February 5, 2011

.:How I Saved Almost $50 in Groceries

A few weeks ago, I saw this show on TLC called "Extreme Couponing". In this particular episode, two women went grocery shopping, their bill was more or less in the $500's and after using coupons, the bill went all the way down to some where around $6 or so! Crazy huh? I didn't think it could be possible, so I decided to try it out myself, and see how much I could save!

I did some extensive research on the internet, found sales, clipped and ordered coupons, made a spreadsheet to stay organized, and got myself out to the stores. Unfortunately, none of the grocery stores in the area double or triple coupons (which would have enabled me to save more), but I still saved a crazy amount of money for the things that I bought.

French’s Spicy Mustard $.25 each
Bird’s Eye Frozen Veggies $.66 each
Vaseline Lotion $.99 each
Up&Up Pantiliners $.39
Wheat Thins $1.00 each
Kellog’s Crunchy Nut Cereal $.25 each
Kraft Shredded Cheese $.87 each
Total BEFORE coupons: $26.87
Total AFTER coupons: $9.62!!!
Total savings of $17.25

Snuggle Dryer Sheets $.87 each
Dove Deodorant $.47 each
Carefree Pantiliners $.44
Williams Taco Seasoning $.31 each
Jello Pudding Mixes $.49 each
Huggies Wipes $.47
Crest Pro-Health Toothpaste $1.77
Clearasil Face Wash $1.67
Kraft Sandwich Shop Mayo $.75
Kikkoman’s Soy Sauce $.42 each
Louisiana Hot Sauce $.44 each
Total BEFORE coupons $50.79
Total AFTER coupons $20.62!!!
Total savings of $30.17

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw how much I had saved at each store! You can do it too with just some time, organization, and dedication!

The two main websites I used to find deals with coupons were: Money Saving Mom and Common Sense with Money. I started getting the Sunday paper to use the coupon inserts that come with them. I also used Coupons and Things by Dede to order multiple coupons, and coupons that I didn't have on hand from past inserts.

If you're interested in knowing more, or need some direction on how to start, email me!

.:FREE Pyrex Potholder

Click here to sign up for a FREE Pyrex Potholder. Pyrex is one of my favorite kitchen brands :) Grab one while supplies last! Don't wait until the last minute. Here's an idea....send one to your mom, sister, grandmother, aunt, who ever! I did!

Thanks, Common Sense with Money!

.:Easy DIY Valentine's Day Ideas

Valentine's Day is coming soon!  In my opinion, some of the most meaningful gifts are those that are made. Low on cash? These are some GREAT V-Day ideas to make for gift giving or just to decorate your home or office.

To see instructions for the above ideas and the other DIY Valentine's Day ideas, click here.

Thanks Real Simple!

February 4, 2011

.:10 Unexpected Natural Cleaners

Who would've thought that these foods would have other uses than to just eat them!

Oatmeal: Scrub very dirty hands. Make a thick paste of oatmeal and water; rinse well.
Rice: Clean the inside of a vase or a thin-necked bottle. Fill three quarters of the vessel with warm water and add a tablespoon of uncooked rice. Cup your hand over the opening, shake vigor-ously, and rinse.
Club Soda: Shine up a scuffed stainless-steel sink. Buff with a cloth dampened with club soda, then wipe dry with another clean cloth.

To see all of the other uses, click here.

Thanks Real Simple!

.:15-Minute Jump-Rope Workout

Hop to it! This old-school recess favorite has great fitness benefits for grown-ups. Jumping rope is an effective cardio exercise that works your arms, legs, and core, helps strengthen your bones, and improves balance. Try this routine, designed by Virginia-based jump-rope expert Buddy Lee (

To see the full workout, click here.

Thanks Real Simple!

February 1, 2011

Szechuan Green Beans with Ground Pork

Most mornings before going to work, I take out meat from the freezer so that by the time I get home, it's already defrosted. I do this because I DESPISE using the microwave to defrost meat. I have nothing against using the microwave, it's just a personal preference of mine. So today I took out ground pork. I had NO CLUE what I was going to make with it, but I knew I was going to use it.

While at work, I came across this Szechuan recipe that looked easy to make, and I already had most of the ingredients on hand anyways. Plus, Chinese food is my FAVORITE!!

Below is the picture from the recipe, and I also took a picture of what I made:

My dish


Instead of using green beans, I used broccoli.I also doubled the recipe because it didn't seem like there would have been enough for the family. It was SOOOO good! I will definitely be making this again :) Here's the recipe if you're interested in making it.

1/2 pound lean ground pork
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 teaspoon peanut oil
2 1/2 cups (1-inch) green beans
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 cups hot cooked white rice

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork mixture, beans, and garlic; cook 3 minutes or until pork loses its pink color, stirring to crumble.

Combine hoisin and next 3 ingredients (through soy sauce) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add hoisin mixture to pan. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently. Serve over rice.

I changed up the recipe a little bit: 
I  substituted white pepper with black pepper.
I substituted peanut oil with vegetable oil.
And of course I used broccoli instead of the green beans, but you can add anything else you want to it. If you're going to use the green beans, I don't suggest trying to cook them with the meat, they may not fully cook. What I did was cook the broccoli on its own first, and then I added it at the end. If you have any tips or tweaks to this recipe, please share! ENJOY :)