Tag Archives: couponing

Tricks & Treats

1 Nov

For the first time in many a year, I had a very sober Halloween!  Oh, growing up is so much fun.  Instead of dressing up like a skank or a meatloaf (yes, I dressed up as a meatloaf one year), I enjoyed some Thursday Night Football at home and watched Christina finish painting my living room.

Disclaimer:  While I was much heavier in 2008, I tied half a dozen sweatshirts/pants around my torso to make myself appear like a lumpy meatloaf for this costume!

meatloaf2008

Halloween 2008

Yes, I am a meatloaf in pan.  And yes, I have a gravy cape made out of hideous thrifted curtains.  Amazeeeeeballs.

Anhoo….

I’ve been doing a really great job staying on track with food as of lately.  I’ve been cooking delicious, healthy things and snacking smart!  I know I talk a lot on this blog about the importance of where food comes from (ethically sourced/grown/local), what it contains (chemicals, GMOs, etc.), but there is another side to it as well.  It makes me absolutely sick to think about how much food I used to throw away, for no other reason than I was too lazy to store it properly.

Here are some of the week’s note-worthy dinners with a few tricks (no, not the Halloween kind) thrown in the mix!

On Tuesday we had Crockpot Beef Tacos (cooked in a yummy adobo-based sauce) and Spanish Rice. We ended up eating this beef for lunches over the next 2 days.  I will share the recipe here in a few days!

crockpotbeeftacos

I only needed 2 peppers out of a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.  Buying a whole can, using just 2, and then throwing the rest out is just plain wasteful so here’s my little tip:  Puree the remaining peppers in the food processor. Then, freeze it in a log shape.  That way, I can just cut from the log as needed for future recipes!

ChipotleAdoboPuree

Also, remember when I saved big on tortillas using coupons?   I had used the fajita size wraps long ago, but the taco size tortillas were still lingering in my freezer.  I HATE how defrosted bread products taste.  Something about the composition changes and they just taste old.  Solution:  Wrap the stack of frozen tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave on defrost setting until they are thawed.  By adding the extra moisture back into the product during the thaw, it keeps the fresh gummy-like consistency that it had when I first bought it!  Winning.  I even got Miss Picky Pants’ approval on the taste/quality of the taco shells.  Let me tell you, she would freak out if she knew they were way back from May!

On Wednesday we had this Sweet Potato, Black Bean, & Chicken Chili.

BB.SPChili

This recipe called for just 1 T. tomato paste, so I of course wanted to save the leftover tomato paste.  At one point in my life, I was buying a can of tomato paste every week, because I would toss it after using a tablespoon! I cringe even thinking about that now.  Instead of freezing it in a log, I scooped out tablespoon size dallops, froze them on a cookie sheet, and then transferred them to storage bag. (Sorry for the poor quality, I only thought to take a pic after they were frozen, so the moisture is all condensed on the bag.)

tomatopaste

So those are my tips on freezing and storing commonly used items!  It’s just as important to make sure that you make the most out of the things you buy as it is to make sure that you buy local, organic, and ethically made products.

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Holla For The Dolla!

28 May

I haven’t don’t any running since the John Thompson 5K due to pain in one of my shins.  Total bummer.  But, it doesn’t feel like the shin splints I’m prone to.  I decided to err on the side of caution because I don’t have health insurance.  I’m praying that rest will help and that it’s not a stress fracture.

What I have been up to, though, is saving money!  I’ve been clipping coupons and scoping out weekly sales.  Have no fear, I am still an advocate for eating as locally as possible.  But, sometimes you just have to restock your pantry.

Today, for example I snagged these awesome savings before the sales end tomorrow.

3 fajita size flour tortillas + 2 soft taco size flour tortillas

Tortillas

Regular Price: $2.19   Sale Price:  2/$5.00 ($2.00/ea.)

Coupon: $0.50 (doubled to $1.00)

My Price: $1.00/ea.   Savings:  $5.95

2 Sargento sliced cheeses  + 2 Helluva Good cheese blocks

Cheeses

Regular Price: Sargento $3.49 + Helluva Good $2.19

  Sale Price:  Sargento 2/$5 + Helluva Good 2/$4.00

Coupons: $1.00 off each purchase of 2 (for each brand)

My Price: Sargento $2/ea. + Helluva Good $1.50/ea.

Savings:  $4.36

2 jars Vlasic pickles

Pickles

Regular Price: $3.79   Sale Price:  2/6 ($3.00/ea.)

2 Coupons: $0.75 (doubled to $1.50/ea.)

My Price: $1.50/ea.   Savings:  $4.28

3 bags of Twizzlers

Twizzlers

Sale Price:  3/$6.00 ($2.00/ea.)

Coupon: $1.00 off of 3

My Price: $1.60/ea.   Savings:  $1.20

On Memorial Day, my mom gave me this jar of hot peppers – FREE & locally grown in a friend’s Italian garden!!

HotPeppers

I spent a total of $19.80 on my items.  If I would’ve walked into the store tomorrow (when the sales are over) with no coupons in hand, I would have spent $35.89!

I froze a few packages of tortillas because I don’t think that we’ll be able to go through them before they go bad.  The rest of the items have an incredibly long shelf life, both before and after they are opened.  Looks like we’re in for some Mexican food over the next weeks!!

A Day In The Life

24 May

Do your days follow a routine?  Mine do in the sense that I work the same shifts at the laundromat each week, but the before and the after are usually unpredictable.

Friday

7:45 a.m. – Wake up, let the dogs outside and feed them some breakfast.  Peek into the whelping box to make sure everyone is A-OK and then head back upstairs to get myself presentable.

8:15 a.m. – Out the door and on my way to snag some deals before morning deliveries!  I noticed that Walgreens had a few of our favorite cereals on sale this week 2/$5 with a $1 in store coupon.  I had a coupon for $0.60 off a box of Trix and $0.60 off a box of Honey Nut Cheerios.  That means I got both boxes for$2.80….holla!

Cereal

8:20 a.m. – I am on the road for morning deliveries.  But not without my precious….

Oops, I mean…

Coffee

Our Friday deliveries are sort of scattered, so I was on a self-guided Tour de Pittsburgh:  North Huntingdon, Forest Hills, Wilkinsburg, Shadyside, Bloomfield, the Strip, and then finally Downtown!  Phew!

GPS

10:15 a.m. – I finally get back to Changin’ Time and drop off all the things.  Amanda tells me that since DR stayed home from school today, she is able to stay until noon. Music to my ears!  Normally I report for duty at 11:00 a.m., so I am pleased to have an extra hour to myself.  I visit my darling at the rental to check on progress.  The windows are almost completely installed now!  We still need to paint the awnings/gutters grey and cover up the wretched black and gold paint job….

Windows

11:00 a.m. – I head to the house to pack my lunch and let my fur babies run around in the back alley for a few minutes.  The weather has been a little rotten the last few days, so they needed to get out some pent-up energy!  I also use the time to scavenge around the “Paper Retriever” at the borough building to see if there are any coupons dying to be clipped. It’s a little low so I’m nervous to jump in because what if I get stuck!?  How would I explain to the officers, who would no doubt walk out of the police station at that exact moment, that yes I am stuck in a paper dumpster and my dogs are wandering around outside wondering what the heck I am doing.

11:30 a.m. – I feel guilty for squandering one of Amanda’s hours dumpster diving, so I head to Changin’ Time to relieve her.  Lil’ RED desperately needs a nap and DR is going a bit stir crazy, so I’m glad I headed in earlier than noon.  Once they head home, I finish washing diapers and notice that the detergent dispenser is getting low.

SoapDispenser

Then I hang out with some traveling carnies who are in town for the weekend and stopped in to do their laundry.  Oh, life.  How random you are.

12:30 p.m. – I dial into a conference call for a trade association we belong to.  Since I am vice-chair, this is one of four conference calls I attend each month.  We discuss all kind of important diaper industry happenings, none of which I can tell you about!  😉

1:30 p.m. – I finally have time to enjoy a banana, a bottle of water, and some Feedly.  After the carnies clear out, I sort and dry and then re-sort diapers.  Then, move onto some of our wash ‘n fold customers and other diaper business.

CleanDiapers

3:45 p.m. – I quickly speed up the road into Munhall, the neighboring borough, to grab my on-call phone from the senior care place I work every other weekend.  I am basically the weekend answering service/caregiver coordinator.  Since its a holiday weekend, I will be pulling an extra long shift (Friday evening – Tuesday morning).  I chit chat with the office staff and owner about the doodles and random happenings with clients.

Once I got back to Changin’ Time, she told me that our plans to babysit were cancelled!  I am happy in the sense that we have Friday night free, but a little disappointed because we have so much fun when we hang out with her brothers (CO & CJ).  I spent the rest of my shift preparing for an early morning diaper service orientation and wrapped up some administrative stuff.

6:00 p.m. – My favorite time of the day.  Not what I would call quitting time, but certainly time to head back to the house(s).  Most days I walk to and from work, since we live just around the corner.  This becomes less convenient when its snowing, slushy, super hot, or raining, but the weather was perfect.

QuittingTime

After work I stopped at home really quickly to grab a power snack that would actually be my dinner…

powersnack

and then went over and “helped” Christina clean up the rental so that we could show it to a prospective tenant at 7:30 p.m.  The woman was very nice and showed up with a little group of friends to help her decide what she wanted to do.  She seemed to love the place and after about a half an hour decided to mention that she wouldn’t be able to move in until August.  Womp womp.

8:00 p.m. – We swung back around to close the laundromat.  Changin’ Time wash ‘n fold closes at 6:00 p.m., but the laundromat stays open for self-service until 8:00 p.m.  Then, since there was still some daylight I convinced Christina to help me dumpster dive for coupons.

dumpsterdiving2

dumpsterdiving1

Yes, I know I am insane.  But the savings!  Think of the savings!  I returned home happy with my efforts and clipped coupons while Christina had puppy time.

10:00 p.m. – I finally had time to sit down and write this recap!  Now I am going to relax for an hour or so and then head to bed because tomorrow promises to be even more busy and random than today!!!

Random-om-om

19 Apr

Just some random thoughts prior to coffee:

1.  Couponing is harder than it should be.  WTF, why didn’t I pay attention in math class.  Or why is it so complicated?  I always get tricked into spending MORE money, not SAVING money by using a coupon.

2.  Why, because one gay activist group says its okay, do Brad & Angelina finally get married?  Like, hello, you guys are fakers.  You never really cared.  And your ring is fugly.

3.  I am really excited for craft beer week in Pittsburgh.  I have marked April 27th in my calandar to experience Dogfish Head at Fathead’s Saloon in Pittsburgh’s SouthSide with Amanda.

4.  I am really nervous for my first 5K, coming up in June.  Like it makes me want to throw up I’m so nervous.

5.  I seriously love gummy bears.  They seriously hurt my teeth.  The depravity of life.

6.  I am really proud of myself for staying dedicated to my running regiment. ♥  I have been following Hal Higdon’s 5-K Training: Novice training.

Have a nice morning 🙂

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