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Frugal Friday — Coupon Secrets

cutting_couponsRecently I have been working on becoming a better couponer. There are a few things that I have learned through discussions with others and from my own experiences that I want to share with you all.

  • Definitely match up ads, load digital coupons and use manufacturers’ coupons. You never know some stores will allow you to stack them, it never hurts to try. You may not get free or get money back like on the TV show but you will definitely save.
  • Some stores take competitor coupons. We have 3 stores in the area two of which are pharmacies. I do believe in buying local but until someone manufactures toilet paper and such locally this is a handy dandy fact. These stores take coupons that I print that say redeemable at Walmart. I don’t shop Walmart, period, I haven’t in over a year.
  • The item isn’t necessarily as important as the brand. For example if I have Proctor and Gamble coupons for shampoo they will work for Proctor and Gamble deodorant. Not always it is a hit and miss type of thing and depends on the store and your cashier.
  • Become a regular and use the same cashier whenever possible. They become great friends and will share store savings secrets. It’s like having work friends.
  • Ad match! I do try to consolidate my running around to save on gas and hate going to a ton of stores. So I have found out who will match competitor’s ads. I won’t go to a store for one item, however it is better than a concurrent ad at the main store I want to go to and I have a coupon, most stores will match the ad price.
  • Watch for store savings such as “Buy 5 get $5 off” mix and match items. This is a great deal to use with coupons and a great way to bulk shop.

I have started to mass a collection of paper goods, laundry soap, dish soap and other items. I will go back to making my own soaps and such when time allows but right now, buying it all on sale and in bulk is really paying off.


Light, Love and Peace!!

Weekend Warrior

This weekend we are going to brave the unpredictable spring weather and go to our local farmer’s market, Blacksburg. Hopefully my sister in law and niece can join us it will be a blast to have them airbus and to introduce my niece to the wonders of farmer’s market.

We have been so lazy this winter. We really need spring and summer to get us up and moving around again. We are looking forward to gardening this summer.

What are you looking forward to?

Mom’s Corner: Playing Sports

baseballI am all for kids playing sports. I am all for going on the field or the court with a winning attitude. I don’t believe we need to level the playing field. I do believe that not everyone is going to win. However, what I am seeing at the high school level locally I find very disturbing.

The all mighty money machine has reached the high school sports level. You can now buy season passes to sporting events. The cost of getting into a game has gone up. Yes, I am aware of inflation but still this is high school. What worries me most is the attitude of the schools. We never had an athletic director. Coaches also taught classes, not just phys ed but science, English, whatever you please. Parents were encouraged to participate and be a part of the team.

Now you have high schools with their own sports medicine doctors. They talk about the dangers of head injuries yet don’t believe the concussions are real. They want the “players” back on the field in 2-3 days regardless of the type of injury instead of however long your chose doctor will tell you.

There is no love of the game, it is win at any cost. And heaven forbid you don’t agree with the coach you are not allowed to speak with them for 24 hours and what good does it do when the athletic director stands there and says the coach has final say over your child regarding playing, sports or anything else that comes up with your child.

Tryouts are held to find qualifying players. If your child has the skill to make the team then they should get to play. Not anymore only the best of the best will play. I am sorry but it is high school, not collegiate and most certainly not the pros. We do not need to treat these kids as anything other than kids. They should be learning sportsmanship, improving skills and enjoying playing their chosen sport.

We will probably continue to play for parks and rec and not support anything other than the school band. I may be in the minority in the way I think but I do not care. I have never been so appalled at a high school sports program as I am at our local one.

Light, Love and Peace!

Frugal Fridays: Buying in Bulk Part 3

Buy in bulk

The third part in this series we will discuss building a stock pile of meats. I do realize that some of my readers do not eat meat, for a variety of reasons, this isn’t a discuss about why or why not one should eat meat. It is a way to save money by buying in bulk for those who do eat meat. So if you are not interested in meat as a food source please skip this one. Thanks my delightful readers.

Now onward for those of you who have a houseful of carnivores. In case you missed the first two articles here are the links to Part 1 and Part 2. Remember this is not going to be a simple go out and buy beautifully flash frozen, questionable meat from some box store. You are going to need to learn to do a few things to preserve your food stuffs.

Your options for acquiring meat in bulk are these:

  • Making friends with your local butcher (not the guys at the chain stores). A quick search should turn up a few good old fashioned butchers in your area. Even if you have to go for a drive it isn’t something you will be doing on a regular basis.
  • Making friends with your local farmers and mom and pop processing plant.
  • Raising your own meat animals, hunting and fishing.
  • Getting to know local fishing enthusiasts, hunters, hunt clubs, etc.

These are all awesome sources, of course doing it yourself is time consuming, yet rewarding. There are a variety of options for storing all this wonderful bounty.

  • Freezing, traditional
  • Canning
  • Dehydrating
  • Smoking
  • Curing

I will eventually cover all the various preserving methods for all types of food. The main point of this article is that you can find various local sources of healthy meat to feed your family and buy in bulk. Keep in mind that this may feel costly at the time but the point is to only do this at the appropriate times during the year so they are once a year events.


Light, Love and Peace!

Wordless Wednesday


Mom’s Corner: Children As Pets

grumpy cat MB900444792This has to be one of my all time favorite bits of prose. I thought it was funny when Claire was a baby. I received it in an email chain thing way back then. I appreciate it more now as my children grow.

 I just realized that while children are dogs – loyal and affectionate – teenagers are cats. It’s so easy to be a dog owner. You feed it, train it, boss it around. It puts it’s head on your knee and gazes at you as if you were a Rembrandt painting. It bounds indoors with enthusiasm when you call it. 
Then around age 13, your adoring little puppy turns into a big old cat. When you tell it to come inside, it looks amazed, as if wondering who died and made you emperor. Instead of dogging your doorsteps, it disappears. You won’t see it again until it gets hungry — then it pauses on its sprint through the kitchen long enough to turn its nose up at whatever you’re serving. When you reach out to ruffle its head, in that old affectionate gesture, it twists away from you, then gives you a blank stare, as if trying to remember where it has seen you before. 
You, not realizing that the dog is now a cat, think something must be desperately wrong with it. It seems so antisocial, so distant, sort of depressed. It won’t go on family outings. Since you’re the one who raised it, taught it to fetch and stay and sit on command, you assume that you did something wrong. Flooded with guilt and fear, you redouble your efforts to make your pet behave.
Only now you’re dealing with a cat, so everything that worked before now produces the opposite of the desired result. Call it, and it runs away. Tell it to sit, and it jumps on the counter. The more you go toward it, wringing your hands, the more it moves away. 
Instead of continuing to act like a dog owner, you can learn to behave like a cat owner. Put a dish of food near the door, and let it come to you. But remember that a cat needs your help and your affection too. Sit still, and it will come, seeking that warm, comforting lap it has not entirely forgotten. Be there to open the door for it. One day your grown-up child will walk into the kitchen, give you a big kiss and say, “You’ve been on your feet all day. Let me get those dishes for you.” 
Then you’ll realize your cat is a dog again.

I have a puppy and a very likable cat right now. Once you realize the cat phase is in full swing life with a teenager gets a little easier. I love them both very much, I might not like them every day but I do love them. So I will romp and play with the puppy and enjoy that time because I know already that it ends way too soon. I will enjoy my time with my beautiful cat and do cat things with her for now.