Thursday, July 24, 2014

Eat Better For Less!

Chicken Sandwiches

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
  These days I have been not only looking to save money on my grocery bill, but trying to choose meals that are lower fat and calories as well.  At first it seems difficult because of course it is much easier to focus on one goal at a time than two.  Usually you are on a mission to "Save Money", "Eat Healthy", "Lose Weight", "Spend Less".  When you pair two of these together they can sometimes work against one another.  For example, there may be a huge sale on starchy snacks this week which helps my wallet, but a bag of apples would help my waist. LOL  Now you can see how this can be a challenge.

For the past couple of weeks I have slowly made an attempt to be cautious of both causes.  Save Money. Eat Better.  With that in mind I started with chicken Breast.  A huge pack from Save A Lot  as well as a carton of chicken broth or Stock.  Add that to the crock pot on High for 6 - 7 hours and you have the base of a few healthy meals or lunches for your week.  I have a few ideas I used pictured in this post. All I did was take take the chicken out of the broth of the crock pot and shred with a fork.  It was sooo tender and juicy!  Next I divided chicken into portions for my planned meals.  
Chicken Fajitas!
Here is what I made this week:
1. Chicken Salad Sandwiches , Just add Chopped Onion and Light Mayo, Spread on Sandwich roll or bread.  
2. Chicken Spaghetti Casserole Use reduced fat soup and cheese, and I sprinkle cheese and reduced fat crushed Ritz Crackers on Top and heat in oven for a few minutes before serving. (you can use bread crumbs too, but I rarely have those on hand lately) 
3. Chicken Fajitas, Saute Chopped Onion & Peppers in pan with cooking spray, add cooked, shredded chicken, packet of Fajita Seasoning to your taste and 1/2 cup water, heat thru and serve on tortillas with reduced fat shredded cheddar and fat free sour cream. 
4. Corn And Chicken Chowder I used skim milk and reduced fat shredded cheddar.
5. Chicken Paninis- Okay, so I do not have a panini press BUT I have a waffle maker and next week I plan on using my shredded chicken with some roasted tomatoes and peppers, reduced fat cheese, Spinach on whole wheat bread, maybe some store bought pesto and making a yummy warm and toasted, "Panera Like" Sandwich" : ) This Recipe was my inspiration
5. Shredded Chicken Wraps  You can use any lunch meat really, any mustard, low fat mayo or fat free cream cheese, lettuce, spinach, chopped tomato and cucumber  YUM
6. Chicken Parmesan Sliders This recipe has mini chicken breasts, but I plan on using the shredded chicken.

So for now, I am on a "Shredded Chicken Kick", for its healthy qualities, as well as it being an economical purchase when buying in bulk at my favorite store.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Save Money on Back To School Basics

I know it is still only July but when the stores begin to put out the supplies I grab up what I need from each of my kids' school lists.  This year I will have two in elementary school.  It seems the older they get the more they need and when you double that, you have things like four packs of Expo markers on your list!  "Expo" is a specific brand of dry erase markers.  They run from $2.97+ depending on the count and style of marker you need.  When you need to buy four that is at least $12.00! Just for MARKERS!!  Craziness.  Anyways.....I'm not brand loyal, if it works, it works right?  Walmart did not have very many options of markers other than Expo and Crayola.  Not even a generic or store brand.  So I bought the items on my list that I found at reasonable prices and to do so I did not limit myself to the "back to school" isles.  I went over to the office supply isles too!  There I was able to find red pens for a little more than a buck, cheaper highlighters and a better price on glue sticks.
I also looked through the Dollar Tree to check for any items I needed, I bought Gallon Zip Top bags and Post It Notes.  The reason I didn't buy more is that I can find a folder for 15-30 cents and a 24pk. of crayons for $.25 cents at Walmart.
After the first School Shopping Trip, I had about 75%  of what I needed, so when we went to the $1.00 Movies at the Hagerstown Theater yesterday I decided to check Target's selection of dry erase markers, and they had another brand for cheaper!  "Board Dudes Dry Erase Markers" only $2.00ea.  Thank You Target!! lol  I would not have driven 30 min just to save a dollar per pack but since I was already across the street at the mall, it paid off to take a look.  All I have left to buy is Tissues and for that I have a small stack of coupons to use at The Dollar Tree and my list is finished. : )

So to recap, keep these things in mind...
1. Shop Around and take your time
2. Start Early
3. Don't be brand loyal
4. The Dollar Tree is not always cheaper
5. Check the stores nearby any upcoming errands or trips you may be taking

Good Luck!

I always think of this commercial at this time of year...

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Teaching Your Kids About The Value Of Money

The other day we were in the car and I had to park in town along the road where you have to put money in the machine.  As I parked, my kid's got all excited that we had to find some change.  I briefly said.., "We only need 5 or 10 cents"  Next, my five year old says "Mom just use 5 cents, you don't want to waste any money"  Knowing that we only needed to park for a brief stop, this was a smart thing to say for such a young age.  While I do not want my kids to be afraid to spend money I also do not want them to waste any either.  You know that saying "Give a Man a fish and feed him for a day, Teach him to fish and feed him for a lifetime".  I think that applies here.  I may not have a lot of physical things or money to pass to my kids.  But I can teach them how to be resourceful enough to stand on their own two feet when the time comes.

And by doing so I will start them at a young age.  They say a child's view of money begins in the first ten years of their life.  Imagine you had your first impression of how to save, give, spend and pay for items only as a child.  Of course spending habits can be changed as you grow older but why add on another challenge to this ever growing world of change, right?  So after much thought, and talk with my husband and mom, we have decided to open a bank account for each of my children and to request from grandparents less physical gifts for Christmas and Birthdays and more "deposits" for their bank.  I know I am not alone when every Christmas comes and you wrack you brain to think of the coolest items your kids will love only to find them scattered on the floor in piles and rarely being played with.  This makes me think, what if that $20.00 toy was instead a $20.00 bill put in an account to add up over time and even earn interest.  I think my kids will thank us later when they use the money to put towards their first car, help with college or even a new computer of their very own.  Like most parents we are still paying on our own student loans, and so this makes it difficult to think of paying for our children's college education. This is how I think we will lessen the financial burden on their future.  We will buy less and save more for them.  I will gift them their future instead of the newest "hot toy".

Another way we have begun to help our kid's 5 and 8, learn to spend properly is to give them their own amount of money from time to time and let them spend it or save it as they wish.  They may at first spend it all at once and then be sad when it is gone.  Don't fret, this is good, all a part of the process.  This will carry over to the next purchase where they will think twice and maybe find out how to stretch the money even further.  My kids have done this very thing.  A Proud moment came last year when each of my kid's received a $20.00 bill from their aunt.  Their first response, "I'm gonna save this for the beach!" BINGO  A simple lesson learned that will help them years and years from now.  Could even be life changing.
Hope this inspires or helps others out there maybe thinking along the same lines.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Cheap trip to the movies! Only $1.00 Per Person!

Have you been to the $1.00 Movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays yet!? They Start at 10am!! Today I took the kids to see Smurfs and tomorrow they are showing Smurfs 2!!!  It is way exciting to ask for three tickets to a movie and then the total only be $3.00 for the kids and I to see a movie.  Now these are mostly last years movies but we have only seen about half of them on the list, so it is especially exciting for my kiddos.  We do not go to the movies often, because by the time you buy the tickets, drink and popcorn you are easily spending over $50.  And I just can't do that!  I just won't do that! lol  Call me cheap, but unless there is a deal, discount or coupon involved I am certainly gonna think twice about paying full price.  Another thing I like to do is make a quick run to the dollar tree.  They sell virtually the same candy for 1/5 of the price as the movies. In addition they also sell cute mini minute maid juice box multipacks.  So for $5.00  I can take the kids to the movies, and kill the summer blues.  Hope you feel inspired to do the same if you are looking for something cheap to do with your kiddos.  Makes for fun family time : ) 

Free Meal at Chick Fil A On Friday!!

I totally love this deal! On Friday July 11th. you can get a free meal for dressing like a cow!  Head over to Chick Fil A with your best Cow outfit and eat FOR FREE!  Here is the link to a "Printable" outfit of items you can tape onto your clothing to be more "cow like" : ) Be careful though, if you only come with a "cow accessory" such as just the ears or only a couple spots, you will only get a free entree.  I love this deal mostly for the kids, they have a great time and it doesn't cost me a dime!  I usually go to the Chick Fil A in Hagerstown, but there is also one in Frederick in front of their Target.  Good Luck!

Here is an old pic of my kids about to get their free kids meal, Summer 2012!

Monday, June 30, 2014

White Cloud Bath Tissue 4pk. Only $.98 cents!

White Cloud®   

Head over Here to print out this awesome coupon for Buy One Get One Free White Cloud Bath tissue 4pk.  It is listed under the "household" category on and will get you two 4pks. of White Cloud toilet paper for only $.98 cents ea. That is only $.24 per roll, and anything cheaper than $.41 cents per roll is an awesome deal!

Also if you still have your June issue of All You Magazine, there was a $1.00 off any White Cloud bath tissue coupon that will get you a 4pk. for only $.97cents. Yay!  (That was a deal I picked up today at Walmart)
Good Luck!

Extra Savings On Kellogg's Cereal and A FREE Movie Ticket! Here's how to do it!!


Have you seen the Kellogg's Cereal Boxes with Spiderman on the lower corner of the box?  Not every Kellogg's Cereal Variety or size has them but the ones that do have a code inside that you can enter Here. Three codes earns you free concession cash and six codes earns you a free movie ticket!  That's right you can print out a "Kellogg's Movie Ticket Coupon" Right from your computer and bring it to the movies and redeem for one free ticket!!  This is awesome because you figure when you have kids you are usually buying cereal anyway, and if you buy the Spiderman boxes you will end up with enough codes to save money at the movies!!  If you don't want to stock up on Kellogg's cereals and only care to buy a few for concession cash, there is another way to see a cheap movie.  Check Regal (Valley Mall) and Leitersburg Cinema's for their Summer $1.00 Movies on Tuesdays and Wedesdays @ 10am.  That option will get you a cheap movie with some FREE popcorn!

Another side note, Waynesboro Walmart has Kellogg's Cereal Boxes on sale for $2.00. The ones on sale are not in the cereal isle like you would expect but in a large flat in front of the milk coolers.  And if you head on over to the Kellogg's Website you can print a few coupons to save you money on that cereal!! If you get frosted flakes you can use the $1/2 coupon and get each box for $1.50! Plus you get the Code inside!!  Just make sure you pick the boxes with the Spiderman on them. Another great way to get Kellogg's coupons is to sign up at Kellogg's Rewards and they will send you weekly cereal coupons usually for $1/2 any Kellogg's Or Keebler Item and sometimes even Eggo frozen waffles etc.  This same website will allow you to enter rewards codes that come in all Kellogg's and Keebler brand boxes and can earn you points to redeem towards high value coupons i.e. $1.50 Off Rice Krispies Treats.  You can also find these codes through a google search where a lot of bloggers will list the current codes and values.

So in conclusion if you find multiple coupons from either Kelloggs, Or your sunday paper, you can get six boxes of cereal and One movie ticket for only $9.00!!!!!!!!!   That is the deal of the summer people!!! Not only is it cheaper on average just for the amount of cereal you are getting, but you cannot go to the movies for only $9.00 these days.
So Good luck and go get some cereal and I will see you at the MOVIES FOR FREEEEE!!!

Keep On Couponing!

Keep On Couponing!