Saturday, July 31, 2010


I was wondering in Sam's club one day and looking for apple juice for my daughter when I ran across Fruitables.   I had just had a talk with my husband about needing to feed her more vegetables throughout the day.  He's staying home with her and therefore is her primary food source.  My daughter actually loves peas and green beans so in general getting her vegetables in is not a struggle.  They just need to be presented to her.
I'd much prefer she get the whole vegetable (Did I mention I made all her baby food?  Yeah. I'm a nut like that!) but this certainly was second best as she loves juice.  The package was appealing enough and I decided to try it.  I certianly hoped it tasted better than V-8.  I bought some and needless to say I was going back.  My daughter calls it her "red apple juice." Only Sam's club didn't have it anymore :(
Prior to that I went to their webpage and printed out a ton of coupons.   Not to be defeated,Ii checked all the local grocery store but none of them had it in the large "family size"  I later found out they have the single serving sizes.  I wanted the family size.  Raisin Rack to the rescue.  They special ordered me a case ( I had to buy a case) and even accepted all my coupons :)

August and Everything

I had decided last month that I was going to "watch my pennies" on the grocery shopping and try to get a baseline on what I was spending and saving.  So, I'll be editing this post as I shop as I think I might try to keep a"running tally."
 Today Cara and I went to the Hartville Market and Flea market to buy fruits and veggies.  I got a little carried away and bought a new purse and shoes for my daughter too.  I love this place things are so cheap!  And you can find some pretty interesting stuff.  For example, there is a Lego store in there and the owners spent what I am guessing is a good part of a year building this magnificent village out of Legos

How cool is that!?!  The trains were running too.  they also have packaes of silly bands for $1.  I'm using one now to put my hair up LOL

Alas, I digress:
Running total for all foods at the farmer's market was $36

(I just googled the shoes I bought my daughter...i got them for $20 and they retail for $50!!  Sadly I was reticent about even spending that much.  Here is a pic of the shoes.)

After the market I headed to raisin rack to buy more protein powder: $46
Aug 1 food total $82 yikes!!
August 2 108.93 OOP saved 29.66 with coupons and card discount  (27%)
August 8  33.11 OOP saved 19.64 (37%)
Running Tally: $224.04 for a family of three

Friday, July 30, 2010

Free smoothie!!!

Recently McDonald's came out with their new smoothies; strawberry banana and wild berry.   Yum.  These are available in 2 sizes; small and large.  The small is a 12 oz drink with 210 calories.  As an aside McDonald's has a neat nutritional webpage where you can customize your meals called Bag a Meal.

But back to the free part!  On drinks they are putting a "coupon" for a free smoothie or frappe (12 oz).

So, i went ahead and got one in place of the normal luna bar i have been having for a snack.  I also ordered a medium water (because mediums are free).  To my suprise, i know only got a smoothie and water for free I got an additional coupon for another smoothie!!!!!   Wow

Electronic savings

There is nothing better than saving money without having to use paper coupons and companies are getting on board with this!
There are a few sites that you can lead your store savings card to allowing you to save just by swiping your card as your normally would.

Above are two of the sites.  The really cool part of this isn't that fact that its paperless savings but that you can stack the savings with a paper coupon giving you doubling savings!!  The savings factor can be phenomenal.
All you have to do is link your card by setting up a free account and entering your savings card number typically located on the back of the card.

Next, if you have an iphone there are numerous apps that provide coupons that you can swipe from your iphone!   Coupon Sherpa, mobiQpons and meal ticket are a few.  Meal ticket is relatively new and might take awhile to catch on unless you are in a major metropolis.

The blog Coupon Cravings has a sections dedicated to iphone apps that save you money

These doubled with your paper coupons lead to big savings!!!!

Insomnic post

Ok, for some reason my brain won't shut off so here I am typing in the dark.  Hubby is asleep.
Part of the blog is supposed to be about coupons so let me share what I do and where I go.

I'm sure everyone is familiar with the Sunday coupons already so I simply mention that along with how to get them for free!
1) Go to your local library.  They will often give them to you
2) Head to McDonald's or other hang outs where newspapers circulate and scoop them up
3) bug your friends and family and neighbors
4) start a coupon train  * A coupon train is where a group of like minded people send each other their coupons and send it on down the list taking and adding coupons as it goes on*

I also go online to get coupons.  I use the following methods:
Coupon specific websites such as:

 There are other sites but those are my three basics

Also, the new trend is to advertise on facebook and twitter.  I'm on facebook but not twitter.  Bascially if you  "like" a product a lot of times you can get a coupon to print out from facebook.

I've also found that going straight to the manufacturer's page can garner you a coupon, especially if its a new product.  Try it.  Type in the name of a product you like in the browser of your choice and click on the associated webpage.

If you write to the people who make the product and give them a good review you are likely to get coupons in return!


Sometimes if you hit the back button after printing a coupon it will let you print a second one.  I know this works for the sobe page!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The dreaded D word

The DietAlign Center

This week I started *cue ominous music* The Diet. I've had good success with weight watchers and south beach in the past but I just wasn't feeling it. You know?

I decided I wanted to do slim-fast but a week previous I had been to the doctor's office and she told me, "No artificial sweeteners." WHAT!?! No more diet coke? no more yogurt with aspartame, no more low calorie sweet foods, no more sobe drinks. They had coupons I've been printing out by the millions all summer long at their webpage. I thought I was doomed. I was kinda burnt out and wanted to do something "easy" hence the slim fast idea.

My biggest hurdle was the drinks. I cannot live without my drink! I started by making iced tea, but not just any old iced tea. Since it couldn't have sugar in it it I made a combo of chai and mint tea (both decalf). I brewed the tea and stuck in in the fridge. I also drank a ton of water. But, woman cannot live on water alone!
This was actually pretty good.

So, step one down--drinks.
Step two-- a shake and snacks to replace slim-fast with no artifical sweeteners.

I hit my local natural food store, Raisin Rack, and headed to the aisle with the protein powders and picked up a few samplers. I wound up getting the following:

I chose vanilla since I thought it would work well with blending in fruits and what not. I am on day four and will share the recipies I've tried so far in future posts.

In addition to the 2 shakes a day I am also have 2 snacks a day which for right now are snack bars (since I am mirroring slim-fast and for ease). I picked Luna Bars for women. My favorites this far ( and I am a chocolate freak but its not chocolate) are Lemon Zest and Iced Oatmeal Raisin. While writing this I just noticed they have a chai tea one i am going to have to check out.

The plus side of this, 4 days in, is ease and I don't really have to think. I make the shakes the night before. Refrigerate one for the am and freeze one for lunch and grab two bars! We'll see how the weight loss goes this week. A week that included my Father-in-law's birthday dinner at Longhorn!

My garden

"From the giant gum tree to the very small weed, every flowering plant started out as a seed. Plants are so useful to me and to you Can you think of the ways? I will name you a few"
-Oh say can you seed?

Last year I started my own garden. I'd always wanted to do so but having a daughter made it seem even more fun. Something to teach her and show her. It had humble beginnings. I grew the easiest of plants, the goards; winter quash, acorn squash and pumpkin. I did very little work on it and the gourds were hearty.
This year my friend Tamra sent me some more seeds. She has been gardening for a few years and is much better than I am. She is also part of a co-op in Florida.
My garden took considerable more effort this year as the weeds grew in abundance! The plants also took on a life of their own. I planted, watermelons, spinach, lettuce, green beans, summer squash, carrots, 1 tomato plant and zucchini.
The lettuce was the first thing ready. It was so cool to just go to my garden and pick some lettuce leaves for a salad. Sadly, I didn't take any pictures of the lettuce. But I did get a picture of my next haul:
Green beans and a mondo zucchini

I wound up making stuffed zucchini (thanks to my neighbor for the idea).

Recipe for Stuffed Zucchini
Ground beef
Italian sausage
bread crumbs
1 egg
pizza or marinara sauce
spices ( I used onion powder, garlic, and basil I think)
grated cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Cut the zucchini length wise and hollow out the seeds with a spoon. Save half of the seeds to add back in ( I kept the other seeds to dry for next year). In a bowl
Add all the above ingredients except cheese and sauce. Mix together like you are making meatloaf. Place the meat concoction into the hallowed out zucchini halves. Top with sauce and bake. Time varies. Its much faster if you actually brown your meat first. If you brown it I think you are looking at about 40 min. I didn't so mine took an extra 30-40 min.
When its close to done add cheese to melt and bubble.
Cut into portion sizes and serve!

Here are some pics of it.


I've decided to revive my blog. Its retitled and refurbished. Topics will include posts about me, my family, couponing, dieting, and my garden. I have a 2 year old daughter who is the light of my life. My husband was laid off from his job and is now her primary care giver. It takes a lot of patience to raise a kid and put up with our dog. Out dog is an 80 lb 1/2 lab 1/2 Alaskan Malmute dog who sometimes thinks he is a lap puppy! He's none to happy with me since I bought him some diet food by accident last time I went shopping.
That's me and my family. Currently my big kicks are couponing and dieting. We'll see how long that lasts! I plan to blog about some of my daily fun. I'm not going to be a duplicate site to any of those blogs that have ALL the savings you might need, but I will reference them as they are awesome!!!!
Hope, you'll come along for the journey! Here are some current pics. Meet the family!