Meijer: 90% Off Holiday Decorations & Gifts- Saved $330!

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After stopping at Meijer’s to check for any Christmas gifts or decorations left at 90% off, I found the ultimate deals for birthday gifts and next Christmas! I have a ton of gifts already for next year and couldn’t be more excited! Here are some of the items I got, so check your local store to see what else they have for you!

Old Spice Gift Sets .99 each

Finger Nail Sets $1 each

Eye Shadow Kits .50 each

Nail Manicure Set $1 each

Wrapping Paper .14 each

Chapstick Sets .79 each

Hats $1 each

Gloves .40 each

Disney Frozen Nail Sets $1 each

Finger Nail Dryer & Polish Sets $1 each

I managed to get $370.00 worth of stuff for just $60 and then used a $20 coupon from filling a new prescription and paid just for $40! Savings of $330!

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5 Tips to Stop Eating Out – But Mom I Don’t Want To!

burger and fries

burger and friesWith New Year’s Resolutions popping up every where, I wanted to make a few that were more reasonable than ones I have set in the past! With several kiddos in sports, after school activities and doctor appointments galore, we are always on the run! So sometimes fitting in dinner is a quick run through our local drive through restaurant, eat in the van and then drive to our next activity. With this comes a lot of issues, cost, nutrition, health and “But mom I don’t want to eat at home!”. After a visit to the doctor yesterday for my youngest daughter, I was advised that her eating habits were not exactly what they should be. She is a very picky eater and basically of the 4 things that she eats, all 4 are on her no eat diet. And all 4 are items we pick up at our local drive through restaurant on a regular basis! Not to mention the cost of eating out, seems to increase every time we go! With 6 of us at a burger place we can spend $50 easily. Multiply that by 4 times a week and that is more than my weekly grocery shopping budget! So I made a plan and here are some tips to help you and your family hit the drive through less!

My plan is simple, 5 little things I am going to do to each week to lessen our visits to the drive through!

Make a Meal Plan: Each week I use to make a menu of what I was going to cook and then cooked it. We ate out less and had healthier meal options! But each day seems to get busier and busier, putting it on the back burner. The health of my family is my priority and I need to make sure I do everything I can to keep them at their best! Having a plan will help with the I don’t know nights of what to cook, meaning we eat out! So be on the look out for my weekly meal plans and be sure to share yours with me as well!menu plan monday orgjunkie

Plan a Bulk Freezer Meal Cook Day: Again I use to do this all the time and it was great to be able to grab a bag, leave it on the counter to thaw during the day while I was at work, running errands, toting the kiddos to all the appointments and activities and then come home and throw it in a pan, cook for 30 minutes or so and have dinner! This is great if you have older kiddos that beat you home from work! They can simply throw the meal in a crockpot and turn it on for you, dinner will ready by time you get home. This is also a great way to spend a half of a day cooking with your kiddos and getting them involved in making healthier meal options! What are your Bulk Cooking Plans?

Stockpile at the Grocery: Now I know if you are around here at all you have to see all the posts I share about grocery store sales and great deals each week! When you see these items, these are the times to stockpile as much of them as you can at the lowest price to help keep your food budget down, but to also allow you to have food readily available! How many times have you simply ate out just because you didn’t have all the items you needed to cook dinner. And instead of piling in the car, running to the grocery and getting what you need, you simply just called pizza for delivery! If you have food in your pantry, you will be less likely to call for take out!

Simplify Your Meal Plan: Yes if you want to impress the neighbors with a 6 course meal with all the fixins on your night to host book club, then go right ahead! But on a normal basis, your family will love your meal just the same if it is simple, quick and allows you more time with them instead of slaving over the stove! When planning out your menu for the week or your Bulk Freezer Cooking Day, make items are that staples that everyone in your house loves but can go with anything! I will cook several pounds of chicken on Sunday and use it for 3-4 nights during the week for meals like Tacos, Chicken Noodle Soup, Chickens N Dumplins, or Salads!

 chicken salad blt

Don’t Give In & Make an Incentive: One of my biggest problem for eating out, is not being able to say no! There are many times that we simply ate out because I just couldn’t say no! There are times when we will be heading home and we all exhausted but it is still 6pm, plenty of time to head home, make a quick meal and then start bed time routines! But one of the kiddos will ask for that yummy burger we had last week from the burger joint we will be passing in 3 minutes and it will just be so much simpler to stop, eat their yummy food, not have to cook, not have to clean up and just go home and lay on the couch, veg out to the latest American Idol episode until they need baths! I know, sounds amazing right?!?!? But even though all of that sounds great, I should just tell them no, we will be home shortly and I will make a even better meal at home! You can also throw in a little incentive! That if we don’t eat out this week, we can go to a nice dinner and movie later in the week in exchange for the everyday stops! 4 times a week at $50 is $200, where a nice dinner ($75) + movie tickets ($40-$50) is $110-$120, it is a bit of a savings but extra time doing something with my kiddos is the ultimate payoff!

So what are your tips or ideas of how not to eat out? Share below

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Items To Stockpile In January

My stock-up price is when an item is 60% -75% off regular price and for the most part everything we buy goes on sale every 3-4 months. But there are products that only go on sale certain times of the year and become extremely cheaper compared to normal. Here are items you need to stock up on during the month of April!

  • Christmas Decorations & Supplies: This time of year everyone is clearing out Christmas puke to make way for Valentine’s Day, Easter and Swim Suits! Yes you read that right, I already saw them in the stores this week! So grab a tote and fill it with things you know you need for next year’s holiday season that you will get for pennies! This is the time to by extra ornaments, Christmas cards, gift bags, wrapping paper, stocking stuffers, toys, perfume sets, and the list goes on and on! Anything you bought before the holidays is now 75% so buy it for next year to save big during the holiday season!
  • Fitness & Healthy Living Items: Everyone sets that goal as their New Year’s Resolution to get fit, be healthy and become a better you! So take advantage of this, even if it is not yours! Gym memberships are super cheap, yoga pants, exercise equipment, and kitchen items like juicers are just the beginning of the items you will find on sale and deep discount! So if there was ever a time you needed any of these items, this is the time to buy at the lowest price!
  • Vehicles: Most dealerships are looking to clear lots to make way for newer models. They will discount older cars to make way for the new, so head out and check out what you can find! And don’t be afraid to ask for it cheaper! Most of the time they are willing to go even lower than marked to get it off their lot!
  • Super Bowl Foods: This time of year you will see all kinds of products being promoted with Super Bowl logos on them! These items are great for your parties, but great to stockpile in the kitchen as most of these items are usually on great sales to promote the Bowl! So chips, crackers, soda and snack like items are great to keep in the pantry for kiddos lunches or after school snacks!
  • Oatmeal Month: It is National Oatmeal Month which means most oatmeal and breakfast type foods will be on sale! So keep an eye out for Quaker sales!
  • Cold & Flu Medicines: Everyone is always in need of medicine and this time of year is usually the worse! So stock up on those hot deals and don’t just buy enough to get you through this month, check expiration dates and stockpile enough for a few months! If your kiddos are anything like mine, they gets cold all year! So To get a bottle of Triaminic now for $2 vs $8 in July, is a huge savings!

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Items To Stockpile In April

My stock-up price is when an item is 60% -75% off regular price and for the most part everything we buy goes on sale every 3-4 months. But there are products that only go on sale certain times of the year and become extremely cheaper compared to normal. Here are items you need to stock up on during the month of April!

  • Easter Leftovers- With Easter just ending, you will find many stores marking leftover candy, dye kits and decorations down to at least 50% off all the way up to 90% off! This is the time to pick up all your decorations and dye kits for next year! Candy can be used for craft projects, upcoming parties or just to pig out on!
  • Spring Clothes- Remember back in January when you started seeing bathing suites and spring clothing? Well now that those items have been in the stores for several months, retailers are now marking those items down to make way for summer items! So hit the racks for all your spring attire at a great discount!
  • Some Electronics- Spring seems to be the time of year when manufacturers roll out the latest tablet or even sometimes phones. So as long as you don’t need the latest model, then check out the older models for deep discounts! Retailers will start slashing the prices of these items to make way for the new!
  • Seasonal Produce- There is certain produce items that are plentiful this time of year which means great pricing for you! Find recipes that you can incorporate these items into your daily meals or freeze some of these items to make them last even longer! Asparagus, Beans, Beets, Chives, Horseradish, Lettuce, Limes, Oranges, Papayas, Peas, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Sweet Onions and Turnips.

See more Ways To Save and How To Get Started with Coupons Here!

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Power Outage- How Long You Have To Keep Your Frozen Stockpile!

Power outages seem to happen fairly often in our neck of the woods. So knowing how long we have before all of our frozen stockpile items have before they need thrown out, is a great tip! Thanks Mindfully Frugal Mom!

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Items To Stockpile In September

My stock-up price is when an item is 60% -75% off regular price and for the most part everything we buy goes on sale every 3-4 months. But there are products that only go on sale certain times of the year and become extremely cheaper compared to normal. Here are items you need to stock up on during the month of September!

  • Back To School Items- school has most likely already started so stores are wanting to get rid of all the Back To School items they have left over. These things range from paper, pencils, crayons, markers, dorm room items, backpacks, clothes and uniforms.
  • Lunchbox Favorites- Juice Boxes, Lunchables, Pudding Cups, Peanut Butter, Fruit Snacks & Fruit Roll-ups.
  • Breakfast Foods- Waffles, Cereal & Pop Tarts
  • Gardening Items- Most people have put away their gardening tools and have finished their season of growing new plants. But if you know anything about gardening there are some plants that are great to start planting now and to start collecting seeds for next year. Stores are quickly getting rid of items like garden hoses, seeds, planter boxes & containers and necessary items to maintain a great garden, to make way for their holiday items coming in. This is a great time to snag cheap garden items for your next growing season!
  • Canned Goods and Soups
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Seasonal Produce- There is certain produce items that are plentiful this time of year which means great pricing for you! Find recipes that you can incorporate these items into your daily meals or freeze some of these items to make them last even longer! Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Grapes, Apples, Onions & Bell Peppers.
  • Diabetic Items- Meters, diabetic foods and other diabetic products.
  • Outdoor Items- Anything for the patio, grills, etc is getting clearanced out right now to make room for all those holiday decorations. Take advantage of these great sales!

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Things To Stockpile In February

When I first started using coupons and building my stockpile, I had no idea when to buy products or when to ever expect them to go on sale. After a good year of this, I started tracking what went on sale when and quickly learned when to buy the products that my family needed.

My stock-up price is when an item is 75% off regular price and for the most part everything we buy goes on sale every 3-4 months. But there are products that only go on sale certain times of the year and become extremely cheaper compared to normal. So I thought I would share with you some items that you should stock up on and get the lowest price on during the month of February!

  • National Snack Food Month
  • National Can Food Month
  • Jell-O Week (2nd week) is also on February
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Black History Month
  • President’s Day
  • National Hot Breakfast Month
  • Chinese New Year
  • Valentine’s Day Items- the day after Valentine’s Day stores will mark down all Valentine’s day items and candy, within a few days they will be practically giving the stuff away, this is the time to stock up for next year. Especially on items like Valentine’s Day Cards- with 3 kiddos in school and all of them exchanging cards, they can get expensive at $3-$4 each box. I wait til they hit the clearance shelf and pick them up for around .25 a box. This way I can grab 4-5 boxes so our girls can pick and choose which ones they want to give out, plus this allows me to send in extra with our girls for class mates that may not have any to exchange!!
  • Can Food Items- With it being National Can Food Month, you will see a lot of these items dropping in price, stock up on the can food you need!
  • Breakfast Foods- Waffles, Cereal & Pop Tarts are all on sale as well as oatmeal and sometimes sausage or bacon
  • Chinese Food- Foods that are Chinese inspiredSoy Sauce, Noodles, etc
  • February Fruit- Strawberries
  • February Veggies- Asparagus and Potatoes

  • Adult Romance Products- Romance is in the air in February, but after Valentine’s Day, no one is buying this stuff any more. So stock up on all the unmentionable love products (KY, etc) that will quickly be hitting the clearance racks after V-Day!

  • Exercise & Healthy/Diet Items- Everyone has broken their New Year’s resolution to exercise more and eat better, meaning stores are left with stuff no one is buying any more. Stock up on protein bars for the kiddos soccer games, buy that new treadmill you wanted but couldn’t swallow the regular price tag that came with or find some cute workout outfits!
  • Super Bowl Items- Now that all the hype of the Super Bowl is over, you can grab some really inexpensive football accessories and football inspired kitchen accessories!

Looking for more ways to save money and stock up on the things you need? Check out all of our stockpiling tips and getting started tips!

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Things To Stockpile In September

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When I first started using coupons and building my stockpile, I had no idea when to buy products or when to ever expect them to go on sale. After a good year of this, I started tracking what went on sale when and quickly learned when to buy the products that my family needed.

My stock-up price is when an item is 75% off regular price and for the most part everything we buy goes on sale every 3-4 months. But there are products that only go on sale certain times of the year and become extremely cheaper compared to normal.  So I thought I would share with you some items that you should stock up on and get the lowest price on during the month of September!

  • Back To School Items- school has most likely already started so stores are wanting to get rid of all the Back To School items they have left over. These things range from paper, pencils, crayons, markers, dorm room items, backpacks, clothes and uniforms.
  • Lunchbox Favorites- Juice Boxes, Lunchables, Pudding Cups, Peanut Butter, Fruit Snacks & Fruit Roll-ups.
  • Breaskfast Foods- Waffles, Cereal & Pop Tarts
  • Gardening Items- Most people have put away their gardening tools and have finished their season of growing new plants. But if you know anything about gardening there are some plants that are great to start planting now and to start collecting seeds for next year. Stores are quickly getting rid of items like garden hoses, seeds, planter boxes & containers and necessary items to maintain a great garden, to make way for their holiday items coming in. This is a great time to snag cheap garden items for your next growing season!
  • Canned Goods and Soups
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Seasonal Produce- There is certain produce items that are plentiful this time of year which means great pricing for you! Find recipes that you can incorporate these items into your daily meals or freeze some of these items to make them last even longer! Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Grapes, Apples, Onions & Bell Peppers.
  • Diabetic Items- Meters, diabetic foods and other diabetic products.

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Ways To Save- Add Dates To Your Stockpile

How many times have you planned to use an item in your stockpile, only to start dinner and realize the product is expired or it has gone bad? Well here is an easy way to make sure you use your food before it goes bad or expires!

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Getting Started 101: I Can Freeze What?

There are many things that you can freeze! With getting ready for my Bulk Cooking Day, I have been checking through old recipes and notes that I have made over the years of things that freeze well. Here are a few I thought you may want to try…

All fruits and vegetables should be washed before freezing.

  • Cheese- bars, sliced or shredded- If you are making a cheese tray I would not use frozen cheese, you can taste a little difference after it has been frozen. Most of the frozen cheeses I use for cooking- grilled cheese, manicotti, lasagna, toppings on cooked foods, etc.
  • Canned Biscuits- will not as rise as a can of un-frozen biscuits but taste the just as good
  • Eggs- whisk together, put into ice trays, freeze, remove from ice tray and store in zip lock bags until needed up to 6months, refrigerate to thaw
  • Hot Dogs
  • Yogurt or Gogurts
  • Cookie Dough
  • Butter
  • Bread
  • Dinner Rolls
  • Garlic and Ginger
  • Tomatoes
  • Fresh Fruit- Oranges and any Berries are the best
  • Fresh Vegetables- (cook these for 2-3 minutes and then cool before freezing- peas, broccoli, celery, spinach, corn (remove from cob), carrots) good for 4-6 months
  • Onions- peel and chop- good for 2-3 months
  • Peppers- cut and remove seeds

Fresh vegetables in a zip lock bag with seasoning and/or butter are great. When you start dinner you can pull out as many you need and pop them in a pan and reheat, they are basically finished, no prep time. This is great if you have older kids or a husband that has to cook on their own. They just pull out what ones they want and reheat in a pot. You did all the work but they can help fix dinner. (Think Green Giant Steamers, just made with fresh products you prepared-great if you have a garden and want to keep some of the fresh items you grew!)

Homemade items freeze very well also. Here are a few to try……

  • Muffins
  • Biscuits or Dinner Rolls
  • Pancakes or Waffles
  • Lasagna
  • Manicotti
  • Any meats- Chicken, Hamburger, Pork Chops, Ribs, etc.
  • Vegetable Soup (don’t add potatoes if you are going to freeze it, they taste different after they have been frozen- I will usually cut up some the day that I reheat it and add it to it, cook until they are soft)
  • Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Spaghetti Sauces
  • Cakes (just wait to ice them until you want to eat them)
  • Tuna , Chicken or Ham Salad (go easy on the mayo, mayo tends to separate when frozen)

A lot of the items above can be made in advance and then just reheated when you need them. This will save you time and money. There use to be so many times that I would want something to eat for breakfast, say pancakes, but I knew we were in a hurry and I would not have time to make them. So we would leave a few minutes early and just stop at McDonald’s or somewhere to grab breakfast. If you have pancakes already made then just pop a few in the microwave and that’s it, breakfast in just the time it takes to reheat in the microwave. Time and Money saved!!!

Don’t Freeze

  • Mayo (tends to separate, if your recipe calls for it, try to use as little as possible)
  • Potatoes
  • Sour Cream

These are all items that I have used and tried. As I find more items that freeze well I will add them to this list.

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FYI……..
According to Thrifty Puppy…….
You can freeze milk as well…just make sure you pour a little out before sticking it in the freezer. Otherwise, it will expand when it freezes and bust the carton.

Thanks for the extra info!!!

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