Home Remedy for Your Wood Furniture!

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The first day we got our oak table we had watermarks all over it. As we were moving in, the helpers (including myself) sat our cold drinks on the table and went to work. I was pretty upset with it, but decided to cover it up with a cloth until I could fix the issue or replace the table…

Yea, the old me would have replaced the table for something like this…

Honestly though, it was pretty bad… Not only did I have the rings but also was pretty scratched up.

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Somewhere along the lines I heard about mayonnaise.. Not exactly sure where. I decided to give it a go… (sorry for the blurry photos!)

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First I put a but of mayo on a spoon and then I rubbed it in circles and buffed it in. Instantly, the rings disappeared.  Beware your table will be slick and smell like mayo for a little while. Just try to keep the dogs from licking it off :)

I let it sit for a few hours and then went back over it with a soapy rag to remove the grease and the smell. Now look at my beautiful table!

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Not only did I save money on not having to buy a new table, but also on buying products such as Old English.

Are you going to try this?

Printable Thanksgiving Banner

I am all about saving money on decorations. Those things can be expensive, ya know!

I whipped this up a few weeks ago and want to share with you. It is a word document. Great thing about this is that it is editable so that you can make it for Christmas, birthdays, Easter, ect….

Excuse the cords showing… I am currently working that situation out (we just moved).

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here is a closer look at the flags….

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Here is what the word document looks like…

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Click here to download ->Banner_Fall

Just print it off, cut it out, and tape to ribbon or string! So easy and cheap!

Why I Still Shop at Sam’s

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Do you want an easy way to save without having to coupon? Buy in bulk! Even though I coupon, I still buy some things in bulk.

I have been an avid shopper of Sam’s Club since I was married in 2010. I know that I can always save a ton of money at Sam’s on certain products. Before I began couponing, I switched to buying in bulk and it cut my normal shopping bill in half from the beginning. Now that I have started to coupon, I still shop at Sam’s…

Although, Sam’s Club does not allow for coupons (other than store coupons), remember you can still use rebate/cash back apps such as: Ibotta, Checkout 51, and Snap.This can bring even more savings.

I find that for many items, even with coupons at a grocery store, Sam’s tends to be cheaper. Also, I have things that I use on a regular basis  and I do not always have time to wait on a good coupon. However, this store can also be the worst thing for your budget if you are not careful.

One thing to remember when shopping at Sam’s (or even when couponing)- STAY IN YOUR MONTHLY BUDGET. Do not use the excuse that “such and such item” is going to last me 3 months so I can deduct this out of savings and pay myself back each month. ERR, wrong answer. If you cannot afford it this month, chances are that something next month will be needed and you will not pay your savings back. I have been there, done that (too many times to count).

Set up a budget for Sam’s specifically. I usually set aside at least half of my budget (50-100.00) for Sam’s. I do not always spend this much either. I know this may seem like too much money, but let me tell you what exactly I buy at Sam’s.

Things I buy:

  • Spices *
  • AP Flour and Bread Flour- ALWAYS cheaper (even with coupons). I buy 25lbs for only 8.49. Lasts about 2 months.
  • Chocolate Chips- I always have cookies on hand.*
  • Yeast- so much cheaper in bulk
  • Sugar/Brown sugar*
  • Cooco Powder*
  • Vineger*
  • Baking Soda*
  • evap milk*
  • tomato paste*
  • Milk- always around 0.50 cheaper here. Also, I use rebate apps and usually get another 1.00 off.
  • Mozzarella/mexican- It is cheaper to buy shredded here. I buy the 5lb bag.*
  • Cheddar- We like sharp cheddar. It is cheaper for the 2lb block.*
  • Specialty Cheeses- Parm is cheaper here and they always have a good deal on other cheeses*
  • String Cheese- We love cheese LOL *
  • Butter- we do not use margarine (I refuse to because of the origin and chemicals, not to mention taste).
  • Pepperoni*
  • Chicken Breasts- 1.88/lb cheaper than anywhere!
  • Whole Chickens- 0.99/lb

Things I do not buy:

  • Processed Foods (Chips, candy, junk food, frozen food, ect…)
  • Bread/bakery items
  • Soda
  • canned veggies
  • tea
  • deserts
  • Meats other than chicken (unless marked down).
  • Paper products (I can usually find them cheaper with coupon).

* Any Item marked with (*) can be found with coupons very rarely, when this happens I make sure to stock up*

Can you tell we love cheese?

I hope that this inspires you to check out your local Sam’s and start saving right away!

 

 

 

 

Cheesy Chicken Potato Soup

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This Soup is just perfect for the cold weather. A quick, no fuss dinner that is promised to make everyone happy! As an added bonus, it is very cheap to make and feeds 6!

I knew my husband would be home soon and would be hungry. Unfortunately, I had not pulled any meats out to thaw. I hurried to the pantry to look for something to come up with for dinner. I thought of soup to warm us up, as it is a cold wet day. So I pulled out a couple of cans and thought lets make something new! I also made my grandmothers homemade biscuits to pair with this soup… Prep Time: 3 Minutes or less Cooking time: 15 Minutes or less Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup of diced onion
  • 2 TBSP Salted Butter
  • 2TBSP White Wine (cooking wine is what I use)
  • 1 Medium can of Chicken Breast (cooked)
  • 1 TSP of Monterrey Chicken Seasoning
  • 1 Family Size can Cream of Potato Soup
  • 1 can cheese soup
  • 1 Cup Evaporated Milk
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 TSP Chicken Base
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 1 TSP Pepper
  • 1/2 TSP cumin
  • 1/4 TSP cayenne pepper
  • 1 TSP Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 C Sharp Cheddar Cheese (plus more for topping)

Directions:

  1. In a medium skillet on medium high, caramelize onions in butter and wine.
  2. Add chicken and chicken seasoning- allow to cook for about 2 minutes.
  3. In a medium pot on medium low, add the cans of soup, evaporated milk,  and water. Stir until combined.
  4. Add the chicken and onions to pot along with the rest of the ingredients- Seasonings and cheese.
  5. Simmer until hot.
  6. Serve topped with cheese and enjoy!

Optional: add any veggies ( carrots, peas, corn) or bacon pieces for some more flavor!

Rosey Summer Sausage Pasta

 

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I just stocked up on summer sausage about a week ago. I have been trying out some new recipe combinations and this one was a hit! Cannot wait to make it again. Easy, cheap, and very flavorful!

 

This was so easy to make and using the fresh ingredients makes it so much better. I love to use fresh garlic instead of the minced jar garlic. Don’t get me wrong, I still use the jar, but having it fresh is such an extra treat. So mince the garlic by hand…

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Once that is done. Pull out a medium sized onion and finely dice about 1/4 Cup…

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I like to get all my chopping done at once so set aside the garlic and onion. Do not worry about it mixing because it is going into the pan at the same time. However, keep the sausage separate for now. Go ahead and chop the sausage…

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Put a little oil in a large skillet on medium high and let it get hot. Once hot, and the onion and garlic. Let it brown and become tender.

 

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Then add the sausage.  Let in brown a bit. In the meantime, go ahead and roughly dice the tomato…

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And add it into the pan…  I let the tomato loosen up a bit and become a little tender…

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then add the pasta, sauce, milk, water, bullion, and spices… and let it come to a boil…

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Pop the top on that bad boy and let it simmer on low for about 15 minutes or until the pasta is tender.

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Uncover and sprinkle some cheese… we love mozzarella, but you can use anything you like.

 

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then put it in the oven and broil until the cheese is melted… I was to hungry to let it brown :)

 

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See, so easy! Here is the exact recipe…

Prep Time: 5 Minutes or Less

Cooing Time: 25 Minutes

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 lb. Noodles (any kind, I used spirals)
  • 1TBSP Olive Oil
  • 2TBSP Finely Chopped Garlic
  • 1/4 C finely diced onion
  • 1 PK Summer Sausage
  • 1 Tomato diced
  • 2 -3/4 C Water
  • 3/4 C Evaporated Milk
  • 2 TSP Chicken Bouillon Powder
  • 1/4C Pizza Sauce
  • 1/2 TSP Salt
  • 1/2 TSP Pepper
  • 1/4 TSP Cajun Seasoning

Directions:

  1. In a large, deep skillet heat oil on until hot. Add in garlic and onion and brown until fragrant and tender (about 1 min).
  2. Add sausage and brown (about 4 minutes). Add in tomato and cook until tender (about 3 minutes).
  3. Add in water, milk, chicken Bouillon, Pizza Sauce, Pasta, and seasonings. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle Mozzarella on top.
  6. Broil until melted.
  7. Eat and enjoy!

Serves 4.

Couponing 101: Stocking Up and Keeping Sane

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One thing I have to stress about couponing is… Stay in your budget! When you first start out (and even later as an expert) it is tempting to buy all the deals. Thing is, you cant! If you get all the “deals”, you will not stay in your monthly budget (another reason I have my cash in coupon binder). What good is it to have 300 cans of tomatoes when you cannot make your house payment or pay for gas to get to work? All things in moderation. Also, not doing every deal, makes the world go ’round. Everyone needs a chance to stock up too, so don’t be a hog ;)

So, not all of your coupons will be used. Some of them will be thrown away because, frankly, sometimes the store brand is cheaper (and also for reasons discussed above). I do a lot of my shopping at Sam’s Club due to this reason (post about this soon). However, many times the deals, combined with coupons is free or almost free; in this case, Stock up!

What is a good stock up price?

Most of the time, if it is between 70%-100% savings from regular price, I will stock up as much as I can. Sometimes, for an item that is rarely on sale, I will stock up if it is 50% savings or more. I cannot tell you the stock-up prices for every item, as they will be different for every location and for your personal needs.

It can be hard at first to figure out the right stock up price, give it time. You will not be perfect and no one expects you to be! It is a learning process.

Stockpile?

Once you have been couponing for a while, you will most likely end up with a stockpile (an abundance of all the stuff you got free/almost free). This is extremely helpful if you go through a period where you cannot coupon or shop. During my last pregnancy/miscarriage, this was so helpful. For this reason my stockpile is bare; however, I am slowly working to get it back. I will have pictures and post about this soon! You can never know when tragedy may strike, but being prepared will make it so much easier.


 

-Staying Sane-

It is okay to take a break from couponing! You can still save tons by following general practices- shopping sales, buying bulk, making it homemade, and buying in season. I have had to take a break from couponing too! However, I think everyone should use coupons to an extent, especially if you are brand loyal. And if you are not brand loyal, you will be surprised by how much cheaper the brands can be at certain times with coupons!

If you find that you are getting stressed out, just take a break. Even if it is just one shopping trip! It can make a lot of difference. Make sure that couponing isn’t taking you away from your responsibilities. I set aside only a certain amount of time each week to work on coupons. Finding good deals can be addicting and if I am not careful I will get sucked in for a long time (my poor husband). :)


I hope that you have learned all about how to start couponing! This is the last post of the series; however, I am sure there will be more posts concerning these topics in the future (as I am always thinking of another thing to add).

Be sure to checkout my frugality page for more ways to save!

Couponing 101 Series:

  1. Changing Your Attitude.
  2. Couponing Methods.
  3. Where to Find Coupons.
  4. Lingo and Planning You Shopping Trip
  5. Shopping and Checkout.
  6. Stocking Up and Keeping Sane.

 

Walmart Brag 10/8/2014

 

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2% Gallon Milk- 3.58

Snap- Save 1.00/1 Gallon Milk

Final Price- 2.58


Walmart Bakery Italian Bread- 1.00

Snap- Save 1.00/1 Any Bread

Final Price- FREE


Contadina Whole Tomatos- 1.54

Ibotta- Save 1.00/2

Final Price- 1.04 Each, 2.08 Total


Contadina Crushed Tomatos- 1.54

Ibotta- Save 1.00/2

Final Price- 1.04 Each, 2.08 Total


 Sunbelt Granola Bars- 2.00

0.55/1  Sunbelt Product Coupons.com (used 2)

Ibotta- Save 1.00/1 

Final Price-  0.45 Each


 Sauve Professionals Shampoo-1.98

1.50/1 Suave Professionals Shampoo or conditioner RP 9/28 

Final Price- 0.48 Each


 Suave Hair Moose- 2.88

2.00/1 Sauve Professionals Hair Treatment  RP 9/28 

Final Price- 0.88 Each


 Dial Hand Soap 80z- 1.97, Dial Bar Soap 3Pk-1.97

Ibotta- Save 1.00/1 Dial Hand 8oz or larger

Iboota- Save 1.00/1 Dial 3pk Bar Soap

1.00/2 Dial Soaps RP 10/5/

Final Price- 0.47 Each, 0.94 Total


 

Poise Micro Liners-0.97

2.00/1 Poise Liners (Poise.com)

Final Price- 1.03 MoneyMaker Each!


 

Red Apples- .60

Snap- .50 off Apples

Final Price- 0.10 Each


 

Bananas- 0.19

Snap- 0.25 off Apples

Checkout 51- 0.25 off Apples

Final Price- 0.31 Money Maker!


 

Tomato- 0.77

Checkout 51- 0.50 off Tomatoes

Final Price- 0.27 


 

Total Before Coupons- 27.04

Price I paid (after rebates)- 8.94

Savings- 70% 

Any savings is a success. Over 50% is great! 

Couponing 101: Shopping and Checkout

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MAKE SURE TO READ STORE COUPON POLICY AND HAVE A COPY FIRST!

Having the store policy in hand can save you time in the checkout process. Most of the time, you will not have a problem; however, sometimes there may be a questionable circumstance. They cannot argue with their own policy.

Once you are in the store, it is time to put all you learned into practice. Remember, you will get better. The first shopping trip usually will have some errors. For example, my first shopping trip (when I lived 30 minutes from the stores), I forgot my coupons at home. I could have kicked myself. Needless to say, I still got my groceries and went home deflated. I actually did not attempt it for another few months. Dont get discouraged and keep trying!

One of the first things I have learned to do is: to keep my grocery cash in the pencil holder (in my binder). This insures that I remember to bring my coupons (cant shop without money)!

Things you need:

  • Coupons/ money
  • shopping discount cards (MVP. CVS, KROGER PLUS, ECT…)
  • Shopping list (see last post for a spreadsheet!)
  • Calculator
  • pen/pencil and paper

I usually put my purse in the child seat and the coupon binder on top to keep my binder open and in place.

First things first, go to the clearance/closeout section! Here you can find quick deals that you other wise would not have known about. This is why I prefer the binder method, as you can quickly find coupons. This is also why I suggest to bring a calculator, pen, and paper. You never know what deals you can find that are unadvertised.

Next, get your non food items. I suggest this be next because you are probably going to spend more time in the store than usual and you dont want your food to get warm or melt. As I go through each aisle I look for red tags and sale tags and double check my coupons and calculate to make sure I did not miss a deal while planning. I know that this takes a while, but if I am going to put all my effort into clipping every coupon, you best bet I am going to make sure i get the best deals! Always make sure to calculate that it is at least a 50% savings (unless you really need the item and cannot wait until a better deal comes around).

I then go get the food items that are non-perishable (for the same reasons as above). I know, I know, “Now I have to walk all over the store not in aisle order?” Yes. Bring your running shoes and suck it up :) Its going to be a long trip but its worth it in the end!!!  Unless your store is in amazing order, you are going to be skipping aisles and coming back to them.

Next, go down all the refrigerated/frozen/ produce aisle. Again look for clearance and markdowns.

About the meat- I try not to buy any meat that is over $1.99/lb. The only exception is beef (which we love) and I typically try to stay under $3.99/lb for non-steaks and $4.99/lb for steak. Because of the outrageous price of beef we only have it once every other week. You can make any steak taste top-notch by following my steak rules (Of course sirloin and NY Strip are amazing but we have even made chuck taste great). Try to pick steak that has a fat ring on the outside. If you are in the Lynchburg area Sam’s club has the best price on chicken breasts ($1.88/lb) and always has whole chickens for $0.99/lb. However, the other meats are overpriced. I like to visit Food Lion for meat (Walmart always seems to have a poor selection here). They always have plenty of markdowns on Wednesday. I can usually get pork and other high priced meats under $1.99/lb. Make sure if it is marked down that you use it same day or freeze it. Oh, and make sure it is not brown… I dont care what anyone says that’s just wrong… If you are in the Altavista Area, Vista Foods has great deals on meat. Oh, and dont bring coupons, they are not friendly about that! I still have not made my mind up about this store.

I go down every, single, aisle… Do my feet hurt afterwards? You betcha…

Checkout Rules: Smiling and having a good attitude= better success.

1. Never self-checkout if you have coupons! You will need the cashier anyways.

2. Always try to find a teenage boy cashier! They are usually fascinated and helpful. Never get an older lady! Sorry, but they typically question every single coupon. I have made this mistake. Profiling is okay for coupons :) LOL

3. Watch the prices on closeout/clearance/markdown items (they have to scan the right barcode).

4. Store card first! (After subtotal)

5. Have all of the coupons you need in the order you need them. (For example, if you have a coupons for 5.00/25.00 purchase (or any store coupon), you need that coupon first.) Also, make sure they subtotal and take your store card before you give coupons!

6. Watch the coupons to make sure they all work and are taken off correctly.

7. Glow in the savings! Oh, and post in comments how well you did!

You can do this! Once, you get your first trip done, the “high” of savings is addicting!

Next: Final post of series, Stocking Up and Keeping Sane.

Couponing 101 Series:

  1. Changing Your Attitude.
  2. Couponing Methods.
  3. Where to Find Coupons.
  4. Lingo and Planning You Shopping Trip
  5. Shopping and Checkout.
  6. Stocking Up and Keeping Sane.