December 4, 2010

What I Saved at the Stores this Week | Week 48 of 2010


I share my weekly savings with the hopes that you might be inspired; this weekly post also serves as a means of keeping me on track with my budget goals.  Thank for stopping in to check it out!

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As I mentioned here, I skipped my usual Kroger trip this week. I plan on gathering my coupons this weekend and making a big ol' run to Kroger on Monday to take advantage of stocking up during the Mega Event sale.

My only grocery shopping this week was at Aldi on Monday 11/29:


Spent: $27.48
Saved: $5.00 or 15% 
(Approximate savings on the  marked down produce - woot!)

I'm way under budget this week (I aim for $80 per week/$320 per month) which is great because last week's Thanksgiving shopping was a budget buster! Once I average the two weeks together, my numbers look just fine which is why I prefer aiming for a monthly budget total.

And yes, if you follow this blog weekly (and thank you if you do - I just love ya!), I am very behind on posting my weekly savings. I have my totals (because I save my receipts and track my spending; I'm nerdy like that); I've just fallen off on getting those posted.

As part of my overall blog clean up (which is moving at my usual glacial speeed!), I plan on having all my totals for the weeks in 2010 on the My Coupon Savings page with links to the weekly posts. My hope is that by doing so - by showing that yes, week in and week out you can coupon your way to 50% or more savings on your grocery budget - I might be able to inspire frugal/couponing newbies. And of course I'll continue adding 2011 savings as well.  ;-)

As I always say, anyone can save like I do . All it takes is a little time, a little planning, and the deep-seated desire to do more with less.

If you're a new frugal mom or are just new to this whole couponing gig, feel free to read through the posts linked below to help you get started.

Couponing Crash Course

How to Save BIG at CVS

How to Save BIG at Walgreens

You can save like this, too!  In fact, I know you can do this; if you're surfing the web reading this site and others like it, you can learn all you need to know. 

If you have any questions, please ask in a comment!  I love to share what I know about couponing and saving money with you -- it's why I write this site.  ;-)

Did you save big this week at the stores? Be sure to link your post up over at Money Saving Mom's weekly linkup, Super Savings Saturday.

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

December 2, 2010

In This Sunday's Inserts | December 5, 2010 {1 SS, 1 RP}


It's always useful to know how many coupon inserts to expect each Sunday and even more useful to know which coupons you'll find in those inserts so you can decide as early as possible if it's a good week to order coupons from a clipping service.

This Sunday, 12/05/10, it looks like there will be (2) inserts in the Sunday newspapers - a Smart Source (SS) and a Red Plum (RP).

Here's a few coupons that look good to me:

SS

$2.50/1 Excedrin PM 20 ct+

$1.00/1 Hershey Bliss Chocolates Bag

$3.00/1 Huggies Pure & Natural Diapers

$0.50/3 Kleenex boxes (Kroger Mega Sale item!)

$1.50/2 Ziploc Containers

RP

$10/$30 Build A Bear Workshop

$1.00/2 Folgers products

$1.00/1 Hefty Basic Paper Plates

BOGO Nivea Lip Care Product, up to $3.99

To see the full list of coupons available in this week's Smart Source (SS) insert, click here (thanks, We Use Coupons). Please note that this coupon insert preview is from New Jersey; the coupons in your local insert may vary in type and value.

You can see the full list of Red Plum (RP) coupons right here (thanks, Sunday Coupon Preview).

Enjoy your weekend!

December 1, 2010

Menu Plan Monday | December 2010 Printable Menu Plan


I plan my family's dinners in five week blocks to maximize my savings at the grocery store and minimize my stress at dinner time. You can read more about my strategy here in my Q&A post here.

I also answered several more questions about how I plan my big ol' menus and how I stockpile shop the weekly sales with coupons; my goal is to get the best deals on items for my monthly menu plan for the lowest cost.  For more Q&A (because you're just dying to know, right?), click here.

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A new month starts today - can you believe it's December already? Where did this year go?!?

With a new month comes a great new chance to get a handle on your time by creating a simple monthly menu plan. And during the busy holiday season that is December, it's even more important to find ways to save time and lower your overall stress and menu planning is a great tool to do both of those. We all have more than enough to do this month, right?

I've got my December menu planned and published as a printable Google Doc.  I sure hope it's helpful to you!

Click here to view and print TNFM December 2010 Menu Plan.

As for how I come up with recipes for my monthly menus, I shared with you a few weeks back my MELLY list (Meals Everyone Likes List {for} Your {family}).  You can read that post right here; for a printer friendly list of the recipes (with links to the online recipes) on my MELLY, click here.

If you're new to menu planning,  I encourage you to make menu planning your New Year's Resolution for 2011.  The three keys to saving time AND money with menu planning (imho) are:

:: Having a master list of dinner recipes that fit your family's budget, palate, and your time available for food prep.  

:: Creating a personal stockpile list based on commonly used recipe ingredients from your master list of dinner recipes

:: Combining coupons & sales to restock your pantry & freezer with those personal stockpile items when you can get them for rock bottom prices. 

If planning a month at a time is too daunting, try two weeks.  If you're totally new to menu planning, aim for one week.  Start with a realistic goal for *you*, keep records of your plans for future reference (either on paper or on your computer), and remember to challenge yourself when you've mastered your first goal - either weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. 

And be sure to check out the Menu Plan Monday links over at OrgJunkie each week for more inspiration.  If you're a blogger, post your own MPM (this is a great way to create an archived record of your menu plans) and link up, too!

November 30, 2010

Let's Go Krogering! Week of November 29, 2010 {Mega Sale Madness Returns!}


Wondering what's the deal with my weekly Let's Go Krogering! (LGK!) posts?
 Click here for more information.
 
My Kroger Trip, Monday, 11/29/10



Yup, you've got it right my frugalista friends - I haven't bought a thing yet at Kroger this week and {gasp!} I don't have any plans to go Krogering, either. 

It's not that I've fallen out of love with Kroger (that'll never happen). Or that I'm not excited about the new Mega Event sale event that just started yesterday (you know I am, baby!). 

It's simply that after last week's Kroger trip (which in all the craziness leading up to T-Day, I didn't post) and after finding ample ingredients for dinner this week when I looked through my pantry, refrigerator, and freezers, I realized I didn't need to go Krogering this week.  A quick trip to Aldi for milk and produce was all I needed to do and let me tell you, I (and my grocery budget) are mighty happy about that, too!

Why?

Well, this is my receipt from *last* week's Kroger trip:



Kroger 11/23/10

Spent: $116.07
Saved: $92.17 (44%)
Earned: $3.00 oyno catalina for buying (4) Duracell &
$3.00 oyno catalina for buying (6) Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
$3.00 catalina for buying $10 of Pepperidge Farm products (bread)
(Oh, and I paid w/my Visa CHECK card - just to be clear!)

Ouch!

Of course, as I pointed out in this post, while I aim for $80/week for our grocery/household item budget that number is fluid; I average the total over a 4-5 wk period so the truer statement would be that I aim for a *monthly* grocery budget of $320.

When the sale weeks are great, I can stock up for low cash; when the sale weeks aren't  - or when we're hosting a celebration for our family - I have wiggle room to spend a little more.  If it averages out in the end, I'm happy.  ;-)

So there you have it - a week without Krogering for me.  It does happen! 

That doesn't mean that YOU can't go Krogering and share your deals!  I'd love to see them!

And if you're looking for the best matchups for the current Mega Event sale, you can see the advertised ones here and the unadvertised ones here (thanks, Savings Lifestyle).

What did you score on YOUR Krogering trip this week? Share your deals with us! Just add your own LGK! post & superstar shopper picture to the linky below.

November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday | Top 3 Sites to Earn CASH BACK on Your Purchases Today!


If you're planning on shopping online today to take advantage of some of the great deals available this Cyber Monday, make sure you maximize your savings by earning cash back on your purchases by shopping through any one of the sites I've listed below.

FYI, I am a HUGE fan of shopping online and have been for years because it is so.darn.easy. From 2000-04, we lived in a very very very small town in Illinois where I had very few shopping options (unless I was willing to drive 50-60 miles). Couple the facts of our geographic location with having two babies in less than two years and I simply didn't have time to shop for gifts in traditional brick & mortar stores. Online shopping saved me time & money.

Now that I know about all the great sites where I can earn real $$ back for doing something I've been doing all along - saving time by shopping online - I rarely do any in-store shopping at all for gifts, clothes, etc(even though my part of SW Ohio offers many brick & mortar store options).

I so value the time I save when I shop online and there is the simple fact, too, that it's just plain easier to control that "impulse shopping" desire (both mine + the requests of my kiddos) when you're not face to face with the overwhelming amount of stuff in any given store. When I shop online, it reduces what I'm doing down to a "task" which keeps me focused on finding the best deals possible. Too often, shopping in stores can become an "outing" or - worse - a "recreational activity." When shopping becomes a sport, it can be very hard to keep your budget in check.

Ok, so there you have it - my thoughts on online shopping vs. traditional shopping. Take 'em or leave 'em. ;-)

Now, onto what you really need to know - the BEST sites for earning cash back when you shop online! I've ranked them in order of my favorites - read on to learn why!

1. Mr. Rebates.

This one is hands down my favorite, my tippity-top site for earning cash back. Why? Well, all of the cash back sites I've listed here today offer (2) ways to earn cash. One - you earn cash back when you shop through their site, a certain percentage per each retailer that can vary from 3%-20% or more cash back.

The other way you earn cash in your account is by referrals - you can refer your friends, family, readers, whomever to each of these sites with a personal referral link that's provided in your account. Every person who signs up for an account & makes a qualifying purchase will earn a $5 sign up bonus, too. Nice!

What Mr. Rebates does that is UNIQUE for referral bonuses is this: rather than paying you a one-time referral fee (ie: $5) for each person you refer who opens and uses an account, they pay you a LIFETIME bonus every single time someone you refer makes a purchase through Mr. Rebates. The lifetime bonus you earn is equal to 20% of that person's rebate.

While this may not seem like much up front, believe me, it ADDS up over time. And there's no cut off date or time limit - lifetime truly means lifetime.

You can request your account balance to be sent via check or via PayPal; it does take 90 days from when the rebate/bonus hits your account to when it's eligible for you to request payment.

Hands down, Mr. Rebates is my fave because it offers you the ability to earn residual income over the long-term from the referral bonuses.

Click here to start your own Mr. Rebates account.

2. Shop At Home.

Shop At Home is my second favorite cash back shopping site for one simple reason - their refer-a-friend bonus differs from Mr. Rebates above.

While you still earn cash back for shopping online through Shop At Home - and while sometimes you actually can earn a greater percentage cash back on your purchase shopping via Shop At Home vs. Mr. Rebates - the referral bonus is a one time flat fee of $5 per each friend/referral that signs up AND makes a qualifying purchase within 60 days.

One thing that nice, though, is that you aren't the only one who earns that $5 bonus for referring your friend. Your friend/referral will earn a $5 bonus in their account, too, for opening a new account AND making a qualifying cash back purchase within 60 days. The sign up bonus for your friends/referrals is similar to Mr. Rebates (see above).

Payment of the cash back balance in your account is made every 30 days (monthly) if/when your account balance is over $20; payment is made by check.

One other thing I do like about Shop At Home is the downloadable toolbar. I can easily see from the top of my screen new alerts or hot deals as they go live using the searchable tool bar.

Click here to start your own Shop At Home account.

3. Ebates.

Ebates is very similar to Shop At Home. Again, you earn cash two ways - through cash back on your own purchases as well as by referring friends.

Like Shop at Home above, Ebates will reward your friends/referrals with a $5 sign up bonus for opening a new account and making a qualifying cash back purchase. You earn a $5 referral bonus as well.

One thing I do like that Ebates does during the holiday season (right now) is the referral bonus you can earn. Right now, if your friends/referrals open up (5) new accounts with Ebates, you earn $10 per referral instead of $5 per referral which is a nice incentive.

Ebates pays by check or by PayPal once you have $20 or more in your account. They also have a nifty feature where you can opt to donate your account balance to a charity (think ongoing school fundraiser opportunity) or send it to a friend (kinda cool!).

Click here to open an Ebates account.

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One last note - I think it's wise (as I do this myself) if you are a diehard online shopper to have all three of these different accounts live and active. Why? Because the percentage of cash back per different retailers can and does differ between these three sites. Before you click & buy, you can compare each site, find the best deals, coupons, and cash back percentages, and then maximize your total savings & earnings.

There you have it - my three fave cash back shopping sites to use year-round, not just for Cyber Monday. Are there other cash back sites out there? Sure. The one's I've listed here are simply the ones I use consistently and can therefore whole-heartedly recommend.

And one last FYI - all links to the sites are my personal affiliate links. If you do sign up through those links, THANK YOU! I much appreciate your support of this site!

And remember - once you have your own account, be sure to share your referral link with your circle of family and friends. You'll be helping them save more money while earning those referral bonuses yourself - what a win-win! ;-)

HOT Deal | $5 Kroger eCoupon from Cellfire Available TODAY, 12-5 pm, PST


It's Cyber Monday and the online deals are going gonzo . If you're like me and prefer tackling your Christmas gift list with a point & click of your mouse, today's your day!  ;-)

Howevs, even if you're not rocking the online deals today, there's a nice little upcoming deal on Cellfire (one of the big eCoupon sites) that you should plan on grabbing.

From 12 pm PST - 5 pm PST (which would be 3 pm - 8 pm OHIO time/EST), you can log into your Cellfire account for a chance to load a $5 off your next shopping trip to Kroger (or to one of the grocery stores under the Kroger banner). Can I get a WOOT?!

I imagine that these eCoupons will go fast and that the Cellfire site will be loading slowly due to the traffic spike. Plan on logging in as soon as possible and don't be surprised if you need to be a bit patient.

I sure hope some of you fine couponistas grab this deal! I'm going to try logging on just before I have to leave for school pick up; I'll let you know how I fare. ;-)

*Disclosure: That link is my personal affiliate link for Cellfire. Thanks for your support! ;-)

November 28, 2010

Weekly Deals Roundup | 11/28/10 - 12/04/10

Looking for the matchups for this week?

Check out these sites for the best matchups this week, November 28 - December 4, 2010.

*Kroger (11/29/10 - 12/05/10)*

Current deals and matchups here (courtesy of Savings Lifestyle)

+++ It's ANOTHER Mega Event sale at Kroger this week & next!  WOOT!! I will be grabbing the little participating item card at Kroger tomorrow and posting the FULL list of participating items as a printer-friendly Google Doc! Check back tomorrow!.+++

*Meijer*

Current deals and matchups here (courtesy of Savings Lifestyle)

*Aldi*

Current deals and matchups here (courtesy of Cincinnati Cents)

*Biggs/Remke*

Current deals and matchups here (courtesy of Savings Lifestyle)

*Walgreens*

Current deals and matchups here (courtesy of Common Sense with Money)

*CVS*

Current deals and matchups here (courtesy of Bargain Briana)

*Rite Aid*

Current deals and matchups here (courtesy of Deal Seeking Mom)

*Target*

Current deals and matchups here (courtesy of Stretching a Buck)

*Walmart*

Current deals and matchups here (courtesy of Passion for Savings)

November 27, 2010

In This Sunday's Inserts | November 28, 2010 {1 PG}


It's always useful to know how many coupon inserts to expect each Sunday and even more useful to know which coupons you'll find in those inserts so you can decide as early as possible if it's a good week to order coupons from a clipping service.

This Sunday, 11/28/10, it looks like there will be (1) insert in the Sunday newspapers - just a PG insert.

Here's a few coupons that look good to me:

PG

$0.75/1 Crest Toothpaste, 4 oz+

$0.50/1 Dawn Hand Renewal

FREE Olay Hand & Body Lotion wyb Olay Body Wash (up to $7.00)

FREE Pantene Shampoo 12.5 oz wyb full size Pantene Product

To see the full list of coupons available in this week's inserts, click here (thanks, Southern Savers).

Enjoy your weekend!

November 26, 2010

HOT Deal | Remke Biggs SUPER DOUBLE Coupon Event, 11/27-11/28 {ALL STORES!}


Thanks to alert reader Holly who left a comment earlier this week about the upcoming Remke Biggs SUPER DOUBLE coupon event that runs Saturday & Sunday, November 27-28, 2010.

I've been up to my elbows in turkey (literally, peeps!) and doing the Thanksgiving Hostess with the Mostest thing so I didn't get around to checking it out until tonight.

Here's what you need to know if you're planning to go:

:: Coupons will double to a *maximum* doubled value of $2.00 (meaning $1.00 coupons double to $2.00 and $1.01-$1.99 coupons double to $2.00)

:: Coupons/doubled coupons will adjust down to the value of the item (meaning if you have a $1.00/1 coupon for an item that costs $1.75, the coupon will double only to $1.75/1 to get the item for FREE - this means NO OVERAGE).

:: Only (6) of the same coupons per (6) of the same product will be allowed.

Looking for the deal matchups for this event? See them here (thanks, Savings Lifestyle).

Looking for your local Remke Biggs ad? Find it here.

If you go and find any great unadvertised deals, be sure to drop them in a comment below so your fellow couponistas can get 'em, too.

Good luck!

Thanksgiving Thoughts 2010


I'm betting you thought you were going to see a picture of a turkey after reading that post title, didn't you? Or maybe a cornucopia of goodies. Or a pumpkin pie, right? ;-)

While I am grateful for all of those hallmarks of Thanksgiving (a big feast, all sorts of delectable treats, pie, PIE!), what I was most grateful for last night as the day wound to a close was what you see above -

My pillows and the big stack of books on my nightstand.

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner is always a big endeavor for me (7th year running but hey, who's counting?!), one that starts two weeks or so beforehand and rolls like a snowball downhill, gaining speed and momentum as the day itself approaches.

By the end of Thanksgiving Day, I'm always worn out and happy to flop into bed with no plans other than to sleep late through the best of the Black Friday sales and deals.

That's not to say that I don't have a long list of blessings - small and large - for which I'm thankful, blessings like:

:: Healthy kids

:: A fantastic husband (who is honestly not just the love of my life but my best friend and my own personal in-house comedian)

:: My parents, my mother-in-law, the memories of my father-in-law, my brother and his family, my brother-in-law, my sister-in-law and her family. Heck, I'm thankful for all my family and my hubs family - there isn't a bad apple in the bunch.

:: Food to eat

:: A warm safe home for my kids

:: A good job for my hubs that well-provides for us as well as allows us the means to give back to those in need

:: My dog Brownie (he is a nutcase, but then again, he is a German Shorthaired Pointer - crazy comes with the breed)

:: All my dear friends wherever they may be

:: All the ups and downs of the great life that God has given me - even the dark times. Without darkness, we cannot ever recognize, appreciate, and revel in the light.

:: And lastly (because peeps, I could go on with a litany of blessings here forever), the chance this blog gives me to be of help to my readers (that's YOU!).

I'm not in this for the money, folks (although it is nice - and a whole other blessing - to earn a few bucks doing something I love). I genuinely hope and want to help you by sharing what I know and what works for me.

Thanks for being a part of this journey with me. ;-)

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast with your family and friends as well!

November 18, 2010

Announcement | I'm Part of The Bargain Bunch!

If you follow me on FB (and that's my personal profile on FB, not the *cough* yet to be finished TNFM Fan Page on FB *cough* *over-committed*) or if you're one of my fabulous Twitter followers (and yes, I do make it more confusing by tweeting under the handle of WriterMommy because that's the name of my personal blog *cough* *toomanynames*), you may have already seen my announcements about the new project I'm pleased to be a small part of....


The Bargain Bunch is a brand-spanking new fan page on FB founded by Dayton Daily News with the goal of creating an interactive community of bargain lovers in the greater Dayton area.

So how do I fit into this?

Well, I don't work for Dayton Daily News nor do I work for Cox Media (the company that owns/runs DDN).  I simply lucked out and was in the right place at the right time for this freelance gig, one that needed a couple of local to Dayton couponista/deal bloggers to get this project off the ground and running.  After a few emails and phone calls, both myself and the lovely Celia Emmons (@CeliaE) from Deals for Dayton were on board to the project.

So - because you're just dying to know - what exactly will I be doing as part of The Bargain Bunch

It's a very part-time gig so I'll just be doing a few things, like:

--> Posting interesting deals, freebies, and low/no-cost events I find in the Dayton Daily News newspaper on the FB page

--> Chatting with you fine couponistas and frugalistas on the FB page

--> Co-managing the Twitter account with Celia

--> And, of course, having a new head shot taken, see?


It's not a bad picture of me but darn if this weather isn't killing my hair!  Darn it you fickle, haven't-been-seen-all-summer-or-fall Ohio rain!  

If you're local to Dayton, Springfield, Hamilton, and Middletown, I hope you'll use the links below to come check it out - please join us and add your thoughts and ideas to the conversation! 



:: Twitter hashtag #BargainBunch

*Disclosure: I'm working as a very part-time freelancer on the Bargain Bunch project for the next several weeks and being compensated for my time (because while I might seriously consider taking my paycheck in Starbucks Lattes, the fine folks running this gig recognize and respect the expertise that bloggers bring to this table).  For more on my disclosure policy, please read here.

November 17, 2010

Let's Go Krogering! Week of November 15, 2010 {Countdown to T-Day!}


Wondering what's the deal with my weekly Let's Go Krogering! (LGK!) posts?
 Click here for more information.
 
My Kroger Trip, Tuesday, 11/16/10


Spent: $48.84
Saved: $57.92 (54%)
Earned: $3.00 oyno catalina for buying (4) Duracell &
$3.00 oyno catalina for buying (6) Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

It's a great week to finish grabbing what you need at Kroger for the upcoming Thanksgiving feast .  I've still got a few "must haves" on my big T-Day list but the biggie is done....we have a TURKEY!  ;-)

I actually didn't make it to my Kroger for my weekly couponista bonanza until Tuesday.  I was gone most of this weekend (running a Girl Scout event at one of our local camps) and came home on Sunday only to have to run right back out for a baby shower for a dear friend (always a happy occasion!).  Between my absence this weekend and the dr. appts on Mon & Tues for my kiddos, I am one waaaaaay-behind blogging mama!

But, as I told my hubs (who asked late Monday night if I'd been Krogering yet), I'd rather wait an extra day or so to get to Kroger if it means I'll have time to build my list, gather my coupons, and save big.  I can't stress this next point enough....

Shopping without a list and/or a menu plan will kill your budget. 

I've made this mistake myself - in fact, in my recent not-so-frugal-mom days, I fell into this trap quite a bit.

I could go a-Googling and find a bunch of studies and statistics about shopper behavior to back up my point but I don't think I need to do that.  If you've ever "just stopped in to the grocery store for a few things" and come out with $50 less in your pocket only to find out when you get home that you still need the basics to make dinner, etc, you know what I mean! 

The clever marketers in the grocery business do their best to sell to our impulses rather than our needs.  It's up to you, my supersmart couponistas and frugalistas, to outsmart them with your superior organization skills and a rock-solid will to stick to your list.  You can do it!

Ok, enough said!  You want to know how I got those deals above, right?   That's why you're here.  ;-)

Here's the coupons I used yesterday, 11/16/10.  Please remember that I shop Kroger | Cincinnati Region where they allow unlimited doubled coupons and double coupons to a maximum doubled value of $1.00.

Butterball Turkey, 12+ lbs, $13.74 ($1.09/lb)
$4.00/1 Butterball Turkey wyb (4) participating products (I bought the PB Crescent Rolls), SS 11/07
Final price: $9.74 ($0.81/lb)
Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, $1.50 ea
++ Buy 6, earn a $3.00 catalina OYNO ++
$0.40/2, SS 10/24
$0.40/2, SS 11/07
$0.40/2, GM 11/14
Final price: $1.10 ea

Kraft Cheese, $2.29 ea
$1.00/2, Kroger My Magazine {Giving Thanks}
Final price: $1.79 ea

General Mills Trix Cereal & Cheerios, $2.49 ea
++ Buy 4 participating GM Cereals/Pillsbury products, get an instant $4 off at checkout ++
$1.00/2, GM 11/14
Final price: $0.99 ea (after coupon + instant discount)

Pillsbury Simply Cookies, $2.49 ea
++ Buy 4 participating GM Cereals/Pillsbury products, get an instant $4 off at checkout ++
$0.55/1, GM 10/03
Final price: $0.49 ea (after coupon + instant discount)

Duracell Batteries, $1.99 ea (regularly priced $3.85)
++ Buy $15 of participating Duracell Batteries, get a $3.00 catalina OYNO ++
(NOTE: As I had *hoped* when I saw this catalina, the $15 total is based on the regular price, not the sale price!  I bought only 4 packs and earned the catalina.  WOOT!)
$1.50/1, RP 11/14
$0.75/1, PG 10/10
Final price: $0.49-$0.99 ea

Green Giant Boxed Vegetables, $0.88 ea
$0.60/3, GM 11/14
Final price: $0.55 ea

Coffee-Mate Creamer, $2.50 ea
$0.55/1, RP 11/14
Final price: $1.50 ea

Suave Deodorant, $0.88 ea
$0.75/1, RP 11/14
Final price: FREE!

Diet Dr Pepper 12 pk, $3.67 ea
$1.00/1, Kroger catalina (Like I mentioned last week, I'm getting OODLES of these when I check out)
Final price: $2.67 ea

Wheat Thins & Ritz Crackers, $1.99 ea
$1.00/2, SS 11/14
Final price: $1.49 ea

Redi Whip, $1.99 ea
$0.35/1, SS 11/14
Final price: $1.29 ea

To see the matchups for this week at Kroger, click here (thanks, Savings Lifestyle).

Did you find any unadvertised deals or awesome closeouts at Kroger this week?  Share 'em in a comment below or add your own LGK! post & superstar shopper picture to the linky below.

November 16, 2010

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals | Plan Ahead to Save Big!

I'm not one for Black Friday sales - I spend so much time the week of Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving Day itself working on the feast that by Friday, I'm as done as that bird was.  ;-)  The thought of getting up at o'dark-thirty to stand in a line in the cold for the chance to get a super deal just isn't enough motivation for me.

I am quite partial, however, to the similiar deals that can be found on Cyber Monday (which falls on November 29, 2010 this year).   I'll make a list of items that I'm looking for for Christmas gifts (which isn't very long as we do small-scale Christmas giving here) and take a look at the ad scans to see if there are any hot deals to be found. 

If you're looking to snag some amazing deals for Black Friday/Cyber Monday, make sure you check out the ad scans, forums, and details available at SlickDeals.net. 

Click here for the SlickDeals Black Friday/Cyber Monday page.

I'll chat more about these deals as we get closer!

November 15, 2010

Weekly Deals Roundup | 11/14/10 - 11/20/10

Looking for the matchups for this week?

Check out these sites for the best matchups this week, November 14 -November 20, 2010.

*Kroger (11/15/10 - 11/21/10)*

Current deals and matchups here (courtesy of Savings Lifestyle)

*Meijer*

Current deals and matchups here (courtesy of Savings Lifestlye)

*Aldi*

Current deals and matchups here (courtesy of Cincinnati Cents)

*Biggs/Remke*

Current deals and matchups here (courtesy of Saving Money Wisely)

*Walgreens*

Current deals and matchups here (courtesy of Common Sense with Money)

*CVS*

Current deals and matchups here (courtesy of Bargain Briana)

*Rite Aid*

Current deals and matchups here (courtesy of Deal Seeking Mom)

*Target*

Current deals and matchups here (courtesy of Stretching a Buck)

*Walmart*

Current deals and matchups here (courtesy of Passion for Savings)

Meal Plan Monday | Countdown to Thanksgiving: 10 Days to T-Day

This post was originally published on November 19, 2009.  With Thanksgiving Day just 10 days away, I thought you might find this list of ways I use to plan ahead for a successful Thanksgiving Day feast a useful tool for your own T-Day preparations. 

I'm just starting to plan our own Thanksgiving dinner and before I freak out and hit the red panic button, I need to go through this list myself and get organized!  I just need to remind myself that all things are possible with prayer, strong coffee, and a little planning, right?  ;-)

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Thanksgiving is just one week away and while I have a long list of work ahead of me next week, I'm not too stressed by the cooking and cleaning ahead of me. Since our family moved back to Ohio in 2004. we've hosted Thanksgiving at our house (both houses, really!); I've got five six years of turkey roasting and pie baking under my belt.

I've learned a few tricks over the years, too, so I thought I'd share them with you in case you're in the midst of a holiday panic attack {not that I know anything about that}.  ;-) 

1. Make a master menu plan at least two weeks in advance {or 10 days if that's all you've got left!}. Thanksgiving dinner is pretty standard year after year for us - turkey, stuffing, cranberries, potatoes, etc - but I still make a master plan of what we'll be eating for dinner and any appetizers/munchies I'd like to have out for everyone while we watch football and goof around (we specialize in serious goofing in this family!). Then as all the ingredients I'll need start showing up on sale with coupon matchups, I can grab 'em and stash 'em in my pantry until Thanksgiving week. I save lots of $$ doing this and - even better - I don't have to set foot into a crowded and frantic-paced grocery store on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

2. Farm out the work. I don't cook everything for Thanksgiving; I'd be a twitching mess of a mom if I had to do all the cooking by myself. Since both my mom and my mom-in-law come for Thanksgiving, they help by preparing some of the sides (think sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, salad, bread & rolls) and bringing them over that day to be warmed up in my oven. It saves me both time and a few $$ since I'm not purchasing every part of the meal.

3. Schedule cooking/food prep times. If you leave your cooking and your food preparations until the day before or {gulp} the day of Thanksgiving, you're likely to feel just a smidge overwhelmed. Or maybe you're like me and you feel a bit more vein-in-the-temple-about-to-explode overwhelmed. To spare myself the thrill of a holiday meltdown/burnout, I've come up with this schedule for Thanksgiving week that I follow for cooking:

-> Sunday morning of T-Day week, I set the turkey in the spare refrigerator to defrost.

->Monday, I start prepping and cooking/freezing any appetizer dips we'll be noshing on and I tear up the bread I use for the stuffing so it has time to dry out.

->Tuesday, I bake pies and refrigerate them after they've cooled. If I have any frozen cookie dough, I might toss that in the oven, too, for the kiddos who don't like pie (not mine - they love eating pie for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving!).

->Wednesday, I do the finer details that are best left until the end - I chop and saute the veggies for the stuffing, chop veggies and fruits for the appetizer trays, mix sour cream dips, and boil the turkey neck and giblets for turkey stock to use in the stuffing the next day. I make sure that darn bird is defrosted, too; if it's not all the way there, I let it sit out on the counter while I'm working. I know {gasp!} that's breaking the don't-get-food-poisoning rules, but it works for me.  We've yet to suffer a raging case of Salmonella here. 

->Thursday {T-Day}, I mix the stuffing and jam as much as I can into the turkey, then pop that bird in the oven. The rest of the food that I needed to make is pretty much done, so I can actually enjoy the day with everyone instead of slaving in the kitchen.

->Friday, I sleep in! No Black Friday sales for me...well, maybe just a few online ones...!  ;-)

4.Use what you have for decorating and setting the table. We don't have a fancy dining room set or fine china. We dress up our kitchen table and the extra tables and chairs with harvest colored tablecloths, place mats, and decorations but we don't overdo it. Although the commercials would beg you to think otherwise, it's not necessary to have a Martha Stewart themed home for the holiday season; the best part of the holidays for us is just spending time together. I do keep the kids busy with making hand-tracing turkeys and decorations that they get to hang on the wall and use for name cards at the table. You can save a lot of $$ by not going overboard on holiday decor.

5. Clean all week long in little sessions. Just as I break up the cooking for Thanksgiving day, I break up the cleaning that needs doing before our house is full of guests. I make a list of tasks and everyone - right down to our littlest guy - helps out in getting the work done.

Those are my tried and true tips for managing the workload of hosting Thanksgiving without going bonkers or broke. What tips do you have? I'd love to know! Share 'em in a comment below!

Psst - need some more great meal planning ideas for Thanksgiving and for your weekly dinners? Be sure to hop through the links over at OrgJunkie's weekly linkup, Meal Plan Monday!

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!

November 13, 2010

FREE With Q's | 11/7/10 - 11/13/10 Drugstore & Grocery Edition


Hi all!

I've not had a chance to post my best picks this week for deals you can get FREE with coupons. Apologies!

I've got a big Girl Scout event I'm running today for 4 troops as well as the usual weekend basketball madness for my older two kiddos - my time has been spent on planning and executing on those in real life things!

Weeks like this make me extra thankful for the great bunch of bloggers I know who are covering the deals as well. I'm always happy to send you to their sites if it will get you the info you need. ;-)

Looking for the best FREE with coupons deals this week? Check out these posts:

Stockpiling Time: HOT Deals & Steals at the Stores this Week

(Thank you, Stockipiling Moms!)

Free with Coupons as of 11/7/10

(Thank you, Mashup Mom!)

Did you find any HOT freebie or cheapie deals with coupons this week? Please share them in a comment below!

November 12, 2010

P&G Give Health Blogivation Campaign | Click to Give Clean Drinking Water


I am so excited to tell you about the latest campaign by P&G to provide clean drinking water to children in developing countries!

You may have already heard of P&G’s Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program. Their mission is simple: to provide clean drinking water to children in developing countries where the available drinking water is unsafe, contaminated, and hard to access.

Some heart-stopping statistics from their site:
:: Everyday  more than 4,000 children die as a result of a lack of clean drinking water
:: More than 1 billion people do not have access to clean drinking water
:: More children die from diarrheal illnesses like cholera and dysentery than from HIV/AIDS or malaria combined.
As a mom, I can't help but think about how simple and profound (and often thoughtlessly wasted by me) the blessing of clean, safe water truly is. So when I heard about the PG Give Health Clean Water Blogivaton initiative and how easy it would be for you and for I to make a positive difference, I knew I wanted to be a part of it.

See that little widget above?

For every click on the "Click to Donate" and "Share" buttons, P&G is donating one day of clean drinking water (2 Liters) to a person in a developing country.

Click - Give - Help.

It's that easy.

The P&G Give Health Blogivation Campaign has already generated 31,000 days of water. Their goal is 100,000 - you can help by clicking the widget above (which is also located in my right sidebar). If you're a blogger, you can also join Give Health Blogivation and promote this worthy cause.

FYI, in the interest of full disclosure, for every 1,000 days of clean water my widget generates, I will receive a gift card or a giveaway item for you, my fabulous readers.

Honestly, I don't care so much about the gift cards/giveaway items (I doubt I'll make it to 1,000 clicks). I simply think this program is a GREAT way for you to do something small that can help a child in a BIG way.

Thanks for your help!

November 11, 2010

In This Sunday's Inserts | November 14, 2010 {1 Smart Source, 2 Red Plum}


It's always useful to know how many coupon inserts to expect each Sunday and even more useful to know which coupons you'll find in those inserts so you can decide as early as possible if it's a good week to order coupons from a clipping service.

This Sunday, 11/14/10, it looks like there will be (3) inserts in the Sunday newspapers - (1) Smart Source and (2) Red Plum. Hurray!

Remember, the current Mega Event sale at Kroger runs through Sunday, 11/14, and ends at 11:59 pm (click here for the full list of participating items). Some of the coupons in this week's inserts are great matchups for the items in this sale so you might want to plan one last mega savings trip to Kroger on Sunday afternoon or evening. ;-)

Here's a few coupons that look good to me:

Smart Source

$1.00/1 Hormel Country Crock Side Dishes (Mega Event item)

$2.00/1 Huggies Little Snugglers or Movers

$1.00/1 Nabisco Crackers (Mega Event item)

$1.00/2 Orville Redenbacher Popcorn 3 pk (Mega Event item)

$0.75/1 Reynold's Foil (Mega Event item)

Red Plum #1

$1.00/1 Advil 20 ct (Mega Event item)

$0.50/1 Lever 2000 bar soap 2ct

$0.60/1 Lipton Tea Bags

Buy 2 Get 1 FREE Ragu Pasta Sauce

$0.75/1 Suave Deodorant

Red Plum #2

$0.50/2 Carnation Evaporated Milk (Mega Event item)

$1.25/3 Nestle Tollhouse Morsels (holiday baking time!)

$0.55/1 Nestle CoffeMate Liquid

$1.50/2 Emerald Nuts 5 oz+

To see the full list of coupons available in this week's inserts, click here (thanks, Southern Savers).

Enjoy your weekend!

November 10, 2010

Veteran's Day FREEbies 2010 + Donate Your Expired Coupons for Military Families Overseas


Veteran's Day is tomorrow, November 11, and I want to take a minute to thank all of you who have served in the armed forces (and that includes my hubs, Knute). As I type this, I am acutely aware of how many freedoms I enjoy (freedom of speech, equal citizenship as a woman, voting, freedom of religion and the freedom to talk about my religion) because our veterans were willing to serve, to suffer, to sometimes give all.

From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.

For those of you who are veterans, Coupon Sherpa has an excellent list of 35 Veterans Day Freebies right here. Click over and scan the list to see if any of the freebies look like something you'd like to try.

Note that while many of the freebies are for restaurants, some are also for events, entertainment, and retail merchants (both brick and mortar stores and online retailers). Also note that while most of the freebies are for November 11, some are good through the weekend or are for a different date.

And, on one last note, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the lovely Toni over at The Happy Housewife (a Navy wife and mom of many; she and I chatted about life as Navy wives when we met up last summer at BlogHer '09) organizes and oversees an AWESOME program called Coupons for Troops where she matches fellow couponistas who have expired coupons they'd like to donate (maybe you?!) to military families stationed overseas.

Since military commissaries (the grocery store on base) accept expired coupons up to six months from the date of expiration, your old coupons that were headed for the recycling bin or the trash can be put to good use by military families serving overseas where everything is waaay more expensive.

Trust me when I tell you that those coupons are much needed by our young military families who have limited budgets.

The Happy Housewife put out the call a few days ago looking for more families that would be willing to donate their expired coupons. If you're interested, you can read more here; thanks in advance for helping our military families.

November 9, 2010

HOT DEAL | Cellfire $1.00 off Anything eCoupon!


I saw this dealio posted over at Saving Money Wisely and wanted to make sure you fine frugalistas have a chance to grab it, too!

If you log in to your Cellfire account and save (10) ecoupons to your shoppers card before 11/15, you'll get a $1.00/anything ecoupon added to your Cellfire account on 11/16. Nice!  Every dollar off helps!

You'll also be entered into a drawing for 1 of 5 Thanksgiving turkeys (up to $25.00).

This is limited to the first 30,000 users who load (10) ecoupons to their card so hop over to Cellfire and get clicking!

(Thanks, Saving Money Wisely!)