Sunday, February 22, 2009

Saving Money on Groceries without Clipping Coupons

Crystal from Biblical Womanhood asked for readers to list some tips for saving money on groceries without clipping coupons. I think this is an important topic. I do clip coupons, but I'll be the first to admit, it can be a pain. It can be stressful. It can be time-consuming. But I love the thrill of getting something for free or almost free! I know that coupons are not for everyone, so that's why I wanted to post on this topic.

In addition to all of Crystal's tips, here are a few more....

1) Aldi Queen - This mom has a whole section of a blog devoted to Aldi shopping! Aldi's is a great place to shop, if you are lucky enough to be near one. Our Aldi's is clean, well-organized, and has very friendly staff. Aldi Queen has several menu guides and tons of recipes from just products bought at Aldi's! You are bound to save money if you follow her advice.

2) Angel Food Ministries - This is a food relief program that is distributed by local area churches. You can get a big box of food for $30 (worth $65). It is enough to feed a family of 4 for a week. You can buy as many boxes as you want. You pick it up once a month. Go to the website for each month's menu, order what you want, and where to pick up your boxes. And there are blogs that post recipes using Angel Food Ministries food for each month! Here's one: Hillbilly Housewife's Angel Food Menus

3) Shop for marked down groceries - Kroger is awesome for marking down items in their bakery and produce area that are fixing to expire. Since we have gotten several Publix stores in our area recently, Kroger is marking down a lot more. I always go through the bakery/produce areas and scan for orange clearance tags first. I have gotten broccoli slaw, hydroponic lettuce, cut-up veggies in bags, fresh herbs, vegetable trays, fruit trays, dip trays, cheese/beef stick trays, chicken tenders, fried chicken, rotisserie chicken, lots of bread, pies, cookies, cakes, Hawaiian rolls, specialty cheeses, and much more marked down half price or even more. And the "sell by" date does NOT mean that you can't eat it after that date! It usually will last up to a week past that date.

Big Lots is another place that marks down their grocery items. It's usually cheap to begin with, but then half-off of that makes it even better! Last night I went to Big Lots and got brand name Graham Crackers for $1, Apple Jack cereal straws for $1, and saw but didn't get the new Kraft Mac-n-Cheese crackers for .75 or so.

So it can be done. Be sure to read Biblical Womanhood for lots more tips on saving money on groceries without clipping coupons!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Reading Rainbow Book Contest

My kids have recently started watching "Reading Rainbow", which they love! And I am surprised all the time by what they learn on there! Today on RR, he advertised a book contest that ends sometime in March. The link is here. The contest is for K-3rd graders, each grade having 3 winners. The prizes are awesome - flat screen TV, digital camera, and a MP3 player! Anyway, you child must write an original story with at least 5 colorful illustrations. There are word minimums and maxes for each grade. Invented spelling is accepted! My kids were so excited! They wanted me to look it up right away. Princess dropped to the floor immediately and started her illustrations. Prince thought about it, and decided to write about Egyptians. He asked me for some books on Egypt and went to work. He came and showed me his book. I read it, and with a sinking heart, asked him, "Did you copy the words from the books you looked at?" He said yes. I had to explain that he couldn't do that, what plagiarism is, why you wouldn't want someone copying your words, etc. He immediately burst into tears. I totally understood - all that hard work! I convinced him that his pages could be his "research" on Egyptians, and he could write a new story using his research. That led to a discussion of research, fiction/non-fiction, beginning/middle/end to a story, etc. It was actually a good lesson. I just hope he doesn't get discouraged. This contest is right up his alley. He is always writing his own stories and books. I hope that having parameters won't stifle his creativity, you know?
I let all of this writing count towards our Language Arts today! :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Look What I Won!

Look what I won at the blog, Shopping Without Money! (click on blog name to see post of picture of what I won) It's a Ziploc organizational pack! Woo hoo! I never win anything!! Okay, well, I did win a lawn mower last year. But I've never won anything besides that! LOL! Check out her blog, too. There's lots of frugal tips on there - my favorite topic right now!!