November Sprouts Farmers Market Monthly Freebies!

Sprouts is hooking us up and helping us stay healthy! Every month on the Sprouts app in the Digital Coupon section, there are between 4-6 free items (they are marked “SAMPLING PROGRAM”).

Quantities are limited on the app, so if you are interested in any of these, I recommend that you add these coupons (by opening the Sprouts app, click on digital coupons, and click on each coupon in the lower corner where the little green circle is) to your app ASAP.

Not all Sprouts locations will have these freebies, so I suggest trying larger Sprouts location in your area.

These are full-sized freebies- not small sample sized products. they are located in the store with the other products of the same type.

Not all accounts will receive all the same products.

This month the following items are available:

  • Kevita Beverages
  • Brazi Bites
  • Milton’s non-GMO Fire Roasted Crackers
  • Somona Creamery Cheese Crisp Crackers
  • Notmilk Products

Saving Money with the Target App!

This post isn’t what you are thinking it is. The Target App is great, don’t get me wrong. There are coupons and discounts available, and you can shop through the app for store pick up, or curbside pickup.

But one of my favorite parts of the Target app is that you can scan barcodes to see if Target carries the item, and how much it costs. I use this feature to my advantage a lot. I love shopping at 99 Cents Only, but recently they have started carrying tons of items that are way more than 99 cents.

To see if these offerings are actually a good deal, I use the scan barcode feature of the Target App to see how much the items are at Target- That gives me a good idea if it’s a good deal or not. The app will also tell me if there are coupons or discounts within the Target app to make the cost at Target even lower.

Recently, on a visit to 99 Cents only, I found a couple items that I was interested buying, but I wasn’t sure if they were a good value or not. I pulled out my phone, opened the Target App, and scanned.

In each of the cases above in the pictures, the items at 99 Cents Only are a good deal. I also use this app at Grocery Outlet, Dollar Tree, and Sprouts. Why Sprouts? Sometimes their prices can be a little high. Since I use my Target Red Card, I get an additional 5% off every purchase.

If you’re not a Target shopper, check out my post here with more savings tips shopping at the Bullseye!

Dosh and Grocery Outlet- Time to Save!

Y’all know how much I LOVE Grocery Outlet. Tons of great groceries and deals in the store, and they get so many incredible one-time deals. I love shopping at Grocery Outlet because I’ve tried so many new products shopping there.

Right now, Grocery Outlet is sweetening the deal of shopping there. They’ve teamed up with Dosh. Earn $2 in-store cashback on purchases $15 and up when you pay with your Dosh linked card (and remember to run your card as credit).

I shop there once a week and I’ve been earning $2 a pop for the past month or so.

And the nice way to double dip with this deal is to upload your receipt to Fetch Rewards, and a few other apps to earn additional cashback. My complete list of Smartphone savings apps can be found here.

New To Dosh? You can learn all about it here. You can earn cashback shopping in-store or online. I primarily earn cashback on Dosh these days from Office Depot and Round Table Pizza, in addition to Grocery Outlet. We used our Dosh linked card to buy Big Kid a new bed last year and scored 2% cashback, in addition to other sales/deals. Dosh is a great app to double-dip!

(The Dosh Link is my personal link, if you sign up and complete an offer, I may earn a small commission. This money helps me run the site and offer contests and giveaways. You can see my Disclosure  info here.)

A Shift in Mindset: Being Cheap Versus Being Frugal

The last Monday of the school year (back in June), after I dropped the kids at their respective schools, I went to Target. I bought curtains. Now, for those who either know me in real life, or I’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know that prior to blogging full-time, one of the jobs I had in the past was a historical costumer. So I know how to sew.

Why did I buy curtains? I’m frugal.

Let me explain. I got really nice curtains for each kid kids bedroom. They are 63 inches long, they are black-out curtains meaning that they are treated with white plastic that once the curtains are closed at no light filters through. Each curtain panel was $11. So for two sets of curtains, they cost after taxes about $46. Which is decent. I could not walk into a fabric store and buy all the supplies I need it for two sets of curtains for the same amount of money.

For $46, I saved myself about two hours’ worth of measuring, cutting, and sewing. Plus a trip to the fabric store. For those of you who have been to a fabric store lately, you know how dangerous it is once you get in there. So many new ideas, craft supplies, cool fabric. And I try to have willpower, but I do love to make things.

I could have in theory found cheap fabric either at the fabric store or at Walmart, or I could’ve even gone to a thrift store and look for fabric, or old sheets. That’s not what I wanted. I wanted something that looked nice I wanted something or I wouldn’t have to spend hours getting something done just to save a few bucks. And that’s the difference between being cheap, and being frugal.

Everyone’s heard the old adage “Time is money“. And it’s true. Even though I may work at home, it doesn’t mean that my time is not worth anything. When I do paying gigs, no matter what they are, I won’t take them if I feel that my time is not being compensated well enough. And for this, new curtain project, I felt that $46 was well spent.

Now I know not everyone has extra money lying around to do whatever project that is looming on your horizon. There are other ways you can flex your frugal muscles.

  • If it’s a sewing project, you can go through your fabric stash if you have one, you can find coupons online for fabric if you wanna make your own project.
  • Look online and see if there are discounts available or deals or sales on whatever your project item is.
  • Check your local buy nothing group online.
  • Hit up your local thrift store. I have gotten many good pairs of sheets sets, bedding, and even curtains at thrift stores. A lot of people change out their curtains every year and wash and donate their “old“ curtains to a thrift store. My bedroom curtains came from the Goodwill in my town. And I paid less than $10 for both of the curtains. And they’re beautiful and I love them.

Prior to hitting up Target, for the past month, I’d kept my eyes open anytime I went out to a thrift store, or when I was out shopping to see if there were curtains that were perfect for our needs. I was not successful.  So instead of continuing the search even longer for something secondhand, I bit the bullet and spent $46. Because to me, getting a project done and checked off my to-do list for $46, was worth it. I didn’t need to keep going to thrift stores every week, trying to find the perfect set of curtains or the perfect fabric.

Frugality versus cheapness is something that goes beyond purchasing home goods. Let’s look at groceries. I know back in the heyday of couponing, a lot of people would go from store to store to store to stock up on deals and bargains. I will admit that back before I had kids I would do that. Because I had lots of free time. But now that I have two kids, my free time is limited.

And couponing is not what it used to be. So I shop at the same stores every week. Unless something is free, I tend not to deviate from my usual shopping. I shop at three stores. Which, seems like a lot, however, two of the stores are in the same shopping center, right next-door to each other. And I buy specific stuff at each store because it’s the only place to find what I want within my budget. So every week I head to $.99 only, Grocery Outlet, and usually Food 4 Less.

This is just some of what we get each week!

We get our CSA box every week for $25. And it’s an amazing deal. It saves me both time in that I don’t have to try to go to two or three grocery stores that have decent produce to find exactly what I want, and it saves me money. A $25 produce box has everything we need for the entire week. And I am able to use what is in that box to plan my weekly menu. We seldom have waste from our CSA box. And what we don’t eat by the end of the week just gets rolled over into the next week. In the past, I was spending half or more of a grocery budget each week on produce, and half the time it was too much, and it will go bad or I would have to stash it in the freezer. I still stash veggies and fruit in the freezer, but not to such a large extent.

Another thing that for me is frugal but not cheap is Dream Dinners. Granted, Dream Dinners can cost upwards of $250 plus a month for a minimum order. And that’s either 12 dinners that serve 2 to 3 people each or six large dinners that are for 4 to 6 people each. I like Dream Dinners because from the time you start cooking to the time dinner is on the table it’s 45 minutes or less in most cases.

And there are times when I’ve had a long day and it’s just been so crazy that I don’t want to cook. But instead of going through the drive-through, ordering a pizza, I can just pull out one of our dream dinners and have food that’s ready to eat in 45 minutes or less. There are no difficult directions, and the food is always delicious. And one order with 12 medium meals is enough for a month for us.

I tend to use them on nights where I know that I’m going to want something that’s quick, something that’s easy. Dream Dinners are cheaper than take out for our family. If I was to do take out 2 to 3 times a week every month that would be upwards of $600. That’s based on an average of what we usually order when we get takeout.

These are just a few examples of how I am frugal. Obviously, these may not be the ways that you save time vs. doing it the cheapest way. Everyone has ways that saves time and money, and I’d love to hear from you!

August 2021: New Healthy Freebies From Social Nature!

 If you are into Organic/Natural/Healthy products, then Social Nature is up your alley. Sign up and apply to sample products that you are interested in. I get probably 1-2 products to sample each month. And most of the time it’s full-size products, not just a tiny sample.

Social Nature has rounded up products that are available to try at a local grocery store or mass merchandiser near you.  Apply to Try the products that interest you to see if you’re a match here.

And one of the things I love about Social Nature is that they don’t leave our friends with food allergies out.

There are sampling offers for Gluten-free, nut-free, meat-free foods frequently.

Canadian Friends- You are in luck, there are sampling opportunities for you too! So if you love trying new products, check out Social Nature!

 

8/16/2021 Weekly Meal Plan!

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpg2 days until school starts! I got the kids up early to get them prepared. Their new school is an early start school.

Over the weekend I picked up half a share from Porchlight- My friend Brooke split a share with me, and it’s honestly the best month spent. We got all kinds of great food, definitely more than a week’s worth.

I also did a back-to-school grocery shop with tons of lunch food for the kids.

And I’ve been getting a lot of really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods.

No CSA box this week. We’ll be back on it in the next few weeks.

And I didn’t do any meal prep yesterday. I wasn’t feeling too hot over the weekend, so I spent a lot of time napping and resting.  Thankfully, we’ve got a lot of prepped stuff in the freezer.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for a kitchen inventory printable, I have made my own and you can find them for sale here on my Etsy Store.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. The Ancient Grain bagels from Einstein Bros. are the current family favorite. I pick them up on Mondays when a dozen is only $7. I slice them and freeze them to keep them from going bad too quickly.

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. The kids are digging leftovers from dinner, or quesadillas. When school starts, I’ll be packing lunches again. However, school lunches are free this year, so I’m sure that the kids will want to buy their lunches a few times per week.

Dinner: Usually, I do a crockpot meal on Mondays, but now that we are home all the time, we’ve been having an odd combination of fully home-cooked, scratch meals, and frozen entrees and veggies. I have been posting our meal plans on Instagram too- As well as pics of stuff we are doing to keep busy.

  • Sunday: Nachos or BRC bowls, veggies
  • Monday: Waffle sammiches (waffles, eggs, sausage),  strawberries, and watermelon
  • Tuesday:  BBQ chicken, rice, roasted corn, watermelon
  • Wednesday:  Nugget night: Nuggets, crackers, cheese, fruit
  • Thursday: Baked Mac n’ cheese, salad/veggies, sourdough toast
  • Friday:  Takeout Night
  • Saturday: Leftovers, fruit

Please stay safe you guys!

Talk Back: What are you cooking for dinner this week?

California Climate Credit- It’s Back for August and September!

What is the California Climate Credit? This August* your utility bill will include an electric credit identified as the “California Climate Credit.” Your household and millions of others throughout the state will receive this credit on your utility bills.

In the past years, the electric credit was applied in April and October, and the gas credit was applied in April. For 2020 and 2021, the California Public Utilities Commission authorized SDG&E to temporarily shift the electric credit to be applied in August and September.

If you have any of the following utilities: PG&E, SDG&E, SCE Pacific Power, and Liberty Utilities, your August and September bills will have a credit.

Changing the distribution months will not change the total value of the climate credits you receive in a year. The shift will provide bill relief for customers – during the typically hottest months of the year – and reduce bill volatility.

The gas credit will continue to be applied in April. In 2022, the climate credit will be distributed back to its original timing of April and October unless the Commission directs otherwise. The California Climate Credit is part of California’s efforts to fight climate change. This credit is from a state program that requires power plants, natural gas providers, and other large industries that emit greenhouse gases, to buy carbon pollution permits.

The credit on your bill is your share of the payments from the State’s program. The Climate Credit is one of many programs resulting from landmark legislation called the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.

The California Climate Credit is one way Californians are working towards a zero-carbon state. Find other ideas for energy and money-saving upgrades for your home while reducing your carbon footprint at energyupgradeca.org/the-movement.

And if you are looking for more ways to save energy and money, check out Ohm Connect! We’ve been using Ohm Connect for 5+ years and we’ve saved thousands of dollars on our power bill, and earned thousands of dollars in gift cards and cash via paypal!

I cashed out some of our points for a $25 Amazon Gift card last week, and we almost have enough for another $25 Amazon Gift Card!

August 2021: New Month, New Coupons!

file000786402730Here is your monthly reminder!  A new month means new printable and electronic coupons!

The printable coupon market is slowly coming to an end. Smartsource no longer offers printable coupons, and you may notice that there are fewer coupon inserts in your Sunday newspaper. This is in favor of more offers available on apps. But if you love printable coupons….

  • Coupons.com (printable coupons, e-coupons, and a cashback app)

One of my favorite websites is the Sunday Coupon Review.  It helps me plot out scenarios in advance and I can email friends to ask for coupons in advance. Remember if clipping coupons isn’t your thing, but saving money is, check out my list of Smartphone apps that can save you the big bucks! New offers are added on the Smartphone Savings Apps all the time!

August is back to school time! Deals on School supplies, lunch food, kids clothes, and electronics. Ibotta has a great cashback deal right now on school supplies and lunch food, check my post here. 

For a complete list of types of foods and items that will be on sale, check out this post on the cycle of sales.

Here are a few of my favorite new coupons:


Save $1.00 on ONE (1) DANIMALS® 6pk Smoothies
Save $2.25 on ONE (1) Chameleon Whole Bean Coffee, Ground Coffee, or Cold Brew Concentrates – Shelf stable packs
Save $1.00 on ONE (1) Undercover Snacks 2 oz pack of Quinoa Crisps
Save $1.00 on ANY TWO (2) Clorox® Cleaning or Laundry Products (*excludes $1, trial size and travel size).
Save $1.50 on Any ONE (1) Finish® Quantum® 22ct+, Finish® Max-In-1® 24ct+, Finish® Deep Clean 38ct+ Dishwasher Detergent, Finish® JET-DRY®
Save $2.00 on ANY ONE (1) MAUI MOISTURE® Shampoo or Conditioner (excludes all Travel & Trial Sizes)
Save $1.00 on ANY ONE (1) Garnier® Fructis® shampoo, conditioner, treatment or styling product. (exclusions apply)

Earn Cashback on Gasoline Purchases with GetUpside

I learned about GetUpside this morning and it’s a pretty cool program.

One of the hardest things to save money on is gasoline. It’s not like gas goes on sale, and if you live in California you know that the price of gas is out of control!

GetUpside is a free cash back app that users can earn up to 25¢/gallon cash back on gas.  It’s super easy to use:

Use New “Check-In” and skip the receipt. Just Check In to redeem your offer at this station and any other locations that have a Blue Badge. No need to upload the receipt. GetUpside uses the last 4 digits of your cards from recent purchases to verify your purchase. Tap the “Check-In” button when the user is at the business and select which card they’re using – no receipt pic needed.

GetUpside users earn up to 25¢/gallon cash back on gas, up to 45% cash back at restaurants and up to 30% cash back at grocery stores.

GetUpside also has a great referral program. Users can earn a 15¢/gal bonus when they refer friends and give friends and family a 15¢/gal bonus. Referrers also earn 1¢/gal every time their referee gets gas using GetUpside.

And it gets better: Use Promo Code AFF20 to increase the sign-up bonus to 20¢/gal, which is stackable with your first offer for up to $0.45/gal in savings on your first receipt! Heck Yeah!

So now that you know the deets, are you ready to sign up for GetUpside? Click here to get started.