March 31, 2009

Walgreens: Free Clinic Visits to Unemployed and Uninsured thru end 2009



I just opened my computer to see this headline on Yahoo!:

Walgreens Giving Free Care to Jobless and Uninsured (click to read the full story).

From the article:
Walgreens said patients who lose their job and health insurance after March 31 will be able to get free treatment at its in-store Take Care clinics for respiratory problems, allergies, infections and skin conditions, among other ailments. Typically those treatments cost $59 or more for patients with no insurance.

Click here to locate the Walgreens Take Care Clinic closest to you.

You will need to have proof of unemployment or loss of insurance; from the article:
Patients must present proof they are unemployed, including a federal or state unemployment determination letter and an unemployment check stub. They will have to sign a form at the clinic saying they have lost their jobs and health benefits. If they find a new job or get new health insurance, they will no longer be eligible for free care.

The free care will be provided M-F, 11a - 3p through the end of 2009.

This could be huge for a family out there facing unemployment or loss of insurance; be sure to share this around the web.

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

Freebie Roundup!

I'm dishing up some goodies today - take a few minutes to grab these freebies before they're gone!

:: Headed to The Great Indoor Store at Sears this week? Print this coupon for a FREE silicone-head spatula (value $4.99) and grab yours by Saturday, 04/04.

:: Request a FREE sample of Eucerin Smoothing Essentials Lotion from Walmart right here.

:: Register for a chance to win a FREE sample pack of Emergen-C Health and Energy Water right here. This one looks really good; I registered for it and there was no catch or funny business. If I don't win, I hope you do!

:: Mark your calendars! April 26 is National Pretzel Day and you can get a FREE pretzel courtesy of Pretzelmaker and Pretzel Time; details are in this press release right here. (Thanks, Emily!)

:: Be one of the first 10,000 to take the Sustain Yourself, Sustain the Planet pledge at Earthbound Farms during each week of APRIL and you'll receive a FREE Earth Bound Farm Reusable Shopping Tote; click for details right here.

Enjoy!

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

Easter Candy Deals @ Kroger, Week of 3/30

I'm teaming up with Andrea @ Mommy Snacks to help you locate the best deals on Easter candy and goodies as you start preparing to fill those baskets.

See the full list of Easter Candy Deals at national and regional stores covered by participating bloggers here.

I'm covering the Easter Candy Deals at Kroger; I'll have the weekly breakdown of best deals + coupon matchups on Tuesdays through Easter (3/31, 4/7).

Be sure to visit the main Easter Candy Deals post each week at Mommy Snacks.

Kroger Easter Candy Deals, Week of 3/30-04/05 (Cincinnati Region)

**Buy (3) Hershey's non-chocolate candy 9.2-14 oz bags, get $1.00/1 doz Kroger Lg or XL Grade A Eggs!** (Limit 2 rewards per transaction.)

Whoppers Robin's Eggs or Jolly Ranchers Jelly Beans, $1.66 ea or 3/$5.00 (These two items are specifically pictured in the ad for the above promotion; there may be more varieties available in-store - be sure to look around!)

Starburst Jelly Beans, 14 oz, $1.50 ea

:: $1.00/2, RP 03/01

Hershey's or Reese's Easter Candy, 10-12 oz, $2.50 ea

:: $1.50/3 printable here

:: $1.50/3, SS 03/15

Hershey's Easter Candy, 18-18.5 oz, $3.50 ea

:: $2.00/2, SS 01/25 (Hershey Kisses, Minatures, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Miniatures, York Peppermint Patties, Any 19.75 Oz. OR 16.4 Oz. Reeses Peanut Butter Mix, Hershey's Chocolate Mix, Twizzlers Mix or Jolly Rancher Mix)

Easter M&Ms, 9.9-12.6 oz, $2.00 ea

:: $1.00/2, RP 03/01

Nestle Easter Chocolate Candy (Crunch, Butterfinger, Nest Eggs pictured), 10-12 oz, $2.00 ea

:: $1.00/2 Nest Eggs or Wonka Golden Eggs printable here. (Must register at VeryBestKids.com to print.)

SweeTarts Jelly Beans, 13-14 oz, $1.50 ea

Hershey's Chocolate Bunnies, 5-6 oz, $2.99 ea

Dove Chocolate Bunnies, 6 oz, $3.00 ea

Cadbury Creme Eggs, 4 pk, $2.00 ea

Peeps, 3-3.38 oz, $1.00 ea

Kroger Jelly Bird Eggs, 10 oz, $1.00 ea

Russell Stover Creme Eggs, 1-1.2 oz, $0.33 ea or 3/$1.00

~~~Other Easter Goodies~~~

Easter Fillable Eggs, 2.5-3.5 oz, $1.50 ea

Easter Books, 25% off

Easter Baskets, 25% off

Crayola Easter Basket Stuffers, 20% off

Paas Egg Dye Kits, $1.59 - $1.99

Easter Tableware (paper products), 4/$5.00


Gather those Easter goodies now - you'll save time, money, and stress!

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

Let's Go Krogering! Week of March 30

This feature is posted every Tuesday by 5:00 AM EST with a Mr. Linky at the bottom if you'd like to add your link to your own post about what deals you found at your local Kroger or Kroger-affiliated store. Please click here to read the rules; the html code for the 149x149 button is in my sidebar.

Feel free to link up to this all week and share the good deals you find at your local Kroger or Kroger-affiliated store! As always, please add a link back to me in your Krogering post. Not sure how to do this? Just
email me and I'll walk you through it!

$~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~$


Click here for a printable file of this week's (03/30-04/05) Kroger Ad Matchup with current coupons (Cincy Region).


Well, no Krogering yet for me as of late Monday evening; we had an eventful day here. My daughter has the nastiest strep throat I've seen in a long time and I spent a good portion of this morning getting her what she needs to get better.

I had hopes of Krogering tonight after all the kiddos were in bed, but my youngest (my 3 y o) decided, just as I was upstairs gathering his brother's t-ball gear, to put his blanky over his head and pretend to be - I can only guess here - a ghost. Little ghostie-boy ran smack into the frame of the sliding glass door and gave himself one doozy of a knot, so off he and I went to our local ER to make sure he was a-ok. {He is, and so is his worried mom!}

Kroger, my friends, will have to wait another day for me!

But that doesn't mean you can't link your best steals and deals from Kroger and Kroger-owned stores this week! Bring 'em and link 'em and share how well you did and the best matchups you found - your posts really do help other readers!

I'll revise this post when I finally do go Krogering sometime tomorrow. Luckily, I don't need much more than fresh fruit and dairy this week.

**Revised Friday, April 3, 2009** (Sheesh! I'm blushing at my tardiness!)

I finally made it to Kroger on Tuesday; my trip:



Spent: $59.80 (includes $13.99 for the Iams after coupon and P&G deal)
Saved: $47.74, or 45%

Breakdown of coupons I used:

:: $2.00/1 Iams, Kroger mailed coupon

:: $3.00/2 Frito Lay Chips, Pepsi/Frito Lay rebate mailed coupon

:: (2) $1.50/1 CoffeeMate printable here

:: (2) @1.00/1 Quaker Maple and Brown Sugar Life printable here

:: (2) $1.00/1 Quaker True Delights Bars printable here

:: $0.55/1 Land O Lakes butter printable here (must register first)

:: $1.00/1 Pringles Stix, P&G mailer coupon

:: $1.00/2 Triscuits or Wheat Thins, SS 03/15

**As always, please add a link back to my Let's Go Krogering! post in your Krogering post and be sure that you add your post's permalink to the Mr. Linky so everyone else can find your deals (rather than just linking back to your blog's homepage). Need help doing this? Email me and I'll walk you through it!**



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March 30, 2009

Money Smarts: Online Surveys

Money Smarts is a new weekly feature here at The New Frugal Mom, one that will focus on how to monetize your blog, wahm opportunities, budgeting, and just generally saving more money while earning (legitimately) a few bucks as well.

For more details about the origins of Money Smarts, click here.

I heard from many of you a while back when I asked for your opinions as to what you wanted to see here at The New Frugal Mom that you were interested in legitimate online surveys to earn cash/prizes.

If you look in my first sidebar, I have a section for "Survey Sites" that is still empty.

Why?

Well, the honest truth is that I don't do online surveys, save one (Pinecone Research) and even that one I think I'm in danger of being booted from their database for not keeping up with the surveys they do send me.

Although I added the "Survey Sites" section to this blog, I haven't added the links because I don't feel I can promote something I don't do myself. It's just not me; if I'm putting something on this blog that can potentially earn me a dime as an affiliate link (which, if I were a member of the survey panels, my links would be affiliate links), I strongly believe it should be something I either;

1) Use/do in my own life; and/or,

2) Have firsthand knowledge of so that I can effectively explain to you just how it works for me.

I think online surveys are great if you have both the time and the patience (both in short supply with me!!) to keep up with them. Alas - time is never my friend and patience is the virtue that the Lord gives me homework on every day!!

But because you might have more free time (or more discipline with your free time) than I do and you certainly might have more patience than I do, I want to send you to visit two of my real life friends' blogs to read their recommendations and best practices for online surveys. You can read up on what they do, how it works for them, and see if it might work for you, too!

Here's Andrea @ MommySnacks and her breakdown on
Surveys to Earn Cash


And here's Carrie @ MoneySavingMethods and her Instructions on how to start doing surveys

I know both of these supermoms will steer you in the right direction; if you have any questions, don't hesitate to leave them a comment or drop them an email.

Do you do online surveys? What's your best piece of advice for those who want to give it a try?

Have a post of your own about doing online surveys for cash or prizes? Feel free to link it up in the Mr. Linky below; just be a peach and add a link back to this post in your post, m'kay? Thanks in advance!

**Revised 04/05**
Mr. Linky was acting up; I've removed the Mr. Linky box from this post. Thanks!


Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

Menu Plan Monday: Week of March 30



Time to scan your pantry and freezer, skim your grocery ad, check your calendar, and plan your menu for the week! You can save time, money, and stress if you invest twenty minutes to plan your dinners each week. Need help? Go visit the mega-meal planning linkup over at Orgjunkie.com, Meal Plan Monday!

This week kicks off both softball practice for my daughter and t-ball practice for my oldest son, meaning lots of busy nights ahead. Time to give my Crockpot a permanent home on my kitchen counter for the next few months!

I don't need much at Kroger this week; time to munch through what I've got stashed in the freezer and save some $$ for Easter dinner shopping.

Here's my plan for the week:

Monday:

Frozen Pizza + Salad
(We've got two practices tonight -- easy is the plan of the day!)

Tuesday:

Honey Fried Chicken + mashed potatoes + veggies
(I was sick this weekend and didn't get a chance to make this on Sunday; moving it to this weekend.)

Wednesday:

Island Kielbasa in a Slow Cooker + Rice

Thursday:

LOMO {Leftover Makeover}
I've got leftover sloppy joe filling that I'll be working my LOMO magic on; come back and see what I concoct!!

Friday:

Grilled Cheese + Fish Sticks + Tomato Soup
(Finishing off the Lenten Friday foods I have on hand.)

Saturday:

Free Night!!

Sunday:

Cheesy Italian Tortellini a la Crockpot + salad

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

March 29, 2009

Ad Matchup Roundup: March 28-April 4

This is a new weekly feature I'm adding to help you in planning your shopping (and your saving!) every week. I'll post this every *Sunday* and will also be adding the links to my sidebar each week under the header Ad Matchups.

::My weekly Kroger Ad Matchup, March 30-April 5 (Cincy Region)

::Meijer Ad Matchup, March 29-April 4 (Cincy Region) (Thank you, Mommy Snacks!)

::Walmart Matchup, updated March 24 (Regional Prices Will Vary)(Thank you, Deal Seeking Mom!)

::Target Ad Matchup, March 29-April 4 (Thank you, Stretching a Buck!)

::CVS Ad Matchup, March 29-April 4 (Thank you, Bargain Briana!)

::Walgreens Ad Matchup, March 29-April 4 (Thank you, Bargain Briana!)

The Kroger Ad Matchup is my weekly published Google Word Doc; you should be able to print it easily right from your browser right here.

The other ad matchups link directly to some of the smartest {and nicest - I'm privileged to know them!} deal blogging mamas out there -- I hope you'll enjoy visiting their sites.

Don't see your local grocery or drug store on the above list?

Visit the mother of all ad matchups (it's national, baby!) updated twice weekly at BeCentsAble

::The Original Grocery Gathering

Hope this helps you get organized for the week ahead! Now go get busy saving!!

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

Blog Display Issue

Quick question - is this blog displaying on the left side of your screen rather than the center (as it should be)?

I've looked at it on both my computers and see a left display; before I start tooling around the HTML, I wanted to ask you if you're seeing the same thing I am.

I'm hoping Blogger is just having a bad night!!

Please let me know if you're seeing this displayed on the left rather than the center...thanks!!

**Revised 3/30, 9:41 AM EST**


The blog is formatted with content on the left and two sidebars on the right. What I'm seeing is that the whole blog itself is pushed off to the left of my computer screens (laptop and desktop) rather than centered in the screen (as it should be); I'll be working on an HTML fix for this today so hang in with me!!

;-)

Thanks!!

Kroger Ad Matchup (Cincy Region): March 30- April 5



I've compiled the Kroger Ad + Coupon Matchups for the Cincinnati Region 03/30-04/05 into a Google Doc that you can easily print from your browser. Here it is:

Kroger: Cincinnati Region Coupon/Sales Matchups March 30-April 5


I've also hard linked this GoogleDoc in my first right sidebar for easy reference during the week. I'll be adding more ad matchup links to that sidebar later tonight to help you plan your weekly shopping...and your weekly savings!

Please drop a comment or zip me an email if you find a deal I missed; I'll revise the GoogleDoc with credit to your fabulous self (but of course!!).

Don't forget to come back on Tuesday for my Let's Go Krogering! feature. Come by ALL week long and link up your post detailing what you scored at Kroger this week. I *love* seeing all the great deals everyone finds and - you guys - THANKS for linking up. You make my heart happy!

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

March 28, 2009

Blessed Am I: The Wild, Wild Web


The button code is in the box below; feel free to use this button and link your own Blessed Am I post in the Mr. Linky box at the very end. Thanks!


<em><a href="http://thenewfrugalmom.com"><img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_4PVFXX60X44/ScRXRQoJHyI/AAAAAAAABvk/irhcU9KL2SI/s400/Blessed+am+I+202x227.png" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5315469414236757794" /></a>
</em>


I've been online since college (oh dear - puhLEEZ don't ask me to tell you how long ago that was; let's just leave it at audible dialup, k?) and I watched the Net mature from simple communication to what it is now: an Information Revolution.

There's a lot of junk out there, no doubt. I wade through spam every day and roll my eyes when my Google searches for innocent information come back with adult links mixed in with the authentic links.

But what I've seen over the last few years as blogging and social media exploded is a change for the better. I truly believe that there is much good being added to the Web every day, and just as importantly, there is the potential for even greater good in the future.

Not only is the Web changing the face of media and big business, it's offering anyone with an entrepreneurial bone in their body a place to find their niche. Moms at home now have more and more options for earning income while raising their children.

The impact of the Information Revolution on education for all is unmeasurable because it keeps growing each day. It used to be if you wanted to learn about something new for free, you headed to your local library. Now all you need is Google and some spare time.

But the best part of the Net is the ability to share ideas with other people, to build community and connections where none could have existed before.

I'm blessed to be participating in what is good online as well as blessed to bear witness to this Information Revolution. I hope that the good continues to outweigh the bad as we move forward online.

Have a post about how you feel blessed you'd like to share? Please feel free to use the Mr. Linky to share your Blessed Am I post; if you don't have a post and just want to share in a comment, that's just peachy, too!



Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

Saturday Savings Roundup: March 23-29

I'm sharing my deals at the Super Savings Saturday linkup at Money Saving Mom: click over and see all the good deals for yourself!

Kroger:




Spent: $92.67
Saved: $52.57, or 36%


I also made a second trip to Kroger this week because we have a family guest visiting this weekend. I stocked up on more goodies and - *gasp* - I had nary a coupon with me. I know, I know...but sometimes we all fall prey to the convenience of a "dash-in" trip; I managed to shop the sale items so it wasn't all bad. ;-)

Kroger, Trip #2:

Spent: $33.81
Saved: $18.06, or 35%


Are you looking for some of the best deals found at Kroger this week? Come visit the deals found by deal-savvy, Kroger-lovin' bloggers at my weekly linkup, Let's Go Krogering!. You won't be disappointed!

$-------------------------$


Weekly totals:

Spent: $126.48

Saved: $70.63, or 35%

My monthly budget challenge for this month was $360 or $90/week so I've gone over that challenge amount this week by a wide mile. That's ok; I challenge myself to keep my motivation groovin' and to see if I can save the difference if I succeed. My grocery budget still has room for the same $400/month for the five of us with or without the added contest with myself.

So I'm over my budget challenge this week and have been for three weeks this month, but I had one very low week that balances the other three out. I'll crunch my numbers for March and post on them later next week but I imagine I'm fairly close to my $400 budget overall. That works for me!

Everyone's budget - just like everyone's family - looks different. My goal in sharing this is to help and to inspire newbies by showing that you absolutely *can* save about 50% off your grocery bill each month with some diligent sales-watching and coupon clipping.

With a few good sites, a collection of Sunday insert coupons and internet printables, and an hour or two, you can really cut your grocery budget as well!

How'd you do this week?

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

March 27, 2009

Blogging Update

I'm working this weekend on finishing the behind the scenes work on building pages for this blog.

If you click on some of the new links in my header or sidebars, you'll likely end up at a boring page with an under construction message; those are the pages I'm finishing.

Hang in there with me! I'm hoping to improve the navigation and function of this site so you can find what you need faster and more easily.

As always....thanks for reading. I say it at the end of every post so it starts sounding trite, but darn, I really do mean it! Y'all are WONDERFUL!

Hip Hip Hurray Giveaway: Only Hearts Club Doll Winner!!



Thanks to everyone who took the time to visit the Only Hearts Club site and learn more about this great company and their beautiful dolls that look just like little girls.

Only one of you equally fabulous readers can win; I'm pleased to announce that our winner is....

#41: Caroline @ QAMom

Congrats, Caroline! I'll be contacting you by email soon!

And to everyone else, thanks for playing along. I have some great giveaways coming in April so I hope you'll be back on Wednesdays to enter!

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

Double Duty Dinners: Egg-cellent Brunch Meals

Double Duty Dinners is a new feature here at The New Frugal Mom. Each week, I'm making two dinners at the same time when I have a free 45 minutes to 1 hour during the week or the weekend (mostly the weekend). I'll prep, cook, then freeze them for the following week and tell you just how easy or difficult the process was so you can try it, too!




As Easter approaches, you can expect eggs to go on sale at your local grocery store. Grab an extra dozen, find a free hour, and you can easily whip up the two brunch meals I made last night for my freezer.

Bacon Cheese Frittata

Authentic Mexican Breakfast Tacos

The best part about these recipes? They're versatile so you can easily substitute ingredients to make them to your particular taste and they're hearty enough to be paired with a soup or salad for an easy dinner.

Here's what I started with:



I used what I had on hand. I substituted Italian sausage for the chorizo in the Mexican Taco recipe as well as using ham instead of bacon in the frittata recipe. And rather than corn tortillas, I used the last of the whole wheat ones in my freezer.

I started at 8:45 pm; after spending a few minutes gathering ingredients, I started on the frittata first. Even with beating the eggs and chopping the ingredients, prepping the frittata recipe took only ten minutes.

Here it is going into the oven:



Then I started on the Mexican Breakfast Tacos. I already had the sausage cooked so I only needed to whip up the eggs and scramble them. Rather than making open faced tacos, I opted to make enchiladas because they'd freeze more easily.

Assembling the enchiladas:



And then I lucked into finding some green enchilada sauce (I think I could drink this stuff, I love it that much!) in my freezer, so I poured that over the finished breakfast enchiladas and tossed the last of the (1) cup of cheese I used on top.

Voila!



Meanwhile, the frittata took longer than the recipe's suggested time of 25 minutes to cook; after an extra 15 minutes it was done. I cleaned up while it finished.

It.smelled.GOOD!



Once it cooled, I cut it into wedges and packed it into freezer bags. Easy!

Altogether, from gathering the ingredients, to prepping, cooking, and cleaning up, making these brunch meals took me less than an hour. The ingredients I had on hand, meaning I had no additional out of pocket cost.

And now I have (2) great brunch meals waiting to be enjoyed during the upcoming holiday weekend - less stress for me and more time to chat with the gang. Sounds like a win-win to me!

If you *love* the idea of cooking ahead and freezing your meals, go visit my friends Tricia and Cortney at Once A Month Mom; they really do cook a month of meals for their freezers in one day and they show you just how you and a friend can do it, too!

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

My Frugal Journey: If I Had Known Then...

It's hard not to look backward from where I am on my Frugal Journey at my younger self and think:

"If only I had done this instead."

It's human nature, this wish to go back in time with what we now know, what we have learned through hard times and from the wisdom of others, and fix our youthful errors.

We can't, of course. But we can share our mistakes and what we would have done differently with the hope that someone else can gain from our life experiences.

So, what would I have done differently?

1. Save more money from my high school job.

I worked part-time at a store in a local mall while I was in high school; I think most of what I made went right back into the economy of the mall. I was sixteen and a slave to fashion.

I wish I'd saved more of that money; I can't remember ten percent of what I bought with it but I sure bet I'd remember how much I saved and what it earned me in interest if I'd banked it instead.

2. Spend less on groceries when we were first married.

Hubs and I got married right out of college; by then, I was already showing signs of growing up to be a total frugalista. I worked during my last two years of college, paid my rent and bills, and saved enough cash to pay for our honeymoon with one big check.

But during those last years of college, I spent very little on groceries for myself. I waited tables so I was able to eat at the restaurant for low cash; other than easy items for breakfast and snacks for on-campus, I didn't buy much at the grocery store at all.

So when Knute and I were first married and - to our young, just-out-of-school eyes - flush with cash from his Ensign pay (US Navy), shopping at the grocery store was thrilling! There was so much to buy! So many recipes to try! And we could finally afford it!

In reality, we didn't need as much as I bought; I wish I had set a smaller food budget for just the two of us and saved the difference instead.

3. Spend less on diapers when our kids were babies.

I didn't fall prey to overbuying baby gear when I was expecting my daughter almost eight years ago; I had my sister-in-law's hand-me-down's from my niece as well as her frank new mom advice about what you really need as opposed to what the manufacturers are just trying to sell you.

One thing I did buy in earnest as I waited for little miss to arrive was diapers. I stockpiled boxes of diapers and wipes in her closet; I had enough to last me over three months by the time she arrived. But I didn't buy them with coupons or - better yet - ECBs; I paid full price for most of those boxes and then paid full price for most of the diapers I bought for my two sons.

Although I wised up and saved much on diapers toward the end of needing them with my third, I wish I'd known how to search for deals and save big on diapers with my older two. I certainly would have saved us hundreds of dollars.

How about you? What do you wish you could tell your younger, less-frugal self to do differently?

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

March 26, 2009

LOMO: Leftover Makeover,Edition 3 (Pie, Baby!)



LOMO {Leftover Makeover} is my weekly feature for making those little leftovers hiding in your freezer and pantry fabulous once again!

If you'd like to grab the button and post your own LOMO at your blog, please do; brief guidelines for LOMO are found here on last week's post. I've added a Mr. Linky to the bottom of this post for you to link your LOMO post if you'd like to share it with us.


This week, I'm making PIE!

My brother-in-law is coming down for the weekend to hang out and spoil his nephews and neice; I thought it would be nice to make a quick apple pie for him and my kiddos (none for hubs and I until Easter -- we give up sweets for Lent).

Here's my LOMO main ingredient I found lurking in the back of my freezer:



This is leftover gingerbread from Christmas. Each year, we build a gingerbread house during Christmas and the kids get to decorate it. When I cut out the walls and the roof this year, I had quite a bit of gingerbread leftover. I tossed it into a plasticware and froze it, figuring I might find some way to use those yummy bits to make something else.

I'm using this recipe for Dutch Apple Pie with Oatmeal Struesel as my base recipe for this LOMO; I'll be tweaking it as I go. I'll add a Google Doc link at the bottom of this post for you if you'd like to print the altered recipe.

Here's all my starting ingredients:



::Gingerbread pieces

::(6) Granny Smith Apples ($0.25 ea at Kroger)

::Cinnamon

::Brown Sugar

::Flour

::(1) Stick Butter

And here's the finished product:



It smells SO good -- I wish I could tell you how it tastes! I'll have to rely on my recipe testers to weigh in on the flavor tomorrow once Uncle Meatball gets here.

Click to print this recipe. {Link coming soon!}

Do you have a LOMO post you'd like to add to the Mr. Linky box below?

If you've got a post about making some boring old leftovers fantastically new again, add your link below! I'd love to see what you're doing and I know lots of reader would like help with finding creative ways to makeover their leftovers.

Feel free to right click on my LOMO button above (an HTML code box will be coming for that soon!) and add it to your post if you wish.



Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

Freebie Roundup!

I love when I check my email and find loads of fresh new freebies to share with all of you...and to grab for myself as well!

Here's the best of what I see!

::Request a FREE sample of Zyrtec (adult formula) from Walmart right here. (Samples are not available to residents in: Arizona, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.)

::Get 6 FREE issues of Seventeen Magazine right here. You'll need to become a free member of Start Sampling to request this.

::Going to the mall today? AE is giving away a FREE beachy summer tote today (this was an every Thursday promotion for the month of March); details are here (bottom right of page). Save yourself a headache and call ahead to your store to make sure they're participating.

::If you're already at the mall, stroll over to Victoria's Secret with this printed email and request your FREE Mini Body Lotion. This one expires 04/12/09.

::Request a FREE sample of either dog or cat food from Flint River Ranch right here.

Enjoy!

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

March 25, 2009

Me Elsewhere: Kid's Haircuts

I'm chatting today about saving money on kid's haircuts over at my weekly Going Frugal post at Sisterly Savings.

Do you cut your children's hair? Are they older or still tiny? And if you pay to have someone else cut it, how do you find ways to save money on the cost?



Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

March 24, 2009

Freebie Roundup!

Here's Tuesday's serving of freebies - click 'em and get 'em!

:: Request a FREE sample of All-Bran Pink Lemonade Fiber Drink here.

:: Request a FREE sample of ZGC Tea here.

:: Request a FREE mini-roll of Cottonelle and a sample of Cottonelle Moist Flushable Wipes here.

:: Request a FREE sample of Gas-X Thin Strips right here.

:: Time for Spring Cleaning! Request a FREE Crypton Care Test Kit (Upholstery Cleaner) right here.

Enjoy!

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

Easter Candy Deals @ Kroger, Week of 3/23

I'm teaming up with Andrea @ Mommy Snacks to help you locate the best deals on Easter candy and goodies as you start preparing to fill those baskets.

See the full list of Easter Candy Deals at national and regional stores covered by participating bloggers here.

I'm covering the Easter Candy Deals at Kroger; I'll have the weekly breakdown of best deals + coupon matchups on Tuesdays through Easter (3/23, 3/31, 4/7).

Be sure to visit the main Easter Candy Deals post each week at Mommy Snacks.

Kroger Easter Candy Deals, Week of 3/23-3/29 (Cincinnati Region)

Twizzlers, 12-16 oz, $1.79 ea

Whoppers, Jolly Ranchers Jelly Beans, or Twizzlers Jelly Beans, $1.66 ea

Starburst Jelly Beans, 14 oz, $1.88 ea

:: $1.00/2, RP 03/01

Hershey's Easter Candy, 10-12 oz, $2.50 ea


:: $1.50/3 printable here

:: $1.50/3, SS 03/15

SweeTarts Jelly Beans or Wonka Nerds Jelly Beans, 13-14 oz, $1.50 ea

:: $1.00/2 Wonka Nerds Jelly Beans printable here. (Must be a registered member of Nestle Very Best Kids to access printable coupons).

Easter Books, 25% off

Gather those Easter goodies now - you'll save time, money, and stress!

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

Let's Go Krogering! Week of March 23


This feature is posted every Tuesday by 5:00 AM EST with a Mr. Linky at the bottom if you'd like to add your link to your own post about what deals you found at your local Kroger or Kroger-affiliated store. Please click here to read the rules; the html code for the 149x149 button is in my sidebar.

Feel free to link up to this all week and share the good deals you find at your local Kroger or Kroger-affiliated store! As always, please add a link back to me in your Krogering post. Not sure how to do this? Just email me and I'll walk you through it!

$~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~$



Click here for a printable file of this week's (03/23-03/29) Kroger Ad Matchup with current coupons (Cincy Region)



The deals this week at Kroger are ho-hum; nothing stellar to give you a couponing high (oh, 10 Item Mega Event - you will be missed!).

;-)

Here's what I bought this week at Kroger:



Spent: $92.67
Saved: $52.57, or 36%


Best deals I found:

{Please note: in my March 22 SS insert, there was also an insert for Kroger with MFR coupons in the back; I note these coupons as K 03/22. I don't know if this was regional - I live in the same region as Kroger headquarters - or if this was a more broadly distributed insert. Please let us know if you received these coupons as well!}



:: Ground beef, Mgr Special, marked down 50% (WOOT!)

:: Kroger 100% Whole Wheat White Bread, Mgr Special, marked down 50% (Double WOOT!)

:: $0.75/1 Sparkle Paper Towel 8pk, RP 03/01

:: B1G1FREE Milkbones, $4.29, RP 02/01

:: Buy Smart Balance Spread, get Smart Balance Butter Blend Sticks FREE, RP 03/01

:: Smart Balance, Any, $0.55/1, Kroger Mailer Coupon

:: $1.00/2 Hunts Sauce + 1 Kroger Pasta, K 03/22

:: $1.00/3 Rosarita Refried Beans, K 03/22

:: $1.00/2 Orville Redenbacher Popcorn (on sale, B1G1FREE), $1.00/2, K 03/22

:: $1.00/2 Peter Pan Peanut Butter, K 03/22

:: $1.00/2 Kroger Jams 18 oz, K 03/22

:: $1.00/2 RoTel Tomatoes when you buy (1) Kroger Tortilla Chips, K 03/22

:: $1.00/2 Manwich when you buy (1) Kroger Buns, K 03/22

:: $1.00/1 Activia 4 pk Yogurt, SS 03/01

:: $1.00/2 Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Lunchmeats, Blinkie (located over sandwich bread)

:: $0.75/2 Kroger Tortilla Chips, Kroger Mailer Coupon

I *heart* going Krogering! I hope you'll share how much you saved when you went Krogering this week! Leave your link below and be sure to come back next Tuesday, 03/31/09, to see what I find next week and to link up your own Kroger or Kroger-affiliated store deals!

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**As always, please add a link back to my Let's Go Krogering! post in your Krogering post and be sure that you add your post's permalink to the Mr. Linky so everyone else can find your deals (rather than just linking back to your blog's homepage). Need help doing this? Email me and I'll walk you through it!**



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March 23, 2009

Ad Matchup Roundup: March 22-28

This is a new weekly feature I'm adding to help you in planning your shopping (and your saving!) every week. I'll post this every *Sunday* and will also be adding the links to my sidebar each week under the header Ad Matchups.

::My weekly Kroger Ad Matchup, March 23-29 (Cincy Region)

::Meijer Ad Matchup, March 22-28 (Cincy Region) (Thank you, Mommy Snacks!)

::Walmart Matchup, updated March 11 (Regional Prices Will Vary)(Thank you, Deal Seeking Mom!)

::Target Ad Matchup, March 22-28 (Thank you, Stretching a Buck!)

::CVS Ad Matchup, March 22-28 (Thank you, Bargain Briana!)

::Walgreens Ad Matchup, March 22-28 (Thank you, Bargain Briana!)

The Kroger Ad Matchup is my weekly published Google Word Doc; you should be able to print it easily right from your browser right here.

The other ad matchups link directly to some of the smartest {and nicest - I'm privileged to know them!} deal blogging mamas out there -- I hope you'll enjoy visiting their sites.

Don't see your local grocery or drug store on the above list?

Visit the mother of all ad matchups (it's national, baby!) updated twice weekly at BeCentsAble

::The Original Grocery Gathering

Hope this helps you get organized for the week ahead! Now go get busy saving!!

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

Kroger Ad Matchup (Cincy Region): March 23-29


I've compiled the Kroger Ad + Coupon Matchups for the Cincinnati Region 03/23-03/29 into a Google Doc that you can easily print from your browser. Here it is:

Kroger: Cincinnati Region Coupon/Sales Matchups March 23 - March 29


I've also hard linked this GoogleDoc in my first right sidebar for easy reference during the week. I'll be adding more ad matchup links to that sidebar later tonight to help you plan your weekly shopping...and your weekly savings!

Please drop a comment or zip me an email if you find a deal I missed; I'll revise the GoogleDoc with credit to your fabulous self (but of course!!).

Don't forget to come back on Tuesday for my Let's Go Krogering! feature. Come by ALL week long and link up your post detailing what you scored at Kroger this week. I *love* seeing all the great deals everyone finds and - you guys - THANKS for linking up. You make my heart happy!

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

Menu Plan Monday: Week of March 23



As always, I'm linking up to the big list of menus found this week at Orgjunkie's weekly linkup, Menu Plan Monday.

I'm trying to cook through some of the goodies in my freezer and pantry, so this week is filled with easy recipes.

Monday

Beef Enchiladas
(I've got leftover roast beef I'll shred for these; I also substitute canned green enchilada sauce for the dry enchilada sauce mix.)

Tuesday

Pigs in a Blanket + Grinny Beans (family recipe)

Wednesday

Baked Penne with Italian Sausage + Breadsticks and Salad

Thursday

Leftover Makeover...oh, whatever will it be this week?? Come by on Thursday and see!

Friday

Fish Sticks, Tater Tots, Coleslaw, and veggie sticks

Saturday

Sloppy Joes (a la Manwich) with leftover coleslaw on top (it's a Midwest thing) + Gram's Pasta Salad (another family recipe)

Sunday

Honey Fried Chicken with mashed potatoes and steamed veggies

(I'll use the chicken recipe as a base; I'd like to try making a spicy Buffalo fried chicken as well!)

That's my week of meals! Hope you get your meal plan written before the week gets too busy. Visit the links at Meal Plan Monday if you need inspiration.

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

Money Smarts: Guest Post by Jill @ FabulousSavings.com

Money Smarts is a new weekly feature here at The New Frugal Mom, one that will focus on how to monetize your blog, wahm opportunities, budgeting, and just generally saving more money while earning (legitimately) a few bucks as well.

For more details about the origins of Money Smarts, click
here.


This week, I'm pleased to share with you this guest post from Jill at Fabulous Savings. A bit about her site:
FabulousSavings.com has been in the business of saving online shoppers money since 1999. We work with over 2,000 local businesses and multi-national corporations to provide free online coupons and printable coupons for everything you need (and want)!

Fabulous Savings is a great resource and offers coupons for Canada and the UK as well as the USA.

Today, Jill shares with us some ideas about a topic that can help save you money, time, and stress - menu planning!

Spend Less by Planning Ahead: Shopping with a Menu

If you are like me any tips and tricks to save money at the grocery store is paramount. I have developed my own system that has saved me money each and every week and am excited at the chance to share them with you. By planning a menu it can help you stop impulse grocery shopping.

Some people go about their grocery shopping blindly, on an empty stomach and with the intention of planning when they get there. I simply couldn’t function this way. The options are way too endless to plan there, and with food all around me I’ll grab anything because I’m STARVING! (Most of the time) This leads to impulse buying and poor food choices for you and your family.

To help counteract this frivolous spending my advice is to plan ahead through a weekly menu. In my experience a weekly shop is easier as you can have fresh foods and work off of just what you need. Gather all the weekly ads, coupons and savings you can find for starters. (This can help save money on your menu choices) By knowing what you have in your pantry, fridge or freezer and knowing what’s on sale you can plan your menu. Grab anyone and everyone with a say and don’t forget to include lunches and breakfast as necessary.

Now, it’s not a big deal how you write your grocery list, you can choose any piece of paper or a fancy grocery list organizer. (I have one of these and it was the best $5 I’ve spent- so organized now!) The only tip for your actual list is make sure that it is divided into sections so that you can knock everything out at once. This also eliminates the chance that you’ll stroll down an aisle that you don’t want to be down {like the cookie aisle ;-)}. Also, while shopping make a little mark next to the items you have coupons or ad matches to so that you have the right product for sure and can maximize your savings.

While this isn’t the end all and be all to grocery savings, it is a great start and can help you stop impulse grocery shopping.

To recap:
1. Grab the weekly ads, coupons and any other savings you have set for the week.
2. Have any decision makers sit down, go through the pantry and savings, and put together the menu for the week.
3. Write out your grocery list based on what you need for your weekly menu only, organize it for maximum help.

I hope that these tips and tricks help you save even more at the grocery store and happy shopping!

Cheers
Jill Pursell
www.FabulousSavings.com “The Saving Money Resource”

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Update

Have you been looking for me and my scheduled posts?

I've been down for the count for the past 24 hours with that most dreadful of flus - the stomach flu. I'm on the mend and I'll be plugging away this morning to get caught up here.

Thanks for understanding!

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

March 21, 2009

Blessed Am I: Words & Kids Who Read 'Em


The button code is in the box below; feel free to use this button and link your own Blessed Am I post in the Mr. Linky box at the very end. Thanks!


<em><a href="http://thenewfrugalmom.com"><img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_4PVFXX60X44/ScRXRQoJHyI/AAAAAAAABvk/irhcU9KL2SI/s400/Blessed+am+I+202x227.png" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5315469414236757794" /></a>
</em>


Words matter to me, a great deal. I have a degree in English; even if I didn't, I would still surround myself with books.

I've said for many years that if you have an open mind, a library card, and some patience and perseverance, you can learn just about anything. Now, in the age of the internet, we have access to more information than ever before in human history.

It's staggering, the possibilities.

I have three children - 7, 5, and 3 - and I look forward to what those possibilities mean for them, possibilities built on sharing ideas and words with the world.

My 5 year old is now reading and it thrills me to no end to hear him stumble through his simple stories as we sit together at night.

My oldest is my only girl; she loves reading as much as I do. She's recently discovered the Weird School series as well as the Fun Day Fairy series and she's reading them as fast as she can.

I've told her that in some places in the world, girls aren't allowed to go to school much less even learn to read. It's shocking to consider that reality as I sit here typing my words to you, but it is life as they know it for many girls in cultures that are different from ours.

The change of role from "Reader" to "Listener" is a bittersweet one for me; I have so many amazing memories of snuggling with my oldest two, reading story after story after story with all the silly voices I could muster.

But to listen to them read with such confidence, to live in a land where words are free for all who wish to read them, and to hear my daughter ask, Mom, can we go to the Library this weekend?...well, that is a blessing indeed.

How do you feel blessed this week?




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Saturday Savings Roundup: March 16-22

I share my deals at the weekly linkups at Money Saving Mom and The "Cents"sible Sawyer; click over and see all the good deals for yourself!

Kroger:



Spent: $55.15
Saved: $105.85, or 66%


The 10 Item Mega Event ends SUNDAY, 3/22, in the Cincinnati region (and in some other regions as well). Grab your coupons and stock up on the last few things you need; be sure to check the Taylortown Preview for coupons you might see in your Sunday paper.

Looking for some of the best deals found at Kroger this week? Come visit the deals found by deal-savvy, Kroger-lovin' bloggers at my weekly linkup, Let's Go Krogering!. You won't be disappointed!

Walgreens:


Spent: $0.34 (paid for first transaction of {4} 2 liters with Walgreens Easy Saver Rebate Gift Card; paid for second transaction of Kleenex with $2 RR from buying the 4 2-liters + OOP $0.34)
Saved: $9.32 (includes savings from using Gift Card)
MFR Qs used:$0.50/3 Kleenex, SS 02/08
RR earned: $2.00 on (4) 2 liters; used in Transaction #2

I also had a quick trip to Walgreens for Children's Zyrtec for my boys; this one I paid full price for (not even a coupon) because we just needed it and needed it pronto.

Spent: $12.77
Saved: $0.00

CVS:


Spent: $0.00 OOP ($6.51 paid by Gift Card from a Rx transfer a while ago) + $2.00 ECBs
Saved: $9.99 + tax
MFR Q used:
$2.00/Any 1 Dry Idea Roll On printable here
Earned: $5 ECBs

$-------------------------$



Weekly totals:

Spent: $68.26
Saved: $125.16, or 65%

My monthly budget challenge for this month was $360 or $90/week so I've {finally} come under budget this week. This is a seriously low amount spent by me for my family of five and I was only able to do so well because of the Mega Event sale at Kroger.

Even though I'm under budget this week, I've been over the previous two weeks this month so this will help my overall total for March.

Everyone's budget - just like everyone's family - looks different. My goal in sharing this is to help and inspire newbies. With a few good sites, a collection of Sunday insert coupons, and an hour or two, you can really cut your grocery budget as well!

How'd you do this week?

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March 20, 2009

My Frugal Journey: See the Big Picture

This month, we paid off our van about five months early; this felt good on so many levels.

We are not, however, debt-free.

Not yet, anyways. ;-)

While the plan in place included sending the amount we had been paying on our van loan off to the next obligation, that plan is currently in flux.

We have a backyard that is in need of our attention. Why? Don't worry; we're not adding a hot tub, a pool, or a mini tennis court. But we do have issues with how storm water runs through our yard, an issue we inherited from the previous owner.

Normally, I wouldn't be concerned about the dampness; I can handle muddy feet. But my older son has a mold allergy and his little brother shows signs of one as well. It's imperative that we eliminate any potential mold-growth areas from our yard.

This means that the money that's been sitting in the bank, just waiting to go smackdown a bit of debt this month, may need to be better allocated to the backyard situation.

And I am totally ok with that. My older son spent several days in the hospital after having his first (and very severe) asthma attack this fall. The trigger? Mold.

In my big picture, there are some things that are bigger than debt smackdown and this is one of them.

So there you have it, the two-steps-forward-one-step-back version of My Frugal Journey this week. I'm getting there a little more slowly than I'd hoped but it's worth it in the end.

Where are you on your Frugal Journey? Just starting out? Or are you a frugalista extraordinaire?? And have you had some bumps to overcome as you travel down this road?

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

March 19, 2009

Leftover Makeover {LOMO}, Edition 2


{LOMO button code}


Coming soon!


This is the second week of LOMO, my weekly feature for making those little leftovers fabulous once again!

If you'd like to grab the button and post your own LOMO at your blog, please do; brief guidelines for LOMO are found here on last week's post. I've added a Mr. Linky to the bottom of this post for you to link your LOMO post if you'd like to share it with us.

This week, I had some leftover pork roast from Sunday in my freezer as well as a bit of smoked sausage and one sad, lonely porkchop that somehow got left out of whatever dinner I made with porkchops weeks ago.

I hopped onto All Recipes to use their "Ingredient Search"; to give me some ideas; I found this recipe for Barbeque Pork Two Ways and decided to give it a go.

Here's what I started with:



I cut the ingredients for the sauce in the recipe in half, mixed them, and got them boiling. Then I chopped up all the meat (cooked roast, cooked sausage, uncooked porkchop) and tossed them into the sauce:



I brought the whole mixture to a boil; when I noticed how thick it was, I added an extra 1/2 cup of water. I'm not surprised that it was a thicker sauce; I started with two ingredients that were already cooked and therefore didn't have any cooking juices to contribute to the sauce.

I simmered the mixture for over an hour; after stirring it, I scooped it out onto the brat rolls and slapped some cheese on top:



It was good! The sausage in the mixture added a little kick to the overall flavor. Hubs and I ate these as barbeque sandwiches; the kiddos just enjoyed the chunky barbeque pork as a main dish.

There you go! My LOMO this week was a tasty way to use up a few odds and ends that had found a home in my freezer.

Do you have a LOMO to share? Please do! I'd love to see the creative ways you makeover your leftovers!



Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

Quick Bloggy Notes...Skip This If You're Super-Busy!

Just wanted to note a few things here (mostly so I don't forget them!) about upcoming posts and continuing blog changes:

:: This week's LOMO (Leftover Makeover) will be up later this afternoon/evening; I'll have a Mr. Linky box at the bottom and an *improved* button so feel free to join in the fun if you'd like to post a LOMO up over at your webjoint.

:: I have a quick post planned for My Frugal Journey tomorrow; I'd like to let everyone know that if you're interested in writing a guest post about any part of your Frugal Journey, please email me with your interest. I'd like to share your story as inspiration to others who are just starting to travel this path. No story is too small!

:: Double Duty Dinners will be live tomorrow; if you read last week's post and instructions and came away thinking I didn't elaborate or explain well enough, please let me know! I want it to be a useful and helpful feature! ;-) In the meantime, go check out my friend Carrie @ Carrie's Cooking; she's a kitchen whiz and she's posted about using planned leftovers right here.

:: Last, I need your opinion. Is the font face/color too small/light in color? I'm thinking the font could use a bit more *oomph* so it stands out better. Let me know what you think about the font and about the blog design/setup in general since I still have work to do behind the scenes; thanks.

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

Freebie Roundup!

Thursday is already here and I'm wondering where this week has gone!

Here's today's fabulous freebie list - grab a cuppa java (or whatever your fave caffeine-filled beverage may be...and if you're a Super Mom that does all you do without the aid of caffeine, my hat is off to you!!) and click through the links for some goodies!

:: Did you grab your 50 FREE 4x6 prints at Shutterfly yet? Click here to get started; you'll need to use the promotion code MYFREEPRINTS when you check out. This offer ends March 23, 2009.

:: Have an IKEA store near you? They're offering a FREE breakfast from March 20-22; the coupon is on this page right here. Click here to locate the IKEA store nearest you and find out their breakfast hours.

:: Request a FREE sample of Degree Men Absolute Protection anti-perspirent here.

:: Request to have coupons for Minute Maid Frozen Novelties sent for FREE to your mailing address right here.

:: Sign up for email updates at 1-800-Flowers right here and receive a free $20 Savings Pass by email within 7 business days.

:: Request a FREE Charmin Extender (for their big roll of TP) from P&G right here.

Enjoy!

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

March 18, 2009

More Kroger Matchups: SW Virginia Region (likely elsewhere, too)



Anne @ Words by Anne emailed me to let me know about these additional deals available at her Kroger (in the SW Virginia region; these may be national as well) this week:
*If anyone has any B1G1 IP (I don't see these online anymore) for the Welch's AquaJuice these are part of the 10 items $5 Mega Deal. They also generate a $1/1 AquaJuice Catalina. (Find those IPs right here.)

*My CVS has a $1/2 Combos tearpad (Miller Light display) and these are on sale by me (SW VA Kroger) 10/$10.

*SmartSource has $1/1 Dole baby blend salad IP here. These are sometimes on clearance for $1.39 making this a great buy.

*I am not sure if this pertains to a specific brand or quantity, but I received a $1 OYNO Catalina for purchasing coffee. (I bought 2 Maxwell House - Mega Deal)

*Kleenex tissues 10/$10 use $1/3 MQ (I see this on 1/4 SS, but that one expired 2/28 - not sure when this was issued, but mine expired in April (The current MFR Q is found in the SS 02/08 insert)


Thanks so much for sharing those extra deals, Anne! I'll add them to my printable Kroger Ad Matchup for this week.

If you find additional deals at your Kroger this week, feel free to send me an email; I'll share them (with credit to you) so everyone can benefit!

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

March 17, 2009

Hip Hip Hurray Giveaway: Only Hearts Club Doll



I am SO excited to share this week's Hip Hip Hurray Giveaway with all of you! Before we begin, let me tell you a little story...

Two weeks ago, I broke down and bought a new vacuum, my first new one in over thirteen years; our old one gave up the ghost again and having fixed it twice over the years, I decided it was time to cut our losses and spend the cash for a new one.

After it was assembled and ready to go, I plugged it in for a test drive. My oldest two were at school; my little guy was snuggling on the couch. It wasn't until I was halfway through vacuuming the living room that I realized I had NO idea where our two dogs were.

Uh-oh, I thought. This could be bad.

My dogs (we have two German Shorthaired Pointers) despise vacuums; the mere sight of one sets their brains immediately to the Insane Canine Red Zone. The IC Red Zone is a place where bad things happen to good socks, shoes, and unfortunately, toys.

I flipped the switch to OFF and ran upstairs. The Old Dog (almost 14) was merely seeking refuge from the noise on the stair landing. The New Dog (almost 2) was busily seeking total toy destruction on my bed; this is what he did:



That's my 7 year old daughter's doll, Olivia Hope, an Only Hearts Club doll that she received as a gift from Grandma this past Christmas. Freaked out by the new vacuum, our dog Brownie chewed that poor doll's hands off; I grabbed that photo and posted about it at my personal blog right here.

Now here's the cool part.

A few days after that post went live on my personal blog, I got a very nice email from the president of Only Hearts Club saying he was so sorry to see that my little girl's doll came to such a sad end; could he replace it for her with a new one for free?

I emailed him back immediately; we've replaced it already, I said (I bought her a new one at Kroger because I felt terrible about what happened), but I would love to share the story of the Only Hearts Club dolls with my readers; would you like to do a giveaway?

And so here we are today talking about one of my all-time favorite gifts that my daughter has received, the Olivia Hope doll from the Only Hearts Club doll collection.


Why do I love her and all the dolls in the collection?

Because they look just like little girls.

My daughter has several other fashion dolls (both brands start with the letter B; I'm sure you can guess who I mean) and while I don't mind that she plays with them, it is SO refreshing to see a fashion doll that actually looks like and is dressed like a little girl.

From the Only Hearts Club site:
Only Hearts Club™ dolls look and dress like real girls, and they deal with the same experiences and issues as well. Most importantly, through a series of books, the Only Hearts Club™ delivers a very positive message and image - namely, that it is good to “listen to your heart and try to do the right thing.”

Each Only Hearts Club doll also has her own story available for purchase:



And Only Hearts Club also offers a line of Only Hearts Pets that retail for $3.99 or less and are perfect Easter basket treats!



I'm glad I posted that photo of what was then a not-so-good moment at our house because I've learned so much about Only Hearts Club and their business mission - all through the power of social media.

Only Hearts Club is a family-run business that truly cares about their customers and I'm pleased to offer you, my fabulous readers, a chance to win:

(1) Only Hearts Club doll of your choice!

How to enter:


Click over and take a look at all the dolls in the Only Hearts Club collection then come back here and comment about which one you would pick (and why you would pick it) for that special little girl in your life. The links below will take you straight to each doll in the collection:

Taylor Angelique
Olivia Hope
Karina Grace
Briana Joy
Lily Rose
Anna Sophia
Kayla Rae
Hannah Faith


You can earn an additional (3) chances to win as well.

1. Tweet about this giveaway then come back here and leave me a comment to let me know you tweeted.

2. Post about this giveaway at your blog with a link both to this post and to the Only Hearts Club site; come back and leave the URL of your post in a comment.

3. Subscribe to my RSS feed by reader or email and leave a comment to let me know you're a new subscriber; you can also drop me a comment to let me know if you're already a subcriber for this extra entry.

Remember, you must leave me some way to find you online (by email or by your Twitter handle) if you don't have a blog. Entries with no contact information or means of contacting you online will be disqualified.

This giveaway is so fabulous that I'm leaving it open through Thursday, March 26, 2009. I'll close comments at 10:00 pm EST om 03/26/09, and will announce the winner (selected by Random.org) on Friday, March 27, 2009.

Good luck!

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

Freebie Roundup!



Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Grab some freebies and enjoy the parades!

:: Click here to request FREE coupons from Super Pretzel.

:: Hate stinky gym shoes? Click here to request a FREE sample of Febreze Sport. (You'll need to complete a 13 question - very quick - survey after you enter your information on the first page.)

:: Request a FREE Toby the Train coloring book from Norfolk Southern Railroad right here.

:: Be one of 7000 to receive a FREE Gas Grill Spatula from Weber Grills; click here.

:: FREE Bra for survey participation (as seen on Oprah -- anyone see this?); click here.

:: Have a can of Campbell's Condensed Soup in your pantry? Click here to enter the code on the bottom of the can and request your FREE Campbell's Tomato Seeds.

Enjoy!

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Let's Go Krogering! Week of March 16


This feature is posted every Tuesday by 5:00 AM EST with a Mr. Linky at the bottom if you'd like to add your link to your own post about what deals you found at your local Kroger or Kroger-affiliated store. Please click here to read the rules; the html code for the 149x149 button is in my sidebar.

Feel free to link up to this all week and share the good deals you find at your local Kroger or Kroger-affiliated store! As always, please add a link back to me in your Krogering post. Not sure how to do this? Just email me and I'll walk you through it!

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Click here for a printable file of this week's (03/16-03/22) Kroger Ad Matchup with current coupons (Cincy Region)


I was back at Kroger in full force this week - no Target for me this week. ;-)

The 10 Item Mega Event continues through Sunday 3/22 at Kroger so be sure to check the sale for stockpile items you might need. I noted a few unadvertised items that are are included in the 10 Item Mega Event; I've noted them on my Kroger Ad Matchup for this week.

Be sure to visit the links from last week's Let's Go Krogering! post as well as those from this week; since the 10 Item Mega Event is a two week sale spanning last week and this week, the deals linked to last week's Let's Go Krogering! post are still valid.

My Kroger Trip, 03/16/09:



Spent: $55.15
Saved: $105.85, or 66%


I took advantage of the sale to stockpile some items for our pantry. I also had an RX Transfer reward of $20 that I earned when I transferred a prescription to Kroger for refill; Kroger applies their RX rewards as a balance on your Kroger Shopper Card for you to use to lower your overall bill on one of your next shopping trips.

Other coupons I used for this trip:

:: (3) $0.40/1 Sargento Artisan cheese, SS 01/25

:: (1) $1.00/1 Sargento Finishers, SS 03/15

:: (3) $0.50/1 Chex Mix, SS 02/22

:: (1) $0.50/2 Irish Spring 3pks, SS 03/15

:: (1) $0.50/2 Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks (Kroger Mailer Q)

:: (1) $0.75/1 Kotex Tampons, SS 02/22

:: (1) $0.75/1 Welch's 50% less sugar juice, SS 03/08

:: (1) $1.00/1 Chew-lotta Bone, RP 03/15

:: (1) Buy1Get1 Free Meaty Bones wyb (1) Chew-lotta printable here

:: (1) Free South Beach Living Protein Bars (Kroger Catalina)

:: (1) $0.55/1 Danimals Crush Cup 4pk (Blinkie above dairy case display)

:: (1) $1.00/1 Planters Big Nut Bar 5pk (Tearpad; found in-store a few weeks ago)

:: (1) $0.75/1 No Yolks Egg Noodles printable here

:: (1) Buy1Get1Free Wheat Thins Artisan Crackers, SS 03/15

:: (1) FREE Oscar Mayer Deli Creations (Courtesy of an online giveaway I wrote for a friend)

:: (1) FREE Juice Fruit Gum 15 ct, SS 03/15

:: $0.65/2 Hillshire Farms Smoked Sausage, RP 03/08

:: $1.00/2 Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Lunch Meat (Blinkie; located above sandwich bread)

:: $1.00/1 Wholly Guacamole (I am addicted to avocados/guacamole!) printable here

It still amazes me that I can save so much with coupons while packing my pantry and freezer during these Mega Event Sales at Kroger. What a blessing!

I would imagine that next week's sale will look a bit *sparse* after two weeks of deals, deals, deals!! I plan on heading to Kroger on Sunday evening after the new coupon inserts arrive and doing one last stock-up trip before the end of this sale.

I *heart* going Krogering! I hope you'll share how much you saved when you went Krogering this week! Leave your link below and be sure to come back next Tuesday, 03/24/07, to see what I find next week and to link up your own Kroger or Kroger-affiliated store deals!

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**As always, please add a link back to my Let's Go Krogering! post in your Krogering post and be sure that you add your post's permalink to the Mr. Linky so everyone else can find your deals (rather than just linking back to your blog's homepage). Need help doing this? Email me and I'll walk you through it!**



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