Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Swagbucks - I love, Love, LOVE Swagbucks! Basically you randomly earn bucks for doing searches online. You can use those bucks in the Swag Store to purchase merchandise and gift cards. It is 45 Swagbucks for a $5.00 gift card to Amazon.com. Since I signed up in October last year, I have redeemed $55.00 in Amazon.com gift cards! This hasn't just been for doing my own searches, though, the BEST thing about Swagbucks is their referral program. You provide your link to friends, family, fellow bloggers, etc. When they sign up you earn Swagbucks for their searches...up to their first 100 Swagbucks. This is a very powerful tool. I would love it if you would sign up for Swagbucks using my link HERE. Then get your own link and start telling your friends - then start racking up some Swagbucks! You will LOVE it. Check out some of the things I have purchased with my Swagbucks and more of my experiences here.
YouData - I have been really impressed with YouData. This is a service that pays you to view ads. You earn between $.05-$.15 for each ad you view. The best part of this program is that you are paid every Friday directly to your PayPal account! There is no threshold for a payout! I signed up January 22nd and have earned $11.33. This is real cash!I have just been letting it build in my PayPal account. YouData also has a referral program, for each person that you get to sign up, you get $.01 for each ad they view up to 100 ads - or $1.00. Depending on how many people you sign up...this could add up fast. Again, please use my link HERE to sign up then get your own and tell all of your friends and start collecting some money!
A note about surveys...
I don't do the surveys, mainly because I haven't really found a great site that pays a decent amount. I don't feel like it is worth 15 minutes to make $.50-1.00 especially if you have to build up $20.00 or $25.00 to get a payout. If anyone is aware of some great survey sites, please pass them along!
And now for the ripoffs...
Have you heard of Inbox Dollars or Send Earnings? These are sites that pay $.02 when you read e-mails. The problem? You have to earn $30.00 before you can get a payout. This means you have to read 1500 e-mails to get a payout. You get about 2-5 e-mails per day, so let's say an average of 3. This means it will take about 500 days to get your payout - or almost 1.5 years! Yikes. To make matters worse...there is a $3.00 processing fee (or 150 $.02 e-mails) to get your cash - so you end up with $27.00 for reading e-mails every day for a year and a half. This is not worth it to me. At all.
So tell me. What have your experiences been with making money and gift cards online? Any great sites or other ripoffs? Please leave a comment!
Monday, March 30, 2009
So first was Albertson's:1 family pack chicken - $5.56
1 family pack boneless pork ribs - $5.70
2 pork roasts - $5.70
3 pkgs ground beef - $7.45
1 4# pkg strawberries - $5.96
Net OOP: $32.75
Then it was the bread store for buns:
Net OOP: $1.74
Finally, Fred Meyer there were some great markdowns and I couldn't seem to control myself. I am really well stocked on meat and stuff, but I am mad at myself for going "crazy." Here is what I got. 2 Deli Creations sandwiches - $2.58 (clearanced)
1 10# bag flour - $8.79
1 2# container cottage cheese - $1.19
3 turkey polish sausages - $5.97 (clearanced)
2 salad kits - $3.38 (clearanced)
2 pkgs gouda cheese - $1.98 (clearanced)
2 1# pks ham - $3.98 (clearanced)
1 pkg stew beef - $2.90 (clearanced)
4.4# bananas - $1.47 (these were organic bananas marked down to 3 lbs for $1.00!)
6 onions - $1.08
2 FM butter - $4.00
1 gallon milk - $1.99
2 bags oranges - $2.75 (these were also on sale 3 lbs for $1.00)
Net OOP: $44.59
Check out the Grocery Cart Challenge for some "legit" shopping trips this week!
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Yard sales are one of the BEST resources for a frugal person. I have had great success making purchases at yard sales. Just to name a few...
- a $5.00 patio umbrella
- a $4.00 Big Wheel bike
- a $2.00 highchair/booster seat that attaches to a kitchen chair
- countless clothing items for under $1.00
- an opened package of swim diapers with one taken out of it for $1.00
- several pairs of kids shoes for $.50 each
- a $10.00 "Love Sac" (giant beanbag chair)
I could go on all day...but I won't. So, how do you get the best deals at yard sales?
- Shop early or late. Pretty contradictory, but you can get the "good stuff" or items in high demand like furniture, or kids clothes, but later in the day, the sellers just want to haul less stuff back in the house, so you can really bargain with them!
- Have a Plan. I try to hit all of the neighborhood sales that I can (one neighborhood has a Saturday where everyone is invited to have a sale). I also check the classifieds for certain types of sales and make a route to that sale and others along the way so I don't backtrack.
Other than that, just have fun. Just like couponing, you don't have to hit every good deal or sale. You will just drive yourself crazy!
How about you? Do you have any great yard sale tips? Please leave a comment!
For other Frugal Friday links, check out Life as Mom!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
2 5# bags of cornmeal - $1.38 (they were marked down to $.69 each! I'm not sure what I am going to do with all of it...but we'll see)
1 2# pkg ham - $2.99
1 huge jar of minced garlic - $2.99
6 Yoplait cherry - $2.00
1 container shredded Parmesan cheese - $1.99
1 bag of frozen peaches - $1.99
4 jars of gravy - $2.002 cornmeal muffin mixes - $1.00
Net OOP: $17.32
PLEASE remind me NEVER to go to K-mart. I wandered around for about an hour looking for a rockin' deal. I wanted to stock up on some Lysol cleaning products, but alas they were all gone. I think if I was on a diet I would be more excited about my finds. Or if I had more coupons and could stock up on this stuff.
1 Quaker rice snacks - $1.99 (1 $1.00 off coupon doubled) = FREE
1 Celestial Seasonings herbal tea - $2.00 ($1.00 off coupon doubled) = FREE
Paid $.12 OOP
For some reason, I decided to go to Fred Meyer on the way home. Obsessed, I tell you. I did find some great deals and some things I didn't need. Don't lecture me :) - I am already doing that to myself!
4 loaves bread - $5.36 (w/in ad coupon)
1 whole chicken - $3.62
2 Kraft singles - $2.68 (w/in ad coupon)
4.5# oranges - $1.50
2 FM frozen potatoes (hash browns and tater tots) - $3.34
1 Kroger cream cheese - $1.39
3 cans FM tuna - $1.77
4 Marie Callendar's frozen entrees - $8.00 (w/in ad coupon)
2 Hillshire Farms smoked sausage - $5.00 (w/in ad coupon)
1 Johnsonville hot Italian sausage - $2.29
Net OOP: $37.01
With my overage from last week, I am now up to $66.36 for the week or $16.36 over budget! It is only Tuesday! I think I need to take a break from shopping and start eating through our stockpile and freezer. It is getting kinda crowded :). Next week is going to be minimal. Just the necessities. I promise!
Monday, March 23, 2009
Great Walmart Samples:
Roots of Nature
All-Bran Fiber Drink Mix
Parent's Choice Infant Formula
Sample of Prilosec OTC
Toby the Train coloring book
$10.00 in FREE coupons from Eat Better America
Spring Recipes from Betty Crocker
Spring Slim Down samples from Quality Health
FREEbie list from Shop4Freebies.com
$1.50 off Yoplait Kids
$1.50 off Pampers
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Monday: Hamburger stroganoff over mashed potatoes, green beans
Tuesday: Baked potato bar, pasta salad
Wednesday: Spaghetti w/Italian sausage, garlic toast, sauteed zucchini
Thursday: Polish sausage, broccoli, oven roasted potatoes
Friday: Pizza night!
Sunday: Baked chicken, hot buttered noodles, mixed vegetables
Saturday, March 21, 2009
I did make a trip on Monday because we were out of distilled water and my husband needs it for his C-pap machine, so I ran to Albertson's and got some double coupon items.
2 TreeTop juices - $5.00 (- 2 $1.00 off coupons doubled) = $1.00
1 Ken's salad dressing - $2.50 (- $1.00 off coupon doubled) = $.50
2 distilled water - $1.78
1 2# bag of grapes - $2.16
Net OOP: $5.95
Friday night I went to Fred Meyer. I have really loved their deals lately:
3 FM ice cream - $5.00 (I think this would be in the non-necessity category!)
2 FM 18 ct. eggs - $2.29 (they were B1G1F with in ad coupon)
3 1/2 gallons milk - $3.00
2 1/2 gallons OJ - $2.00
2 1/2 gallons chocolate milk - $2.00
1 mozzarella cheese - $3.00
3 zucchini squash - $1.14
1.5 lbs grapes - $1.46
1 pkg fresh mozzarella - $1.89 (clearanced)
1 fresh ravioli - $.99 (clearanced)
Net OOP: $25.33
Next was Walgreen's - they had a great deal on their brand of diapers.
2 Walgreen's diapers - $9.00
3 Orbit gum - $.96 (these were on clearance, but there was a $.99 off 3 coupon in the easysaver)=FREE!!!
4 Starburst - $.88 (on clearance - these will be great for Easter baskets!)
2 Trolli Gummy Peach O's - $.74 (on clearance - YUM!)
Net OOP: $11.32
My final stop was Albertson's again. This time I NEEDED meat.
1 roast - $6.07 (on sale for $1.99/lb)
1 pkg ground beef - $9.21 (on sale for $1.99/lb)
1 2L Diet Dr. Pepper - $1.69 (used FREE coupon) = $.10 (they only took off $1.59)
Net OOP: $16.40
With my $2.91 I was over last week, I am now up to $61.91 - $11.91 over budget. It will come off next week's budget! Will I EVER conquer this? Be sure to check out the Grocery Cart Challenge and Money Saving Mom for other grocery deals this week!
1 white cake mix
1/3 c. oil
1/2 c. water
1 21 oz can apple pie filling
Preheat oven to 350. Mix together cake mix, oil, eggs, and water. Pour mixture into a greases 9x13 in pan. Add dollops of pie filling and then "marble" it with a butter knife. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
1 T. margarine, melted
1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
splash of hot water
Combine all ingredients, drizzle over warm cake. This was really good. I would also add some cinnamon - either to the glaze or the cake mix. The cake is better warm, so we put it in the microwave for about 20 seconds.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
It has a "people helping people" type of concept which I like.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Billy Boy Candies sample pocket tin
FREE taco from Taco Del Mar on Tax Day (April 15th!)
Emergen-C drink mix sample
Betty Crocker Warm Delights (must sign up for the Betty Crocker Newsletter - current members not eligible)
Eco-living tips from Ideal Bite
Health tips from Vital Juice Daily
FREE discount drug card - save up to 75% off prescriptions
Just for Men Touch of Gray hair color - FREE box!
FREE $1.50 off Pampers coupon
FREE sample of GoodNites boxers
Get some FREE tomato seeds from Campbell's - you have to enter a code from the bottom of 2 tomato soup cans
Don't forget about these great sites:Cool Savings
Earn a little bit of money:
Sign up for YouData
Earn FREE stuff and gift cards for searching the web:
Sign up for Swagbucks (read more about it here)
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Monday: Frito Pie (fritos on the bottom, topped with hot chili, and cheese)
Tuesday: Ritzy Chicken, (Ritz crackers, cooked cubed chicken, sour cream, and cream of chicken soup I got this recipe from Money Saving Mom's e-book Simply Centsible Suppers), green beans
Wednesday: Meatloaf, Scalloped potatoes, peas (I didn't end up making the meatloaf last week)
Thursday: White Bean and Chicken Chili
Saturday, March 14, 2009
First stop - Fred Meyer. I have been really impressed with their deals lately and this week was not exception:
1 15# bag potatoes - $2.49
1 bag Fritos - $1.67
2 gallons milk - $3.98
2 lbs asparagus - $3.49
4 onions - $.79
2 Roma tomatoes - $.36
1 pkg bacon - $1.99 (clearanced)
2 2# cheese - $7.98 (w/in ad coupon)
2 FM butter - $2.97
3 loaves bread - $4.00
1 Suave styling gel - $2.79 (-FREE coupon) = FREE!!
Net OOP: $31.36
My next stop was Walgreen's and they didn't have any diapers at all (this was on Friday), but said they would have more on Saturday. I went Saturday and all they had were size 6 and 3 and no wipes. I only had $18.64 left in my budget so if I bought 3 pkgs of diapers to get the $10.00 RR it would have put me over budget. They didn't have any wipes that would keep me under budget, so I just decided to not get them. I actually have about a month supply of diapers right now, so it would have been nice to get the deal, but they I don't feel super disappointed. I still have the coupons...so hopefully there are some upcoming deals before they expire in April. Anyway, this is what I got at Walgreen's:
5 Garnier hair products - $14.95 (-2.00 IVC from Walgreen's EasySaver booklet, -5 $1.00 off coupons) = $.05 overage
1 mac n cheese crackers (filler item) - $.29
Net OOP: $1.16
Finally I went to Walmart - not my favorite place, but there were some good deals to be had. I had a coupon for some FREE delmonte peaches and I totally forgot to give it to the cashier. Then I bought some salad dressing that rang up wrong, the difference was only $.46, so I still would have been over budget, but I did get a lot of items for just over $20.00
2 dozen large eggs - $2.00
1 bag tortilla chips - $1.00
1 red onion - $.44
2 bunches bananas (my family was chowing down on them before I had a chance to take the picture :).) - $2.59
6 cans Ortega green chiles - $5.52 (-3 $.75 off 2 coupons) = $3.27
2 jars Nalley pickles - $3.52 (-$1.50 off 2 coupon)=$2.02
2 French's mustard - $2.00 (-2 $.50 off coupons) = $1.00
1 3# bag chicken - $4.98
2 cans Hormel chili w/o beans - $1.96 (-$.55 off 2 coupon) = $1.44
1 Ken's salad dressing - $2.24 (-$1.00 off coupon)= $1.24 (this was marked on the shelf for $1.78 I didn't notice the error until I got home)
1 Del Monte peaches - $.82 (this was supposed to be my FREE can, but I forgot to give the guy my coupon BOO HOO!)
1 pkg Huggies disposable changing pads - $2.82 (-$5.00 off Gentle care) = $2.18 overage! I had more coupons, but I wanted to see if this would work. I might go get more!
Net OOP: $20.39
My total for the week is $52.91 - $2.91 overbudget, which I will take from next week's budget!
2 boxes macaroni and cheese, and ingredients to make it
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can of tuna fish drained and flaked
1 c. frozen peas, thawed
1 c. breadcrumbs, French's fried onions, crushed chips, or whatever
Prepare macaroni and cheese according to package directions, transfer to a large bowl. Add cream of mushroom soup, tuna fish, and peas. Stir together well.
Spread in a 9x13 pan or casserole dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.
Don't forget to check out the Grocery Cart Challenge's other great recipes here.
Friday, March 13, 2009
It is amazing how the little things make a difference.
- Buy a $.50 can of soda from the vending machine each workday will cost you about $130.00 per year.
- Buy a $2.00 cup of coffee each workday and it will cost you about $520.00 per year.
- Buy two kids a happy meal once a week and it will cost you about $311.00 per year.
When I made my move from full time to part time, these were some of the things I had to think about and give up in order to be home with my kids more.
It has been fun to continue to analyze our budget and make more cutbacks as time goes by - and I know there is room for even more!
Some things I have given up in the name of frugality:
- Eating out (as much) - we have cut WAAAAAYYY back on this. I wish I could get to a point where we didn't go at all, but I'm not quite ready for that!
- Splurge trips. I used to make a trip to Target or somewhere about once a week and just buy some knick-knacks, lotion, clothes, etc. I haven't missed this at all.
- Unplanned grocery shopping. I used to shop without a list and just buy what looked good. I have saved a bundle planning and have cut my grocery expenses by at least 1/2.
- Expensive nights out. Nice Dinner. Movie. Popcorn and Milk Duds. I can't believe that we used to do that! Now we eat dinner at home, go to the $3.00 movie, split a popcorn, and I bring Milk Duds in my purse :).
It is amazing how a change in your way of thinking and giving up a few things can save big bucks!
How about you? What you have you "given up" in the name of frugality?
Check out some other Frugal Friday posts on Life as Mom!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Every Day Food Storage is a great blog FULL of recipes and ideas for the use of food storage items like rice, wheat, powdered milk, etc.
++The first thing I learned from this blog is Magic Mix. This is a base you can use to make a perfect white sauce, condensed soups (cream of whatever), pudding, etc. I recently tried this for making cream of chicken soup - it was to die for!
++Crystal also has TONS of how to videos - great for those of us who are visual learners!
++She also provides several FREE handouts to make your food storage cooking a success. Check out the Kids in the Kitchen one...so fun!
++Of course, she has a TON of recipes - check out her recipe section here.
Besides all of that...her blog is WAY cute! Check it out!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
- Salad (obviously)
- Flipping anything - steak, chicken, etc.
- Getting to things I can't reach in my cupboard
- Handling raw chicken (gross!)
- Getting the neck and innards from the inside of a whole bird (ewwww!)
I LOVE my tongs and they work for me!
Head on over to We are THAT Family for some more great Works for me Wednesday ideas!