I just wanted to say first how much I am enjoying Frugal Fridays. Everyone's comments on how helpful I have been to you really does my heart good. Thank you for this and I do hope it's making a difference in your lives.
Today I am going to talk about ways to save and eat for less. Not just your grocery store savings but how to eat out for less and different ways at home you can cut corners with your groceries.
The first thing I want to talk about is cooking and freezing your meals. When Trucker first became a truck driver he was gone for one month at a time. Only home for four days each month. He was allowed to use a portion of his check each week up to a certain amount of his grocery money and any essentials he needed. But by him doing this it also cut down on the amount of money he had to send home. I don't know how many know this but truck stop food is not cheap at all. I had to come up with ways for him to have better meals that weren't costing us an arm and leg. To begin with he didn't have a refrigerator on his truck either. We simply could not afford one and the company didn't supply it. He carried a large ice chest for his drinks and food. He also had a electric warmer cookstove. No microwave either. So I had to get creative on this.
Each time he came home I would spend one full day cooking large quantities of food. I made things such as soups, chili, casseroles and large containers of spaghetti. The more I cooked for him the less he had to spend while out. And of course this was also better for him as far as being healthier plus eating out does get old.
1. There is no reason why you can't do this at your home as well. Take a Sunday afternoon and cook a large batch of something then place it into individual containers for freezing. This saves you time each night when you come home from work as you don't have to cook anything that night. Try it sometime.
2. Almost any grocery store has a special place in the fruits and veggie dept. where they place their markdowns. In my store it's all placed into buggies out in the aisles. I often find banana's, onions, lettuce, peppers and everything they have in this dept. These things are always marked way down and you can still use them. I love to purchase these banana's for making banana nut bread. As they are always just ripened enough. But for onions, peppers, and say celery I dice them in the food processor and then freeze for later use. They are excellent in stir fry meals and in soups and salads. this will save you a lot of money.
3. Eating out is expensive as we all know. But every now and then we have to treat ourselves to this. Most often you find you go out over the weekend or especially at night. Save yourself some money and instead go out for a brunch, lunch or even breakfast. Dinner is the most costly meal of the day in restaurants. If you must go out over the weekend then go for one of the other meals. If you can go on a week night, then it's not to bad as most places offer a better deal on weeknights.
4. Give yourself a treat: Did you know that you can get gift certificates for most local restaurants from places like EBay, Craigslist and Restaurant.com? At a huge savings to. Most of the time they are quite a bit less than face value. Take restaurant.com for example. I purchase gift certificates from them a lot. I can find a deal that is for a $25.00 GC and only pay $3.00 for it. Watch online through them and you can even catch better deals with codes.
Also ask if you favorite restaurants have a "dining reward" for eating there. This is usually a punch card and after so many punches you get a free meal or drink. Our favorite chinese place does this. For every 10 meals we get one meal free.
If you have kids check to see which nights they might do "kids eat free" or at a discount.
Also when eating out one of the most expensive parts of the meal is your drink. Why not order water? It's better for you and is a lot more economical as well.
6. Want to really save big at restaurants? Use a GC and a coupon together. Some restaurants won't allow you to do this but why not pay separately for the meal. This way you can use them both. I recently went online to my favorite restaurant sites and signed up for their newsletters. After signing up I received a coupon at each one. Then a few weeks later I also got emails from them with coupons for a free meal for my birthday. Heck do this for every member of your family. All it takes is a little time but it's worth it.
7. When leaving a tip at a restaurant don't fall into the trap of leaving to much. 15 - 20% is the recommended amount but remember this is before the taxes and just for the amount of the meal only. Don't short change yourself.
8. Last but not least this week is something that might surprise you. Stop buying cookbooks. Before the internet this was a great idea but now any recipe you want is out there and free. Simply print it out for your use or save it into a file for printing later. Make your own cookbooks.
It's time to announce the winner from last weeks giveaway. I hope everyone enjoyed The Ole Bag Lady's shop and her beautiful fabric tote/gift bags as much as I did. Thank you so much Tami for sponsoring the giveaway. I dearly love the tote you sent me. It's beautiful and the fabric is so nice and bright.
Announcing the winner: AMY M congratulations for being this weeks winner of your choice of any of the reusable fabric tote/gift bags from Tami at The Ole Bag Lady's etsy store.
You have been emailed and have 48 hours to contact me with you mailing address or I will be forced to choose an alternate.
Again Amy congrats.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I am excited to say that this weeks giveaway is sponsored by Glow girl Functional Eco Friendly Coupon Organizers. She has generously donated a coupon organizer from her store. The winner will get to choose the organizer of their choice. These are not just any old coupon holder but made of up-cycled durable fabrics. What makes them so special as well is that each one attaches to the front of the grocery cart. This is wonderful as it leaves your hands free for using your calculator or for putting those groceries into the cart. Your coupons are right in front of you for easy access.
Glow girl is very echo friendly as well. Many fabrics are up-cycled - She loves finding and using drapery/upholstery and vintage fabrics at yard sales/flea markets/remnant shops/on-line.. Due to this, most bags are one-of-a-kinds! I rarely find the same fabric twice in my searches!
Most of the coupon organizers I have ran across and used do not hold up. They are usually made of paper and will very soon fall apart on me. Most don't come with very many tabs. Glow girls is not like that at all. Each organizer comes with 20 blank tabs !!! as well as choice of 70 headings - peel and stick what YOU want to use onto the tabs !!!! easily secures right to the grocery cart for hands free sorting !!!! Each holder is fabric, fully lined with a stabilizer to give it some strength. Bottom is a 1" flat bottom, allowing for a lot of coupon storage!
I'm going to make this weeks chance to win much easier than the weeks before. Why? Because I love you all and wish I could give everyone who commented one of them. Heck I gotta get one for myself now. LOL. All you have to do to enter is head over to Glow girls Etsy store and let me know which coupon organizer is your favorite. That's it for the first entry. If you don't do this your really missing out on a wonderful item for your use. For the extra entries to count you must do this. If you don't have a blog with your email address on it then do please leave your email addy in your comments.
If you would like more chance to win here are ways to earn more entries into the giveaway.
1. Follow my blog. If you already follow then let me know in your comment. (1 entry) 2. Subscribe to my blog. If you already subscribe then let me know in your comment. ( 1 entry) 3. Add glow girls store to you favorites on Etsy. 4. Follow me on twitter and tweet the giveaway. then come back here and leave your comment with your twitter id. (1 entry) 5. If you blog about this giveaway then this earns five extra points. Leave me a comment with the link to your blog. Make sure your blog post links to mine and the giveaway. (5 entries)
If you would like to twitter this giveaway everyday that is fine also. Come back here and leave a comment and your id name to let me know. You earn an extra entry into the drawing this way.
This giveaway will end next Thursday night at 10:00 pm CST on April 9th. Winner will be emailed and have 48 hours to provide their mailing address and choice of coupon organizer or an alternate winner will be chosen and notified.
Welcome to "Stepp Into My World". I'm so happy that you stopped by for a visit and a glimpse into my World.
Over the years my world has changed many many times. Now I've reached that point in my life where I have found out who "I" really am. I invite you to come along for the ride with me. I love comments and hope you will take the time to leave me some. I will do my best to respond personally to each and everyone of them.