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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March 31, 2009

What are you doing for April Fools Day?

So what are your plans for April Fools Day? I'm certainly not creative enough to come up with something on my own, so I read a few things on the internet to come up with the following:

I'm going to start by serving my family banana splits for breakfast (check out my previous post - I bought some supplies for breakfast).

I also want to get my kids involved. Because they are young I wanted them to have some fun. I am going to help them switch around my husbands clothes in his dresser drawers. My kids will think that's pretty funny.

And lastly, for dinner (I'm not sure what we'll be having yet), but I'm going to serve it in a non-traditional manner. They will not be allowed to eat off of regular plates and use silverware. We will be eating off of frisbees, pie tins, cookie sheets or whatever is handy and I will allow them to pick a utensil from the drawer that is not a fork, knife or spoon. It should be fun - I might need to provide bibs too. I think my kids will like this.

So what fun ideas do you have in store? I would love to hear your ideas.

Check out these sites for more fun ideas.
http://familyfun.go.com/arts-and-crafts/season/specialfeature/aprilfools-pranks-ms/

http://www.kidzworld.com/article/1939-april-fools-practical-jokes-and-pranks

http://www.guy-sports.com/humor/urban_myth/index_april_fool.htm

http://www.pinchingyourpennies.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116004&highlight=april+fools

http://www.pinchingyourpennies.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33214&highlight=april+fools

http://www.pinchingyourpennies.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60392&highlight=april+fools

http://www.pinchingyourpennies.com/forums/showthread.php?t=34289&highlight=april+fools

http://www.pinchingyourpennies.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33213&highlight=april+fools

Pretty good deals at Albertson's this week

Because I've been couponing for such a long time - you get to a point that you don't need to go to every sale. Right now my food storage is pretty good and what I'm working on is just filling the holes. Trust me, I love the thrill of a good sale, but I don't always need the items that are on sale. So once you get to this point, don't worry if you don't hit all the sales. Just go for the things you need.

These are the deals I got at Albertson's last night.


6 boxes of Post Honey Bunches of Oats (different flavors)

*I made this my first purchase. You can buy either 5 or 6 boxes and get a $5.00 catalina (register coupon) back. I chose to buy 6 boxes because the coupon associated with it was for the purchase of 2 boxes). I paid $6.70 for these 6 boxes and got a $5.00 catalina back, which I applied to the rest of my purchases)*

1 loaf of Grandma Sycamore bread

1 bag Chips Ahoy

2 bottles of Taco Bell Salsa

1 box of Ritz crackers

1 box of Chicken in a bisket crackers

2 cans of Campbell's vegetable soup

2 bags of Hershey's Easter candy

1 dozen eggs

2 plastic bowls (red/blue)



1 gallon of Albertson's OJ

1 bottle of Coke

1 container of Albertson's sour cream

1 bag of Santita's corn chips

3 bottles of Snuggle fabric softner (I had 3, $2.00 coupons - printables are online at this link)

5 boxes of Nabisco 100 calorie treats

2 half gallons of Breyer's ice cream (vanilla bean and waffle cone - my new favorite flavor!)

1 bottle of Smuckers magic shell

1 bunch of banana's

I paid a total of $51.96 for my groceries. I saved $72.03. I paid about $1.29 per item (total items 35).

If you haven't already heard or read somewhere, Albertson's is no longer taking competitor's coupons. I'm very sad because of this, but am pleased to see more double coupon offers as well as discounts on gas purchases when I shop there. I guess these other benefits are still pretty good.

Please remember if you'd like to share some of your shopping successes, I'd love to post them!

March 25, 2009

Questar - Energy Audit - Thermwise

After having more insulation installed in my attic (earlier blog), I decided to look into getting an Energy Audit done on my house by Questar. I'm glad I did. I kind of assumed that because my house was built in 2002, we were okay. After the auditor left, I was really impressed by the amount of things we could do to improve our home.

Below are some of the less expensive things we can do:

1- Fill in the cracks/holes in our furnace. If the fan or furnace is running you can feel air coming out of the seams or holes in the furnace, plug them with caulking or tape (stuff you can get from your local hardware store).

2 - Check the seals around your doors. If you can feel a breeze or see any light - you need to fix that.

3 - He showed us some pliable/bendable plug and light switch covers. These are actually designed to be added between the wall and the actual cover to provide insulation. He said they were inexpensive and could be picked up at most hardware stores.
He covered quite a bit and looked in our attic to view the insulation, checked our unfinished basement and gave some suggestions for that as well. He also went around and checked the shower heads and bathroom sinks to make sure they were slow flow. Before he left he gave us with some information on rebates, websites and where our own personal energy usage was. He also talked about appliances that use less energy and the rebates associated with those items.

Even though my house was built in 2002, there are definately some things I can do now to reduce the cost of my heating and cooling bill. I can't wait to get started. The best part of this audit was that he left us with some insulation for our pipes coming in and out of the water heater and he also left us a blanket for the water heater (he even gave us some directions on how to install it correctly). The items he left with us were free!

It cost $25 to have him come out (this will show up on my Questar bill), but if we do the recommendations he suggested, the $25 gets reimbursed. If you'd like to schedule an energy audit you can visit Thermwise or call 800-695-7375. The website will also give you more information in what is included in an energy audit. My appointment was scheduled for 2 hours.


In my opinion - every penny counts!

March 24, 2009

My double coupon purchase's @ Albertson's

I took advantage of the double coupons today. I checked with my store before purchasing anything to see if they would or would not allow me to use more than one set of double coupons in my stop today. They advised me that they would only allow me to use one set (coupons 1-4 or one sheet) and that if I wanted to use more, I would need to come back.


Anyway - here's what I got.


(Sorry the picture is fuzzy)
1 Stouffer's Lasagna $9.99
2 Hershey's Bliss chocolate easter eggs $1.00 each
1 pkg of Dentyne gum $1.59
(not pictured 3 Bug Juices - for the kids) $.89 each
I paid a total of $16.86 and saved $15.88 - almost a 50% savings.

Albertson's/PYP grocery offer - worth over $20 in savings

I ran across this, this morning. Check out this link on Pinching Your Pennies. Read through the directions and send your info to Albertson's! I can't wait for the discounts. Don't wait - it's only available to the first 5,000 PYP members. The offer is good for Utah and Idaho only and will close on March 31st, 2009.

March 16, 2009

Great deals at Smiths

I went shopping late on Saturday night. I thought for sure that all the great deals would be gone. To my pleasant surprise - I found almost everything I wanted.



2 boxes of Betty Crocker fruit snacks

2 Freschetta frozen pizza's

3 bags of Hershey's Easter candy

3 boxes of Nature Valley granola bars

7 boxes of Kellog's Little Bites (Honey Nut and 1 Chocolate)

6 Yoplait yogurt

1 Daisy sour cream

1 pkg of Kroger butter

1 pkg of Oscar Mayer bologna


1 bag Dole lettuce

2 bundles of asparagus (YUM - one of my favorites)

2 pkgs of Q-tips (unfortunatley, this was the wrong size on the ad - I should have read it better)

3 Colgate toothpastes

2 pkgs of Stayfree pads

2 Johnson & Johnson Buddie bars (love to get these free - I don't think I've ever paid for one)

3 boxes of Eggo Waffles

1 bag of Cheetos

2 bags of Doritos

2 loaves of Grandma Sycamore's bread

2 pkgs of Kroger Chipmate cookies

1 bag of Kroger english muffins

I paid $82.62 (I thought I had 30 items in order to save $15, but only had 26 items, so I saved $10 instead) and saved $46.23 (THAT'S A 45% SAVINGS!!!!)

The best part of this trip was because I went so late, the Smith's only had their self checkouts open. As I was waiting for help with my coupons at the end, I noticed dozens of catalina coupons that had not been taken. Several people (while I was scanning my items) just checked out and left the coupons hanging from the machine. I asked the attendant if it was okay to take them and he said yes. So now I have a bunch of catalina coupons I can use in the future. SWEET!

Shauntell and her trip to the grocery store with Channel 4 - video clip

Shauntell is another Grocery Smarts teacher and she was finally able to get the video clip of her shopping trip with Nicea on Channel 4. This is her blog with the story - take a look.

March 10, 2009

I'm a novice at canning anything....




Disclaimer: I have never canned by myself before - this was the first time I've ever done some thing like this. My mom used to bottle fruit all the time when I was a kid - so I was a little nervous for the first time, especially where this was meat and not fruit.
I got ambitious and decided that last Saturday, I was going to can chicken. I've been purchasing chicken over the past several weeks and my freezer was stuffed. I seriously could not fit one more thing in the freezer until I canned this chicken. So with my husbands help - we tackled this not so fun job.
We decided to just do the 20lb box I got from Macey's a couple of weeks ago. I also had 2 additional pounds in the fridge from a larger package I had used for dinner the night before. So I canned 22 lbs of chicken in total.
I used pints because they will hold approximately 1 lb of chicken which is what most recipes call for. It took a long time to trim the chicken. I'm pretty picky when it comes to what my chicken looks like and I didn't want to have to deal with trimming chicken after I had it bottled.


Once we got the chicken in the bottles we put it in the pressure cooker. We had a few hiccups along the way. We got the water boiling, but steam was coming out of the lid, so I touched a small black rubber stopper that was on top of the lid and it fell into the pot. We had to stop everything and fish it out. So then we got started again and again steam was escaping from the lid. As we unfastened the lid we realized the gasket/seal had torn - meaning that we needed a new gasket in order to proceed. So we called Kitchen Kneads (it was 3:45 pm on Saturday) praying that they were still open so we could run and get one. Luckily they were open until 5:00 pm so I rushed back to finish the job. As we took the lid off the second time the lids on the bottles began to seal. We had to unseal all the bottles and start over.


So the third time was the charm. We finally had a tight seal and we able to get the pressure to 15 lbs. We fit 16 bottles in the first batch and cooked it for an hour and 15 minutes. We did a second batch with an additional 7 bottles. If you decide to use quart bottles (will hold 2 lbs of chicken - each, you need to cook them for 90 minutes at 15 lbs of pressure).



Here's the finished product. Once they've cooked for 75 minutes you have to let the pressure cooker release the pressure on it's own. You can't speed the process, needless to say we were finally pulling the last batch out at about 10:30 pm.


Okay - I have to admit, this doesn't really look yummy to eat right out of the jar, but I am pretty excited to have this on hand. It will certainly come in handy in an emergency and make certain chicken recipes (enchilada's, taco's etc....) much more convenient to make. I did not add any juice to the chicken. I did add a dash of salt and a little poultry seasoning - but you don't even have to do that.
Now that I've done chicken - I'm going to try some hamburger and other meats.

March 9, 2009

Wow! What an honor and a surprise.

I was given an award today, by The Mom at Babes In Hairland. What a treat - I can't believe it. By the way, if you haven't checked out her blog - it is way cute. I have a daughter that seriously needs a mom who can do hair. I will definatley be checking out her site more often.

Thanks - Mom, you made me feel very special today :) And thanks for checking my blog out!

Okay, so here's what I have to do now. I'm supposed to list 7 things I love and then pass this on to 7 other bloggers out there.

1 - Tulips - oh I can't wait - they're almost here.
2 - My family - especially on days when we get to do something fun
3 - My Heavenly Father
4 - Chocolate Molten cake from Chili's
5 - The smell of spearmint
6 - Coupons and good sales
7 - My DVR
The 7 bloggers that I'm passing this onto are:

1 - Tracie over at Memories in Moments. She comes up with so many cute and creative ideas with her digital scrapbooking. She's also starting a new little business called "Scrap for Hire" where she will help design your blog. She is the magic fairy that always makes my blog look so cute and festive!

2 - I wish I could meet Mindi, who makes me LMAO when I read her blog. Word to your mother is one of the funniest blogs I've ever read. She is a kindred spirit (an 80's throwback) and I love it. Thank you for making me laugh over and over again!

3 - I get some of my best information from Making Life Sweet...One Deal At A Time. She always has great money saving ideas and tips. I usually check her blog daily to make sure I'm not missing a great sale or anything.

4 - For any of you who watch Studio 5 on Wednesday's, you will see Janet. She is so awesome. She's always showing the best deals at Macey's and then she does a food demo. I know she uses Grocery Smarts (just like I do). She has a great blog called Living on Less...means not living without. I always check her blog for the latest and greatest on sales as well.

5 - I love to read blogs and Everyday Food Storage is one of my favorites. She has really done a lot to show the basics of how easy and simple it is to use and rotate your food storage. What I really like is the video clips she posts. I'm a visual learner, so this really helps me (I'm a little challenged when it comes to using food storage and rotating it). She really makes it simple and easy to follow - plus the recipes she posts are really yummy. I've tried several.

6 - I really appreciate Shauntell at the Obsessive Shopper. She did a segment the other day with Nicea Degering on Channel 4. She showed Nicea how to shop and save money using coupons. She has a great blog where she shows a lot of valuable information. She also uses Grocery Smarts.

7 - And lastly - I enjoy reading Safely Gathered In. The person behind this blog has invested a lot of time and energy. This blog is jam packed with step by step information on how to start preparing for an emergency. There are great recipes, spiritual thoughts, new and inventive ideas, how to prepare 72 hour kits and the list goes on and on. You really ought to check out this blog for more information on how to get started.

This has been really fun! I nominated blogs that I have truly enjoyed and learned from. Thanks for all the work you put into your blog!
For all you that I've nominated it is now your turn to return the favor to your favorite bloggers out there. You can copy the award and paste it into your blog.

Great news clip on how to save $$

I saw this on the CBS Early show this morning. It's a great news clip on how to save $$, where to get coupons both for groceries and online buying and how to load coupons on to your grocery discount cards. It's short, but very informative and worth watching. Check out this link to view it.

March 7, 2009

Some more good freebies comin' your way.....

Febreze Sport spray

Decal of your favorite Chevy NASCAR driver

NuTone Hat

Dellalo Tote Bag (Eat Olives)

Flexitol Therapeutics (Laderma)

Bone Health Challenge Kit (Sally Fields)

Hylands Leg Cramps sample with Quinine

California Pizza Kitchen - Kids Birthday club signup (free meal)

Free Total Cranberry Crunch sample

Natural Persimmon Tea sample

Free Diet Dr. Pepper (20 oz or 2 ltr bottle - still good)

Cream of Wheat sample

Free Spot Remover from Steam-A-Way

The Hinckley (2 DVD's Journey to the Promised Land and Trek West - Living Scriptures)

Some more fun samples and freebies. I always like getting fun packages in the mail and they're even better when they come with coupons. I hope you like them too.

March 6, 2009

I could be the next Sego Lily Blogger - could you?

As you know - I try to share the best deals possible with anyone who will listen. My sister shared this great contest with me, so I'm going to enter - What have I got to lose? Besides - here I am now, sharing this opportunity with you.

I have personally only had a couple of massages in my whole life, but truly did enjoy every minute of them.


There are a couple of reasons that I don't get massages very often - so here goes:


1 - The massages I've recieved in the past have always been given to me as gifts (yeah - where did those friends and relatives go?????)


2 - I decided 2 years ago to quit my full time job and be a SAHM (stay at home mom) - finding time for myself has not been my biggest priority - even though I would like to find that time and my sanity again. (I could definatley fit a massage in sometime between picking up and dropping off at school, laundry, cleaning house, napping children, blogging, doing dishes and making three meals a day....I would make the time - trust me =8 )


3 - I guess now that I'm trying to find ways to cut back and I usually have a coupon for everything - I've just been too frugal to pamper myself like this (do they have these kind of coupons in the Sunday paper LOL!!!)


4 - Okay ladies (and gents - if there are any reading this) - lets be honest......it's a little weird to get undressed to have a massage. I'm only speaking from my point of view, but when you have a little weight issue (like I do), exposing any part of my body does not build my confidence. Don't get me wrong - the massages I've had have totally been worth it and I've never felt compromised, but lets face it.....the initial undressing part is a little akward - ya'all know what I mean.....


Based off of what my current blog represents - I think I would be the greatest blogger for Sego Lily - I guess we'll see.......




So.....if any of you are interested in:


1 spa treatment a month


24 of Sego Lily Day Spa's most luxurious treatments (valued at $3000)


Royalty treatment


Here's what you've got to do:


Blog about why you should be the the Sego Lily blogger of the year.


Enter by April 6th


Reply to their email


Make sure to check our their link (Sego Lily Day Spa) for all the details.


Wish me luck....I think anyone that would win this kind of spa treatment will be one lucky blogger.

March 5, 2009

My purchases at Albertson's this week


2 bottles of Dawn

4 canning lids (2 regular, 2 large - I'm going to try bottling chicken this week - wish me luck, no coupon)

2 boxes Fruit Loops

3 boxes of Rice Krispies

1 box Cheerios (Free)

1 bottle of Tide

4 bags of Russell Stovers chocolates (this worked out that I bought one bag and got the other 3 free)

1 pkg of croutons (no coupon)

1 quart of Darigold half and half

1 bottle of Baco's (no coupon)

2 pkgs of mini Butterfingers (in-store coupons $.88 each)

2 bags of Albertson's parmesan cheese

1 block of Albertson's swiss cheese

1 pkg of mushrooms

1 coke (my treat - no coupon)

1 pkg eggs (no coupon)

5 cans Pringles

2 pkgs of Bar J hot dogs (no coupon)

5 boxes of Band-Aids

8 boxes of Kellog's Fruit Snacks

6 Yoplait Yogurts

1 Gillette body wash

1, 2 ltr Diet Dr. Pepper (Free)

2 Minute Maid orange juices

2 Loreal Kids shampoo/conditioner

5 bags Quaker Quakes

1 box Progresso Panko bread crumbs (no coupon)

5 boxes of Crest toothpaste

1 pkg of shallots (no coupon)

1 bag Cadbury eggs (I wish they had these all year - no coupon)

I had $23.50 from a previous sale to use towards my shopping trip. In total I paid $108.92 for 77 items. This made each item approximately $1.41. I SAVED $131.17 - I even impressed myself, that's more than a 50% savings.

I also got some rainchecks for Frosted Flakes and more Gillette body wash.

When I teach classes I like to play a game at the end. Many of the items you see me buy, often come with me as giveaways for the game. Just remember - it's a free class (about an hour long), common sense organization of coupons, introduction to a free website that helps you use your coupons, games and a hostess gift. If this sounds like something you'd like to do, call me at 801-589-3946 (you host the class and I'll come to you).

One last thing - I bought the bread crumbs, shallots, half and half, swiss cheese, parmesan cheese and mushrooms for a soup that I wanted to make tonight. I saw it on Studio 5 - click on this link for the recipe for Chicken Artichoke soup. I'll let you know how it turned out.

UPDATE on Soup: The soup was really good in my opinion. If you watched the video clip, I probably wouldn't add too many bread crumbs at a time - they turn mushy before I could finish my soup. I would just keep adding bread crumbs as you need them. Also, I could not find the cremini mushrooms at the Albertson's I went to. I just used regular white mushrooms - not sure if that would have changed the taste or not. I would give this soup 4 out of 5 stars.

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