Friday, February 29, 2008

Frugal Friday - saving on condiments

I LOVE K.C. Masterpiece bbq sauce, but it is expensive. (At least to me and our budget.) I look for sales and coupons but they are few and far between. BUT I can still save $ on my fav bbq sauce and other condiments (such as salad dressing). Look for a condiment bottle that has the "squeeze top insert". Having this insert allows me to pour out a smaller amount (less waste) and have more control over where the sauce is going. Then when you are done with that bottle, pop the insert out with a fork. Stick the insert in the dishwasher with your silverware (make sure it gets clean), and put the insert into any bottle that doesn't have one! :) You may need to look at different bottles to find the right size insert (there seems to be a standard small one and large one). I will admit to buying bbq sauce on sale (I will use it) mainly for the insert. I know these have inserts: Bull's-Eye (small), Sweet Baby Ray's (large), and K.C. Masterpiece (depends on the size of the bottle-the small 18 oz doesn't have it).

The next step is when the bottle is almost empty, remove the insert and set your bottle upside down to let the remaining amount drip out. I will often do this when having french fries at home. I'll pop out the insert and dip my fries in the remaining bbq sauce (that's left in the insert). Then stick the bottle on my plate allowing the rest of the bbq sauce to come down. I am seriously addicted to bbq!!

Some condiments don't work well with the insert, one example is a really chunky salad dressing just doesn't come out very well. The squeeze bottle format is great though for other salad dressings (especially when you want to monitor how much you're getting).

For other frugal hints, visit Crystal at Frugal Friday.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Super Savings Saturday - CP mail, Target string cheese, Meijer Dole salad

It's Super Savings Saturday at Money Saving Mom. I have some pictures!

I sent in for my freebies on the Colgate-Palmolive deal and it came this past week. Sample sizes of Speed Stick, Softsoap, Colgate Total, and a soft full Colgate 360 toothbrush!! Plus bag and coupons. The coupons expire 6/30/2008. Just thought you might like to know what you can expect in your mailbox soon. I also got my Excedrin rebate and the Chick-fil-A calendars and coupons (no $ on the gift cards) this past week.

I was finally able to go to Target for free string cheese (no overage) and I got free salad at Meijer this week!! :) Overall a very GOOD week!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Frugal Friday - fish and seafood

Well, for the unintiated (which was me, I grew up Baptist) - it's Lent time. Usually Catholics take a vow to abstain from something during the 40 days of Lent. They're also to not eat meat but most only observe this on Friday. (I don't understand why fish and seafood aren't considered meat.) Which leads us to the frugal part, during Lent you can purchase fish and seafood on sale. Also, if you choose to eat out most places are offering fish sandwiches and seafood on sale. Enjoy!

For other frugal hints, visit Crystal at Frugal Friday.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I've probably run off the 2 readers I have by not posting much. Sorry, we're still in the midst of a bit of a plumbing crisis. It started (no joke) about 3.5 years ago!! Hopefully it will be resolved in the next few weeks. (Not an ongoing 3.5 year crisis, just a tree issue we've been dealing with for 3.5 years.)

Anyhoo, I need to get back to homeschooling. But be quiet, he's sleeping . . .

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Bloggy Giveaways - winner!!

I wish I could give a copy to everyone, however only one person can win.

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:35
Timestamp: 2008-02-03 05:10:28 UTC

monk5 [@] charter [.] net

If I don't hear back I'll redraw on Wednesday.

Congratulations Monk5!!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Frugal Friday - saving upc's

Thank you Crystal for hosting Frugal Friday. Many of you probably already keep upc's but I wanted to explain my system and highlight a few good offers.

Upc's are the coded numbers that scan at a register to give the product info and price. Some companies offer "specials" for keeping your upc's and sending them back in. 1) rebates - often rebates will require the upc (cut out) and cash register receipt (item and price circled) plus rebate form 2) trading upc's for items - often companies will have an offer of sending in upc's and $ (usually for shipping and handling) for a "themed" product, for ex. Kellogg's bowls 3) trading upc's for coupons - send in upc's and the company will send you coupons back.

The last offer - coupons, is the one I want to discuss today. I know of 3 companies that are doing this right now. Advance products (also called Fast Fixin') has a "fanatic" club. You sign up and they send you coupons. Then you can use those coupons to get products, save those upc's, and send 10 back for more coupon(s). I have done this a few times now - the coupon(s) are for a free product up to about $7-8! I haven't seen this recently at my available stores - but I know some of you still have access to the styrofoam Fast Fixin chicken products. Often these will be on sale for $1. You can send in those upc's to get a free product! Beech Nut baby food also has a sign-up club, you can get coupons (just call them at 1-800-Beech-Nut (1-800-233-2468) Mondays through Fridays, 8am to 5pm CT ), and then send in upc's to get more coupons. (Please don't yell at me for serving jar food. I've made homemade baby food before. It just hasn't worked as well for me. I also try to get my children off jar food ASAP and onto ground up/smashed table food, OK?) The last is Pepsi-Frito Lay deal, there's a peelie on the 12 packs where you buy 3/12-packs of Pepsi products (or so many 2L or 24 packs) and 3/9 oz or larger bags of Frito-Lay chips, mail-in the form with the original receipt(s) with items purchased between 12/26/07 - 2/6/08, and the UPCs. Then, you will receive: 5/$2 off coupons for future purchases on Pepsi Products, 1/$2 off coupon for future purchases on Frito-Lay Products, 1/$3 off coupon for future purchases on Frito-Lay Products. Offer requests must be postmarked by 2/22/08. (HT for the details: Money Saving Mom.) (I did this type of deal before with Pepsi and it was great.) I hope I've helped out at least one person.

Ok, so now you have a counter full of upc's, what to do? If I have trouble distinguishing a upc or I have a large collection, I'll label a ziploc sandwich bag with a sharpie marker and always put the upc's in that bag. We have one drawer (under our silverware drawer) that holds ziploc bags, foil, saran wrap, and UPC's/box tops. So I have a place for these items. If you're fond of keeping box upc's but don't know what the product is, then write on the back what the product is.

Another "win" for me was my popcorn bowl. I receive the Orville Redenbacher e-newsletter. One time it featured a free popcorn bowl for sending in two upc's. I knew I had two available in my pantry. So I sent them in (no S&H even) and waited. And waited. But I sure was excited the day my bowl came!! I do love it. :)

Look at Crystal's other Frugal Fridays here.