How to Save - Part 103
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How to Save

Cheap Supermarket Dinners

Posted on Monday, May 11th, 2009 at 11:31 am
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There has been an interesting trend lately. Major supermarkets are putting together weekly or monthly meals that will feed a family of four for $15 or $10. Some of these meals can be purchased in complete form, while others are simply suggestions that allow you to shop the store yourself for the meal items.

What is nice about most of these meals is that they are very convenient. You simply take the meal home and then reheat it. And from what I have seen, the supermarkets are conscious about delivering well-balanced meals.

Right now, Shaws is offering a meal for four until May 21st that includes BBQ pulled pork, macaroni and cheese and a salad blend. The meal is already bundled together in one place, so you can just grab and go. To learn more visit the Shaw’s 4:15 web page.

Stop and Shop Supermarkets are offering education on preparing inexpensive meals with a series of seminars called Affordable Food Summits.

Is your local supermarket doing anything to address the need for affordable family meals? Please share by leaving a comment.

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Garage Sales – Have one!

Posted on Thursday, May 7th, 2009 at 9:52 pm
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Happy Mothers Day!

If you thought this was a Sunday for no insert coupons, think again. I think a lot of us moms like having the time on a Sunday to sit, clip, and plan for all the bargains we will find in the coming week. But there’s always the problem of not having enough room to store all our great bargains. It’s time for garage sales. And for veteran deal hunters, that means two things: 1. Find a deal and 2. Sell your stash.

That’s right, the toothpaste, aerosol, soaps, cleaning stuff, makeup, and other non perishables you get for free or pennies on the dollar can now make you money – while you make room for more. Put a price on it of a dollar if it regularly retails for more, $2 if it sells regularly for more than $5, or a quarter for dollar items. Sell it in bulk. If you don’t want to have a garage sale, you can donate your freebies to the spring sale of your favorite local charity, or to a thrift store, or a food bank or shelter.

Selling your freebies isn’t really a moneymaker, but it gives you some profit as you clear out for more room. Remember, deal hunters are not only SAVING money with coupons, sales, and online codes – we often find a way to combine offers and sometimes make a small profit. So we keep finding great deals – and our stash gets bigger, but our storage doesn’t. It’s also a good idea to not keep things forever.

We have a lot of high value coupons in Smart Source and Red Plum this weekend. Take a look here for our Insert preview list in PDF.

 

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Getting the Most Value from Restaurant.com Gift Certificates

Posted on Monday, March 30th, 2009 at 12:10 pm
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Recently, Restaurant.com gift certificates have been getting some mixed press. While some people love getting the huge value off of a restaurant meal, others wonder if the certificates are worth the purchase. Like any coupon or discount, knowing how to use it to your advantage can mean the difference between getting a good deal and getting an absolutely amazing deal.

Here are some things to know in order to get the most value from Restaurant.com gift certificates.

Use a Coupon Code

I post coupon codes for Restaurant.com all of the time. Using a code and the right link can make all of the difference when it comes to getting a great deal.

Know the Restrictions

Some restaurants have certain restrictions when it comes to redeeming the gift certificates, such as a minimum purchase. Usually the minimum purchase is lower than what we would normally pay for a meal. If it isn’t in your case, try one of the following strategies:

  • Choose a different restaurant without the restrictions
  • Buy a larger gift certificate to cover the cost of the minimum
  • Dine with a friend and split the cost of the certificate

Also be aware of time restrictions for some restaurants.

Try a New Restaurant

Use the Restaurant.com certificates whenever you want to try a new restaurant. This way, if it turns out that the new restaurant isn’t the place for you, you won’t feel as though you wasted your money, since you only paid $2-$10 for the meal. Experimenting is fun when you are dining on the cheap.

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Five Appliances that Can Save You Money on Your Food Bill

Posted on Wednesday, March 25th, 2009 at 11:25 am
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Sometimes a little investment can go a long way to save you money. This is especially true when it comes to food. Groceries can take a big chunk of the budget each month. I have found the following small appliances very helpful when it comes to cutting down our food bill.

Computer

From printable coupons to online grocery deals, having a computer with Internet access has really helped me get more food for less money.

Slow Cooker (Crockpot)

I own two different sized slow cookers, and I find that they are invaluable for saving money on groceries. Throwing a bunch of easy ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning, means that a hot dinner is waiting. No more take out or expensive prepared meals to buy.

Bread Machine

Sure, you can make your own bread without one, but a bread machine makes it a lot easier, which means that I am much more likely to make bread from scratch. Compare the cost of ingredients at less than $1 a loaf, compared to $3 or more. Nice breadmakers can also make quick breads, cakes and jam.

Coffee Maker

Making coffee at home and bringing it with you can save just a ton each month. Shave $3, $4 or $5 off of your coffee expense daily when you tote your coffee rather than stopping at the cafe.

Freezer

Make ahead meals, deals on frozen foods and bulk purchases can all save your money when you have the ability to keep them all well in a freezer. Single people or couples can take advantage of less expensive “family” packages of foods, and families can cook ahead to avoid eating out.

What do you think? Is there anything in your kitchen that really helps you save money on your food bill?

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Saving Money When Eating Out

Posted on Monday, March 23rd, 2009 at 10:32 am
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There is no reason to completely give up restaurants and eating out when you know all of the tricks to saving money when eating out!

Coupons

Coupons are not just for family restaurants anymore. Even fine dining establishments are offering coupons and discounts. Call ahead to the restaurant or go online and do a coupon search. With very little effort, you can get even get a free meal or two.

Restaurant.com

Purchase restaurant gift certificates in advance, and you can save up to 80 percent off of a meal! Restaurant.com frequently offers deals on restaurant gift certificates, and you can sometimes get $25 certificates for only $2.

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Share

Split a meal plus and appetizer with your dining companion. Don’t worry. In most restaurants, you will be served enough food this way and won’t go hungry. But, you will save quite a bit on your dinner.

Skip the drinks

Choose drinks with free refills or skip them altogether. A simple water with lemon is very refreshing and can save you money off of your restaurant bill. Some folks even add a little sugar or sweetener to their water and lemon to make lemonade!

Go off peak

Lunch offerings are usually less expensive than dinner offerings, and sometimes they offer the exact same meal and portion at lunch for a reduced rate. There are also “off-peek” or “dinner special” menus available in some restaurants. These special menus offer reduced prices in order to fill tables during quiet times.

Do you have any tips for saving money when eating out?

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Saving Money on Food When You Don’t Want to Cook

Posted on Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 at 10:59 am
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downloadYes, we all know that cooking from scratch can save you a lot of money, but let’s face it, sometimes we just don’t have the time or just don’t want to cook. You know those days when you are just too exhausted to think, let alone whip up an elaborate meal.

Now that spring is coming, I find myself wanting to be outside more, which means dragging myself back inside to spend an hour creating dinner just isn’t appealing. Still, I don’t want to blow our budget on food.

Here are some of the ways that I cope and save money on food when I don’t want to cook.

Breakfast for dinner

Having breakfast for dinner is a great option on days that you don’t want to cook. Breakfast foods, such as pancakes or eggs can be cooked quickly and with not too much fuss. Plus, kids love the novelty of having breakfast for dinner.

Pasta to the rescue

Boil up some pasta, throw in some green vegetable, such as frozen broccoli or peas, add some jarred sauce, and you are all set. Quick and easy. Hard-core carnivores might want to keep some cooked and browned sausage or ground meat on hand in the freezer to include.

Make liberal use of convenience and prepared foods

Yes, convenience foods and frozen meals cost more than cooking from scratch, but they usually cost less than eating out, so you’ll still save by having a meal on hand. And, if you try some of the new slow cooker meals, you can start them in the morning and forget about them until you are ready to eat.

Get gourmet delivered

I recently discovered Home Bistro and quickly looked for deals and coupons. Home Bistro provides gourmet meals that can go from the freezer to the table in a matter of minutes. I don’t know how they do it, because my own freezer meals take forever to reheat.

Happy eating!

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Warning on Multiple Item Grocery Deals

Posted on Thursday, March 5th, 2009 at 10:54 am
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Grocery stores often offer multiple item sales, such as 2 for $5 or 10 for $10 on many items. Many times these are good deals, but I’ve been noticing a couple of patterns at some grocery stores lately, and I wanted to warn you about them.

First of all I have been seeing that some of these deals actually raise the price of the item. For example, my favorite canned pizza sauce is normally 79 cents a can. The other day, this same sauce was included in a 10 for $10 deal, bring the cost of the sauce up by 21 cents! The next week, it was down to its normal price. So these multiple item sales might not always be the best deal. Make sure that you know what the normal price is for something, so you can compare it to the sale.

One way to make out well with multiple item deals is to combine them with coupons. Usually this means that you only buy one or two of the items depending on how many coupons you have and what the policy is for using coupons on two of the same item. Normally, you don’t have to purchase all of the items in a multiple item deal. Each item is normally discounted by the correct amount.

The warning here is on a new trend that withholds the discount unless you do purchase all of the items. The store may or may not advertise this change in policy, and it may apply only to certain items and not others. So watch your register receipt and check with customer service to make sure you know your savings.

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What is Kohl’s Cash

Posted on Wednesday, February 4th, 2009 at 11:55 am
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When I first heard about Kohl’s cash, I didn’t know what the heck it was or how to use it. Now I am a little more informed, and I thought I would share what I know about it, including the restrictions.

Kohl’s cash can be a good deal if you take advantage of it. Basically, you have to open a Kohl’s credit account. You usually get an extra incentive for doing that. During Kohl’s Cash promotions you can earn coupons that are good on anything in the store. In other words, they can be used just as you would cash to purchase items. Kohl’s cash is only given out or earned during certain time periods.

When a promotion is going on, you can earn Kohl’s cash when you spend a certain amount. These are usually pretty generous deals, such as getting $10 Kohl’s Cash for every $50 you spend. Combine this with the great sales that Kohl’s often has, especially on clearance items, and you can really get a lot of merchandise for very little money.

The downside to Kohl’s Cash is that is it generally offered only for a limited time, so it is important to know when the promotion is going on and shop during that time. Once you get your Kohl’s Cash (usually delivered via e-mail), you have a short window to spend it, usually only about ten days. If you loose your Kohl’s Cash coupon or if it expires, you are pretty much out of luck.

Here are the Kohl’s Cash deals that are happening in February. You can learn more at the Kohl’s website.

– Receive a $10 Kohl’s Cash Coupon for every $50 you spend Feb. 6th – Feb. 10th

– Redeem Kohl’s Cash Coupons Feb. 11th – Feb. 21st.

Kohl’s Cash (Online Only)

– Receive a $10 Kohl’s Cash Coupon for every $50 you spend Feb. 22nd – Feb. 23rd

– Redeem Kohl’s Cash Coupons Feb. 24th – Feb. 28th.

Check out the other promotions that Kohls is having right now and combine the deals with your Kohl’s Cash.

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How to Save Money on Canned Goods

Posted on Sunday, January 25th, 2009 at 11:02 am
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It used to be that buying canned goods was the cheapest way to go. These days, however, it is a mixed bag. Many brand name canned goods can be quite expensive. Still, canned goods can be convenient and are great for stockpiling in case of an emergency.

Because of those two factors, I make an effort to save on canned goods. Here is my best advice on how to save money on canned goods.

Most stores have promotions for canned goods or stock up sales a couple of times a year when they feature deals on a lot of their canned goods. Many stores are doing this right now, although some feature these canned goods promotions around the holidays. Stock up on your coupons and buy in quantity during this time for the best savings.

I generally stay away from buying soups if possible. They are getting quite expensive, and they are mostly water. Making soup at home is pretty easy and cost effective. If you still want to purchase canned soup, stick to the store brands which are much less money to purchase. This is especially true for soups that you using for cooking.

Look to your stores discount shelves. Many times you will find canned goods with slight dents or tears in their labels. Dented cans are usually fine, as long as they don’t bulge and are still sealed.

Many canned goods come in large family sized cans. Check the pricing, but this is generally a great way to go. If you can’t use up all of the product, simple freeze the unused portion for later.

Happy Shopping,
Marnie Moore

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Buying DVDs to Save Money

Posted on Wednesday, December 31st, 2008 at 12:25 pm
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Buy.com is having a blow out sale on DVDs right now. This is great news, since going out for entertainment is getting to be a bit expensive these days. While there are almost 200 different movies on sale, my target is the movies that are only $5 each. There are plenty of movies that are only $6, too.

The cost to take my family of five to a movie without snacks or even just to a family restaurant is about $40. If we skipped the theater movie, we could purchase eight different movies on DVD during the DVD sale that we could watch over and over again.

If we opted to skip the theater movie and just add HBO to our cable television, it would cost us only $20, but that is still four DVDs that we could own, per month! That would be a nice way of building a library of DVD movies without spending a lot.

I am also going to add a few extra movies for my gift closet. This way, if a birthday or holiday comes up, I can make up a “Movie Night” basket for a nice but inexpensive gift!

At only $5, the stock of movies might go fast, but these are some of the titles I spotted that were still available at that price:

$5
The Devil Wears Prada
French Kiss
Hope Floats
Working Girl
Sleeping With the Enemy/Dying Young 2pk
Edge
Buffy the Movie/Drive Me Crazy
Beverly Hillbillies
Broken Arrow

$6
27 Dresses
Moulin Rouge
Day the Earth Stood Still
Ever After
X-Men
Independence Day
Die Hard
X2: X-Men United
Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure
Return To Me
Bend It Like Beckham
I Robot
Alien 20th Anniversary
Robin Hood-Men in Tights
Rocky Horror Picture Show
Hello Dolly
In Her Shoes
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Cutting Edge
Legally Blonde
Eragon

Click here for the link:

Buy.com DVD Sale

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