Tip of the Day Tuesday: Stock up in season

Buying “in season” doesn’t just apply to fruits and vegetables. When you have been couponing for awhile, you start to see trends in the sale items. If you match your coupons with the sale items, you can often get things pretty cheap

This time of year is the perfect time to stock up on:
*broth (chicken/beef) – you can usually brand name for .30-.40/can
*cream soups (cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, etc.) – you can usually get Campbells for .50-.60/can
*baking items (chocolate chips, flour, sugar, etc.) – if you have a Kroger store, take advantage of the Mega Sale going on right now!
*soup in general (you can get cans of Progresso or Campbells ready to serve for .50-$1 and sometimes free depending on your coupons)
*canned vegetables (you can get them anywhere from .39-.50/can right now)
*cold medicines

If you want to start stocking up, at Walgreens this week, you can get ButterBall chicken broth for .39/can. Campbell’s cream soups are 5/$4. Don’t forget the Mega Sale at Kroger for baking items!

Some people stockpile so that they have an emergency reserve of goods for times of need (unemployment, natural disaster, etc.). I have used mine for both situations. Having a stockpile also helps you to save money on groceries. When I see that there is going to be a good sale on something and there are coupons to match, I usually get a large number of coupons (10-20) and stock up. Then, I don’t ever HAVE to pay full price for these items. I am able to wait until there’s another good sale and stock up again. It’s also nice because I usually don’t have to worry about making last minute trips to the grocery store.

If you’re still having doubts about stockpiling, check out this article on the Five Myths of Stockpiling:

More Savings Monday: Get extra $ for Christmas

I found this information on Money Saving Mom.

*If you have old electronics, cell phones, computer equipment, etc. sitting around your home, you may be able to turn it into cash or gift cards. Sam’s Club, Costco, and Amazon are all offering trade-in and recycling programs.

Here are the details on the Sam’s Club deal:

Do you want to recycle an old printer? Or trade-in an iPod? We make it easy through our Trade-in and Recycle Program. If you’re a Sam’s Club Member, you can trade in qualified used electronics items. In exchange, we’ll give you a Sam’s Club gift card for the value of your item. If your item doesn’t qualify, we’ll help you recycle it.

Follow these simple steps:

Sign-in to samsclub.com. You must be a registered Member of samsclub.com to use this program. –>
1. Visit www.econewonline.com/samsclub
2. Enter details about the electronic item you want to trade-in.
3. Find out whether your item qualifies as a trade-in.
4. If your item qualifies, ecoNEW, a company we’re partnering with, will tell you the trade-in value.
5. Learn how to recycle items without trade-in values.
6. Follow packaging instructions for your trade-in or recyclable item.
7. Receive a Sam’s Club gift card in the mail for items with trade-in values.

Here’s the link if you’d like more information about the trade/recycle program at Costco:

At Amazon.com, you can recycle old phones or iPods for Amazon gift cards here:


Get a $10 Holiday bonus from Coinstar when you exchange $40 in change for a $40 gift card (participating retailers include: Amazon.com, Starbucks, Circuit City, JC Penney, i Tunes, Borders, Old Navy, Pier 1, AMC, Lowes, and more). Details and participating locations can be found here:

Get cash for books you have sitting around your home at Cash4Books.net. Details are below:


Steak on a budget?

Last night, I was in the meat section at the grocery store when a woman caught my attention. She was walking back and forth shaking her head, and finally she said, “I can’t believe these prices! How are we supposed to ever eat meat with prices like this and afford anything else?” It caught me off guard.

So, the question is….is it possible to buy steak on a budget? The answer is yes (with careful planning, of course).

Here’s how I did it last night:
LOOK FOR THE YELLOW TAGS! (this means markdowns at my store at least) I found a package that was marked down to $9. I had a Kroger store coupon for 20% off any Private Selection Angus beef. I also had a wine tag for $3 off any beef purchase (if you’re not familiar with wine tags, they are apparently coupons that are around the top of a wine bottle – I’m not a wine drinker, and I have never seen any in my stores, but I trade for them on various coupon trading sites…I always trade for the ones where no wine/beer purchase is needed!) So, I paid $4.20 for a package of 3 steaks. They are not huge, but they are decent sized, the cut of meat is actually good, and my husband will be happy.

People often ask me if it’s worth it to clip coupons and can you really get “real” food using coupons. It takes a little time and some planning, but I think it’s worth it when I look at our savings (last night it was 71%)

Here’s what I got for $23.50 last night (my total before coupons was $84.72): (I’ll let you decide if it’s worth it)

gallon of skim milk, 1.5 pounds yellow squash, two packages of Tyson chicken breast, hot dog buns, Cottonelle toilet paper, 3 pounds bananas, paprika, 3 pkgs Totino’s pizza rolls (my kids love these, so I let them have them every now and then), Kraft salad dressing, beef stew meat, Pillsbury crescent dinner rolls, Pillsbury cinnamon rolls, 1.5 pounds zucchini, steak, 6 packages Kool Aid, 4 apples, 2 packages wheat thins, 3 bottles of Hormel real bacon pieces (I use these in recipes that call for crumbled bacon), 3 containers of Daisy sour cream, 1 bag of grapes (2 lbs), 1 Pillsbury pizza crust, 3 cans 98% FF cream of mushroom soup, 3 cans 98% FF cream of chicken soup, 1 bag of rice, 1 bag of pinto beans

Here are the coupons I used:
$6 off any $60 grocery purchase (got this in the mail from Kroger)
2 $1/1 Tyson chcken (they chicken was BOGO free)
.25/1 Kroger hot dog buns (from a mailer)
.25/1 Cottonelle toilet paper (tripled)
.35/1 Totino’s pizza rolls (tripled)
Free Kraft salad dressing WYB 3 Kraft products (that’s where the Kool Aid comes in)
$1.50 off a $7 beef purchase (Kroger coupon from the mail)
.25/1 Pillsbury crescent rolls (tripled)
.30/1 Pillsbury sweet rolls (tripled)
20% off Angus Private Selection beef (from a Kroger mailer)
2 $3 off any beef purchase (NWBPN) wine tags
$1 off any $4 fresh fruit purchase (Kroger mailer)
3 – .35/1 Hormel coupons (tripled)
3 – .35/1 Daisy sour cream coupons (tripled)
.30/1 Pillsbury pizza crust (tripled)

If you’re wondering if you can eat “real” meals on a budget, I think so. Here’s our dinner menu for the week:

Sunday – chicken rice casserole
Monday – crock pot pork chops
Tuesday – taco pie
Wednesday – chicken stroganoff
Thursday – french dip sandwiches
Friday – baked ziti
Saturday – steak (it was supposed to be lemon chicken puff, but I switched it now that we have steak!)