Friday, August 28, 2009

Receipt Shock

Nothing is more frustrating then when you plan out your entire grocery store trip, with coupon and deal match ups and shop carefully -only getting the things on the list- and then getting to the check out and seeing that you spent more than you expected. I don't like to make too much of a fuss, and usually I'm in shell shock so it's not until I get to the car or even home that I realize that either my coupons didn't get taken off, or I didn't get credit for one of my purchases -Like buy 10 items get $5.00 off.
If you are a frugal shopper and you feel it's worth your time- here are a few things you can do if/when this happens to you.

If you haven't made it home, take your receipt back inside and go to customer service or ask to speak to the store manager. It always helps if you greet them with a smile. It has been my experience that nobody really wants to go out of their way for someone angry.

If you did make it home, give the store a call- all stores have their number listed on the receipt.
Explain what happened and tell them you won't be able to make it back up today (if you can't) but ask them for a store credit or refund when you come back in.

If you are using Short-cuts or other e-coupon loadable sites and you notice your e-coupon didn't come off at the time of the sale, e-mail or give the company a call. They will almost always give you credit on your card to be used for future purchases.

The important thing to remember is that they are a business that wants your business. If you talk pleasantly and you are understanding that "these things happen" most of the time they will go out of the way to keep you happy and coming back.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Quick update

Ok, some of you might have noticed that we have slacked on the website a little lately. We are just having a hard time keeping up with all the things going on in our lives lately. Janette has gone back to teaching and I have started homeschooling. I am also watching Janette's children three days a week, So Whew, you can imagine life has been busy. We are going to do our best to get things back up and running, if you have any suggestions for us, please feel free to e-mail us or leave a note here. Thanks.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Couponing... the Great Debate

Couponing is a personal thing. I have had many discussions with women on both sides of the coupon camp. Those that do coupon usually find great satisfaction in the thrill of saving money with the use of coupons. Those that don't coupon usually feel that the time and effort it takes to do it isn't worth the money they save. Some even think they money they have to put into it doesn't make up for the savings. My discussion here is about the last two.

Time: For me it's worth it. There are so many services out there -ours included- that make couponing easier for the average person that I don't see why anyone wouldn't take the time to do it. I personally take the time to cut out my coupons and file them. This just makes it easier for me when I visit the grocery stores. I don't believe the argument of "not having the time" is a valid one. It's really about priorities. I think it's a valid point to say "saving money with coupons is not a priority" if it's not, it's not. And if your looking for the "time" I usually cut my coupons while watching a movie, a tv show, or even hanging out with friends talking. I'm a multi tasker and it works for me.

Effort: Like I mentioned there are many services that you can subscribe to, or even some blogs and websites that will free you from ever having to cut a coupon until you leave for the store where you will use it. Our Using Meals for Deals and Coupons 101 explains how to do this for our site. And if you have older children that can help you, they can cut the coupons and file them for you.

Cost: Ok, here is where it can get tricky. But I would like to share an unscientific situation.
You can find coupons lots of different places, but I believe the easiest and most efficient is the newspaper. You can also find many great coupons online but for now we won't count those in the cost.

Our paper in the Fort Worth area is $2.50 for the Sunday paper, if you subscribe to the weekend paper it will cost you $1.85 a week.

Possible scenerio for this week:
On sale at Kroger:

Yoplait Yogurt 4 pk 1.99 with .35 coupon tripled to $1.05 final price .94
Hamburger helper .89 each with .75/3 coupon final price for 3 .64 each
Pillsbury Grands Biscuits .99 .35 coupon tripled to $1.05 final price FREE
Totino's Pizza rolls 2.49 with .35 coupon tripled to $1.05 final price $1.44
Total savings this week : $3.84

For a $2.50 paper you saved $1.34
For a $1.85 paper you earned 1.99

Now If you subscribe to our coupon matching service for area stores it will cost you $3.00 a month or $0.75 a week and if you subscribe to others the fee of course will differ.

For a $2.50 paper you would have saved $0.59
For a $ 1.85 paper you would have saved $1.10

And that is just if you used 4 coupons!!!!

There are probably many other arguments for and against couponing but for me, I have found it to be cost saving and rewarding. Living in a one income household has forced me into better spending habits and I try to use the resources that God has given us wisely. Feel free to e-mail me or comment with questions or suggestions.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Although I rarely visit McDonalds and my children don't attend a school, I think I'll make sure to stop by and pick up this great afterschool snack coupon booklet that McDonalds is offering for $1.00

The booklets contain coupons for 12 free snacks:
*3 free Baked Pies *3 free Apple Juices or Milk Jugs *3 free small cones *3 free Apple Dippers or Small Fries
These coupons do not expire until 12/31/11 so make sure you don't miss out!

Thanks Deal Seeking Mom

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Kitchen Tip Tuesday!!

I just had to share my great idea!!!!!! I came up with this the day before I made homemade pizza and I knew there would be extra stuff lefteover. When I was planning meals for the week, I was trying to think of ways to save myself some time in the kitchen and come up with some quick and easy meals for nights I just dont want to cook or Sunday after church. So Here it goes... English Muffin Mini Pizzas. I Know that it is not an original idea, but here is cool part. I PREMADE the sauce, cheese and toppings to cook straight from frozen. I used my silicone muffin pan with 6 holes and filled them with sauce toppings and cheese. I pressed the cheese and topping into the sauce. When it freezes it is all stuck together. So I will just pop a SAUCE DISK onto a FROZEN ENGLISH MUFFIN and BAKE... VOILA!


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Tempt your Tummy Tuesday

One of my favorite desserts in Lemon Crumb Bars. They are one of my husbands "specialty" desserts. This past weekend I needed a dessert to take to a gathering and he so graciously made them for me. They are really the BEST!

1 Package of Lemon or yellow cake mix
1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
3 egg yolks
2 cups finely crushed saltine crackers
1 (14 oz) can Sweetened Condensed Milk (not evaporated)
1/2 cup real Lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat the cake mix, margarine and 1 egg with mixer until crumbly. Stir in saltine crumbs, Reserving 2 cups crumb mixture. Press remaining crumbs on bottom of greased 13x9 inch baking pan

Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden

With Mixer or wire whisk, beat 3 egg yolks, condensed milk, and lemon juice. Spread over prepared crust. Top with Reserved crumbs

Bake 25 minutes longer or until set and top is golden. Cool. Refrigerate within 2 hours. Cut into Bares. Store covered in refrigerator.

For more great recipes visit Blessed with Grace

Monday, August 17, 2009

A shopping Frenzie

We'll I could have posted pictures about my 3 hour long marathon at Kroger this past Saturday... But after 3 hours of shopping I basically just tossed the groceries in the kitchen and let the family put them away- so no pics. Maybe Janette took some of hers. But I can tell you that it was truly an experience. I went with my buddy and neighbor Jessica at 6:30 in the morning- but believe me we were not the first there. We joined the cult of other avid coupon shoppers with thier binders and folders. We carefully shopped every aisle looking for the best deals. It was a lot more fun going with a friend, we could discuss whether something was actually a good deal or not. My total bill started at $77.00 and after coupons went to $34.00 I would call that a successful trip. And I was able to buy most of my groceries for the week. Very exciting.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Book Deal

If you are an avid reader, or just need an excuse to get to the book store ( I am always looking for an excuse to go) Here is a 40% off coupon for all you book lovers. It expires on August 16th, so you'll have to act fast. It applies to paperback only.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

$ 2.00 Tank Tops... Wow!

This Saturday Old Navy will have thier Rib Knit Tank tops on sale for $2.00. Although summer is coming to a close, if you live in Texas you know you can wear these for at least the next several months.

Thanks to Deal Finding Chik for sharing this great deal.

Super Savers

Wow! We have a great Super Savers Week this week. If you haven't signed up yet, your missing out! And if you shop at Kroger this Saturday you will really get to take advantage of your coupons. They are doubling coupons up to $1.00. I don't know about you, but I plan on being there Super early :)

BTW Meals for Deals is back in business this week. Our new menus will be up and running in the next two days!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

We're Back

Ok, we have been gone for far too long. Both Janette and I had family in town last week so not much got done in the land of Blog. We had a great time visiting and doing home improvement projects. But we're back, and will try to keep things going here with all the great deals we have found.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Limp no longer

Alright, Here is a tip I was recently just told that I think is just fantastic. I buy celery about once a month. We don't usually eat it raw, except in salads. But I always need it for different recipes. By the end of the month my celery is usually limp. Because I don't like to throw things away I go ahead and use it anyway. But then my buddy Janette told me that if I wrap my celery in Aluminum foil it will keep crisp for a lot longer. Voila. It works. Now I'm sure there are probably other great ways to keep your celery fresher but... I don't know them.

Check out Tammy's recipes for other great tips.