Hound Dog's thread made me think

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by crazymama30, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    How do you stretch dollars? How do you do this crazy couponing thing? What tips can you give the rest of us for saving money?
  2. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Don't really do the crazy coupon thing. The rules are quite different, and you can't double up on coupons or use a single coupon for multiple purchases.

    A few things I do are:

    Food and meals:
    Scan the grocery store and other flyers. They come twice a week with the local free newspaper. Stock up on deals when available. If there are limits, I will sometimes go to 2 or 3 branches of the same store (we're lucky that several are nearby so I don't use up too much gas when I do so)
    Buy frozen fruit and vegetables rather than fresh -- far less loss due to spoilage
    Pack lunches every day for work, school, day camps, etc.
    Keep a supply of tea bags and milk in my office at work. With the amount of tea I drink, I could spend $10 per day if I went out to the coffee shop.
    Entertain at our house rather than going out to restaurants with friends. Between Costco and freezing, I usually have things on hand to whip up a nice meal on short notice.
    Make a large batch of snack or dessert foods (pudding, jello, etc.) and dish them into small reusable containers, rather than buying single serve sizes. Same thing with yogurt -- we buy the large tubs and split them into single serve containers rather than buying the little ones.
    Do all the food prep on weekends. Chopped vegetables, cooked chicken, grated cheese and whatever else are all deployed in the fridge, ready to assemble quick lunches, dinners and snacks. This means it's easy to make something, and we're not tempted by takeout. (this also saves time)

    Mend small tears and split seams right away, so the clothes last longer.
    If I find something I really like especially if it's on sale, I buy 2 or 3 of the same item in the same colour and rotate them. Makes each item last more than twice as long, so I buy less often.
    I wash and dry everything on delicate. Less damage to the clothes, and they last longer. Use the lowest possible amount of water in the wash load as well.

    husband and I work close to each other, so we carpool. Not only do we get a bit of time together without the children, we save on gas for 2 cars and since we park between our 2 office buildings, we each get a bit of exercise getting to and from the car.
    Daisy-chain errands together so that I only make one trip and don't have to double-back anywhere. Or go to the Superstore, that has groceries, clothes, housewares, electronics and yard items all in the same place.

    Other stuff:
    Old socks become dust cloths, old t-shirts become cleaning and polishing cloths.
    Little PCs old t-shirts become smocks for the Monster Tots when they're doing crafts. husband's old worn shirts become my nighties, or smocks for Little easy child when he's doing messy work.
    Look for buy one get one deals. If you can't use all of it, split with family members
    Share a warehouse membership with other friends or family members, and split the annual fee.
    Wash your own car rather than taking it to the car wash. Fill a bucket rather than using the hose so that you limit the amount of water.
    Buy used books when the library does their annual $0.50-per-book sell-off. Donate the ones I don't need anymore to the church rummage sale or local hospital.
    Close the blinds during the day to keep the house cool, open the windows at night to let cooler air in.
    Use lawn clippings for mulch.
    Join those online survey clubs that let you earn points for each survey you complete. You can redeem the points for gift cards.
    Shop online. My favourite shoe store has an online store as well and the prices are so much cheaper because they don't have to pay mall rent and overhead. I try on the shoes at the mall, but then buy from the website. I also wait for the online sales. Usually end up saving 60 to 75%.
    Switch to no fee, low percentage credit card if you carry a balance. Lowers the amount of interest sometimes by as much as 1/2.

    That's all I can think of off the top of my head.

  3. keista

    keista New Member


    I always hit clearance sections first. I bought DD1 12 pairs of jeans two weeks ago in her current size, and next year's size. They were $2.48 a pair. Found MEGA boxes of cereal bars that are normally $6 for $2.50. Bought 4 boxes - that's breakfast and snacks for our trip! Really didn't need any more yarn, but when I find it for $1 a skein, I pick up a bunch. Especially a great deal for the 100% cotton yarn. It is very much a hit and miss thing, but I shop often enough to find a lot f great bargains.

    That combined with weekly store sales is about all I do. The better the deal, the more I stock up. I don't usually bother much with coupons, but have become more motivated to use them since that show came out. Problem is, I forget to get the Sunday paper. :( The ones I print online, I forget to use (unless it becomes a $ back situation, THOSE I remember to use)
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Check out Star's post :" Coupons and Free Stuff - Summer math home school" here in watercooler We've posted a lot of the sites we use as sources of coupons, information on sales/ads, and free stuff.

    Attitude. I used to look at a .50 cent coupon off laundry soap and think What the heck is that gonna do? Well, when money is tight, really tight, .50 cents is .50 cents MORE you have to spend on something else. If you have a store in the area that doubles coupons (seriously call around and ask don't assume) that .50 cent coupon just became 1.00 off the product. Now say that product is All detergent. Kroger had it on sale for 2.99 here (48 loads) last week. Great buy. With my 1.00 off one coupon that I saved until a good sale popped up.....I got them for 1.99 each. I bought 6. Which means for the price of one Tide, I got 6 All detergent. I've done the same with Whisk several times. Sometimes you can get Buy one get one free sale.....if your store lets you (ours do) you can use a coupon on each of the items for BOGOF...So if that same All detergent was 4.99 but BOGOF......that makes it about 2.50 ea.....use a 1.00 off one coupon on each and you just bought it for about 1.50 ea. I rarely buy things without a coupon these days. Even if it's not on sale and I need it, using a coupon I'm still saving the amount of that coupon. Register rewards (walgreens CVS and Rite aide.....sometimes called different names but same thing) are CASH toward the next purchase in that store. Be careful not to lose them. They also have expiration dates.

    Don't be brand loyal. Sales have patterns and so do coupons, usually they tend to go along with each other. It takes a while to catch on to the pattern but after a couple of weeks you'll start to see the pattern. I have and I stink at patterns. lol Now if it's something I really don't like......it would have to be free before I'm picking it up. Then it gets donated to someone who DOES like it. If it's something I can't use, I try to pass the coupons on to someone who can use them. Don't be afraid to buy multiple items of the same thing even if you don't "need" it at the time. The stock pile you build will help you wait out the sale patterns. I've walked out of a store with 20 boxes of pastas more than once, not to mention hamburger helper, spagetti O's and ravioli and such. Actually I did those 3 for 3 wks straight. I don't wipe out shelves like you see on tv and I stick to store limits, although I might do a second transaction on something I use a lot or need.

    Coupons are cash. View them this way and your world will change just with the attitude alone. I was so tired after shopping with easy child on crutches (that was an adventure) I was going to leave my binder in the car.....I stood there staring at it. I found I couldn't shut the door. It felt like leaving my purse in the car with a thousand dollars sticking out. Needless to say....it came inside with me. lol

    Organization. If you're not organized, you're going to have a hard time. I use a 3 inch hard binder filled with those clear plastic pocket trading card pages which are separated into categories similar to a grocery store layout with an index on the outside of my binder to tell me where they are. I need one twice that size and am now hunting for it. lol It doesn't take long to fill one even with using them each week. I want mine where I can see them all and get to them easily. Star has a filing method she uses I believe, so maybe she'll post her way to organize.

    Plan shopping trips. There is no more......oh, I'm running to the store to pick up......in this house. When husband tries I make him give me a detailed list of what he plans to buy and check if they have coupons or are on sale. Heaven help him when he buys something willy nilly without checking for a coupon. easy child and I, now that we've had some practice at it, plan on sat that weeks shopping by previewing weekly ads online. We compare the ads with the coupons we have for the best deals. This can take a few hours. We also check online at like krazycouponlady.com to make sure we didn't miss anything we wanted/needed. Then I use envelopes for the different stores....long white business envelopes. I write the store's name, the item I intend to buy, sale price, whether or not there is an inad coupon for the item, the coupon I intend to use, if there are Register Rewards (coupons that are cash toward next purchase), Earned Rewards (same thing) or Catalina's (also same thing) that I will get back. Then I write what the price of the item will be after I buy it. The coupons are then added to the envelope. So my envelope is where I write my list and plan and the coupons go inside. Handy as heck. This I paperclip to their ad on sunday. Walmart is always our last stop as they price match sale items from other stores and almost always have it in stock.

    Your biggest savings are going to be on personal hygiene and household stuff. Since these are usually the most expensive part of a grocery bill, this is a good thing and will save you a ton. By stocking up on these items, it leaves money for you to stock up on other food items that you might not have coupons for or don't go on sale often.

    Don't expect 90 percent savings. Average once you really get the hang of it a good average is between 50 percent and 80 percent. You will have times when you walk out with 100 percent and will be on cloud nine. I have and nothing feels better. But it is NOT every week by a long shot. The extreme couponers you see on tv? Phht they plan those trips for MONTHS, most of those coupons are purchased online.....and if you pin them down and they're honest, trips like that are maybe once or twice a year. If you watch what they put into their carts on those trips, you're not going to survive week to week on it. This is why a good average savings is 50-80 percent. If you can get that be very proud of yourself.

    By a freezer. I have my eye on one at Lowe's that is pretty cheap.

    I ONLY shop drug stores for their sale items. Otherwise, I just can't afford them. So far walgreen's is the big winner. Although this week cvs is doing pretty good too.

    I never toss out a coupon. I did this at first and got burned badly. I didn't understand about moneymaker deals and I'd think.....well I don't use that and never will. See enough moneymaker deals go by and you will stop, especially if you have very limited cash to work with.......moneymaker deals help me pay for other items. So even if I won't use it ever? I pick it up. I did this with panty liners. I was getting them for free. I don't use them. But I was making 6 cents off each one. I gave them to Nichole who does use them yesterday.

    I can be lots of hard work to get started. But as the weeks roll by, it's less. You get better at it, you're organize and it sort of falls into place. Still takes several hours a week watching online for coupons and deals, clipping and sorting and planning though. It's a Fad that is losing enthusiasm here quickly. Thank heavens, or we'd be starving right now.

    If you have facebook........think of the items you use, search for them on facebook, like their pages and see if they have coupons. Same for their websites. Facebook "likes" will let them post updates on your page so you'll know when new offers are available.

    This is some of what I've learned so far and I'm just reaching my 2nd month mark. If you think of your coupons as actual money you start to catch on faster.
  5. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    We don't have all of the coupon stacking etc like the US here in Canada but I'm a penny pincher when I can be and often refuse to buy things unless on sale and often with other rebates etc. I had several $5 off coupons for the Body Shop this past fall. 4 I believe. I paid $20 for a student discount card that gives discounts at dozens of places. (card is worth it as it is good for a year) Every few months for holders of that discount card you can buy $20 of product at Body Shop for $10. Using my coupon, I paid only $5 for $20 of body products which I bought as gifts. I made sure I bought the discounted products to further save and I paid separately for each transaction to ensure the savings. All in all I spent $20 for over $120 (or more) in products when combining all discounts. Some happy ladies in my life when I gifted them.

    Most major bread suppliers if you have one local to you, do not always have a actual retail section (they instead supply grocery stores, convenience stores etc). But most will sell bread by the flat to people walking in off the street. We have one here in town. Bread from there if picked up at my nearby grocery store is $2.89 (when on sale it is usually $2.29). I can pay $5 and get a flat with 12 loaves and they freeze well. The price stays the same if I pick up whole wheat, 12 grain, rye etc. At my grocery store a small loaf of light rye (my fav for toast at night with PB!) sells for $3.49 so I only buy it if I'm at the actual bread bakery.

    I've also learned that most discounted items in our grocery stores meat department are still VERY fresh when they are reduced. They put a 15% off sticker on in the morning of the final day they will sell, then throughout the day they go back and add a new sticker to whats left, sometimes several times. I've gotten many very fresh roasts, steaks, pork loins (which I use for chops by cutting and packing into small packs) for up to 80% off. When I see bargains like that and it is obvious the meat is still very fresh, I load up on whatever they have that you can tell is not anywhere near spoiling. I make sure to freeze it immediately.

    I try to make inexpensive things that are easy to grab from the fridge on the fly (potato or pasta salads, egg salad, etc). I find we don't impulsively go out to eat or order in if there's something ready to go already in the fridge even if we're craving something else. We just grab whats there and since we get full, our hankering for whatever it is we don't have is over.

    I've all but stopped using my clothes dryer and I'm become vigilant about turning all lights and electronics off. I never cared before or even noticed what energy hogs we all were. We are about to begin smart metered time of day billing which is going to raise our bills hugely this summer due to me being home and needing the AC running at peak hours etc. So I'm conserving in other ways to compensate. We have crazy hydro price increases happening here. When I moved here to this house 7 years ago I paid about $80 a month, maybe $100 during summer. Now I average about $200+ (without AC!). I've gotten the bill back down to about $100 by being careful. I don't even notice anymore the way it used to be a pain to go around turning everything off that was left on. S/O and easy child are getting much better too.

    I saved $120 a month getting rid of satellite. I spend $8 a month for netflix and live stream via the internet for tv shows direct from their networks site. We spent $25 getting a good quality cable to hook a laptop to the t.v. and it was well worth it.

    I wish we had good couponing in Canada. I am so envious when I hear what some in the US can do to stretch their dollars. If I lived a reasonable drive to the border I'd be shopping there.
  6. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Lots of good ideas here. As for coupons, I do use SmartSource.com and clip what comes in the mail or from our grocery store-I don't spend money on the sunday paper to get coupons(it doesn't pay off for our small family).
    Kohl's- if you shop their clearance stuff and are signed up for their email-you can often save an additional 15 or 20% If you use their credit card it's often 30%. I wait untill you get Kohl's cash back. I have saved as much as 90% on gift items and a few clothes for my family and then had Kohl's cash to spend (ended up spending about 5 bucks on almost $200.00 worth of stuff).
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I also print coupons off my Mypoints.com account. Not only the money off, but I also get points for every coupon redeemed. Even if it's not something I buy, I can leave the coupon on the shelf and someone else will use it. I get my points which I turn into gift cards towards Christmas. Mypoints has two different sets of coupons, the 2nd one being SmartSource. I get points for both, and the coupons don't always overlap each other.
    We also have a Kroger, which does double coupons up to .50 if you don't have their card (free card, go get it) and triples coupons up to .50 if you do have their card. That also gives me points on my shopper card, and 100 points on that = .10 off per gallon at our Shell Station on 1 fill up.
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Bravo Trinny!

    Check out - a lot of the sites for items you LIKE in your home. We like (for example) Marrow Bones by Pedigree - so we frequently check the www.pedigree.com web site to see if they have special offers, discounts or promotions (all key words) to help us get better deals.

    I never knew Manwhich had coupons on THEIR website - but who are they? ------www.conAgra.com ----OH I see - so you have to find out WHO makes this stuff. Then sign up for their emails. And like I've said before -

    DO YOURSELF A HUGE SOLID - Get a NEW coupon only - EMAIL and Password - AND/ set yourself up an address type book of ALL the sites you are a member too - because you may not remember and sending them to MY FAVORITES is a pain. Passwords often are changed, and you may forget or whatever - but a lot of these places ask you to do surveys i fthey send you samples etc.

    Also - sign up for freebies - They make MAIL less boring....and if you keep a giant basket somewhere? You can donate it to the food bank or womens shelter - church food pantry.....or makes nice gifts for going away baskets or work gift baskets - welcome wagons....whatever - I am working on Christmas baskets now. I get baskets at the goodwill about this time of year because Easter is over ----and there are plenty of beauties for cheap...and then I line them with material - and just start filling them with soaps and freebies - and they are really nice to give to the mail lady - paper boy....favorite cashier that helps you with coupons.....neighbors, eltdery.....person you absolutely despise - but a nice gift basket breaks the ice and confuses them ---just add a little fruit right before Dec. 23 and voila - instant GOOD WILL.

    Daisy Face has a meal plan and I like her philosophy for larger families - I would pick her brain about that, because I think she does a family of four on $30 a week.

    Somewhere not too long ago (within the month) we shared all our coupon sites and blogs spots to go to so do a little digging and see if you can find that post it's either on My name, Hounds or Daisyface's name. I can't remember as they have not given a coupon yet for memory pills. Otherwise----but there was a TON of information - too much to retype.

    A GREAT one for Summer is to take a pickle jar, mark the height of one inch with a sharpie and put it in your yard and turn on your sprinkler - When the jar gets to 1" - turn off the sprinkler - This will help your yard get all the water it needs for one week and not spend money you don't need to on watering your yard.
  9. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I got lucky with Freecycle - one lady here has a connection where she gets bread, milk, fruit/veggies, and other stuff, and lists them. She doesn't care how much you take; her only criteria is that you pass on what you don't need to other families in need. I was distributing bread etc. to three other families besides ours.

    Farmer's Market for fruits/veggies. So much better than the stores!

    Because we have absolutely no storage, I don't buy mega-quantities of things, but I know how much I have to work with and keep to my list. Between coupons and in-store rewards, I'm usually all right.

    Thrift stores and customer rewards and clearance racks for clothes.

    Making one big trip instead of several small ones, and using Miss KT's car instead of the Silverado. My car is still dead.
  10. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I look at the circulars and make my week's menu from what's on sale. I use that as my guide, plus I get put all my coupons and see what I can get an even better deal on. The coupon's are all put in envelopes, divided up by the aisles in the store, so when I go down an aisle I can take out the one envelope at a time and not be so overwhelmed. I also have to go alone to a store, I have to concentrate to get the best deal. I make a list! I know exactly what I need to get and I always go right when the store opens-when they're stocked up and there are no crowds. CVS has great sales, I have so many free body washes that I don't even get them anymore- I have enough for gifts for at least 2 years.

    I get 2 Sunday papers delivered to my house.
    The Entertainment book has so many buy1get1 deals for restaurants, movies, supermarket and retail stores and online stores, I highly suggest getting one for your area. The go on sale in Sept. and all coupons are valid until 2 Novembers have passed.

    If you buy something on-line, google the store's name plus the word coupon, you can usually find some kind of code for a discount.
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Trinity those were fabulous tips!!! I used to do much of that when my kids were little and it saved a TON.

    Oh, also sign up for the discount cards for any store that offers them. They're free and worth their weight in gold.

    Sharing memberships at warehouse stores are great. I do mine with easy child. Sam's club gives 2 cards with each membership. Since her husband rarely shops without her.....I got the other card, paid half for the membership and we share it. Unfortunately, it's also 20 miles from us, so we dont' get there often. Being so rural can have it's drawbacks.

    Thanks to coupons and sales, Nichole will not be buying much for the new baby for quite a long time. easy child has bought diapers in various sizes for under 5 bucks, wipes for free or .45 cents a box, we've both bought her infant cereal for .50 cent/box, I'm buying her 32 jars of baby food for about 20 cents ea soon as I get back to the store. We've bought her bottles, liners. I'm going for lotion as it's on sale and I found coupons. Baby items are BIG coupon and sale items, you should never have to pay full price. And they offer tons of freebies too. So we're making up huge baskets full of the stuff for her. lol We both wish we'd known this with the other grandkids. I got them freebies, but had no clue about the coupons/sales.
  12. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    There are several items that I need regularly that aren't on sale, nor do I have coupons for from the regular places. For example, I generally buy dish soap by what's on sale, but right now I need Dawn dish soap because I have 2 cats I can't treat for fleas with the usual flea products because they react badly. Dawn dish soap kills fleas (how I'm going to actually bathe these 2 cats I haven't quite figured out yet, but I'll think of something). Or I need 20 pounds of cat litter every week and cat litter coupons can be hard to find. So, when I know I need something, I'll google "Dawn coupons" for example. I am a bit picky about my cat litter because I have 5 cats and if you don't have good cat litter everyone that walks into your house knows you have 5 cats - and I'm sensitive to smells and I wouldn't be able to live here either. So, I googled "Tidy Cats coupons" and found that if you register at their site, you get a $1.00 off coupon to print. I registered myself, difficult child, and my mom. LOL The last time I bought litter, there was a $2 off coupon in the container for the next purchase. If I can't get a coupon for that brand, I'll go to my next choice - Fresh Step, or whatever it's called - and keep going down the list. I also keep in mind what the normal price is for the litter, and that plays a part in it, too.

    When I googled "Dawn coupons", it took me to the brand website and showed that there was a $.25 coupon. I had to register and I'm going to get mailed a booklet. Doesn't help me right now, so I'm going to keep looking. I do that for dog food, too, because Jewel is *extremely* picky and after having tried every (not exaggerating) kind of dog food out there, there are 2 kinds that she will eat and I have to rotate them.

    You really have to pay attention to prices. I didn't used to be so good at that. I'd see strawberries and not know if that was a good price, but with working full time plus, raising a difficult child, I didn't have time to shop around and would buy it because I was there and didn't want to go to another store. For example, Thomas bagels are $6.00 (!!!!!) at Kroger, and $3.00 at Meijer. The Meijer store brand is only a few cents less and there is a big difference in taste, so I'm getting the Thomas brand. I'm fortunate to have so many different grocery stores within a really close distance to my house now. I've narrowed it down to shopping mainly at 2 stores - Meijer (most of my shopping) and Kroger - because with my brain issues I can't keep up with too many stores and their prices. Also, because I've sworn off Walmart and haven't stepped foot in their stores since March 6. I've found, though, that on some things Walmart is cheaper (food) and other things Meijer is, so it evens out. I only shop at Kroger for items that they are having a good sale on and I have a coupon, or when I really need something and am feeling really bad because it's only a 2 minute drive away and I know where everything is. So, in some cases I go to Kroger just for the convenience, but I keep it to what I need at that moment (usually sanitary products for difficult child late at night or some such thing).

    This may seem really, really basic, but I didn't use to do these things - and never really thought about it. I did all of my shopping at Kroger because it was close and I knew where everything was, so I could be in and out within an hour for 2 weeks of groceries. I knew it was more expensive, but the convenience made it worth it for me. I also wasn't poor then.

    Kohl's is great, as another poster mentioned. I signed up for emails and get something almost every day about sales, free shipping if you order online, and % of when you check out using your Kohl's card.

    This stuff probably sounds really, really basic, but when you're not used to doing it - like I wasn't - it's hard to know where to start, and quickly becomes overwhelming.
  13. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    It's the p&g for dawn. But you can only sign up for a booklet every 30 days. They have several. I've not seen any for it for print yet. But one of the drug stores this wk has a 10 oz bottle on sale for 88 cents.....should be enough for bathing cats cheap. Generic antibacterial actually does the same job too if you can get it cheaper.
  14. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I'm lucky I don't have to do much price comparison stuff. Not many places to choose from here, and Wal-Mart is generally cheaper or price matches, so the only coupons I really need to check prices on are the ones that Kroger triples unless Wal-Mart simply doesn't carry the item/brand I'm looking for, which happens way more often than it should.
  15. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    great ideas. I hit the clearance rack all the time, it is the first place the kids and I go to look for what we want. I don't do the extreme couponing, I don't have time. I do look at adds online and shop where I can get the deals for what we need and try to go to the stores when I am already driving by them. I make a big batch of soup, spaghetti sauce, whatever and freeze some of it for later. That trick works really well.

    I am going to check out the thread by star on free stuff and deals, somehow that one escaped me.

    One thing I do is that unless the meat is less than $2 a lb, I don't buy it (except for hamburger, I cannot stand cheap burger). Chicken breasts, pork chops, whatever. Most of it always goes on sale for under $2 per lb. Not so much with fish or good steak, but lots of that is a treat.
  16. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Okay here's some of my tips - Maybe this will help someone - I wish Daisyface would chime in. She has excellent tips too -


    GOOGLE SAMS CLUB and check their website for a FREE TEMPORARY PASS - print one and check their store for a few deals -

    The things we get there are:

    Tyson skinless boneless chicken breast - Usually (depends on region I'm guessing) $1.98 lb

    Pork chops bone in - absolutely delicious - depends on sale - as cheap as $1.78 lb - 2.79 lb. in $15.00 pkgs. usually has about 15 porkchops cut nice and thick not cheap and thin.

    Hamburger (not xtra lean either) We buy the fresh but they also have it in a 10 lb tube - also very good and usually a few cents cheaper - $2.56 lb. But have had it as cheap as $1.98 lb.

    Tyson chicken tenders in (I think 5lb. bag) 8.00 This has made bunches of meals for us.

    OSCAR MAYER BEEF WEINERS - (I think there are 4 packs) maybe 3 - can't remember but they are $6.00 (yeah - even with BOGO and coupon you're not getting them THIS cheap anywyere.

    KRAFT AMERICAN CHEESE - 90 slices - $7.00

    Country Crock 3lb butter tub - $4.00

    Dijorno pizza 3 pack - $9.00

    Purina dog chow - (we don't get this ) 50 lbs - $20.

    Eukanuba (we get this) 35 lbs....$30.00

    Sams Club - Lamb and Rice (like Eukanuba - we get this now) 44 lbs. $35.00 *(used to be $29.00_ goes up and down)

    ERA - 102 loads - $9.99 - we use this for our clothes - and then use bargain brands for towels, rugs, socks -

    Their produce is too high, and their beauty aids are too high too. Soda - FORGET IT---- So buy accordingly - not everything in there is a "BARGAIN" some stuff you can walk right out of there - into Walmart and get it for a DOLLAR cheaper - so be cautious.


    Right now in WALMART? There is Moms Best Oatmeal - on sale for $1.00 - there is a Moms Best Coupon out for .75 off a box of oatmeal - I paid .50 for two boxes of oatmeal!!!! I love oatmeal. I will stock that for the Fall. Oats don't go bad.

    Starkist also prints a coupon every friday -----------you can use this to get CHEAP tuna ----------------make yourself a nice nutritious lunch - and have fish twice a week on your new way of life diet!!!! Loosing weight - getting in shape!!???




    I DO NOT USE CAT LITTER COUPONS - IF THERE WERE CAT LITTER COUPONS I WOULD HAVE PRINTED TWO OF THOSE AND SWAPPED - THE COST OF THE STAMP ? would have been worth it - and i'm very good about going to the mail box pronto.

    some coupons? need to be mailed out immediately in order to work with deals so it may not work - for cvs deals etc - but


  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    PLAN meals. FOr a week at least. Then buy what is needed to make those instead of aking whatever sounds good and doing small trips several times a week. Sit down with the sale flyers to plan the meals.

    Frozen veggis and fruit are not just less lost due to spoilage of fresh foods, they are also far higher in nutrition. Most frozen fruits and veggies are frozen within about 24 hrs of harvesting. They are fully ripened in the field and they have far more nutrients than the fresh food int he stores, esp that shipped in from other countries. The "fresh" produce must be picked before it is ripe, meaning that it ripens in a truck as it travels. It never gets all the nutrients that the frozen food has. Even with the processing that frozen produce gets, it still has higher levels of nutrients than the "fresh" stuff at the stores.

    The exception is locally grown food at farmer's markets that you will use that day or the next. But you have to KNOW that it is locally grown. There are a LOT of people like Shari's cgfg's mom who buy stuff off of trucks and then sell it as "fresh". We are truly lucky in my town because our farmer's market is run by a group that makes the sellers PROVE that it is grown or made in our state. NOTHING can be sold there from out of state, period. The man who sells bread and canned veggies etc... there not only shows that he makes it locally, he actually can tell you where the wheat, rye, tomatoes etc... are grown. But most farmer's markets are NOT like that.

    Don't be afraid to toss the froz veggies into the water with the pasta when it is boiling, or to add a bit of extra water to the rice and toss the froz veggies into the rice pot or cooker. Takes some trial and error with rice, but it saves time and energy because you are not heating up the food using 2 sources of energy. Also the rice usually can absorb all the water so it will absorb the nutrients the water takes out of the froz veggies.

    Keep a container for liquid in the freezer. If you cook veggies in a bit of water on the stove, or chicken or even add some to eggs and cover them to steam them gently instead of frying them, put that water into the container in the freezer. Add to it and then use the liquid for soup. Usually won't add much flavor but will add nutrients.

    Don't buy canned beans. It is EASY to fix dried beans. You can use your freezer to help you get them ready to use as fast as canned beans! Watch this video on youtube for great, easy instructions to make it super convenient to use dried beans and not spend the extra money on canned ones: http://www.youtube.com/user/thewheatguy?blend=21&ob=5#p/u/41/r06xLWF5BeM

    The other videos by this person are also wonderful. I have yet to try any of her tips that didn't work. One super easy money saver is a Doh! thing. WHen you buy a bag of apples or oranges, many of us will weigh them to get one that weighs more than the others because there IS a difference in weight. But is this REALLY saving money or just giving you bigger portions because the fruit is bigger? Instead, look for the bag with the highest number of pieces of fruit. It will save a few calories per serving and give you servings that are lower in cost. ONe bag might have 8 apples and another might have 10 or even 11. Same weight, but you eat one apple per serving. So theo ne with 10 or 11 apples gives you more servings at a cheaper cost for each one!

    When you buy chicken, compare the cost with bones and skin and without. IF the boneless kind is less than 2 times the cost of the kind iwth bones, then the boneless kind is a better deal. When you buy chicken with bones, HALF of the weight goes to bones, a little mroe than half for bones and skin. SO if you do NOT plan to keep the bones and boil them for stock then it is far more cost effective to buy the boneless kind if it is 2 times or less thant he cost of the chicken with bones. I had a food prep class that we had to weigh the weight of the bones after we cooked each kind of chicken. This was true no matter what we did with the chicken as far as how we cooked it.

    check out ebay for buying coupons. yes, sounds like heresy. But you can get a list of all the coupons you are getting and they come pre-clipped which saves time. I look for auctions with free shipping so I know the entire cost of what I am buying up front, rahter than biddinga nd winning and then realizing I have to tack on more for the shipping. It is a great way to get hard to find coupons.

    Don't buy hummus. either cook the dried chick peas or garbanzo beans or buy a can and mash them. just rinse the canned liquid off (helps reduce gas in your system) and mash them up with a fork or potato masher. Add in whatever spices you want and some heart-healthy oil if desired and you have a FAST and yummy hummus for a TON less than the prepared stuff. I can make up twice the amt of one of those little tubs of hummus in about 5 min or less. I just take the can lid and use it to keep the beans in as I drain them, add water to rinse, use the lid again to keep them in, drain the rinse water, dump into a bowl, eyeball the spices, mash with a fork until as thin or chunky as I want, and then serve.

    Also don't buy guacamole. Buy a few avocados and when ripe just scoop out the flesh, dump in your spices, mash with a fork and serve. WOn't be as green as many store bought ones but that is because you odn't add food color. Be sure to add a bit of lime or lemon juice. Keep the color from turning and perks up whatever spices you use.

    Either eat something with PROTEIN before you go or get a protein bar or some of the popcorn chicken or deli meat and eat at the beginning of the trip or if you start to feel hungry. This will keep you from buying as much junk food and keep you from being as impulsive. If the kids are hungry and this won't work or they ahve eaten, get a bag of baby carrots and let them eat those (sold by the bag and not the pound, otherwise you have to pay before they eat some.).

    Consider cabbage instead of iceberg lettuce. Iceberg lettuce has almost no nutrients. Cabbage has more nutrients and at some tiems of the year is far less expensive. If it is cheaper it can be used for salad or you can even make cole slaw.

    If you buy fresh broccoli don't toss the stems. Most of the nutrients are in those stems. Peel off the outer layer of the stem and shred them with a grater or food processor. They add an awesome kind of spicy flavor to slaw - broccoli slaw is really nutritious and the kids I know will eat it when they won't touch the same dressing on shredded cabbage. You can also use it in quick bread or carrot cake to add more nutrients - just sub the shredded broccoli for part of the zucchini or carrots in the recipe.

    Don't buy plastic containers to organize little things. Cut up shampoo bottles, 2 liter bottles, etc... and use the bottoms as containers to organize. When you buy things like ice cream, consider the packaging when you make your choice. My family loves ice cream. Left alone they would eat some three times a day. Obviously that isn't okay but I do buy the big gallon or 5 quart containers that come in plastic buckets. Then those get re-used to store flour, sugar, beans, even pre-wrapped snacks. I don't have to buy tupperware to store those in and they are still in airtight containers. Plus ice cream is cheaper in the big buckets. Then I have saved enough to indulge in the pint of ben and jerry's or hagen daz that I love and eat maybe one every 2 months. When we lived in OH I would get my splurge ice cream from Graeters because they used plastic containers instead of the cardboard ones. I will get the frozen cream puffs from walmart or sams for parties and then I have a nice square container to keep things in.

    Get copies of The Tighwad Gazette and read them. Consider making your own mixes and beauty products. Not all, but even if you just do some you can save serious money. Cheaper and Better by Nancy Birnes is available used on amazon.com for 30 cents and has many recipes for homemade food, cleaning, gift and other items. It even has a recipe for Bailey's Irish Cream that is cheaper and tastes AMAZING. Of course the prices quoted in these books for the store bought and homemade items are out of date, but they are still money savers.

    For mixes, consider Make a mix Cookery by Eliason et al. Check out used prices on amazon for books as shipping is a flat $3.99 from other sellers. Also check out www.abebooks.net and alibris.com to compare prices.

    Buy dvds used. Period. Amazon often has them for far less than the new price and has a flat $2.98 shipping that is lower than many other sites. I just got the entire collection 1 of Are You Being Served for husband for father's day for $10 plus $2.98 shipping. IT is in brand new shape, totally unscratched and the box and dvd cases are immaculate. Even if tey were scratched a little bit it would be a HGUE savings.

    Get some CD/DVD scratch repair cream. A bottle is about $8 and can treat over 100 discs. Often it can make a disc playable again and costs far less than the $3 per disc resurfacing fee that many places charge. One place here was using this as a treatment for $2 each disc as an alternative to resurfacing - until an employee told his mom and it got known around town. Now they just sell the cream.
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sams is the ONLY place I like to buy either cheese or tortilla chips. 6 pounds of chips are $7 at sams, and the cheapest elsewhere is $2 per pound. Walmart has bags of them for $1.50 but they are 12 oz or less which makes them far more expensive.

    Grated cheddar or mozzarella is $11 for 5 pounds. A 5 lb block of cheddar is $10 at Sams and $16 at Walmart. The house brand laundry soap at Sams is a huge tub for about 1/3 of the name brands, 1/3 of the purex,e tc... cheaper brands. And it didn't cause ANY skin problems for my kids which is very rare. ALL of the name brands, even in the "free" versions, casue problems for my kids.

    Instead of buying dryer softener sheets, get some liquid softener that you like and mix it 1:1 wtih water. Cut some old clothes into 4 or 6 inch squares. Scrunch up a square, dip into a gladware container of the diluted softener and toss in on top of wet clothes. Dry as usual. Re-use the squares. If you get any spots on the clothes from the softener, add a bit more water to it. One small size container of softener will last 5-6 months or more in our house.

    Consider making your own laundry soap. Get a bar of soap that you like and causes no problems. USe a grater or food processor and shred it. Then mix a small bar or 3 hotel size bars with 1 cup borax and 1 cup washing soda. Use a large size bar and mix with 2 cups each washing soda and borax. Use 2 TABLESPOONS or a teaspoon more in a large load of clothing. I use a food processor and it takes me less than five minutes to grind 3 bars of soap and add the 6 cups each of soda and borax. Do NOT use baking soda - must be washing soda. This is very good for the environment adn the budget. Walmart is now carrying the washing soda thanks to the green movement.

    Call or email companies with products you life and ask for coupons. You can call the co that makes borax every 3 mos and they will send a ton of high value coupons for their products.
  19. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    For cat litter check out the stuff they sell by the pound at the pet stores. I get them confused and am always calling the one here by the wrong name. The stuff at the one in my town is awful, but the other chain offers a really GOOD scoopable cat litter by the pound for a lot less than the big brands. We usually buy fresh step because it works very well and the buckets are reusable. husband wanted to container garden and saved a bunch of containers, but then didn't so I washed them and sorted toys, etc.... into them.

    Also, if you clear your browser cache/history and cookies you can print more of some coupons. ANd if you have gmail you can put a period (.) anywehre in the name and then the @gmail and it will all go to your email. For example, if my email was susiestar@gmail.com then I could also use susie.star@gmail.com, su.siestar@gmail.com, and any other configuration I wanted and all the emails would go to susiestar@gmail.com.

    I don't use those for most things, but for something like cat litter that was important when we had a cat that would ONLY use a specific expensive brand - she would go pee on clothing otherwise, and often we just couldn't afford it with-o coupons. But we couldn't afford to NOT have it either.

    I also make a lot of bread in the bread machine. Or pizza crust. Those little packets and jars of yeast in the grocery are expensive as all get out. But you can get 2 POUNDS of yeast at Sams for under $5. It comes in 2 one pound packages and they go a LONG way as most recipes call for about 1 1/4 tsp or the amt in a little packet. I also get huge containers of bread flour when I have enough empty ice cream buckets to store it in. It seems to keep just fine for about a year on the pantry shelf and is WAY more affordable.

    For containers to use around the hosue for storage, sorting, etc... check with local restaurants. One here in town gets mushrooms for fried mushrooms and they come in plastic containers. They are a very "green" conscious restaurant and were before green was popular, so they always have them stacked up and ready to give away. Ditto the pickle buckets, and other plastic containers that food comes in. It cannot hurt to ask a store if they have any that they can give away.

    If you want to make boxes that look nice, re-use cereal boxes, etc.... and cover them with wallpaper. Ask at the local wallpaper store or lowes or home despot to find out when they replace the wallpaper books. Local stores usually have more to give away than the big lowes type stores. But you can get all kinds of patterns which are usually pre-pasted and work very nicely. I have even recovered scrapbook albums, made photo frames, etc... with those scraps.
  20. ML

    ML Guest

    Thank you everyone for this thread. I am taking notes. Great ideas!