Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Apples, Apples

The other part of our weekend included the annual trip to the apple orchard. I stopped climbing trees long ago, but I always like to pick up a peck of nice, tasty apples. Even though the prices have gone up, it's one thing I don't like to compromise on -- there's just no comparing the taste!
Also picked up some squash, which will go nicely with those fall meals. Now I'm on the lookout for a pumpkin!

This is always a bittersweet day for me .. My family's been going to this orchard for nearly two decades, and I have great memories of going with my mom, and my aunts and uncles. They've all passed on now, but I, at least, get to keep the memories.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fall activities

Our weekend plans include a visit to a local art fair. One of the nice things about fall, at least from a frugal standpoint, is that there are plenty of free or low cost activities. Some suggestions:

  • Check your local daily or weekly newspapers for a list of festivals in your area. In my corner of the Midwest, there's usually something going on every fall weekend either in my city, or a nearby one. (There's lots of festivals around the state, but let's face it, $3-plus gas does put a damper on travel.)

  • Do you have high schools or colleges in your area? I've been checking the calendars of the area colleges for free/low cost performing arts events. Also, most of my area's colleges have football (one only charges $5 for admission), so we can take in the occasional Saturday afternoon game without breaking the bank.

  • Take a walk. Do you have parks or walking trails? That's a great way to check out the turning leaves and get some exercise at the same time. Just don't forget to wear the proper shoes and take along some water.

What do you like to do during the fall?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Things that make you go hmmmmm

(or am I dating myself by admitting that I used to watch Arsenio Hall?)

On the day that Washington Mutual declared bankruptcy and was bought out by Chase, I get a credit-card offer in the mail ... from Washington Mutual ... hmmm ...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Oops, I did it again: Kroger deal

I was going to write a post about how my pantry is full after a week of chasing coupon deals ... then the Kroger ad came out, and we needed cheese and lettuce, and I had freebie coupons burning a hole in my organizer .... So, my best deals:
  • 2 Progresso light soups, $1.25; 50 cents off 2 coupon, doubled: 75 cents each.
  • 2 Kraft Easy Macs, 79 cents each; $1 coupon off 2: 29 cents each
  • 1 lb package Oscar Meyer honey ham, $6.39; free with Kroger Catalina coupon
  • Kraft salad dressing, $1.69; free with All You coupon (with 2 Kool-Aids and the ham.) Oscar Meyer beef hot dogs, $4.29; free with All You coupon (with 3 Kool-Aids)

My out of pocket cost: $10.83; savings of $14.17 with coupons.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Upromise bonus

Marsh Supermarkets in Central Indiana have been heavily advertising their Food Club house brand of products. Starting today and running through Oct. 18, they'll deposit 5% of the retail price of Food Club items into your Upromise account.
The Upromise program isn't a bad deal ... heck, I have one of these accounts, and I don't even have kids. (though admittedly, I don't have a lot in it.)
The money doesn't have to go into a college account .. I know of folks who use it for other educational expenses. Personally, I'm seriously considering going back to school, so I'm planning on taking my $$ out then. Maybe I can buy half a book ;)

Odds and ends ...
P&G sent the coupons they promised when I took their Everyday Solutions survey. It appears to be this Sunday's coupon insert. That's something new .. but hey, I don't turn down coupons.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday: Making wipes

I work in an office where we share equipment, so disinfectant wipes are a popular item. To cut down on the cost and the waste, I make my own.
I bought some inexpensive microfiber-type cloths and cut them into sixths. At the beginning of the week, I take the number I need, pop them in a zippered sandwich bag and douse them with rubbing alcohol.
The used cloths go into the washer and dryer with my towels ( or they can be hand washed). I've found they can last for months before they finally start to shred. ...
The savings are startling: Three month's supply of wipes can cost nearly $10. Using reusable cloths costs around $3 ($1 for the cloths if bought at the dollar store and $2 for 2 bottles of alcohol.
Oh, BTW, the store-bought wipes be washed out and "reloaded." Depending on how sturdy they are, I can get one or two extra uses out of them...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Campbell's labels

If you shop at Kroger or its related stores, head on over to http://www.elabelsforeducation.com/ to register your shopper's card to participate in an electronic version of Campbell's Labels for Education.
How it works: When you buy any of the Campbell's Labels items at Kroger, the school - or schools - you choose automatically gets 1 point for every item purchased. (that doesn't mean you shouldn't clip labels, though)
I'm a bit puzzled as to what schools are included on this list. I tried to choose a school in a different city than mine -- it wasn't listed, though several other schools in the city were. And I'm positive this school participates in the regular program. Then I tried the elementary school in my neighborhood -- no luck there, either, even though other schools in the district were listed.
I did finally pick a couple of schools ... I'll keep an eye out to see if my first choices ever make the list.

Thanks to Saving Our Cents for the heads-up

Friday, September 19, 2008

Show & Tell: my Marsh trip

Hit the sales at my local Marsh today. Saved a little over $10 with coupons; 15 cents with reusable sack credit; and .98 from the e-mail promotion offering 5% off. Guess I did well, the cashier and bagger complimented my savings, LOL!

My best deals:

  • 2 Green Giant Valley steamers: $1 each, had $1 coupons. Both free!
  • 8.9 oz box regular Cheerios: $1.98: had $1 coupon. 98 cents
  • 12 oz box Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, $3.69. $3.25 coupon, 44 cents. (I think there was a screw-up here. The coupon was for a free box, but it ran up the price of regular Cheerios. On the other hand, I won't argue with 44 cents.
  • Frosted MiniWheats, Blueberry Muffin: $3.89, $1 coupon, Free after rebate - $1 overage.
  • 2, 12-double roll Scott Tissues: $.4.99, $1 coupon. $3.99 each.

After the rebate, my total will be $15.57. I still have more "regular" groceries to buy this week, but this wasn't bad for a stock-up.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

This burns me up

Oh, ouch! The natural gas utility here has announced that our heating costs will go up about $180 for the next heating season. (that's not a month, thank goodness.)
This is one of those areas that has me beating my head against a wall. Over the past few years, we've tried to cut back on the amount of gas we use. Our house is insulated, as are the windows. We've turned the thermostat down. We caulk. We use plastic and window quilts to cut out extra drafts. We even suppliment with wood heat.
So, the usage goes down, and our bills go up. .. Sigh.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cheap dishwasher detergent

Meijer in Central Indiana is currently selling 20-count Electrosol at 2 for $6. Use the 9/7 SS coupon for $2.25 off to get a box for 75 cents!
They're also selling DanActive at 2 4-packs for $4 .. another opportunity to use those $1 coupons in the 6/24 SS.

Bad rebate day

Off to WAGs to get this month's rebates ... it was a bust. They were out of everything except the Excedrin. The cashier apologized .. said they'd ordered a good supply in, but apparently the warehouse doesn't have stock .. Fortunately, I have another week or so to try again.
I did pick up the soap that's 4 for $1. Noticed that they're downsizing the bars from 4.5 oz to 4 oz. Think I grabbed the last 8 bars of 4.5 oz soap ...

Oh, and if you're doing the DanActive challenge, keep a close eye on the package when you buy yogurt. The eligible packages have the two-week challenge logo ... some of the newer packages don't have that. I had to do some hunting....

Monday, September 15, 2008

beans on my pizza?

It was a quiet, rainy weekend here as the remnants of Ike hit the Midwest. Good news from our friends in Texas -- they did evacuate and are safe. As for their house, they don't know.

Anyway, it was a good day to do some cooking. Not wasting food is a big priority these day, so Sunday was a "clean up the leftovers day."
DH made croutons with the leftover (and now stale) bread.
We also had pizza that used up some leftover ham, some garden produce and a few stray .. green beans. Actually, it wasn't bad .. under the cheese, it sort of had the consistancy of a green pepper. Maybe if you chopped them real small, you could pass them off as peppers. :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Kroger deals

Be CentsAble Button.

I'm posting this as part of this week's BeCentsAble's Grocery Gathering. Central Indiana Krogers are having a big 88-cent sale. Among this week's deals:

  • 1 dozen medium eggs
  • 1lb California peaches or necatrines
  • bunches of fresh spinach, green or red-leaf lettuce
  • Correction .. a sign in the store says the price is 88 cents per pound, not bunch
  • 16 oz Nesquik chocolate milk
  • Armour LunchMakers, or 6 oz sausage links
  • 14 oz SpaghettiOs
  • 15 oz VO5 shampoo or conditioner

Coupon matches:
8 oz Eckrich bologna or loves
$1 on 2, 8/10 SS.
Kraft EasyMac
$1 on 2, 9/14 SS. (also a possibility for those of you using the All You coupons for free Kraft and Oscar Meyer products)

For those of you doing the DanActive yogurt challenge

2 4-packs for $4.
Use the 6/15 SS. coupon for $1/1

Saturday, September 13, 2008

August freebies

Just a list of the samples and free stuff I picked up last month. I have noticed that the free sample offers have slowed considerably ...

Powerade (free with coupon)
Purina Natural cat food (FWC)
Oatmeal crisp
Gillette shampoo
Sunsilk shampoo/conditioner/styling
Biore scrub, lotion
Dove shampoo/conditioner (2)
Glad trash bag
Kotex tampons, pads
Playtex tampons
Orville Reddenbacher popcorn cakes
Snuggle fabric softener
Dove deodorant

After the storm

Hope everyone with friends and family in Ike's path will get good news. We're awaiting word on friends ... and the loved ones of friends .. who live in Galveston.

Update: So far, the news is good on everyone's safety. I do hope everyone filled their gas tanks before the storm hit: I just read a news report that prices are up to $4.99 per gallon in Knoxville. It's up to $4.15 in my neck of the woods.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Back home again

Whenever anyone asks why I'm frugal ... I tell them it's (in part) to have the money to see things like this. This is a photo of the Hubbard Glacier in Alaska .. one of the sights we saw on our first-ever cruise.
I'm still trying to get life back in order here (as if it ever was, LOL) and I'll post more on this as we go along. I'll say this: I enjoyed the trip , but for someone who tends to be careful about spending, I found some aspects of cruise life to be a bit staggering.