Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I'm Back At Work!

It feels so strange- I am back at work! The first day was a little rough as my daughter had a meltdown on the way to school. But today was fine. It's kind of boring actually buy I am working for the 2010 U.S. Census. It is nice to talk to some other adults all day! Only problem is, I don't have much time to do any computer work.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Eating For a $1 a Day

There is a very interesting woman named Rebecca Currie who did an experiment on living on just $1 a day for food. She literally spent one dollar a day for 30 days. Here is a summary of what she ate. It's pretty eye-opening. I think Americans generally spend WAY too much on just about everything. By the way, she pretty much only bought and ate fresh unprocessed food and grains.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Shopping For Grocery Markdowns

One thing I have slowly learned over the last several months is how to shop for grocery markdowns. You have to get to know your stores and your store policies. The best time to shop for markdowns is usally the first thing in the morning. Here's a list of a few places I shop for markdowns. (I am in the NE Ohio area). Leave a comment if you have any other finds.

1. Giant Eagle. My local store usually has 2 or 3 grocery carts located near the health and beauty section. You can find anything from canned goods to organic products. Also if you check the meat case in the morning you can almost always find good deals on meat with that day's date. I have also heard you can get Deli markdowns around closing time but I don't shop that late. I occasionally find some markdown bananas or bagged salad but it's kind of rare.

2. Marc's. I usually try to stop at Marc's one morning a week when they first open to get score some $1 produce bags. You never know what the will have but I have gotten apples, zucchini, carrots, potatoes, etc. for $1 a bag.

3. Aldi's. The Aldi's store near us has a shelf for markdown items- not usually much to pick from though.

4. Krieger's. Krieger's Health Food Market is a local market. They usually have a reduced produce section- although I have found the produce to be pretty ripe!

5. Target (and/or Walmart). Check the endcaps of the non-main-aisle shelves for the red price stickers. You can find all kinds of things on clearance at Target. Ditto for Walmart.

6. Schwebel's bread outlet. I never pay full price for bread. You can save 70% or more on outlet bread.

More Frugal Friday ideas at Life As Mom.

Rite Aid

I don't usually shop at Rite Aid- there isn't one that close to my house. But today I was visiting a friend and there was a Rite Aid store down the street so I stopped in for some Pull-Ups. They were on sale for $9.99 plus a $2 rebate and I had a $2 off coupon. I was not familiar with Rite Aid's rebates- but you simply go online at http://www.riteaid.com/ and click on the Single Check Rebate (SCR) link. It was very easy and I guess I will get a check in a couple weeks. I still like CVS Extra Care Bucks better- but Rite Aid's online system is pretty easy.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How I got my early-bird daughter to stay in bed!

Works For Me Wednesday: How I got my early-bird daughter to stay in bed!
I have a 3 1/3 year old pre-schooler who likes to get up at the crack of dawn. First it was 6:30am- then 6:00am- then 5:30am- and she would get up and wander around the house. I finally had enough! Right around when the time changed I got her a small digital travel alarm clock. I covered the numbers with tape so only the first number shows. I told her she could get out of bed when the clock said "7". I also drew a number 7 on a piece of paper and put it next to the clock on her bedside table. I told her very morning she waited until the clock said "7" and she called mom or dad to come get her- she could put a marble in a jar. I got a small bag of marbles and a medium baby food jar. I put them on top of her dresser where she could see them but not reach. When the marble jar is full I told her she could shop for a small prize at Walmart or Target. For a couple weeks now I would say she has stayed in her room every morning except one or two times. She is excited to be close to getting her prize!

Check out more WFMW at We Are THAT Family.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Acme fuel rewards program

I would really like to support Acme since it is a local company- but I can't get over the Giant Eagle Fuel Perks- maybe until now. Acme is testing a fuel rewards program with Circle K at its Parma location. Don't know when the program will be rolled out to all stores. Read the story here from the Plain Dealer.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday- Plan My Menu!

I was checking out the post at MoneySavingMom about using what you have in your pantry- and I decided to do an inventory of what I have on hand. Here's where YOU come in- plan my weekly dinner menu from the list of things I have on hand- good luck and thanks! (just leave a comment)

1 bag meatballs
2 bx Mrs. T's Quick Ones
frozen corn
frozen carrots
frozen broccoli
1 bx Texas Toast
1 lg Stouffer's lasagna
1 bx fish sticks
1 bx chicken nuggets
1 lb beef for stew
2 steaks
1 lb ground turkey
2 split turkey breasts
2 lbs chicken thighs
2 bx Kraft mac & cheese
1 bx Suddenly Salad
1 bx brown rice
1 bx mashed sweet potatoes
3 jar spag. sauce
2 bx spaghetti
1 box elbow mac.
can corn
can diced tomatoes
can evap. milk
can black olives
can kidney beans
can chicken broth
can green beans
can sauerkraut
2 cans cream mushroom soup
Parmesan cheese
BBQ sauce
red potatoes
yellow onions
raw carrots
leftover egg noodles
sour cream
Grands biscuits
4 eggs
apple sauce

Check out more menu plans at I'm An Organizing Junkie.

Free Kid's Books Downloads

Go to AudibleKids for free kid's books downloads- titles like Rapunzel, Gift of the Magi, The Emperor's New Clothes.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Marc's March Madness

I got an incredible deal on reduced produce at Marc's today. One bag of 6 apples (Golden Delicious and Granny Smith) for $1, one bag of 6 zucchini for $1 and 2 bags of organic baby cut carrots for $1. $3 total for quite a haul. They also had a large bunch of cilantro for $1 but I didn't know how long it would keep. Making zucchini bread now!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Double-Dippin' at Giant Eagle

March is frozen food month and all month they have had a promotion when you buy select products. This morning I worked a double-dip. I bought 5 Weight Watchers Smart Ones at 5/$10 (the shelf price is between $2.79-$3.79 each). Then I had a $1 off 5 coupon and a $5 Catalina from a previous order. I paid $4 cash out of pocket and received a $5 catalina on my next order for buying 5 Smart Ones AND I got $1 off my next order plus a free RedBox code for spending $15 on frozen food. So basically I just came out $3 ahead!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Cute Shamrock Toastie recipe from Family Fun magazine here.

Menu Plan Monday 3/16

Hello and welcome to Menu Plan Monday (MPM)- check out $5 Dinners.com for more great ideas!

Mon- Chicken sloppy joes with carrots and oven fries
Tue- Pork roast (crockpot) with sauerkraut and garlic roast potatoes
Wed- frozen meals that were on sale last week
Thu- Spaghetti & meatballs with salad
Fri- Turkey Tetrazinni (leftover turkey) and peas
Sat- Leftover buffet!
Sun- tacos

Friday, March 13, 2009

$0.59 Bread at Giant Eagle

Arnold Bread on sale at Giant Eagle this week BOGO ($3.18) so buy ONE for $1.59- use $1 off coupon from March All You magazine= $0.59 bread!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Marc's deal of the week

Today I snagged a small bag of Braeburn apples for $1 at Marc's. There were a ton of people crowded around the discount produce cart so I didn't get anything else. I had my eye on a bag of $1 sweet potatoes but someone else grabbed them.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Works For Me Wednesday

I got one of these- a Pampered Chef cut-n-seal for $4 on Ebay. Just about every day for lunch my 3 1/2 year old daughter makes herself a "round" PB&J sandwich for lunch- she thinks it's fun!

More "Works For Me Wednesday" tips at We Are THAT Family.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Free Photo Videos at Animoto

Sign up to create and view free 30-second photo videos set to music at Animoto- "the end of the slideshow". This site is totally addicting. You take 12-15 photos and choose a soundtrack song and Animoto creates a unique video every time. You can make unlimited 30-second short videos or you can purchase full-length 60-second videos for $3 each or buy an unlimited all-access pass for $30.

If you sign up at Animoto right now and use the code bieogjka you can take $5 off an all-access pass. When you go to Animoto to sign up- just use the code "bieogjka" in the referral code box. Get ready to start creating!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Free Prints Giant Eagle

Get 25 free 4x6 prints at Giant Eagle when you use the code MARCH25. (expires 4/15/09)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

My Deal of the Week at Marc's

Today I checked the $1 produce bin at Marc's and got a 5lb bag of red potatoes for $1 and a 2lb bag of yellow onions for $1. Guess what I'll be making? Roast potatoes and onions with garlic and Parmesan cheese!

If you go to You Tube and search for Cooking With Clara- you will find some charming videos from a 90-year-old woman about Depression-era cooking. Lots of potatoes and onions!

Free Arby's Roastburger

Sign up with your email for Arby's Extras to get a coupon for a free Arby's Roastburger sandwich (which is not a burger- it is a roast beef sandwich).

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

CVS Test Market Ad March 8

I got an email from CVS advisory panel this morning about the March 8 ad which almost certainly means NE Ohio is getting a dreaded test market ad this week. That means a smaller ad with fewer pages and fewer items and fewer good deals. I have noticed in general the CVS deals are getting less and less anyway.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hobby Lobby

Coupon good for 40% off one item this week at Hobby Lobby. Sign up on their website to get a weekly coupon emailed to you.