Saturday, July 3, 2010

Freebie Deebies: So You Say It's Your Birthday...

...It's my son's birthday too, YEAH!

How painful to even write about this, but my son is going to be...


...eleven years old next week.


ELEVEN YEARS. Eleven years we've had him. Eleven years since I was pregnant.
Not ten, but eleven. Everyone says this, but I can hardly believe it.

*snaps back into reality*

As if it's not enough that he is reminding me every, single day - the emails are coming. Oh, these aren't junk emails by any means; they are birthday emails filled with FREEBIES!

Periodically through the year, I sign each of us up for restaurant birthday clubs. When your special day comes around, you start getting flooded with free's fun.
So far, he has received:
So many programs, like these, are available. Try googling Birthday Freebies. Surprise, surprise, there is even a site dedicated to the subject guessed it...Birthday Freebies. As with any program, you will want to make sure your local site is participating.

Psstt...Here's the "secret" to benefiting from these Freebie Deebies. Unless you are going to that particular store anyway, ONLY GET THE ITEM THAT IS OFFERED FOR FREE.

For example, we rarely ever go to Baskin Robbins for ice cream (it's not exactly close to our house.) If the coupon draws us in and we spend $8 on other cones...did the coupon really save us money? forced us to spend eight bucks that we normally would not spend.

Now, if going out for ice cream was a regular family activity of ours, the coupon WOULD save us the money we would have spent on our son's treat.
Does that make sense?

I understand, you may feel silly (at first) for going into a shop for only a free item. But remember, it's YOUR hard earned money that you are blowing.
Don't let others decide how YOU spend it.

*sigh...eleven years...*

Can I Have Your Attention...

Please excuse my excitement bare with me.

The Shopping Adventures of Cheapo McFrugalpants will be going through a bit of a redesign.

I can neither.

In the meantime, if things look a little wonky, it's because they are. If you tried getting here though - you won't find it. I'm switching hosts.

Since I just KNOW you want to tell ALL of your friends about my blog...give them the address. *wink*

And now back to your regularly scheduled blog hopping, twittering, facebooking...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Frugal Friday: Chummy Recipe \port-'MAN.-toe\: a word or morpheme whose form and meaning are derived from a blending of two or more distinct forms (as "chummy" from cheap and yummy)

Wow! I haven't posted a Chummy Recipe in a long time...way overdue, don't you think?

Remember on Monday when I mentioned our big announcement? The peppers? Our very first garden harvest? Oh YEAH...that's the post I'm referring to. my house, fresh green peppers immediately equals Stuffed Green Peppers.

Quite a few years ago, Mr. McFrug's grandmother started buying me the Taste of Home annual cookbooks for my birthday. In the 2003 edition, page 195 to be exact, is my very-bestest-most-favorite-raved-about recipe for Classic Stuffed Peppers. No may look simple, but the end result comes out so flavorful and tender - everyone will love them.


I have altered it a tiny bit to suit our individual tastes.
The recipe makes four large stuffed peppers, using 1/2 pepper each (a whole pepper, in my opinion, is just too.much.)

  • 2 medium/large green peppers
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 c spaghetti sauce, divided
  • 1/2 c. uncooked instant rice (I sometimes sub Parmesan cheese if I'm making them low-carb)
  • 2 TB finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 t. Worcestershire sauce
  • dash pepper
  • 1 lb. uncooked lean ground beef

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350
(easy enough, right?)

Step 2: Cut tops off peppers and discard [right into your compost bin - you do have one I'm sure *wink*] Remove seeds. In a large saucepan, cook peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Place on paper towel to drain while making filling.
(you're still with me?)

In a bowl, combine eggs, 1/2 c. spaghetti sauce, rice, onion, salt, Worcestershire sauce and pepper. Crumble beef over the mixture and mix well
(just use your clean hands, it's easiest.)

Stuff the peppers, each with 1/4 of the mixture. Place in non-stick sprayed baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the peppers. Cover and bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160.

During the last 5 minutes or so of baking, I like to slice a little cheese over the top so it gets nice and ooey-gooey.

Even if you aren't a master in the kitchen, this recipe is for you.
I have faith. *wink*

How is this a Chummy Recipe?
  • I paid $2.00 for the grain fed beef (at a local farm)
  • The spaghetti sauce was bought on sale AND used a coupon
  • Peppers are from our garden
  • Coupon used on the eggs too
Do you have an abundance of peppers in YOUR garden this year? Make a HUGE batch and freeze them. It will be nice to be eating a little taste of summer in the middle of the cold winter.

More Frugal Friday at Life As Mom

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: The Power of Wind

Let's talk gas & electric bills....your favorite subject, right? Mine too *uh-hem*

Last year, I was SO totally jazzed that we were able to lower our budget payment by $121.00 per month. Here it is...that time of year when the budget gets re-evaluated.

With regret, I am here to tell you, our bill has now gone UP by $27 per month. *tears up* I think I know why. With a hurt ankle last summer, I barely got to use my outdoor clothesline. It was just too much (I was lucky to get laundry up and down the stairs at all!) Then, by the end of the summer, SOMEhow *looks at children playing in yard* the clothesline got broken.

Relying on the dryer is the only reason I can think of for the bump in budget (unless the rates are just going up dramatically.)

So, guess where I headed - straight to Lowe's.

About $55 later, I had myself a new clothesline and three packs of clothespins.
Since I have only used my dryer twice in the past month, I'm really hoping this will pay off come next year's budget. For now, I can puke about paying the extra $27. Bleh.

If anything, anything at all, I feel good about using the gifts of nature to get by. Not to mention, the clothes smell great (especially sheets & blankets!)
Want to start using the power of wind?

Here are a few tips:
  • Decide what clothesline would work best for you: an umbrella type (like I have) or a clothesline stretched from tree to tree
  • Find some nice, strong clips. To be honest, the ones I have are wimpy. Whatever happened to the big, hefty ones? Remember clipping them to your lips and earlobes as a kid? neither.
  • Keep your clips in a reusable bag that you can carry in and out with your laundry. If you leave the wooden ones on the line, they will start to weather and turn black. It is not favorable to have black clothespin marks on your white clothing. It's just not.
  • If the weather is nice, be sure to get the clothes out early in the morning. Jeans take a long time to day. If you try sneaking them out in the afternoon, you'll only have to rehang...or use the dryer to finish them up. Defeats the purpose.
  • Shake out your clothes before bringing them in. Sometimes little buggies like to catch a ride into the house. No hitchhikers allowed.
  • Lastly, always remember - even if there is NO rain in the will rain on your clothes...just for the mere fact that they are out there. Oh, this rule also applies to washing your car.
Peace. Love. Save Money. Save the Earth.

More Thrifty Thursday at My Coupon Teacher

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

CVS Deals: 6/27 - 7/3 ($19.17 for only $2.39)

Holy smokes!

Today is June 30th....JUNE 30TH.

I realized this at 8:30 tonight. Of course, I almost panicked when I remembered that some of my CVS Extra Care bucks were expiring TODAY (isn't that the first thing on EVERYONE'S mind at all times?)

What do I do? Is the store going to close? Where are my coupons? I can.not let them expire. That's EIGHT dollars!

Whirlwind. Whirlwind. Five minutes and my plan is done.

Oh please, oh please have all of the items I want...otherwise my CVS mojo will be ALL messed up. Lucky for them, everything was in stock.

Check this out!
  • 2 Extra Detergent: $3.00 - (2x) $1 Sunday Q = $1.00 for TWO
  • 2 M&M's: $1.78 - $.89 BOGOF sale - $.75 on 2 Sunday Q = $.14 for TWO
  • 6 Warm Delights: $5.28 - 3 $1.00 on 2 peelies = $2.28 for SIX
  • Oust Air Sanitizer: $2.50 - $1.00 Sunday Q = $1.50
  • Glade Air & Fabric Spray: $2.50 - $1.00 Sunday Q = $1.50
  • 2 Glade Oil Refills: $5.00 - $2.00 on 2 prior package insert Q = $3.00 for TWO
Total: $19.17
Coupons: $9.75
Prior ECB's: $8.00
Subtotal: $1.42 + $.97 tax
My Cash Total: $2.39
Received: $5.00 ECB (Spend $10 on Glade/Cleaners get $5 ECB Deal)

Now, can you see why I almost panicked? *wink*

How did you do at CVS this week?

CVS $5 Challenge at Kingdom First Mom

The Big Toy Book's Private Sale Sneak-Peek

Guess what guys?

The Bad News: We're halfway to Christmas...eeekk...yikess...shut.up.Cheapo!

The Good News: Now is the time to start buying a discount!

I know...none of us can even think about the holiday season when summer has barely begun. Though, by spreading out your shopping time over several months, you will not only lessen your gift buying stress, but it's easier on the budget. Seriously, who enjoys waiting until weeks before to Christmas to buy EVERYTHING and then be so short on money that you can barely pay your bills or have to resort to using credit cards (which you'll end up paying MORE just to use?)


With that being said, I bring to you...

The Big Toy Book Private Sale SNEAK PEEK!

It's not even open to the public until Sunday, July 4th...but if you are reading this blog, you can get in early. Visit the link above and enter the code CHEAPOMCFRUGALPANTS - not only will you get discounts to:
  • Melissa & Doug
  • Pawparazzi
  • Citibloks
  • Cloud B
You will also get $10 off your first purchase! This code is good through July 9th, so be sure to pass it along to your friends.

You don't want to miss this! As a member of the Big Toy Book community, you will receive email on private sales featuring kid's toys, games and more! You can save up to 70% off retail prices from the hottest brands and up-and-coming products at irresistible savings.

What are you waiting for?

Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus...

Honest Blogger Found Here: I received a $15 credit to shop at The Big Toy Book Private Sale along with a referral credit & blogger incentive. As always, 100% my opinion.

Pan Envy: Part 2

Are you a Pan Peeker?

You just HAVE to open the lid while rice is cooking. You just HAVE to open the oven to check on cookies. You just HAVE to take one, tiny, itsy-bitsy, little peek at that cheesecake knowing darn well it could fall at any minute?

Yeah. Me too.

But guess newest little Calphalon 2.5 qt. shallow sauce pan comes with...wait for it...a GLASS LID! Okay, I understand that this is NOT some new invention; glass lids have been around for years. Although, I, Me, M
yself have never had one
(I first talked about this little guy HERE.)

Look! No more Pan Peeking! Rice can just bubble and boil away without any disturbance at all...and can turn out like this. Can you say "YUM?"

What's so good about this pan, you ask?
  • Even though it's shallow, it still holds 2.5 qts.
  • You can use it to boil items or use it as a saucepan (because of it's width)
  • As with all Calphalon, it's easy peasy to clean
  • It distributes heat extremely well. Take a look at this picture to the left. See how even the boiling is? Would you believe this is on HIGH heat? My other pans would have boiled right over the top. This one did not. Impressive.
What don't I don't like?
  • So far, nothing in particular that I have noticed. My two usual Calphalon complaints: they are rather heavy (for those of you with hand/wrist problems) and they scratch easily (I store mine with thin towels in between.)
Calphalon pans are not exactly what I would call "frugal" cookware. Many can run a few hundred dollars each. *pass out* Though, start by finding the $40 (and under) little gems to supplement what you already have. Believe it or not, nice cookware does help you to obtain mad cooking skillz.*

*For those of you who are kitchen disasters, the said cookware does not perform miracles.
Just sayin'.

Honest Blogger Found Here: CSN Stores is providing me with product to adequately facilitate an honest review. 100% My opinion - as always.