Penny Pinching

Ohhh, where to begin? Today was… long. Jack decided that he’d prefer not to nap, and Brian had a basketball game this evening, so it was just nonstop Jack-chasing from 7:30am-7:30pm. He was in a great mood all day, but I’ve come to rely on that wee nap break to pick up around the house, start dinner, use the bathroom without an audience…

Last night I spent a while browsing recipes online and stumbled upon this one for Pumpkin Turkey Chili. Perfect because we’re having an unusual cool snap and because I still have quite a few cans of pumpkin the pantry.

I love how the pumpkin thickens up the chili without imparting any squash-y flavor. I spiced it up with some Liquid Smoke and Chipotle Tabasco, and I used chickpeas instead of kidney beans.

On the side was that classic cheesy cornbread skillet thing. Cornbread casserole? I don’t know the preferred nomenclature. Anyway, I used 2 boxes of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix, 2 eggs, a can of creamed corn, a (drained) can of yellow corn, 2 tbs of melted butter, a couple handfuls of shredded cheddar and a little garlic salt. Mix, pour into a cast iron skillet- perhaps sprinkle a little more cheese on top?- and bake at 400 for 25 minutes.

Once Brian got home from b-ball, I handed Jack over (okay, not really… Jack was screeching and running circles around the coffee table) and headed out for a run. It was awesome. Perfect temp, good music and my mood is now 200% improved.

So today the Krazy Coupon Ladies were on Nate Berkus again, which was fitting since I just saved THIRTY BUCKS on our grocery bill at Target this morning with coupons. Since I’m staying home with Jack right now and not contributing financially to the household (except for the big bucks I bring in through the blog- HAHAHA… oh, that’s funny!), I’ve been trying to save us at least a little money by clipping coupons, browsing deal sites, reading money-saving blogs. Those Sonic Happy Hour runs don’t pay for themselves. My misconception in the past was thinking that you could only find coupons for processed, “crap” foods. So not true!!! You can easily find coupons from everything from almond milk to La Croix to makeup to Kashi products…

Here are my tips:

1. We do most of our grocery shopping at Target. Their store policy says that you can stack both a manufacturer’s coupon AND a Target coupon on one item. The Target website has tons of great coupons (go to Target.com and scroll to the bottom of the page- under the Target Stores heading, you’ll see a “Coupons” link to click on), and if you sign up for Target Mobile (also under the Target Stores heading), they’ll text you mobile coupons once a week or so that the cashier can just scan off of your phone.

Here’s a breakdown of a couple of today’s deals to illustrate:

Zyrtec, 40 ct (aka, the only way I survive spring in TX): $18.19 retail

  • $4 off Target coupon + $4 off manufacturer coupon from the Sunday paper = $10.19 (saved $8)

Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser (it smells like Watermelon Jolly Ranchers, fyi): $7.99

  • $1 off Target coupon + $1 off manufacturer coupon, PLUS Target offered a FREE Neutrogena Naturals lip balm with purchase = $5.99 plus a free lip balm ($2.99 value)

I also used/stacked a few coupons for dog food, lady products, Nivea lotion, even Clementines.

2. There are always coupons in the Sunday paper, but you can also go to a few websites to print off tons of free coupons at home:

3. There are several blogs I read consistently to get a heads up on good deals:

Nouveau Cheap- GREAT for those of you who are makeup-obsessed like I am.

A Frugal Friend- Debra is a Dallas mom I met at a La Madeleine event last year who reports on all kinds of great deals: Free magazine subscriptions (I now get Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and Family Circle FREE thanks to her), Amazon deals, kids gifts, etc.

Krazy Coupon Lady- These are the ladies who were on Nate today, and I think they haveĀ  a TLC show, too (??). Their site is great because it’s broken down by store and lets you know exactly how “good” a deal is (whether or not you should stock up). You can print coupons from this site, too.

Penny Pinchin’ Mom

Hip2Save

Anyway, there are a few things that I’ve learned so far. It is a little time consuming to assemble and organize all of the coupons, but it’s kind of turned into a game. That sounds sad, doesn’t it?? Oh well. So be it. Have I left off any good sites?? OH, and we use Restaurant.com for restaurant gift certificates- sometimes they have 80% off deals where you can get $25 gift cards for a couple bucks.

I’ve been blogging for an hour and a half. Yikes. Catch y’all tomorrow…

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4 Responses to Penny Pinching

  1. Marie E. says:

    I finally made slow cooker chicken tacos! AMAZEBALLS! oh and i totally thought coupons were for processed crap too, but i always gets the BEST coupons in the mail for target on things I actually buy! AND I DIDN’T KNOW THEY TAKE DOUBLE COUPONS! its on!

  2. Thanks for the link Heather! :-) Glad you are enjoying the free magazines too.

    I have to tell you that I still have a few of your posts bookmarked – I’m determined to make them someday!!! :-)

  3. la says:

    i saw those krazies on nate yesterday. they DO have mad klipping skills… i need them to rub off on me. i declare i’m turning over a new leaf.

  4. Allison says:

    Thanks for your coupon tips for Target. We shop there too and have been trying to figure out a way to save money!

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