1/23/2020 New Savingtar Rebates!

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SavingStar has some awesome new rebates available.

If you are new to SavingStar, it’s different from traditional couponing!

What makes SavingStar different is that you don’t receive money off at the register.  The savings in held in your SavingStar account, and once you reach at least $20.00 in savings you can transfer it to your Paypal Account or donate your savings to charity!

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SavingStar is the first national, fully digital, grocery eCoupon service, available for free at www.savingstar.com and on iPhone and Android mobile apps. There’s nothing to clip, nothing to print. Chose offers, shop, and save! SavingStar is currently available at over 70,000 locations!

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And it gets better: SavingStar members who redeem 2 offers per month (not counting any Healthy Offers) will unlock a full month of Healthy Offers for the next month! That’s money savings on fruits, veggies, and more!

Here are the latest offers:

Save $1.25 when you purchase ANY ONE (1) Green Giant Harvest Protein Bowls™. Any Variety..Expires 2/26/2020.Save $1.25.

Save $2.00 when you purchase ANY ONE (1) Atkins® Sweet & Salty Crunch Bites. Any Variety..Expires 1/29/2020.Save $2.00.

Save $1.50 when you purchase ANY ONE (1) Atkins® Meal or Snack Protein Bars. Valid on any 5 pack..Expires 1/29/2020.Save $1.50.

Save $1.50 when you purchase ANY ONE (1) Select Atkins Endulge® Treats. Valid on 5 pack. Excludes Atkins Endulge® Peppermint Patties..Expires 1/29/2020.Save $1.50.

Save $2.00 when you purchase ANY ONE (1) Atkins® Chocolate Banana Shakes. Valid on 4 pack..Expires 1/29/2020.Save $2.00.

Save $2.00 when you purchase ANY ONE (1) Atkins Endulge® Peppermint Patties. Valid on 5 pack..Expires 1/29/2020.Save $2.00.

Save $1.50 when you purchase ANY ONE (1) Select Atkins® Shakes. Valid on 4 pack. Excludes Atkins® Chocolate Banana Shakes..Expires 1/30/2020.Save $1.50.

Save $0.75 when you purchase ANY ONE (1) Select NABISCO Cookies or Crackers. Valid on 7 oz or larger. Excludes Belvita, OREO, Triscuit..Expires 2/5/2020.Save $0.75.

Save $0.50 when you purchase ANY ONE (1) Campbell’s® Slow Kettle® Style Soups. Valid on 15.5 oz..Expires 2/26/2020.Save $0.50.

Save $1.00 when you purchase ANY TWO (2) belVita Breakfast Biscuits. Valid on 8.8 oz or larger, any variety. Items must appear on the same receipt..Expires 2/29/2020.Save $1.00.

SAVE $1.00 on any ONE (1) Emergen-C® Dietary Supplement (8ct or larger).Expires 1/19/2020.Save $1.00.

SAVE $4.00 on any ONE (1) Emergen-C® Protein Fuel or Superfoods Product, any variety or size..Expires 1/19/2020.Save $4.00.

SAVE $1.00 on any ONE (1) Barilla® Protein+™ or Chickpea or Red Lentil or Gluten Free Pasta Product (8.8-14.5 oz).Expires 2/29/2020.Save $1.00.

SAVE $5.00 when you spend $25 on any flavor General Mills cereal listed: Cheerios™ • Cinnamon Toast Crunch™ • Lucky Charms™ • Reese’s Puffs • Chex™ • Cocoa Puffs™ • Trix™ • Cookie Crisp™ • Golden Grahams™ • Kix™ • Fiber One™ • Wheaties™ • Raisin Nut Bran

Save $0.50 when you purchase ANY ONE (1) Russell Stover Sugar Free. Valid on 2.4oz Bag or Larger. .Expires 3/25/2020.Save $0.50.(Only at Walmart)

My Favorite Pantry Staples!

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I’ve used the term “Pantry Staples” a lot recently, and some of you may not know what that means.

Pantry staples are food items that most people have in their cupboards all the time. They are commonly known as “ingredients”.

Here are the 25 pantry staples that we always have on hand, and below them, you will find links to recipes containing these staples.

I’ve linked to these items on Amazon, which is where I buy a lot of our pantry staples, especially if there is no local deal. I do surveys and research studies to earn Amazon Gift Cards that I use to purchase items.

My Amazon List of Hewes Family Pantry Staples

  1. All-Purpose Flour
  2. Rolled Oats
  3. Baking Powder
  4. Baking Soda
  5. Kosher Salt
  6. Baking Cocoa Powder
  7. Crisco Shortening
  8. Coconut Oil
  9. Grapeseed Oil
  10. Chocolate Chips
  11. White Sugar
  12. Brown Sugar
  13. Powdered Buttermilk
  14. Jasmine Rice and/or Brown Rice
  15. Canned Tomatoes
  16. Tomato Sauce
  17. Tomato Paste
  18. Canned Black Beans
  19. Canned Chickpeas
  20. Canned Kidney Beans
  21. Broth (a mix of Veggie and Chicken)
  22. Noodles/Pasta/Macaroni (Usually one package of each)
  23. Tuna Pouches
  24. Peanut Butter (Or other seed/nut butter)
  25. Vinegar (Usually a couple different types)

 

Recipes using Pantry Staples:

Recipe: Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Made with Olive Oil)

Tasty Chewy Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies!

Family Recipe: Cocoa Brownies

Recipe: Not Your Average Taco Salad

Family Recipe: Chicken Tetrazzini

New Recipe: Shakshuka

Recipe: Colonial Chowder

Tips to Reign In An Out Of Control Family Budget: Let’s Start in the Kitchen!

707538835876fc5c438018d57701bc2f.jpgUntil the end of the year, I’ll be posting some articles with realistic tips and methods to save money and reign in spending. None of these are going to the same old “Clip coupons, grow your own garden, etc.” that’s all over the internet- and honestly, here in Southern California, the old, standby advice isn’t going to help you. Grow a garden to save money? Water is so expensive here!

Clipping coupons and shopping grocery store sales/circulars will save you a fraction of the amount that it used to. In years past, I was saving 60-80% with coupons and store sales. Now, I’m lucky to save 50%.  With all of the restrictions on coupons (example: limit one like coupon per day- LAME), stockpiling to save money isn’t always possible without a lot of work/trips to different stores (and that’s not saving time). We’re moving past that, and delving into other ways to save money and take advantage of opportunities that are out there.

Today we are going to start with my pet project: Saving in the kitchen! If you feel like you’re spending too much money on food and groceries, here are my recommendations for getting the grocery spending under control:

  1. Go through your refrigerator/freezer and pantry. Make a note of the food that you have on hand. I like using the kitchen inventories here. This will also give you an opportunity to clean out food from the kitchen that has expired or that you won’t eat. Unexpired food that you won’t eat, can be donated to a local charity.
  2. Now that you have a handle on what you have in your kitchen, take a look at the list and come up with some recipes or meals that can be created with what you have on hand. You’d be surprised by how many meals you have in your kitchen! Make a list of the meals that you can make with what you have. And plan on having one or two of those per week. This will help keep grocery spending down. Make a list of meals that you can make but require one or two ingredients (like fresh vegetables), and add those ingredients to your next few shopping lists. By relying on what you already have in your home, you will be keeping your out of pocket down.
  3. Before you head to the store, take a look at the sale flyer which is available online, and see what is on sale. Plan meals around food that is in season and on sale. Continue to use coupons, but don’t go out of your way to subscribe to multiple newspapers per week to get a hold of lots of the same coupons.  Don’t forget rebate apps! Use of these apps gets us $10-$20/month cashback, sometimes double that, depending on what bonus offers are available- Fetch Rewards and Ibotta often have Bonus offers.
  4. Track your spending over a few weeks to see how much you are spending, and what you are buying. If you still find that you’re spending a lot of money on food, I would try shopping at a different store. I find that even with club card sales, and rebate apps like Fetch Rewards, some grocery stores (like Vons) are just too expensive to do my weekly shopping. I love starting my shopping at $.99 only. I am able to get a lot of snacks, name-brand treats, and fresh fruits and veggies there, and I am still able to stay on budget. Another fun place where I save money is Grocery Outlet. They have great prices on cheese, fruit juice, coffee, and frozen meat. They also have an interesting selection that changes weekly: snack food, protein bars/cookies, and cereal. If you are in the military, a military family, or a veteran, consider shopping at the commissary. Here is my article about saving money at the commissary. 
  5. Consider cooking more from scratch. It is healthier, and pantry stables are generally pretty cheap (the ingredients for a batch of chocolate chip cookies runs about $3.00 and yields 4-5 dozen cookies, while a package of chocolate chip cookies from the grocery store is about $4.00+ and is usually 3 dozen or so).  I buy fruits and veggies whole and break them down and pack them into serving size bags. You can learn more about that and Batch Cooking here.

If you are still having a hard time keeping your grocery budget in check, or if you are finding that the ends don’t meet, consider the San Diego Food Bank Neighborhood Distribution Program. No documentation is needed to receive food assistance from a
Neighborhood Distribution site where people can receive fresh fruits, vegetables, and bread, based on availability. Families are encouraged to bring reusable bags or
a cart with them to carry the food items.

There are programs out there to help those struggling to feed their families here in San Diego County. Here is my list of San Diego County Food Resources.

I work very hard to keep my family on a budget, I work very hard to make sure that we are saving money and taking advantage of as many deals and opportunities that present themself. I know that this is not something that everyone wants to do or something that everyone can do. There are so many programs and discounts out there available for various groups of individuals.

Tomorrow, we’re tackling saving money on the entertainment budget.

12/6/19- Freebie Friday

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I usually post this first thing in the morning, but today was crazy busy. There are al kinds of freebies and events coming up- let’s dive in:

Freebies:

 

In-Store Events:

Free Plant- Based Burritos from Social Nature!

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This offer was in my inbox yesterday, so I thought I’d share it, because, really, who doesn’t love free food?

I signed up to receive a FREE plant-based burrito from Alpha Foods and Social Nature. They have lots of burrito love to share! These bad boys are VEGAN! Woo Hoo!

Just click here to ‘Want It’ and see if you’re a match!

This offer is only valid in the US.

TalkBack- Did you sign up? Which variety are you excited to try?

Join the Shmear Society & Get $5 Off Your Next Order at Einstein Bros. Bagels

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Hey- Do you like bagels? We do, more specifically, Big Kid does. If you cut him open, he’d be at least 55% bagel.

If you have a bagel connoisseur in your home, consider joining the Shmear Society from Einstein Bros. Bagels. When you join and make a purchase, you’ll score $5.00 off your next purchase. That’s a tasty breakfast!

They have an app too! And Shmear Society Members score a birthday freebie too.

So year, my carb lovin’ friends, there is no reason not to join!

 

*Disclaimer- I get $5 if one of you does this deal. And I know you all want to. Because… Cream Cheese.

Frugal Home Repairs…

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Drip…Drip…Drip. Just the thought of that sound gets my hackles up! Recently, our master bathroom faucet started to drip. In a matter of a few days, the drip became a tiny stream.

Armed with our trusty Home Depot Repair guide, I looked through the plumbing section and found the section that applied. I headed off to Home Depot to buy a faucet puller.

Sometimes home repair manuals aren’t enough. Thankfully there are so many great videos on Youtube. These videos are often made by professional plumbers or tool/hardware companies. They can be a very valuable resource, especially if you are a visual learner.

This is the video that was the most helpful. Step by step directions, helpful tips, and it was realistic as to how much work it would take.

I am a DIY-er from way back, but even I know my limitations. Working as a team, we were able to take the faucet apart, install the new part and put it back together. Now it’s dripping a lot less.

The problem isn’t 100% fixed, but we’re still working on it. That’s the other thing about DIY home repair- Sometimes it’s not a quick 5-minute fix. Sometimes it’s a multiple-day, multiple trip to the hardware store, watching lots of Youtube videos, googling the same question in different ways.

This was the 3rd home repair I had tackled in the past 6 months. The other two were pretty easy, relativity speaking (replacing the flushing mechanisms in two separate toilets- both were different).

Here is my advice if you endeavor to tackle home repairs:

  • Google is your friend. Look up information before you get started.
  • Youtube can be a lifesaver! Check out multiple videos, especially videos made by professionals.
  • Check out the home repair book selection at your local library. While I linked to the book we used on Amazon, most branch libraries have all sorts of books on home repair.
  • Ask the dudes at the hardware store. The guy in the plumbing section of our local Home Depot told me he was a plumber, but he retired and picked up a couple shifts at Home Depot a week to keep busy. He gave me a bunch of tips, talked me through the process, and congratulated us on doing a job ourselves.
  • Hit up your tribe! Post a request for help on Social Media, shoot an email out to your peeps. You would be surprised how many people have done their own home repairs and may have tools to borrow, tips to share, or can lend a hand.

Talk Back: Are you a DIY Home pro, or are you intimidated by a toolbelt? Brag about your best home repair!

 

 

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