- My stockpile did take a big hit when I was skipping trips to the store. I need to focus on getting my overstock built back up. Specifically, we need meat and paper products.
- I finally kicked Kroger to the curb and it feels good but I'm still adjusting. Kroger is the closest store to me at home and hubby at work so its kinda tough if we happen to need something ASAP. Publix is about a 25-30 minute drive for me but it's totally worth it for the customer service alone and the BOGO deals.
- I'm going to buckle down with meal planning. This will help us to avoid last-minute needs, which almost always result in paying full price.
- I am going to make a weekly trip to Publix, preferably on Wednesdays so I can take advantage of the Penny Item. I'm hoping to get into a really good groove that will carry me through the rest of the year.
- Finally, I'm going to work hard to stick to my budget each week (or even under) to get my weekly totals down into the $55 range by mid year.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Monday, March 7, 2011
Are you taking a family vacation this summer? Are you looking for ways to save? Here are my top 10 tips for finding deals and saving on a great family vacation.
- Airfare - Personally, if Southwest doesn't fly there we just don't go. They are my favorite airline by far. DING! is an application that you download which will notify you of deep discounts on Southwest airfare.
- Frequent Flyer Card - No matter what airline you fly, you should definitely make sure you are registered for their frequent flyer program. Eventually all those flights can add up for a FREE one. This is also a great way to earn other rewards (drink tickets, discounts, ect.) depending on the carrier.
- Hotels - My favorite site for getting the best deal on accommodations is Hotels.com. They also have a reward program that earns you a FREE night once you stay 5 nights anywhere.
- Entertainment - A great way to save on activities and entertainment is by watching the Groupon deals for the city you plan on traveling to. You can save at least 50% or more by purchasing these in advance.
- Food - For restaurant deals you can check Restaurant.com and save 50%-90% on food gift certificates.
- Use your current memberships - If you have a zoo or discovery center membership, find out if they are part of a national program. Often times, you will receive FREE admission to the same establishment in another city or at least a discount.
- Get paid to vacation - When booking any sort of flights, car rentals, or accommodations I always shop through Ebates first. For example, when booking at Hotels.com you can also earn 4% back!
- Choose your dates - The best rates are generally during the off season and during the week. If possible, plan your vacation during these times.
- Look for blogs - Search for specific blogs or websites that specialize in your travel destination. When I was planning our Disney vacation one of my favorite sources of valuable information was Mouse Savers.
- Check with friends - If you know of someone who has been to your destination before ask if you can pick their brain for details. They may be able to offer valuable advice on things to avoid, which may not be worth the cost. They also may be able to suggest activities that were totally worth it!
Do you have any tips for finding vacation deals? Share them in the comments below or let me know where you will be vacationing this summer.
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Alamo blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
- 2-1/2 cups chicken
- 1-1/2 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese
- 2/3 cup whole kernel corn, drained
- 2/3 cup black beans, drained
- 5 green onions, chopped
- 1 t. ground cumin
- 1/4 t. cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 t. grated lime peel
- 1 pkg. egg roll wrappers
- vegetable oil
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 cup ranch salad dressing
- 1 T. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 T. lime juice
Cook chicken and then shred or chunk into small pieces. In a large bowl, combine chicken, cheese, corn, beans, onions, cumin, pepper, 1/4 cup cilantro and lime peel. Place 1/4 cup of this mixture into the center of a wrapper and roll up. Use pastry brush dipped in water to seal. Prepare all egg rolls. Then, heat oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees. Fry 2-3 egg rolls at a time for 2 minutes on each side. When golden brown, remove and allow to drain on a paper towel. To prepare dip, peel and mash the avocado. Mix with ranch, 1 Tablespoon of cilantro and lime juice. Delicious!
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
- I used my stockpile. I have lots of staples in my pantry, garage and extra freezer. I used that for about a solid 2 weeks before I ever even noticed that I need to make a grocery run.
- I planned our meals. Granted, there were a few nights where we grabbed pizza because I was too exhausted to think about cooking or cleaning up the kitchen. For the most part, I still sat down each week and planned out our meals mostly using my stockpile mentioned above.
- I shopped the deals. Even without coupons I was still saving 40%-50% simply by shopping the sales and BOGO items. Sometimes I would just give hubby a list of items to grab on his way home. Usually these items were fruits/veggies/meats that were on sale. These items typically don't have coupons so it made it easy for him and saved me a trip so I could keep on working.