Free stuff!

One of the ways that I stretch our grocery budget is by keeping my eyes out for items that are free after coupons and store sales.

Some companies make it a little easier by offering a weekly freebie. Now sometimes the freebie is something you’re family will eat, and sometimes… Well, sometimes it’s not. Like this week.

Ralphs (or Kroger, depending on where you live) offers a free item each Friday. You simply go to Ralphs.com, log onto your ralphs account, load the coupon to your ralphs card and redeem the coupon within 2 weeks.  This week it’s:

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 8.44.57 AMBlergh. If you need Easter Basket filler, or have a crazy sweet tooth, this might be perfect for you. I however, will pass.

The other weekly freebie is from Savingstar. It’s a Smartphone app that gives you cash back for buying specific items. You can use coupons with Savingstar to double dip (or in laymen’s terms save TWICE). Check the app, add the items you want, shop at one of the stores Savingstar works with (there is a list on their website), then come home and upload a photo of your items UPC and receipt. When you reach $10.00 in savings in your account you can opt for a paypal payout or buy gift cards (like Subway, iTunes, or Starbucks to name just a few). Savingstar doesn’t have a lot of food we eat, but it’s nice to earn a little extra cash back whenever we can.

Each week, also on Friday, Savingstar has a 100% cashback offer (which means it’s free after rebate!). This week, it’s:

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 8.50.17 AM1.61 oz. Almond Joy® Milk Chocolate Coconut & Almonds OR 1.75 oz. Mounds® Coconut Filled Dark Chocolate candy bar.

 

For either weekly freebie, it’s usually something with a value of $2.00 or less. It’s a marketing technique to get you into the store to buy other stuff. BUT- you don’t have to. Be strong!

If you are looking for other free stuff, I like the following sites: Freestufftimes.com and  MySavings. There are a lot of sites that offer free samples, so keep your eyes out! I like to order free samples of new products because most of the time they come with high value coupons. Sample sized toiletries are also great for traveling, camping, or making blessing bags (which I will post about later).

Backyard Fruit: Helping Others!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADriving around much of Southern California, there is one constant: Backyard fruit trees DRIPPING with unpicked fruit, and even more trees with piles of dropped and rotting fruit under the trees. That really makes me upset. WHY?

There are 16 million hungry kids in the US. I heard a statistic on the radio the other day that 1 in 4 kids in the US don’t have access to fresh fruits and veggies! If you have backyard fruit trees or gardens that are out of control with more produce that you and your family can eat, here are a few ways you can help others in need:

  • Contact your local church and see if they offer a food pantry. If so, take a box of produce from your trees/garden over to share with those in need.
  • Contact your local food bank and see if they accept home grown fruit. Some do, some do not.
  • There are several organizations across the US that will come to you, pick your fruit and donate it.FoodForwardVillage Harvest are just two.
  • There are websites where you can register your trees and share your produce with others. Neighborhood Fruitis just one.
  • Post on your local freecycle or buy nothing project group. I know around here there are many neighbors who would love to help you pick and eat your fruit.  Recently there was an older lady who had fruit trees and she couldn’t keep up with the harvesting, so she was looking for someone who could help her pick fruit. They were welcome to take as much as they could eat, as long as they picked 2 lbs of fruit for her. That sounds like a great deal to me!
  • Here is a crazy idea- Offer some to your friends and neighbors!