Saving Money

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Thanks to Purposely Frugal  for passing along this recipe for how to make baked potatoes in the crock pot (instead of the oven).  We have a rule in our family that we never leave the house with the oven on… so I love this idea.  Plus on a hot summer day the last thing you want is your oven on all day.  Not an issue in winter ( heck most days I want to snuggle up to my oven just to stay warm…lol.)

baked potatoes in the crock pot

  1. Scrub and pat dry your potatoes
  2. Poke a few holes in them with a  fork.
  3. Rub in oil (I used olive oil) and salt.
  4. Wrap in aluminium foil and put in your crock pot. I cooked 6 potatoes on low for 7 hours, but you may need to vary the cooking time, based on the size and number of potatoes and your crock pot.
  5. Enjoy with your favorite toppings!
No need to add water to the bottom but to keep the bottom ones from burning rotate them OR add some crumbled foil on the bottom before you add the potatoes.

Crock Pot Tip: A crock pot uses about 8 cents of electricity in 7 hours, whereas an oven uses between 16-24 cents per hour of use. I know the savings is small, but crock pots also keep your house cooler in the summer! Information from Michael Bluejay, a.k.a Mr. Electricity.

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walmart 7-26

See Tonya’s Walmart grocery trip.

She doesn’t have any stores that double coupons.

She saves money by price matching & using coupons. She does not shop like a

‘normal shopper’,  since her freezers & pantry are both well stocked.

This allows her to only shop for items on sale, fresh produce & fresh dairy on a weekly basis.

Her grocery budget is $60 per week.  Any money left over is saved for the following week or used to buy produce from the Farmer’s Market.

She also has a garden that helps her save money on fresh vegetables.

Today’s trip would have been $60.71 but only cost her $41.29 plus tax after coupons & price matching.

She saved $19.42!!

PM – Price Match

S – Item will be stocked

D – Donation

  • (3) PowerAde – PM to BI-LO $0.59 ea. (reg. price $0.80 ea.)  S
  • Coke 6 pk. bottles – PM to Harris Teeter $2.34 (reg. price $3.98)
  • (4) Dole Mandarin Oranges 11 oz. – PM to Harris Teeter $1.00 ea. (reg. price $1.38 ea.)  S
  • Used (2) $0.50/2 Dole Mandarin Oranges SS 5/19
  • (2) Texas Pete chili sauce – PM to Carlie C’s $0.58 ea. (reg. price $0.68)  S
  • (10) Libby’s canned vegetables – PM to Food City $0.47 ea. (reg. price $0.84 ea.)  S
  • (4) Hamburger Helper – PM to BI-LO $0.99 ea. (reg. price $1.25 ea.)  S
  • Bananas 1.98 lbs. – PM to Food City $0.49/lb. (reg. price $0.57/lb.)
  • Tomatoes 0.98 lbs. – PM to Save A Lot $0.69/lb. (reg. price $1.98/lb.)
  • Cantaloupe – PM to Kroger $0.99 (reg. price $2.50)
  • Coffeemate creamer 32 oz. – PM to Lowes $3.00 (reg. price $3.28)
  • Cheetos Mix-Ups – PM to Lowes $1.74 (reg. price $2.50)
  • Angel Soft 24  pk. – PM to BI-LO $5.50 (reg. price $10.00)  S
  • Used $0.55/1 Angel Soft 4 pack or larger (look on right side of screen for bannerS
  • Special K pastry crisps – $2.78
  • Great Value coffee – $2.98
  • Campbell’s Slow Cooker Sauce – $1.98
  • Ranch dressing mix – $1.42  S
  • 1 slice birthday cake – $2.68 (Gasp!! She said she would have made the cake if she’d known how much it cost)
  • Great Value bread – $0.98

walmart recpt 7-26



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mini sliders bun, money saving tip

The other day I sent Matt to the store to get some hamburger buns for dinner.  When he came home he handed me the bag, I looked inside to find hot dog buns…. confused I thought for sure he must have bought them by mistake.  When I questioned him he told me that yes he knew we were having hamburgers and he thought these would make great mini slider buns.  Being that our kids are still little and never seem to eat a whole burger this is a brilliant idea!   A simple idea to reduce  food waste.  Plus they were a perfect fit for their little hands.  I was surprised to see how well they worked!

Now some of you girls like flowers, or cards… Me on the other hand I am all about saving money and keeping it simple.  When my cute hubby came up with this simple money saving idea (all on his own) and then cooked dinner for the kids.  Well lets just say he spoke my “ Love Language” some princes ride a white horse… mine makes money saving meals :) (LOL)  Ain’t these just the cutest little burgers you have ever seen!

You can get 16 mini slider buns out of one standard bag of 8 count Hot Dog Buns.  Normal cost for buns is $.89-$1.99 a bag… so that makes each little slider bun low as $.05 each!!!

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Before sale price or coupons this would have cost $38.95

I was able to get it all for $13.75

double coupon deals.jpg

SaraLee Multi-Grain Bread Buy One at $4.79 get One FREE

  • look for peelie coupons for $1.00 off (use 2)
  • also use 2 twice the value coupons ( same in Sundays paper, on the bottom of the ad)
  • Final price $.79 for 2 or $.40 each!!!!
Langers Juice $2.69
  • used the $1.00 off 2 hang tag coupon found on product
  • used a twice the value coupon
  • Final price $1.69 each
A1 steak sauce $3.49
  • used the $1.00 off A1 coupon from the 3/11 smart source
  • used a twice the value coupon
  • final price $1.49

Dole Crisp Fruit Cups $2.19

  • use $0.75/1 Dole Fruit Crisps 01/15 SS
  • and a twice the value coupon
  • Final Price $.69
No Yolks Noodles $1.89
  • used the $.40 off coupon from the 11/6 red plum
  • and use a twice the value coupon
  • Final price $1.09

 Check out  more Albertsons Deals and Twice the Value match ups

  • Remember as of 6/26/11 Albertsons store will NO LONGER pass out twice the value coupon, you must bring them from your paper you get at home. Learn how to get your Sunday papers low as $.28 each.
  • You can use 3 twice the value (double coupons) per family per shopping trip per transaction.  Ask your local store how many transactions they will let you do…. each store will vary a bit on this issue.
  • They will double any coupon up to the value of $1.00 making that coupon twice its value.  SO if you use a .75 cent coupon it will double up to $1.50 or if you use a $1.00 coupon it will double to $2.00.
  • They will not double a coupon for $1.01 or more.
  • You do have to pay sales tax on the full sales price of the item, before coupons.
  • You can NOT get overage from using a twice the value coupon, so if your item is $1.79 and you have a $1.00 MFR coupon they will only double it up to the $1.79 making the item free… but NOT allowing overage.
  • Albertsons will now allow you to use coupons that say Do Not Double with a twice the value coupon…..Great News!!!
  • Albertsons double or ” twice the value” coupons, are normally found in the Sunday ad that comes in the paper.  They DO NOT come every week, and normally only last 3 days.  Click here to learn how to get your Sunday papers low as $.28 each.

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baked apples recipe

One of the best ways to save money is to reduce food waste in your home. No reason to spend money on food that you toss in the trash because it went bad.  I have talked about Piggy Back meals before, for creative ways to use the same ingredients for different meals.  But what do you do when food is not as fresh as one would like, or been sitting to long.  For example apples that have started to turn soft.  I love to bite info a crisp juicy apple, but once they start to turn soft… I kind of turn into an apple snob and find myself selecting other fruit from the bowl.

Plus it does not help that my 1 year old son thinks anything “round” is a ball and loves to chuck my fruit across the kitchen… turning my apples brown and less than appetizing in a matter of seconds.  So what is one to do…. gag down the apples, all in the name of saving money. Toss them in the trash when no one is looking?  Well I have found these apples may not be good raw, but when baked are simply delicious!

I do not really follow a recipe, as each time I make them I tend to have different kinds or amounts of apples but here is the basic measurements.

  • 4-6 apples (peeled, cored and diced)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 of a teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
Place in a covered oven save dish, bake at 350 for 30-50 minutes till apples are soft but still have a little bit of crunch.  Serve warm, we like them with ice cream on top. This is also great in crepes.

old apples

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Many people worry about using fake coupons. I’m sure at least one point in our shopping adventures we may have used one and never realized it.  Even I worry about it, So how do you spot a Fake coupon?  It is not fool proof but here are a few ideas,

Look at the image – All numbers under the bar code are the same - Flag

The coupon is multiplied over and over 6 one one page???  Most coupons do not publish coupons in multiples - Flag

Look close at the image, they are cut and pasted, how can you tell? look at the edges, one image is higher then the other, one image is offset to the left more then the top row. Do you really think a company that makes millions of dollars would allow a coupon to look so home made? - Flag

No size limits listed on coupon Flag

No watermark printed on the coupon Flag

Only one set of Bar codes Flag

Look over the Counterfeit Coupon Alert at Cents Off This coupon is listed under Doritos.

It was flagged nationally read here - Flag

It was emailed by a friend. – Flag Many coupons turn out to be for just one person. For instance, if a person signed up for discounts from a company. And one day they get a coupon in their email, it is most likely just for that person. They may not have bar codes on the email, but their is usually some form of identification on them. So if your best friend sends you an email with a coupon, see how many flags pop up.

If it is too good to be true - Flag. One coupon like this per magazine, or per newspaper is most likely real. If you get multiple papers sure its real… you got them in a paper and purchased multiple papers… But if you are handed something from a friend, or emailed an image or PDF then its most likely is fake.

So what do you do? Politely tell your friend why you think they are fake, and let them decide for them self.  Sure they probably didn’t make them, they were given them too. But if we all used them and did not tell our friends not to use them then we will all suffer!


Stores make a profit off of coupons. For instance, you use a $1 off coupon. The store takes that coupon, gives you the $1 off out of their own pocket. Knowing that the store will get reimbursed. If it is a real coupon not only will they get reimbursed by the manufacture, but they are also paid on average 8 cents extra to process the coupon and mail it back to the manufacturer. It usually cost the store about 4 cents per coupon to process, pay the book keeper to enter, and submit for reimbursement. So on average the store will be paid $1.08 for that $1 off coupon you used. Minus processing of about 4 cents, the store is reimbursed the $1 and now has a 4 cent profit. It may not seem like much, but multiplied by the millions of coupons used, that is a huge profit for them.

Now if we all allowed our friends to use them, or if we use these fakes our self, then that 4 cent profit is lost, along with paying a book keeper 4 cent per coupon to process it! Not only that but the $1 off coupon is not reimbursable and the store will loose $1 for every fake $1 off coupon submitted by shoppers. And in the image we looked at in this post, the cost of each entire bag of Doritos (because they are labeled FREE)

When stores lose money they will STOP taking coupons all together to save their bottom line. We have all come across a store that has done this, at least for a while! So guard your store, help them make a profit or we will used the privileged of couponing.

Book mark this link HERE to scan over fake coupon alerts

Remember the Doritos coupon from yesterday? There is a $2500 reward for companies or individuals promoting this coupon as legitimate Read Here

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Filed Under: Back to Basics, Coupons, Coupons 101 part 4

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