Coffee House Copycat Recipes & Enter to French Roast K-Cup® Pods!

I love Cross Country Cafe! They always have great deals, contests, and recipes!

Barista Prima French Roast K-Cup® Pods box of 24Right now, they are running a contest for FOUR full-size boxes of French Roast K-Cup® coffee pods! Enter to win before March 30th, 2020.

One of the ways that we stay on budget is to limit how many coffee shop beverages we have each week.  I load $25 every two weeks onto my Starbucks card. Honestly, it’s usually used on treats for the kiddos.

I make a big pot of French Roast Coffee each morning and make our coffee shop style beverages with it as the base. Here are a few of our favorites:

Quick & Easy Misto (aka a Cafe au Lait)

Ingredients:

  • 20 ounces Hot Coffee (prepared however you like)
  • 1 cup milk (whatever kind you like, I prefer whole or 2%).
  • Sweetener, if desired
  • Ground Nutmeg or Cinnamon, if desired

Directions:

  1. In a heatproof cup, heat milk for approx. 30 seconds in the microwave.
  2. Froth milk in a Magic bullet, blender, or using a Milk Frother. This takes about 30 seconds. The more fat the milk contains, the foamer the milk gets. Fat-free milk (either dairy or non-dairy) does not get too frothy.
  3. Pour Hot Coffee into your serving cup. Add your sweetener and stir. This is a great time to try a new sweetened syrup!
  4. Using a spoon, Push frothed milk to the side and pour milk over the coffee.
  5. Top with Foam if desired.
  6. Get extra fancy and sprinkle the top of the foam with nutmeg or cinnamon!
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Hot, frothy milk!
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The finished product, time for breakfast!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quick & Easy Mocha: If you love a Cafe Mocha to start your day, simply add 2 T. of your favorite Chocolate milk mix or instant hot chocolate (I like this dark chocolate hot chocolate) to the milk before your heat and froth it. Follow the same directions as above.

Caramel Macchiato: Pour 1 cup, hot frothed milk into your mug, followed by 6 ounces of very strong hot coffee. Top with a little more foam, and drizzle caramel syrup over the top of the foam.

Cinnamon Dulce Latte: Pour Coffee into mug, add steamed milk and two pumps/Tablespoons of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Syrup. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Cooled/leftover coffee makes GREAT iced coffee. Simply pour over ice, add any milk and sweetener/syrup you’d like and serve. YUM!

For an Iced Mocha, mix 2 T. of your favorite Chocolate milk mix to the milk before adding it to your ice and coffee.

I love the Torani Sugar Free syrups, they come in over 40 flavors and most of them are great in coffee. We like the following flavors:

  • Irish Coffee (it’s non-alcoholic)
  • Caramel
  • Hazelnut
  • French Vanilla
  • Brown Sugar Cinnamon
  • Almond
  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Coconut (it’s good in a mocha)

unnamed.pngAnd Cross Country Cafe has a new recipe on their blog: Almond Milk Honey Flat White. Yum!

If you start your morning with a protein shake, here are a couple recipes for coffee drinks that use protein powder in place of milk.

Organic/Healthy Savings with the Makeena App!

logo-small.pngIt’s no surprise to long-time readers of my blog or followers on Social Media that I like a good deal. You probably do too.

I also know that like me, most of you have endeavored to eat healthier over the past few years, and it can be hard to eat healthy on a budget. Most of us have turned to rebate/money-saving apps since the paper couponing industry have effectively written healthy eaters off.

I’m always on the lookout for ways to feed my family healthy food and save money. Makeena is a newer app (owned by the same company that does Common Kindness– Which is an AWESOME printable coupon website that helps give back to the charity of your choice) that features rebates for healthy food, organic food, natural toiletries, and more sustainably produced products.

Makeena can be used at ANY STORE! For use Grocery Outlet shoppers, this means that we’ll be able to save more- I practically live in their NOSH section.

Here are some screenshots I grabbed with some of the products that I’ve seen or purchased recently at Grocery Outlet:

 

 

And at the time that this post was written, there were rebates for what I call “Brandless” or “Any Brand” rebates:

  • Any Organic Vitamin K
  • Any Organic Whey Powder
  • Organic Fennel (fresh)
  • Organic or Naturally Derived All-Purpose Cleaner
  • Organic Sunscreen
  • Organic Serrano Peppers
  • Organic Baking Soda
  • Biodegradable or Organic Paper Towels
  • Organic Cantaloupe
  • Organic Mushrooms

And as far as I know, you can also use coupons when you purchase items redeemed for rebates in the app, and there may be the possibility to double dip with other apps like Checkout 51, Ibotta, Fetch Rewards, or BerryCart.

So, Cheers, here’s to another avenue of saving in 2020!

Talk Back: Have you downloaded Makeena yet? Are you excited for an app that has healthy/organic/natural products?

New! Claim your spot on the OhmNow waitlist!

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If you’ve been reading my blog for some time, you know I love earning money and saving energy with OhmConnect (You can read more about it here). OhmConnect is sweetening the deal with a new program.

 OhmNow finishes what you started with #OhmHours. Sign up for this new premium add-on service, and we’ll upgrade your OhmConnect account so your smart devices respond to extra valuable #OhmHours. You’ll get paid extra without lifting a finger.

For just $4.99 per month you can automatically save energy when electricity prices surge, even if that’s just for five minutes.

No commitment or credit card required today, you can join the waitlist here.

Working Behind the Scenes for You

OhmNow works behind the scenes so you can rest easy knowing that you’re making extra money without lifting a finger. Join OhmNow and you can earn by:

  • Connecting key appliances
  • Setting your preferences
  • Automatically reducing energy during surges

Just like the standard OhmConnect service, you don’t need to change anything on your utility account.

Disclaimer: If you aren’t a member of OhmConnect and join, I may earn extra points that will help me earn my next reward.

California Climate Credit- Savings on Your October Utility Bill!

Screen Shot 2019-10-10 at 10.10.07 PM.pngWOO HOO!! It’s back! The second California Climate Credit  is back for it’s second installment of the year!

And if you have any of the following utilities: PG&E, SDG&E, SCE Pacific Power and Liberty Utilities, your October bill will have a credit.

The California Climate Credit. From the CPUC website:

“Twice a year, millions of California residents receive a credit on their utility bill identified as the “California Climate Credit.”  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 distributors and other large industries that emit greenhouse gases to buy carbon pollution permits.  The credit represents residential utility ratepayers’ share of the payments from the State’s program.  The credit program was created by the CPUC, which also oversees the program’s implementation.

Currently, all residential and eligible small business electricity customers of PG&E, SDG&E, SCE Pacific Power and Liberty Utilities receive the credit, as do all Community Choice Aggregator (CCA) customers.  In addition, natural gas residential customers of PG&E, SoCalGas, Southwest Gas, and SDG&E also receive the credit.  Customers don’t need to do anything to receive the credit – it is automatically applied to their bills.  The credit amounts vary among utilities, CCAs and from year to year.

If you’re not sure whether you’re receiving the Climate Credit, the first thing to do is contact your utility or CCA, the same as you would do with any billing questions.  That’s because although the CPUC oversees the credit and can help with any remaining questions you have, your utility or CCA is best positioned to access your individual records and answer questions about individual accounts.”

In addition to this credit, we also use the TIME OF USE billing to our advantage. Here is an article I wrote about last summer with some tips about how to save on your utility bill. Time of Use billing isn’t for everyone, but we use it as I am able to do the bulk of our energy using chores during off-peak hours, such as dishes and laundry.

And one thing that I find super helpful- We signed up for Ohm Connect a few years ago and it texts and/or emails you when you should conserve more power due to the demand on the power grid. It’s a win-win situation: You save money on your power bill, and you earn points from Ohm Connect that you can cash out for Paypal, Amazon or Target Gift Cards, OhmConnect store credit (to buy energy-efficient thermostats, smart plugs, etc.) You can learn more about OhmConnect here. When you sign up here and link your utility account, you’ll earn $10 in rewards! We’ve earned over $50 in 2019 so far!

 

**Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission if you click on links or make purchases. However, I only post about stuff that I like and use for my family.

Save on Prescriptions with GoodRX!

The big kid and I both have prescriptions. Thankfully, his are covered with zero co-pay, but mine are not.

Recently, while watching Hulu, I learned about GoodRX, which is a FREE discount pharmacy club.  Being curious to see if we could save money on my monthly meds, I took signed up for the free card here and entered my medication to check the prices.

And here is what I found:

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Or, if I want to do mail order, I can save EVEN MORE!!

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And these are  30-day refills, if I opted for 90-day refills, the price would be higher of course.

I’ll be checking out MailMyPrescriptions when I get closer to refill time. At $2.40/month, I’ll be saving about $100/year on my monthly prescription!

Any way we can cut down on our reoccurring monthly expenses helps free up money that can go into savings or toward paying down our debt!

 

Kellogg’s Family Rewards: Savings, Recipes, and More!

Does your family like Kellogg’s Products? Check out Kellogg’s Family Rewards!

  • Purchase the KFR-participating products that you love. Easily collect points on those purchases using our three ways. Then redeem your points for awesome rewards.
  • The rewards catalog is filled with items you’ll love – from gifts cards to coupons to sweepstakes – and so much more! Plus, they add new rewards all the time.
  • A valid email address is your key to bonus offers, free points, special offers, money-saving coupons, great-tasting recipes and so much more!

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It’s so simple! I’ve been doing this rewards programs since it’s inception and I’ve earned all kinds of great freebies and high-value coupons!

10 Tips to Stay on Budget for Groceries

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I frequently get skeptical looks, the side eye, or people thinking I’m starving my kids when I tell them that our grocery budget is $80/week.

It takes a lot of work, but it is doable. I cook a lot from scratch- it’s healthy, cheap, and I can control what goes into each dish (hidden veggies, fruit, less sugar, etc.). I can make a cheese pizza at home for less than $4, and that is enough pizza for the kids for two meals!

Here are a few of our family tactics to stay on budget:

  1. CASH! Go to the bank/ATM and get your grocery money out of the bank every week. This is a great way to start. I get $80 out of the ATM each Saturday for the upcoming weeks’ groceries.
  2. Inventory your Fridge, Freezer, and Pantry. Bonus- You’ll also find stuff that needs to be thrown out or donated. If you are looking for kitchen inventory printables, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.
  3. Menu Plan. Start by using what you’ve got on-hand. Eat food that’s on sale or in season. We eat a lot of strawberries in the summer because they are cheap!
  4. Make a grocery list. Stick to the list Don’t be afraid to substitute brands, or make changes based on what is on sale, or any in-store markdowns you find.
  5. Don’t be afraid to go to more than one store. I’m not saying run all over town, but going to two stores is OK. In our area, there are a 99 Cents Only store and a Grocery Outlet in the same shopping Center. I hit up both each week. Then, on the way home, I stop at Food4Less and buy milk (cheapest in town!), eggs, and bread (if 99 Cents Only doesn’t have the high protein bread we like).
  6. Eat Less Meat. Not only does it save money, but it’s better for the environment.
  7. Take advantage of local resources. There are a few food co-ops in our area. Additionally, there are free produce distributions too. A couple of my friends and I split a co-op lot twice a month. It comes out to less than $20 per person, and we get all kinds of cool stuff. A quick google search can help you find both in your area.  In the summer, we take advantage of Kid’s free lunches too.
  8. Coupon and/or use money-saving apps.  My complete list of apps can be found here. Right now my favorite apps are Fetch Rewards and Ibotta.  I love that I can use Fetch at any store. It helps because I shop a lot of Grocery Outlet and 99 Cents Only.
  9. Speaking of which… Don’t forget to check out stores like 99 Cents Only. There are all kinds of great bargains. Here is my list of 10 Great Buys at 99 Cents Only!
  10. Be Flexible. Some weeks you will go over budget. It happens. Sometimes you need to stock up on staples, or your family wants to eat something that isn’t on sale. Sometimes you really want to order a pizza and wings. That’s OK! Frugality is a journey, it’s not a punishment or a life of austerity and suffering. You can still live a fun, full life while being frugal.

Talk Back: Share a few of your families tips for staying on budget?