $40.00 per week for her family of 4 and Beeb from Super Coupon Girl only spent $11.38 for the month of September (check out her blog, that girl is AMAZING). So anyway that's the plan. I also will have a new Monthly Mission for November, any ideas????

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Walgreen's $5.00 off if you spend $20.00

I can't believe I didn't see this coming! I just spent $23.00 bucks at Walgreen's yesterday! Ugh! Well, don't make the same mistake I did...wait until tomorrow (10/24) or Saturday (10/25) and save $5.00 if you spend $20.00. Remember, these coupons are always after coupons, so you have to actually spend at least $15.00 OOP. I love to use these for diapers, especially if there is a diaper deal going on. 10/25 also is the beginning of the new rebate period but overlaps with the current rebate period, so you could turn this into a moneymaker.
Have fun!
Go get your Walgreen's coupon here.

Monthly Mission - Walgreen's

I decided that I was not going to get any more rebate items for the October Easy Saver, so I decided to cash in and get my gift card. I had $23.62 that I could spend at Walgreen's. I have been watching every cent because of my $100 monthly budget for the month, but with a gift card, it is nothing out of pocket - woo hoo! There were a few items that we needed and some we did not - but here is what I got.

3 boxes Kraft Mac-n-cheese - $2.07 (that was a sale this week with a coupon, not the greatest deal, but I was craving it!)

10 assorted cans Pringles - $10.00

2 gallons distilled water - $1.38 (this was a necessity, my husband needs it for his CPap machine and it was a good deal)

1 gallon whole milk - $2.99 (for my baby)

2 bottles of Walgreen's brand soda - $2.00 (for fun, but they weren't very good)

1 Pert Plus - $3.49

1 LifeSavers variety pack - $4.99 (for Halloween - we ate some of the candy we got here.)

Total before coupons: $28.51

Coupons I used:
$2.50 off Pert Plus Walgreen's IVC

$1.00 off Pert Plus (Making this free - I didn't get a $2.00 coupon in my Sunday paper boo-hoo!)

$1.00 off LifeSavers Walgreen's IVC (I just noticed this, it was supposed to be $2.00 off, but the coupon on the other side was $1.00 off M&M's. The casheir must have scanned the wrong side!)

$1.00 off LifeSavers MFG coupon from recent insert

Total on my gift card - $23.02 Yes, I pretty much spent all of it! But I am glad I was able to get some necessities and stock up on some Pringles. I also got $3.00 in Register Rewards for the Pringles which I can use later this week for more milk if I need it. I only have $5.79 left in my budget for the rest of the month, so I gotta make it stretch!

To read more about my $100.00 budget for this month click here. To see what I have purchased this month, click here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Yummy Snickerdoodles!

Today I felt like baking so I made some YUMMY snickerdoodles. This is my grandma's recipe and it is so good, so I thought I'd share. It is also very easy and I always have the ingredients on hand.

Grandma's Snickerdoodles

1 c. shortening

1 1/2 c. sugar

2 eggs

2 3/4 c. flour

2 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 T. sugar

Mix together thoroughly the shortening, sugar, and eggs. Sift together and stir in flour, cream of tartar, soda, and salt. Chill dough (I never do this). Roll into balls about the size of walnuts. (I use the Pampered Chef small scoop.)

Mix together the 2 tsp. cinnamon and 2 T. sugar roll balls in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Do you want to see some more great recipes? Check out The Grocery Cart Challenge's Recipe Swap!

Laundry Sorting - Works for me Wednesday

I hate to do laundry. I used to hate sorting it until we got this cheap laundry hamper. It has three separate laundry bags of three different colors. We sort our dirty clothes as we put them in this hamper so I just have to pull off one of the bags and dump it all in the washer at once. (I know I need to do my whites today :)!)

Using this system I also always know when I have enough for a load and I never have to sort laundry. This saves me tons of time. We picked this baby up at ShopKo about 5 years ago and it is still going strong works for me!

Check out Rocks in my Dryer for other great Works for me Wednesday ideas!

Grain Power!!

Elizabeth over at Deal Betty let me know about a cool website called Grain Power.

Not only do they have some great printable coupons, recipes, and great ideas for brown bag lunches - they are giving away a $5,000 gift card for a year of free groceries! That's $416 per month, so I'm thinking more like 2 years!

Check it out!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Monthly Mission - Fred Meyer

Ah...the milk. It seems that I cannot go one week without buying a gallon or two. Milk can be such a budget buster, like meat, only more necessary. I honestly had no idea how much milk we actually went through. With these two gallons I just purchased, it brings us to 7 gallons for the month - and I don't even drink milk! At 2.75 each (if it is on sale) that is over $20.00 or 1/5 of my budget this month (although I was able to use some register reward deals to get some cheaper milk)!

So enough with the milk rant! I went to Fred Meyer yesterday and picked up some milk - for a total of $5.83. I am now scraping the bottom of my monthly budget barrel! We now have $5.79 to last us for 10 more days in October. I really need some cheese, but I don't want to spend the rest of my budget and not have anything left for the rest of the month, so for now we are making do. I know we can make it - this Monthly Mission has been so great for me and our family. It has helped me to realize that I truly can set and achieve goals. If I can do it, you can too!

To find out more about my Monthly Mission - read here.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Free Stuff!!

Have I mentioned that I love FREE stuff? Do you love FREE stuff too? Here you go...

Get a FREE sample of Head & Shoulders Shampoo here.

Get your FREE sample of Imodium Multi-Symptom Relief here.

Get some FREE Eco-living tips from Ideal Bite here.

Have you received your FREE sample of Kotex yet? Get yours here.

Get your FREE sample of Metamucil Berry Burst here.

Get a FREE sample of Degree Ultra Clear deodorant here.

Do you want some FREE Splenda? Get it here.

Enjoy your FREEBIES!

Monthly Mission - Bakery Thrift Store

I went to the Hostess Bakery Thrift Store on Saturday to pick up a couple of loaves of bread. The total was $4.24. I am now left with $11.62 for the month. 11 more days in the month, I am still optimistic that I can make it to the end of the month only spending $100.00, but I will have to get creative! The one item we can't live without is milk. For $11.62 we can get about 4 gallons of milk, but doesn't give me wiggle room for anything else. My plan is to use powdered milk (we already have some) exclusively for cooking for the rest of the month.

To learn more about my monthly mission and my purchases so far this month, click here.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


How often do you do a search on Google or Several times per day? Daily? Weekly? If you're like me, you are always doing web searches. I recently found out about a search site called Swagbucks. Instead of going to Google to do a search, go to Swagbucks. You will randomly receive "swagbucks" for web searches that can be redeemed at the SwagStore for cool stuff. Swagbucks uses both Google and Ask to search, so you will receive the same or better results than just searching one or the other. The rewarding of swagbucks is random - so you will not receive one with every search, but for some searches you will receive more than one. Today I received 3 swagbucks for a search. I signed up about a week ago and have 16 swagbucks. The more searches you do the greater chances you have of getting more swagbucks.

Just a few examples of what your swagbucks can buy:

$20.00 Target Gift Card - 220 Swagbucks

$50.00 Best Buy Gift Card - 430 Swagbucks

$25.00 Macy's Gift Card - 320 Swagbucks

Why not get rewarded for doing what you were going to do anyway? Register for Swagbucks here.

Souper Saturday!

It's Saturday - and that means another soup recipe. Gramma Brown's Corn Chowder comes from Ann, a SavingSomeGreen reader.

It looks really good. Check out the recipe here.

Check out the other great Souper Saturday recipes here.

Friday, October 17, 2008

$5 off $25 at Walgreen's

I must start out by saying this is my 100th post! I can't believe it. Starting this blog has been great for me in so many ways and I thank everyone for their e-mails, encouragement, ideas, comments, etc., etc., etc.!

There is a coupon for Walgreen's that is good today and tomorrow - $5.00 off a purchase of $25.00 or more. This must be $25.00 AFTER coupons. When these come out, I like to use them for diapers or for the free after rebate stuff to turn it in to a moneymaker. I will not be using my coupon this time because I only have $15.86 left in my budget this month. There are some other blogs with some great scenarios to make some money with this coupon. Check them out!

One Frugal Mama plans to make $5.25!

Becky over at Nickels-n-Dimes plans to make $8.05!

Check out Thrifty and Chic Mom's scenario here.

Get your coupon here. Enjoy!

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