Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Frugal Is The New Sexy!

In an attempt to streamline my blog and focus on bringing you as many great daily, frugal tips as possible, I'm moving... I hope you'll join me at:

See you there!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bargain Hunting Tuesday

I stopped by Target today to see what kind of after Christmas deals they had. All of the Christmas merchandise is 50% off, but will most likely go to 75% off by the end of the week. I was able, though, to score a few great deals by combining Target's online printable coupons and a few manufacturer coupons. Here's the scoop:

I bought 4 boxes of Kellogg's cereal for $11.96 and used the following coupons:

$5/4 boxes Kellogg's cereals printed off of

2 $1/2 boxes Kellogg's cereals from my coupon arsenal

Total after coupons: $4.96 or $1.24 each

I also bought two bottles of Method hand soap for $2.99 each and used 2 printable coupons for $2/1 from

Total after coupons: $1.98 or $.99 each

The kids ate lunch for just $1.21 each today, thanks to the printable Kid's Cuisine $1.50/3 coupon from and the $1/3 coupon from the arsenal. (Notice they're not pictured; they were pretty hungry by the time we got home. (=)

And, finally, I scored some Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh lunchmeat for $.79 after the $1/1 printable from and the $1/1 from the arsenal.

Not bad, huh?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Free 4x6 Photo Flip Book from Vista Print

Head over to to order your FREE photo flip book. Thanks to for this fun freebie!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Break from Couponing and A Darn Good Breakfast Casserole

When I began faithfully couponing several months back, I was disappointed to learn that coupons were rare or nonexistent on Holiday weekends. Happily, I've recovered from that trauma and learned to plan my grocery shopping and menu planning around the Holidays. I may have to drop by the store to pick up some milk and bread, but I've got plenty of "stock" to get us through at least the next week. I plan on taking some of the time that would have otherwise been spent searching grocery deals and doing the actual shopping to throw out my expired coupons, reorganize and plan my budget for the first few months of 2010.
I hope to also experiment this week with some of the new kitchen gadgets that I was given for Christmas! My mom loves that I've started cooking so much and gave me many fun things that I can't wait to use. My goal is to create some dishes without using a recipe. It won't be easy; I'm definitely a recipe kind of girl. But, I've found that I'm quite capable of throwing a few things together and coming up with some pretty successful combinations.
Take, for example, the breakfast casserole I put together early Christmas morning when we decided we were far too hungry to only eat cinnamon rolls. Here's the recipe. Give it a try and tell me what you think. We LOVED it!

Christmas Morning Breakfast Casserole

1 bag frozen cubed hash brown potatoes
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar, pepper jack or colby/jack blend cheese
8 frozen Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage patties, cooked and cut into bite size pieces
5 slices thick cut bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
8 eggs, slightly beaten
3 cups milk
Salt, pepper and seasoning salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350.
Lightly grease 9 x 13 casserole dish.
Place potatoes in an even layer in bottom of dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper or seasoning salt.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Top cheese with sausage and bacon pieces.
Combine eggs and milk. Season with additional salt and pepper or seasoning salt and pour over other ingredients.
Bake, uncovered for 45 - 55 minutes, or until eggs are set and knife inserted in middle of casserole comes out clean.
Let sit for 5 minutes before slicing.
Serve with salsa and sour cream, if desired.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Best Lasagna Ever... Only Better!

Those of you who know me know that I'm obsessed (not in a creepy way, of course) with The Pioneer Woman. If you enjoy cooking or want to learn, her blog is the one to visit. Her lasagna recipe is, by far, the best lasagna ever. And, she knows it... Take a look:

We're getting ready to sit down and have some for dinner. I couldn't be happier! The kids are pretty excited too... I made a few very minor changes to her recipe to suit our family's tastes. You might enjoy them too...

Instead of canned whole tomatoes (too chunky for my picky eaters), I substituted Del Monte Petite Diced Tomatoes with Basil and Olive Oil... Yum.. And, instead of the Kraft can o' parm, I used refrigerated, shredded Italian blend by Sargento. I've never been the patient type, so I use no cook lasagna noodles that don't require boiling before they're layered in with the other ingredients. Subtle changes, but they made a big difference. If your family enjoys lasagna, try this recipe. You'll love it... I promise.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

This Week's Grocery Game Success...

This week's grocery excursion took me to Albertsons, King Soopers and Safeway. I was able to purchase $278.69 worth of groceries for $123.53 by combining coupons and store sales. Here's a run down of some of my favorite bargains from this week:


Krusteaz Bakery Style Cookie Mix
Original Price: $3.59
Sale Price: $1.79
Coupon: $1.00 off
Price at Checkout: $0.79
Savings: 78%

Orville Redenbacher Microwave Popcorn
Original Price: $3.79
Sale Price: Buy One Get One Free
Coupon: $0.40 off (Doubled to $0.80 off)
Price at Checkout: $1.10 each PLUS coupon at checkout for FREE Redbox movie rental with purchase of 2 boxes of popcorn. Guess what my family is doing tonight?!
Savings: 65%

Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese (8 oz.)
Original Price: $2.99 each
Sale Price: 10 for $10
Coupon: $1.00 off 3
Price at Checkout: $0.67 each
Savings: 78%

King Soopers

Oroweat 100% Whole Wheat Soft Family Bread
Original Price: $1.99
Sale Price: $1.49
Coupon: $0.55 off (Doubled up to $1.00)
Price at Checkout: $0.49
Savings: 74%

Betty Crocker Pouch Potatoes
Original Price: $1.29
Sale Price: Four for $5.00
Coupons: $0.35 (Doubled to $0.70 off) AND Cellfire coupon $0.40 off
Price at Checkout: $0.15
Savings: 88%

Kraft Singles Cheese 12 oz.
Original Price: $2.49
Sale Price: Three for $5.00
Coupon: $0.50 (Doubled to $1.00 off)
Price at Checkout: $0.67
Savings: 73%


Nivea Kiss of Moisture Lip Balm (Purchased 4)
Original Price: $3.05 each
Sale price: Buy One Get One Free
Coupon: Buy One Get One Free
Price at Checkout: $1.14 each
Coupon: Buy 3 lip balms, get lotion free (up to $6.64)
Savings: 94%

If that's not exciting enough to ruffle your feathers, I can't begin to imagine what might do it for you...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Qdoba.... Yum...

Kids under 12 eat free this weekend at Qdoba... AND, they've expanded their kid's menu to include some items that kids actually like.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Everybody's Preggers!

Am I the only one who had found myself suddenly surrounded by pregnant women? Thanks to one of my favorite blogs, Springs Bargains, I stumbled across a great deal for a fun and practical gift for yourself or a friend who is or will be nursing their baby. Hop over to

Plug in promotion code CHRISTMAS for a $32.00 credit on one of their beautiful nursing covers. That means it's free. Just pay $8.95 for shipping!

Take a look at for some great local money saving tips!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Great Deals on Magazine Subscriptions at

I love magazines. One of my very favorite things to do is read a magazine while I'm taking a nice, hot, bubble bath. Aaaahhhhh...... Take a look at some of the magazines that Amazon is offering:

Family Fun and Oprah are being offered for $5.00 for a one year subscription. Can't beat that deal!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mexican Lasagna

It's been a long time since I've made this dish, but it used to be one of our favorites. I came across the recipe today and wanted to share it with you all. Let me know what you think!

Mexican Lasagna

1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. dry taco seasoning mix
1 C water
12 (6") corn tortillas
1 C green chilie salsa (or salsa of your choice)
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 15 oz. can corn, drained
1 4 oz. can green chilies
1 C shredded colby/jack blend cheese

Preheat oven to 375.
Brown meat; add seasoning and 1 cup water. Cook until thickened.
Spray 9" x 13" pan with cooking spray. Place 6 tortillas on bottom of pan, overlapping if necessary.
Mix salsa and tomato sauce; set aside.
Top tortillas with half the meat, corn and chilies.
Pour half the salsa and sauce mixture over top and sprinkle with 1 cup cheese.
Repeat, finishing with cheese.
Bake 30 minutes.

Zhu Zhu Pets, Anyone?

If your children are asking for this year's "hottest" toy for Christmas like mine are, you know by now what a Zhu Zhu Pet is. I just got notification that a few are available. Here's the link:

I was able to score 4 of them for $11.99 each. Good luck!

Monday, December 14, 2009

No Time Like the Present... (Original Post 12/14/09)

Why wait until 2010 to get started with my New Year's Resolution when I'm perfectly ready to start TODAY?!
As you may or may not already know, I'm addicted to The Grocery Game. If you are responsible for budgeting and shopping for your household and you enjoy saving money, you've got to check it out. Here's the link:

For a small (very small) fee, this site allows you to print a grocery/item list for any one or all four of the stores that they offer and tells you what coupons to pair with which sales for the best prices. I save, on average, 60% of my weekly grocery bill by using The Grocery Game. Is that exciting, or what?! Ok, clearly you're not as excited as I am but, keep reading... You will be. I promise... (=

Take a look at at all the good stuff I came home with after visiting Albertson's, King Soopers, Safeway and Walgreens:

You're looking at $441.09 worth of groceries right now. Can you believe that?! The picture just doesn't do it justice... The items in that picture will keep our family of 5 fed for the next 3 weeks. Yay! The most exciting part of this picture, though, is that I didn't pay anywhere close to $441.09 for all of these groceries. I paid nearly 60% less by combining coupons and store sales. My total out of pocket expense for all of these items was $204.34. Do the math, people. That's less than $70.00 per week to feed 5 people. Awesome...

Keep in mind that I've been using The Grocery Game for about 4 or 5 months and have spent countless Sundays clipping coupons out of the paper. We set aside some of the money we saved on groceries and invested in an inexpensive pantry and a used deep freezer. By purchasing those two things, we're able to stock up on non-perishable items and freezer items when they are priced especially low. I love that there is always food in the house. Even when I haven't planned my menu, I can usually whip something up for dinner with ingredients I have on hand. I love it.

So... Welcome to my world. (=

Forgive Me

I lied to you.... WAY back on September 30th, I promised you some new recipes. I haven't been back since... Ugh. Forgive me.
I've been thinking a lot lately about what I want 2010 to be for me and for my family. I've never been much of a New Year's Resolution kind of girl, but I like the concept and know that I'm capable of committing to new things and sticking to them. For example, I haven't had a carbonated beverage since Easter of this year. For some of you, this may not seem like much of an accomplishment. To me, however, it's HUGE. I love, and I mean LOVE Dr. Pepper. I can hardly remember what it tastes like now, but that doesn't stop me from wanting one every single day. I've also given up reading two certain magazines that I realized were a waste of my time and our money: Us Weekly and People. I'm 5 weeks "clean". (=
My point, (woah - you mean I had a point?! I'd almost forgotten, seeing as I've rambled on for a long paragraph already. Geeze...) is that, instead of giving something up for the new year, I am committing to something new: Starting January 1st, and maybe even before, I'm going to write a blog post daily. Yes, you read that right, daily..
I spend anywhere from 5 minutes to a couple hours everyday searching blogs and other internet sources for great deals. I love coupons, I love The Grocery Game and I love a great bargain. AND... I really love you, my "people".
So, get ready... Like it or not, I'm going to pass on some of my best finds, favorite recipes and bargain hunting tips. And, since you're my "people", I welcome your suggestions, constructive criticism and even your brutal honesty. Scratch the "brutal" part - I'm pretty sensitive in my old age. (o;