Review & Giveaway: Dial Sugar Cane Husk Scrub Hand Soap

290x188-Dial-Sugar-Promo-SigI love being a Purex Insider! It’s a blogging program where I get to try out new products and share them with you! The latest product I was able to sample was the Dial® Sugar Cane Husk Scrub Hand Soap. It’s  the newest member of the Dial® Boutique Collection Hand Soap line, bringing luxury to your hand washing experience.

IMG_2966With an indulgent scent inspired by freshly cut Sugar Cane, this premium formula with gentle micro scrubbers cleanses deeply while moisturizing and smoothing skin.

When it arrived, I put it in the hallway bathroom, which is the one that Lil’ Man uses most.  He’s really into washing his hands right now, because it, “Makes the yucky germs go away!”

Everyone who has used it over the past 2 weeks loves it. The little micro scrubbers really help get your hands clean (which is great since Lil’ Man and I have been gardening a lot recently and we get pretty gross!), but it’s very moisturizing (thanks to the Sunflower oil).

I’m super excited to share this new product with you, in fact, you can enter to win a coupon for a free bottle.  Just check out the Rafflecopter widget here to enter!

Dole Fruit and Oatmeal Money Maker Deal!

 

IMG_2969Right now, most 99 Cents Only locations  have Dole Fruit & Oatmeal for 99 Cents a 2 pack.

A Facebook fan told me these retail for $2.00 a pack at the mainstream grocery store- that’s nuts!

Here is a way you can score these little beauties for free- and make .50 on each package!

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 9.59.34 AMThere is a Snap By Groupon rebate for $1.50 back! Which means you pay $.99, submit for the $1.50 Snap Rebate and it’s a .50 Money maker (and there is no limit as to how many you can purchase and receive the rebate on).

Not a SNAP by Groupon member, You can sign up here! SNAP by Groupon is an app for your enabled device that gives you cash back when you buy specific items (at any store!)- items change about once a month, and there is always in interesting mix of items, including fresh fruits and veggies! You can cash out once you reach $20 in savings!

I tried one of these oatmeal cups this morning, and it was pretty good (but a little sweet). They’d be great to stash in your desk at work, or to donate to a food bank or shelter. Deals like this are just one way that you can help others and maintain your food budget!

Beer Bread: Quick, Yummy Food!

Lil’ Man and I love to cook together.  Recently I was fortunate enough to receive a Danish Dough Hook from the nice folks over at Kitchen Simple and Tomoson. Since it’s been pretty warm recently, we decided to skip making a complicated recipe that would have us in the kitchen for a long time. We opted to make beer bread!
Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 8.56.32 AM

Beer bread is an amazing, easy to make, versatile food. It can be made to go with any meal, or it can be a meal itself! For this batch, we used Butterscotch Beer (it’s actually soda), butterscotch chips, and semi-sweet chocolate chips,  in addition to the basic ingredients below.

It was a very sweet, light dessert bread. Lil’ Man ate 3 pieces before the bread cooled!

If you’ve never used a dough hook before, it’s a kitchen tool that’s great for mixing up bread, cookies, even batters! It has a long, sturdy handle, and a wire loop that helps incorporate the ingredients. It’s a great addition to any kitchen, whether you are an every day baker, or only bake during the holidays. If you’ve got a cook in your family, they make a great gift too!

The basic recipe is as follows:

Ingredients

  • 3 cups self rising flour (sifted) (Or if you don’t have self rising flour, mix together: 3 cups flour (sifted), 3 teaspoons baking powder,1 teaspoon salt)
  • 1/4 cup white or brown sugar
  • 1 (12 ounce) can beer or other carbonated beverage- See below*
  • ½ stick melted butter

Directions

  1. Sift the flour and sugar together.
  2. Slowly pour the liquid over the dry mixture and mix until combined. We used the dough hook, but you can use a strong wooden spoon.
  3. Pour dough into a greased Dutch oven or a greased bread pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes-1 hour or until when inserted, a knife comes out clean.

You can add any one of the following before your mix it together:

½ cup of the any of the following (feel free to mix and match).  If you want more “stuff” in your bread, feel free to add more than 1/2 cup:

  • Dried fruits (make sure it’s bite sized!)
  • nuts
  • chocolate chips or any other kind of chips (white chocolate, cinnamon, butterscotch)
  • shredded or cubed cheese
  • chopped onions (raw or carmelized)
  • shallots
  • green onions
  • chives
  • To make it a main dish, pour 1/2 of the bread dough into the pan, pour in a layer of cooked meat (I like taco seasoned beef, or cut up/shredded cooked chicken breast cooked with ranch dressing powder or herbs), then top with the remaining bread dough. Bake as directed.

Any of the following spices are delicious (add to your taste):

Cinnamon, nutmeg, apple pie spice, Pumpkin pie spice, Italian seasoning, Mural of Flavor, garlic powder, onion powder. Add the herbs/spices into the flour before you add the liquids.

If you want to make a sweet dessert bread, make a crumble to top the bread with prior to baking:

  • ½ C. flour
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • ½ c. softenened butter
  • Spices (I like Apple Pie or Pumpkin pie spice)
  1. Combine all of the ingredients together.
  2. Top the uncooked bread with this mixture.
  3. Bake as directed as directed above.

 

*For a different texture, try different varieties of soda (fruit or cream sodas are great), soda water, light beer, Guinness or other dark beer. Match the type of beer with the other added items.  When using soda, add 2 teaspoons of yeast so you get the correct rise (beer contains yeast!).  Feel free to use whatever beer or soda you have in your house!  I don’t recommend using Root Beer- it makes the bread bitter.  Don’t use diet soda!  Baking with artificial sweeteners other than Splenda can make the bread bitter.

Yummy combos:

  • Orange soda goes great with chocolate chips and orange zest.
  • Light beer, sharp cheddar cheese, Mural of Flavor and caramelized onions are great together.
  • Lighter beer (I like Stella Artois), Italian Seasoning, shredded mozzarella cheese or string cheese cut into cubes, and chopped dried tomatoes.
  • Chocolate stout beer, dark chocolate chips, dried cranberries.
  • Sam Adams Summer blend with apple or pumpkin pie spice, chopped dried apples, and dried cranberries.

 

I want to thank the great people over at Kitchen Simple and Tomoson for the chance to review this product. I was not financially compensated to review these products, however I received a Danish Dough Hook for free to facilitate my review. I only recommend products and services that I feel may be a good fit for my readers.

The Pricebook: A Frugal Shoppers Best Friend!

One thing that I get asked a lot when I’m shopping (besides, “Where’d you get all those coupons!”) is, “What’s that’s little book?” The Answer: It’s my price book! It’s a little spiral bound notebook, like this one.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 11.42.40 AM A price book is a list of the items you use and the prices they sell for in the stores in your area.

It is a perfect tool for tracking price per ounce, which will help you determine the best price. Prices in a price book should be listed by cost per unit so you can easily compare different size packages from different stores. Your price book is a great tool to help you determine if a sale is really a deal.

Your price book can be as complex or as easy as you want it to be. You can calculate price per unit, or just list the regular price of each item at each of the stores you visit in your area.

If you have an iPhone or other smartphone, there are several apps available for purchase that take the guess work out if it.  If you are computer savvy, you can do a price book in Excel and print a copy when you go to shop. There are several available for download free on the Internet.  Google search “Excel Price Book download”.

Your price book can be as simple or as complex and you want it to be.  If you are new to the concept of prices books, you may wish to add as much detail as possible, to track your savings to the penny.

Basic information for every price book should include:

  • Date (you can date the top of each page or note it somewhere within the columns)
  • The brand– i.e. Hunt’s
  • The item– i.e. stewed tomatoes
  • Size -in ounces or pounds, however the item is listed on the container (i.e. 14.5oz, 2 lbs.)
  • Price- for the entire package. i.e. $1.89

Name of store– This is helpful if you are trying to find the cheapest price for an item within a range of stores.  Is deodorant really cheaper at the grocery store, Target or CVS in your area?  Start price book and find out!

Because of my price book, I know the cheapest place to get bananas is 99 Cents Only: .49/lb all the time! We eat about 2-3 lbs of bananas per week. Most grocery stores charge .69-.79/lb for bananas. By buying the least expensive bananas each week I am saving approximately $30.00/year. That’s just on one item we shop for each week!

Additional info:

  • Sale price (if any)
  • Date of sale (if any)

Listing sale information may assist you in tracking when sales occur, and plan your shopping trips throughout the year.  Knowing when to stock up on specific items may save you a couple hundred dollars a year.

Your price book will help you determine if that 50-gallon drum of yogurt at Costco is a better deal than the 32-ounce tub from the supermarket. Not all bulk purchases are a better deal.

I have a sheet in my price book for each store that I shop at. One page is for food items, and the second is for HBA/toiletries. I tend not to buy toiletries at Costco, as they are generally NOT a good deal.

My grocery stores include: Albertsons, Costco (so I can determine what is a good deal), 99 Cents Only, Wal-Mart, and Target.

I update my price books once a quarter.  When it’s time to update, I take a little extra time when I visit each store and just double check prices and sizes. Sometimes the size of the product changes too.

Here are some websites that talk about price books and give examples:

 

Clothing Swaps: Family Frugality at it’s best!

VRj6VzFtGot piles of clothes stashed in a closet that the family has outgrown or are no longer worn? Have you thought about participating in a clothing swap? For those who aren’t familiar with clothing swaps, it’s a pretty cool concept:

Gather friends, family, co-workers and everyone brings their unwanted clothes, shoes, and accessories. For each item you bring, you receive 1 ticket. Each ticket is exchangeable to another piece of clothing, accessory, or pair of shoes. You bring ten items, you get ten tickets, you leave with ten items.

You can do kids clothing, women’s, men’s, whatever your group of friends is interested in doing.

There are a bunch of already established clothing swaps in San Diego.

Kinders Keepers is a fun clothing swap group in San Diego that meets quarterly.  You can learn more on their Facebook page here.

The Sonrise Church in Santee has a clothing swap too! One for kids clothes, and another for women’s clothing. Miss Charity’s Closet & Little Blessings Boutique 2nd Saturday of every month at 9:00 am
Contact Charity Murphy for more info clmurphy71@gmail.com

Not strictly clothing related, there is the San Diego Really, Really Free Market. They also meet about once a quarter in various areas around town.

Also not strictly Clothing Related, but one of my favorite give back orgs is the Buy Nothing Project. There are chapters all over the US, and we have a few here in San Diego.  I’ve been able to share clothes, panty staples we no longer needed, Lil’ Man’s outgrown toys and clothes.

If you don’t want to wait for an upcoming swap, check out consignment or resale shops! Just last week, I took some items over to Conceptions Children’s Resale. It’s a nice resale shop in Santee, I take a lot of Lil’ Man’s outgrown clothes and toys. In exchange I get 50% of the price they will sell the items for when I chose to receive Store Credit. Since #2 is on the way, I’ll usually take store credit. You can keep credit on file too. I’m saving mine up! There are tons of kid’s resale shops across the US, I bet there is one close to you. There are consignment or resale shops for adults too!

And of course… don’t forget Freecycle. Do a quick google search for Clothing swap + the name of your city.

What are some of your favorite money saving strategies when it comes to keeping the family clothed?

Review: Baby Nautical Month Stickers!


If you’ve got friends with babies, then I’m sure you’ve seen these. Baby Month Stickers are the latest and greatest in photo props for your little.

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 7.49.24 AMEach month, you peel one of the stickers off and affix them to your little friend, snap some photos and viola-  more super cute photos for the baby book! They are tear proof and water proof too, so a drooly, active baby won’t cause any damage!

iCustomLabel sent me a set of the Nautical Baby Month Stickers and I can’t wait to try them out when Lil’ Miss is born.  iCustom Label also sells pregnancy stickers if you are photographing
your “bump” each month as well.

iCustomLabel sells over 100 different types of stickers from sweet and simple to superhero stickers, so there is sure to be something for everyone! And they start at just $10/set!

I want to thank the great people over at iCustomLabel and Tomoson for the chance to review this product. I was not financially compensated to review these products, however I received a four pack of Baby Nautical Month Stickers free to facilitate my review. I only recommend products and services that I feel may be a good fit for my readers.

 

Review: Reusable Baby Food Pouches

When Lil’ Man was younger, that kid was all about the squeezy pouches, which was great! They are easy to carry, come in lots of varieties, and are overall a million times more convenient than glass jarred baby food.  HOWEVER, they make a lot of trash.

Recently I discovered the Easy Anywhere Reusable Baby Food Pouches. These pouches are incredible.  IMG_2886
You can refill the pouch again-and-again. No accidental spills with the reinforced double zipper. No more spending a lot of money on store bought pre filled pouches (over $1.00/each at most stores!).  It’s made of sturdy but very flexible material that’s environmentally friendly (BPA-free, PVC-free & phthalate-free).

If you’ve got kids that don’t eat a lot in one sitting, you’ll never waste food in a pouch again with the convenient window at the back of the pouch!

They are easy to use too. Pour your delicious homemade purees (Or you could use pudding for a fun dessert) easily into the large opening on the top of the Pouch. You don’t need any special appliances to fill the pouch. No weird, rounded corners that are difficult to clean. Just use a bottle brush to clean the pouch and pop it into the washing machine.

We used ours at the zoo last week. I filled one with chilled pudding, and a second with homemade applesauce.  These pouches would be great for backpacking or camping as well.

I’ve already picked up another set to share with a friend who is expecting soon! These make a pretty cool gift.

I want to thank the great people over at Easy Anywhere Brands and Tomoson for the chance to review this product. I was not financially compensated to review these products, however I received a four pack of Easy Anywhere Reusable Baby Food Pouches free to facilitate my review. I only recommend products and services that I feel may be a good fit for my readers.