About Me

I'm a Utah mom, just trying to make ends meet. Several years ago, I was introduced to a new way of couponing. I've been addicted ever since. I have a hard time paying full price for anything anymore.

I love couponing so much, I decided to become a teacher for Grocery Smarts.

I teach free classes and show you how to get everything you need at the grocery store and still leave $$$ in your pocket. I'll also teach you the best ways to get and organize your coupons. The best part of the class is when I show you how to match your current coupons up with the current local sales - getting the most bang for your buck!


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October 31, 2008

Pumpkin Seed Recipes

Happy Halloween! I've roasted pumpkin seeds in the past, but I haven't done it in a while. I decided I wanted to try it again this year - so my search for tasty recipes began. I haven't done any roasting yet, but wanted to post some recipes that sounded pretty good.

Cinnasweet Pumpkin Seeds (thanks to All Recipes)
4 cups pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dried
1/2 cup margarine, melted
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup white sugar, divided

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Combine the pumpkin seeds, margarine, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl; stir to coat the seeds. Spread the seeds in a single layer in a 10x15 inch jelly roll pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes; stir and return to oven for 15 minutes more; remove from oven and sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over the seeds; stir to coat. Return to oven and bake another 15 minutes before removing again to sprinkle with remaining sugar and stirring. Bake another 15 minutes. Allow to cool before serving. Store leftover seeds in an airtight container.


Pumpkin Seeds with Cinnamon and Salt (thanks to All Recipes)
4 cups pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
vegetable oil cooking spray

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Grease a cookie sheet and spread the seeds out in an even layer. Lightly sprinkle with salt and cinnamon.
Bake for about 5 minutes, then stir the seeds. Season with salt and cinnamon again. Continue baking, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until seeds are toasted.


Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (thanks to All Recipes)
1 1/2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons butter, melted
1 pinch salt

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
Toss seeds in a bowl with the melted butter and salt. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown; stir occasionally.

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds (thanks to All Recipes)
1 1/2 tablespoons margarine, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).
Combine the margarine, salt, garlic salt, Worcestershire sauce and pumpkin seeds. Mix thoroughly and place in shallow baking dish.
Bake for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds (thanks to All Recipes)
2 cups pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dried
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 drops hot pepper sauce

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line a baking pan with aluminum foil.
Stir together the pumpkin seeds and butter in a bowl. Add the salt, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and hot pepper sauce; stir. Spread the seeds in a single layer on the baking pan.
Bake in preheated oven until crispy, about 45 minutes.

October 30, 2008

Free Donuts - Krispy Kreme - Election Day


If you show up at your local Krispy Kreme on November 4th (Election Day) wearing your "I Voted" sticker, they will reward you with a free star shaped donut with sprinkles. There's nothing like a tasty treat after you've voted. For all of you who have done the early voting - hang onto your stickers and stop in (otherwise wait until the red light's on and pick up a free glazed one).

October 29, 2008

Not every grocery trip is worthy of a picture

I'm sure that as you go along you will have these kinds of shopping trips. I went to the store yesterday and it was just one of those trips. You know....the one's where everything you need is NOT on sale. I had one of those trips. I'm just here to say that not all sales are equal. I was a little discouraged yesterday. I spent $102.13 and only saved $53.14. Not one of my best trips to the store - I would have to say. But now that I have a grundle of candy, the chicken, carrots, noodles and celery for the soup I need to make for the trunk or treat, I've put all that behind me. I also picked up some new plastic bowls (for the kids - to match the ones I already have), sunflower seeds (for hubby), bread (just to have a couple of extra loaves)....etc.... I chose to go to Albertson's again and the up side to this trip was that I did earn another 5% off a future grocery trip (I have to use both of mine before the end of November). Let's hope that this upcoming sale at Albertson's (the one the mgr of my local Albertsons' said would be really, really good) is really worth it! I'm ready to cash in.

I just wanted to check in and let you know that even though I coupon well - this was not one of my shining moments and it happens to all of us. :(

October 27, 2008

Yummy Pumpkin Waffles with Caramel Syrup

Have I mentioned that I really like this season? It seems like I kind of take a break during the summer and I don't really cook as much. When you get that crisp chill in the air - it just makes me want to cook and bake. So here's a couple of things I've cooked up lately.

Pumpkin Waffles
(My husband's office had breakfast last week and this was a recipe someone in his office brought in)

Mix together:
2 1/2 C flour
1 T baking pdwr
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves

Mix in a large bowl:
4 large eggs
2 C buttermilk (I added 1 Tbsp of lemon juice to 1 cup of milk to make buttermilk)
1/2 C brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 C pumpkin
1/4 C real melted butter

Add dry ingredients to wet and stir together.
Bake in waffle iron - this batter also works for pancakes.

Caramel Syrup
(I borrowed this recipe from Everyday Food Storage and boy it was delicious!!!)

3/4 C butter
1 1/2 C sugar
2 T light corn syrup
3/4 C buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla

Combine ingredients in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 5 minutes (it will rise and get frothy, use a deeper saucepan to allow for it to get bubbley).
I actually made these for dinner one night and my family inhaled them. They were quite a hit and we had about 4 waffles left over to breakfast the next morning. I hope you enjoy them too. It's a great way to use any extra pumpkin you may have left over from another recipe.

October 26, 2008

An easy creepy treat

I think I saw this idea on Family Fun's website last year. I want to send a treat with my son for his pre-school class and thought this would be a fun treat for my kids to assemble and one that any kid would also really like.
Here's all you need:

1 bag of suckers (Tootsie pops or Blow pops work good)

Googley eyes

Pipe cleaners

scissors

glue gun

Take 4 pipe cleaners and cut them in half. Use the (now shorter) set of 4 pipe cleaners and twist them around the base of the sucker, so you have 4 legs on each side. Next - bend the pipe cleaners into legs and spread them out. Lastly - hot glue the googley eyes onto the pipe cleaner and viola - you have a fun creepy treat to hand out. This was a great project for my kids to help out with. I'm all about fun and easy!

I could only find one bag of black pipe cleaners - so we compromised and used brown too. I think any color would be fun.

I'm always looking for some fun ideas - if you have any to share - let me know! Have fun making you're creepy treats!



October 24, 2008

Free Sample of Haydee Chocolate truffles

I came across this link today and quickly signed up. When you get there, the chocolates look delicious. I don't know how long this link will be good, so hurry and sign up before it's too late! I hope mine come soon - this is a treat that I may not be willing to share!

Rumor has it.....

Albertson's is planning a "really big" sale coming soon. I stopped into the Albertson's near my house and caught the store manager. As we were talking he told me that there is a major sale coming within the next couple of weeks. During our conversation he said that they have to order about 5 weeks in advance and that he had ordered for this big sale a couple of weeks ago. So my guess is within the next 2-3 weeks we should see something big from Albertson's. So hang tight - I know some sales are better than others. He wouldn't tell me what the sale was, but he compared it to the General Mills sale. Everyone ready for an early morning?

Also, I noticed that the store I visited had signs up advertising $.10 off each gallon of gas at their fuel station. So I filled up with gas today and paid $2.83 - best price I've seen in a really long time! Check your local Albertson's to see if they are participating. The sale goes from 10/24 - 10/26.

October 22, 2008

Free Pumpkin Carving patterns

As you may have noticed from previous blogs - I'm not the most creative person, but I sure like to try. I came across a few websites that are offering free pumpkin carving patterns. These are pretty easy to do (I've done them before). A couple of the websites even have some great tips for carving. Pick a good one!

Link 1

Link 2 (scroll to the bottom)

Link 3

Link 4 (scroll to the bottom)

Some of these sites have both free patterns and ones that you can buy. If you're creative enough, you could probably come up with some pretty good patterns of your own. Happy carving.

October 20, 2008

Halloween Wreath

Every now and then, I get this itching to be crafty. I really have no talent when it comes to scrapbooking or other cute crafty things, but once in a blue moon something I put together actually turns out pretty cute. I have to say I'm rather fond of my Halloween Wreath. I got the idea from the October issue of All You magazine (can only be purchased through subscription or at Walmart).

Here's what I started with:
  • 1 styrofoam wreath
  • 1 can black matte crafting spray paint
  • A variety of fall silk flowers (they don't need to be Fall flowers - I bought them more for color - although tulips would look kind of silly in this type of arrangement)
  • A few halloween embellishments
  • 1 package of googly eyes

Take your foam wreath and spray paint it black (it doesn't have to be perfect - the flowers will cover a lot of it up)

Also spray your flowers black (don't spend a lot on flowers - you can get them at the dollar store). Better yet, you might be able to find a wreath that's already been put together at the DI or another 2nd hand store. All you would need to do is spray it black.

I also took and painted the little wooden embellishments and borrowed the kids glitter glue to jazz them up a bit.

Tip # 1: Make sure the area you are working in while spray painting is well ventilated. (I did it in the garage and only opened the garage door part way - I should have opened the whole door. I got a little light headed breathing all those fumes.).


Tip # 2: Use gloves (garden, surgical, yellow kitchen gloves - anything works) while spray painting. I jumped the gun and when out and sprayed away. I've got several finger nails that are still black with spray paint. I sprayed everything almost a week ago.

Tip # 3: Don't forget that hot glue gets really, really hot. I burned the tip of one of my fingers gluing the second flower on. In my mind I was reviewing glue gun safety as I sat down to start. Then all of the sudden there was a bunch of &*$%^#@*&^* being said!!!!


Here's the end result. The flowers don't need to be totally black - they just need to look like they are dying - they look good with muted colors. With a little hot glue and some time - this is what I put together.

Here's another shot of it sitting up. I plan to hang it on my front door. I took a couple of pictures of it out there, but it was too dark outside to pick up any of the detail. So just imagine this cute wreath on a door.


This was very simple to put together and just my caliber. No bow tying, no exactness, simple instructions and pretty inexpensive. If you have any cute or fun Halloween decorations I would love to see them. Send me a comment so I can check out your cute creations!

October 18, 2008

This is what happens when you don't go shopping in a couple of weeks....

Looking at the ads the last couple of weeks did not push me out the door to do any major shopping. Once I cleaned up my cold storage and did a little mental inventory, I was not rushing to the store for a lot of things. So this is what a couple of weeks of no shopping will do to you. You go to the store and you leave with one of everything!


I took my 6 year old daughter with me tonight. She broke both arms a couple of weeks ago (she parachuted out of a swing and landed with both arms straight out)....anywho she wanted to get out of the house because she was going a little stir crazy. So I took her along. You know it's a long shopping trip when you have to stop for a potty break in between!

This list is a little too long to itemize, but you can see that I nearly bought one (sometimes more) of everything at the store. I went to my favorite store - Albertson's this week.

I bought 85 items and paid $143.44 which
makes each item about $1.69. This is certainly not the best shopping trip I've had, but I did find some good buys. I bought a lot of things that I did not have coupons for this time. That's sometimes how shopping goes. Also knowing that I only picked up a few basic items in the last 2 weeks, doesn't make the dollar amount I spent today seem so bad.

I had to take 3 pictures just so you could see everything.


Remember a few weeks ago when Albertson's had a great sale on their Hershey's chocolate chips ($.70 a bag)? Well I cashed in on my rain check tonight as well. I really wanted to try their Cinnamon chips, but they didn't have any. It appears that people are still clearing the shelves because of their rain checks as well. Albertson's was allowing people to buy 40 per rain check. All I got was milk chocolate though. They were out of all the other flavors. Milk chocolate is my favorite anyway! I'm happy.

Yes - that is 20 bags of chocolate chips - I'm going to post my favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe in a blog coming soon. I can't wait to make some!
Don't forget to get a rain check on items the store is sold out of. Don't let the savings slip through your fingers. If it's a store you regularly visit, just plan to pick it up on a future shopping trip. Most stores will even allow you to place a special order if you're looking for a large amount. (I personally, would really like it if people would do this - instead of clearing the shelves - it makes other shoppers pretty frustrated to come into the store and find all the sale items gone).

October 16, 2008

Macaroni Grill dinner mixes in a box

Oh baby! Can I say YUMMY!!!!! I signed up with Pssst.... (it's part of General Mills) and they sent me a free box of Ramono's Macaroni Grill, creamy basil. The Macaroni Grill is one of my favorite restaurants to begin with (I wish I lived near one), but now to have these dinners in a box is great. I tried it out tonight and what a hit! My family loved it. I got about 5 good sized servings out of it. My husband is kind of partial to hamburger helper - but now I think I'll be stocking up on the good stuff. I will definatley be looking for these on sale.

You ought to sign up with Pssst.... to see what they send you in the mail. I would love to know what products you get and if they were good. It's always nice to know if a new product is worth trying or not.

Halloween Bread recipes (Rhodes Bake-n-serve)


I love to use Rhodes bake-n-serve bread/rolls. Maybe some of you caught the segment they did this week on Studio 5. It was pretty fun to watch and there were some mummy - I mean yummy ideas for spooky Halloween dishes.













Check out their site for more delicious recipes and ideas. There are some great ideas on the home page as well as in recipes and under sculpture (yummy mummy, autumn leaf, barn bat, chili handwitch, scaredy cat & spider dip bowl). Under basic they also have some bone chillin' breadsticks. Don't forget to look at the other tabs for more great recipes.
Yum....I can smell the bread cooking now, I love this time of year!

October 13, 2008

Boo'd Poems

I live in a neighborhood where every year we get Boo'd. I came across some fun poems if you wanted to start this in your neighborhood. I can not take credit for these cute poems, they came from other blogs.

The air is cool the season fall
Soon Halloween will come to all
The spooks are after things to do
In fact, a spook brought this to you
"BOO" is a shield from witching hour
Just hang it up and watch its power
On your front door is where it works
It wards off spooks and scary jerks
The treats that came with crypted note
Are yours to keep, enjoy them both
The power comes when friends like you
Will copy this and make it TWO
Then others here among our friends
Will give warm fuzzies that do not end
We'll all have smiles upon our face
No one will know who "BOO"ed whose places
Just one short day to work your spell
Or a big ZAP will strike your tail
And don't forget a nifty treat,
Like something cute or something sweet
Please join fun, let's really hear it
And spread some "BOO"s and Halloween spirit.


The Phantom has been here with a treat just for you,
He crept to your door in a fog misty blue.
This isn't a trick, this treat isn't for free,
Now it's your turn and the Phantom you'll be!
The Phantom loves treats and also loves rhymes.
Take you this paper and copy TWO times.
So he won't strike again, hang this on your window or door.
Take this and a treat and deliver TWO more
To a neighbor or friend in the black of the night.
Pound on their door, and give 'em a fright
Then by Halloween night, there surely should be
Phantoms on all of the doors that we see.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!
BOO!
To our good friends on our street;
Our home's locations made us meet,
You now have been Boo'd, but who could we be?
We'll never tell,it's a secret you see.
We placed these goodies for you and yours
Then we ran fast after knocking the door!
Happy Halloween!
Place this Boo on your front door
And make sure you Boo two neighbors of yours!
You could put this with a cute Halloween picture and surprise neighbors and friends. If not, you could certainly do it to your own house and surprise your kids! (I was having problems with the spacing on this last poem - sorry)

October 12, 2008

Some Halloween Fun

I have to admit, I really love Halloween. I hate to dress up though (unless I could find a really cool Queen of Hearts costume from Alice in Wonderland - I think she's silly and mixed up, kinda like me). But I love that spooky feel, the crisp air, the leaves that change colors and the smell of the bucket of candy that you get when you're finished trick-or-treating (I know - silly huh, but it's true).

Another reason I love this time of year is because there are so many fun things to do. I'll list a few and if you have some ideas or things you'd like to share - I would love to hear from you too.
Note: This is not a complete list, I'm only listing things I am aware of, that's why there's an invitation to share what you know.

Day Farms (2500 W Gentile Rd, Layton 801.546.4316)
Pumpkin Patch Hayrides
Oct 10th - Oct 27th
*depending on pumpkin availability and weather conditions)
Mondays & Fridays 4pm to 7pm
Saturdays 1pm to 7pm
$5 per person (includes hayride & pumpkin)
1 & under are free

Black Island Farms (Syracuse) - Haunted corn maze, slides, food, farmers market and more (click here for coupon).

Cornbellys (Lehi) - pig races, cow train, cornbelly mountain, haunted maze, food and more (look for coupon link on website).

Pumpkin Walk - (Syracuse) - Free

Pumpkin Walk - (North Logan) - Free

Trick-or-Treat Street - Southtowne Expo Center (Salt Lake)

Gardner Village - (Salt Lake) - always fun things planned during the month of October

Watch for some more fun Fall/Halloween/October ideas....

October 10, 2008

Huge Shout Out

I have to send a HUGE THANK YOU to Tracie one of my dearest friends for helping me make my blog cuter than it was before. I still need to go in and add a few things and hopefully I'll be able to play with the backgrounds a bit, but she was a huge help. Tracie, Tonya - thanks for a fun GNO! Lets do it again, I loved the laughs and fun.

Also...... rumor has it that Tracie may even be interested in designing your blog. If you're interested check out her blog and send her a comment ;)

October 7, 2008

A huge load has been lifted

So if you go back and read my blog on August 25th (I'm embarrassed that it took me so long to get my act together), you'll see that my pantry/cold storage was seriously lacking in organization.

When you look at this - I want you to know that I started 1 year ago. I purchased things on sale, with coupons. I added a little bit to each shopping trip and this is where I am today.

Well I'm happy to report that both food and non food items have found a home. Take a look at my food storage. It took my husband and I about 2 1/2 hours to sort all this stuff and it still needs a little work - but I'm happy to have it up off the floor and in a place where I can see how much I have.
This is a picture from the back of my storage room (the door is toward the top right of the picture)
This is in the same spot looking left. I decided to put all my "daily/3-6 month" stuff along the left. Some of these fruit snacks and breakfast bars/granola bars still need a little organization.

This picture and the next are just close ups of my "daily/3-6 month supply" stuff. I'm still trying to label everything and also make sure it's FIFO'd (first in, first out).
This is a shot from the door of my cold storage (I put my soups first - it seems like I'm always going down for some). By the way - I have over 200 boxes/bags of cereal - yeah, I think we're set for a while.
This is all my paper products, bandaids, soap, detergent, shampoo/conditioner, baggies, tin foil, saran wrap, cleaning supplies etc.....
Along the right wall, I have all of my long term food storage. I have wheat, honey, powdered milk, sugar, rice, and cannery stuff.
Some more long term storage.

Lastly - this is my door, my floor (that you can now see) and the water barrels still empty of water. My husband is building some mini pallet things with casters on the bottom so that we can roll them and keep them up off the cement. We have 7 barrels - I guess this needs to be higher on the "honey-do-list."

I would have been a smarter shopper if I had known what my inventory was all along.

I hope I never have to rely on this food storage because of some disaster or layoff or anything like that, but I am very thankful to know that we have these reserves in case we need them. If you continue to plug away and buy things at their lowest prices your storage will build just like mine.

As you watch my future shopping trips, they probably won't be huge truckloads of stuff. What I am focusing on now is filling the holes in my storage.

October 5, 2008

Swedish Fish - Free Shirt

This is a really corny ad, but they are offering a free T-shirt. Enjoy your new T-shirt from Swedish Fish - a friend you can eat.

October 4, 2008

Cashin' In on the Blue Light Special




So I gathered my coupons and headed to Kmart on Thursday night. I just haven't had time to post my great finds until today. I was pretty impressed at what I got and the price I paid.

In total I paid $47.77! I'd say I got a pretty good haul (expecially candy for Halloween).


I don't remember the exact prices, but I do know what I got for free and what I paid less than a dollar for etc.. That's the way I'll list the items.







2 bags of Huggies


1 bag Little Swimmers


8 bags of candy ($1.50 a bag - lowest I've seen all season)


5 Scrubbing Bubbles Actions Scrubbers

$1 or LESS

1 tube of Colgate toothpaste

1 Dawn Dishwashing liquid pump

1 Greased Lightning cleaner

3 Sunsilk Shampoo/Conditioner

3 Dove Shampoo/Conditioner





FREE


3 Pert Shampoo/Conditioner

4 Gillette Shampoo/Conditioner

5 Juicy Juice (8 pk)

4 Hershey Dark Chocolate Bars



I have to admit - I'm addicted to finding deals. I hate to pay full price for anything!!!

Take a close look at these items, you may see some of them at a class near you. If you'd like me to teach you how I did this - contact me (callmestacy@yahoo.com) to set up a class. Trust me it's worth it! It's the best 30-60 minutes you'll spend learning in a long time.

October 2, 2008

NEWS FLASH!!!! Kmart is offering double coupons through 10/5/08

Update: The Layton store is honoring the double coupons

So I picked this info up from another blog (click on this link for more details - you will want them) and decided to call Kmart to find out if they were a participating store or not. I called and called the Layton store and no one will answer. So I called the Woods Cross store and they ARE participating. Before you jump in the car with all your coupons you need to call ahead to make sure your store is participating - not all of them are. I was also told by the Woods Cross store that you need to purchase your items at the customer service desk not through a regular line. I asked the Woods Cross store if Layton was participating and she said they were, but at this time I have still not gotten a hold of the Layton store.

Here's a link to another *blog. This lady has already been to Kmart and these are some of the deals she got.

I found a second *link with someone else's shopping finds. (*Please note: these blogs aren't neccessarily in Utah so original and sale prices may vary).

I am not a regular shopper at Kmart, so I don't know all the items they carry. Remember you can go to the Grocery Smarts website and in the drop down box search for coupons alphabetically. You can clip the things that you'd be interested in purchasing.

It gets even better. Here is a link for two, $5 coupons to Kmart. I had to sign up and I'm not sure how quick the turn around is, but I wouldn't wait.

This link is another coupons for $5 off you next purchase of $50. Valid 9/28 to 10/4 (in-store purchase only).

The sale runs from 10/1/08 - to 10/5/08. Double coupons are a rare treat in Utah. Take advantage of this great deal!!!!! Please post a comment if you come across any free deals or great finds. This is the kind of shopping that really puts a smile on my face!!!!
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